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    How can I run a centralised purchase ordering system?

    If you have a multi-store environment but wish to control all purchase ordering from one centralised location, this article will guide you through how you can do this in Cloud POS.

    In principle, we will create a demand for the items at the central location by transferring out the stock to the stores that actually need it.  This allows us to generate purchase orders at the central location, based on the need to obtain the stock to fulfil those transfers.

    Creating the demand

    In this stage of the process, we are going to transfer out stock from the main location to the stores that require those items.  What we are doing at this stage is creating a demand at the main location to order the necessary stock from the suppliers, in order to be able to fulfil the transfer requirements we have created.

    In the Cloud POS group we'll use for this example, we have two stores, and we'll use 'Knowledgebase Store - Ulverston' as our main location.  So, this store is where we want to run our purchase ordering and receive stock, for later distribution to the other store.

    We are using two stores and a single item for the sake of simplicity, but the same processes can be applied across any number of stores and any quantity of items.

    Our Manchester store advises that they need five of item LSTRMSLIML to replenish their stock.  We have no stock of this item within the business, so we'll need to place an order with the supplier.

    To create the demand at our main location, we'll create a store to store transfer out from the Ulverston store to the Manchester store.  Here is how we'd set this up:

    Note the section highlighted in the screenshot above.  By deselecting the box marked Only transfer when sufficient stock is available, we will create the demand at the Ulverston store to order the necessary items.  

    Next, we add the item onto the transfer, set the quantity to match what the Manchester store requires, and mark the transfer as placed:

    In a regular store to store transfer of stock which we physically held, we would go to Goods Out and send the stock to the store.  However, we currently have no stock of the item to send.  In simple terms, at this point, the Ulverston store now 'owes' the Manchester store five of item LSTRMSLIML.

    Ordering the Goods

    Now that we've created the demand for the goods at the Ulverston store, we need to order them from the supplier.  We do this from the Purchase Orders section in Cloud POS backoffice.

    Firstly, we create a new purchase order and select the Ulverston store as the store we are purchasing for.  Next, we set the supplier from whom we'll purchase the goods.

    The next step is to set the type of purchase order we want to create.  Here, we need can select either the Based on reorder levels and restock points, including customer specials or the All customer special orders options:

    Further down the purchase order creation screen, there are some further options we can select.  What we choose here will depend on the individual circumstances of the order we need to make.  In this example, we are instructing the platform to disregard whether the items are already included on any other open purchase orders we might already have:

    Once we've clicked to create the purchase order, we can then review the items that the platform has calculated we need to order from the supplier, based on our customer requirements.  In the process we're following here, the Manchester store is effectively the customer of the Ulverston store.

    In the example above, we can see that Cloud POS has calculated that we need to order five of item LSTRMSLIML from this supplier.  If we click the icon in the Why? column, we are shown the reason that the item has been added to the order:

    We are now in a position to mark the purchase order as placed and request the goods from the supplier.

    Receiving the Goods (Part 1)

    When the supplier sends us the goods we ordered, we need to book them into stock in Cloud POS.  This is done at Goods In, and we'll find that because we marked the purchase order as placed, there is already a corresponding entry for our order in the Goods In list:

    Clicking on Receive Stock will allow us to enter the quantity for the stock the supplier has sent, check our cost for the items and update this if necessary, save the changes and commit the stock:

    In doing this, we've now booked the stock into our Ulverston store, so the next step is to send the stock to the Manchester store, which we do at the Goods Out stage.

    Transferring the Goods

    When we originally created the store to store transfer of the goods from Ulverston to Manchester, this process will have automatically generated an entry in the Goods Out section of Cloud POS backoffice.  Now that we have the goods in stock at Ulverston, we can send the stock to Manchester:

    After setting the item quantity to send and saving the changes, clicking Commit Stock will issue the goods to the Manchester store:

    Receiving the Goods (Part 2)

    The final stage in the process is for the receiving store - Manchester - to book the goods into stock.  Here, we go back to the Goods In section of Cloud POS backoffice:

    In effect, we are repeating the process we carried out when we received the goods from the supplier to the Ulverston store.  Set the received quantity, save the changes and commit the stock.

    We'll now see the stock quantity update for the Manchester store:


    By following this procedure, we've enabled purchase ordering to be centralised, by creating a two-tier ordering system that creates the requirement for the item at individual store level, and the means to fulfil this requirement from our main location.


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