In today’s truly global economy, there’s a good chance that – at some point in the journey of your business – you’re going to have to source and deal with suppliers and manufacturers on the other side of the world.

While factors such distance and language barriers can be cause for concern, a Xero Add-on like Unleashed can help you keep track and account for your goods, wherever they are in the world.

A great way to get your head around how Unleashed can help is to consider the following scenario. Let’s say, for example, that you run a shampoo business in Australia and:

  • your core product (shampoo) is manufactured at a laboratory in mainland China.
  • you purchase bottles, boxes and labels from another supplier (called BoxMan) located in another part of China.
  • and you also buy raw materials (from RawMan), which is located in yet another part of China.

So, we have three different locations that each play a part in bringing your shampoo product to fruition. How, then, does Unleashed help you account for your precious goods?

For your peace of mind, and for the benefit of your business, you want to be able to easily and accurately track the various components you have at the laboratory to ensure that all your materials are accounted for.

Here’s the trick for doing this in Unleashed:

Once you’ve ordered components and raw materials from suppliers (in this case BoxMan and RawMan) and these materials have been delivered to the lab in China, make sure you receipt them into your ‘warehouse’. Yes, the goods are not physically at your warehouse (you may not even have one), but this process still helps you account for how many materials you have.

Another tip is to use bin location to indicate that these materials are at the lab (set ‘the lab’ as the bin location).


Now it’s time to order your finished goods (your shampoo) from the lab in China.


You’ll notice that we never stocked the raw shampoo, though. We only own the finished goods when the lab puts them into a bottle.

When the finished goods are receipted, run an assembly process; this will use up the components held by the lab, and populate your stock with goods ready to sell.


Important tip: it’s a good idea to NOT mark this product as ‘Can Auto Assemble’. Why? If you forget to run the assembly when you receipt the goods, you’ll immediately be alerted because you’ll run out of finished goods in your stock. The solution? Run the assembly and no harm done.

It’s crucial to get the unit of measure right at the outset. In our scenario, we are managing our stock in units of individual shampoo bottles. We may order 96,000 of them from our supplier.

We may sell 96 to a customer when we sell 9 boxes of a dozen each.

If we want to have a price for a box of 12 we would set that up as a product with ‘Can Auto Assemble’.

If we have a shampoo and conditioner pack, or a travel pack, we would set it up as its own product with its own bill of material and no auto assemble.

And there you have it, a few simple steps that will help you keep a tight leash on your goods being manufactured abroad.

If you have any queries, or want to know more about how we can help, please get in touch with ConvertworX.