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Creating Products with Alternative Units of Measure

Last updated 22/01/2021

How to let Cin7 "do the math" if you buy or sell in different units of measure.


Some products have different units of measure; perhaps you buy one pack of ten, but sell each item individually. Or maybe you buy tiles in packs, but sell by the square foot.

Cin7 can handle these situations easily by setting up a product with an alternative unit of measure; this allows you to calculate how much product to dispatch on the fly.


Before you can add in alternative units of measure, make sure that you have set the products module up correctly. To do this:

  1. While logged in as an Administrator, select your username in the top right and then select Settings.
  2. From the Products menu, select Product Settings.
  3. From the Show Alternative Unit of Measures (UOM) drop-down, select Yes.
  4. Click Save.

This will add a few extra fields to the product details page.

How Alternative Units of Measure Work

Each product has a base unit of measure. When the inventory in Cin7 says you have 10 items in stock, this means you have 10 of your base unit of measure.

Each alternative unit of measure is going to be a multiple of the base unit of measure. This multiple could be a whole number or a decimal.

When you enter an order in your alternative unit of measure, the system will know to convert this using the multiple into the base unit of measure.

Take, for example, a rugby ball. Rugby balls are sold separately, but are bought from the supplier in boxes of ten. You need to be able to order one box but, when the goods are received, you need your inventory to show 10 units. The base unit of measure will be single units, and the alternative unit of measure will be the box of ten. In a purchase order, you will add the rugby ball product, choose the alternative unit of "Box" and enter a qty of "1". On receipt of this order, 10 balls will be added to the inventory.

Choosing your base unit of measure

It might not always be obvious what to choose as your base unit of measure. Ask yourself how you count your stock. If you look at the shelf and count the boxes, then boxes is your base unit. If you count the individual components, then use items as your base unit.

Creating a Product with Alternative Units of Measure

To create a Product with alternative units of measure:

  1. Follow the basic product setup as detailed in the Creating Products Help article.
  2. Each product option that you create is going to be your base unit of measure.
  3. To add an alternative unit of measure, select Add UOM.
  4. In the UOM Qty field, enter a multiple. This is how many alternative units make up one of your base unit of measure.
  5. Enter a unique code for this alternative unit of measure.
  6. In the Option 1 column, enter the title of the alternative unit.
  7. Select Save and Close.


Using the example of the rugby ball above, the product would look like this:

Note that the second/blue line is the alternative unit of measure. Each line has its own unique code.

Each unit of measure has its own price and cost fields. If left blank, the base unit of measure price and costs are used.

Adding Promotions to Products with UOM Sizes Smaller than One

To add a promotion to a product with UOM size less than 1, calculate the UOM QTY Price by using the following formula:

UOM Price is equal to 1 over the UOM quantity, multiplied by the unit price.

For example, a product with a UOM quantity of 0.1 and a unit price of $2.50 per unit would result in the values shown below.

Creating Volume Discounts

Volume discounts can be applied to sales orders using Alternative Units of Measure, with a new unit being used for each tier.

To create a volume discount:

  1. Add a UOM, as described above, and enter the quantity required to get a volume discount.
  2. Enter the prices for purchases above that quantity threshold into the price columns for the new unit of measure.
  3. Select Save.