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How we’re enhancing inventory management in Xero

Posted 7 months ago in Product by Anna Curzon
Posted by Anna Curzon

If you run a small, goods-based business, you’ll know that managing inventory well is critical to your success. But as the number and complexity of ecommerce channels continue to increase, and customer preferences continue to evolve, it can be overwhelming to manage inventory across multiple online and bricks and mortar stores. 

You may manage your inventory using Excel, but this can be manual, time consuming and prone to errors. And while there are a number of inventory solutions on the market, many aren’t suitable for small, goods-based businesses. This can make it hard to understand the true cost and demand of your products, potentially impacting your revenue and cash flow.

That’s why we’re acquiring LOCATE Inventory (LOCATE), a cloud-based inventory management provider based in the US. The LOCATE team will be joining Xero to help us enhance our existing inventory solution in Xero, so you can better manage your inventory and improve your financial performance. 

It’s still early days, but our vision is to provide an inventory management solution that will help you:

  • save time on manual and repetitive data entry, so you have more time to focus on tasks that help your business thrive
  • manage the balance of supply and demand in your business, so you don’t over-purchase stock and can better manage your cash flow
  • make smart decisions about how you price your products, so you can improve the profitability of your business
  • grow your business sales, by making it easier to sell on new sales channels and reach a wider audience

In the meantime, our product teams will be getting our platform ready by updating our existing inventory solution in Xero. In the months ahead, you’ll notice some pages will have a fresh new look. These will include the product details page (including history and notes), as well as the workflows to edit an item, make an adjustment to stock, import an item and import an opening balance.

This is all part of our work to upgrade the technology that underpins our platform, so we’re prepared to benefit from LOCATE’s inventory capability and expertise. As always, we’ll continue to listen to your feedback about what you’d like to see in Xero, so we can develop an inventory solution that gives you a complete picture of your profit margins by product and channel – all in the one place.

39 comments

Charles
November 12, 2021 at 6.09 am

Please could you consider the following enhancement request when updating this area:

Allow negative quantities for tracked inventory items.

Justification: We allow customers to back-order items that aren’t in stock, but these orders then fail to load into Xero as it would make the quantity of an item negative. This is incredibly frustrating as we then have to remember to resend the order to Xero once we have ordered the items from our supplier.

Xero in reply to Charles Xero
November 15, 2021 at 3.21 pm

Hi Charles – thank you so much for sharing your suggestion with us, which has been passed on to the team.

Els
December 3, 2021 at 9.48 pm

Yes I second that!

Xero in reply to Els Xero
December 6, 2021 at 2.50 pm

Thanks Els – we appreciate you sharing your feedback with us.

Vanesse Moffat
January 15, 2022 at 1.06 am

Please negative stock is need for our company urgently.

Tess Riley
November 17, 2021 at 6.25 am

Please sort out the user profile so that a warehouse manager can access inventory without having to have access to bank information. He cannot even access the stock levels and carry out checks without getting somebody to run the report for him! He cant find out which supplier a specific product comes from or check on the price. doesnt really make any sense!

Xero in reply to Tess Riley Xero
November 18, 2021 at 5.04 pm

Hi Tess, thanks so much for your comment. We will make sure it is shared with the team.

Donna Marcal
November 24, 2021 at 2.14 pm

omg yes!!! Would also love if warehouse staff can enter stock amounts without having to enter COGS. We don’t always need staff knowing our COGS. So if we somehow have a current COGS for an item and a warehouse staff and increase an inventory item at any time, without having to enter a COGS that would be fabulous!!

Xero in reply to Donna Marcal Xero
December 6, 2021 at 2.51 pm

Hi Donna – thank you so much for your feedback, which has been shared with our product team.

Saab Briar
November 20, 2021 at 10.19 pm

Please add facility to allow to make up inventory item from parts already in the inventory list

Xero in reply to Saab Briar Xero
November 22, 2021 at 4.45 pm

Hi Saab – thanks so much for your suggestion, which has been passed on to our product team.

Amy
November 23, 2021 at 3.43 pm

Please add the ability to do variations of a product and manufacturing or building a product from parts brought in as inventory as for ecommerce businesses this is a crucial part.

Xero in reply to Amy Xero
November 24, 2021 at 2.02 pm

Hi Amy – thanks for sharing your suggestion with us, which has been passed on to our product team.

Nigel Kunning
November 30, 2021 at 4.04 am

When are the new inventory abilities offered by the Locate acquisition likely to be implemented and is it going to have similar functionality to Locate with barcode scanning etc etc?

Xero in reply to Nigel Kunning Xero
December 13, 2021 at 11.19 am

Hi Nigel, thanks for your comment and interest in inventory. It’s still early days, but our vision is to provide a inventory management solution that will help you: save time on manual and repetitive data entry; manage the balance of supply and demand in your business; make smart decisions about how you price your products and grow your business sales. The new solution will be initially offered to US customers before being made available in other markets. We’ll update our customers as we get closer to launch.

Syaif
November 30, 2021 at 9.01 pm

Please add warehouse and transfer between warehouses because this is the most important one when it comes to inventory management.

Xero in reply to Syaif Xero
December 1, 2021 at 3.15 pm

Thanks for your suggestion, which has been shared with our product team.

Shane
December 15, 2021 at 4.41 pm

I can certainly appreciate the new look and feel and the preparation going on for the integration of the new acquisition.
Don’t get me wrong the new look is great whilst some of the previous features for the end user worked better,

Examples
1. using more than the whole of screen view is overkill in terms of field spacing – in the edit item view as it requires the end user to scroll to the bottom to see all of the fields and make changes not to mention the save button, Could you reducing the padding around the fields and get it to fit on the page without scrolling as you have to zoom out to 75% in order to see all fields and maybe reduce the large font sizes.
2. the load time for opening the item view page is quite protracted and you have to be on the tab for it to finish loading which is frustrating when you need to edit multiple products

Slavina
December 16, 2021 at 9.44 pm

Hi team, today I have been reverted to the old look. Could you advise why is this, as I am noticing better functions of the new inventory and I would like to use it instead of the old?

Xero in reply to Slavina Xero
December 21, 2021 at 2.39 pm

Hi Slavina, thanks for getting in touch. Can you please raise a case with our support team so we can give you a hand? Thanks so much.

John Rogan
December 26, 2021 at 11.59 pm

Can you provide a timescale as to the release of the first version, Q1 (Jan/ March), Q2 , Q3 or Q4 2022.

Xero in reply to John Rogan Xero
February 15, 2022 at 5.25 pm

Hi John – thanks for your comment. As you can imagine, integrations take time and Xero is working with LOCATE on an experience that will be deeply embedded into our product. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an estimated timeline at this time because there are many dependencies as we get into testing that will impact how quickly we can roll out. However, stay tuned – we will share more about the integration when we can.

susan venables
January 19, 2022 at 3.54 pm

First, I think this move to develop a comprehensive inventory management platform in Xero is long overdue. So congrats for the acquisition!
We currently use Tradegecko inventory management platform but this is being phased out in Australia by 10 June 2022.
We are keen to know when the more comprehensive Xero/Locate inventory management platform will be launched? Is this likely to be by June 10?
We are also trying to assess whether the upgraded Locate/Xero integrated management solution will have the capability of inventory management platforms such as Tradegecko/Unleashed/Cin7 etc or whether it will be inventory management lite?
And also, I’m assuming there will be an additional cost for the inventory management solution?
Many thanks in advance

Xero in reply to susan venables Xero
February 9, 2022 at 1.28 pm

Hi Susan, we’re glad you are excited for the new inventory offering. Integrations take time and Xero is working with LOCATE on an experience that will be deeply embedded into our product. We will be launching the product to US customers before making it available in other markets. With that in mind, we wouldn’t have an offering available in Australia by the end of your contract. Please do keep an eye out on how we progress and we’ll be sure to communicate when it’s available in Australia.

INSYSIV
January 29, 2022 at 12.31 am

Hi Anna, thank you for sharing your suggestion with us, Inventory management software, allows you to track your entire inventory. It allows you to keep up with the demand of your business and will calculate how many items you require for a successful sale. If a certain item is out of stock, the software is set to inform the customer when it will be replenished from the manufacturer, or if there are any other similar models that might appeal to them.

Yubal Oliveras
February 4, 2022 at 10.39 am

How does this help in adding custom price lists for different customers in Xero? It’s been close to 10 years and this acquisition was touted as the fix for it, but, from what I can gather from this article, it would not help at all…

Xero in reply to Yubal Oliveras Xero
February 15, 2022 at 5.10 pm

Hi, thanks for your comment. We understand that more advanced inventory management in Xero, and supporting functionality like multiple pricing tiers, is of interest to our users. Though this announcement doesn’t mean any immediate change for the idea of tiered pricing lists, as we work through how Xero and LOCATE will connect we’ll be able to share more and keep you in the know. Your feedback has been passed on to the Product team.

Erik Hansen
February 8, 2022 at 11.41 am

Is there a timeline for US launch? We’re desperately in need of a WIP tracking solution, and this looks as though its going to be the answer! Happy to take part in a beta…

Xero in reply to Erik Hansen Xero
February 9, 2022 at 1.29 pm

Hi Erik, we’re glad you are excited for the new inventory offering. Integrations take time and Xero is working with LOCATE on an experience that will be deeply embedded into our product. We can confirm that we will be launching first in the US and there will be beta testing opportunities for customers later this year. We aren’t able to provide an estimated timeline as there are many dependencies as we get into testing that will impact how quickly we can roll out. Stay tuned and we’ll be sharing more!

Trevor Taylor
February 9, 2022 at 1.23 pm

I would like to see a landed cost functionality as the lack of this feature has been an issue for some years.
The ability to allocate multi-currency costs by unit quantity, price, volume or weight would be an attactive selling point. This functionality could be made available as a premium feature

Xero in reply to Trevor Taylor Xero
February 15, 2022 at 5.12 pm

Hi Trevor, thanks for your feedback – you suggestion has been shared with the Product team.

Graeme Burton
March 5, 2022 at 4.37 am

We currently have an increasing number of product codes that cover a range of part codes. In addition we have to add currency variations. As we grow we don’t to keep having to add the product list with fixed prices. We need the ability to add a single product code that may be used across different customers who use different currencies or pricing. We then apply the right pricing for that customer based on their agreement. I don’t understand why it is taking so long to provide a solution that has been asked for over a number of years. If we change our prices by 10% we have to manually change all prices on each individual product …. what a waste of time! Any thoughts yet?

Xero in reply to Graeme Burton Xero
March 9, 2022 at 2.50 pm

Hi Graeme, we are sorry to hear your frustrations. We have shared your comment with our product team and have asked whether there is any update that we can share at this time. Thanks for your patience.

Derek Berquist
March 11, 2022 at 4.55 am

I certainly appreciate that “integrations take time and Xero is working with LOCATE”. However LOCATE has said that the product will be SHUTDOWN and UNAVAILABLE in October. That means that I have to decide on a direction in March and April so that it could ideally be live July 1. Do you a) have plans to integrate manufacturing capability in that time, or b) extend the LOCATE end date to allow additional integration time, or c) have all (or many) existing customers find a different solution (a solution that is NOT offered by Xero!)?

Xero in reply to Derek Berquist Xero
March 29, 2022 at 5.51 pm

Hi Derek, thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in getting back to you – we were just checking timings with our team. We don’t have plans to integrate manufacturing capability before LOCATE is deprecated and unfortunately we’re not able to extend the date beyond October 10, 2022. We’re working with existing LOCATE customers to help them transition off LOCATE and here is a list of partners that understand LOCATE and may be available to offer support transitioning to another product. Otherwise stay tuned for further updates on Xero’s inventory plans later this year.

Juan
March 23, 2022 at 6.09 am

Hi team,
please add a units of measurement in the inventory management and invoices
this will enhance the inventory management and invoicing to the customers 🙁 pleeaseee

Xero in reply to Juan Xero
April 4, 2022 at 4.07 pm

Hi Juan, thank you for your suggestion – this has been passed on to our product team.

Riaan Badenhorst
March 29, 2022 at 1.50 am

Dear Xero, Any new developments in this regard. This is becomming a huge requirement from our clients as they want different pricing categories. There is also no api (suitable) yet for this feature. I have checked

Xero in reply to Riaan Badenhorst Xero
March 29, 2022 at 5.24 pm

Hi Riaan – thanks for your comment. Integrations can take time and we are currently working with LOCATE. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an estimated timeline at this stage because there are many dependencies that need to be considered that impacts the roll out. The only thing we can share is that we will be launching the product to US customers first before making it available in other markets. However, stay tuned – we will share more about the integration as soon as we can. Thanks!

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