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Operating Multiple Locations
Operating Multiple Locations

Run multiple locations using user, shelf, and till management.

Jonathan Staab avatar
Written by Jonathan Staab
Updated over a week ago

As your store grows, so do your software needs. There are many ways to run a business with multiple locations — instead of prescribing a rigid set of rules with baked-in assumptions, ConsignCloud offers you the tools you need to make your business work by dividing the problems you might face into two categories: inventory and sales. We also provide some general-purpose features that become more useful as you scale.

The first thing you'll want to do when implementing multi-location policy for your store is to create a location at Settings » Operations » Locations. This step isn't strictly necessary, but can be helpful for grouping multiple tills or shelves within a location, or restricting user access.

Multi-Location Inventory

Let's start with the obvious — some of your inventory is located in one place, some in another. With Shelves, it's easy to track not only which location a given item is at, but even it's location within the store. We've set up shelves to be as generic as possible, so it's up to you how you decide to use it.

To create a shelf, go to Settings » Operations » Shelves, and click Add Shelf and attach it to a location. Once you've created at least one shelf, a corresponding field will appear on item forms and tables. You can also set an item's shelf using imports. To find and administer items on a given shelf, you can apply filters to the inventory table.

Shelves can also be used in tandem with Shopify's fulfillment locations, so eCommerce sales can be managed more effectively.

If Shelves aren't flexible enough for your store, we'd love to hear about it! However, many more advanced use-cases can be accommodated using tags. These are free-form text labels (applicable to both items and accounts) which are filterable using the table views.

Multi-Location Sales

At the other end of the counter, you're also selling inventory. While it's true that an item will always be sold in the same location it's stored, failing to update an item's location when moved can result in data inconsistencies. That assumption also makes shelves more fragile.

That's why we've introduced Tills to ConsignCloud Register. In addition to making it possible to run z-reports, tills also allow you to track sales by location. When running reports, either through the Sales report, or through the Sales tables, you'll always be able to filter by Till to find out where a sale (or cash settlement) took place.

In the case of shops that are located in different jurisdictions, you may have different tax rates that apply in different circumstances. To handle this, open up register and visit Settings » Taxes (once you've created some Tills), add a tax for each jurisdiction, and on the tax form add a rule for "Apply to items when using till". From then on you'll get a different tax rate depending on what till you're signed into when processing sales.

User Management

When running a store with multiple locations, it's best practice to limit employee access to your store data as much as possible. The main way ConsignCloud makes this happen is through user roles, but you can also limit user access by location.

Once a user is assigned to a location, they will only be able to see inventory assigned to a shelf at that location, and sales assigned to a till at that location. This applies to items rung up at point of sale, as well as to the global search function. Note that this does not restrict access to accounts.

Other Considerations

For now, there are some limitations that we would like to solve down the road, stemming from the idea that Accounts are shared across all locations. Generally, this is what you want, since making it easy for a consignor or customer to visit any one of your locations is a good thing, but it does create some limitations. For now, receipts and emails can't be branded differently by location, and every user has access to all accounts.

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