Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Will Kits do the trick?

  • 1.  Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jan 16, 2020 03:33 PM
    Dear Collaborators,

    I apologize in advance if this gets a bit lengthy...

    For years in GP we created Sales Orders for pallets of finished goods. The customer invoice would include the number of pallets of product + the number of pallets we used to palletize the product + a shrink wrap charge. All three of these things would be listed separately on the invoice.

    Enough customers complained about the splitting out of pallets and shrink wrap that we altered one of our SOP Invoices in Report Writer to use the "First Item in Group" Display Type to show only the first item on the Sales Order. Then the prices for all three would be summed using the Display Type of "Sum".

    This worked all right for a while. Our accounting department liked having the pallet and shrink wrap charges separate for inventory and costing purposes. The customer got an invoice showing a single line item with all prices rolled up.

    However, if a customer ordered pallets of multiple products, this modified invoice created a problem: if we sold 10 pallets of product A and 5 pallets of product B, all the prices would be rolled up into a single line item on that modified invoice: product, pallets, and shrink wrap.

    Rather than using custom programming to make our invoicing more flexible, could we expand our list of inventory item numbers to make all-in-one versions of our product offereings? E.g., if Item # 600 is 50# bags of product A, could we create a "kit" that includes a pallet load of product A​, a pallet, plus shrink wrap? Of course, if the customer orders less-than-a-pallet load of product, we still have to include the price of a full pallet in the "kit".

    Is this making sense? It's getting to be a big deal since we're getting more and more orders with multiple products on the same PO. For the time being we're going to create separate Sales Orders for each product. Then we send multiple picking lists to the warehouse and they have to make sure that the various pallets of products all get loaded onto the same truck for the customer. We don't want to be shipping a partial order because we misplaced a picking list!

    I've offered my opinion that, yes, GP can be customized to allow different handling of invoices and orders for these all-in-one product orders. That is, the invoice could be customized to show a single line item for each product on the order which would include the price for pallets in shrink wrap for each individual product... without having them all roll up into one because of the "First Item in Group" Display Type.

    Any thoughts?

    Sincerely,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------
    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 2.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 08:25 AM
    Steve,

    You're not alone with the pallet issue.  I do like your approach of maintaining the detail in GP (by having the users enter the pallet on another line) and then put the complexity in the invoice generation.  I suggest you look at the many ISV's that provide a true document composition engine for you to have standard programming tools (SSRS, Crystal, etc.) to maintain your business logic.  Report Writer is just not strong enough (or user-friendly enough) to handle this task much further than you've already taken it.

    The ISV's that I like the most for this are FormsPrinter and Liaison.

    Good luck!

    Chris



    ------------------------------
    Chris Donnelly
    Sr Mgr of Info Systems and Financial Reporting
    Healthmark Industries
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 3.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 09:12 AM
    Hi, @Chris Donnelly,

    >> Report Writer is just not strong enough (or user-friendly enough) to handle this task much further than you've already taken it. <<

    Oh, man! You'd better not let @David Musgrave hear you say that!

    I have also considered creating custom reports in SSRS for this purpose. Just have to apply a bit of 3-in-1 oil to my rusty SSRS skills!

    I'm going to experiment with kits in our TEST company​​. I suggested in a meeting yesterday that, because we have such a relative handful of products, it wouldn't be that big of a hardship for us to expand our item numbers to include pre-packaged pallets... provided, of course, that creating "kits" or "assemblies" would be a valid way to handle this.

    Thanks for chiming in!

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 4.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 09:23 AM
    I just had a thought: the "First Item in Group" Display Type in Report Writer suggests to my SQL sensibilities that there could be multiple "groups" on a report. Am I assuming too much? And, if I'm not, then how would one signify a "group" in GP so that the "First Item in Group" would segregate items on, say, an invoice based on the "groups" that are defined.

    Is this too esoteric? I wonder if there's some sort of RW function that could facilitate this.

    I mean, I've got to send an invoice to a customer who order three different products in the same shipment. 4 pallets of product A, 12 pallets of product B, and 6 pallets of product C. Each of the 22 pallets must include a pallet, eh? And each pallet needs shrink wrap. So the "groups" on the invoice would be based on the product ID: A, B, or C. The pallets and shrink wrap for each product would be grouped together with the product. Thus, using the "First Item in Group" Display Type in Report Writer, we could produce the invoice just the way the customer wants to see it, yes? Or no?

    Sincerely,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 5.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 09:39 AM
    No disrespect to Mr. Musgrave intended.  Report Writer is an awesome out-of-the-box solution (much like all of the core modules).  Reliable, predictable, easy to use and don't have to be a programmer, etc.   But, when there are advanced needs, ISV's have done a great job of augmenting GP.

    One more thought...  I would not try to start an SSRS report from scratch.  There is a lot of business logic.  Most ISV's provide templates with the core business logic already built-in.

    Chris

    ------------------------------
    Chris Donnelly
    Sr Mgr of Info Systems and Financial Reporting
    Healthmark Industries
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 6.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 09:47 AM
    Steve,

    To answer your specific question...

    I don't know how you'd do that in ReportWriter.  There may be a way.  But, I always deployed an ISV when logic started getting complex.  In my experience, once you accomplish this challenge, the users will come with more (that may or may not build on this one).

    Chris

    ------------------------------
    Chris Donnelly
    Sr Mgr of Info Systems and Financial Reporting
    Healthmark Industries
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 7.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 10:20 AM
    Kits will do the trick.....and use the print components option (flag) in the SOP invoice print dialog with some RW work.

    ------------------------------
    Thaddeus Suter
    Retus, Inc
    HELOTES TX
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 8.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 10:28 AM
    Thaddeus,

    I'm going to try out kits. Your teaser, "...with some RW work," is tantalizing but mysterious!

    Regards,​

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 9.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 10:25 AM
    @Chris Donnelly,

    As a former developer, I know about shifting requirements. I think Rob Collie (part of the Power Pivot engineering team at Microsoft and founder of PoverPivotPro.com) said it best in "Power Pivot and Power BI": "People don't know what they want until they've seen what they asked for."​

    I'm looking to work out a GP-only solution if at all possible before we go to another add-on.

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 10.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 17, 2020 10:29 AM
    Steve,

    If you go the kit route, be sure to test all of your scenarios.  I recall running into issues with short-shipping kits.  Hopefully, this has been fixed.

    Chris

    ------------------------------
    Chris Donnelly
    Sr Mgr of Info Systems and Financial Reporting
    Healthmark Industries
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 11.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jan 18, 2020 10:22 AM
    Use the Kit only for the packing materials. Not for the finished goods item being sold.

    So the Invoice will have two lines minimum.
    One for the Item and one for the corresponding Packing materials which is a Kit.

    If you sell three line items then you want to also have three lines for packing materials.
    The Packing Material Kit holds:
    1. Pallet Qty = 1
    2. Boxes  say 16
    3. Bubble Wrap - say 35 inches
    4. Peanuts....3cuft
    5. Labor 20 minutes and so on.
    It is a standard that gets adjusted to actual.

    When the Kit line is fulfilled, the Sales Kit Options  window pops open and the shipper adjusts the standard Extended Quantities for packing components to reflect what was actually used. Component Lines can also be deleted or added.
    1 pallet, 3 boxes, no peanuts etc.....

    Here is the Microsoft documentation on this:

    'Use the Sales Kit Options window to change a kit component, select the serial or lot numbers for kit components and select options for processing quantity shortages. Changes you make to a kit affect the kit item only for the document you're entering.'
    GP 2018


    ' See window below for what it looks like in action and where the shipper changes the Extended Quantities from standard Kit to Actual usage..


    Now in Report Writer use a conditional expression on Item Type ( ITEMTYPE = 3) to not print the Kit Item if you do not want to print the kit line. Frankly I would print it. No big deal. Its says PACKING MATERIALS and has no price to the customer so no big deal but all your packing materials are relieved from inventory based on actual usage in shipping and the cost is handled accordingly.


    ------------------------------
    Thaddeus Suter
    Retus, Inc
    HELOTES TX
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 12.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 27 days ago
    Thaddeus,

    I hope you see this as your privacy settings don't allow me to use the usual "@" tagging for your name. In any event...

    (I haven't replied earlier since I was down with a savage mutant cold the past four days.)

    Thank you for the interesting approach. So it looks like multiple items could go on an Order and instead of using "First Item in Group" flag in RW, just get rid of that and manipulate RW in a different way to not show prices for the PACKAGING MATERIALS kits, yes?

    Based on your reply, the Sales Kit Options window appears for each invoice that uses Kits, is that right? Would the window appear during Transfer from Order to Invoice? My concern is that we transfer dozens of orders to invoices at once and this would add a manual step for every invoice with kits.

    I'm still digesting your recommendation!

    Sincerely,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List as of 12-Nov-2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


  • 13.  RE: Will Kits do the trick?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 27 days ago
    The purpose of using a KIT for packing materials is two fold. 1. It allows the picker/packer to specifically fulfill the packing materials used for the order or invoice by entering the actual quantities. Pallets, 42inch, 48inch, 16inch boxes, 14 inch boxes, bubble wrap etc. I have seen Packing Kits with as many as 20 items but keep it as few as needed.  The KIT Maintenance has qty = 0, but the picker/packer enters the actual quantities into the Sales Kit Options window on the Invoice when it is fulfilled. This process allows the inventory for packing materials to be relieved without adding all the lines to an Invoice. Just one, the KIT.
    The second use of the Packaging KIT is for pricing. Your company may independently sell Pallets, Boxes, Bubble wrap and each item in the Packing KIT is an IV Item with its own Price. But typically the KIT price is $0.00, meaning the Item Price is a Packed price and thus the Invoice will show the Item price as $XX.XX and the Packing KIT price as $0.00.  But if you add specific Items in the KIT to the Invoices such as Pallet42, then that Pallet42 will have its IV price.

    Here is nice picture that shows how the Picker /shipper has fulfilled one 42 inch pallet and 12  - 14" boxes and 3 lbs of bubble wrap to pack an Invoice having a qty of 12 units. See the lines in the Sales Kit Options window where the qty has been edited to reflect what was used. The extended price is $168 including packing at $0.00. If the three packing Items were added to the invoice (pallet42, box14 and bub) they would have their normal prices.


    The picker/packer uses the window at the warehouse packing station for each sales invoice to record the item usages and thus relieve packing materials inventory of the pallets, boxes, etc..

    The main purpose is to avoid having the picker/packer add specific priced items to an invoice to relieve packing materials. They just open the window and mark the quantities on the appropriate lines.

    An Invoice could have 3-4 or more Finished Goods line items and a single Packing Kit line that when fulfilled could have several pallets and dozens of boxes. An example is truckload shipments. Maybe 8 pallets of different sizes and  300 boxes of 3-4 different sizes. All relieved from inventory by a single KIT line.

    There is no real business need to remove or hide the Packing Kit line on the Invoice using RW conditions. The KIT should be LIST = $0.00 and the Item price is a packed LIST price. But  for those few customers that may accept a Packing Charge, you can use Price Levels to make a Packing Price for those Customers or use the individual priced items. That is handled in Pricing Setups ( Levels for Customers and Groups for Items)

    You also have the FREIGHT field and MISC field on the Invoice for additional charges that you can post to specific GL accounts where the Customer allows these charges.


    ------------------------------
    Thaddeus Suter
    Retus, Inc
    HELOTES TX
    ------------------------------

    Conference-GPUG_200x200


If you've found this thread useful, dive deeper into User Group community content by role