The customer quote is often the starting point of the sales process for some organizations. Quotes can sometimes be a relatively protracted process and as such Abel provides a numerically sequential process which saves a historical trail of quotes to a customer, recording the negotiations before the quote is accepted. During this process, individual or multiple quotes may be printed or emailed directly to the customer.
In a manufacturing or production based company, it is frequently necessary to determine raw material availability and to establish a date to promise before providing the customer with a quotation. Abel can provide this function by building a production pre-plan document that will explode the Bill of Materials and calculate a likely date of completion taking into account current loadings throughout the plant.
Once accepted, the customer quote can be used to populate the customer order, customer forecast or customer contract. It is also possible to update the customer’s pricing records from the customer quote.
There are two forms of customer forecast. The customer forecast document provides an indication of the likely demand a customer requires for a single sale. The customer forecast places demand against the specified items of the forecast. A production pre-plan can also be generated from the forecast to place demand upon raw materials. It is likely that the customer forecast will be used to create customer orders in the future.
The second form of the customer forecast creates customer requirements over time and is predominantly used to provide budgetary information for sales to the customer, the inventory items involved and frequently the sales employee. Demand is not placed directly against the inventory item, but can be used as input to both supplier and manufacture reorder process and is included in the production of projected stock positions.
A customer contract is a firm agreement between yourself and a customer where the customer has agreed to purchase a particular quantity of goods over a defined time period at a specific price. A customer contract will place forward demand on your inventory items, and will be included in the automated stock reorder process and can be amended at any time to suit the changing needs of your customer if and when applicable.
A customer contract can either be pulled on to an order, or the customer order built from the contract and then amended as necessary. The contract will show cumulative quantities drawn down as the contract is progressively fulfilled.
A customer order can either be built manually or can be the result of a quote, forecast, or contract. The customer order is frequently the source document of the sales process, created by the sales employee, the order taken on the telephone or from the customer’s purchase order. In the case of a manufacturing or production company, it may also be the primary document in the generation of the manufacture to order workflow, specifying the items to be manufactured, repaired, modified etc and includes the options such as color, fabric, or other choices that are requested by the customer.
In the case of a distribution model, it can be the document that will auto-create a purchase order to satisfy the demand for goods and services, (back to back ordering), or the document that simply initiates the pick and subsequent dispatch process. It will store information such as reserved and backorder stock, quantity dispatched, and what is on supplier order. Customer orders can also be configured so that an inventory item on a specific supplier order, which has been created from a customer order, can be delivered direct to the end customer, without passing through the warehouse.
The customer order can contain such information as the customer’s order number, as well as due and required dates, which are key drivers in both the manufacturing and distribution processes. Abel is instantly able to calculate the “date to promise” availability of inventory items, incorporating supplier and/or manufacturing lead times, to meet the expectation of your customer in respect of due and required dates.
A customer order will auto-generate the documents in either the manufacturing or distribution process, and can be passed between databases, both inter-company and inter-branch. Additionally, customer orders can be configured so that stock can be picked from different warehouses within the same document, and dispatched from those warehouses.
A customer return is essentially a reversal of a customer order, although it may include a return authority and a return reason. This customer return can then in turn build a supplier return, including the reason, or produce the necessary production orders for repair, recertification etc. The return to your supplier will, naturally, include an authority number as well. Additional explanatory text can be entered on the customer return which will in turn copy to the supplier return document.
The customer dispatch is the document utilized by the warehouse employees to pick and dispatch goods via the outward goods process. The printed picking document accompanies the shipped goods, enabling verification of quantities provided and backordered products. The printed picking document can be provided dispatch by dispatch or consolidated by row and bin location for bulk picking.
On completion of the customer dispatch process, Abel will remove inventory from stock, perform the required accounting postings and place any shortages on backorder according to the preference of the customer. Where applicable, the dispatch will include serial numbers, batch numbers and any use by date controls. These identification numbers may be included on the printed dispatch documentation for the receiving customer.
As well has managing dispatches from customer orders, customer dispatches may be built through a batch process which will look at date required and stock availability from the customer orders and build the dispatch documents accordingly. In the event where multiple dispatches are made from one order, these always retain a link to the preceding order document and can be used to number dispatches sequentially, using the customer order number as the predominant number in the sequence.
The purpose of a customer consignment document is to join together multiple dispatches to one or more customers and destination onto a single freight forwarding delivery manifest. It details the dispatch document, recipient, location and the number of cartons, pallets or other unit of measure to be delivered to each recipient. When printed for the freight forwarding company, there are options to print the summary only, or to print the detail lines of each dispatch per delivery location.
The customer invoice is the final stage in the outwards distribution process. It can be built manually, via a customer dispatch, customer order, customer return or from a production order at invoice stage. A single invoice can be built from any combination of the above according to system setup or user choice.
At the completion of the customer invoice, the general ledger entries are generated to revenue, cost of goods, debtors etc immediately. Where the invoice has been produced manually, directly from a customer order or return (i.e. the dispatch process has been bypassed), it will also generate the entries to credit the stock from the warehouse or provide the contra entries to the goods purchased account.
The Abel cash register screen is not designed to replace the full functionality of a retail POS unit, but provides sufficient processes to be used for cross the counter sales. The cash register screen is easy to use and is fully integrated with the rest of Abel, thus stock sales will remove inventory from stock immediately and the financial transactions occur at the same time. Once configured, it fully integrates with daily bankings and provides till balance clearances.
Abel cash register offers:
The prime benefit of the cash register is that it is fully integrated with the back office processes and is supported by the rest of Abel’s inquiries and warehouse functions. For companies who have a steady flow of cross counter sales, the cash register function comes as part of the Abel product, thus removing the need to install specialized POS functionality.