How to Set Up and Use the Inventory Feature

Aaron Aldrich Updated by Aaron Aldrich

Typically, this feature is used by our customers that have pre-made products that are stocked for quick turn around. Many high volume Apparel customers will have an inventory that they would like to keep controls of quantities. To find out more about whether or not Inventory is a good fit for your shop check out this article.

How to best to use this guide:

This guide is in-depth, and focuses on setting up this Inventory feature in your shopVOX Pro account. It's recommended that you read through the entire article start to finish.

Tracking Materials vs Products:

By definition in shopVOX:

  • Materials: are raw goods that are use to manufacture/create a finished product.  ie. Vinyl media, Substrate material, Blank Apparel or Paper/card stock 
  • Products:  are finished retail items you are not doing anything to.  You will just be applying a markup to your wholesale goods.

First, you need to decide if you are tracking Materials or Products.If you are a Custom shop (most users) you will be tracking inventory on Materials, which are the physical things (raw goods) you buy to make the end Product that you are selling to your customers. 

However, if you are a Retail shop or sell retail products, where you do not make the products but rather buy them from your vendor(s), mark them up, and then re-sell them to your customers, you'll want to track your Product's inventory.  Because you carry Inventory of these completed items and they are ready to sell, the tracking of these products within the Inventory add-on can be achieved. It is also possible to track both Materials and Products from the same account... if you sell both.

Best use for your Industry:

Custom Shop

 For example, if you are a Sign / Screen Printing / Embroidery / Awards / Print shop or any custom manufacturing shop then you should track inventory on Materials NOT Products.  The reason is that your end Product is something you make.  You never buy a Product from your vendors, you buy the raw materials and then utilize them to make the end Product.  

  • Sign Industry - Your Materials are your substrates, vinyl, lamination, inks, grommets, etc.
  • Print Industry - Your Materials are your cards stock, paper, inks, etc.
  • Awards & Engraving Industry - Your raw components like plaque boards, sheet plastic/metal, trophy columns/figures/hardware and even your acrylic/glass/crystal awards (engravables) are your Materials, 
    You don't stock engraved products, you stock blank awards (Materials).
  • Screen Printing/Embroidery - If this relates to Apparel - commonly people refer to the blank t-shirt as a Product.  But within shopVOX a blank T-Shirt is considered a "Material" because it is used to produce the finished Product, a screen printed T-Shirt.
  • Custom Manufacturing - Your Materials might be metal, wood or plastic parts that come together to make a unique custom finished product.

Retail Shop

 You should track inventory on Products if you are selling retail products that are simply being marked up.

What you can track:

There are two things you can track in the Inventory feature of the items you chose. They are:

  1. Inventory Levels: Meaning how many you have of each item.  AKA, inventory counts
  2. Inventory by Location: Meaning how many you have of each item and where they are located. (This is optional - you do not have to track the physical locations of your items). But if you have multiple warehouses or sections, this is helpful with keeping accurate records.

How to Set Up Inventory Tracking

Step 1:  Enable Inventory Tracking

Once you decide which materials or products you need to track inventory for, you need to find and open up the Product or Material settings and check the box "Track Inventory" (see image below).


  • Make sure that if you are using a different UOM for Selling and Buying Units, the "Sell/Buy ratio" is setup correctly.  Click here for Sell/Buy ratio details.
  • If the "Track Inventory" flag isn't showing up, you must go to Account Settings>Forms to make this flag visible. Make sure to check the "Track Inventory" check box either the Materials Forms and/or the Products Forms setting.

Step 2: Enter Inventory Quantity

Go into each Material/Product you want to track inventory for and enter the current Qty on Hand (shown below).


If you are tracking Materials, the Inventory details are located below the Material details. 


If you are tracking Products, the Inventory details can be found in the "Inventory" tab on the left hand side menu.  Click the link to open the Inventory details page.

Make sure all other details are correct for each Material/Product. An explanation what each field means can be found below:

Field Definitions:

The following is a list of all Inventory Fields and their definition:  

Reorder Point - This is the amount that, when reached, indicates that the Material/Product should be "Re-ordered." 

Qty on Hand - The quantity of the Material/Product available on hand including quantities on Sales Orders.  (Qty on Hand = Qty Available + Qty Reserved)

Qty Available - The quantity of the Material/Product available for new orders.

Qty On PO - The quantity currently on an outstanding 'Open' PO that has not been "Received" yet.

Qty Sold - The total Quantity sold so far since beginning of time.

Qty Reserved - The quantity "Reserved" for other Open Sales Orders(SO). These quantities get consumed once an open SO is completed, the Qty Sold would then be adjusted. If the SO was voided, the Qty Available would increase, and Qty Reserved would decrease.

Avg. Cost - What is the Average cost of the Products/Materials quantities on hand.

Total Value - What is the total $ cost of the quantities on hand.

How does shopVOX update my inventory levels?

There are three ways shopVOX updates your inventory counts/levels (once tracking has been enabled in the specific Product/Material).

1. Auto Update 

Unlike the other two ways, this one can be turned on or off for your entire account. When enabled, the system will update these inventory counts whenever there is any transaction that affects inventory.  To enable Auto Update, click the Company Menu, select POS Settings, General and turn on the flag as shown below.

2. Manual Update

Inventory can always be updated manually inside the following transactions: 

  • Sales Orders
  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Material Receipts

Once you have completed the transaction (and there are NO additional changes that need to be made), click on the green actions menu.  Then select the "Update Inventoryoption.

 When you click "Update Inventory," the products or materials that are set to "track inventory" will be adjusted according to the transaction you are in. This doesn't need to be turned on, it's always on. It requires you to push a button before inventory is actually updated from one of the above mentioned transactions.Why would I use manual update?Because when you are working with a Sales Order, you might be making multiple changes before finalizing the order. We know customers sometimes make changes during the order process.  Because of this possibility, you may want the ability to make the decision of when to update the Inventory.

3. Manual Adjustments 

 This is where you can manually "check in" or "check out" inventory from one physical location into another, these adjustments are called transactions. You can learn more about this option on the very last section of this article. 

ALSO, you can make a manual adjustment to the Quantity on Hand inside the Material or Product settings. From there select "Adjust on Hand".

You can then make an addition or subtraction to the "Quantity on Hand".

How to Setup Inventory Tracking by Location:

Inventory Locations option is how you model your physical locations in shopVOX. These are the names of the locations of where you store your Products/Materials for picking purposes.

In order to model your physical locations in shopVOX, you need to define the Inventory Location Types:

Inventory Location Types

Inventory Location Types are a way to define what kind of locations you have and these could be anything.  For example an "Inventory Location Type" might be configured as Warehouse/Aisle/Bay/Shelf/Bin. Ultimately you can configure it according to your real world physical location types.

How do I setup my Inventory Location Types?

Go to Account Settings > Inventory Location Types from your Company Menu on the top left hand side.

Now click on the +New Location Type, the green button on the top right hand side.  The New location type form will popup (shown below).

  • Name - Enter the name for the "Location Type."  Examples could be Warehouse, Bin, Rack etc.  Note: Try not to use names that are long.  Keep it simple and precise. Do not use special characters, you can use "-" dash.
  • Parent Type - If this Location Type is a child/subordinate of another Location Type, then pick the Parent Type of the Location.  If you leave it blank it will be a top level location type.


Location Type - Warehouse - could be the Parent Location Type - Bay - could have Warehouse as the Parent Location Type - Bin - could have Bay as the Parent

Visually it could be something like this

Warehouse     |--- Bay         |--- Bin

Once you define your "Location Types," the next step is to to define the actual "Locations."

Inventory Locations

With the Inventory Location Types defined, we are ready to create the locations in shopVOX that correspond to the real location you use for your business.

Inventory Locations are the actual instances of the Location Types, these are the names you give, and these names correspond with the location. You can create as many Locations as you need to for each of the types that you defined above.  

How do I setup my Inventory Locations in shopVOX?

Go to Account Settings > Inventory Locations from your Company Menu on the top left hand side.

The Inventory Locations Page will open.

Click on the Button, + New Location and you will see a Location definition popup (shown below).

If this is the first location you are creating, the available Location Types will only be "Parent" Location types.  Pick the Type and then give it a Name.  The rest of the fields are optional and should be self-explanatory.

After you add the first location name, it might look like the following example using WH-1 as the Warehouse type:

Then, if you hover on the icon

you will see three icons which will enable you to add the locations under this parent location, click the green + circle icon and keep adding your locations.

You can add as many locations as you would like and eventually it will look something like the following example depending upon how you modeled your locations and location types.

Note that the above is just an example.  Most likely, you will have different names for your Location Types and Locations, but the idea is that all location names are in a tree structure with Parent/Child relationships.

Now that the locations have been created, let's see how to post transactions against these locations.

How to post an inventory transaction against a location:

There are two types of inventory transactions you will be doing to track Physical Inventory. They are "Check In" and "Check Out" the items to or from a location.

Whenever you physically move Product/Material from one location to another you need to go into the Location and "Check Out" the item, than you would need to "Check In" the item to it's new location.

How do I view all the Materials/Products that have Inventory Tracking enabled?

To view all Materials/Products that are enabled for Inventory Tracking, from the Company Menu, click POS Settings > Pricing > Inventory (shown tab like below.

From the Inventory Page, you will see a list of all the Materials and Products that are being tracked. You can export this list CSV on the top right hand side

How do I "Check In" and "Check Out" Inventory:

Next to each item, there is a green actions button.  When you click the button you will notice that there are two actions available:  "Check In Inventory" or "Check Out Inventory" 

To "Check In" physical Inventory into a Location, click the "Check In Inventory" action and a form will pop-up allowing you to enter the Location and Qty (shown below).

Pick the Location and enter the Quantity and select the appropriate Unit of Measure. 


  • Generally, Units default to the "Buying Units" of the Material/Product.
  • You can only check inventory into the leaf node (bottom most LOCATION TYPE).

To "Check Out" physical Inventory from a Location, click the "Check Out Inventory" action and a form will pop-up allowing you to enter the Location and Qty (shown below).

In this form it will show you a list of all the locations with the current quantity of the item in that location.  Choose one of the locations, enter the Quantity you want to Check Out and the Units of measure and click Check Out.

Tracking Changes to Inventory:

Any time there is an inventory transaction (any type of change or adjustment) toward the inventory counts, these changes gets logged. You can find these logs within the Material or Product that has inventory enabled. (see screenshot below)

. You can export this data in the "Materials by Location" or "Products by Location" report.

Have questions?  Email us at

How helpful was this doc?

What is the Admin checkbox for when creating a new user?

How can I change the workflow template for a job?