Best way to deal with bulk packaged inventory and single items

I hadn’t really thought of this before, but when I buy bulk packs of an object and break it down for re-sale I have just treated the bulk pack as multiples of the individual item.

For example: In previous testing, 24x pack of bottled water, or 30x cans of coke, I’ve been able to enter into manager as 24 or 30 individual items and then just calculated the individual cost myself. I’d been fortunate enough that when dividing the price by the number of objects, it’s been a non-repeating decimal. But today that wasn’t the case and it messed with my OCD :slight_smile:

So doing some quick research I found the references to Manufacturing Orders which are now Production Orders and I’ve been able to create an inventory item for a 12, 24, and 30 pack items at a unit cost per pack, and then Produced it down to individual items.

This is what I did:

  1. created an inventory item for 12 pack and bought 2 of them
  2. created a single individual inventory items
  3. created a production order and turned 2 bulk packs into 24 individual packs.

This works, but I was wondering for items that really don’t change other than the fact they are broken down or multiplied together, is there a better way to handle it?

It seems odd that I have to do this for every carton of stock I want to track (it goes beyond bottles of water and cans of coke and could break down to any stock ordered in bulk and sold in lesser quantities).

The only way I could think of would be if manager could account for inventory ordered in bulk by way of either:

  1. being able to enter QTY (packs, cartons, groups) each containing QTY (individual items) bought for UNIT cost of GROUP items, or
  2. being able to record QTY (total items purchased eg. 24 bottles and not 2 packs) individual items for a TOTAL group price and have manager calculate the individual price (which can then be a repeating decimal, or a fraction).

Is there another way of dealing with it I haven’t thought of/come across yet?

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Do you also sell the bulk packs or do you only sell the units ?
Where you only sell the units then enter the purchase as units instead of as bulk pack.

So if a bulk pack contains 24 and you only ever sell units enter 24 not 1 when processing the purchase invoice, otherwise where you sell both bulk and units use the production orders

This way your Inventory Items will only contain the items which you actually sell rather then the items you actually buy but don’t sell.


Always selling individually.

Yeah that’s how I was initially dealing with it until I purchased in multiple categories: Let’s say a carton of water and cleaning supplies.

The cartons were $67 and there were 240 items in 10 cartons. That’s not a nice number since I have to enter into manager the unit price, which is a repeating decimal. In reality, I’m charged a total price. The only way to cater for this was to create the two inventory items and make one from the other.

The total price is $67 for the 240 individual units. Manager can account for this perfectly as a total price of 240 units but entering it into the line item as a single unit with quantity, needs rounding (because I need to enter single unit pricing), which influences the total.

The unit price becomes 0.279166667 (I’m on mobile and entering this value from memory, it could be wrong).

I’d need manager to allow entry as a total price, then it can calculate the unit price as a fraction (qty over total price) as opposed to the rounded decimal I have to use.

The problem I had yesterday is that I wanted a single line item for the remainder of the invoice since it was all cleaning supplies. But I couldn’t enter in a true total of the line item because the calculation of the individual line item preceeding it meant the invoice total contained a self calculated dollar and cent value since either the cleaning supply expense or the total invoice value would have rounding. This means I had to manipulate the cleaning supply expense until the total invoice value was correct. On a larger scale this could have tax implications (all be it very minor) and it just looks untidy, since I didn’t pay $106.03999997

On a much simpler scale, imagine purchasing 3000 items for $100,000.

We all know the items are $33.33 each, but entering the invoice will result in the total being $99,990. $10 is missing and results in underpaying tax as well as just being plainly wrong.

Even entering $33.3333 as the unit price makes the total $99,999.90 Again, a value that doesn’t reflect the true value paid on my credit card.

There should be a more elegant solution, even if it’s a check box at the end of the line: total price vs unit price

@lubos or anyone with better ideas, other than creating seperate inventories for carton and individual items and then breaking the cartons up via production orders, is there a better way to deal with single items purchased in bulk?

I really hate to bring this up again, but since I’ve discovered an error I’ve made re GST and non-GST items, I really need a way to streamline this since I have months of invoices to fix up. I purchase a lot of things in multiples of 3 (12, 15, and 24) whether it be a carton of 15 dozen eggs where I sell them by the dozen (1/15=0.066666…) or bottles of drinks that are purchased in packs of 12, 24, or 30 and sometimes 36.

When things are in pairs, quads, 10s etc, I manually edit qty and price to best accomodate (although I wish I didn’t have to do this as it’s just a way for me to introduce more errors).

For example, if I paid $15.80 for 2 cartons, each containing 20 bottles of water, I would enter QTY 40, UNIT PRICE 0.395 and the invoice reflects $15.80 (it’ll do).

However, most things are bought in dozens and similar amounts. eg, soft drink, water, eggs etc.

I pay $15.8 for 2 cartons of 24 bottles of water (48 bottles), that’s $0.3291666666… When I purchase 12 cartons of water, I spend $94.80

I would LOVE to add CONTENTS: 24 (new column), QTY: 12, UNIT PRICE $7.90 and it translate that to a sub-unit cost in my inventory. Doing it manually means I have to do something like:

  1. QTY: 288, work out 94.8/288 UNIT COST: 0.329166666 and confirm the total value is close to 94.8 (in this case: 94.79999, which I suppose is close enough and I add a rounding like as a final line item. It is convoluted. I should just say QTY: 12, U/COST: 7.9, (TOTAL: 94.8)

  2. Production orders:
    a. create inventory item: carton of 24 bottles of water
    b. create inventory item: 600ml bottle of water
    c. create a production order to convert 12 carton into 288 individual items
    this is even more convoluted.

  3. I’ve read about Inventory Kits, but I haven’t got them working at all in a way that I can see working or that is very different to Production Orders.

I really would like a way to break down cartons to single items at time of purchase and would see a “CONTENTS” or “MULTIPLIER” or similar field before QUANTITY as being a possible solution to this. Something where by you enter real non-repeating decimals would be an ideal answer.

Any constructive help is MUCH appreciated.


Inventory kits won’t be helpful for your situation. They are for things you pull for delivery together from individual inventory items. For example, you stock items A, B, C, D, and E. But from these, you can put together several configurations to sell: ACE, BDE, ABD, etc. Since you don’t know in advance which configuration will be ordered, and you never pre-assemble them, it wouldn’t make sense to carry the configurations as finished goods in their own right. So you just identify kits, any one of which you can throw together if it is ordered from inventory items on hand.

Your breakdown problem for bulk purchases is another issue and obviously would require some programming.

It is unclear, where do you want this “Contents” column?
a) on the Purchase Invoice entry
b) on the Inventory Item record

Because in (1) above you state "I should just say QTY: 12, U/COST: 7.9, (TOTAL: 94.8)
which is the standard entry for inventory item: Water 24 carton.

If you meant (a) on the Purchase Invoice entry, then
"I should just say Content 24, Qty 12, U/cost 7.90, (Total 94.80)
and the inventory item average cost would be updated by (94.80/288)

If you meant (b) on the inventory item record
then that would complicate the inventory when the one item is purchased in different pack sizes.
“bottles of drinks that are purchased in packs of 12, 24, or 30 and sometimes 36”

An alternative, would be to have a bulky item flag against the inventory item.
Then instead of entering the standard qty and unit price with the calculation being total
One would enter qty and total with the calculation being unit price (you would still need 12 x 24)

Anyway, back to the present, wouldn’t using Production Orders be cleaner as it eliminates the need for manual calculations/rounding even though it adds an additional process.

Yeah, I did extensive playing last night… Inventory Kits is not what I’m after :stuck_out_tongue:

One workaround would be to split purchase into two line items, one capturing qty and the 2nd line capturing total amount paid for quantity. This way you can avoid trying to figure out unit price.

Maybe the best solution would be to add checkbox to indicate whether “Unit Price” column should be visible. If not, then “Amount” column could be editable. Then you can capture the purchase in single line.

Well that’s an interesting point (inventory item vs purchase invoice). As a takeaway shop, I’m always selling as single items only. Even if someone buys 3 items, it’s 3 individual items, not a set/group of 3. When I’m talking about multiple quantities, it is only as far as (my) purchases are concerned.

With a) the difficulty arises in that it is always a manual calculation and almost never results in round figures. And on the purchase invoice, if it is tax exclusive, I have to jump out, confirm everything on the “view” screen and make my modifications back on the “edit” screen. It’s just time consuming and error prone.

With b) the way I’m starting to lean, it is the “extra step” of “Production orders”. They do allow for me to enter a qty of cartons and X inventory items. I would just like to process that in one step somewhere earlier.

I’m coming to a newer idea of just not using manager for this type of stock control and using a computerised POS system (which is on the way). I’m not buying it for this functionality, but it could/should certainly help (possibly) lol.

I’m not usually a fan of “work arounds”, but THAT IS PERFECT!

Love it, Thanks @lubos!

edit: If I could add dancing girls to this post, I would! I’m doing my little happy dance now :smiley:

I don’t personally like that idea, because then it would be not available for other items on the same invoice (unless there was a way to accomodate). Only a few items on each invoice have this issue, but your previous answer DOES fix that. Thanks again!

Not if the checkbox was ticked on a per line basis, rather then global

In that case, I’d just make both Unit Price and Amount fields editable. Checkbox on every line would be too much clutter.