Internal ordering between retail outlets and head office

started a topic over 1 year ago


I wanted some advice regarding my inventory list, product suppliers and internal ordering.

Just some background, we are a retail bulk food business with 6 of our own stores and three franchisees we directly supply, with over 120 suppliers and 2,000 product lines. It is also worth noting that brands are not particularly considered as the product is sold in bulk. This does have a consequence, one product, say brown rice, may have three or four different suppliers but considered the same product. This is in case our primary supplier is out of stock, another supplier providing a better price on an occassion or having multiple options for a single product so that we can meet supplier MOQs.

The head office is essentially acting as a distributor receiving store orders, placing orders with suppliers, and invoicing in the case of franchisees. The difference to a distributor is that we dont hold the stock in a central warehouse for fulfiling the order, rather we place the order on behalf of the store. There are also possible situations where orders are combined between stores.

What we need is a way for our store managers to put together an order based on the inventory list. This preliminary order then gets passed onto a Dear admin who would then organise the order into separate purchase orders according to suppliers and submit them accordingly.

Each store/franchisee submits their order to head office and not directly with the supplier. Currently we are setting up a set of spreadsheets in which we import the inventory list csv file and generate an order form for product selection and order quantities. Once the order form has been filled out it gets transferred to a Dear template for uploading into a purchase order to be sent off to the supplier. The order itself has to be split by supplier, with each individual supplier order uploaded as separate purchase orders.

We've looked at b2b portal but an e-commerce site doesnt really meet the requirements we have for internal ordering. If anything it overcomplicates it. If the portal can be made appropriate, some functions would need removing such as stock quantity (as no stock is held), payment options etc. When the manager has placed their preliminary order within the portal we would then need to split up the order into supplier specific blocks for the purchase orders.

If the portal cannot be a feasible solution we will have to continue with the inventory list export and spreadsheet based order form. This still has its own obstacles. It would be ideal for us to be able to associate multiple suppliers to a single product line. I know this can be done within Dear, but this data is not exported within the CSV "inventory list" file. I need to do this for multiple reasons as previously mentioned; if our primary supplier is out of stock, I need to go to another supplier to make up an order total to meet MOQ or a secondary supplier has a special offer with better pricing. Ideally I do this on the spreadsheet end so when I upload the purchase orders they are finalised and I dont have to tinker the purchase orders line by line within Dear.

I've probably gone into an unnecessary amount of depth here which may just make it more confusing!


Can we use a b2b portal for an internal ordering system between our stores and head office?

If not...

1. Can I export the inventory list including the alternative suppliers (not just brand and last supplied by).

2. Can I update alternative suppliers via an imported spreadsheet rather than product by product in the dear UI, very time consuming!

3. Would it be possible to upload an order with multiple suppliers into Dear, which is then split into multiple purchase orders according to supplier? This would save a tremedous amount of time uploading individual templates for each purchase order.

There may be some very simple solutions here so apologies if Im seemingly overcomplicating a simple affair! I've attached a simple workflow diagram showing the above steps with reagrd to using spreadsheets in conjunction with Dear.

Appreciate all and any help.





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