Knowledgebase: Settings

How do I use the Purchase Order System?


Shift4Shop's PO system allows you to automatically generate and send Purchase Orders to your distributors when your stock on distributor provided product runs below specified limits. Purchase orders are grouped by their respective distributor, and can then be submitted directly from your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager as needed to re-order and replenish your stock. Furthermore, as the product is received, you can then restock them to your store all from the same location.

This article will show you the basic steps of using this functionality.

Enabling the Feature
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To Enable the PO system, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Modules
  3. Next, use the search bar at the top of the page to search for "PO System" to bring up the PO System module.
  4. Place a checkmark in the Enable checkbox and save your changes with the "Save" button at the top right.

Additional Information
You can also click on the "Settings" button to set your store's PO prefix and numbering that will be used for the Purchase Order Invoices you will be generating. This functionality works similar to the regular store's Invoice prefix and numbering system. As POs are generated, the store will name the Purchase Order invoices with the appropriate information.

Editing your Distributors
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After enabling the PO System, your distributor listings in the Shift4Shop Online Store Manager will now contain a new section called "PO Settings." This is an area where you will be able to control how the Purchase Order Invoices will look to each distributor. To edit your New Distributor sections, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings >General >Distributors
  2. Click on the Action Wheel to the far right of the distributor listing you'd like to view and select "Edit"
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the Distributor listing page to view your new PO Settings.

Below is a quick reference of the new PO Settings for the distributor listing

PO Settings for Distributor

  • Style
    This will define which Purchase Order template the distributor will see. Your store uses a purchase_order_0.html template file for the default PO invoice style but you can create additional templates as needed to suit individual needs. Just be sure to rename the template with proper numbering before uploading to your theme folder in order to use the alternate styles. (i.e. purchase_order_1.html, etc)
  • Email Subject
    Edit the subject of your PO email for the distributor (note the varaible for [po_number] which inserts your PO Invoice number)Email
  • Shipping Info
    Edit the PO information's Shipping information (i.e. where you would like Purchase order to be delivered to)Notification
    This checkbox will automatically notify the distributor when the PO is created. Uncheck this box if you'd like to manually notify the distributor.
  • Payment Info
    Edit the Billing information that the Purchase Order will be invoiced to.
  • Additional Notes
    Add/Edit any additional information n eeded for the distributor.

Specifying your Reorder Quantities
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After enabling the PO System in Store Modules, your individual product listings will now contain a special Reorder QTY field in each product's Information Tab. This field will be similar to the Stock Alert system which is designed to email you (Merchant) as product stock levels fall below a certain point. However, instead of emailing you about the lowering stock level, the Reorder QTY option will designate when the item is placed in the PO System Queue.

For example, you may have an item that you'd like to automatically have a PO generated for when it falls below 5 in stock. In the Reorder QTY field, you would place a 5 in the field and when the product reaches 4 in stock, the PO system will list the product and prepare it for reorder.

To set your Product's Reorder QTY, follow these steps:

  1. From your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, go to Products >Product List
  2. Locate the product you'd like to edit and click on its thumbnail, name or ID to open the product edit pages.
  3. While viewing the product's Information Tab, scroll down to the "Inventory Options" section.

You must have Inventory Control turned on for your store in order to see this section. If you do not have it turned on, you may do so by going to Settings >General >Store Settings and clicking on the "General" tab along the top to "Enable Inventory Control."

  1. Look for the product's Reorder QTY field and enter your desired reorder Qty. When stock falls below this level, the product will be placed in the PO Queue.
  2. Save the product's listing page.

You can also create a custom export set for this purpose by adding the custom field "reorder_qty" as a custom CSV export. Click here for more information on creating custom export sets.

Processing a PO
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As described, when the product's stock falls below the specified level, the product will be added to the PO Reorder list which can then be used to generate Purchase Orders for the product.

To access your PO Reorder list, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Products >Purchase Orders
  3. In the Purchase orders page, click on the "PO Reorder" button.

You will see the product(s) ready for PO listed in a graph. The graph will contain the Product's ID, Name, Cost, and distributor information along with other fields listing the Last PO date (of the previous purchase order for the item), the last PO qty that was ordered, the current reorder quantity, and the current stock of the item(s).

The default Reorder Qty will reflect the Qty entered in the product's individual Reorder Qty field, but this can be changed to suit your needs for the reorder process.

To continue, we will now process the PO and move it into the PO Queue.

  1. Place checkmarks on the products you wish to reorder
  2. Click on the "Submit to PO Queue" button.

For larger stores with many products and distributors, the PO Reorder page can be filtered to help narrow down your selection of available reorder products.

Filtering can be done based on Product Search Keywords, Distributors, Manufacturers and Categories as needed.

After submitting the product to the PO Queue, the page will refresh and your selected products will be removed from the list (as they are placed into the PO Queue at this time).

  1. While viewing the PO Reorder page, click on the "PO Queue" button to view the PO queue.

In the PO queue, you will see the item(s) marked for processing. You can update your reorder qty from this page as well if necessary.

Additional Information Along the top right of the page, you will see a few buttons. Specifically the "Process POs" button and the "Export CSV" button. Step 7 below will cover the Process POs button, but let's go over the Export CSV button for a quick moment.

This button will let you export a CSV fle of the current PO Queue. This CSV file can either be used for your own record keeping or in cases where it is being requested by your distributor for ordering purposes.

The CSV file will contain the following columns:

  • catalogid
    This column will contain the catalog/database ID number of the product
  • id
    This column contains the product's ID/SKU information
  • name
    Here you will find the name of the product. In cases where the product is an advanced option, the name will contain option details
  • cost
    This is the cost of the product
  • company
    This column will display the name of the distributor the PO is going to
  • po_date
    the date of the generated Purchase Order
  • LastQtyOrdered
    This column will list the quantity that was ordered for the product on the previous purchase order
  • qty_reorder
    This is the quantity being reordered now
  • stock
    This column shows the current stock on the items

Next to the "Export CSV" button is the "Process POs" button which we'll cover in the next steps.

When ready to process the POs, continue with the following:

  1. Click on the "Process POs" button
  2. A confirmation window will appear. Confirm the selection or cancel if you need to wait.

After confirmation, a secondary popup will ask you if you'd like to notify the distributor of the Purchase Order. Notifying the distributor will create the PO invoice and email it directly to your distributor if this option is selected.

Don't worry if you don't notify the distributor yet. You will also get a chance to do so when viewing the actual Purchase Order. In some cases, merchants prefer to fax or send the invoice directly to their distributors instead of relying on email. Therefore, the choice can be made to notify on submission or manaully print out the invoice and then email the distributor if desired.

After confirmation of the Purchase Order, you will be taken BACK to the PO List page where your new Purchase Order is waiting to be reviewed or edited as needed. The PO will contain the PO Invoice Number, its creation date, the distributor it will be submitted to and the number of items within the PO.

If the Purchase order was generated (in previous steps) for products provided by separate distributors, then there will be one PO created for each applicable distributor.

Additional Information
The PO List Page defaults to only listing New POs. However, it also contains a filter button that will allow you to review previous and existing POs by allowing you to search based on Distributor, PO Number and The PO's Status such as:

  • All
  • New
  • Sent
  • Partially Received
  • Receive
  1. Click on the Purchase Order's "Edit" button to view its details.

From here, you will see all of the Purchase Order information including the Shipping and Billing information and the items contained in the Purchase Order. The PO can be edited to fit your needs such as controllong its due date, or changing the email address it will be delivered to.

Many of the fields in the PO Form can also be pre-populated by information entered into the Distributor fields as described earlier in this article

At the top of the page, you will see buttons that allow you to take the following actions:

  • Back
    Go back to the PO List
  • Print PO
    Prints out the actual PO invoice (for record keeping, faxing or postal delivery)
  • Send to Distributor -
    Sends the email directly to the Distributor (also changes the PO's status to "Sent")
  • Save PO -
    Save any changes made to the PO.

After submitting the PO to your distributor(s), the next step is to await replenishment of your order.

Receiving Purchase Orders
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After you've had your inventory replensihed by the distributors, the next step is to receive your Purchase Orders. Follow these steps to receive your Purchase Orders.

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Products >Purchase Orders
  3. Click on the "Filter" button located at the top of the PO list page
  4. In the PO status filter, select "Sent" and click "Search POs"
  5. Select your pending PO from the list and click its "Edit" button.

You will be shown the Purchase Order page along with the same buttons at the top as before. However now, you will also have a "Receive PO" button available.

  1. Click on "Recevie PO"
  2. Enter the quanity of item(s) received and click "Save PO"

After saving the Purchase Order, you will see your received items listed. YOu will also see a new button allowing you to restock inventory. Clicking on this button will add the received items back to your store's Inventory.

During restocking, you will be asked to check whether your FULL order has been fulfilled. This is present in case you receive partial refill of orders and would prefer to wait until the full order is shipped to you before restocking the available inventory.

Multiple Distributors
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If you are currently using Shift4Shop's Add-On for multiple distributors, you have the ability to specify more than one distributor for your products. When using the PO system on items that are provided by multiple distributors, the PO system will favor the distributor that provides the item at the lowest cost.

If all of the product's distributors provide the item at the same cost, then the PO system will favor the catalog ID of the distributor to determine who the PO is generated for.

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