Purchase orders, sales orders, and transfers all involve moving stock to or from company locations. In simple cases, the moved items correspond one-to-one with the items in the order or transfer. In other cases a shipment from the purchase side may be received with variances from the order (items missing, damaged, or substituted), or from the sales side, an order or transfer may take multiple shipments to fulfill. In the general case, shipments are distinct entities in inventory management software that are associated with orders and transfers.
Taking the sales order process as a driving example, the simple case involves three steps: creating the sales order, then creating a shipment to match the order, and then shipping the shipment.
In some businesses a shipment may be packed into boxes and transferred in a packed state to a staging location from which it will then be shipped. This scenario introduces one additional step to the basic process.
If the order is shipped in parts, you simply create multiple shipments for the different parts of the order, specifying for each shipment what items specifically that it contains.
On the purchase side, when a company receives a shipment it may discover variances between the shipment and the purchase order or even the pack list to which it corresponds. For multiple shipment scenarios, the purchase process is analogous to the sales process. For unexpected variances (items missing, damaged, or substituted), companies have various ways of dealing with differences. The inventory management process provides a method of memorializing the company's action and associated changes to stock levels.
Examples from Finale Inventory
Here are videos of using Finale Inventory to create pull sheets, shipments, and multiple-shipments.
Shipments and pull sheets