Mike Morgan
12 minute read
 
If you’re running an eCommerce business and selling on multiple channels, staying on top of your stock and your inventory management is one of the most essential everyday tasks. You need to ensure that you have sufficient inventory in stock and ready for dispatch, so that you can have listings live and make those important sales.  But ordering and re-ordering stock can be an administrative headache. It’s time consuming and prone to human error; have you re-ordered everything you need? Have you forgotten any items? Have you over-ordered by mistake?  Thankfully, using purchase orders can make the process a whole lot easier, and when you couple them with a good inventory management system like ChannelGrabber, it can make re-ordering stock simple, quick and error free.
 
 

Why you should use purchase orders

Purchase orders (POs) are great for both you – the buyer of stock – and the seller who is providing those goods to you. If you don’t use POs already, you really should look into them. A purchase order is effectively just an order form that you send to your supplier whenever you want to buy more stock from them. It lists: 

  • All the items you wish to purchase
  • The cost of each item
  • The quantity you require of each item
  • And all the essential logistical details

The best thing about purchase orders is that they are a simple, effective way to detail everything required. All agreed prices are listed, and they are legally binding. That means you can agree a price with a supplier ahead of ordering, and your supplier must then stick with that price.  It ensures you can plan ahead with your stock ordering and manage your cash flow effectively, because you know exactly how much each order is going to cost you. 

Purchase orders allow you to set scheduled order and delivery times too, so if you’re organised, you can make sure that you have a regular supply of new stock. This is especially good for those items which fly off the shelves at all times. And of course, purchase orders just keep everything down on paper, in a financial record – essential for your accounting and business procedures.
 
 

The problems with manual purchase orders

Although purchase orders are extremely beneficial when it comes to re-ordering stock, to get the information you need for a PO could still be time consuming and problematic. Imagine you want to re-order 50 different products that you sell. You might need to go through each product individually, check how many items you have left remaining, estimate how likely they are to sell out, and decide the quantity to re-order. You’d then need to do this 49 more times. And if your stock is stored in a warehouse, this might involve noting information at the shelves, before typing it up into a purchase order document.
 
 

Automate and streamline your purchase orders

Thankfully, if you have multichannel inventory management software like ChannelGrabber, you don’t need to do this.  In fact, with ChannelGrabber it’s extremely simple to create a purchase order and re-order the stock you need – with just a few simple clicks. 

All your inventory is displayed on the screen in front of you, in real time. You can see how many items you have left in stock for each product, so you’ll know if you need to re-order soon or not. Simply: 

  • Navigate to the purchase orders menu option
  • Search for the products you need or scroll down through your list
  • See how many you have left available, and then select the quantity you want to add to your PO
  • Download your completed purchase order and send to your supplier

All the items and quantities you need to re-order are added automatically to your purchase order, so all you have to do is download and send.  You can easily check the completed purchase order before you send, and by adding items and quantities from a single place, you’re minimizing the potential for miscounting, over-ordering or missing a product!
 
 
 

Use purchase orders to quickly book stock in

Better still, all your purchase orders are saved in your ChannelGrabber account and you can return to them whenever you need to. So if you need to place the same order again, on a regular basis, it’s right there.  You can also use your purchase order to book stock in quickly and efficiently. Again, this saves valuable time and prevents the possibility of incorrect numbers being added to your inventory. 

All you need to do is select the purchase order number when your supplier has sent the stock through, and then click complete. ChannelGrabber automatically adds all the new stock to your existing levels and updates stock listings across all your channels (if you have this function selected).  Even if your supplier hasn’t set all the items you ordered, you can quickly amend the quantities for missing products, and still book the rest of your order in. It’s a quick, efficient and error free way to use purchase orders to re-order stock for your eCommerce business. 

See our step by step guide to using purchase orders in ChannelGrabber 

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