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Inventory Management

In most commercial transactions, the availability of the product plays a large role in the sale. In face-to-face commerce, the product is on the shelf. In telephone order commerce, the operator usually has access to inventory information. In sophisticated business-to-business commerce, the concept is available to promise, wherein the seller's ERP system has such complete visibility into inventory, time in transit, previous commitments, manufacturing capacity, and scheduled arrival of parts that precise commitments for current and future delivery can be made.

Inventory management capabilities will become a standard part of Internet commerce; buyers want to know if they can actually get things they order. If products are not immediately available, buyers will switch to alternatives that are. In some cases, buyers will pay a premium for availability.


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