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Purchase Orders

Easily receive new inventory from your vendors.

Joe Barlow avatar
Written by Joe Barlow
Updated over a week ago

Purchase Orders (POs) help you place orders from your vendors. Before creating a PO, you must create a vendor in Thrive and assign corresponding products.

This feature is included on Standard plans and up.

Learn more about our plans and upgrade here.

Creating your order

Go to the External Purchase Order page and click "Create PO," as shown here:

NOTE: POs can also be created using our Spreadsheet Bulk Upload and hitting the "Actions" button instead of "Create PO.".

PO Number, Date Created, and Date Expected fields will be pre-populated but are editable. Here's more information on each of those 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 Created — This is the creation date for the PO. It can be backdated if necessary.

  • Date Expected — This is when you expect to receive the PO.

The checkboxes for Sent to Vendor (and Date Sent) and Paid help you know what's already done.

Pro-Tip: When you click the gear wheel in the top right corner and "Email PO," that will automatically check the Sent to Vendor field and notate the Date Sent.

Next, you can select your Vendor and Bill To location. Once you choose a billing location, we'll automatically assume you want the same shipping location. You can also edit the Shipping Location if that's different.

  • Vendor — The Vendor from whom you are ordering.

    • NOTE: Products must be assigned to that vendor to place a PO.

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

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

Your products must be assigned to Vendors in Thrive to place a PO.

If you still need to create vendors or assign products to existing vendors, you'll need to do that first. You'll be able to learn more here.

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

Adding Products

After filling out the top section of the PO (vendor, Bill to, Ship to, etc), you can start adding products!

There are four different ways to add products to your PO:

1 ) Scan to add products

Each scan will count as a +1 for that item. A successful scan will produce a pleasant chime sound from your computer.

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

Scan a product that does not yet exist in Thrive, and you'll see an error message at the top of the screen, along with a not-so-pleasant noise.

You can also manually edit the quantities as well. Remember to click off the quantity field when you start scanning again. This is important because the scanner pretends to be a keyboard in Thrive. Clicking on any blank white space in the PO will deselect any text fields and allow you to scan normally.

Have issues scanning?

We can help! Check out this Barcode Scanning FAQ article for guidance.

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 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 low products

  • Auto-Add PAR Products — This will apply to products with set PAR Levels currently equal to or below the PAR Level.

  • Auto-Add Low Inventory Products — This will add products below PAR or currently matching an Alert.

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

  • ✅ Enabled at the location

  • ✅ Assigned to the Vendor

  • ✅ The Vendor is assigned to the shipping location

We can automatically round (up or down) for you when using these options. Read more about PO rounding.

The "Auto-Add PAR Products" button is only available for users on Professional plans and above. You'll be able to learn more about upgrading your plan here.

4) Create a New Item

Click "Create New Item" to create a new product to add 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."

Pro-Tip: If you need to edit the PO later, we strongly recommend sending your PO as a Draft. Once a Purchase Order is created, line items cannot be changed or edited (besides Vendor SKU and Notes).

You can add a discount to an Open PO, but the discount will not apply to the lot cost of the received items.

Customizing your PO

  • Fees — Any additional charges related to the PO.

  • Freight — 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 pay for each 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 — The total amount you pay for the products.

    • NOTE: This will change if you alter the unit Cost field. See below.

  • Additional Options By clicking the three vertical dots, you can 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 need to find a way to accurately distribute those fields across items.

  • For example, you could order a refrigerator and 12 tissue boxes from a vendor. Let's say to ship more oversized items, it's $100 vs. the standard shipping fee of $15. We would need a way to allocate those shipping fees accurately. Instead of assuming the new cost for each item, we let you choose. 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 and discounts to the entire Purchase Order. Any discount applied to the whole 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 an 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 letting you know that the amount could not be distributed evenly and that there was some leftover amount. To fix it, you would need to go in and manually redistribute the discount to each line item.

Sending to your Vendor

Once all your products have been added, you can email the PO direction to your vendor from Thrive.

Click the gear wheel in the top right corner while the PO is in any state, and you'll see the "Email PO" option as shown here:

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 and add a note, as shown below.

Download or Duplicate your PO

Download your PO as a PDF or CSV. This allows you to easily send Purchase Orders to vendors as email attachments or print them if you need a hard copy.

Or, you can duplicate a PO to reorder the same products.

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

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, 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.

When products are received, you will be prompted to print price tags for the incoming inventory. If you receive a larger PO, synchronizing the quantities received with your products and integrations may take a few minutes.

Filtering Purchase Orders

To view draft, open, partially received, overdue, complete (past), or canceled purchase orders, click the "Filters" button next to the search bar on the internal transfers page.

Toggle on the statuses you'd like to view and click "Apply Filters". You'll also have the option to filter the PO Details, Ship-to Locations and Vendors.

Bulk Uploading a PO

Add products and create a new PO in bulk from the Bulk Uploads page.

Not sure how to get started?

We can help! Learn more about all the ways bulk upload spreadsheets can help you today.

Settings Automation

Under Settings (the wrench icon in the side navigation), you'll find options to help automate your workflow and make your POs more official.

These options include:

Add your address

By adding addresses to each location, we can automatically fill in the Billing and Shipping address on your POs once you select a location.

To add your address, go to your Locations & Integrations page and click on a location name. Then, add your information like address, phone number, and timezone, as shown here:

This way, you no longer need to manually type them into the PO.

Add your business' logo

By adding your business' logo to Thrive, we'll automatically apply it to your POs (and your Internal Transfers and Invoices).

To add your logo, go to your Company Info page and add your file, as shown here:

Automatic Rounding

For companies who use the Auto-Add PAR or Auto-Add Low Inventory Products buttons, we have an additional option for customization: The ability to automatically round quantities up or down to the nearest whole number based on the PAR levels and reorder quantities you set.

This is perfect for companies that deal with many partial quantities and Bundles.

Options include:

  • Don't round - The default setting. No quantities will be rounded up or down.

  • Round up - Any products with decimals will automatically round up to the nearest whole number.

  • Round down - Any products with decimals will automatically round down to the nearest whole number.

  • Round half up - Any products with decimals (.5 and higher) will automatically round up to the nearest whole number.

    • Products with decimals lower than .5 will automatically round down to the nearest whole number.

  • Round half down - Any products with decimals (.5 and lower) will automatically round down to the nearest whole number.

    • Products with decimals over .5 will automatically round up to the nearest whole number.

NOTE: The above rounding rules only apply to products added to the PO via the Auto-Add PAR or Auto-Add Low Inventory Products buttons. You can always override the chosen rounding rules on the PO by manually adjusting the number in the quantity column.

Take a look at those options on your Settings page (under Feature Settings) or by clicking the link below:

NOTE: The Setting selected will also apply to Internal Transfers.

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 accepted 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. Any changes must be done manually from the Inventory page (using the Actions button), the Product detail page (under Locations), a Stocktake, or the Barcode Scanner Mobile App.

Things to Note:

  • Products ordered, but not yet received will appear on the In-Transit Report.

  • The Message to Vendor and Notes fields are editable at any status. (Draft, Open, Partially Received, etc.)

  • Vendor SKUs are editable in the Draft, Open, and Partially Received statuses. They are not editable when in the Complete or Canceled status.

  • The PO Number is not editable once you start receiving products on the PO.

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