There is a tool included in some accounting software programs that has the power to lift a huge load off your shoulders. It helps you stay organized, and keeps customers happy by providing them the products they want, when they want them. That tool is purchase order management. If you find yourself scrambling around to decide which items you need to order, or you are surprised when you run out of your most popular selling items, or you simply don’t know what is coming when, you can benefit from purchase order management. If you think purchase order management is simply a program that lets you create pretty purchase orders to print and send, then you are missing out on the best parts of purchase order management. Here are some of the features of purchase order management you might not be aware of, which can help you keep ‘just the right’ inventory in stock.

Create suggested orders.

This feature helps you evaluate stock quantities and decide what needs to be ordered, reducing the time it takes to do it manually. When you use this tool, it looks at past sales, stock levels, and the parameters you set, to come up with a list of suggested purchase orders, which you can simply run and distribute. You can also choose to edit the purchase orders before sending.

Receive what you actually got.

Sometimes you receive an incomplete shipment for an order you placed. If this happens, and you don’t have a good way to manage it, you can easily forget about the remainder of the items you should still be receiving, or you could be confused about how many you actually have in stock. The ability to receive partial orders lets you receive what was actually shipped and place it into inventory, and then decide whether to keep the purchase order open until the remainder is received, or cancel the remaining items on the purchase order. A purchase order management system will even allow you to place the vendor invoice in your system on hold until actual shipping charges are known, or until you receive the rest of the order.

Ship to multiple locations.

If you run out of popular inventory items, chances are you will need to ship some to your customer(s) and some to yourself. Being able to place one order and have whatever quantity you choose shipped to multiple locations can save you the time of creating multiple purchase orders. This is helpful in many instances: shipping to a job site or several different warehouses, drop-shipping to several different customers, etc.

Purchase order reports: your dashboard.

The reports in a purchase order system are helpful so you stay organized and on track. Based on the purchase orders you have open, you can make cash projections, see what is left to be received and what has been received to date, and of course, view which purchase orders are open, on hold, received and cancelled. It’s definitely a huge step up from walking around the warehouse and scrambling to see what you should order!

With the right purchase order management tools at your fingertips, it will be much easier to know what to order, who to order it from, how much it will cost, and much more; all with just the click of a few buttons.