Can I use inFlow On-Premise to track items on consignment?

Not using inFlow On-Premise?

A consignment agreement is an agreement between a two parties: the supplier (referred to as ‘consignor’) and the buyer (‘consignee’) who will be selling the products. Typically, the agreement includes the consignee retaining a percentage of the sales. Any unsold products would be returned to the consignor.

There are a few ways you can handle consignment in inFlow On-Premise. There are different steps depending on if you are a consignor or a consignee!

For consignors

There are two methods you can use, as a consignor. The first one uses locations to track the consignment stores, and the second one uses the Customers instead.

Using multiple locations

Since inFlow can handle multiple locations, you can set up locations within your warehouse for each of your consignment shops. This will allow you to use the Transfer Stock function to move stock over to that store from your central location. This way, you would always have an accurate count of what each store has.

When a store reports a sale to you, then you can create a sales order and pick/fulfill the items from that location to reduce the store’s stock. If you notice that a store is getting low, transfer more stock and send it out.

To create a consignment location:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Options > Settings.
  2. Click the Manage Inventory Locations button.
  3. In this window, add your consignment stores to the list (each on its own line).
  4. Click Save & Close.

To transfer stock to a consignment location:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Inventory > Transfer Stock.
  2. Select the items you’d like to transfer in the Item column.
  3. In the From Location column, select your central location.
  4. In the To Location column, select the consignment store you’re transferring to.
  5. Once you’re satisfied—enter a remark if you would like to—click Send Transfer. This takes the items out of your central inventory location.
  6. Click Receive Transfer to receive the goods at the location you sent it to.
 Be sure to click both Send Transfer and Receive Transfer, otherwise your items will be stuck In Transit. 

To sell from a consignment location:

This part can vary depending on how your consignees send you the sales information. Assuming you do have a report of how many each item sold at that store, proceed with the following:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Sales > New Sales Order.
  2. Fill in your customer, and select the consignment location you’d like to sell from in the Location field at the top. You can use a generic customer (Consignment) if you wish.
  3. Fill in the items sold according to your consignee’s report, in the table below.
  4. Complete your order by clicking Fulfill and Pay.

This method is useful for users who want a listing for each of the stores, and to be able to pull reports on the sales at certain stores. This will help show whether your stock has a high turnover at one store over another.

To return stock from a consignment location:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Inventory > Transfer Stock.
  2. Select the items and quantities that are being returned in the Item column.
  3. In the From Location column, select your consignment location.
  4. In the To Location column, select your central location.
  5. Click Send Transfer, then click Receive Transfer to receive the goods back to your central location.

Using customers

This method is also quite straightforward, but it results in more movement history than in the previous method. The advantage of this method is that you can use inFlow’s Reorder Stock function as designed.

When a store returns stock to you, you would go to their specific sales order and scan/enter the items that have been returned.

The final result is a sales order showing items sold and returned, all in one place.

To sell to a consignment customer:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Sales > New Sales Order.
  2. In the Customer field, select the consignment store.
  3. Scan or select the items you’re sending in the table below.
  4. Fulfill and Pay your order.

To return from a consignment store:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Sales > Sales Order List.
  2. Go to the order on which you sent out the stock.
  3. Click the Return tab.
  4. Scan or select the items that the store is returning.
  5. Click the Restock tab.
  6. Click Auto Fill to restock all items listed on the Return tab.

This method is useful for users who have high turnover, or if you need constantly reorder stock.

For consignees

This can typically be handled the usual way — treating the consignor as a vendor and creating a purchase order to buy the items.

The tricky part is creating a report for your consignor about the items sold, especially if they are scattered across various sales orders, lumped in with items of other consignors!

We have a workaround below that you can try, only if your consignors don’t supply the same items.

First, to set up custom fields for reporting:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Options > Settings > Custom Fields.
  2. Under the Inventory tab, create a Product custom field named “Consignor”.
  3. For every product you buy from a consignor, you’ll need to fill in that custom field with the consignor name.

Tip: If you don’t want to fill the consignor information for each product one by one, you can export to Excel from Main Menu > General > Export Data, then fill in the information in the Consignor column on the right. When you’re done, save as .csv file and import into inFlow (Main Menu > General > Import Data).

To generate a sales report for your consignor:

  1. Go to Main Menu > Reports > All Reports > Sales by Product Details. 
  2. Under Filter By, click on any one of the filters and change it to Consignor.
  3. Type in the Consignor you want to generate the report for.
  4. Click the >>More button and make any other changes to the settings for the report (e.g. you can change the Invoice Date to show only sales for a certain range, or change the group/sort settings).
  5. Click Generate Report.
  6. You can click Add to My Reports and set the title to the Consignor you generated the report for, so you don’t have to do steps 1 to 4 again.

Looking for more info about consignment?

Have a look at our blog on Consignment Inventory Management: selling stock by contract agreements for a closer look.

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