Zoho Inventory


Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.

The need for dropshipments

Eric Wolvesbane is a distributor for centrifugal pumps in Brisbane. Being a meticulous man, he closely monitors the stock flow of his pumps and promptly places purchase orders to his vendors whenever they run to the low stock zone.

Real estate saw a boom in the month of June and lot of infrastructure projects kicked into life causing a high demand for quality pumps. Eric got real busy supplying a large quantity of pumps(about 5000) for five different projects and it so happened that, one of his regular customers Julia placed an order for about 30 pumps.

With all his current stock being committed to the new customers, Eric was not in a position to fulfil this order. He knows too well that rejecting an order from a returning customer is as good as sending them off to your competitors.

That’s when he calls up one of his less frequent suppliers Roman Turntable and enquires about the availability of 30 centrifugal pumps at his negotiated rate to be delivered to Julia. Roman checks his warehouse, gets back to Eric and agrees make the drop shipment.

Now Eric opens Zoho Inventory, creates a sales order for Julia, confirms it by sending it to her and marks it for drop shipment due to which a purchase order(that has Julia’s address set as the delivery location) is generated to Roman Turntable.

Eric then raises an invoice for the drop shipment, gets paid by Julia and sends a thank you note. Roman makes the delivery and sends an invoice to Eric at their negotiated rate for which Eric makes a payment to Roman, raises a bill inside Zoho Inventory for the same and records this payment. Doing this will move the drop shipped sales order to a Fulfilled status.

This way Eric Wolvesbane not only retains a customer, but also strengthens his relations with his suppliers.

Dropshipping a sales order

Pro Tip: You can either create a sales order and dropship the order or, you can select an existing confirmed sales order and proceed to dropship the order.

To dropship a sales order in Zoho Inventory:

Note: You can dropship only the Confirmed sales orders that do not have invoices or packages associated with it.

Screen shot of the drop shipment option

Insight: Partial dropshipment allows you to dropship the items selectively from your sales order.

Screen shot of the drop shipment type

Partial Dropshipment

To partially dropship a sales order:

Screen shot of the drop shipment option

Pro Tip: If you want to dropship the entire sales order, select Complete Dropshipment and follow the steps below. Note that this option is available only when the sales order is not already associated with any backorders, invoices or packages.

Screen shot of the drop shipped PO

Dropshipping in bulk

To dropship items from several sales orders at once:

Note: You can dropship only the Confirmed sales orders that do not have invoices or packages associated with it.

Screen shot of the bulk drop ship 1

Screen shot of the bulk drop ship 2

Filtering dropshipments

To easily sort out your drop shipped orders, we have provided dedicated filters on the Sales Orders and Purchase Orders modules.

You can access these filters by navigating to these modules and clicking on the filter tab on the left-top corner.

Drop shipped Sales Orders

Filtering SOs

Drop shipped Purchase Orders

Filtering POs

Invoicing a drop shipped Sales Order

Fulfiling dropshipments

In Zoho Inventory, a normal sales order attains fulfillment when the shipments associated with them have been delivered. Incase of a drop shipment, as your vendor takes care of the packaging, shipment & delivery, you don’t have to create a package yourself.

To fulfil a dropshipped sales order in Zoho Inventory, raise a bill for the drop shipped purchase order.

Doing this will move the status of the drop shipped Sales Order from Confirmed to Fulfilled.

Fulfilled order