So you want to do a Purchase Order and then receive the inventory in the best possible way with the Rain system? The first step is to make sure you've covered all of your bases in the three areas mentioned above. Start with your vendors and distributors.
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Inventory link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Vendors button in the drop-down bar.
Once you click to open your Vendors, you will see a list of all vendors you've saved in the system so far. You can click on the Name of a vendor to open their entry. You can click on any Email addresses listed to open an online email site to email that address. If you have listed a website for the company, clicking on the World icon will open the site. The Clipboard icon will open a new Purchase Order for the vendor, and the Truck icon will start a Receiving Order.
If you're working with a new vendor or distributor, click the +New Vendor button to add them to the system. You are required to enter the vendor's company name. The other information on the Details tab for your new vendor is purely for your reference.
In the Account Info tab, you are also able to enter information about your account with the vendor, such as Terms, Discount, and shipping information.
Once you have started processing Purchase Orders and/or Receiving Orders through our system, they will be listed chronologically in the History tab. You can click on any date listed to view any of your orders.
If you are working with a vendor that has electronically integrated with our system, you will have a fourth tab titled Instant Order. Instant Ordering accesses live inventory information directly from the vendor warehouse, so when you order you are able to work with actual on-hand quantities of products. This feature is currently available only for Moda / United Notions, click here for information on how live ordering works.
Once you have clicked to Save your vendor entry, whenever you open their entry in the system you will have additional functions at the bottom of the window. You can create purchase and receiving orders with the New PO and New RO buttons, respectively, you can also delete the vendor with the trash-can button if you will no longer be working with them.
Once you have set up your vendor, you are now able to set it up in the product so that is the Preferred Vendor.
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Products link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Departments button in the drop-down bar.
Most likely, you won't change your Departments much at all after you have completed their initial setup. But if you add to your product offerings in a major way, you may want to add a new Department.
Your Departments are the major divisions of the products you offer, and ideally should represent only the top levels of how you organize your products and services. They are primarily used for tracking revenues in those major areas, and in our system, you can also set permissions by department for products to generate reward points or to be eligible for discounts.
Departments vs. Categories
While your Departments should represent the largest groupings of your products, your Categories will be how you organize them for the website. If you don't use our website system, you will still want to use Categories; they can be used to logically organize your products by type or style. So with your Categories, you will get down to very specific groupings of your products, and you can have your products in as many Categories as you like. For Departments, since they are used to track revenues for your products, a product can only be in one Department.
After you click on the Departments button (see image above), you can begin working with your list of departments. You can access the details of any department you have already set up by clicking on its name. You can also delete an unneeded department by using the delete button on the far right of the department's title bar.
To begin setting up your Departments, click the New Department button.
As with other parts of our system, items in bold green text are required before you can save the entry.
- Your Department Title should be descriptive wording that represents the overall group of your products.
- The Department Code can be anything you like; a single word, a short code, three letters, or even just a single number or letter. Whatever is most intuitive for you and your team will work here.
- If you use our Rewards Program, you can set whether products in the department are eligible to generate Reward Points upon purchase or not.
- If you wish for the products in the department to be Eligible for Discounts in the point of sale, you can set it for the whole department.
- You can set a department to be a Sub-Department of another one (e.g. Snowboards could be a sub-department of Snow Sports). Just remember that each product can actually be in only one department, so in the example given, the revenues for snowboards would not be counted as part of the revenues for the Snow Sports department.
After you have set up your Departments, you will be able to set up products so that they are in the appropriate department.
You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Products link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Categories button in the drop-down bar.
For the purposes of your inventory management, you will occasionally want to add new Categories to the system whenever you work with a new product line, manufacturer, or other categorical type.
Setting Up Categories
Your Categories allow you to organize your products down to whatever level of detail you like. As a general rule, it is best to limit your Categories to 50 items or less; larger numbers of items in a single category will require your visitors to sift through multiple pages of products, so avoid that if you can.
One thing that is helpful when organizing your strategy for your Categories is to write them out on paper and put thought into what your subcategories should be. Your products can be in multiple categories, so it is beneficial to organize them in the major ways that your customers will be searching for them. For example, having a waterproof flashlight in both your Camping category and your Dive Accessories category would make sense, and customers searching both of those areas could find what they are looking for more easily.
After going to your list of Categories, you will see any top-level categories you've already created. To create a new top-level Category, click the New Category button. To create a sub-category, click on the title of the parent Category you want and find the New Subcategory button. For more information on setting up and organizing your Categories, click here.
To create your Category or Subcategory, add a Category Name (required). If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your online marketing, you can also add a Short Description and a Long Description.
After you have created your new Category, you will be able to add your new product inventory to that category once your complete your Receiving Order.
Coming Up Next: Explore how to create a Purchase Order in the Rain system.