The most consistent relationship you will have in business is not with those customers who represent your base or budgeted sales, it’s with your vendors. Every vendor you have should be built into your business scheme as if they were a partner, because that’s what a good vendor relationship looks like: when you succeed, they succeed, and vice versa.
Regular phone calls reinforce that partnership and keep it on a very human level — get to know them, and through your methods of business make it easier for them to help you — by always keeping in touch (this includes regularly spaced phone calls, even if it’s just to say hello)
Firstly, pay them completely and on time — if you tinker with this one aspect of your relationship, guaranteed, their best deals will go to someone else. Secondly, be honest with them — they will find a way to make that perfect, mutual satisfaction occur — it’s to their benefit, after all. Thirdly, communicate — if you both know exactly what each other needs and expects, mutual success is that much closer to being reality. Lastly, express appreciation — always take the extra step and always say ‘Thank you’.
If you consciously build your vendors toward a status of valued business partner, you double the degree of customer satisfaction possible, making it a WIN-WIN-WIN: for your vendor, for your customers, and for you.
KCSI Technical Writer Marc Kondylis sends us this week’s ToolTip:
Viewing an Item’s Transaction History
A foundational and recurring task when managing stock is to review an item’s transaction history. The Item Report Generator is a powerful tool that enables you to generate a detailed listing of an items transaction history. You can filter your report by location, date, and transaction type.
To view an item’s transaction history do the following:
1. In the Item Manager window, select an item.
2. On the Reports menu, click Trace Item.
The Item Reports Generator opens.
3. Under Location Filters, choose the location to search.
4. To filter your search by date, clear the No Date Filtering check box, and then set the initial and final date for your search.
5. Under Transaction Type, select the transaction types to search.
You can select more than one transaction type at a time.
6. For Sort By, choose how your list is sorted.
7. Click Generate.
The Results window opens with a list of transactions associated with your item.
8. To print the transaction history for the item, click Print.
9. Click Close.
The Fulfillment Module was designed to work in conjunction with the Replenishment Module. Once a purchase order has been generated for the stock required to fill sales orders and the purchase order has been approved and received, the sales order is then listed in the Fulfillment Module waiting for the order to be picked and invoiced. Here the user can process all items on a sales order into an invoice or invoice individual items on a sales order. Also, the user has the option to invoice individual sales orders or automatically invoice all sales orders. This process is called “Recalculate Fill Quantity” (the fill quantity is the item’s quantity on a sales order).
Order selection has been made simple, and can be filtered by customer, categories, or items. Fill quantities can be automatically filled using available stock or reset to zero, and can be recalculated at any time. Users can manually enter only the quantities they need, avoiding investment in superfluous stock thus saving the user time and money. Once the required amount of stock is known, purchase orders can be created for unavailable stock involved in the fulfillment process, either an item at a time, or by the batch of required items. The quantities of items already on purchase orders are displayed, avoiding the creation of duplicate orders for the required goods. Invoices that feature some or all fulfillment items can be generated, while any items that are already invoiced, or partially invoiced, are displayed. Comprehensive picking lists can be generated once selected quantities have been either manually or automatically chosen.
SIMMS’ Fulfillment keeps all details of the stock you have ordered – or need to order – clear and concise so that you are not wasting extra time and money on stock the is not needed. Use this module to master your stock and your orders, all the while adding to the satisfaction of your customers and the efficiency of your stock management.
Excessive stock leads to lower profit margins, increased storage costs, and aging of goods on your own shelves. However, when clients cannot get items in time you lose clients and sales. For success, you need to meet the demands that your clients make. The SIMMS Replenishment Module allows for calculation of this delicate balance so you always have the stock you need but never have warehouses sitting idle while full of stock. This combined versatility allows proper inventory management — the very goal of the SIMMS Inventory Management System.
The Replenishment Module allows you to manage the demand\backordered quantities on sales orders. Once these sales orders have been generated containing backordered items, the backordered items are listed in the Replenishment Module, which is separate from the Backorder Manager and handles all backorders and items that have reached their reorder points. View and act on your most pressing order needs with ease and speed.
Create batch purchase orders based on and customers’ demand quantities on transactions or stock reorder values. Maximize your ordering and re-ordering process lead times for vendors. Create purchase orders automatically and streamlining your employee time management. Physically administrate your stock to guarantee it is where it needs to be at the right time. Achieve all of this with SIMMS’ Replenishment Module.
SIMMS Inventory Management software permits administrators to set the access criteria of all SIMMS users through the comprehensive User Manager feature. From login names to passwords, assigned locations to sales commissions, the User Manager has a wide application within SIMMS, letting administrators choose the level of access and visibility users have within the system. Companies concerned with security of the information within SIMMS can control those details easily and accurately.
Those with administrator logins may wish to assign sales commissions to agents, or designate certain users as those who may only create purchase orders, while giving other users the authority to approve those orders. Users may also be designated as ones who are part of the work force available to be assigned to kit building (BOM) or sales projects. While one user may be assigned access to conduct transactions using stock in only a set number of locations, another user may be designated as one who is permitted to edit existing transactions.
The level of specificity in this feature allows complete control so that companies can easily trace edits and changes within SIMMS from amongst those with the particular access rights. Any changes are logged within the system since the authors of the changes are easily identified by name. If administrators do not wish certain users to see the costs and/or prices of items, then those users have the stipulation applied and when they log into SIMMS, that information is not available. These many degrees of control make SIMMS’ User Manager feature a valuable tool for the complete control and security any business requires.
Using the Microsoft .NET infrastructure, SIMMS Inventory Management software upon setup creates a link between the SIMMS screens and the Structured Query Language (SQL) database that contains all the data entered into in SIMMS. Once the connection is achieved on installation, data can be imported or manually entered. Customer names, item details, location names and addresses, and all other details fit into the tables that compose the database. Key fields in each table allow for the linking of various bits of data that are pulled onto a screen or collected then displayed on a report.
Owing to the importance of the database that supports SIMMS, regularly-scheduled backups of the database is advised — one a day if many transactions are processed, once a week if a slow but steady stream of orders, transfers, purchases and/or sales. If one uses the version of SQL Express (which comes with the SIMMS program) then manual backups should be performed by the user’s IT department but also may be conducted by those statused with administrator logins within SIMMS. If a full version of SQL Server (versions 2000, 2005 or 2008) is installed on the user’s system, automatic backups of the database(s) can be scheduled to take place.
The SIMMS Company Manager screen (found under the Administration dropdown menu) is the interface used for all databases to be manually performed, or, if necessary, where backups can be restored should any problems have occurred (such as the failure of the system’s harddrive). Current backups permit the restoration process to be done with little loss of new entries. Backups older than a month, however, can restore only up to the most recent data and transactions performed up to the moment the backup was created. SIMMS System Management is a stable and reliable feature that keeps you both up-to-date and secure and is performed with only a few clicks of your mouse — it should always be this easy.
Kit with SubkitSIMMS’ Kitting (BOM) module simplifies assemblies you make within your manufacturing and/or distribution process. Acquisition of materials, maintenance of quality standards, variation of design (schemas) and manpower coordination are all easily managed within this module.
From a single, simple screen, users can coordinate all the steps towards completed product, which is just as quickly made available to SIMMS’ accurate shipping processes and SIMMS’ comprehensive accounting modules so that within a single software application, you can order, receive, design, build and sell your assemblies quickly and easily.
Users who bundle items together into packages sold as comprehensive entities can benefit from the advanced features of SIMMS. From packaging items together to tracking their age and history to analysis of when it is best to build the assemblies in regard to your workforce and usage of materiel available or on order, SIMMS’ Kitting (BOM) module supplies all the information and smooth implementation you need for your business.
For a quick look at the SIMMS Kitting process, click here to view a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-gAEZtRcAQ
With SIMMS, Item Aliases can be assigned, allowing users to make particular the aliases desired for each item either when ordering from your vendors or selling to your customers.
As purchase orders are created from a vendor, the alias unique to their catalog of stock will match the data on your order, guaranteeing that the exact items you order will be the ones they make sure you receive. As customers order from you, their reference item number or name is the alias you can assign to the stock in your warehouse, again contributing to the accuracy of their order since your sales order or invoice will reflect exactly the inventory pieces they need. you now have the capability of assigning your items as many aliases as you require, and relate your aliases to specific vendors and customers.
This additional level of accuracy is yet another leading feature that SIMMS Inventory Management System can provide for your business. Shipping and receiving personnel and sales and purchasing departments can operate with complete confidence knowing that they are dealing with the specific stock items that you and your customers require. Guess work and mere hope are replaced with precise knowledge and up-to-the-minute data. Utilize SIMMS’ Item Aliases feature to create both confidence and competence for your clients.
A SKU is a string of alphabetical, numerical or a combination of both that uniquely identifies a product. For this reason, SKUs are often called part numbers, product numbers, and product identifiers. The SIMMS SKU Configurator can be used to establish the composition of the SKU number.
A SKU may consist of some universal reference like a UPC code or supplier part number or may be a unique identifier used by a specific retailer or store. For example, one company may use the ten-character identifier supplied by the manufacturer as the SKU of an external hard drive. Another company may use a proprietary six-digit number as the SKU to identify the part. Many retailers use their own SKU numbers to label products so they can track their inventory using their own custom database system.
Selection of some characters from the item’s manufacturer or vendor, category, subcategory and/or vendor’s/manufacturer’s part number will add them to the SKU number’s format. Users may also choose that an auto-generated numerical sequence is part of the SKU. SIMMS has the capability to assign a customized SKU number to every inventory item, allowing users to automatically assign a particular product’s item number based on a SKU formula that can be devised using the SIMMS SKU Configurator.