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This unit will introduce the business processes that SQL-Ledger allows. These processes are designed to allow various types of businesses to manage their orders allow for rudimentary customer relationship management processes to be built around this software. In this module, we will introduce the work flow options that many businesses may use in their day-to-day use of the software.
Sales orders represent orders from customers that have not been delivered or shipped yet. These orders can be for work in the future, or for back ordered products, or work in progress. A sales order can be generated form an AR invoice or from a quotation automatically.
Quotations are offers made to a customer but to which the customer has not committed to the work. Quotations can be created from Sales orders or AR Invoice automatically.
The Shipping module (Shipping→Shipping) allows one to ship portions or entireties of existing sales orders, printing pick lists and packing slips. One can then generate invoices for those parts that were shipped. In general, one will be more likely to use these features if they have multiple warehouses that they ship from. More likely most customers will just generate invoices from orders.
A customer contacts your firm and asks for a quote on some services. Your company would create a quotation for the job and email it to the customer or print it and mail it. Once the customer agrees to pay, one creates an order from the quotation. When the work is completed, the order is converted into a sales invoice and this is presented to the customer as a bill. Note that in some cases, this procedure may be shortened. If the customer places an order without asking for a quotation and is offered a verbal quote, then one might merely prepare the order.
Figure 1: Simple AR Service Invoice Workflow Example
A customer contacts your firm and asks for a quotation for shipping a part. You would create the quotation and when you get confirmation, convert it to an order. Once the parts are in place you could go to shipping and ship the part. The billing department can then generate the invoice from the sales order based on what merchandise has been shipped and mail it to the customer. Note that this requires that you have the part in your inventory.
Figure 2: AR Workflow with Shipping
A customer contacts your firm and asks for a quotation for a number of different parts. You would create a quotation and when you get confirmation, convert it to an order. When you go to ship the item, you would select the warehouse in the drop-down menu, and select the parts to ship. One would repeat with other warehouses until the entire order is shipped. Then the billing department would go to the sales order and generate the invoice. It would then be mailed to the customer.
Figure 3: Complex AR Workflow with Shipping
A request for quotation would be a formal document one might submit to a vendor to ask for a quote on a product or service they might offer. These can be generated from Purchase Orders or AP Invoices
A purchase order is a confirmation that is issued to the vendor to order the product of service. Many businesses will require a purchase order with certain terms in order to begin work on a product. These can be generated from RFQ's or AP Invoices.
The Shipping→Receiving screen allows you to track the parts received from an existing purchase order. Like shipping, it does not post an invoice but tracks the received parts in the order.
Your company inquires about the price of a given good or service from another firm. You submit an RFQ to the vendor, and finding that the price is reasonable, you convert it to an order, adjust the price to what they have quoted, and save it. When the goods are delivered you convert the order into an AP invoice and post it.
Figure 4: Simple AP Workflow
Your company inquires about the price of a given good or service from another firm, You submit an RFQ to the vendor, and finding that the price is acceptable, you convert it into an order, adjusting the price to what they have quoted, and save it. When some of the goods are received, you open up the purchase order, enter the number of parts received, convert that order into an invoice, and post it. Repeat until all parts are received.
Figure 5: AP Workflow with Receiving
Your company inquires about the price of a given good or service from another firm, You submit an RFQ to the vendor, and finding that the price is acceptable, you convert it into an order, adjusting the price to what they have quoted, and save it. When some or all of the goods are received, the receiving staff goes Shipping-Receiving, locates the purchase order, and fills in the number of items received. The bookkeeper can then determine when all items have been received and post the invoice at that time.
Figure 6: Complex AP Workflow
The Generation screen allows you to generate Purchase Orders based on sales orders. One selects the sales orders one wants to use, and clicks “Generate Purchase Orders.” Then one selects clicks on the parts to order, adjusts the quantity if necessary, and clicks “Select Vendor.” This process is repeated for every vendor required. Then the Generate Orders button is clicked.
One can consolidate sales and/or purchase orders using this screen. For the consolidation to work you must have more than one order associated with the relevant customer or vendor.
The reporting functionality in the order management is largely limited to the ability to locate purchase orders, sales orders, RFQ's, and quotations.
One can transfer inventory between warehouses if necessary by using the Shipping→Transfer Inventory screen.
(First version from: An Introduction to SQL-Ledger by Chris Travers, 2006)