In many ways, a purchase order (PO) is the unsung hero of inventory management. We’re all familiar with inventory control, serialization, lot management, replenishment, and reverse logistics, which constitute the bulk of the inventory lifecycle. With more startups and SMBs moving away from inefficient manual entry systems and spreadsheets to cloud ERP, we want to ensure everyone understands the power of the PO in a connected front and back office system like Salesforce + Ascent Solutions.
Purchase Orders are Critical for Cloud ERP Success on Salesforce
Purchase orders are critical for success because it’s where the inventory management process gets started. POs are requests by buyers to purchase your products and these requests come in a few shapes and forms. The first two types of POs are generated by raw materials, or even completed sub-assemblies for manufacturing and finished products for resale. These are accommodated by creating a “Delivery” type purchase order in Salesforce with Ascent Solutions. A delivery type purchase order will allow receiving of product into a warehouse(s).
Next, purchasing goods for internal consumption (but not inventoried) or procuring a service, can be accomplished via a “Service” type purchase order. A service order does not require having existing products in Ascent, but will allow the description of those products and prices to be entered as one-time purchases.
Lastly, a company could be a distributor that takes customer orders, however, does not warehouse some of the products. Or possibly not have inventory on hand to support the customer requirement and seeks fulfillment from another source. In these cases, products can be classified as eligible for drop shipment. Through the sales order process, a dropship purchase order is created and identifies which customer the goods should be shipped to. If you’re looking for more details on types of POs, which field level information is captured, how Salesforce line grids get updated, etc. check out our detailed Ascent PO Overview Product Guide.
To quickly recap, the four types of POs in Salesforce with Ascent Solutions are:
- Delivery PO – finished goods, parts, raw materials, and/or completed sub-assemblies
- Service PO – non-inventoried goods or a service
- Dropshipping PO – often used by e-commerce stores or Value Added Resellers (VARs), where the procuring, storing and shipping of products is outsourced to a third party, which is usually a supplier.
- Contract Manufacturing PO – when a company cannot manufacture the item but has components to send for assembly.
Ascent Delivery POs are self explanatory—a purchase order is created to receive inventory in a warehouse or stock location and is later used to fulfill customers orders. However, Ascent Service and Dropship POs are unique and we’ll explain them a bit further. Again, for more details on these types of POs view our PO overview product guide.
Ascent Service Purchase Orders
Ascent Service POs are entered for services that are procured externally. These purchase orders are different from the standard ones as they don’t require a goods receipt since they have no stock. You contract someone to do something for your business whether it is labor, install, shipping, delivery, trucking, etc. There are no physical goods on service purchase orders and the product is not lot controlled, as there will be no stock for service products.
Here’s an example in Ascent Solutions:
Ascent Dropshipping Purchase Orders
Ascent Dropship POs are used when a company doesn’t keep goods in stock, but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
Here’s an example in Ascent Solutions:
The purchase order that is created shows the vendor, type and dropship order from which it has been created.
When the dropship purchase order is completed in Ascent, purchase order line statuses will change to closed and related products set to packed. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
In closing, don’t forget about the unsung hero of inventory management, creating purchase orders on Salesforce with Ascent Solutions. There are many powerful features on the platform that drive efficiency for companies moving to the cloud or looking for a best in class solution for a scaling business.