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Demo: WholeCell Purchase Orders

  • Name
    Brennan Zelener

Learn how to create a purchase order in WholeCell and about the three ways of adding inventory: ESN/Quantity, Spreadsheet Upload, and Phonecheck import. This is the latest in our Feature Friday demo series.


And I think things are mellowing out guys. So I'm actually just going to start us off here a couple seconds early. So thanks for joining our webinar. My name is Brennan and I'm one of the co-founders of WholeCell. And I want to just do these ... I'm going to start doing these webinars on a more regular basis to just give you a brief demo of one of the features of WholeCell and to do a little Q&A for some opportunity for you guys to ask me questions about how the software works and so forth.

So today we're talking about the most basic element of WholeCell basically, purchase orders, is getting your inventory into WholeCell. So I've got a little slide deck here that we'll go through to talk to you about that. And at the end we've got a brief demo and a Q&A so you guys can ask questions in the chat then and I'll respond here.

So starting off with basically what is WholeCell. Guys, for anybody that has not heard of WholeCell before or is not familiar with the software, my co-founder Harry and I built WholeCell over the last few years. It is a serialized inventory management software and it's designed for keeping track of your inventory specifically for device resellers. So WholeCell does a lot of unique things in terms of tracking specific devices by their IMEI that other inventory systems they were built for other products and more standard products and new products, that WholeCell is specifically designed for tracking used devices that have different grades and conditions and each one has an IMEI that you can identify it by. So that's what WholeCell is built for.

And in the last year or so we've added a lot of support for multi-channel marketplace sync. So WholeCell is a great way to kind of get you out of spreadsheets to tracking your inventory on a web-based inventory system that all your employees can access from anywhere. And it gets your inventory into one place and then it syncs it to the sales channels that you're selling on.

Let's go next. And we're talking about purchase orders today, so I just kind of want to start with what is a purchase order. The core piece of getting your inventory into WholeCell is creating a purchase order. And it's a very simple idea - a purchase order is a record of inventory that you bought, it's what inventory is on the purchase order, who did you buy it from, when did you buy it and how much did you pay for it.

So purchase orders vary though a little bit depending on what kind of business you have. If you've got like a trade-in business, your purchase orders might be pretty small, they might be one or two devices or five or ten devices if you're buying from a bigger family or a business, but then for a bigger Wholesaler, if you're buying in volume your WholeCell purchase orders might be 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 devices. So purchase orders in WholeCell are meant to be this point the entry point of inventory where you're tracking a purchase from whatever vendor you're buying from.

Creating a purchase order in WholeCell is pretty simple but there are a few things that if you've never seen it before I kind of want to go through and illustrate what each of these things is when you create a purchase order. And so when you create your first PO in WholeCell you're going to put in your organization which is the vendor that you're buying the inventory from, one thing we get asked a lot is if you're a trade-in provider, do you want to keep track of all the names of the vendors that you have, their kind of individuals' names. And you don't have to, you can assign those to like a generic trade-in vendor or retail or trade-in customer if you want to.

So you can group things that way if you want to. But certainly if you're a Wholesaler or even if you're a trade-in vendor and you want to keep track of names, this is a way that you'll be able to in the future search for that name.

So the organization, the vendor is first, then you're choosing what warehouse you have. Obviously, we'd start all WholeCell accounts with a single main warehouse, but if you have multiple warehouses it's really helpful to keep track of which inventory is going to which warehouse so you choose which warehouse.

The purchase order date is if you've pre-arranged a purchase order and want to put it in your system right when you've paid for the inventory, you might put in a purchase order date that's today when you're making the deal with your vendor and then you might want to put a receive date once the inventory has arrived after it got shipped. So we've got a PO order date and a receive date for that reason.

And then we have this transaction number that mystifies a lot of people I think the first time that they see it. And so a transaction number because you might have a PO number or an invoice number from your vendor, transaction number is not a required field but it's this thing that allows you to if your vendor ever comes back to you and says, "Hey, those phones that we sent you or those devices we sent you on invoice 789 or something like that, we want to know about them or we need to talk to you about them."

That allows you to, having that 789 number in WholeCell, allows you to search for it in the future. So it's kind of a transaction number that associates this purchase with whatever your vendor identified it as. So that's transaction number.

Expected inventory count is really there for Wholesalers that are buying a large swath of inventory. So they've got a bunch of devices and they want to know, "Okay, we expected 500, then when we receive them we have that information there. And as we add inventory to the batch, to the purchase order, we can see we've added 300 items and we've got 200 left out of our 500 to complete." So it's not a required field but it's there to just to have more information for you if you need. And total paid is basically that as well, if you paid $15,000 for a batch and you only received $12,000 worth of goods, it's really nice to know the difference there and to watch that. But again, not a required field.

And these things that are built more for larger Wholesalers sometimes they look foreign to smaller folks, to trade-in providers or folks that are dealing with smaller purchase orders, so this is kind of the point of having this webinar is to illustrate that.

And then channel and status are two really cool things that I like, they're like category fields. And so channel is if you've got a business that is buying inventory through a retail store, an online trade-in website, you have a Wholesale side of your business and you're buying from different Wholesalers and maybe you're running an enterprise trade-in program, channel allows you to group your purchase orders and stuff like that by which channel and it allows you to see channel analytics too, so you can see how much money did you make from one channel or another in gross profit this month or this year. So that's the idea behind channel.

And status is a more operational field that allows you to keep track of where does my purchase order sit. If I've got a warehouse and purchase orders come in through receiving, they get received and they get processed, etcetera, you have multiple statuses and you can add more in WholeCell to manage your statuses of your POs. So they keep everybody on the same page about where your purchase order sits in your status pipeline.

Adding inventory, so now that your purchase order is created there are three ways to get inventory into your purchase order and these are some of the things we worked on a lot at the beginning of building WholeCell, because everybody wants easy ways to add their inventory and it's one of the biggest reasons that people don't use inventory software is because it's so cumbersome to getting their inventory into whatever software they're using. So in WholeCell there are three ways to add inventory.

You can add it by simply pasting in a list of ESNs or saying that ... even if you don't have the ESN, saying you have a certain quantity of a product, you can upload a spreadsheet that you receive from your vendor or that you just put together manually. Or, and more recently we've added an ability to import inventory from phone check, so we have a phone check integration, you can sign into your phone check account from your WholeCell account and then import by different ESNs or invoice number in phone check. And so I'm going to go through each of those in a little bit more detail.

So adding by ESN and quantity if you have 10 iPhone 8s and you want to just add them into your purchase order really quickly, if you've got all the ESNs you can paste the ESNs right into a little text box, choose the product and the functionality, the grades, etcetera, and add them that way. If you don't have the ESNs but you want to add 10, 50, 100 iPhone 8s, the screenshot that I have pulled up is of the quantity adding, so you can just choose what quantity and then choose the product.

And I think it's important to note here - if you don't have the ESN at the beginning and you're just adding by quantity or even adding here by quantity or via spreadsheet, you can update the ESNs later in bulk. WholeCell is every time you add a single item of inventory or a thousand items, however many, WholeCell is attributing a unique ID to every single inventory item that you add. So in the future you can go through and select those items by their unique WholeCell ID and update the ESNs.

And so for people who adding the ESNs comes further along in their process, maybe you buy the inventory, you agree on a purchase price with your vendor and you upload a spreadsheet of the different models you're buying, then you receive the models and you start testing them, you can upload the ESNs to those items in WholeCell at that time, you don't have to do it right at the beginning.

And you can also update the grade and conditions of devices further down the line, both in bulk or one by one, just depending on how your process works. So that's adding by ESNs or quantity.

This is ... adding by spreadsheet is absolutely by far the most heavily used way to add inventory in WholeCell, and it's very simple and I kind of want to illustrate that here with a screenshot of a dummy data spreadsheet that I have. So you can upload a spreadsheet right when you get it from your vendor, it does have to match WholeCell's template but we give you that template whenever you're trying to upload a spreadsheet. And you can kind of see in my spreadsheet screenshot here that these are the headers that are in these spreadsheet upload templates.

So you've got your manufacturer, your model, your variant or model number, the network, the wireless network that the device is on, the capacity and the color. And that kind of describes a product in WholeCell.

And then you've got the ESN if you have it. And this is what's kind of cool that you guys can see by the spreadsheet is our spreadsheet upload is flexible in that what you get is the opportunity to either if you have the ESNs you can list the items line by line and upload all the ESNs at that one time. If you don't have the ESNs and your vendor sent you a spreadsheet that just has the quantity listed which I know happens all the time, you can put that quantity in and WholeCell will just create 10 or 5 or 50 or 5,000 of whatever product you have listed.

So if you have the ESNs and you want them in there, great. If you don't, that's not a problem, our spreadsheet upload can support both scenarios or even both scenarios in one spreadsheet. So this is kind of a spreadsheet that illustrates the different things that you've got or could have and so you can even do it in all in one.

So we've got obviously our ESN, our quantity, our grade and any damages, so that's conditions in WholeCell, this idea of we have a grade that people can use for A, B, C grade, they could use PGL if they wanted to in grade, and we have damages that allow you to account for all kinds of things that can be damaged with used products like a function of cracked glass, broken touch ID, bad wi-fi, etcetera.

Then we have your price paid. You can set the status automatically that you want inventory to upload to from a spreadsheet. And you can set the location too, inventory items have locations in WholeCell so you can figure out where they are on all the shelves in your warehouse or as simple as which desk they're sitting on and stuff like that.

So you can do all that from the spreadsheet upload.

And if you're uploading a product, for example, that is not ... when you start a WholeCell account you get a standard catalog from us of most of like in the last 10 years the Apple devices and Samsung devices, but say you're uploading an HTC device that you just received. If you uploaded via spreadsheet that catalog, product catalog, item will get created automatically, so you don't have to go in and create a product for that HTC, it will just get added automatically when you upload your spreadsheet. So that's how that works.

And then the last option is importing from phone check. So when you import from phone check there are two super easy ways to do it, once you have your account connected you can either paste in a list of IMEIs that have already been tested in phone check and it will just bring in all of that information, all those inventory items into your purchase order. Or if you've been having your technicians test items in phone check under a specific invoice number, all you got to do is put the invoice number in and hit next and it will import all the items that have been tested in phone check under that invoice number.

So it's a really easy way if your workflow in your warehouse is such that your your testers are testing devices and then you're adding them into WholeCell, it's a really simple method to just enter the invoice number and all that inventory gets imported to WholeCell automatically so you don't have to deal with anything.

And then it's definitely possible too if you are adding inventory in WholeCell either by spreadsheet or manually and then later you're testing the inventory, you can download a spreadsheet from phone check and then upload it to WholeCell to update the existing inventory. So if you have all that inventory already in WholeCell and you want to update it, you can do a bulk update with a spreadsheet import. And that's pretty simple as well.

So this is our opportunity to do a little bit of Q&A. Oh, and cool. Hey, guys, I love that you're chatting in the chat with each other. I wanted to do a very brief demo, I wanted to this to be more about simply showing you guys how purchase orders work. But we're going to do a very, very quick demo and a Q&A at the same time, so I'm going to watch the chat and I'm just going to show you kind of the main piece of this, of adding inventory to WholeCell via spreadsheet upload.

So I've created a blank po here and I'm just going to go through the process of uploading via spreadsheet to show you how it works. So I've chosen to upload an inventory spreadsheet. I can download the template here but I actually already have a demo template that I've set up and that I showed you guys a screenshot in that slideshow, and I've even added a little bit more to it, so I added some curveballs for us but you guys can see that I've got all the info about these inventory items entered here.

For the first few lines I have them set to quantity, so it's going to upload some quantity. And I also kind of wanted to show you that you can upload an item without information for if you don't know the variant or you don't know the network, it's possible to upload something that has blank cells for those and they'll just upload as unknown. And then it's also possible to upload single items with their ESNs there. And just for fun I've added some damaged conditions that weren't in the first screenshot that I showed.

So I've got this as a CSV here. We're just going to drag that CSV over and we're going to upload it. And this is going to give me the opportunity to show you guys our upload process. So one of the coolest things that I think WholeCell does, and shout out to Harry for building our spreadsheet upload process, is it validates all the line items in your spreadsheet that you have. And so it's got a few things that it didn't recognize that are in the spreadsheet that I just uploaded, this one right here. So I uploaded this CSV and there are a few things it doesn't recognize that are either not in the WholeCell product catalog or they're not in the WholeCell grades or conditions and stuff like that. So let's go through them.

So we've got B plus grade, that does not exist in my WholeCell account. So I can either ignore it and it'll just leave the grade blank. I can create B plus as a grade and that just will automatically create B plus grade in my grades in WholeCell. Or I can replace it, and replacing it as a pretty powerful option, it just gives me the opportunity to use any of my other grades that are in my WholeCell account. So I'm not ... I'm just trying to keep things simple here, I'm not trying to create new grades, I'm just going to replace it with B grade. So what that's going to do is it's going to take this single item here, this Apple iPhone 10 that is B plus grade and it's just going to put it to B grade in WholeCell as I import it.

It didn't recognize touch ID as a damage condition, but I'm pretty sure that I have a condition that's about fingerprint readers. Let's see. Yeah, so I've got broken fingerprint reader. I'm going to just replace it with that. Crack glass, the same thing, it's got an underscore in it here so that doesn't exist, cracked_glass doesn't exist in WholeCell, and I'm pretty sure ... yeah, we've got cracked glass in there too. So we can replace it with that.

However, I don't have Galaxy Note 10 in WholeCell yet, so I'm actually just going to have that be created. I don't have this variant, of course, because I don't have the Note 10, I'm going to have that created as well. And sure, why don't we let it create prism black. We're going to save it, it's going to go through our validations and it's going to create all these devices that are in this spreadsheet. And boom, so right there.

Now we've got all those devices loaded into a table for us, we can print labels which is pretty slick so we can go over and print these labels off with our Dymo or Zebra label printers. We can go straight to the PO. I'm going to show you guys the labels here. So we've got a label for every single one of those items, there's 35 items we just created. Each one as you guys can tell if I didn't upload it with an ESN it has a unique ID on it and that's the WholeCell ID, that's how in the future if we want to add an ESN to this device, we receive it and we're going through and testing it, we can associate this with it by its ID.

And then the ones that I had with ESNs should be down here. Yep, so they've got the ESN on this side, the ID on this side and we're all set. So those are our labels for these items in the batch. We can go through the table, we can look at all the information about them and we've got it all set there.

So that was the demo I wanted to give you guys, just about adding inventory to a POinfo in WholeCell, excuse me. And we can pop back to our purchase order. And you can see right here, this is what the items look like. You have the ability to and I could go pretty far in the weeds on this demo so I'm going to try and keep it light, but from the standard view in WholeCell on all these inventory tables that are across the entire application you can view things in an individual basis, in a grouped basis which will look a lot more like that spreadsheet that I uploaded or you can even see your stock levels basis which allows you to see what quantities of different items you have in different statuses and what the other quantities are across your inventory. And this is very, very helpful for e-commerce sellers, so that's why we have this view.

But the idea here is that WholeCell adds all of these different perspectives that are really challenging to get if you are just doing things on spreadsheets.

And at that, I think I'll open it up for the Q&A. Guys, do you have any questions on what I just presented and about purchase orders at large? If you've got them toss them in the chat. And if not, we'll wrap it up.

Well, I think that might be it, guys. So thanks for the time. I really appreciate it.

Oh, Kyle, "What about buying broken inventory?" So when you're buying ... how do you mean, Kyle? Do you mean ... processing the broken inventory through, so like testing it to figure out what's broken about it in terms of maybe you added at the beginning, then process it and want to update it? Is that what you're asking. Ah, great. Yeah, sure. So yeah, I wasn't going to go that far in depth but I absolutely will.

So we can go to one of these items that I added in my demo and the way that you account for any repairs that you've done or anything that you've spent extra money on in WholeCell and you want to add that financial cost to a device, I had set the price for these things that I uploaded via spreadsheet but if you say I fixed a screen on this iPhone 8 and actually let's just make it a little bit more clear, so say this iPhone 8 came in with cracked glass, I'm going to add cracked glass there to our damaged conditions. And you get a history here, it's just automatically created which is kind of neat, so you can see any employee that is going through and updating your inventory you get to see the history of it.

And this is a new page for you guys. I didn't talk about this on the demo, this is the specific page for this inventory item in WholeCell. But what you're asking, Kyle, is the ability to add, say you're tracking the price of the parts that you've added and maybe even want to track the price of the labor of the repair. So you can do that by going to this financial panel within an inventory page, so this is a specific page for this inventory item, we've got the ESN in there, we haven't set a SKU yet but we've got the product associated with it.

And the fact that we're fixing the cracked glass is probably going to ... we're going to repair the damage and we're going to add the cost of the glass and maybe the labor, so we're going to add a line item and we're going to call it glass repair. And let's say it costs 75 bucks, maybe that's for the part and the labor. So that 75 bucks is going to now increase our total cost of this item to 225, and whenever we're looking at analytics for the item further down the road that $225 mark is what's going to be used to calculate our gross profit, our total revenue will be calculated by the sale price.

But say we go and sell it for $300. Our actual gross profit on it is only going to be 75, it's not going to be 150 because we spent 75 bucks repairing it. So I can add the price or the line item that way to increase the total cost of it and then I can go in and obviously remove cracked glass because that's no longer the condition it's in.

So now, and this I can't stress enough, this all updates live so that we now have a record of this item that is does not have cracked glass. We didn't have to go in and change the SKU, all we did was update this specific item's damaged conditions.

And I'm not going to get into it today, but if you needed to do this in bulk, say you had a team that was fixing glass over 100 phones and they fixed all the phones, they could go in and create a what we have called a process badge that allows you to update all of those items in bulk. So you wouldn't have to go in for each, every single item, and update it to remove cracked glass, you could do that in a bulk manner.

Thanks, Kyle. That's a great question.

That's a good question, Kyle. So I think we've looked at different ways to track parts before and to track just generally unserialized inventory in WholeCell, and it's something that we get asked about a lot. I can't say that it's something that's like immediately on the periphery. But what we will probably bring to WholeCell sooner than a specific system for parts is the ability for you to track just different kinds of products in WholeCell. WholeCell right now is really built and designed for serialized products and it's kind of specifically with these product attributes. It's really targeted at cell phones, tablets, wearables. And we have customers that will keep laptops in here but you don't have the fields for screen size and RAM and stuff like that.

So our core focus at the moment and the more immediate thing will be making WholeCell usable for different types of products and parts. You could certainly figure out a way to make that work for parts. And I'd say that's what's coming on the horizon. And for folks that want to keep track of their value of inventory of parts I still suggest using some kind of spreadsheet, or if you want try it in WholeCell but it's not ... it wasn't designed for that just yet. So hopefully we'll have something for you on the horizon.

An internal marketplace for other users. Yea, it's a great thought and we've thought about that ourselves. What I think is the challenge about marketplaces is they take a while to get going and to build clout. So what I think you're going to see, Kyle and anybody else that's on the call, is we are trying right now really, really hard to get WholeCell integrated with all the different marketplaces that phone resellers want to use and do use for selling their devices. So we've got a pretty close integration right now with Swappa and they just launched a really neat thing called the B2B exchange which if you set your integration up from WholeCell to Swappa, the power, all that I'm showing here with purchase orders is you can kind of passively allow your inventory to synchronize with their B2B exchange marketplace.

And so I think internal marketplace for WholeCell users is a great idea, Kyle. We only have so much bandwidth and I think you're going to see us focusing more on the inventory tools that allow people to do more in terms of tracking their inventory and managing it and then exporting it to other marketplaces. But I like that idea as well.

And I guess I'd be remiss if I didn't mention we have this tool called inventory reports, and what you can do in WholeCell is create a public inventory report that creates a link that you can send to your customers. And so it's not quite a marketplace but it allows you to group and customize your inventory exactly how you want to show it and then send that link off to all of your customers. So we get this question a lot, people want to send a list of their inventory from WholeCell, a live list, to their customers on Whatsapp, on Slack, on Facebook marketplace, stuff like that, or Facebook Messenger, excuse me.

So they just ... you can create an inventory report that summarizes all of your inventory that you have available for sale, you can make it public and then send the link off. And that will allow your ... if you sell 10 phones they just disappear from that list, so it's truly a live report of the inventory you have available. And right now that's as close as we are to having an internal marketplace, and I think for the time being you'll see us integrating with other marketplaces where those companies their focus is building a great marketplace.

Thanks. And I think, Kyle, you're the only one who's asking any questions. So if that's it guys I'm going to wrap it up, but thanks so much. If you guys want to start ... if you don't already have a trial account in WholeCell and you want to start, that's the link to our trials so you can set up a new trial.

Oh, Chris, thanks. All the questions come at the end. Is there an option to add custom fields? No, but that is very, very high on our minds. You can't quite get there, you can add notes, so you can have your employees or you can go in and add a note. Here's a test note. So that you can at least track what you're looking for on if you've got something to say about a particular inventory item, you can track that and it shows up on that items page. But we get that request a lot and it is in development, so you will be able to add custom fields to inventory at some point in the future.

So if you guys want to start a trial you can do it right at that link. And then any questions, feel free, we've got a live chat on the site and we're always excited to talk to customers. Mike who's attended our webinar today is our support guy. And then Harry and I monitor our live chat as well, so all of us are excited to chat with you about your needs. And thank you so much for coming, we're going to try and make this a regular webinar series, and so we'll be showing different parts of how WholeCell works and I'm excited to see you guys on the next ones.

Thanks so much. Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Chris. Take care.

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