As a business owner, you rely on an entire network of people to support your enterprise, from staff and customers to shipping carriers and vendors.
Unless all of your products are made entirely in-house, you probably have a working relationship with at least one third-party vendor. We're going to show you how to configure your store to communicate with your vendors.
The Vendors portion of the Admin Area acts as a bridge between products, receiving, and purchase orders. This guide will explain how to access and configure your Vendors page and help you manage replenishment of product stock for your store.
Accessing the Vendors Page
From your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Vendors.
You'll need to configure vendors if you're planning to drop-ship orders (your store automatically sends a purchase order to a third-party order fulfillment company who will ship products directly to customers) or if you intend to use Volusion's Purchase Orders and Receiving functions to order product stock from a third-party vendor. The following will show how to create a vendor.
Creating a Vendor
- Go to Inventory > Vendors and click Add.
- Configure vendor information by setting the following values as needed.
|ID*||Enter a unique, numerical value to internally identify each vendor.|
|Active||Enable this option will make the vendor active within the system.|
|Vendor Name*||Enter the name of the vendor.|
|Allows Drop Shipping||Enable this option to allow a vendor to be eligible to drop-ship inventory directly to customers (when products with this assigned vendor are configured to drop-ship).|
|Vendor Address||Enter the complete mailing address for the vendor. This information will be reported on the vendor's emailed invoice when generated by Volusion.|
|Ship To||This text field allows entry of text to specify the address the vendor should ship purchase orders to.|
This drop-down menu allows selection of which ASP template the PO email sent to the vendor will be generated from. The default value for this field is "PO_To_Vendor.asp".
Click Edit to open the email_templates directory in the File Editor if you want to make edits to this template.
|Ship Via||This text field allows the entry of text to specify the shipping method the vendor should ship purchase orders by (e.g. Fed Ex Next Day Air).|
|PO Send Via||This drop-down value defines the method Volusion will use to send PO notifications to vendors. Choose to send PO notifications by Email, Fax (requires registration with ClickFax for use with the Volusion store for this method) or simply None (this option is available for printing and manually sending PO notifications to vendors).|
|PO Terms||This field specifies billing terms for purchase orders generated for the vendor. This text will appear on every PO. Example: "Net 30 Days."|
|Vendor Email Address||This field contains the email address PO email notifications will be sent to for the vendor.|
|PO Due Date||This field contains a date that will appear on purchase orders - typically the date which the merchant will require the items by.|
|Vendor Email Subject||This field specifies the default subject line for PO notification emails sent to the vendor.|
|FOB Notes||This text field is available to enter any notes for purchase order notifications that may require an FOB - Freight On Board inspection. For example, the field may contain the port or city at which the freight will be inspected.|
|Vendor Fax Number||Enter the vendor's primary fax number in this field to fax PO notifications to the vendor through the ClickFax service.|
|PO Notes||This field is available to enter any additional notes to include on PO notifications for the vendor.|
|PO Signed By||This field contains the name of the individual or group who would be authorized to issue purchase orders issued to the vendor.|
|Additional Contacts||This field is made available to enter any additional contact information or notes that should appear on the PO notification message generated for the vendor.|
*These are required fields.
Once a vendor is configured, click the Save button near the bottom of the page to finalize creation of the vendor. To create further vendors, click the Add button near the top of the page and repeat these steps.
Follow the above steps to create instances of vendors to facilitate operations within your Admin Area. Vendors are required for the Purchase Orders portion of your store to function properly as well as to provide information to link individual products within the Volusion database to other elements for use in purchasing, receiving, and some specific types of shipping (e.g. drop shipping).
Tips and Special Settings
Using Vendors in Purchase Orders
When creating POs, the first step is to choose which vendor within the Vendors table the purchase order will be generated from. The vast majority of information to be recorded within each purchase order is derived from the vendor's settings. These fields can be overwritten within each individual PO created in case there is any necessary customization for the PO (note: overwriting the vendor information within the PO does not change the respective information within the vendor settings itself).
Assigning Vendor IDs
Typically, the task of creating ID numbers for elements to be stored within the Volusion database is automated by Volusion. The task of assigning ID numbers to vendors however is left for merchants to complete. This to to allow for possible requirements by vendor that they define this ID for PO processing purposes from their operational end. Please note, however, that the ID field is purely a numerical field and cannot contain alphabetic characters or punctuation.
When setting up products to relate to vendors, the Vendor Rules portion of each product option only refers to a vendor based on ID. For the purpose of convenience you should if possible assign short, easy to remember ID numbers for vendors. This should help prevent having to continually navigate back-and-forth between the store's Products and Vendors tables to complete product setups.
Once you understand the importance of the Vendors table and how to configure vendors within your Admin Area, you'll be able to use other parts of the system like Purchase Orders and Receiving. Also, some of the more advanced options within the Products table will no doubt be more understandable after configuring vendors within the software.