A major challenge facing computer users today is how to organize large quantities of raw data into useful information. For example, finding the right item among thousands of SKU’s might be a challenge for many distributors. Alpha search by description, lookup names, and hierarchical groupings, like category and sub-category, have all been tools used with varying degrees of success. Modern data bases provide word indexing capabilities that allow searches by key words, even if the people setting up the items are not always consistent in the sequence of the description.
Infor10 Distribution Business (SX.enterprise) provides these options too, but there is an additional option in SX.enterprise for organizing items that you may not be familiar with: the product list. Product list setup (ICSPL) is found on the IC Setup menu. Before we look at the maintenance of product lists, let’s look at a few of the ways they can be used.
In the Shopping View in SX.enterprise order entry, the items listed on the shopping list may come from a product list.
The Shopping List is a nice tool to use when processing telephone orders. You can bring up a list of items and review it with the customer including the current price, the last price, and quantities the customer had previously ordered. You can then easily navigate through the list to enter the quantities the customer wants to order this time around.
There are a number of choices for populating the items displayed on the shopping list, including Past Sales and Promotional items. For some customers, the product list might be one of the best methods for them to use.
To illustrate, we set up a simple list of Tap Extensions and produced the list below.
If necessary, we can narrow this list by using the key word search in combination with the product list. For example, by specifying the key word “Tapper”, we can shorten the list as shown below.
By devising lists based on groupings or types of items that your customers may be frequently looking for, you can display similar items together. You can discuss the options, prices and quantities available with the customer at one time. Not only is this a great tool; it’s easy to set up! In ICSPL you define the category or group (“type”) as we did for the group “Grinders & Accessories” in the example below; then start adding items. (Note the fields “Quantity”, “Min Count Quantity”, and “Bin Location”. The Product List has multiple purposes, and these fields are used for some of those. For the purposes of the Shopping List, none of these other fields are required.)
In fact, E&A supports several SX.enterprise end users who process the majority of their order entry transactions from the Shopping view using Product Lists. If you are seeking new ways to enhance your order entry work flow, you might consider using this feature, too.
Scott Fisher is a Business Manager specializing in SX.enterprise. He can be reached at 217.546.7225.