InOrder ERP Kits and Substitutions Can Benefit Your Business

If your company buys lots of parts, and then puts them together before shipping them to customers, InOrder’s Kit Definitions feature will benefit your business. If your company doesn’t always keep enough quantity on hand for your common components, or does not know how many parts to keep in stock, then the InOrder Substitutions feature is for you.

Kit Definitions

The InOrder Kit Definitions feature allows you to assemble multiple items for sale as a single item. With this functionality, you can track the inventory, component assembly and disassembly, sales, and costs of the assembled kit and its component items.

Using InOrder for Kits is great for items you always sell together. It allows you to stock and sell multiple part numbers together under one Top Number. A good example of this would be a Lowering Block Kit, which has u-bolts, blocks, and hardware. InOrder ERP Kit Assembly

The InOrder Kit Definitions feature provides the ability to:

  • Control the inventory and cost for each item individually.
  • Base the total cost for the kit on all the items included.
  • Discount the retail price (buy in a kit and save).
  • Replenish kits based on individual SKUs in stock.
  • Disassemble kits when you no longer need them, or to free up common components needed elsewhere.
  • Provide easy Kit Definition access to your Customer Service Reps and online, enabling assistance with replacement parts orders.

InOrder Reports for Kit Definitions include the Kit Management Report, which lists kits, their components, and the information about them. Because assembled kits and components are inventory items, they appear on inventory reports and sales reports as any other inventory item. In addition, the InOrder Replenish Report instructs you on how many kits to build based on total number of kits sold and how many of each individual item is in stock. (For example, you can run the report on how many kits were sold in the last 30 days.) Kits are either in stock or out of stock. If one item in the kit is out of stock, the entire kit will be out of stock.

Substitutions

When an out-of-stock inventory item is ordered, you can substitute either a single in-stock inventory item for another brand of the same item, or you can substitute a group of inventory items (Kit-on-the-Fly). This feature works best when you have many items that are typically ordered together, but you need the ability to ship what is in stock. (All items do not have to be in stock at one time to ship, as with Kit Definitions.)

A good example of a Substitution would be an order for the following:

  • Interior kit
  • Seat Upholstery
  • Door Panels
  • Headliner
  • Carpet Kit
  • Rear Seat Shelf

In a Substitution, if the Carpet Kit is out of stock, you can still process the order and ship the remaining in-stock items. The carpet will ship as a backorder (when it is back in stock) and retain the substitution price. InOrder will exchange the price for each item, so it will equal the Substitution Price (buy all the items together and save). In addition, it will break all the items out on an invoice, and you can remove items that may not be needed; the price will adjust.

Unlike Kit Definition, Substitutions do not show in stock or out of stock. Once invoiced, the items are displayed on the invoice with the exchanged price and will either be in stock or backordered (the Top Number will not have inventory).

You can use this feature for Build-to-Order Kits-on-the-Fly as your customers request them, or for Buy-X-Get-Y free offers.

This great feature is very flexible, allowing you to offer up a discounted price for bundled items, and still ship items regardless of inventory status of the items included.

Contact us for more information about how the InOrder Kits and Substitutions features can benefit your business.

 

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Tools for your eCommerce Shoppers

InOrder ERP Blue Duck LogoThere are many ways you can help shoppers navigate your eCommerce store. But not all of these features provide the same benefits for all shoppers – or for you. Let’s explore 4 tools that are easy to provide and your customers will appreciate.

Search Filters

If shoppers search for something specific, it means they know what they want, and they want to find it immediately. Check your search analytic results to see how shoppers are searching for your products. Remember that a search engine-optimized design gives you additional edge over the competition.

If you have multiple product categories, make sure your customers can easily find what they’re looking for. Provide them with the ability to combine different search criteria, in whatever combinations they choose.

Reviews

Reviews can increase sales by steering and bolstering confidence as shoppers are considering their purchases. Google recognizes the benefits of ratings and reviews, and you can encourage Google to show them with schema markup. Additionally, it is important to know what your customers think of your products because then you know how you can improve your offerings, and where you should consider raising or lowering prices. If your ERP system provides the capability, you can enable live crowd sourcing so your customers can provide feedback for products. You can even provide online forums or Q&A sections.  After each purchase, ask for a review of both the shopping experience and the product. This lets the customer know that you still care even after the sale. And when your customers take the time to send their valuable opinions, make sure to review and display them as soon as possible.

Chat-bots

A chat-bot is a messaging system between you and your shoppers. An artificial customer service agent represents your side of the conversation, providing assistance that is always available.

Chat-bots can help your business by sending automatic texts and Emails to customers, informing them of specials, sending coupons and reminders to finish the checkout process to reduce cart abandonment.

Chat-bots can be helpful when they’re needed, as long as they’re not intrusive and don’t get in the way of browsing a website.

Videos

Videos are can be very useful shopping tools. Customers can use videos to learn the purpose of a product, how to use it, and why they would want it. Videos can provide information that might be missing from an item’s description, answer questions that might not otherwise be asked, and they often help shoppers decide to buy an item.

Videos also help shoppers decide not to buy an item, which is a benefit to you if customers don’t buy something they won’t be happy with or will be disappointed in, or will return.

From simple search filters to virtual reality, many shoppers want your assistance, and if you don’t provide what they expect, they’ll find another eCommerce site that will.

 

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Can Free WiFi Benefit Your Business?

WiFiBalloon Free WiFi is common in many retail stores, and, in many cases, it provides benefits to both the business and its customers. Everybody likes “free” and WiFi is no different. For example, customers may linger longer, buy more, and return to a store with free WiFi. Could this make as big a difference as targeted marketing? If you’re exploring this service, here are some ways it could benefit both you and your customers.

Competitive – As mentioned, free WiFi is common, and in some cases, customers expect it. So don’t lose shoppers to the store down the street because they have free WiFi and you don’t.

Opportunities – You know it’s critical to interact with customers, and free WiFi can earn its keep when it comes to this. Customers begin at your site, where you have a chance to relay your message and thank them with a promotion that’s valid during that visit.

Engagement – With free WiFi, customers may stay longer, browse more, enjoy their stay and possibly buy more. When shopping is pleasant, you expect customers to come again. Shoppers may post their locations on social media, where they might even encourage their friends and families to shop – Bonus!

Customer Service / Loyalty – Use your free WiFi to embrace your comparison shoppers. Motivate them to research your products on your website, making it easy to buy them from you. Keep them involved and build confidence and trust by providing a community environment and participating with them.

Analytics – You know how important it is to make relevant offers. Studies also show that customers get annoyed with too many irrelevant messages, so use your WiFi service to observe customer preferences and provide them with offers they’ll appreciate.

There are both pros and cons to offering free WiFi. Speed is one concern, and security is another. You want control over how it is used so it isn’t abused. And while it’s nice to have customers sit in your coffee shop or restaurant and surf (or work) all day using your free WiFi, that practice could seriously inhibit table turnaround. While free WiFi has its benefits, it might not be the smart choice for every business.

What are your thoughts on offering free WiFi?

 

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Manage Sophisticated Multi-Tiered Projects and Jobs with the InOrder ERP System

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.

InOrder ERP Job Cost

For more information about managing jobs with InOrder ERP, contact Morse Data Corporation.

 

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Don’t let your packing stunt your business’s growth!

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.

 

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Is Your eCommerce Site Secure with HTTPS?

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.

Chrome Display HTTP Not Secure Example

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.

 

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Use These Tips to Welcome all Shoppers to Your eCommerce Website

InOrder ERP Blue Duck LogoIf 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.

 

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5 Reasons for Retail Failure

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.

Poor Location

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.

Inappropriate Pricing

ShoppingBagsCoupleEven 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.

Inexperienced Partners

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.

No Planning

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.

erp-paper-coverIn 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.

 

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5 Ways Your ERP System Can Help Improve Warehouse Efficiency

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.

Automatic Routines

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.

RF Communication

InOrder ERP RFUse 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

Sample Active Task Menu

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.

 

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Crossing Language and Currency Borders with InOrder ERP

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.

InOrder ERP Languages

  • 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.

Multiple Currencies

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.

InOrder Currencies

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.

InOrder ERP Exchange Rates

Contact us for more information about increasing your customer base with InOrder’s Multi-Language capabilities.

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