101 posts categorized "Customers, Jobs and Projects"

Direct Store Delivery Software (DSD) - The LaceUp Solution

DIRECT STORE DELIVERY SOFTWARE

According to Wikipedia, Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a business process that manufacturers use to both sell and distribute goods directly to point of sales (PoS) or point of consumption (PoC) including additional product and market related services such as merchandising, information gathering, or equipment service and bypassing any retailer or wholesaler logistics.

Within the DSD framework, small businesses find themselves needing to manage their truck inventories (multi-location tracking in the QuickBooks world) as well as track the sales and accounting that occur on those trucks on a daily basis.

I was recently introduced to the folks at LaceUp, a solution dedicated to the DSD business model, and wanted to share some insights about them with you as provided by Mickey Hernandez, the CEO of LaceUp...

LaceUp-Solutions-Logo

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCING LaceUp: Direct Store Delivery (DSD) Software & Route Accounting for QuickBooks

LaceUp Solutions is an affordable direct store delivery application for wholesale and distributors that ties into QuickBooks desktop versions (Pro, Premier and Enterprise), and QuickBooks Online.

With LaceUp you can automate your day to day deliveries and manage the inventory on your trucks. Never waste time again manually keying in data to QuickBooks, and eliminate expensive employee tasks that reduce productivity and create costly errors

Truck Inventory Tracking

On a daily basis the inventory levels on your trucks fluctuate. Inventory is sold, products get credited, and orders get returned. With LaceUp you can track each unit of product that goes on and off your truck to minimize theft and increase sales efficiency for each route. Truck inventory tracking offers many features to allow you to manage your route efficiently:

  • Inventory levels decrease when customers get invoiced
  • Inventory levels increase with voids and returns
  • Track credits from the customer all the way to the warehouse
  • Transfer inventory mid-day on to the truck or off the truck
  • Associate specific lot numbers to invoices and customers

Additional Features of LaceUp

  • Route Sales Interface

On each route there are opportunities to increase sales and minimize credits. LaceUp offers your route drivers a customizable invoice template based on previous sales history for each customer. This ensures that your driver always sells the right products and quantities while avoiding the sale of products that would otherwise become stale.

  • Order Entry

Before the first delivery is ever made, each distributor has a team of sales reps opening new accounts and capturing sales orders. With LaceUp, sales reps can use the sales interface to key in orders in seconds. From any Android or iOS device, sales reps can view real time pricing and inventory. Moreover, the company can set up special offers for sales reps to facilitate the sale of products during holidays or stagnant selling seasons.

  • Mobile Invoicing and Printing

Offers distribution companies of all sizes next generation technology on the iPhone and Android that enables your sales reps to create, print and send invoices to your customers on the go. Capture signatures at the point of delivery and use Bluetooth for mobile printing of proof of deliveries.

  • DEX EDI

LaceUp is the first DSD software that enables QuickBooks distributors to DEX with retailers. DEX is a method of EDI used by the direct store delivery industry to transmit invoices digitally into a retailer’s computer system. This enables the retailer’s receiver to accept an invoice without having to key in the invoice into their system, thus avoiding costly data entry and errors. Route drivers who use DEX EDI get in and out of stops an average of 30 minutes faster.

A free trial of LaceUp is available for a "try before you buy" approach to solving the route accounting and truck inventory management needs of your DSD business.

 

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Pending Credit Memos for Returned Materials (RMA) in QuickBooks

Since QuickBooks doesn't have any type of "returns module" to handle customer returns or RMAs (returned material authorizations), here is a way your business could track those pesky returns...

CONSIDER THE PENDING CREDIT MEMO

Let's say you get a call today from a customer that needs to return a defective product, but you don't want to issue the credit to them until the product is received and cleared for refund.

You'd click on Customers > Create Credit Memos/Refunds to open up the Credit Memo form. Complete the form as needed to reflect the customer, item(s) being returned, etc.

BEFORE you save this credit memo, click Edit > Mark Credit Memo as Pending, and you'll see something like this (note the Pending stamp that has been added):

Pending Credit Memo

Once this credit memo has been saved, it becomes a tracking document that sits open while you await the arrival of the returned products.

Since it has been tagged with the "Pending" status, this transaction does NOT post to the customer account or the ledger in QuickBooks (so that is why it also says "non-posting" in the example above.

Bonus - you could even send this document to your customer as their "authorization" to return the products!

VIEWING A PENDING CREDIT MEMO REPORT FOR TRACKING RETURNS

Now that you have the pending credit out there, you may want to see a report of all open/pending credits that have been issued.

Here's how to get one - click Reports > Sales > Pending Sales. You will see something like this:

Pending Sales Report

Now you can quickly and easily see all open/pending credits. Remember, you can hover over any listing in this report, and you can easily double-click directly on that listing to take you directly into the actual credit memo.

ONCE THE PRODUCTS ARE RECEIVED

After you have received the product from the customer and cleared it for credit, simply return to that particular pending credit memo, click Edit > Mark Credit Memo as Final.

This step will remove the pending stamp as shown above, and once you save it, there will be a live credit memo that has posted to the customers account and QuickBooks ledger!

HOW ARE YOU TRACKING RETURNS TODAY?

I'd love to know how your business is handling customer returns. Please drop me a line and let me know!

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Online Order Management System and Customer Portal for QuickBooks

Does your business focus on the Business-to-Business (B2B) marketplace?

Want to spend less time on data entry and related non-value added tasks and are looking for one or more of these solutions?

  • An easy way for your customers to enter their own orders, check order status and inventory levels?
  • A solution for your sales reps so that they can enter their own orders so you don't have to?
  • A link between your order system and your warehouse with full shipping integration?

AND have the ability to have all the above automatically sync with QuickBooks desktop software?

If so, you should take a closer look at Now Commerce.

 NowCommerce Logot

CUSTOMER PORTAL

The Now Commerce customer portal feature brings the following possibilities to life for your business and allows your customers to:

  • View real-time pricing and inventory levels
  • Check shipping status
  • View pending orders
  • View account history

This is all done with customized order forms that can be tailored to the specific needs of each customer. These order forms can range from super simple to complicated matrix pricing.

SALES REP PORTAL

The Now Commerce sales rep portal brings many time-saving features into the way sales reps take care of your customers, including:

  • View real-time pricing and inventory levels
  • Check shipping status
  • View pending orders
  • View account history

As well as:

  • Monitor customer activity
  • Set customizable alerts
  • Manage pricing and discounts
  • Only see their own accounts, and not those of other reps

NOW COMMERCE FULFILLMENT PLATFORM

This module provides you the ability to:

  • Share shipping information with your sales reps and customers
  • Electronically transmit shippers from QuickBooks to your third party warehouse
  • Automatically populate QuickBooks with critical shipping data

CHOOSE JUST WHAT YOU NEED

The Now Commerce products are set up in such a way that you can choose just the module(s) you want - if you only want the customer portal, that's all you'd pay for. If you want all three, they can do that as well.

Now Commerce offers a free trial so you can "kick the tires" before making any commitments. In addition, you can watch their video series to get a quick overview of just how these modules work, and the potential savings they can bring your business. You can also take a look at the wide variety of products they have helped their customers sell.

NEED HELP SORTING IT ALL OUT?

B2B businesses are at the core of my consulting practice, especially those in manufacturing and distribution. Feel free to contact me for more information on the Now Commerce set of tools as well as other QuickBooks and inventory concerns you may have.

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Hiding Item Costs in QuickBooks - Can It Be Done?

When it comes to workflows within a business, I've seen a wide variety of them over the last thirty years.

One topic that seems to be entering the conversation with greater frequency these days is the ability to hide the cost of inventory parts, assemblies and kits within QuickBooks.

The reasons for wanting to hide the costs are many and varied, but the desire has been expressed many times.

QUICKBOOKS ITEM SETUP

If we look at a screenshot of the item master, you can see that both the purchase cost (for use on POs) and the average cost (for use with inventory valuations and costs of goods sold) are plainly visible:

QB Item Master Screen Shot

None of the versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier or Enterprise) offer the ability to block users from seeing these cost fields, assuming that the user has been given the permission to work with items and inventory. If they don't have the permissions, naturally they don't see item costs. However, they can't access the items either, and in many cases, that will restrict their ability to do their jobs (i.e. receive inventory, create purchase orders, etc.)

ALL ORDERS BY NUMBERCRUNCHER - AN ALTERNATIVE TO ALLOW INVENTORY COST BLOCKING

If this "cost-blocking" is a must have for your business, that will force you to step outside of the QuickBooks functionality to add-on packages that have it.

One such add-on that does off the ability to hide item costs on purchase and sales transactions is All Orders by NumberCruncher.

The screen shot below shows that it is possible to block cost and/or sales figures at the user level if desired:

NumberCruncher User Setup Cost Block

Feel free to explore All Orders in more detail, and take a free test drive if you like too.

UNDERSTANDING THE ADD-ON CONCEPT

Add-ons (some refer to these as "bolt-ons" or "integrated solutions") such as All Orders are designed to fill in gaps where QuickBooks doesn't do something very well, or doesn't do something at all. 

In the case of All Orders, it is designed to be either a stand alone inventory solution, or it can integrate with QuickBooks desktop versions. If you choose to integrate it with QuickBooks, All Orders will then pretty much take over the "front end" of the business (i.e. purchase orders, inventory management, sales orders, etc.), and then QuickBooks will remain in the picture on the "back end" of the business (i.e. bill paying and financial reporting).

There is plenty of horsepower packed into the All Orders package that will help take your inventory management and related tasks to the next level of tracking and sophistication. Naturally, there is an investment of time and money required to get up to speed on it or any add-on for that matter. The good news - when properly chosen and implemented, the return on investment of these add-ons can be quite good!

RELATED INFORMATION:

 

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Quick Tip for Reconciling Your Bank Account in QuickBooks

Reconciling bank accounts in QuickBooks can take some time.

It can take even more time if you accept credit cards, and your merchant service provider takes the credit card fees out of EACH transaction!

Spend less time on bank reconciliations with the following tip.

LET ME EXPLAIN...

Let's say that you ring up a sale for $100 today and the customer pays via credit card.

When this deposit shows up in your bank statement, does it show up for the full $100? Or does it show up for something like $97.54 because the processor has taken their fee out of it right then and there?

If it is the latter where they are taking out the fees for each transaction, stop what you are doing and call them right now.

Ask to have your merchant service account fees set up on the "gross fees" basis instead of the "net fees" basis.

Under the "gross fees" basis, in the example above, you would see the full $100 being deposited into your bank account (the full "gross amount" is deposited). Your merchant service provider would then just hit your bank account once per month for the total of all the credit card fees for the month, and NOT take them out on a transaction by transaction basis.

Naturally, the merchant service provider normally defaults to the "net fees" basis, since they get paid faster that way. All it usually takes is a phone call to get it switched around!

The big benefit to you? Your $100 deposit will now reconcile on the bank statement in a nano-second!!

 

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Easily Import and Export Information Between QuickBooks and Excel With Transaction Pro Tools

Ever find that your business needs the ability to import or export information between QuickBooks and Excel?

Of course, QuickBooks natively offers the ability to export any report to Excel, and does offer the ability to import customers, vendors, and items via Excel too.

But if you need more features, functionality, or control over moving information in and out of QuickBooks, you'll want to take a closer look at the Transaction Pro tools from Baystate Consulting.

TRANSACTION PRO IMPORTER AND EXPORTER

Baystate has created both a Transaction Pro Importer tool to take data from Excel or CSV files and import it into QuickBooks. Their Transaction Pro Exporter program moves data the other way - from QuickBooks to Excel or CSV files.

What type of information are we referring to here?

This is just a short list of the information you can move between QuickBooks and Excel:

  • Customer lists, vendor lists, chart of accounts
  • Item lists (including inventory assemblies!), fixed asset lists
  • Groups and price level lists
  • Item receipts, purchase orders, bills, bill payments
  • Sales orders, sales receipts, estimates, invoices
  • Much, much more...

FREE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE

Care to try before you buy? Fully functional demos of both the Transaction Pro Importer and Exporter tools are available (there are limitations on the number of items you can import/export in the trials of course).

I have found the Baystate team to be exceptionally responsive and helpful to customer inquiries, and they have a very helpful support forum as well where folks can exchange ideas and get questions answered.

Hope you find these tools to be great additions to your tool kit...

 

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TSheets Adds Employee Scheduling Features

One of the most loved employee time tracking apps for QuickBooks (rated 5 stars!) has recently added some new functionality for tracking employee schedules too.

TSheets Logo New

TSheets now offers you the ability to:

  • Eliminate dry-erase boards and funky Excel sheets
  • Schedule employees by shift
  • Schedule staff by job or task - just drag and drop on the schedule
  • Push notifications to employees by text or e-mail

Naturally, TSheets offers an impressive array of methods to capture your employees time, including:

  • Desktop or laptop computers connected to the internet (you can even work offline and upload when online)
  • Smartphones or tablets (Apple or Android)
  • Text message
  • Even call-in capabilities to record time

And did I mention that they offer GPS time-stamping too?

A 14 day, no risk free trial of TSheets is yours for the asking, so if you need an easy way to track employee time or create employee schedules, visit with them today for a closer look. If you like what you see, use code BLASACCTG and get 10% off the TSheets service.

ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING TSHEETS?

If so, your comments and feedback on how it is working out for you are welcome!

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A Super Easy Way to Track Mileage (and a special bonus for you!)

Are you one of the 55 million U.S. workers that can deduct or expense the miles you drive?

If so, the MileIQ app is just for you.

FEATURES OF MileIQ

  • Catch every drive automatically with automatic drive capture
  • Build a comprehensive mileage log
  • One swipe drive classification
  • Additional drive details (vehicles, parking, tolls and notes)
  • Standard and custom trip purposes

EVEN MORE FEATURES OF MileIQ...

  • Vehicles and odometer readings
  • Editable mileage rates and units
  • Work hours and custom drive purposes
  • Email and notification preferences
  • Support for mileage reimbursement and mileage deduction
  • And more!

MileIQ works on Android and Apple platforms and is available in annual, monthly, or limited plans.

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE AND SCORE THIS BONUS!

Download MileIQ for free today so you can see it in action for your needs.

Use this special download link, and your free account will be tagged with a 20% discount if you ever decide to upgrade into the paid version of MileIQ.

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Vertex SMB - A Sales and Use Tax Management Solution for QuickBooks

Do you find your business struggling to manage sales and use taxes?

Looking for a more automated sales and use tax solution that also integrates with QuickBooks?

If so, you may be interested in the Vertex SMB solution.

INSIDE THE VERTEX SMB (small and medium business) SALES AND USE TAX SOLUTION

Here are some of the features of their solution:

  • Calculations and returns in one one place - perform tax calculations and generate PDF ready returns all in one place
  • Use tax calculations - calculate and report use taxes
  • Exemption certificate management - store, update and manage your exemption certificates
  • Sales tax rate files - get the rate files you need for the specifics of your business
  • Works with QuickBooks!

PAY AS YOU GO

Vertex SMB is designed to be easy on the budget - you simply pay for what you use every month. No long term contracts involved - pay for the service monthly.

ABOUT VERTEX

Vertex SMB is the business division of Vertex Inc. dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses. Vertex calculates tax for over 10,000 taxing jurisdictions across the globe and tracks and maintains over 600,000 unique taxability rules across tax types.

LEARN MORE

See how the Vertex SMB sales and use tax solution that integrates with QuickBooks can benefit your business today!

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Learn How to Get Paid Faster from Your Customers

Want to get paid faster?

Get a better handle on managing your customer accounts receivable?

Funding Gates is offering their Ultimate Receivables Training Management Program in February, and I wanted to be sure you knew about it. Here is your special bonus discount code to save 20% on your registration: ARPRO

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THE ULTIMATE RECEIVABLES TRAINING PROGRAM

The program consists of three key segments:

Part 1: Key Accounts Receivable Metrics

  • Master the A/R ratios that determine the health of your A/R
  • Run and analyze monthly reports and trends
  • Get actionable insights and develop a working game plan

Part 2: Setting Up the Right Receivables Management Process

  • Understand when and how to set the right payment terms and credit limits
  • Learn best practices around invoicing and electronic payments
  • Set up the right tools for managing this critical area

Part 3: Active Receivables Management

  • Flag problematic accounts that need attention
  • Gain the knowledge you and your team need to take action
  • Stay on top of your A/R tasks

WHO IS THIS SESSION FOR?

Anyone can get trained -- whether it’s your staff, your accountant or bookkeeper, get the tools for your team to be super-effective in receivables management. Access your online training program from your home or office; all you need is your computer.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE JUST FOR YOU

Funding Gates is extending a very special discount to you as a reader of my blog - just enter ARPRO at the registration page and you'll save 20% on your registration.

Learn more about the Funding Gates Accounts Receivable Management program and register today to take advantage of their early bird registration discount!

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