Managing special orders when dealing with a disrupted supply chain.

This episode is part of an ongoing video series demonstrating tips, tricks, and features to help you get the most out of Eagle Business Management Software. In today's video, Nathaniel takes a look at how EBMS can help you manage supply chain challenges.

In the past year, supply chain disruptions have increasingly become more of a challenge. Product availability and pricing are incredibly fluid, changing frequently. Much of business is about the flow of information - the right info, to the right people, at the right time. In this video, learn how to keep everyone in the know, especially during this time of supply chain interruption.

This video covers - 

  • How to get timely updates from suppliers and update your product catalog
  • A list of information to request from your supplier 
  • An easy way to check vendor availability at the time of sale 
  • The steps to use purchase methods to link your sales order and purchase order
  • How to manage the impact of order delays by automatically calculating the ETA date
  • An explanation of the shipping schedule report 
  • Several ways to leverage information in EBMS using Power Automate 

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Video Transcript

"Hello and welcome to another episode of our EBMS insider series. This is a regular video series we do to demonstrate tips, tricks, highlight features, and provide other information to help you get the most out of your software. My name is Nathaniel Gingrich. I am the Chief Product Officer at Eagle Business Software and in this episode we'll be taking a look at managing special orders when dealing with a disrupted supply chain. The features we'll be looking at are available in EBMS 8.4. Over the past few months as I've been talking to our clients, I'm becoming more keenly aware of how supply chain disruptions are becoming more and more of a challenge. Product availability, pricing, so much more, is incredibly fluid today. I want to look at some of the ways EBMS can help you manage those disruptions. Much of the challenge centers around the flow of information, the flow of data through the supply chain. And so it starts with your supplier and working with your supplier to get good information at the right time. The first thing that's very helpful is if your supplier can provide that information in a simple .csv file; the product, the description, the pricing, the availability, the lead time. If they're able to generate that and provide that file, push it to an FTP site up in the cloud. In cloud storage you can then access it using EBMS, download it, convert it into a vendor catalog in EBMS which can then be used to update your EBMS product catalog. With that new information many suppliers are able to generate that .csv and push it to the cloud. But more and more are now providing rest APIs where you can reach out using a product like power automate to pull the information in and generate the .csv formatted in the manner you would like, and then of course EBMS can read that .csv and update the inventory as you reach out to your supplier. Here's some important and helpful information that you should be requesting; current pricing, the availability, what's the stock in their warehouse, and then the lead days to get it to your location. Once you have your product catalog updated, your sales people will be able to check the availability as they're entering product into a sales order, so if it's not in stock in your warehouse you can right click on the id in the sales order go down to vendor availability, and there you'll see a list of all the suppliers you can get this product from. And of course if that information is coming in through a vendor catalog you're able to see the lead days and even the stock level at your supplier's warehouse. Because you're going to need to purchase this, it's beneficial to create a purchase order directly linked to this sales order. And so you can select the supplier here on this dialogue that you wish to purchase it from and then using purchasing methods, create a linked purchase order. Purchasing methods is a powerful way to manage the flow of information from the purchase order to the sales order, and in this example you can see that we set the purchase method to associate it, and then we went up to process > create orders, and we created a purchase order that directly linked this garden hose on the sales order to the purchase of the garden hose on the purchase order. In the linked column you can see that it's being ordered from our supplier ACE on PO 267. It hasn't been received yet, and on the purchase order the purchasing agent also set the ETA date, which is reflected here on the sales order, so the sales person at any given time knows what the expectations are for this particular product and the ship date should be set accordingly. Here we see in this example we have a problem. The ship date is set to June 7th. The ETA date from our supplier is not expected until June 16th. One of the biggest challenges we're facing today is arrival times changing. Our expectation on when a supplier will be able to provide and deliver a product changes from day to day. And so we're going to go through how we manage that, how we communicate that to the rest of the company as changes happen. Now it's best practice for the purchasing department to set the order date on a PO. This way everyone knows the purchase order has been placed and when you set the order date, EBMS will go down through the list of products and based on the lead days, calculate the ETA date based on the longest lead day in the list. Now you can set that ETA date manually based on what your supplier is telling you. Go ahead do that because that will then be reflected on all the sales orders that are linked to this purchase order. So how does a shipping department know that all the products that they're going to ship are going to be available and here in time for shipping? Well one way is the shipping schedule report and if you show the invoice detail and ETA status, you'll see the special order status of all the products. You'll see the expected ETA date whether it's been received in or not, whether it's ETA date is going to be later than the expected ship date or whether it's getting close and it's within a day or so. And that way you can reach out and manage your customers expectations on when a product will be shipped or contact your supplier and see if there's a way a product could be expedited. This report is a powerful way to stay on top of all the disruptions and moving pieces within the supply chain. There may be some other ways that you can leverage the information in EBMS to keep your staff informed. One way might be to set up a trigger; a web hook with an EBMS that fires and sends information to Power Automate, where power automate then reaches out and identifies the sales orders that are connected to a purchase order and sends an email or some other notification to sales people or the purchasing department or other folks that may be impacted or need to know. We're here to help you as you look at your workflow, the information flow within your organization, and assist in setting up these type of automations. Much of business is about the flow of information; the right information being given to the right people at the right time. So keep everyone in the know, especially during this time of supply chain disruption. Again, thank you for watching visit info.eaglebusinesssoftware.com/support/insider to access all the EBMS insider episodes. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us and be sure to check back next month for another EBMS insider episode."

Eagle Business Software

Since 1989, Eagle Business Software has been partnering with growing small businesses to simplify and streamline everyday operations. Our integrated point-of-sale, inventory control, shop management, and back office software, known as Eagle Business Management Software (EBMS) makes it easy to grow your business.