Historically a business’ purchasing process is very manual and highly administrative. To place an order with a supplier, a purchase order would be prepared which meant a document was prepared either using Word or Google Docs or through your accounting system (Xero, Quickbooks Online or MYOB). The document was then sent to the supplier who would have to rekey the order into their inventory or accounting system. The supplier would then send a series of emails to their customer advising of the status of the order.
With the level of business transactions increasing and the expectation that information is exchanged in real time, the purchasing processes of businesses had to be streamlined.
One development has been the introduction of a business to business (B2B) portal. The portal is basically a website which is connected to your inventory management system which allows for a secure way for businesses to request quotes and place orders with their suppliers.
A B2B portal provides significant benefits to both customers and suppliers. For customers, the B2B portal provides an easy way for orders to be placed with suppliers or for quotes to be requested. No more preparing purchase orders in Word or using their accounting system to produce purchase orders which need to be emailed to your supplier. Another benefit is that the customer is able to view the status of their order through the portal so that they no longer have to rely on receiving phone calls or emails.
For suppliers, the B2B portal streamlines the order processing process. As the B2B portal is connected to their inventory management system once the customer places the order they are advised of an order which is sitting as an open sales order for them to action. No more rekeying of customer purchase orders into your inventory management system.
As the B2B portal is connected to the business’ inventory management system it will always reflect the current products and pricing of the business. This provides a huge benefit to businesses who are constantly adding and removing products or updating pricing as they can always provide accurate product and pricing information rather than trying to maintain a constantly changing product catalogue.
As the customer’s purchase order is instantly converted into an open sales order it allows the business to implement a paperless online ordering system quickly and easily. This will eliminate data entry which can lead to errors when a purchase order is rekeyed as well as reducing business administration costs which will lead to improved margins.
Is your business looking to streamline their purchasing processes?
Contact us now for a free initial consultation and see how a B2B portal with an inventory management solution can streamline your business operations.
As we enter the last month of the financial year in Australia, many businesses are considering a business system change so that they are ready for the new financial year on July 1st. We thought we would share some of our key tips for getting your business ready for a system change.
In Part 1 of our series “Getting your business ready for a system change”, we will cover our tips around selection of the best system for your business and data cleanse – getting your data clean for the new system.
A key requirement during your planning process for a new business system is selecting the correct system or suite of systems which are going to address the pain points in your business. You may be selecting the first business system for your business and transitioning from a series of manual processes or you may be wishing to change your existing business system due to a limitation with your existing system. It is very important that you consider both your immediate requirements and future requirements when going through the selection of your new business system. Business owners are spoilt for choice in terms of the number of options which are available to them which can create its own set of challenges. With such a wide variety of choice available matching the system with your business requirements can be quite an exercise. Unless you are getting a custom system built for your business from the ground up there will be some functional gaps between the system or systems selected and your existing processes. The goal is to get a system or set of systems with the smallest amount of functional gaps which will limit the number of process workarounds which you have to implement.
Your options for selecting your ideal system or systems is to do it yourself or to engage a consultant to assist you with this process. To effectively do it yourself requires a considerable time investment to fully understand each system option and match these to your existing business processes. For example, Xero’s App Marketplace has 31 different inventory add-on systems listed which for a business looking for an inventory system would each need to be considered. The second option would be to engage a consultant to assist you with the selection process. The advantage of working with a consultant is that they have experience in a range of different systems which they are accredited and partner with. The consultant will also be able to provide you with insight into what they have seen working with other clients and will only recommend the best of breed systems in each category.
To book your initial free consultation with a systems consultant, click here
Cleansing data is a critical aspect of any business system change. Whether you are coming from an existing system or are looking to implement the first system for your business, getting your data into an organised format which is as complete and accurate as possible is a critical step in any project. It is also the aspect which is underestimated by clients in terms of the time to get their data clean and complete in every implementation project which we have run.
Regardless of whether you are implementing an inventory management system, a job management system or a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you will need to put your data into a series of data templates which will generally be in Excel format. It is very likely that the data which has come from your previous system will not match these templates. It is also an excellent opportunity to cleanse the data which will involve reviewing whether you want old customers, suppliers, products to be brought into the new system. Updating details which are now outdated and were not updated in your previous system as well as enhancing your existing data. Often your new system will include more detail than you have been storing in your existing system so it is an opportunity to add this extra detail at this stage of the project so that you have a full and complete database to start. This whole process can take considerable time and needs to be factored into your planning for the new system implementation.
If you are looking at getting your business ready for a system change look out for Part 2 of our blog. If you are already in the planning stage for a new system, book your free initial consultation with a systems consultant here.
Earlier this month, Unleashed announced some important enhancements to their Xero integration. We have included details of each enhancement and how it may affect you.
Batch your journals for quick reconciling in Xero
Unleashed will now batch all transactions made within the day and post one journal to your Xero account split by accounting code. The journal will be posted at 2.00 AM the following day and will be ready for you when you log on in the morning. This is a really useful enhancement as the journals use to be posted individually at the time the transaction was completed in Unleashed which meant ensuring all the individual journals were approved in Xero so that Unleashed and Xero would reconcile.
Link to a transaction in Xero from Unleashed
With this improvement, you can view a transaction in Unleashed and click through to view the same transaction in Xero. This quick and easy transition makes it a breeze to compare transactions between both platforms. This is another really useful improvement as it replaces having to manually search for a transaction in Xero which was both time consuming and inefficient. Below is a screenshot of how the Xero link will appear in Unleashed
Choose the product information you send to Xero
This improvement allows the user to choose what product information Unleashed sends through to Xero for all transactions. Users can choose between Product Code, Product Name or both. This flexibility allows users to decide what product information their customers and suppliers will see on their documentation. This is another significant improvement as the information sent was not able to be adjusted which led to a manual correction in Xero.
Auto approve specific Unleashed transactions exported to Xero
With the ability to auto approve exports to Xero, you can select the specific types of Unleashed transactions that can be automatically approved. With a quicker impact on your P&L, you’ll gain real-time insight into your bottom line. This has been the most asked query which I am asked by customers as to why I have to approve the transactions in Xero even though they have been completed in Unleashed.
Prominent alerts for journal errors
If there’s an error in exporting journals through to Xero, you’ll now receive a prominent alert so you can quickly take action to ensure your items are sent through to Xero in a timely manner. This is another great enhancement as we often receive support calls from clients well after the error has occurred and this timely and prominent alert will allow for errors to be rectified in a far more timely manner.
Allow Sales Order & Purchase Order comments to be transferred to Xero
Ensure that comments on your sales and purchase documentation are not lost in Xero as you transfer documentation from Unleashed. This allows your customers and suppliers to receive better and more detailed information from you! Once again we get asked by customers if the line comments and sales order comments can be transferred to Xero and now they can.
Overall there are some awesome enhancements to the integration between Unleashed and Xero. If you require any assistance setting up these enhancements in your Unleashed account please do not hesitate to contact us
If you are looking for an inventory management solution for your business, check out Unleashed.
Are you struggling with inventory control? Are you finding it difficult to manage your supply chain efficiently? Unleashed is a great solution that enables you to manage your inventory and supply chain, all in the cloud.
Unleashed provides real-time information for all your products that can easily be updated across all of your sales and inventory channels. The Unleashed dashboard also allows you to see real-time profitability and sales information. Even more precise stock control can be gained with per warehouse controls. Per warehouse controls allows you to monitor the levels of a product across all warehouses.
If you re looking for a comprehensive project planning solution software, look no further, TidyWork is the answer.
TidyWork is ideal for project planning, managing time, materials, expenses and resource allocation.
TidyWork makes project planning easy. From allocating resources to a project, to generating invoices once project milestones are met, TidyWork is the help you need in order to deliver successful projects from start to finish. By using the TidyWork software you can create a new project or import one from Microsoft Project, and to add to this you can use your iPhone, iPad, smartphone or tablet to manage your project from anywhere.