Locations in Linnworks correspond to different warehouses in your business. This helps you track available stock, item location, and orders packed and fulfilled at each warehouse.
Linnworks can track multiple stock levels for the same item in different physical warehouses - a SKU can have different stock levels per location.
The Default Location
Every Linnworks system comes with a default location, which cannot be renamed or deleted. Its aim is to represent your main warehouse where you fulfill the majority of your orders from. If you are working from one warehouse, then you do not need to create additional locations, and you can work with this default location.
Additional locations in Linnworks represent other warehouses that you control and fulfill orders from. It is possible to update inventory levels and ship orders from these locations. To add a new location, go to Inventory > Locations > click the Add new button > fill out the location name and (optionally) address > click Save
Note that each SKU in the inventory screen will be visible in each location, even if its stock level there is 0. Think of it as a catalog or a spreadsheet - there is a record for this item, but the actual level of the item in that warehouse is zero.
Location mapping is the functionality which allows you to link your warehouses to your selling channel. To access location mapping, go to Settings > Channel Integration > Location mapping (next to the Channel Details button)
There are two settings:
1. Allows you to define the order download location (not all channels support his) so that all new orders downloaded from the channel will be automatically assigned to the selected location. For channels which do not have this option, all orders will be downloaded to the Default location.
2. Allows you to specify which stock levels you advertise on your selling channel. If no Locations are selected here, no stock Levels will be sent to the channel.
Please note! Both settings are independent of each other and it is possible to download orders to a location that you do not advertise stock levels from. That means that stock levels on the Listing will not be deducted when order will be processed. For example, if orders are downloaded into the Default location, but you only advertise inventory levels from your other warehouses, then you risk overselling, because the stock in those locations will not be "reserved" by the system, as there are no orders in those locations.
When processing an order, the stock will be deducted from the location where the order is located at the time of processing. For example, our initial stock level distribution is like this, we have 15 units of a SKU in each location, 90 in total:
Then we receive an order for this item, and the order is downloaded into the Default location (order download location setting discussed above). Note that the available level drops, because it is reserved for that order - this is the actual available level that Linnworks will advertise on the channel to avoid overselling.
Let us imagine we want to ship this order from a different warehouse, and we move it to Location3:
Note that after doing this, the stock is now "reserved" in Location3 instead of Default:
Now we can find this order in Location3 and process it:
As a result, the stock is deducted from Location3, because Linnworks understands that the actual unit we sent was physically picked, packed, and sent from "warehouse number 3":
Another location type that is available in Linnworks is Fulfillment Center. It is a Location that is owned and operated by a 3rd party who dispatch orders on your behalf.
This means that the Fulfillment Center will have their own picking and packing staff, as well as their own preferred couriers. Linnworks acts as a central hub for all of your orders and stock levels, and it can be used to communicate with fulfillment centers. This communication involves sending orders, importing order statuses back, and working with stock level reports.
How to add a fulfillment center
A fulfillment center in Linnworks is created in the same manner as any other location. Go to Inventory > Locations > click the Add new button > fill out the location name and (optionally) address > click Save
Once you have created the location, tick the checkbox in the FC (fulfillment center) column of the screen to enable the location as a Fulfillment Center
Automation, in terms of fulfillment centers, can be broken down into three parts of functionality; order export, order status import, and stock level import. These can be set up individually, but ideally should all be configured to ensure smooth communication between your business and the fulfillment center. As fulfillment centers are external to your company, a way of storing and sharing data must be available. This can be via FTP, SFTP or HTTP. Without one of these services being available, it is not possible to set up fulfillment center automation in Linnworks.
For more detailed information on fulfillment center automation please refer to this guide.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Fulfillment by Amazon is a slightly different way of using fulfillment centers. Rather than processing your own orders, you can send a portion of your stock to an Amazon warehouse, and they will fulfill these orders for you. FBA will handle all the warehouse management, picking & packing, shipping and after-sales support for your orders. For more information on the FBA program, please refer to this Amazon documentation and this blog post.
With FBA, any orders for items which are fulfilled by Amazon will be automatically downloaded into the FBA location in the Open Orders screen with Amazon order sync, and they will be automatically marked as processed as well - as soon as Amazon FBA marks them as shipped. This is done for your reference and reporting purposes.
Inventory levels for your items in Amazon warehouses will be updated in this FBA location in Linnworks as well, and can be used in Location mapping for other channels (see above) to advertise this stock there. When you sell this item on another marketplace, you will be able to submit this order to be fulfilled by FBA by simply moving the order in the FBA location in Linnworks - it will be automatically submitted to FBA during the next Amazon order sync. Once the order is shipped by Amazon FBA, its status will be automatically updated in Linnworks, and it will be moved to the processed orders screen.
In order to be able to download FBA orders and/or submit your orders to FBA, you need to create and FBA location by enabling FBA in your Amazon config. The name of the new FBA location will be the Amazon integration subsource name, followed by 'FBA'.
Setting up FBA in Linnworks
- Go to Settings > Channel Integration
- Click the Edit Channel button
- Click the FBA Checkbox
- Save changes
If you use more than one warehouse in your system, then at some point you may need to move stock from one warehouse to another. This can be done manually, by just subtracting the stock in one location and adding it to another location, but this process is error-prone and it lacks proper reporting. Instead, you can use the Warehouse Transfer feature which allows you to book transfers, print transfer documentation, and track the process. This feature is designed to help you track the processes involved in transferring items from one warehouse to another. For more information on using the Warehouse Transfer please refer to this documentation article.
Please Note! Amazon FBA and Fulfillment Centers are not supported by Warehouse Transfer. Linnworks does not have control over stock levels at those locations, so you cannot transfer items to or request stock from those locations.