*Inventory control is USELESS in LSR*

ngilsonngilson Member Posts: 41 ✭

Can Lightspeed PLEASE figure out how to fix the problems associated with Special Orders and Layaways!?!? The system is essentially useless as it stands.

As many LSR users know, products are not always in stock, and need to be ordered in from the manufacturer. Manufacturers don't always send everything you order, so we need to be able to track what is actually here and what is not, particularly on high demand or new products.

There are several problems with the special order module, and a return to the way that On-Site did this would be a huge improvement. First, why on earth can you mark something "ready" that has not been received? Is inventory control just not a thing in the cloud? At a bare minimum, I should need to adjust inventory on hand quantity before I can mark something arrived/ready, whether that is via receiving a PO or manually adjusting the inventory. Second, manufacturers don't always send purchase orders in the order which they were placed. Don't ask me why, but it's out of our control, and they all seem to do it. So automatically reserving the special order tied to the PO is not helpful as we need to go in order that customers signed up, not based on the PO their order is tied to. Give us the option to assign it when it comes in!

We have been converting special orders to layaways per advice from a support agent. This has been our way to effectively let our staff know that the order is actually here and actually ready for pickup. But there is a critical flaw with this if there is any kind of change to who the layaways are assigned to.

We recently received 12 cameras. It's a $6500 camera, so accurate inventory is kind of a big deal. We reserved all 12 on special orders, and converted them to layaways. Throughout the day, as often happens, a few of the customers were either not ready, or had decided not to purchase the camera. So we cancel the layaway and then put it on layaway for the next name on the list. In this scenario, the system ADDS inventory. It does not properly remove the inventory when it is put on layaway for the next name on the list. So, if we have 4 people not get their camera, the system incorrectly shows that we have 4 of these cameras in stock and available for sale, even though they've been put on layaway for other customers. That's a $26000 error. On top of that, if we don't catch the error right away, our website now shows them available for purchase, which inevitably leads to an angry customer when we have to call them back and tell them their purchase was actually out of stock. This NEEDS to be addressed to maintain basic functionality of the special order/layaway modules.


TLDR: You can not trust the inventory levels of a product which has been special ordered in and converted to layaway, because the system adds inventory which is not there if you cancel the layaway and assign it to the next name on a list.

5 comments

  • ngilsonngilson Member Posts: 41 ✭

    *BUMP*

  • dkoleanb21dkoleanb21 Member Posts: 7

    Desmond @ CameraMall in Ann Arbor, MI here. Say hello to Jens for me.

    We run into this exact same problem. At our store, we use the Called Checkbox to indicate that any Special Order in the Ready state is actually physically at the store and ready for pick-up. Perhaps this might be smoother than using Layaways for you.

    One other oddity we've discovered: If you ever click "Complete" or "Complete All" accidentally on a special order when you're on the sales screen (perhaps modifying a customer order) and then Special Order it again, this will change the status of the Special Order to ready but will not affect inventory levels. This can be a problem because you end up with items in the Ready state even though you don't have them and then they never end up getting ordered/assigned to a purchase order.

    Another Problem with Special Orders: Reorder points do not take into account special orders. If a customer special orders something that you routinely stock, the system will not prompt you to add additional stocking units.

    If you ever want to chat about Lightspeed, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected] They're slowly making improvements, but in the meantime, I've found it's helpful to share workarounds.

  • ngilsonngilson Member Posts: 41 ✭

    @dkoleanb21 Thanks Desmond! I may just reach out to you sometime. Appreciate it, and will let Jens know you said hello!

  • ngilsonngilson Member Posts: 41 ✭

    @dkoleanb21 Hey Desmond! Curious how you are managing attaching special orders to PO's, and more specifically, what do you do when you have customers fall off your list?

    We encountered a very frustrating issue yesterday where we got in 4 more cameras on a PO which originally had 36 on it. It was the last 4, so completed the PO, but throughout the months that we were waiting for all of the units to arrive, several customers dropped off the list. So we ended up in a situation where the system allowed us to attach more special orders, even though it exceeded the number outstanding with the manufacturer. When I received the last 4 units, it marked 14 orders ready, with no way to unmark them as such unless we deleted and re-created the orders.

    How have you guys kept track of the number of orders you can attach to a PO, knowing that on high demand products, they're unlikely to ship complete, and customers are bound to fall off and cancel their orders while the process is ongoing?

    Thanks a ton!

  • dkoleanb21dkoleanb21 Member Posts: 7

    @ngilson Hey! Sorry, I didn't get an email or anything even though you used my handle--I'll have to see if I can figure that out.

    There are SO MANY problems with Special Orders & Purchase Orders in Lightspeed.

    We ran into a similar situation with Canon EF to RF Mount Adapters--it's just been a nightmare to manage. I'm going to list our workflow and then discuss where problems come from.


    Adding Special Orders to Purchase Orders

    • Whenever we receive a preorder for a high-demand product, I will locate the oldest open purchase order with units that aren't already spoken for.
    • If the order happens to be in the Check-In status, I'll change it back to the Ordered status, so I can modify the purchase order.
    • Then, I'll add the Special Orders to the purchase order, keeping in mind that after adding your Special Orders, you'll have to reduce the order qty by the # of Special Orders you added to that specific product
    • Then, I change the order back to the Check-In status

    Problems & Pitfalls with Special Orders & Purchase Orders

    • If a Special Order is manually Marked as Ready (ie: you're in the Special Order list and click the Mark as Ready button), you CANNOT remove the Special Order from the purchase order. It will be stuck in the Green Ready state. The only way to fix it is to go back to the Special Order list and click Not Ready. Then, you can go back to the Purchase Order and remove it.
    • If a customer cancels their Special Order, and they're in the beginning or middle of the units you've ordered across your Purchase Orders, you have to go through and reassign each special order to the appropriate purchase order to maintain the proper order. Then, if you happen to skip this step and know that you're supposed to deliver to one customer before another, and you fill their special order, but that special order is still attached to another purchase order that still has outstanding inventory, the special order will turn to a Blue status on the purchase order, and you will no longer be able to edit/remove it. It will still count towards your Special Order quantity on the purchase order (it's super confusing). I think the above is possibly what happened to you. You end up having to be a constant gardener and vigilant with your staff who is checking in the merchandise to make sure they're not delivering merchandise to any other customer other than who is on the purchase order you're receiving from
    • If an employee is on the page where you're ringing up a Sale and happen to click "Complete All" or even just "Complete" on the unit that is Special Ordered with no inventory, it will create an inventory unit if you're out of stock. This will even happen if you move the items back to a Special Order
    • If you sell an item you have 0 on hand for, Lightspeed will automatically receive inventory off the oldest purchase order. So, if your inventory happens to be off, Lightspeed will make your job as a buyer harder by throwing off the # of units you're expecting to be coming in. Then, you'll have your warehouse staff asking what to do because the rest of the order will show up, and it will look like you've already received all the units outstanding on the Purchase Order.
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