Do you resell products from multiple suppliers? Are you spending too much time re-ordering the same products over and over? This is for you.
Understanding the problem
As Lifeboat's customer base keeps growing (big thank you to all of you!), we start to learn more from our merchants. A few weeks ago, one of the merchants reached out to our support team. The support staff realised that this particular merchant was reselling products from over 100 suppliers, and we asked; "Could you show us your re-stocking process?".
It was no joke! This merchant was sending over 20 emails a day to his suppliers, wasting 3 hours of his day solely on re-ordering stock. We had to do something to help this merchant and other merchants in a similar situation. There had to be a better way.
Introducing: Automated Purchase Orders
This new system will allow merchants to automatically place orders with their suppliers based on a set of predefined conditions.
Before delving into the actual options available let's take a few use cases where this might be useful;
- If a merchant is running a dropshipping store. He/She might want to place an order with the supplier as soon a customer places an order on their store.
- If a merchant wants to re-order stock on a set schedule (daily, weekly...).
- If a merchant wants to re-order stock when it's running low.
What will not be covered?
Unlike manufacturing software, we'll not be supporting "recipe" ordering at this stage. Meaning, if you buy materials, combine them to make a secondary product, and sell the secondary product, this system is not for you.
New section: Suppliers
Once this system goes live you'll notice a few new sections in the admin interface. The main one is; Suppliers under the Products tab. This is where you can add all of your supplier details so that Lifeboat can contact them on your behalf.
Within the Supplier settings, you'll be able to create Purchase Order Instructions for each Supplier & Product combination. These are simple rules that Lifeboat will follow to order stock on your behalf.
- Purchase Order Prefix - Specify this to keep track of your purchase orders more easily
- Trigger - If to place the purchase order instantly when an order happens on your store (dropshipping), or based on stock levels (combined with schedule).
- Minimum Stock - At which stock level should Lifeboat place a purchase order.
- Frequency - How often should purchase orders be placed.
- Send if pending - If to send more purchase orders, when there are pending ones with that particular supplier (not to spam the supplier).
When will this feature be available?
We are planning to release automatic purchase orders in early November however, we don't have a fixed date yet. The goal is to have it 100% ready before the holiday season.
What do you think of this feature?
How much time will automatic purchase orders save you from running your online business? Let us know in the comments below.