I am looking for a best practices approach to entering and tracking "non revenue" sales orders through shopify.
We have salesmen that are required to ship potential customers "free orders" of in essence demos and samples. What is the best practice for this - we want to record the decrement to inventory and also be able to track by salesperson what demo orders have been issues -- but we do not want the sales price to show up on the invoices or in our sales journals and sku reports. - ideally we would like to see the sales person go in as a unique customer and place the order themselves - right from the web. What is the best practice? - How do you accomplish this?
We also have a situation where we use inventory for internal consumption on large projects -- similar to the demo orders and samples above - where we use product internally -- again we want to record the decrement to inventory and also be able to track by salesperson what demo orders have been issues -- but we do not want the sales price to show up on the invoices or in our sales journals and sku reports.
What is the best practice? - How do you accomplish this?
There might be a few different ways to accomplish this with Shopify.
For one, you could allow your salespeople to login to the store admin (staff permissions could be restricted to the 'Orders' area) and create these orders using the guide here:
With this feature, you can select existing products, or create new/custom products on the fly. However, if you want to use this to affect existing inventory levels, you may want to select actual products when creating orders. Even if they have prices, you can add discounts, and remove the prices and payment link from the email that gets sent to the customer afterwards (if you choose to send an email).
You can even create duplicate products for this purpose, hide them from your regular sales channels, and make their prices zero by default. If you do this, however, you might want to use an inventory syncing app like SimpleSync (https://apps.shopify.com/simplesync).
Your salespeople could also use the mobile POS app to take these 'free orders'. You can add existing products or custom items, as well as discounts, but you would have less control over the content in the (optional) emails that are sent out, compared to the 'Create Order' function I mentioned above.
Another option would be to have your salespeople use the customer-facing website to place these orders. You could take advantage of private discount codes or create restricted-access products with apps like Locksmith (https://apps.shopify.com/locksmith).
In terms of tracking which salesperson has inputted each order, this would be done automatically with the 'Create Order' function (assuming different logins are used), or in the POS app, if you use staff management with the Retail Package add-on. There is also the option to attach a note for this in the POS app, or capture order notes from the cart in the customer-facing website, which could be used for this purpose as a workaround.
I have a feeling one of the options above might also work for your internal inventory consumption, if you are ok with '0.00' showing as sales prices in the reports. You could always edit these sales reports, after exporting, however.
Let me know if you have questions about any of this! Cheers :)