Tag Archives: tracking

SKUs and SIMMS 2015


The (Stock Keeping Unit) SKU Configurator can be used to determine the composition of the SKU (Item) number. Selection of some characters from the item’s category, subcategory, vendor’s part number, manufacturer or vendor will add them to the SKU number’s format. Users can instead choose that an auto-generated number becomes part of the SKU.

In addition, you can designate how many items have been created under a category and assign that particular item an incremented number anywhere within the SKU configuration. If required, SIMMS 2015 has a manual SKU override where you can manually assign an item your own item code outside of the SKU generation automation.
SIMMS has the capability to assign a particular SKU item number to each inventory item configured in the Inventory Manager, enabling users to automatically assign a particular product’s item number based on an SKU formula that can be devised using the SKU Configurator.

This can be done upon the creation of an item, with the result that once the selection of either the item category, subcategory, brand (sub-sub category), model (sub-sub-sub category) or manufacturer has been made and the Save button has been clicked, the Item code SKU will be automatically created based on the selected options.

Examples of the available SKU choices listed are as follows:
• the first two characters of a category
• a 5-character item incremented number
• the first three characters of a subcategory
• the first four characters of a manufacturer
• A 4-character automatically-generated number for a vendor
• A specific example of an SKU could thus be as follows:
the category of a computer: SU (for SUPER COMPUTERS)
the 40th item configured under the category: 00040
the sub-category: FAN (for FANS)
the manufacturer: PHILL (for PHILLIPS)
the vendor: Ingram Micro (with an automatically generated code of 0009)
Subsequently, the resultant SKU would be SU00040FANPHILL0009.

Visit here to learn more about how SIMMS 2015 can help you with your SKU requirements.

SIMMS 2013 Serial Number Management


SIMMS 2013 Inventory Management software contains a serial number tracking system that can manage an unlimited amount of serial numbers from the time they are received into inventory until the time they are issued. This data stays permanently recorded in the system, thus allowing you access to a wealth of historical and validation information.

The stock data in SIMMS remains extremely useful when returns of defective items are processed to your vendors/manufacturers or when you need to verify returned items from your customer.

You no longer need to do endless searches through filing cabinets and loose-leaf binders when you use the SIMMS 2013 Inventory Management system. Information, analyses, reports and statements are no more than a mouse click away. The money you save will accompany the time you save.

With SIMMS 2013’s Serial Tracking, you can:

• Assign serial numbers for kit components during a kit build

• Assign serial numbers to items during or immediately following receipt of goods

• Assign serial numbers to your finished kit builds

• Assign up to two unique serial numbers per item

• Automatically generate your serial numbers or secondary user serial numbers with ease

• Drill down and view serial numbers related to items received or transferred and/or sold

• Easily integrate barcode reader for items with serial number barcodes

• Report on serial number activity by date, location or serial number

• Select serial numbers during an inventory transfer

• Sell and assign serial numbers during or following the invoice

• Sell and assign serial numbers sequentially or randomly

• Track specific cost by serial number sold

• Trace a serial number in the system in little time

Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca to learn more about how SIMMS is the perfect fit for your needs.

SKU Management with SIMMS 2013


In SIMMS 2013, the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) Configurator enables you to set the component structure of the SKU (Item) number. You can choose characters from the item’s category, manufacturer, subcategory, vendor, or vendor’s part number to form the SKU number. Alternately, you can choose an auto-generated number to serve as the SKU.

You can also designate the number of items that can be created under a category and assign that item an incremented number. If needed, SIMMS 2013 has a manual SKU override, in which you can assign an item your own item code separate from the automatically-generated SKU.

SIMMS 2013 helps you assign particular SKU numbers to each inventory item configured in the Inventory Manager. This lets you assign an item number based on an SKU formula devised in the SKU Configurator. You can do this during the creation of an item, with the result that once the selection of either the item category, subcategory, brand (sub-sub category), model (sub-sub-sub category) or manufacturer has been made and the Save button has been clicked, the Item code SKU will be automatically created based on the selected options.

Examples of SKU options include these:

• the first two characters of a category

• a 5-character item incremented number

• the first three characters of a subcategory

• the first four characters of a manufacturer

• A 4-character automatically-generated number for a vendor

A specific example of an SKU could thus be as follows:

the category of a computer: SU (for SUPER COMPUTERS)

the 40th item configured under the category: 00040

the sub-category: FAN (for FANS)

the manufacturer: PHILL (for PHILLIPS)

the vendor: Ingram Micro (with an automatically generated code of 0009)

Ultimately, the SKU would thus become SU00040FANPHILL0009.

SKU usage and identification can help your stock management move from simple accuracy to complete precision. If this degree of control is something you seek, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca to learn more about how SIMMS 2013 is the choice for you.

Automobile Maintenance with SIMMS 2013


SIMMS 2013’s Automotive Maintenance module will help you manage your automotive repair shop easily and with precision. Create a quote for your customer, then create a work order based on the approved quote, on which SIMMS will include a detailed break down of jobs, labor and parts. Next, assign items to a work order. SIMMS will enter the item details for the item, and automatically calculates the cost of materials for the job.

You can track your inventory items with SIMMS’ powerful Item Manager. Use Reorder Point features to prevent running short of inventory items. Assign a technician to a work order, and SIMMS will immediately calculate the labor costs. Generate a technician worksheet that lists the jobs for each work order. After completion of the job, record recommendations for further work on the vehicle in the Contact Manager.

With SIMMS 2013 Automotive Maintenance, you can:

• Assign pre-defined jobs to work orders

• Assign technicians to specific work orders and specific jobs

• Control costs

• Create purchase orders easily

• Define up to twelve different price levels for an inventory item

• Enhance profits

• Enter work order comments

• Generate comprehensive reports, including work order and inventory reports

• Improve workflow

• Maintain a complete vehicle work history

• Maintain detailed contact information for customers, vendors and employees

• Manage your financial records within SIMMS Accounting

• Process payments through the Quick Payment window or through Accounts Receivable

• Prioritize work orders

• Record recommendations and receive automatic alerts when the recommendation is due

Your automobile maintenance concerns are all answered using SIMMS 2013 Inventory Management software. For more information, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca today!

Tracking Your Manufacturer’s Lots


The ability to track serialized and lot-related parts to a customer is important for warranty and service management. SIMMS Inventory Management software provides the ability to create serial numbers and manufacturer lots at any time during manufacturing. Finished products are assigned serial numbers and/or manufacturing lots and when shipped to the customer, the serial numbers and manufacturing lots used are saved to history, providing their traceability against the original customer order.

The ability to track component lots from raw material to finished product shipped to customers is a key requirement for many companies. SIMMS 2013 provides this functionality for either stocked parts. Upon receipt of lots from a vendor or from manufacturing, lot traceability provides where-used and lots-used visibility. An optional feature is the ability to designate a group of attributes that can be collected and tracked for each lot. These attributes follow the lot for the history of the lot record in the system, providing for historical quality references even after shipment.

SIMMS empowers you to use Manufacturer’s Lots to:

  • Build kits using items with assigned lots
  • Issue your lots manually or have SIMMS automatically issue from lots with the oldest expiration dates first or by earliest lots created/received
  • Produce a comprehensive lot activity history
  • Quickly generate Production Lot Reports
  • Receipt of multiple lots for the same item, or multiple items in one transaction
  • Serial number tracking (organized by serial number or lot), including user-defined serial numbers (in place of, or in addition to, original serials)
  • Traceability of lots on every level, from vendor through to customer

For more information about manufacturer’s lots in SIMMS, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca.

RMAs and RTVs with SIMMS 2013


Accuracy and immediate tracking of items is one of the strengths of the SIMMS system, and new users can quickly add the warranty data to items that are received on invoices in combination with other stock. Once received with assigned data, stock in the system carries that data permanently, which allows for your customer’s satisfaction and provides valuable data about those items that may have a consistent record of required repairs and/or replacements. All these features add to SIMMS’ ability to provide its users with THE info they need right when they need it.

Using SIMMS’ extensive Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) and Return to Vendor (RTV) features, your customers should never have to wait long for their replacement or repair of items under warranty. Drop-ships of items directly from an item’s vendors is yet another feature to streamline this process. Settings in SIMMS allow for easy access to items that may have passed their warranty dates so that users can avoid beginning the replacement or repair process as any RMAs come into the system.

SIMMS’ Warranty Tracking allows for easy access to warranteed items and the smooth access to warranty information so that the replacement or repair processes can be begun or their progress can be followed. Warranties can be assigned upon an item’s manufacture or receipt into the system.

Figuring the R Factor

Warehouse services concept

The cost of purchasing a product surpasses the actual price you have paid for it. Expenses related to purchasing include the salaries of the purchasing staff, rent, and other overhead expenses attributable to the purchasing department.

Further, the more often you buy, the greater your internal costs. For example, if you purchased one million widgets all at the same time, your purchasing or replenishment cost would be the cost per line item, per purchase order.

The cost of replenishment (R Factor) is calculated on a per item, per order basis. The reason for this is that it takes the same amount of internal effort to determine how much of each item you want, from which supplier(s), at what pricing, terms, and so on, no matter which item is being considered and no matter how many items there are on any given purchase order.

To calculate the cost of replenishment, include:

Annual cost of purchasing department labor                   $220,000

Annual cost of purchasing department overhead
   (rent, utilities, equipment allocation, etc.)                     $179,000

Annual cost of expediting stock items                            $  25,000

Total annual costs                                                         $424,000

Number of purchase orders created per year
   for stock (assume):                                                    $  10,000

Average number of different stock items
   per order (assume):                                                              x 8

Total number of times stock items were ordered:            $  80,000


    Total Annual Costs           R Factor       $424,000           $5.30 =
—————————— =                      =   ———— =      ————
Total Times Stock Items                             80,000           R Factor
       Were Ordered

Thus, if the R Factor is $5.00 per item, per order, and there is a single line item on an order, the replenishment cost is $5.00. If there are two items, it’s $10.00. If there are three items, it’s $15.00, etc.

SIMMS Inventory Management software has a replenishment module to help you keep the details of your company’s replenishment needs straight and accurate. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Aggregate Stock


Aggregate Stock is the total volume of multiple classifications of goods contained within a storage facility. The inventory may contain finished goods, raw materials and components. It is also called aggregate inventory. The purpose of aggregate stock is to establish overall levels of inventory that you desire and then applying controls to guarantee that decisions are made so that materials replenishment achieves the goals of the company.

The following goals must be in effect when Aggregate Stock methods are to be used:

• Assess investment levels of the whole company and set targets for improvement

• Develop accountability and link aggregate inventory management controls

• Employ specific techniques like ABC analysis, control parameters and input-output controls

• Measure performance against your own record and against that of your competition

• Pinpoint the drivers of inventory investment levels and then control them.

Most managers have employees making stock that has no immediate demand, they need to produce materials that will earn profits. They may use resources that could better be used for more immediate and profitable needs. Proper deployment of stock can create liabilities. Excess of goods in one place usually means that other places experience a drought. All of these challenges can be overcome by accurate analysis and proper practical planning.

Stock management must establish the lowest level of inventory consistent in balance with achieving the company’s objectives. An excess of stock reduces your Return on Investment and Return on Assets, causing a lower profit margin. Concurrently, it also increases expenses from damage, handling, insurance, interest payments, loss, management, obsolescence, storage tracking and taxes. Aggregate Stock Analysis can maximize inventory levels within the parameters defined by costs, investment objectives, logistics, processes and services.

Whether you use Aggregate Stock in your business or rely on older and slower methods, SIMMS Inventory Management software can help you master your accounting and inventory management needs. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Service and Returns


To stay competitive, virtually every company needs to process customer returns. As today’s customers demand a more specialized level of service, tracking and resolving these returns can be an increasing challenge.

The RMA Inquiry feature makes it easy to determine the status of a return whether or not it has been received. The Return Reason Report shows you which items have been returned, who is returning them and the reason why so that you can quickly identify possible problems.

RTV (Return to Vendor) features allow for a smooth return/replacement process with the vendors that supplied the item, who can repair refurbish or completely replace the faulty piece with a brand new item. The warranty settings for the items alert the user to whether the pieces are still covered.

Ability to fix or destroy items – In SIMMS you have the ability to fix and/or destroy items yourself once received into RMA.

Generate RMA/RTV Reports – In a snap you can print important RMA/RTV related reports so you always have your finger on the pulse of your RMA department

Purchase History Tracking – Easily view the customer purchase history from the RMA module enabling you to not only process an RMA for an item but determine for what sales transaction the item was related to.

Warranty Tracking – SIMMS will inform you when items are past their warranty while attempting to complete a RMA-IN document, giving you the ability to prevent items from flowing into your shop with expired warranties.

Serial Number/Lot Tracking – You have the ability to track what serial number and lot number for the RMA items you are utilizing in the transaction.

SIMMS 2013 offers a competitive edge for distributors and manufacturers, these features create a completely integrated return management solution that saves time, boosts customer satisfaction and gives you a real competitive advantage.

For more information, email us at sales@kcsi.ca or visit www.simmssoftware.com today.

Spare Parts Management


Practical planning and management of spare parts inventory is a critical component of an effective asset management program. If the right parts are not on hand when needed for routine maintenance or repairs, downtime is prolonged. If too many parts are on hand, the enterprise absorbs excessive costs and the overhead of carrying the inventory.

There are time-worn strategies to manage spare parts in keeping with worthwhile stock management, along with some that can be considered questionable, and a variety of new and innovative practices. Here are some useful methods to consider in your tracking of spare parts:

Item Searches
Maintenance Planners who are not familiar with item numbers to locate the appropriate parts in a computer system will have a tough time. Nouns and qualifiers are a way of simplifying a search. A noun is a simple, meaningful name for the item, for example “pump.” The qualifier adds more detail, such as “hydraulic.” A search on this combination will bring up all hydraulic pumps in the stock item master file.

An assortment of captions and a detailed item description can provide an increasingly narrowed search that considers make, model, size, formulation, capacity, etc. If the part can be substituted with an alternate or equivalent part, that reference also should be stored in the stock record.

ABC and XYZ analyses
The generally accepted 80:20 rule illustrates that approximately 80 percent of any storeroom’s volume is associated with only 20 percent of the items in inventory. It is important to pay extra attention to that critical 20 percent.

ABC and XYZ codes are commonly used to identify those parts. The codes are assigned based on value or quantity of stock movement, and each code will have an associated “upper limit.” Highest value parts, for example those that cost more than $5000 each, can be assigned the ABC code of “A,” and fastest moving parts can be assigned an XYZ code of “X.”

Automatic Replenishment
Automating the thought process related to reorders has generated proven savings. Suggested reorder functionality creates requisitions based on reorder points (ROP) and reorder quantities (ROQ) that are stored in the inventory record. Once inventory levels for a part fall below the reorder point threshold, a suggested reorder is placed for the reorder quantity, which in turn creates a requisition. This saves time and prevents the delays and errors that can occur with manual purchasing processes.

When a simple ROQ value is not enough, an economic order quantity (EOQ) algorithm can be used to calculate the right quantity of a spare part to purchase when replenishment is needed. The EOQ can consider volume discounts, the cost of placing an order, carrying costs, and other factors.

Vendor Service Levels
Capturing supplier service level data within the inventory record helps bring to light the most efficient, dependable, and cost-effective vendors. Preferred suppliers can be identified based on historical lead times, pricing, quality, number of short- or over-shipments, how often goods are received damaged, frequency of backorders, and other criteria. Preference can be given to these vendors in the procurement process.