How Lenskart Stepped Up Inventory Management Game to Prosper and Grow

How Lenskart Stepped Up Inventory Management Game to Prosper and Grow
Lenskart has an inventory management system; it has a unique and specific barcode system.

By Vaishnavi gupta , Sr Correspondent

18 Apr 2022 | 11 min read

Inventory management is a systematic approach to sourcing, storing, and selling goods. It’s a critical element of supply chain management and helps in checking and tracking the product’s availability in inventory. Thus, it’s a reliable method to monitor the entire flow of products. Lenskart also has an inventory management system; it has a unique and specific barcode system. As soon as consumers scan the barcode, they will be able to see the status of that particular eyewear. Thus, barcodes at Lenskart are handled by the inventory management system.

Lenskart has two services to maintain the inventory system:

- IMS — Inventory Management system

- CID — Consolidated Inventory Database

How Lenskart Stepped Up Inventory Management Game to Prosper and Grow

Ramneek Khurana, Co-Founder and Head of Product & Technology, Lenskart said, “Our technology team has essentially taken a make-to-order product – power eyeglass – which is unique for every prescription and has developed predictable process enabled via automation and technology which ensures that we are able to ship out 1000 glasses every hour within the guaranteed delivery time which customers are used to while shopping online, while at the same time ensuring that every pair shipped out has 100% precision lenses – considering its medical product and one which our customer’s wear throughout the day. This backend is the backbone for our growth – and for our ambition to provide eye care needs for millions of people within India and abroad.”

IMS

This management system helps maintains the barcode information-

  • When was this barcode created?
  • When did this barcode start the inward process?
  • Who initiated that barcode’s inward process?
  • What is the state of that barcode at present?
  • Which location is that barcode currently at?

IMS system also facilitates the picking process. This system will guide consumers on where to pick that particular product, and where they will find it. Even all the inventory requirements of exceptional cases like — ‘Eyewear not found’ are handled by the IMS system. Thus, all the reassigning and the path to the new location will be provided by IMS.

CID

It has a consolidated picture of the inventory. This system has been specially established to help Lenskart collaborate with other third parties and to aggregate the entire Lenskart warehouse and store inventories and take this journey ahead. CID helps in building a hybrid environment. Thus, CID is the system set up in front of the third party and Lenskart’s IMS which will consolidate this inventory and send it to the frontend. Thus, it’s a joint inventory management system.

How Lenskart Stepped Up Inventory Management Game to Prosper and Grow

NexS team was created to have all the systems — In House. The other sole reason was to replace monolithic or older systems. Thus, the NexS team wants to bring in new systems along with redesigning the older systems. Thereby, removing all the dependency.

How did Lenskart Resolve this?

Scalability Issues: To help expand and open up the doors for Lenskart to bloom globally, the brand needed systems that could help it scale fast and efficiently. To cater the scalability into 10X, which includes a large number of orders it gets every day, Lenskart could not depend on the old systems and needed to redesign them.

Multi-Facility Options: Lenskart needs to build and expand its chain of warehouses. To support the same, its existing systems could not process that amount of information. Thus, NexS was built to resolve this as well.

Real-Time Update: Lenskart’s current systems did provide updates about the order and from which inventory can be extracted. But these updates from the system — about that particular eyewear’s presence in how many inventories — were scheduled updates. The pop-up used to show- “We will update”. But with the rising number of orders and the need to be efficient for our customers, the brand needed real-time updates.

Thus, now it has automated the process in real-time —

  • The customer places the order.
  • The order goes to the order management system.
  • From there, to the inventory management system.
  • IMS will block that eyewear in that particular inventory.
  • An update with — those inventories with that particular eyewear piece will pop up immediately.

This way, the problem of over-selling and under-selling is also solved. Thus, with the use of recent technologies and frameworks, the NexS team has helped solve all the technical constraints that were there before.

HowLenskart Solved the Scalability Issue?

The earlier system was designed in a way that let’s say there is X number of servers or a set of servers. So, the restriction was that the traffic needed to be inside those X number of servers. So, if the traffic increases, its system would go down. But with NexS, this is not an issue. NexS is on AWS, thus here Lenskart can scale the systems according to the traffic. Thus, if the userbase traffic increases or decreases, it can also increase or decrease the servers according to the traffic.

Switching to microservice architecture is also one of the ways which have helped it scale. This transition has helped its base become more reliable and scalable. The brand is also using Kubernetes for the deployment process and using it as a platform to host its applications. Using SQL, NoSQL, ES, and Mongo as data stores to process data faster and in a reliable manner. Lenskart is using messaging queues like Kafka which have improved the performance.

The eyewear retailer has also come up with the master-slave implementation process, wherein in which if one of the DB servers goes down, the other will take up the responsibility. Thus, all the new frameworks have been introduced in NexS.

Challenges Faced

The Knowledge Gap: The team has been recently and newly formed. Lenskart had to bring lots of resources and inputs to establish the team. New people and new perspectives were the scenarios then. To solve this, the brand used to go and connect with different teams to identify the use cases and work on them. Thus, collaborating with other teams has helped it design these two — IMS and CID.

Engaging Employees in New Stacks: Onboarding new employees and training them and investing in them to work on tech new-age tech stacks was one of the time-consuming processes, which has been solved by continuous workshops and rigorous training sessions. Thus, enabling people and tech together became our priorities.

Currently Goals

We have completed the inward process — in terms of taking the customer orders, with the aim to establish the outgoing flow as well.

We have categorized the outflow process into two parts: FR0 and FR1.

FR0: It includes eyewear where no fitting of the lens is required. For example — sunglasses, contact lenses, and other similar products.

FR1: It includes eyewear where fitting of the lens is required. For example — eyeglasses and powered sunglasses.

Removing all the dependency, the NeXs team is working on taking care of customer orders and providing the orders. Thus, NeXs has helped us go live in the FR0 part and Lenskart is working towards taking the FR1 part to live as well.

Inventory management is a systematic approach to sourcing, storing, and selling goods. It’s a critical element of supply chain management and helps in checking and tracking the product’s availability in inventory. Thus, it’s a reliable method to monitor the entire flow of products. Lenskart also has an inventory management system; it has a unique and specific barcode system. As soon as consumers scan the barcode, they will be able to see the status of that particular eyewear. Thus, barcodes at Lenskart are handled by the inventory management system.

Lenskart has two services to maintain the inventory system:

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