Fully integrated online shop design by 2Dmedia, powered by Mail Order Works software

Quick Start Guide

Manuals are boring, that's probably why no one reads them.

Most of MailOrderWorks is very obvious and requires little or no explanation (but if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch for a little help). There are couple of simple foundations that must be understood first though, so please do read this brief guide.

Stock Levels Explained

MailOrderWorks has 4 types of stock level.

    When you add stock to a product, you can put a number into the Pending box. This is stock that has been ordered but hasn't arrived yet. Its not available to sell, but its due in soon. This is generally used as information to help staff advise customers.

    This is stock that is in your company, think of it as "on the shelf". Its not necessarily available to sell, because it might already be allocated to an order. This value is updated when an order is dispatched, not when an order is created.

    To process an order, all of its products must have sufficient stock in.

    This is the number of units for a particular product that have been allocated to orders that have not yet been dispatched. When an order is created, the allocated stock is adjusted, marking that quantity of product(s) as allocated to an order and thus not available to sell . They may still be on your shelves because they haven't been dispatched/picked yet. The IN STOCK number won't have been updated at this stage, because the products are still on the shelf.

  • AVAILABLE STOCK (the important one)
    This is the stock you have available to sell. This value is calculated using:


    In really simple terms, that means you can sell stock that you have in your company, less what you have already sold but not yet sent out.

    It is possible to get a negative available value if you have created orders for a product that has ran out of stock. You can return the level to a positive number by adding more stock to the system to fulfil the orders.

Warning: Be careful when manually adjusting stock levels based on what you can see on your shelves. This can cause the stock levels to become inaccurate.

Because your In Stock value is updated when orders are dispatched, you might find that it becomes lower than that you actually have on the shelf.

For example, if you have 15 units of a product then process orders for 10 units of that product, MailOrderWorks will calculate that you now have 5 units left in stock. If you have another order placed for that product that hasn't been dispatched yet, you could have one allocated unit too- making your quantity available 4 and in stock 5.

If you were to look at your shelf, you would see 15 products. You might see a different number if some of the orders have been packed. Once all of the orders had been picked, you would see 5 products left on the shelf.

However, the true stock level is 5 IN STOCK and 4 AVAILABLE as calculated by MOW.
If you were to do a stock count at this point, and update the Available value to 5 (believing you were fixing a mistake, and making the in stock 6 to compensate) you would make your stock levels inaccurate.

The only time you should manually change stock values is when goods are damaged, lost or stolen. You may also wish to manually adjust the stock level when goods are returned or replacements are sent out. For this, you can either create a new stock row, or use the +/- buttons on the product screen.

VAT Options

Selecting the right VAT mode for your company.

Click on the System Settings button in the top toolbar (the tool box button).
Type your password, then using the drop down select the right mode.

  • If you are not VAT registered, select the "No VAT" option.
  • If you are VAT registered, and wish to ADD VAT to your prices (all prices ex VAT, typical for B2B sales) select the "Ex VAT (add)..." option.
  • If you are VAT registered, and wish to include VAT in your prices (all prices inc VAT, typical for consumer B2C sales) then select the "INC VAT..." option.


Screen shots

View Mail Order Works software screen shots

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