Zoho Inventory Add-on in Zoho Books

The current Zoho Books inventory management feature lets you keep track of your stock, set preferred vendor, set reorder points and adjust inventory. With the Zoho Inventory add-on, you can do advanced inventory management, using native inventory modules like Composite Items, Item Groups, Packages, Shipments and Bulk Adjustments. This allows you to access and manage your Zoho inventory modules from Zoho Books.

To enable the Inventory add-on in Zoho Books, you must have a paid Zoho Inventory account. In this page, we’ll look at how you can enable the add-on and its included features.

Enable Zoho Inventory Add-on

To enable the Zoho Inventory add-on:

Inventory Preferences

Inventory Modules in Zoho Books

After enabling Inventory modules in Zoho Books, you will be able to access:

Item Groups

Item Groups allow you to create several similar items together based on their shared attributes, rather than creating each of them individually.

Let’s take the example of Mark, who sells t-shirts. The t-shirts have 3 different attributes: size, colour, and material. With basic inventory management, he would create all of the possible kinds of shirts as individual items, which would be time-consuming. With the Item Groups module, he can create all the t-shirts under one item group with 3 different attributes (size, colour and material). Now, the individual items are automatically created based on the possible combinations of attributes. If Mark wants to edit the items individually, he can still go to the Items module and do so.

Create a new item group

Item Group creation page

Configure the items of a group

To configure items in an item group:

  1. The Item Name is auto-generated, but you can also manually change it.
  2. Enter an item identifier in the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) field. (Note: Storing a barcode in this field will enable you to use a barcode scanner to add items to your orders, invoices and bills.)
  3. Record your item’s Purchase Price.
  4. Record your item’s Selling Price.
  5. Check Include Opening Stock to record the Opening Stock and the Opening Stock Value of the item.

Note: The opening stock of an item refers to the stock you have at the moment of creating that item. The opening stock value refers to the purchase price of your opening stock. This will be used for FIFO Cost Lot Tracking.

  1. Optional: Add product codes including UPC (Universal Product Code), EAN (International Article Number), MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) and ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

Note: The UPC and EAN fields are numeric fields. The MPN and ISBN are alphanumeric fields that support letters, numbers, spaces and hyphens.

  1. Optional: Set Reorder Levels to be notified when the current stock on hand drops below the reorder point.

Configure Items Image

Composite Items

Composite items allow you to bundle different products together as one item and manage its inventory separately from the individual items. You can create a composite item by boxing individual items together, or unbox composite items to separate them as individual items.

Consider a Scenario: James runs a mobile store. During festive seasons, he wants to sell mobile phones bundled together with specific accessories. Using the Composite Items feature, he boxes the mobile phone and its accessory and sells them as a single item. Also, he manages the stock of the composite items and the individual items separately.

Enable composite items

If you haven’t enabled composite items in Zoho Inventory, you can enable it through Zoho Books. To enable:

  1. Click the Gear icon in the top-right corner and select Preferences from the dropdown menu.
  2. Choose the Items tab from the Preferences list in the left side panel
  3. Check Would you like to enable Composite Items?.
  4. Click Save.

Composite Items Preferences

Create composite items

To create a composite item:

  1. Click the Items module and select Composite Items from the dropdown menu.
  2. Click the New icon button present on the top-right corner of the window.
  3. Enter the item Name.
  4. Specify a unit of measurement (for instance, kilograms or pieces) for the item. You can also choose one of your previous units of measurement from the dropdown menu, if you have entered any.
  5. Under the Associate Items field, add the items and quantities that constitute the composite item. Click + Add another item to associate more items.
  6. Enter a sale price, or choose Copy from total to use the calculated price from above.
  7. Enter a purchase price, or choose Copy from total to use the calculated price from above.
  8. Click Save.

Composite Item Create Page

Note: Creating a composite item only defines the item; it has no effect on the composite item’s stock level. You can increase the stock level of a composite item in one of three ways: box the associated items, enter a stock adjustment for the composite item, or enter a purchase of the composite item.

Operations in Composite Items

Boxing and unboxing

Boxing is the process of putting together different inventory items in desired quantities to produce a composite item, while unboxing is the act of taking a composite item apart. Choosing the Box option will increase the stock of the composite item and decrease the stock of the individual items. Unboxing a composite item will have the reverse effect.

To box or unbox items:

  1. Navigate to the Composite Items page and select the composite item you want to box/unbox.
  2. Click the Box/Unbox button on the top-right corner of the window.
  3. Choose the appropriate option in the pop-up to either box/unbox.

If you choose to box:

Boxing option

If you choose to unbox:

Unboxing option

Note: You can use the Box Items option inside a sales order or an invoice to generate the required quantity.

Packages

When you are fulfilling a Sales Order, you will pack the items in the order and assign package slip numbers to it to track whether it is shipped, not-shipped or delivered. The Packages module allows you to track and record whether it is shipped, not-shipped, or delivered. Also, you can use it during the shipping of the package.

Prerequisites

Package Workflow

Package overflow image

Create packages

To create a package:

  1. Click the Sales Orders module.
  2. Click the sales order which has items to be packed.
  3. Click the More button at the top of your sales order and select Create Package from the dropdown menu.
  4. Enter the package slip number.
  5. Enter the quantity of each item to be packed.
  6. Optional: Enter internal notes for your reference.
  7. Click Save.

Create Package image

Note: You can create multiple packages for a single sales order.

Status of packages

There are 3 possible statuses for a package:

Status Description
Not Shipped This is a package that has been created and is awaiting shipment.
Shipped The package advances to the shipped status as soon as a shipment order is created for it.
Delivered When the package reaches the customer, it becomes delivered. You can also mark a package as delivered for a manual shipment.

Shipments

You can create a shipment either from the sales order or from the package slip. When you create a shipment from the package slip, you can choose to either ship it manually or ship it via one of your configured carriers.

To create a shipment from a sales order:

To create a shipment from within a package slip:

Warehouses

This module allows you to select a warehouse from where the items will be packed and shipped. You can assign warehouses at either the transaction level or the item level.

  1. Assigning them at the transaction level: You can select a warehouse in the Warehouses dropdown while creating a sales order, invoice, credit note, bills, purchase order or a vendor credit.

  2. Assigning them at the item level: When you add an item to a transaction, the warehouse is listed along with the quantity. You can click on the warehouse and change it, if needed.

Note: At the moment, you can add warehouses only in Zoho Inventory and they will be listed in Zoho Books.

Warehouses image

Sales Orders

Afer you enable the Zoho Inventory Add-on in Zoho Books, a Sales Order will display the package, shipment and warehouse details. This allows you to see the status of the order and shipment easily.

Sales Order Status

Status Description
Draft Sales Orders will be in Draft status before it is sent to a customer.
Open The status will change to Open when you send a sales order to a customer.
On Hold When your backorder is not fulfilled for the items in the Sales Order, the status will be On Hold.
Closed Once the sales order is converted as an invoice, then the status changes to Closed.
Void When you mark a sales order as void, it will be in Void status.

Invoice Status in Sales Order

Status Description
Partially Invoiced When a part of the items in the sales order is invoiced, then the status will be shown as Partially Invoiced.
Invoiced Once a sales order is converted as an invoice, the status will change to Invoiced status.

Shipment Status

Status Description
Partially Shipped When a part of the items in the sales order is shipped, the status will be shown as Partially Shipped.
Shipped When all the items in the Sales Order is shipped, the status changes to Shipped.
Fulfilled When the shipped items are delivered to the customers, the status changes to Fulfilled.

Sales Order Status

Change Warehouse in Marketplace Sales Orders

By default, the primary warehouse is associated with all the sales orders generated from a Marketplace. You can change the warehouse associated with it in a sales order. To change:

  1. Go to the Sales Orders module.
  2. Select a marketplace sales order whose warehouse you want to change.
  3. Click Change Warehouse Location.

Change warehouse

  1. Select an appropriate warehouse from the dropdown menu in the pop-up.
  2. Click Save.

Select Warehouse

Note: In a Marketplace Sales Order, you can only change the warehouse location.

Read more about Sales Orders

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