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What is the best way to process special orders?

IMPORTANT: You do not need to deploy these procedures if you have DRS SO Tracker add-in. SO Tracker automates these procedures and much more. Visit our website for details.

Special orders are comprised of two types of items. Items that exist in the database and items that do not.

Items that exist in the database can be forced sold and processed as backorders or placed on workorders and layaways.

If you do not want to take 100% deposits on backorders, use layaways or workorders for special order invoices. Both layaways and workorders allow deposits. However, workorders assume a deposit followed by a pick-up (remaining balance paid), while layaways allow payments over time.

Items which are force sold will automatically appear on suggested purchase orders.

Items that do not exist in the database can be added at the POS if New item add is allowed (by Cashier rights). Otherwise, special orders are best handled by one of two methods.

Method 1
Create a SINGLE item code SO with:

- no cost
- no retail price
- prompt for price at POS (Options tab)
- SPECIAL ORDER as the Description
- no dept/category assigned
- Type: Non-inventory

When special order is placed sell the SO item. Enter the approximate retail price of the final item, up arrow to the item and press Ctrl-F10 Comment. Enter a description of the item to order. Press Ctrl F8 to turn the invoice into a Layaway or Workorder. Take a partial or full deposit depending on your store policy.

When the final item is created, recall the layaway or workorder and cursor to the on order quantity for the SO item and change it to zero. On the next line enter the actual item being sold. Save changes or complete the layaway/workorder pickup if appropriate. The deposit applied will be the balance due.

Method 2
Create a SERIES of item codes, such as SO01, SO02 with:

- no cost
- no retail price
- prompt for price at POS (Options tab)
- 'Enter Description' or 'Special Order' as the Description
- no dept/category assigned

We suggest you create 10-20 or more of these codes at a time using the Copy option once the first SO item is created. Then regenerate these numbers on a periodic basis to fill in the gaps.

NOTE: If you have AutoGen installed you only need to enter 'so' as the ILC and 99 special order items will be created for you automatically. AutoGen will also fill in any 'blanks' as these codes are used up for special orders.

When a special order item is required at the POS, press F2 Lookup, type in 'so' under Item Lookup Code, and select the first available SO code (not a negative quantity). You will be prompted to enter a price and hit Enter. Now cursor up to and over to Description and type over 'Enter Description' or 'Special Order' to indicate the actual product name. Complete the sale layaway or workorder, with or without a deposit depending on your policy. You might also want to include a line item comment (Ctrl-F10).

Note: If you'd like to use Backorders for this function, backorders will require 100% or no deposit depending on your system setting.

The SO item codes will be tracked through the system (workorder, layaways, backorders) and pushed to Purchase Orders by default when sold. You should also review the Special Order report (included with the IBD Bundle) on a daily basis. This single report will list all open orders (backorders, layaways, workorders) that require ordering of the product indicated.

When the item is updated(edited) in a Purchase Order, the item is automatically updated in the associated form on file (layaway, workorder, backorder).

You can also update an SO item from the backorder, layaway or workorder reports by clicking on the ILC (item lookup code).

Example: SO01 would be updated to reflect the true ILC (item lookup code), along with actual description, price, cost, dept/category, taxable, etc. when the order is placed. Your edits for the item will now appear in the associated layaway, workorder or backorder.

IMPORTANT: SOxx codes are ONE TIME USE codes. You edit the ILC and Description when ordering the item, or edit the Description when ordering and edit the ILC when receiving. In any case the quantity of a SOxx item will be zero to indicate it is available for use, and -1 when it is in use. The only time the quantity would be less than -1 is when more than 1 was ordered.

TIP: You might want to edit the SO code on file to indicate the associated customer account. When reviewing an order report you'll see the SO item along with the customer's account code. Double-click on the item code and change it to SO02-0000019. This will identify the item as a Special Order for account 0000019. This also acts as a flag while receiving the item.

You can decide when ordering or receiving whether this item is something you will carry again. If not, you can mark the item as Inactive.

In all cases you should change the ILC to a standard item lookup code with the appropriate description, dept/category, etc. This retires the item from the SOxx pool. Use AutoGen to replenish the pool of SOxx items as needed.

Method 3
DRS SO Tracker automates the entire process described above and allocates committed items from Purchase Orders when received. SO Tracker auto-generates the special order code (automatically) and tracks the item from initial entry, to order, to receipt, to delivery. You are also notified of outstanding orders in POS when the associated customer is attached to any sale-in-progress. You can alternately check the workorder, layaway, or backorder status in Manager using a Special Order report provided. Both the report and SO Tracker provide links to customer contact information (phone, fax, or email). This allows you to quickly notify the customer when their order has arrived or determine which customers have been notified. If you have a barcode printer, special labels can be printed to identify the item as a special order including customer name, account number, order number, order date, etc.
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  1. Dave J

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