In March 2014, Australian wholesale distribution company for The Goat Skincare range contacted us for help with their Unleashed and Xero online solution. Our client wanted to be sure they were using the systems correctly and if there were any further options to improve the look and feel of the documents produced by Unleashed – which included the sales invoices, purchase orders and other external documents. It soon became clear that DEAR and Xero was the answer.

Branding is Everything

One of the greatest features about DEAR Inventory, in comparison to other inventory solutions in the Xero add-on Marketplace, is the customisable forms. DEAR Inventory’s documents are designed (like Xero’s) using a customisable DOCX format, meaning that you download the template from DEAR, open it in Microsoft Word, make your changes, add your branding and upload it back into DEAR.

For my client in the skincare industry, as you can imagine, branding is everything. They had a beautiful website, awesome packaging and a crappy looking invoice using Unleashed. Let me explain why.

Unleashed Inventory has an in-built Document Designer. You can create a document from a blank page or a template. You add the text boxes, fields and colours you want. You can add your logo, pick your own colours, add random text and link to almost all the fields in the Unleashed record. The pitfalls are that your logo has to be a particular size, you can’t add hyperlinks and it’s definitely not as customisable when it comes to fonts, formats and how the invoice looks overall.

With DEAR Inventory document templates, whatever you can do in Microsoft Word will be on your invoice. Hyperlinks directly to your website, multiple pictures or industry badges, random logo sizes and much more.

With DEAR, our client was able to add their logo like a coloured watermark on the background of all their documents add a link with their web address on their invoice straight to their site. Furthermore, they were able to pick a more suitable font that matched their branding plus other little design tweaks that just isn’t possible in Unleashed at this time.

Benefits of DEAR Inventory and Xero 

The other benefits of DEAR Inventory and Xero for our client were:

*This information was true and correct as at 6 October 2015 . Further updates may have been released by Unleashed or DEAR since the time of writing. 

  • Two-way integration with Xero (not just one direction as with Unleashed and Xero)*

All sales invoices, supplier bills, cost of goods sold journals, customers, suppliers and products are sent to Xero each time DEAR is synchronised with Xero. Payments matched to invoices or bills in Xero flow back up into DEAR so you don’t have to go into Xero to see who owes money or who you need to pay (as long as you have Sync’d the two systems).

  • Customisable Bill of Materials

In DEAR, you can amend a bill of materials for the finished goods during the production process. In Unleashed, you can amend the quantity used during the assembly, however, you can’t add a new component. You have to void the assembly, change the bill of materials and re-create the assembly.

In DEAR, you simply add the new component during the assembly using the +Component Line button and then Authorise the Assembly. This is great for clients that need to amend products on the fly because a particular component isn’t available.

  • Supplier Returns Available On Costed Products 

Have you ever tried to do Supplier Return in Unleashed and it comes up with the error “Returns for costed purchase orders are not supported”?

Now, I’m the first one to say that the Unleashed’s feature on adding purchase costs is pretty cool. You select your purchase order, enter the costs of freight for example – even if it’s a different supplier of the actual goods – and Unleashed applies the cost of the freight to products you have purchased to calculate the fully landed cost of the purchased goods that have arrived into the warehouse. It even sends both supplier bills across to Xero – if a supplier and freight forwarder has been used – or it combines the products and the freight onto one bill in Xero if all the charges came from one supplier.

The limitation in Unleashed, however, comes when you have to return some goods to a supplier or maybe you just need to reverse out an incorrect receipt of goods. If you go to Add Supplier Return and select a costed purchase order, the error mentioned above appears. You have to complete a stock adjustment to get all of the products you need.

For a full comparison of DEAR Inventory and Xero, contact us here.

Is it really that simple with DEAR and Xero?