Using Multi-store for Selling and Tracking Inventory from Specific Locations in QBPOS
Where’s My Inventory Located
Many winery/tasting room clients store their inventory in multiple locations and need to be able to track where it is. Sometimes you may want to just track what is in bond vs. what is not. In some cases, there can actually be more than one location that sells the inventory or you may just want to track your sales as profit centers (tracking profit centers in your accounting will be covered in a later article). With the Multi-store version of QBPOS we can easily track this information and even record the movement of inventory as needed from one location to another. In fact, we can track up to 20 locations and/or profit centers.
Unfortunately, many people that choose QBPOS without a free pre-sales consultation purchase a lower end version of the software not understanding the value of the Multi-store option only to find out later they need to upgrade at a much greater cost than had they purchased Multi-store to begin with.
This post is really just to get you familiar with the idea of what Multi-store can do when used in the traditional sense. We will post a separate article to help you understand what you need to do if you do want to track inventory for locations that don’t make sales and update this post when that article is completed. If you are looking for a deeper understanding or want to know how to set up. use and maintain QBPOS in a Multi-store environment, there are a couple of good options.
What if I have more than one Sales Location?
If you have more than one sales location you will want Multi-store because you will need to track the inventory at those individual locations and you will want to be able to make sales from those locations. In this scenario, you will setup QBPOS so that each location has its own license and perhaps more than one seat (register) at one of more location.
For example, maybe you have a main location (referred to “headquarters”) where you only need one seat/license. Perhaps it is the winery where you track everything and communicate with the accounting. You may even make occasional sales there – so you really only need one license/seat. You may also have a separate tasting room (referred to as a “remote store”) located in a different location where you do the majority of the sales and need to be able to run multiple “registers” simultaneously – let’s say you need three. At this location you would need one license good for three seats (sometimes referred to as users). In all likelihood, you may also move inventory back and forth between these locations. QBPOS Multi-store supports this.
First You Have to Setup the Stores at HQ
Here you can see that we have done the basic configuration at our headquarter store to have enabled more than one store.
Now, if we look at a specific item in QBPOS at the Winery (headquarters) location, we can see that we actually are tracking wine at both location; the Winery (Headquarters) and the Tasting Room (Remote Store 2).
If we look at the same item again after sales have been made in the Tasting Room and the HQ and Remote stores have synchronized their files, we can see that the count at the Tasting Room has gone down as the sale from the remote store was posted to the headquarters file.
If it is necessary to move wine from HQ to the Remote Store, we would use a Transfer Slip. Let’s move two cases.
Now the inventory count for HQ has been appropriately decreased and the inventory at the Remote Store is increased.
So What is this Syncing Thing?
Since each store really maintains it’s own date file, in order for each store to maintain accurate records of the counts at any store, we essentially have to push and pull the information required to update the records in each file. Doing so requires us to both send and receive files from each store location. To do this you will need to use a function known as Store Exchange to Send and Receive files from each location. Think of it a little like playing catch – HQ throws the ball with its basic changes to the Remote Store. The Remote Store catches the ball updates it records and then throws the ball back with its changes. Then the cycle repeats itself. Typically this is only done once a day, but it can be done more frequently if desired or if there is a need.
Three are many methods that can be used to send a file, but here is a simple example of what sending a Store Exchange file from HQ to our Remote Store might look like using the network file transfer method .
After the file is sent, it would be available for the remote store to “Receive” it in and update its records. Then the Remote Store can send it updates, Here is the HQ file waiting to process in a file sent from the Remote Store after that store processed in the file from HQ and sent a new one back out.
QuickBooks Point of Sale Multi-store edition is a great option for wineries with the need to track inventory in separate locations. In our next article we will show you how to use the Multi-store function where there may only be one true physical location, but you still need to track where your inventory is, We will post a third article on how you can use these same feature to track these locations as profit centers in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows Accounting products.
Thanks for reading.