portrait of a hardware store worker inspecting product

Purchase Orders with a Purpose

by | Feb 26, 2024

It’s surprising that in our current times, there are business owners who continue to rely on handshake agreements and manual order processes to regularly purchase considerable quantities of products. Especially when processing purchase orders through a point-of-sale system is so much easier, and significantly improves inventory management, ordering efficiency and cash flow.

Processing purchase orders through a point-of-sale system is a game changer.

Enhances ordering and receiving efficiency.

Provides transparency into supplier product cost and availability.

Simplifies and improves inventory management.

Suggested Orders maximize efficiency

Paladin Point of Sale Suggested Order Reports are the easiest way for any business to create a purchase order. It’s nearly automatic and can significantly reduce the required time to create an order. Paladin uses historical sales data and a proprietary formula to inform a store owner about the products and quantities required to meet customer demand.

Ross Martin owns Caledonia Village Ace Hardware in Caledonia Township, Michigan. Using Paladin Suggested Order and EDI ordering has helped his store earn Ace Hardware’s Pinnacle status as a top-performing store. One qualification for the award requires stores to maintain an optimal in-stock percentage.

“Our store uses Suggested Ordering 100%. Ace considers 95% really good and we’re always above that,” Ross explains.

For suppliers with Remote Stock Check capabilities, Paladin allows stores to see what products are available in their regional warehouses and in what quantities, some in real-time. This allows the store owner to adjust their orders to help avoid product outs and unnecessary backorders.

Brian Flande manages two Phil’s Ace Hardware stores in Central Oregon. He uses Remote Stock Check to know what his Ace regional distribution center (RDC) has in stock. It makes his ordering more efficient, communication automatic, and it saves him time. His POs are generated automatically and sent to Ace Hardware’s RDC.

“Anything the Ace warehouse has in stock, Paladin will show that. That allows me to delete items we might normally order because I know they’re out of stock. It also shows me that I can order partial amounts because the warehouse has partial stock on hand,” Flande says.

For non-EDI suppliers, sending POs through the Paladin inventory management system is as simple as choosing or adding an email address and clicking a radio button.

Employ best practices to improve profits

Paladin advocates for performing product reviews of a small 2- to 4-foot section daily. Using an RF (radio frequency) scan gun and assigning location codes to products gradually builds a map of a store’s entire inventory. This process enables the stores to begin leveraging the suggested order forecasting reports on day one, one section at a time. Once all the sections in the store are counted and recorded in Paladin, the Suggested Order provides a report and accompanying purchase order for optimal stocking. It’s a proven system that has many loyal users.

Knowing exactly what you’re purchasing utilizing POs is a key step in fine-tuning your inventory. Even well-established stores need to keep track of what’s selling and what isn’t. Order quantities are an accurate way to identify slow-moving inventory that should be replaced by desirable merchandise.

PaladinNsight displays how a store’s inventory is performing on an easy-to-read dynamic dashboard.

Rosedale Town & Country, a farm store in southern New Jersey, has been a family business since 1950 but in 2017 it changed the way it worked.

“We’re using Paladin reports to find out what’s selling and what isn’t. That helps us improve our product lines and our profit. We’re really working on improving our product pricing and margins,” Rosedale manager Elizabeth Schreiber says. “We use the (radio frequency – RF) guns for creating purchase orders. They make ordering easy.”

The store’s business has improved from roughly $3.4 million in annual sales seven years ago to around $5 million in 2022. During that span, Rosedale has been using purchasing and inventory management tools to refine its stock and maximize its profits.

Meet the minimums

Independent hardware stores are often challenged to meet supplier minimum order amounts.

Paladin allows stores to merge all their POs to a supplier into one. This makes it easier for stores to reach the minimum ordering levels and get those important price breaks. It also provides greater accuracy by making it easier to review the PO before placing an order.


Improving business performance begins with more customers buying more products. Having the right products in the right amounts for the right prices helps to achieve this goal. Creating accurate purchase orders is the first step in efficiently managing inventory.

POs also help with budgeting, eliminate mistakes, provide legal protection, and manage a business in a disciplined way.

There’s really a lot you can do with purchase orders. It helps you better manage your inventory, track your purchases, maintain your margins and pricing, and increase your bottom line.

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