Part numbers in free Purchase Order Software

Nancy in Pennsylvania recently asked me about the best way to set up her part numbers in SpendMap.  Specifically, she asked about the use of supplier item numbers when multiple suppliers provide the same item…

“How do item numbers  relate to supplier item numbers?  For example, if you have an item code but have several suppliers for that item, then I would think the item code needs to be generic (e.g. copy paper). But how or where do you record the item number from the supplier, so you order the correct things?  If you use the supplier’s item number, then how do you have multiple suppliers for that item?“

That’s right Nancy, you can set up a “generic” part number for the item, which will be the same regardless of how many suppliers you buy it from (let’s call it the “internal item code”).  Then, in the [Supplier] Folder of the Item Master File, you can set up as many suppliers for that item as you like, each with their own “supplier’s item code”…

Supplier's part numbers in free Purchase Order Software

The other alternative would be to set up multiple items in the Item Master, one for each supplier, but there are a number of benefits to having a single “internal” item code for all suppliers.

First and foremost, you will be able to run reports by your internal part number, so you’ll be able to see the purchase history of the item, regardless of who you bought it from.

Almost as important, there will only be one item in the Item Master File for your users to search for, regardless of who they’re buying it from, which is a bunch easier, especially for “casual” users like Requisitioners who may not be as well-trained as, say, Buyers or Purchasing Managers that use the system all day long.

Also please note that you can search for items by the supplier’s item number when creating Purchase Orders, Requisitions, or other transactions in the system, in addition to being able to search by your internal item number, by keyword in the description, and many other options.

Finally, since your suppliers may not be familiar with your internal item numbers, their part numbers (the “supplier’s item numbers”) will be inserted into the description of the Purchase Order automatically, so your suppliers will be able to see both your internal item number as well as their item number when processing Purchase Orders on their end.

One comment

  1. Very helpful post – particularly the suggestion to have a single ‘internal’ item code for all suppliers of the same item. Thanks, Darin.

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