RO Glossary of Terms

3PL

Short for third-party logistics. A supply chain management technique in which the retailer outsources warehouse storage and operations to a third party. Retailers purchase goods from vendors to be shipped to the 3PL provider. When customers place orders, retailers forward the order info to the 3PL provider who ships the items to customers.

API

Short for application programming interface. The API allows RO to communicate with various marketplaces and vendors. RetailOps uses a simple JSON API.

ASN

Short for advance ship notice. This is sent to 3PL vendors to notify them of deliveries scheduled to be sent their way.

attribute

An essential characteristic of a product used to describe it in RO.

auth code

Short for authorization code. Each computer or terminal needs authorization when it accesses RO for the first time. If the device's browser history is cleared, it will need to be re-authorized.

available quantity

The amount of physical item units currently available for purchase. This is calculated by subtracting the reserved quantity from the physical quantity.

backstop

A carrier class mapping to a ship service without any rules specified. This is like a safety net ensuring all shipments using that ship service are fulfilled. Any shipments that don't match rules set in other carrier class mappings will default to the backstop mapping.

bin

An area in the warehouse used to store inventory that is being staged.

blinds

An extra count performed for each inventory count to ensure the count's accuracy.

BOL

Short for bill of lading. A contract between the vendor and retailer that comes with a shipment of goods.

bulkstock

A type of order that often contains large quantities of items that have been heavily discounted. Buyers often do not have an exact account of all items on the order.

carrier

A mail service that ships ordered items to customers.

case label

A label used in cases when multiple units of an item are stored together in one package. One case label is used for all units. This feature can be useful when you'd like to store small objects such as nails or screws together.

clean name

The version of an attribute's name that is indexed. The clean name is the attribute's name in all lowercase letters with any spaces between words removed. To search for items by a specific attribute, you must use its clean name as the search modifier.

closeout

A type of order that contains items that have been discontinued, overstocked, or even used. These items are discounted significantly.

cloud-based storage

A type of electronic storage in which data is stored in an online "cloud," allowing the data to be accessed from an Internet-capable device.

container

Any storage unit that contains products for storage or transport.

cost of goods sold (COGS)

The total unit cost of items sold within a specified time frame.

dependency

A rule or set of rules between product attributes that dictate the appearance of either values or other attributes. These can be used to streamline data-entry by removing data clutter to show only relevant info.

Dropship

A supply chain management technique in which the retailer sells products that they do not physically store. Rather, they pass orders onto the vendor who fulfills the orders from their own warehouse directly to the customer.

duplicate family

A product family accidentally created for a product that already has an existing family.

EDI

Short for electronic data interchange. The method in which ROP transports order data to and from vendors for the purposes of 3PL, Dropship, or JIT fulfillment.

exclusive image

An image that cannot be used for multiple SKUs. It is completely unique to the SKU to which it is attached.

external inventory

Inventory that is not stored locally. This inventory has been designated for either 3PL, Dropship, or JIT fulfillment.

external lot

Lots stored by your 3PL vendor. Each lot represents the receipt of some quantity of an external SKU at a specific time.

external quantity

The amount of item units that have been set aside for the retailer via inventory advice. This reflects Dropship, JIT, and 3PL items.

external SKU

A vendor's unique system for identifying products. Two vendors may have two different ID numbers for the same product.

family data

The attributes in a product family that stay consistent across all products in the family. Family data for a product can be found on the left-hand side of the PIM.

feed

A file with product data used to communicate between RO and other data systems used by vendors, sales channels, or marketplaces.

FIFO

Short for first in, first out. An inventory allocation method in which the first product stored is the first product to be used to fulfill orders.

FILO

Short for first in, last out. An inventory allocation method in which the first product stored is the last product to be used to fulfill orders.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

A third-party logistics service provided by Amazon.

Inflight attachment

A feature specific to Dropship, JIT, and 3PL items. If extra units of a Dropship/JIT/3PL item have been ordered by the retailer and then customers place their own orders for the same item, the customers' orders will "attach inflight" to the retailer's order. The customers' orders will be fulfilled by the retailer's extra units.

inline

A standard type of order in which items are bought directly from manufacturers at full price.

International Article Number (EAN)

A 13-digit identification number for products. Formerly called the European Article Number.

inventory advice

A notice from vendors regarding how much inventory they have set aside for the retailer for the purposes of Dropship, 3PL, or JIT fulfillment.

Just-in-Time (JIT)

A supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not physically stock an item until it is ordered by a customer. After a customer places an order, the vendor ships the desired item to the retailer who immediately ships the order to the customer.

KPI

Short for key performance indicator. They are used to measure the performance of anything from employees to tools to processes to product sales.

location

A stationary container primarily used to store products.

lot ID

A subdivision of SKUs that denotes not only a specific item but an exact instance of that item. For example, a unit of Item A received in May will have a different Lot ID than another unit of Item A received in June.

MAP

Short for minimum advertised price. The lowest amount a manufacturer will allow an item to sell for.

media glue attributes (MGAs)

The product attributes that determine the use of a single set of images for multiple SKUs. They should be attributes of a visual nature that would have an effect on images.

MPN

Short for manufacturer part number. A number that identifies a general product model, though it may not necessarily denote specifics such as size, color, materials, etc. This is synonymous with style number.

MSRP

Short for manufacturer suggested retail price. The amount a manufacturer recommends retailers sell an item for when it is first released on the market.

order

An order for items purchased, whether they are orders between retailers and customers or vendors and retailers.

order management system (OMS)

The system used by customer service representatives for order entry and processing. In RO, this is achieved with the Customer Service tool.

order wave

A group of orders being shipped out at the same time. Also known as shipment wave.

padding

Extra quantities of items appended to a JIT PO. Retailers may order extra quantities of an item in anticipation of rapid additional sales to ensure they have enough to satisfy customer demand.

pallet

A large type of shipment piece commonly used in warehouses. Pallets typically have a base of wooden planks that allows pallets to be transported with pallet jacks or forklifts.

physical quantity

The amount of item units physically stored inside the retailer's warehouse.

picking

The act of moving an item out of a container, typically for the purposes of order fulfillment.

piece

A term used to describe a parcel used in shipments. Pieces can range from large pallets with hundreds of items to smaller cases with a dozen items and even to single-item parcels.

point of sale (POS) transaction

Any transaction made at a traditional, brick-and-mortar store.

price

The selling price of an item that customers pay to purchase the item. The price is typically higher than the unit cost but no higher than the MSRP.

privilege

A user account setting that grants users access to perform a specific action in RO. Each action in RO is associated with an individual access privilege.

product family

A group of related products derived from a common product platform. They share the same basic set of characteristics thought there may be slight variations among unique products in the family. Product families can be viewed by the PIM.

Product Information Manager (PIM)

RO's interface for modifying data within a product family.

purchase order (PO)

An order for a retailer to purchase goods from a vendor.

put-away

The act of moving an item into storage.

representative image

An image that may be used across multiple SKUs for products that all look the same. The use of a representative image for different SKUs is controlled by whether their values for media glue attributes match exactly.

reserved quantity

The amount of physical item units that have been reserved for purchase by customers. However, those purchases are still being processed.

RetailOps Connect (ROC)

Software that allows devices such as label printers, document printers, and scales to access the RO web client

RMA

Short for return merchandise authorization. Customer service reps can issue RMAs to approve and process order returns.

Role

A user account setting that grants users a predefined set of actions they can perform in ROP based on their job functions.

routing guide

A set of routing instructions for vendors to follow when shipping orders to the retailer.

search modifier

A search query that allows you to refine your product search to search by specific attributes, price fields, quantity fields, or any other field available.

shipment

A subdivision of orders to be fulfilled by a specific facility. When orders contain items from multiple facilities, each facility sends a shipment to fulfill its portion of the order.

shipment wave

A group of orders being shipped out at the same time. Also known as order wave.

SKU

Short for stock keeping unit. A unique identification number used to distinguish products within the retailer's inventory.

SKU grid

The right-hand section of the PIM that displays info for individual SKUs in a product family.

SLA

The process in which RO re-calculates the fulfillment plan for an order in cases where the original plan fails.

sort matrix

An organized process in which the picking, sorting, and packing functions are handled through a list of orders and produced through a shipment wave.

style number

A number that identifies a general product model, though it may not necessarily denote specifics such as size, color, materials, etc. This is synonymous with MPN.

System of Record

The info system that holds authority over a piece of data. Only one system may hold authority over a piece of data at any given time. ROP is designed to be the System of Record for locally managed inventory. The System of Record for inventory managed by other vendors (e.g. for Dropship, 3PL, or JIT) would be the vendors' info systems.

terminal

Any computer or electronic device that needs to access RO.

terms (payment)

The payment cycle terms denoting when payment must be received for a PO.

tote

A mobile container primarily used to transport products.

unit cost

The amount the retailer pays to purchase an item from a vendor.

UPC

Short for Universal Product Code. A 12-digit identification number for products used widely in the US, the UK, Canada, and other countries.

vendor

One who sells goods to retailers.

vendor compliance

A vendor's ability to follow rules and restrictions set forth by the retailer.

viable

Refers to the amount of time in which a JIT PO allows other customer orders to "attach inflight" to the PO.

VPC

Short for vendor product code. A vendor's unique system for identifying products. Two vendors may have two different ID numbers for the same product.

warehouse management system (WMS)

An information system that manages and controls the flow of operations for a warehouse including shipping, receiving, put-away, and picking.

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