Inventory Module allows the Contractor to enter, track, transfer and apply items to jobs via the service material items application. The mobile contains both web and mobile pages that will be explained in the following pages. Equipment Manager allows the Contractor to assign locations that will be used to store items and assign mobile and web users to act as administrators to each location. Items can then be added to these defined locations and tracked based on quantity transferred between locations and subtracted due to being applied to jobs.
The Inventory Module allows the user to track items though Location, Sub-Location and Quantity. Items can be moved around between locations by requesting items be transferred between locations. Transfer requests can be done automatically by web users, while mobile users must request transfers that must be confirmed by other mobile and web users.
Adding and removing items can be done by web users with ease while mobile users have the ability to add items if granted access. The system allows the Contractor to restrict access to mobile users when it comes to Adding item and requesting transfer of items. The only way for a mobile user to remove an item from the system is by applying it to a job or transferring the item to another location.
Inventory items are any item of quantity that can be counted and assigned location that is added to the system. Items entered into the system must have a minimum of an Item Code (Name), Cost, Item Type (Inventory, Non, Service), Unit of Measure, Location, Sub-location and Quantity.Item Types
There are three types of items that can be added to the Inventory Module. These types are Inventory, something you can count, you can sell to your customers that has a physical presence. Non-Inventory items are things that you do not sell directly to your customers but have a presence and you would need to track and transfer. An example of a non-inventory item would be a pump or drill. The last type is a Service item. Service items are things that have no physical presence but are things you would track and charge a customer for, such as fees and types of services. An example of a service might be a Trip Charge or Transfer fee.
All Items that are entered into the system must have a Type assigned. In addition, the types also define how the items are counted. Both Inventory and Non-Inventory items have a physical count and must be kept in a positive quantity for the item to show up to the mobile user. If the item count of a “Inventory” item reaches 0 the system will no longer allow the mobile user to add the item to jobs as a used material. In addition, if the count of an inventory or non-inventory item reaches 0 the item will not be available to transfer either.Inventory Items
Inventory items represent physical items that can be counted and are to be bought and sold in the system. Inventory items must maintain a quantity that is positive (+1) in order to be added to jobs as Material or Transferred between locations. If an Inventory Item quantity reaches 0, the item will not be visible to the mobile user. Items with a zero quantity will still be in the system unless removed by the web user.Non-Inventory Item
Non-Inventory items are physical items that do not show up to the mobile user as items that can be billed to a customer on the job. The items will show up on the users local inventory and can be requested for transfer and moved between inventory locations. Non-Inventory items have a positive quantity and if that quantity drops to 0 the item will not be seen by the mobile user.Service Items
Services can be counted and tracked but do not have physical quantity limitations. Services start in the system as 0 and as they are applied to jobs by mobile users the quantity number goes negative by default. This negative number allows the service to be tracked as to the number of times it has been applied to jobs and billed. Typically services are isolated to a single web location that is then shared with mobile users so the that Contractor controls the Services. Services can NOT be transferred between locations as there is not designed to be any positive count.Item Basics
The following are the basic characteristics of the item and all the values that are tracked by the system. Some of these values are required while others are not.Item Code
The item code is basically the name of the item. It is required to be in Capital letters, Numbers and the symbols. Item codes may user spaces. This field is required to be populated for every item. This field is searchable by mobile users.SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)
This field is optional and is used to allow the Contractor to identify two or more items that may have different values but might be the same item in general. As an example, an item that is purchased from one company may physically be the same as an item purchased from another company but because of their manufacturer name and ID they are different items. There for they may be given the same SKU to allow the user to find all items related.
SKU’s are required to be entered as Capitals Numbers and Symbols. The field may have spaces. This field is NOT required but helpful to populate if needed as the field is searchable by mobile users.Description (Short)
The short description allows the user to give a brief overview of what the item is. The field is NOT required but is helpful to some in identifying the item. Mobile users can search by the description field so populating is helpful.Item Type
This defines the item as physical items that can be sold (Inventory), physical items that are not sold (Non-Inventory) and Non-Physical items that can be sold (Services) such as charges and fees. This field is required.Manufacturer
This field is for the user to enter where the item was purchased. The field is not required and can be any character, number or symbol.Manufacturer Part Number (Mfg Part No.)
This field is for the user to enter a part number from the manufacturer allowing the user to track the item from the point of purchase. The field is not required and can be any character, number or symbol.Tags
Tags are used by the Contractor to apply text that can be easily searched. This can be group names, characteristics or any other form of text, numbers or symbols as desires. Tags are not a required field.Quantity
The quantity represents how many of the item the user has in the system at any given time. The quantity will always be positive for Inventory and Non-Inventory items and always negative for Service items.Measure
The unit of measure being applied to the item. This is how the quantity is applied to the item. Examples can be by the pound (.lb) or by the foot (.ft). Units of measure are entered into the system by the contractor and are available to be selected as items are entered.Cost
The amount of money that the contractor spent to purchase the item.Markup
Should the item be marked up according to a defined markup value or not. Markups are either applied or unapplied.Status
Is the item Enabled or Disabled. If the item is disabled, the item will not be visible to anyone but the web user.
The user has an option to enter a long expanded description related to the item. This can be used to enter details that will not fit in a basic description field.Pictures
The user has the option to upload as many pictures as needed. A single picture can be marked by the user to be the default that will show up in the items bio. Pictures can viewed on mobile and web.Location
Where is the item located physically.Sub-Location
Where the item is to be found within the location. Examples of Rows, isles, shelves and bins.
Items are identified in the system by location, sub-location and quantity. The location is entered by the web user as any overall container place where items can be identified. A location can be a building, a room, a closet, a vehicle or event. A grouping as example for services can be created. Creating a new location requires the web user to enter a name (required) and description as needed.
Once a location has been defined in the system, the user can then assign active users from the system that can be assigned to any location. This will allow the user mobile access to the location. In addition, the web user can then assign sub-location to the system.
When an item is entered into the system, the user will be asked to enter in where in the general location is the item is located, this is the Sub-Location. The web user can enter sub-locations for any location without the need for items as needed. In addition, sub-locations can be set as public or not and disabled.
To be public means that the Sub-Location will show up to all mobile and web users. You might make a sub-location not public if you wanted to place items in a location and have them not be transferred out. If the public box is NOT checked, the item will only be visible to the web and assigned mobile users even if the location is public.
The Disable checkbox for the Sub-Location on the web as a way to hide the Sub-Location from all users. Disabled sub-locations are not visible anywhere except from Sub-locations listing page. Sub-Locations can NOT be disabled unless the location has NO items. If items are assigned the checkbox should NOT be checkable. Clicking on the box will prompt a message “All items must be removed before the Sub-Location can be disabled.”
Once a location and sub-location have been entered for an item, the items quantity can be assigned. This quantity is directly tied to the item and the sub-location.
It is possible for the same item to be listed in the same location more than one time. The only limit to listing items is only once per sub-location. The web and mobile user can add items as many times as they desire in multiple locations and sub-locations as needed, they will all be connected by the item.
Making Locations Public
The web user has the option when creating locations to make the desired location public. To make a location public means that all mobile users will have access to all the visible items in the related location. This would be used in instances where you might have a general location that everyone has access to or a location that might be storing Services or Non-Inventory items that the Contractor desires all users to access and use. Public locations, users instantly gain the ability to see and apply items as needed. Public users do NOT have the ability to add items to a public location or transfer items from a public location.
As part of creating location, the Contractor has to assign mobile users as needed to a location unless the location is made public. Any user that is assigned to the location will have access to the items in the location. In addition, users can be granted the ability to add items and transfer items on a by user basis. Public locations that do not have specific users defined will not permit users to add items or transfer items.
It is possible for the Contractor to disable a location. This is done by editing an existing location and selecting the Disable Location check box. Disabling a location means that the Contractor is making the location no longer visible to all mobile users. All disabled locations will no longer show up in any location menus both on the web and mobile. The only way to see disabled locations is by navigating to the Locations listing. If a location has been disabled, the Contractor can easily enable the location as needed by unchecking the box.
Items by Code Vs Items by Sub-Location
The inventory manager has the ability to show the Contractor a list of items by code or by sub-location. The difference is that items by Code or the main Inventory Items Listing will display a list of all items based on location, any items that are found in multiple sub-locations in this listing will be combined and the overall count of the specified item over all sub-locations will be displayed in the Quantity column.
In contrast the user can navigate to the Locations page and then the Items by Location page to view Items by Sub-Location. This listing will show the user all the same items by location but any instances where the same item can be found more than once in the location, they will be listed as many times in the listing as there are sub-locations. This is because the listing shows the sub-location in a column. This Items by Location listing is good for allowing web users to move items around between sub-locations. Counts for individual items as the specified sub-location can be adjusted too.
Items can be moved from one location to another. They can also be moved from within a location between sub-locations. Web users can move items instantly between all points by adding sub-locations or adjusting counts as needed. The mobile users must move items by transfer. In order for a mobile user to transfer an item, the user has to first have permission to request transfers for the location that they are moving the item too. Users can view all locations when looking for an item to move, but only locations that the user is assigned to can be receive transfers.
Assuming the user has permission to move items, the user can then search for the desired item and once found request that the quantity desired (up to the available quantity) be transferred from the source location to the users assigned location. When entering the request, the user must state the sub-location the item will be received to. As part of transferring items by mobile, the user that is responsible for the source of the transfer must approve the transfer request before the transfer is completed. Once the transfer is completed, the quantity will be moved from one location to the other location.
Transfers can only be made on Inventory and Non-Inventory items. Users can only transfer items if they have permissions.
One of the primary purposes of the inventory module is to not just track items in the inventory but also allow the mobile user and web user to apply the items to the job by adding inventory items to the labor material report of material items for the job. Material items are items that have value that are recorded by technicians as being used on the job. These items are then passed on to the Invoice that is compiled in Quickbooks Online.
AS stated, there are two ways to add items to the job. One is the adding directly to the labor/materials page from the Service Request page on the web. The second is for the mobile user to search items from the Service Records Materials screen and add items out of inventory to the Work Order. This is then submitted to the system and the items are placed by the system on the Lab/Mat.Adding Items by Web
When using the first process by web it is important to remember that the web user while able to search the inventory database for items, is NOT removing the items from inventory. Those items found and added are recorded but the count is NOT adjusted for the used items. This is because we do not at the time of adding items specify which location the items have been sourced from.Adding Items by Mobile
The mobile users on the other hand will first search for items and then select a location to pull the chosen item from. Only the locations that the user has access to view will be available to pull items from. By selecting a location, the system will pull the quantity selected from the inventory reducing the number.Tracking Inventory Use
The inventory system will track all the items and quantities that that the mobile users reduce from inventory and place on Jobs though the Service Record Materials screen. Each of these transactions are recorded to the system and can be found and searched by navigating to the Inventory Use History. There the web users can find basic information about what items, jobs quantities and value was reduced from the inventory. This listing can be reduced by a number of variables.