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Creating master orders

Master orders and transfers help you create and manage purchase orders for different vendors and shops from one central location. 

Master orders ship to the location of the shop that placed the master order. Master orders are used by businesses with a warehouse or distribution center that stocks merchandise for shops and transfers items to individual shops. Single-shop businesses can use master orders to easily manage purchase orders for multiple vendors.

Understanding master orders and transfers

To access the Master Order screen, navigate to Inventory > Master Order.

Inventory page, with Master Order emphasized.

    • The Master section is where you add items to the master order and assign the items in the list to purchase orders. Items listed in the Master section have been added to the master order but are not yet assigned to purchase orders.

      Master Order section, with options to add items and assign items to purchase orders

    • The Purchase Orders section lists the open and not yet ordered purchase orders assigned to the selected shop. Purchase orders that are from a master order are automatically assigned to the selected shop.

      Purchase Orders section, with all purchase orders listed.

    • The Transfers section lists items that have not sent transfer requests for the selected shop. It also includes the current stock in your shop and the requested amount.

      Transfers section, with transfer request listed.

Adding items to a master order

You can add items to a master order manually, by reorder points, or by transfer requests (applicable only to multi-store accounts).

Manually adding items

  1. Navigate to Inventory > Master Order.
  2. Click into the Item Search field.

    Master Order section, with Add Items to Master Order area emphasized.

  3. Type in your item's name.
  4. If there is only one match for your search, the item is automatically added.
    If there are multiple matches for your search, click Select next to the desired item. To add multiple items at once, click the tickbox next to each item, then click + Add Selected.

    List of items that matched the search term, with options to add an individual item or select multiple items to add.

Clicking + Add Item will display your complete list of items.

Adding items by reorder points

If you have previously set item reorder points and inventory levels, you can add items that have reached their reorder points.

  1. Navigate to Inventory > Master Order.
  2. Click + Add Reorders.

    Master Order section, with Add By Reorder Points area emphasized.

  3. Click OK.

To add only items from a specific category:

  1. Click + All.
  2. Select your category.

    Pop-up window with list of available categories.

  3. Click OK.
  4. Click + Add Reorders.
  5. Click OK.

Only items that have reached their reorder points in the currently selected shop are added. Items that have reached their reorder points in other shops are not added.

Adding items by transfer requests

If your shop has transfer requests from your satellite shops, you can add the transfer request items to a master order.

  1. Navigate to Inventory > Master Order.
  2. Click into the drop-down menu under Add Transfer Requests and select your transfer.

    Master Order section, with Add Transfer Requests area emphasized.

  3. Click + Add Transfer.
  4. Click OK.

After you add an item to the master order list, you can adjust the total price, order quantity, and/or vendor.

Assigning items to purchase orders

After you add items to a master order, you can assign them to new or existing purchase orders. Items are assigned to purchase orders based on the item’s vendor.

  1. Navigate to Inventory > Master Order.
  2. In the Assignment drop-down, select an assignment method:

    Master Order section, with Assignment drop-down open showing options to Use Open Orders Assignments, Create New Orders, or choose an individual specific order.

    • Use Open Orders Assignments: Assigns items to open purchase orders for the same vendor. If there are no open orders for a vendor, the items with that vendor are not assigned to purchase orders.
    • Create New Orders: Assigns items to new purchase orders by vendor.
    • A specific order: Select a specific purchase order to assign items with the same vendor to the purchase order.
  3. Select a vendor from the Vendors drop-down, or leave All Vendors as the selection.

    Master Orders section, with Assign Items to Purchase Orders area emphasized.

  4. Click Assign Items To Orders.
  5. Click OK.

Using a centralized purchasing workflow

With centralized purchasing, you can manage purchasing for all of your shops. This helps you prevent order duplication, negotiate better discounts with vendors for bulk purchases, lower inventory transportation and management costs, organize transactions, and improve vendor relationships.

Example of a centralized purchasing workflow using a master order and transfers

Business name: Sarah’s Pet Supply
Corporate office with warehouse: Boston, Mass. (Sarah Hayes)
Three retail (satellite) shops: Cambridge, Mass. (Amir Singh); Quincy, Mass. (Cecil Dawson); Provincetown, Mass. (Mei Liu)

  1. On June 1, Amir, Cecil, and Mei create a transfer to request inventory from the corporate office in Boston (Sarah). The requests include special order items, items at their reorder points, and other items. All items are required by June 12.
  2. Sarah creates a master order to fulfill the transfer requests and replenish the warehouse’s inventory.
    1. Adds all items from the three open transfer requests to the master order.
    2. Adds the warehouse items that are at their reorder points to the master order.
    3. Assigns the master order items to new purchase orders. Since all the items on the master order are from one of two vendors (Pet Food Experts and PetEdge), two purchase orders are automatically created, one for Pet Food Experts and one for PetEdge.
  3. Sarah submits the two purchase orders to the vendors by email on June 2 and requests a shipment due date of June 9.
  4. Sarah receives the PetEdge shipment on June 7 and the Pet Food Experts shipment on June 8. She adds the received items to the warehouse’s inventory.
  5. On June 9, Sarah transfers the inventory to Amir, Cecil, and Mei using the open transfer requests, and ships the items to the Cambridge, Quincy, and Provincetown locations.
  6. Amir, Cecil, and Mei receive the items on June 10 and add them to their inventory using the same transfer requests that they initiated.

Example of a centralized purchasing workflow using purchase orders

Business name: Brooklyn Apparel
Central purchaser: Morgan Conway
Three retail shops: Brooklyn, NY (Morgan Conway); Bronx, NY (Gloria Rodriguez); Manhattan, NY (Jayden Williams)

  1. On July 20, Morgan assesses the items and quantities that must be purchased for each shop by asking Gloria and Jayden, and running the Reorder List, Inventory Assets, and Item (Grouped Sales Total) reports for the shops. The items are required for the shops by August 10.
  2. Morgan creates a purchase order for each shop. The items are purchased from a single vendor, FashionGo. If a shop needs items from more than one vendor, a separate purchase order would be required per vendor. For each purchase order, Morgan:
    1. Adds items that are at their reorder points.
    2. Adds any other item as required.
  3. Morgan submits the purchase orders to FashionGo by email on August 2, and indicates a shipment due date of August 7.
  4. Morgan, Gloria, and Jayden receive the items at their shops on August 5 and add the items to their inventory using the purchase orders initiated by Morgan.

What's next?

Creating purchase orders

Create purchase orders to order items across multiple shops from an external vendor.

Learn more

Receiving items in purchase orders

Receive items from your purchase orders.

Learn more

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