Introduction to sales and shipping
In Brightpearl, a sale represents a request from a customer to purchase goods or services.
Actions are taken against a sale to progress it through its lifecycle.
Unlike some software which have pre-defined stages of Quote > Order > Invoice, Brightpearl lets you choose your own workflow independently of those key stages using sales statuses. Sales statuses are used to represent the stage the order has reached in your sales cycle.
Lists and reports can be filtered to include or exclude orders of any status.
Sales arrive into Brightpearl from a number of different sources, referred to as sales channels. Each sales channel should represent an avenue a sale took to arrive in the system. For example, sales placed on eBay and sales taken through a point of sale system would be represented via different channels in Brightpearl.
There are three main processes surrounding sales:
- Fulfillment is performed to create goods-out notes for each shipment. Multiple shipments can be created from a single order. Goods-out notes are processed through printing, picking and packing before being shipped. Shipping removes inventory from stock and creates the relevant accounting.
- Invoicing. This locks the order and creates the necessary accounting to record revenue and customer debt.
- Payment. This marks the order as paid and creates the relevant accounting.
Payment, shipping and invoicing can be done in any order to suit your processes.
Unless inventory is allocated to a sales order, it will still be available to sell. Allocating inventory reduces the 'on hand' quantity, which in turn causes Brightpearl to update inventory levels on all connected sales channels.
Based on your channel settings, inventory can be automatically allocated to sales downloaded from sales channels like eBay, Amazon or an eCommerce store. For sales created manually or imported from a spreadsheet, you'll need to allocate inventory manually.
Allocation can also be handled using rules in the Brightpearl Automation app.
Every sales order has the following allocation statuses:
No stock-tracked items are on the sale.
Stock items are on the sale, none allocated.
Stock items are on the sale, some allocated.
Stock items are on the sale, all allocated.
For more detail, read about allocating inventory to sales orders.
Fulfillment is the first stage of shipping or drop-shipping an order. It is the process used to select some or all items on an order for shipping from one or more warehouses or suppliers.
Fulfillment will create a goods-out note per shipment from each warehouse, or a drop-ship purchase order per supplier.
Once order rows have been fulfilled the stocked items cannot be sold to anyone else unless the goods-out note is deleted.
The fulfillment status of an order is recognized using the following icons:
Sale not fulfilled
Sale part fulfilled
Sale all fulfilled
These can be used to filter sales. Additionally, there's a handy "due to fulfil" filter which includes both "not fulfilled" and "part fulfilled". For more detail, read about fulfillment.
Shipping is the process of removing inventory from stock in order to complete fulfillment (or partial fulfillment) of an order.
Every order has a shipping status indicated by the shipping status icon. The shipping status is automatically updated as items are marked as shipped on goods-out notes. The sales list can be filtered by shipping status to find orders still awaiting shipments.
No items shipped
Some items shipped
All items shipped
Note: Orders are not shipped - Goods Out Notes or Drop-ship Purchase Orders are shipped! This allows an order to be part shipped in multiple consignments from different locations or suppliers.
Shipping from a warehouse
There are several stages leading to shipping. Some stages can be skipped to fit business operations:
This is the process of selecting items from an order to ship and creating a goods-out note.
- (Optional) Printing
This will print the goods-out note detailing the contents of the shipment and mark the goods-out notes as printed.
- (Optional) Picking
This stage is used to indicate that the items have been collected from the warehouse shelves. A picking list can be printed when collecting items for multiple orders in one go. The goods-out notes will be marked as picked.
- (Optional) Packing
This stage is used to indicate that the items have been packed into boxes and are ready to be shipped. At this stage you can enter the tracking reference if there is one. The goods-out notes will be marked as packed.
This is the final step and will complete the shipment. The items will be taken out of the stock and the order shipping status is updated. If cost of sales accounting is on an accounting journal will be posted. The goods-out notes will be marked as shipped and the order shipping status will be updated.
Shipping direct from supplier (drop-ship)
Drop-shipping is where the supplier is asked to deliver the goods directly to the customer. In Brightpearl this process always begins with a sales order which is then fulfilled to a purchase order, instead of a goods-out note.
The purchase order is linked to the original sale. You can choose whether the sales order will be marked as shipped once the purchase invoice has been received or whether they will be marked as shipped at another stage of the drop-ship process.
For more detail, read this introduction to drop-shipping.
An order is paid using one or more Customer Order Payments. Multiple part payments (such as deposits) can be made against an order, using different Payment Methods.
If a Payment Method is linked to a Bank Account, then accounting entries are made automatically as you work with order payments.
Orders can be on one of the following payment statuses, which are updated by Brightpearl as order payments are created or removed:
- Partially paid
- Not applicable
You can use these statuses to filter the sales list.
For more detail, read about order payments.
Finally, once an order is shipped and paid, it should be marked as invoiced. This will lock the order, and complete the accounting transactions.
An order can be un-invoiced in exceptional situations.
To find invoiced or not-invoiced orders, use the filters on the sales list.
For more detail, read about order invoicing.
Keeping in touch with the customer
Every sales order requires a customer record to be created, even if it's a one-off sale. The customer record is also used to set customer credit terms and limits, assign them a price list, special tax codes or account codes for reporting. The customer record also provides full order and financial history and details of their outstanding balance.
Any communication sent through Brightpearl will automatically be recorded on the customer timeline for future reference.