Purchase Orders

Quickly and easily receive new inventory from your Vendors.

Joe Barlow avatar
Written by Joe Barlow
Updated this week

*This feature is included on Standard plans and up.

Learn more about our plans and upgrading here.

Purchase Orders let you place orders for new inventory to your vendors (not to be confused with invoicing, which allows you to bill customers). Before you create a Purchase Order (PO), you must create a Vendor in Thrive and assign corresponding products to each.

Creating your order

To start a new Purchase Order, click the Create PO button on the top right-hand side of the page:

Purchase Orders can also be created using our Spreadsheet Bulk Upload and hitting the Actions button instead.

Next, simply fill out the corresponding fields:

  • PO Number — This is a number for your internal tracking. It will appear on the PO. If no number is selected, Thrive automatically counts up from the last highest number.

  • Date —  This is the creation date for the PO. It can be backdated if necessary.

  • Expected — This is the date on which you expect to receive the PO. 

  • Vendor — The Vendor from whom you are ordering.

    • NOTE: Products must be assigned to that Vendor in order to place a PO.

  • Bill To — The location designated as the billing address.

  • Ship To — The Location where products will be received.

Once those above fields are complete, you can start adding products!

Methods for Adding Products

There are four different ways to add products to a Purchase Order:

1 ) Scan to add products

It's as easy as it sounds. Simply fill out the top section of the purchase order (Vendor, Bill to, Ship to, etc) and then start scanning! Each scan will count as a +1 for that item. If a barcode is scanned that isn't associated with that vendor or in Thrive, an error message will appear at the top of the screen.

You can also scan a product and then manually edit the quantity, but just remember to click off of the quantity field when you start scanning again. This is because the scanner pretends to be a keyboard in Thrive. If you click on any blank white space in the Purchase Order, that will deselect any text fields and allow you to scan normally. If you are having any other issues with scanning on Thrive, please refer to our Barcode Scanning FAQs article below:

The ability to scan to add/receive products on Purchase Orders is for users on a Professional Plan and above (learn more about upgrading your plan here).

2) The "Add Products" button

By clicking the "Add Products" button on the Purchase Order screen, you can filter and search to add products. Once the products are entered, you can then manually input the quantities you want to order. If you are wanting to add a large number of products from a particular category or vendor, be sure to press the "Load All" as shown here:

3) Automatically add products that are low

  • Auto-Add PAR Products — This will only apply to products that have PAR Levels set AND are currently equal to or below the PAR Level.

    • This feature is only available for users on Professional plans and above. Learn more about upgrading your plan here.

  • Auto-Add Low Inventory Products — This will add products that are either below PAR or currently match an Alert.

If there are there products missing from the "Add Products" selection list? Double-check items are:

  • ✅ Enabled at the location

  • ✅ Assigned to the Vendor

  • ✅ The Vendor services this location

4) Create a New Item

Click "Create New Item" to create a brand-new product to be added to the PO. Be mindful of the default cost you input because that will also be the cost that shows up on the PO. Once you're done creating the product, you can save it to the PO by clicking "Create and Add to PO". You'll then be asked if you want to add stock counts.

If this is your first time receiving the product, click "No, save anyway".

Customizing your order

  • Fees — Any additional charges related to the PO.

  • Freight — Can be used for shipping, customs, or other freight-related charges.

  • Product — The product being ordered

  • Vendor SKU — An optional field in case your Vendor has a different SKU number or you want to add more info. The Vendor SKU will be saved and appear automatically the next time that product is added to a PO.

  • Quantity — The number of units being ordered.

  • Cost — How much you are paying for each individual unit (Note: this will change if you alter the cost in the 'Total' field). See below.

  • Discount $ — This is a fixed "dollar amount" being deducted (e.g. $10 off per unit)

  • Discount % — This is a percentage discount (e.g. 10% off per unit)

  • Tax % — The percentage of tax being applied.

  • Total — How much you are paying for the product in total (Note: this will change if you alter the unit Cost field). See below.

  • Additional Options By clicking the three vertical dots, you will have the option to either Add a Note or Remove the item from the PO.

NOTE: Discounts and Tax % will be used to calculate lot cost for the items received, but Fees and Freight will not. That is because we aren't able to accurately distribute those fields across items.

  • For example, you could be ordering a refrigerator and 12 boxes of tissue from a vendor. Let's say, to ship larger items it's $100 vs. the normal shipping fee of $15. We wouldn't have a way to accurately allocate those shipping fees, but you can manually adjust the lot cost once the item has been received. More information on editing a lot cost can be found here.


There is also an option to add line item discounts as well as discounts to the entire Purchase Order. Any discount applied to the entire PO will be applied first and any line item discounts will be applied afterward.

The line item discounts will be per unit, so be careful when inputting those discounts! The discounts applied will affect the lot cost.

  • NOTE: If one of your discounts can't be distributed evenly, you'll get are error message saying:

PO level discount issue: When your discount does not divide evenly across all line items, we round it down to the nearest evenly divisible discount. $(x amount) of your discount could not be applied and is not factored into the lot costs or totals.

You can still save and create the PO with the message, we are simply letting you know that the amount could not be distributed evenly and there was some leftover amount. To fix it, you would need to go in and manually redistribute the discount to each line item.

You can save a Purchase Order as a draft if you need the ability to edit it later on. Once a Purchase Order is created, it cannot be changed or edited (with the exception of the Fees and Freight fields). You will be able to add a discount to a created Purchase Order, but that discount will not be applied to the lot cost of the items being received. Purchase Orders will display on the main page in their current status.

You also have the option to duplicate a Purchase Order that's already been saved in order to re-order the same products. Simply open the PO and use the gear icon to view the available options: 

There you'll also see an option to email the Purchase Order directly to your vendor, saving you an extra step. The email address that populates will be based on the information you have entered into their Vendor profile. There's also an option to CC other email addresses, as well as add a note!

Receiving your order

To receive inventory from an 'Open' Purchase Order, click the 'Receive Inventory' button at the bottom-right corner of the PO.

If you receive fewer than the quantities listed, the Purchase Order will show as 'Partially Received' and remain open.

To receive products, we have a few options to choose from:

  • Click the "Receive all quantities" option at the top right corner. This will populate the Receiving column with the quantities remaining to be added to the inventory. Once you click this button, you'll still have the option to click Done and finalize the move.

  • Scan to Receive items 1-by-1 (for customers on the Professional plan and above). Once you've clicked the Receive Inventory button, just scan and each valid scan will add a +1 to the receiving total for the product.

  • Numbers for the receiving column can also be manually input using your cursor and keypad.

Receiving products is a great time to utilize the Notes section. For example, say a few products were damaged in-transit or completely missing, just make a note of it here!

Receiving a Purchase Order will automatically update the inventory quantities in Thrive.

You can download a PO in PDF or CSV (spreadsheet file) format. This allows you to easily send Purchase Orders to vendors as email attachments or print them if you need a hard copy. 

Purchase Orders are permanently stored in Thrive, so your records are always securely backed up.

Use the Settings menu to duplicate a PO, for easy re-ordering, and also Print labels for the Products just received.

When products are received, you will be prompted to print price tags for the incoming inventory. If it's a larger PO that you are receiving, it may take a few minutes to synchronize the received quantities to your products and sales channels.

Canceling an order

Depending on the state of a Purchase Order, you'll have a few options to "cancel" a PO.

Drafted POs, can be deleted using this button in the lower left corner:

Created POs (in the Open or Overdue status) can be canceled using the "Cancel Order" button on the lower right-hand corner, as shown here:

If some (but not all) units from the PO have been received, this will be put into the "Partial" or "partially received" status. To cancel that order and not receive any more products, you'll see the option to "Force Complete" instead. This means no further quantities will be received on this PO. It will not undo any previous additions to the inventory.

Once a PO or products have been received, there is no way to undo those additions within the Purchase Orders section. Those changes will need to be done manually either from the Inventory page (using the Actions button), the Product detail page (under Locations), a Stocktake, or using the Barcode Scanner Mobile App.

Bulk Uploading a Purchase Order

To use a Spreadsheet to create and upload a Purchase Order (instead of the options mentioned above) click this option from the main Purchase Orders page:

For more information on Spreadsheet Bulk Uploads and how they work, check out this article:

Adding your logo & location address

Under your Settings page (wrench icon), you can enter your company information and set the default addresses of your locations. This way you don't have to type them into the Purchase Order each time you create a new one.

Address info can be added from the Locations & Integrations tab in the 'Settings' section of Thrive.

You can set your business information (such as your logo) in the Company Info tab (also in the Settings).

This way, the information populates automatically in the Purchase Order when that location is selected.

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