Keeping tracking of costs is crucial for keeping your business afloat. Without it, you wouldn’t know what to charge your customers for your products or services. Materials, labor, even your fuel bill – these are all important considerations in pricing your products and providing estimates for services. It makes sense that your ERP system has a strong Job Cost functionality to accurately account for everything and increase your efficiency. InOrder fills those requirements, and more. Here are just a few highlights:
- Invoice billable jobs.
- Both one-time jobs and perpetual jobs are supported, including periodically billed jobs for service contracts or other on-going billable jobs.
- Create jobs from job classes, from standard jobs you have created ahead of time, or by simply copying similar jobs.
- Define unlimited job specifications by Job Class.
- Jobs may consist of one or more functions and each function consists of one or more tasks. Within each task, InOrder tracks billable services performed, labor, and materials needed/used.
- Accrue Job Services from timesheets, warehouse data capture, manual entry, or by counting various qualifying transactions performed throughout InOrder.
- Capture labor through timesheet entry, or by time capture using a barcode scanning or other data capture interfaces. Labor is categorized by job and by kind of work.
- “Reserve and order materials” function allows inventory to be reserved and allows additional inventory to be ordered and received using inventory hold access codes linked to each job, for enabling optimal inventory planning.
- Inventory depletion occurs as material usage data is entered. Kit assembly jobs are also supported. In this case, kit assembly transactions are generated directly from the Job Cost module where services provided can accrue in tandem with inventory adjustments.
For more information about managing jobs with InOrder ERP, contact Morse Data Corporation.
You might not think about packing materials every day, but how a product is packed can play a big part in a customer’s perception of a product’s quality. Just as packaging can mean the difference between a customer buying a product or not, if you ship orders, also consider how important your packing material is to your customers.
Here are four simple tips to keeping your packing options competitive:
- Make your packing materials interesting and entertaining to identify your brand. Packing materials also represent your business.
- Educate your customers – Use this as an opportunity to reach out to them. It exceeds their expectations and builds loyalty. It also encourages them to place more orders.
- Advertise your brand – Often, when a package is delivered in a plain, unmarked box or simple padded envelop, it’s a missed opportunity. An unmarked package, which travels across the country, could have been broadcasting the brand it carried all along the delivery route. Inserts and catalogs are great, but using packing materials to encourage your customers to place more orders is brilliance. There are many ideas, such as printing pictures of items you sell with taglines. Because of the expense, it might be worth discussing a cost-sharing arrangement with your vendors to purchase boxes printed with their logo. Likewise, vendors might consider printing boxes with their logos and making them available to their distributors.
- Reduce waste – People don’t usually want to be wasteful, and they’re willing to recycle. Whenever possible, use materials that are easy to reuse and recycle, and your customers will take care of the rest.
As you do for retail customers, give your business clients the same attention. Packing options must be flexible and customizable. Otherwise, you might not have the capability to sell merchandise that clients (or prospective clients) request. You’re not in business to miss out on opportunities, so be sure you have what you need to deliver.
Did you get a message from Google about marking http pages with forms as not secure? If so, you’re not alone. Google is sending notifications that Chrome will warn users when certain HTTP pages are not considered secure. These pages include those in Incognito mode, forms, pages that accept passwords, credit cards, etc. The message from Google also includes information about how to prevent the warning by using only HTTPS pages when collecting user data.
Google’s Security Blog provides complete details about this change, including dates and updated information. It also provides links to assist developers with enabling HTTPS pages. As the Blog explains, Chrome will consider all HTTP pages as non-secure and display the following to users.
InOrder is a PA-DSS-validated payment application, and the InOrder responsive eCommerce web site automatically switches between non-secure (http://) and secure pages (https://) using a TLS certificate. So, if you’re using InOrder, your customers can be sure they’re using secure pages when entering sensitive information on your site.
Contact us if you need help making your InOrder eCommerce website more secure, or for more information about using InOrder for your eCommerce business.
If your business has a physical presence, you already know to provide equal access to your facilities to include people with disabilities. But what about your eCommerce website? If it serves the public, now is a good time to evaluate it to make sure people with disabilities can access it as easily as those without disabilities. Designing your website with equal access to all shoppers is smart customer service and good for your business. It’s not difficult, and you don’t want to miss out on a large group of customers because they can’t access your website!
Here are four recommendations from the ADA website to address accessibility problems.
- Videos with sound are great for people who can hear your content but not see it. But what about people who can’t hear the sound in your videos? When you use multimedia, such as videos, include descriptions and captions. This allows people to see your message even if they can’t hear it.
- Consistency builds trust, and helps your brand be easily recognized. However, flexibility with colors and font settings is key to providing access to people who have difficulty seeing the fonts and color combinations you choose. To accommodate them, allow people to use their browsers and systems to specify the colors and font settings they need to see your content.
- PDF documents keep your intended format consistent and they are difficult to change. For these reasons, they are widely used for digital distribution. However, they don’t work well with screen readers, alternate colors, and alternate font settings. So, the content in PDF documents might not be accessible to everyone. If you use them on your website, also provide another format, such as HTML or a text-based format.
- As with PDF documents, images are not accessible by screen readers or Braille display devices. To make your images available to people with a vision disability, include descriptive text for each image so your shoppers know what you’re showing them.
The ADA website also provides examples, terms, and information to help understand why these steps are so necessary. While these are best practices intended for state and local governments, you can easily apply these to your website to be sure you reach the largest possible audience, and more people can benefit from your message.
To help you reach even more users, the Word Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to assist developers with guidance and techniques. It provides 12 organized guidelines with test criteria, as well as related stories to help understand the reasons for each of them.
Contact us if you need help making your InOrder eCommerce website accessible to more customers, or for more information about using InOrder for your eCommerce business.
Many reasons can cause problems with a retail business – poor pricing, location, not enough stock, poor planning, all of which can lead to unsatisfactory customer experience and ultimately, failure.
It’s important to understand why a project failed to learn for future success. How can things be different? How can you succeed next time? If you explore reasons for failure, you can use that information to help avoid it in the future.
Location might not seem important, but it is – especially if you’re thinking about international expansion. What do customers in that country expect of their local businesses? What do employees expect? What are the various business and employment laws? If your business is local, it’s crucial to know who your customers are and where they are. Keep these things in mind when deciding where your store will live.
Even in your home country, pricing is important for similar reasons – what do customers expect? How far will your customers travel for your products? Can the area support your pricing structure? If your competitors are charging much less, which store will shoppers pick?
Make sure your prices reflect your shoppers’ budgets, and that you can keep up with pricing of your competitors.
Not Enough Stock
Exceptional warehouse control, real-time inventory management, and communication between the distribution center and your ERP system are crucial to maintaining customer satisfaction. Think about it – who wants to shop for groceries in a store that doesn’t keep enough fresh produce in stock? or milk? or bread? Similarly, when shoppers look for clothes, they want to go to stores that carry their styles and sizes.
The other side of this problem is too much inventory because you don’t know how much you need. If you order a million dollars in inventory and don’t sell it in a timely manner, your money is losing interest because it is tied up while inventory sits in the warehouse.
Use an exceptional integrated ERP system to increase productivity. Here are ways your ERP system can help with this.
There are many things to consider, such as fraud, theft and security, and even training. When working with other parties or their software, unexpected obstacles and delays may be introduced, such as schedule conflicts, terminology misunderstandings, errors, unexpected expenses, and customer service issues. Being on the alert for this and working with experienced businesses and trading partners will go a long way in helping your projects stay within budget and on time.
Determine your detailed plan of action items and include the names of the individuals who will be responsible for those tasks. Hold them responsible for the work assigned to them and require a weekly status report on completed tasks and road blocks encountered. This is especially important when implementing critical software for your enterprise.
In more than three decades, the biggest mistake we see companies make is to not create an action plan that covers all aspects of implementation. For more valuable information about Implementing your ERP system, download our “Ten Tips for a Successful ERP Implementation” paper. Whether you’re considering a new ERP system or you’re just beginning an implementation, this paper will help you keep your implementation within budget and on time.
Your products, your services, your location, your tools, and of course, your employees. All of these help your business succeed. If they’re not working together efficiently, it will impact your customer satisfaction and your bottom line. Here are five ways your ERP system can help.
Schedule many functions to run automatically. When the system prepares and/or prints picking or putaway batches, generates mailing lists, outbound sales call lists, reorder lists, etc., you and your employees have time for other important tasks.
Use an RF communication system from top quality ERP software to efficiently handle inventory through real-time inventory tasks, improving productivity and control for major warehouse functions. After rolling out an RF system, a warehouse can significantly decrease paper processing and increase its inventory receipt processing from an average of 20 line items per hour to 55 line items per hour, per person.
Inventory Barcode Labels
Place labels with barcodes on your products to help quickly identify them and help prevent mistakes during picking, point of sale, and physical inventory. While labels are usually produced when inventory is received in a warehouse, putaway, or transferred to a POS location, they can also be produced any time after a SKU us defined. Labels can be printed by SKU, by receipt, or by purchase order before receiving the items.
Stock Drop Transfer
While you might expect an ERP system to backorder or cancel an out of stock item, it can also see stock available at a nearby location. Set up your ERP system so that, if that stock can be brought to the warehouse in time to fill the line item, it is allocated to the order.
Scannable Timesheet Entries
Entering timesheets is easy when you’re sitting at a desk. Simply open the timekeeping software and enter your time as you complete your tasks. But when personnel are moving around a warehouse all day, tracking time can get a little tricky. Every employee does not have his or her own computer station, and having employees log in and out of one station all day isn’t very efficient. Use your ERP system so warehouse personnel can simply scan their badges and the barcodes of the task they are working on from a daily report. The ERP system would track the time between each scan. Typically, a project manager or warehouse manager can also scan a task and then scan the badge of each person who will work on it. The project manager can also track who is still clocked in, and then press one button to end a shift completely.
If your ERP system doesn’t provide these functions to improve your warehouse efficiency (and more), contact us for a demo of InOrder.
With the Multi-Language capabilities of the InOrder ERP system, you can establish a list of Languages to be used when printing forms for Customers whose primary Language is other than English.
- Default language of a new customer is set based on the customer’s country.
- Customize your own Crystal Report forms, such as packing slips, invoices, and statements to display field labels and text messages that vary based on the preferred language of each target address.
InOrder supports currency symbols and allows you to control whether a currency is available for use on your web store. Also supported are interface codes used by the Paymentech Gateway when processing credit card transactions in a foreign currency.
Temporal Exchange Rates by Client
Currency exchange rates are used to show converted currency values on printed forms (invoices, credit memos, statements, etc) for customer presentation. This is normally used where prices and sales are stored in US dollars, but must be shown to the customer in their native currency equivalent.
- Exchange rates are defined with effective dates for each currency type your business uses.
- Orders and A/R link to the Exchange Rates data to show customer transactions in your base currency and the customer’s foreign currency.
- Morse Data can connect your preferred data source to feed the exchange rate tables.
Contact us for more information about increasing your customer base with InOrder’s Multi-Language capabilities.
This article discusses costly fraud chargebacks and the challenges of preventing them. It provides three techniques to reduce or eliminate credit card chargebacks.
What Economic Nexus Means for Your Remote Sales
Sales tax revenue is lagging and many states are creating nexus laws to further tax sales by out-of-state sellers lacking a physical presence in the state. Knowing how this will affect you is key to staying ahead in an audit! Check out this blog post by the tax experts at Avalara for more info!
Tax on Cookies?! According to this article, Massachusetts says that cookies placed on consumers’ browsers in Massachusetts = physical presence and wants to tax them.
This article provides advice on automating for your eCommerce business.
When you’ve finished reading, contact us for a demo to see how InOrder helps you accomplish each of these!
There are many times during the year when you send a mailing to a specific group of customers. With the InOrder ERP system, you can send promotional messages to customers, create new lists, import lists from external sources, and even export your mailing list to a spreadsheet format.
- Catagorize your lists and assign customers to them.
- Specify label formats.
- Use with the InOrder Address Validation interface to validate a batch of addresses within a specified range of U.S. postal codes.
- Automatically merge duplicate address records.
- Use with the InOrder Email Marketing Enhancement to send Email Blasts.
- Send followup notices. Define followup efforts that activate after a specified number of days.
- Import your own mailing lists with names and addresses.
- Import your own lists of Email address.
- Generate promotional keycodes as list segments are generated.
- Export your mailing list to spreadsheet format.
- Define your call lists.
- Simultaneously store an unlimited number of RFM scores for each customer. (Recency (most recent purchase date), Frequency (how many purchases a customer has made), Monetary (spending).
- Group customers by RFM cells.
Contact us for more information about mailing lists and marketing with InOrder.
In its 2016 Pulse of the Online Shopper Study, UPS provides insights for eCommerce businesses as they plan their strategies for growth. This study explores online shoppers and how they have “Evolved.” Their shopping cycles are represented, showing a strong promise for future buying power. Included are discussions of new technologies they’re interested in, how and where they shop, and what retailers must provide to win them over or lose them.
Devices are explored, with smartphone shopping showing the most growth. As technology (and retailers) make it easier and faster to use smartphones for shopping, satisfaction with them increases, fueling faster growth opportunities for businesses that support them.
Search habits are also shown, revealing that shoppers prefer to begin searching on marketplaces. According to the study, 90% of independent online retailers sell through them, and shoppers prefer them for product/shipping pricing, quick delivery, product selection and availability, and more choices in one place. Also mentioned are shopping trends, along with “cross-channel purchasing,” (where shoppers research vs. where they shop), and how social media influences shopping.
Shoppers revealed that they want to help themselves, but they also want help (such as Q&A, FAQs, chat, etc.) to always be available when they need it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like many retailers provided those services. Hopefully, many will respond to these requests.
As can be expected with online purchases, returns are higher. While many shoppers prefer to drop their returns off at carrier locations, many also prefer to take their returns to a physical store. This provides opportunities for retailers to make these experiences easy for shoppers, who might make additional purchases while making their returns.
UPS has also conducted its sixth annual study of online shoppers, which includes five volumes. This link provides a download to Volume 1, which includes information to request future volumes.
Shoppers want control and flexibility. They want helpful responsiveness when they need it. They want fast searches, large selections, quality products that are available, and quick, low-cost delivery. They want access, coupons, and notifications without intrusion.
Use this valuable information to help you make decisions for winning these “Evolved” customers. And, in doing so, grow your business.
Contact us for a demo of how InOrder can help you implement the features so many shoppers demand.