How we solved an ACS inventory problem


ACS delivers logistics for the circular economy for fashion brands and retailers. Their strict QA process means a possible mismatch between the stock available in the ACS warehouse and the stock showing on the retailer’s website.

Logic Replace overcomes this problem by implementing a 72-hour inventory buffer between the daily ACS updates and the retailer’s website.

Who is ACS?

ACS Clothing is a company based in Scotland, UK. ACS enables fashion brands and retailers to join the circular economy. ACS takes care of the reverse logistics process.

The process starts with a customer of ACS (fashion brand or retailer) showing clothing items for rent on their website. A renter places an order, and the order is passed to ACS. ACS then takes care of delivering the clothing item to the renter.

The renter then uses the clothing, and eventually, the item is returned by the renter to ACS.

All clothing items have an advanced RFID tag that is invisible to the renter. The RFID allows ACS to scan the item into their database to indicate it is back in the warehouse.

ACS then clean the item and perform any repairs. Some items are beyond repair and will be classified as ex-hire. The items that pass QA are then stored and are ready for delivery to a renter when a new order is received.

When items are delivered to a renter, they are scanned using the RFID, so the ACS database knows which items are in the warehouse, with a renter and which are ex-stock.

ACS’s website is located here:

How ACS updates its customers’ inventory

ACS segregates its stock between its customers. Every SKU has many stock items identified by a unique RFID code.

Every day, ACS sends a CSV file to its customers. The CSV file contains the stock levels for every SKU broken down by RFID. Each RFID then has a location value. These values can be:

  • In warehouse processing
  • In warehouse – ready for customer
  • Ex-hired
  • Receipted – No Location Recorded Yet

A typical ACS customer might have 50,000 items or more in total.

How Logic Replace connects ACS with websites

Logic Replace develops custom web solutions, including bespoke inventory portals. We typically create a web-based secure portal that sites between ACS and an e-commerce website.

At a high level, the role of the custom portals we create is to ensure:

  • The website always has the correct inventory stock levels for users of the site to order
  • To pass website orders to ACS

The portal uses APIs and CSV parsing to interface between the website and ACS.

Without a portal, the website owner would be required to perform a lot of manual updating of the website every day. And a daily task of sending orders manually to ACS.

The advantage of the custom portal is that the website owner does nothing; the portal manages the whole process automatically.

The portal gets a daily ACS update, and ACS sends a CSV file via FTP. The portal then parses the CSV file and updates the inventory levels for each RFID for every SKU.

Each day, the portal updates the stock count for every SKU on the website.

As orders are placed on the website, the portal passes them to ACS and updates the inventory count.

The ACS-related inventory problem

There is an issue with the way ACS updates its stock every day.

ACS scans items into the warehouse when they are received from a renter. This scan sets the RFID value to be “In warehouse – processing”, which is passed back to the ACS customer in its daily update.

The value means the website assumes the RFID item is available for rent. However, ACS has a strict QA process in place, and if that RFID item does not pass QA, then the item is removed from circulation.

The cleaning and QA process can take up to 3 days. The problem is the item is assumed to be available for rent during those 3 days. If items fail QA, there is a possibility that renters on the site place orders for unavailable items. The issue is a mismatch in available stock at ACS vs. the stock on the website.

How Logic Replace solved the ACS inventory problem

Our solution is to pass all the daily stock levels from ACS that are “In warehouse processing” into a 72-hour database buffer. During the 72 hours, if any items fail QA, they are set to be “Ex-hired” in the daily ACS update.

Those that are “Ex-hired” are then removed from the 72-hour buffer.

As items exit the buffer, they all have passed QA and are available. Items that exit the buffer are then updated on the e-commerce website.

If you would like more information about this topic or need help interfacing your website with ACS, get in touch with us for a chat.