Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

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pondball
Posts: 61
Joined: 03 May 2010 09:47
Product: Gold
Region: Canada
Location: Ontario
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Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

Post by pondball » 12 Jun 2014 05:28

Up until now I have been doing invoicing in FMPro12... but converting the file to this year with its lookup db's has proven to be disastrous... so I think its time I started using MWG for the purpose of invoicing.
We do both retail sales and agent sales. Retail sales are done at POS and are then input into MWG as monthly totals from the respective receipt books. Agent sales have been done through FMPro12 invoices and input into MWG as they occur. In both cases there has been no inventory tracking.
If I am to start using MWG for both Agent Invoicing, Inventory and also Retail Sales (using the same monthly total reporting for Retail Sales only) I will need to accurately set up my inventory from this point forward.
Setting up Inventory Items is no problem. What I need however is advise on the best route to use. Some items are single items (ie. 7' red measure, green towel) while others come in multiple sizes and colors (i.e.. shoe: size 7 white, shoe: size 8 brown). In another case we have (lawn bowls) 7 different models of Lawn Bowls in stock, within each model there are 7 different sizes, within two of the models there are 9 different colors, and within the black color there may even be two different weights. To list each and every bowl (approximately 300 at the start of the year) would be unwieldy. Each year the manufacturer drops a color or two and each year they introduce a new color. The most important trackable information I would require would be the model (7 in total) and the size (7 per model) brining me to 49 different items just for those. The only other variation would be the introduction of color bowls (in general, not the specific 9 colors per modelA and modelB) over the black bowls. Even the different weights would be inconsequential to our re-order process (which only happens once a year).
What system of inventory would be best given my needs as listed above...
A) • list individual items, • list bowls by model and size only
B) • list all item types as individual items
C) other... I'm open to suggestions
I will then be using this info as input to produce Agent Invoices which will help to give a better idea of inventory. Retail Sales will then be shown as inventory adjustments at months end (from a manual inventory taking as I will not be using MWG for POS transactions)
TIA
Dan

pondball
Posts: 61
Joined: 03 May 2010 09:47
Product: Gold
Region: Canada
Location: Ontario
Contact:

Re: Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

Post by pondball » 13 Jun 2014 06:21

OK... so I needed to move forward with this and chose option A...
I now have 138 items in my inventory list.
I haven't input my inventory numbers yet and really need some advice on which route to take...
Should I:
A) - input our stock on these 138 items as of our year end (December 31, 2012)
- input the new inventory as of April 15th, 2014 shipment of goods received from our suppliers
- create the new agent invoices starting with the new pricing as set on May 1st, 2014... the start of our sports season, this is the time we annually adjust our prices.
- take inventory as of May 31, 2014 and adjust totals in Stocktake?

Will this method create problems? I am setting this system up so that I can more easily do our Agent Sales invoices (i.e.. no more FMPro12 problems at the start of each year) and these will be accurate adjustments to the inventory, and will then continue entering other Retail Sales from monthly totals from Sales Books but these will not reflect accurately the inventory adjustments.

I suspect I should also adjust inventory for those items given at sponsored events, yet for which we have not received any compensation. Should these items also be accounted for in the Stocktake option?

Hope to hear back from someone on this.
Cheers
Dan

godeschalk
Posts: 55
Joined: 17 Jul 2013 21:09
Product: Gold
Region: Australia

Re: Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

Post by godeschalk » 16 Jun 2014 21:15

Forgive me here if I'm making a wrong assumption but two things worth remembering are:

1. The inventory is for your information, enabling you to quickly tell what you have or have not in stock and what you should re-order. You mention Agents and/or events which confuse me a little but in any case, if stock goes out or comes in,there should be a document that covers it and effects the item inventory keeping an accurate summary. So If you give some items to a sports event then this should be invoiced showing a 100% discount. When you do a stock-take, you don't try to anticipate anything, just count the stock and enter it against the appropriate item on the inventory - NOW (when you do it). Outstanding purchase orders and outstanding sales orders, assuming they current and have not been left sitting around after you received a heap of stock or made a big sale, will adjust the inventory by themselves as the transactions are completed and they are Posted. Even if you are like me and get it wrong, you can always adjust it again later.

2. It can be changed and added to at any time to more adequately suit your needs. You are not chiselling in marble. Just make a start and go from there.

We are an upholstery wholesale business with a couple of thousand items. They are not all on inventory yet but I just plod along adding a few things at a time-there is simply too much work other-wise and although I am a bit of a control freak and would like everything on inventory, I will probably change my mind as I go and want to do it a slightly different way.

We have about 150 different threads of various quality, characteristics, thickness and of course, colour. It is important for us that the variances except colour are listed as separate items. Quality, character, and thickness effect price. From a practical viewpoint, someone phones and wants to know if we have a certain thread of a certain thickness and how much it costs and how many they can get and we can answer this question simply by looking at the item list. Also when we order, the program inserts the supplier's code (not ours) into the purchase order making it easy for the supplier. Therefore we itemise our inventory to suit these requirements. With colour variations the thread items are divided broadly into black, white, unbleached, and colour as these groups are also priced differently. This works okay and was the easiest way for me to get the stock onto inventory initially without too much trauma, however, now, someone phones and asks do we have a Polyfil 36tk in shade A1030 Grey. I say, "Hang on a second and I'll go see if I can find one" and I think, "Wouldn't it be great to have each colour itemised and on inventory." Then I could simply page through the item list or do a quick search to know and further, the program would tell me when I am about to run out of stock.

A warning however. If your stock levels actually exceed your inventory and you try to sell an item that MW thinks is out of stock, it will put it on back order. If someone purchases a number of items and in the heat of the transaction you miss that fact, you may be giving away the item without charge.
Additionally, if you are running a separate program at your POS then your inventory will always be out until it's brought up-to-date at the EOM or whenever, which kind of defeats the purpose unless you are just doing it for the practice and to get the feel of things.

Hope this is helpful

pondball
Posts: 61
Joined: 03 May 2010 09:47
Product: Gold
Region: Canada
Location: Ontario
Contact:

Re: Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

Post by pondball » 16 Jun 2014 23:39

Hi godeschalk
A much appreciated reply... Pretty sure I was able to follow along with everything and hope to continue inputting info. As I have just started I may expand my items to include specific colours of bowls within the size range of each model as this would give us a better indication at order time of which colours are trending as opposed to our current model of ordering which includes looking at the shelf, comparing it with our previous year's order and year end stock... And then the educated guess!... Not very scientific! I can see where accurate stocktaking and reporting within MWG would be of great benefit.

Just to clarify... We are the national distributor for: a) product we import from several different sources from several different countries; b) product we purchase here in Canada; c) product we have manufactured here in Canada; d) coaching services. We sell: a) direct to the public from our home-based business as well as; b) to the public on "road trips" (basically travelling club displays or at tournaments we attend); c) to the public through phone, email and web orders; d) to agents who then sell to the public. A,b and c are all tracked through simple little sales books (the cheap little ones you can get at the local dollar stores. D is tracked through our FMPro invoicing. We also make sales through Square which has been a real help, but we don't track inventory through its features either.

As you say, in the heat of the sales (sometimes can get very busy at tournaments and trade shows) an accurate account of the exact details of the transaction are not always recorded although the general item always is for accounting and tax purposes. These are then input into MWG as month end sales from the sales books. We don't have a POS software solution that would really cover all the scenarios above,.. Nor do I believe one probably exists? So that is why I think I will probably have to I out an starting inventory, build an Agent invoicing process within MWG that will at least track inventory there and lastly continue inputting retails sales as I have been. At the end of each month it will then be necessary to do a physical inventory and make the adjustments using the stocktake feature of MWG. Does this sound about right? Or is there a better way?

From what I understand of your reply, when we give product away as a gift or prize we would still record this as a sale, but with zero income? And this way it is the taken automatically from our inventory?

Thanks again for your excellent reply.

godeschalk
Posts: 55
Joined: 17 Jul 2013 21:09
Product: Gold
Region: Australia

Re: Inventory Question.. multiple sizes problem

Post by godeschalk » 19 Jun 2014 12:05

Glad I could be of some help.
I am certainly no expert with MW and initially, while enduring a steep learning curve, I was very critical. This is because it is a fairly 'open architecture' program with a lot of scope for customisation and flexibility.

As you would know, just running a small business is very intense and working with any one accounting program is a lot of work so I imagine trying to co-ordinate a couple is diabolical. I have MW installed on a Win desktop and I do road trips every week. The MW file is copied accross to my MacBook Pro and taken out on the road with invoices produced from a printer in the van. Most of our customers are on account but cash customers on the road are no problem. On return, the file is simply copied back to the desktop over-writing and updating the existing one. This multi-platform file format was a very attractive point in my initial purchase of the program. Your situation is different to mine in that when out on the road, I vist one customer at a time usually generating just one invoice before driving down the road to visit the next customer. Yours is like a temporary stall where you could have a que of customers. In this, my set-up of the laptop and printer would be very advantageous as you can simply click on an item to add it to the invoice without having to worry about adding figures and tax and so-forth. A good item code system is very helpful in this but again nothing is set in stone and I am changing mine all the time. For example someone comes into our upholstery supplies shop and wants some upholstery nails. I hit 'sales order' and the appropriate document form comes up on the screen and I enter 'Cash' if it is someone off the street (Cash is set up like the name of a customer on its own customer card) or the name of the account holder. Then I simply type 4 into the item column because I know that all fasteners in our item coding system atart with '4'. If I can't remember what comes after this I simply tab to produce a list to select from. Of course everything else is entered automatically and I press print - a matter of a few seconds.

The pain produced by the program suddenly not wanting to sell an item because it thinks it is 'out of stock' (this feature can be over-ridden) is out-weighed by the fact the one usually has an accurate indicatation of what is in stock. On several occasions with phone enquiries, I have beleived we did have an item in stock contrary to the programs opinion and had to physically check and low and behold - we were out of stock. In any case, it brings ones attention to a matter that should be resolved quickly. Without the inventory, things would drift along a bit and re-stocking would become a reactionary affair instead of an anticapitory one. Also, a stock-take becomes a very simple matter of just checking a list that MW can print out for you.

Regards

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