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Sales

Sales Orders

Whenever any customer buys something (or several things at once) from you, add a Sales Order.

Sales Order Index

When you click on Sales it shows you the Sales Order index. This is a list of all the outstanding Sales Orders that you need to process. They're listed in order of Due Date, with the higher priority orders nearer the top of the page.

You'll notice that the 'Ordered / Due' column is colour-coded. This lets you know how urgently you need to deal with that Sales Order.

Colour Coding

When you first open a Factory Superstar account, the colour coding is:

  • Due in less than 7 days = red
  • Due between 7-14 days = yellow
  • Due in more than 14 days = green You can change these by going to Settings > Company Details > Colour Coding.

Each product in the Sales Order is shown in a separate row. You'll see that there are three columns to the right of the table - 'Status', 'Earliest', and 'Dispatch'.

'Status' refers to the Production Status of the product.

'Earliest' gives an estimate of when the product can be in stock. This is calculated using the processing time, stock count of required subcomponents, and historic lead times when a subcomponent is out of stock.

If the product is 'In Stock', it'll tell you when it was completed.

If the Earliest the product will be in stock is after the due date, it'll be colour coded red (see Settings->Colour Coding to adjust).

warning

'Earliest' means the earliest the product can be in stock. That is, if you forget everything else and just focus on that order. It does not take into account any other orders that have a higher priority, or staff vacations, holiday shut downs, etc.

There's nothing worse than a computer that tries to be too clever, so with Factory Superstar we draw a line here. No one knows your business better than your team so we just flag any potential issues and leave it to you to decide how to proceed.

Add a Sales Order

To add a Sales Order to the system go to Sales > Add Sales Order and start filling out the fields.

When you've added the order, it'll take you to the page for that Sales Order. We haven't added any products to that order yet, so do that.

Add Items to the Sales Order

There's no point in adding a Sales Order if the customer hasn't bought any items. So click on the Sales Order and click 'Add Sales Order Item'.

Your customer can either buy items that you have made (these need a Definition in the inventory), or that you have purchased from a supplier (just as if you were a normal retail store and not a manufacturer) and haven't modified (you can just go to Inventory->Add Component to add a purchased item).

tip

If an item is not specified as 'for sale' you won't see it when you try to add it to a Sales Order. To change if an item is for sale, go to Inventory and select the relevant component. Click 'update', and check the 'is this item for sale?' box. (You can do the same for all components generated from a definition - go to the Inventory->Definitions and edit that instead. Make sure you check the 'Should changes be made to all related components?' box if required).

Input the quantity required, and select the item. There's also a box that says 'Made-to-order?'. If it's an item you have purchased direct from a supplier you can ignore this. But if it's something you manufacture, consider it:

tip

Whether you select the 'made-to-order' button or not depends on your business.

Some businesses produce a batch of a particular component, and this way they realise some economies of scale (less set-up costs, more organised, etc.). If you want to produce this item in a batch, don't select 'made-to-order'. If the item ordered is out of stock, the system will notify you of this. You can then add a Production Order for the batch, and when the Production Order has been completed it will automatically assign items produced to whichever Sales Order they're required for.

Other businesses produce 'made-to-order' items - maybe they don't sell very many of a particular item so there's no point in producing many at once, or maybe they don't have the cash flow to produce large batches before any purchase has been made. If this is the case for you, click 'made-to-order'. If the component is out of stock a Production Order will automatically be created for the quantity of items sold. This means that Factory Superstar will allocate subcomponents, flag anything that's out of stock, and tell your team (through Production->Processes) what they need to produce and when.

If it's a definition, and if there are undefined variables for that definition (i.e. if that definition can be customised) the next page will prompt you to define any missing variables.

When the item has been added to the Sales Order, you'll see it on the Sales Order page.

Dispatching an Order

Dispatch

When an order has been completed you need to dispatch it. Go to the relevant sales order and change the dispatch info - you can set the dispatch status ('not booked', 'booked', 'dispatched'), and the Courier. When an order has been marked as 'booked' it will appear on the Dispatch page, categorised by Courier.

When the order has been dispatched from your premises, tick the big green box next to the relevant order. This will change the dispatch status to 'dispatched'.

tip

When an order has been 'dispatched', it will no longer appear when you view the Sales Order index page. To find it you can go to Sales and either search for it or click on 'View All'. You can also find it by going to Couriers, selecting the courier you dispatched it with, and click on the order.

Couriers

For every method you use to deliver to the customer, add a 'Courier'. Couriers can be anything you want, they don't just need to be traditional couriers like DPD, UPS, FedEx, etc. For example, if your customers collect their orders from your premises feel free to add a courier named 'Collection' or similar.

Setting up different Couriers in Factory Superstar allows you not only to more conveniently keep track of where your orders are going, but also allows you to keep track of Courier usage (e.g. "what's my most used courier?") so you can make better business decisions.

Returning / Refunding a Sale

Returning Items in a Sales Order

If your customer wants to return their order (or part of it), go to the relevant Sales Order and click 'Return Items' (note that you can only return items once the order has been dispatched). Add the quantities to be returned, and the reason for returning and click 'Submit'. The items will now be marked as 'being returned'.

You can either go to the Sales Order and click 'mark returned' for the specific items, or else go to Sales->Returns to see all the items that are to be returned. When they have arrived back at your premises, go to Sales->Returns, tick the boxes beside the items that have been returned and click 'accept returns'. You then input what can be restocked, and what wasted. If an item is restocked then it will go back into the inventory so can be sold again.

warning

Returning an item doesn't automatically note a refund for that item. After the item has been returned record a refund if appropriate.

Refunds

To note a refund, go to the relevant Sales Order and click 'refund'. You'll be prompted to enter the refund amount, a reason, and a note (if required).

Sales Channels

Let's say you sell through eBay, Amazon, a distributor, and your own website. Each of these is a Sales Channel. By setting up appropriate Sales Channels in Factory Superstar you can track the performance of each channel. You can also specify different return addresses (for labels) for each Sales Channel.

Beta

We're working on more features for Sales Channels which will make them more useful (for example automatically adding Sales Orders as soon as you get a sale through your website), so it's a good idea to set up your Sales Channels from the start so that they'll be up and runnning when the new features are released.

Quotes

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Customers

Factory Superstar links customers by email address: Let's say someone with email [email protected] makes several orders - if you go to Sales->Customers you'll see that all his orders have been grouped under the one customer, so you can see how much he's spent in total, when he last ordered, what he's ordered, etc.

Each customer can have multiple email addresses (e.g. [email protected], [email protected]). To add a new email address to a customer, go to Sales->Customers, select the relevant customer, and click on the add email link.

Beta

For now, the Customers feature only is good for analysing customer history. We're working on more features for Customers that will make things slicker (for example selecting a customer rather than having to type in their details when adding a Sales Order).