Software Tips & Tricks

Only Open Orders when Receiving in your Free Purchase Order Software

Bruce works at a Credit Union in Oregon and wants to only see open (unreceived) Purchase Orders when receiving products and services in the Free Version of SpendMap…

“Curious if I missed a way to limit the list of items/purchase orders in receiving to only those that have not yet been received”

Yes, there are two separate features that can help you filter-out already received/closed Purchase Orders during the receiving process, so you can focus your attention on the open/pending orders.

Option 1 – Searching for a PO to Receive

When selecting a PO to receive against, you can search for only open/unreceived orders, using SpendMap’s “extended lookup” (advanced search) feature.

When you first go into the Receiving Utility, where it prompts you to enter or select a PO number, just RIGHT-mouse-click on the [?] button to the right of the PO Number field. That will bring you to the Extended Lookup screen. On that screen, use the Document Status filters at the bottom-right, to limit the search to include only Open POs and Late POs. That will give you a list of everything that has not been received yet.

TIP: you can have multiple filters active at once, so select “Open” in one drop box and “Late” in another.

If you like, you can even combine those “status” filters with the other search fields on the screen.  For example, if you enter a specific supplier on that screen as well, you would see a list of open/unreceived Purchase Orders for that one supplier.

Option 2 – On the Receiving Screen Itself

Once you’ve selected a Purchase Order and you’re actually on the Receiving Screen, it is possible that some of the items on the selected PO may have already been received/closed while other items have not been received and remain open.

You can use the [Show/Hide] button at the bottom of that screen to filter-out the received/closed items, leaving only the open/unreceived items visible.

Note how it says “Showing only items ready for receiving” just below [Show/Hide] button when the filter is active.  Click the button again to remove the filter and display all items again.

 

Importing Items (parts, products) into your Free Purchase Order Software

Abdul needs to get 9,000 items/parts/products into the free version of SpendMap and he isn’t about to type all that information in manually…

“We have about 9000 products. Do we have option to upload products in bulk?  Because if I add one by one it will take months to finish this task.”

For sure, manually typing in 9,000 items would take way too long!

You can import your items into SpendMap’s Item Master File to save all that data entry. It’s a two-step process as follows…

1) First you need to set up an Import Configuration to tell SpendMap where the specific pieces of information (fields) are in your Excel spreadsheet, TXT or CSV file. Here’s the menu path…
– PURCHASING > Utility > Data Interfaces > Item master file > Item data > Import > Configure import file layout

2) Then, to actually run the import utility and bring in all your items, use this…
– PURCHASING > Utility > Data Interfaces > Item master file > Item data > Import > Import into Item Master File

When you run the import utility (#2 above), it will prompt you to select the Import Configuration that you set up in #1 above, and then you will select your file to import.

But before you get started, may I suggest that you review the following section of the Online Help in SpendMap…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Integration Tools > Overview and General Information

Click the “YouTube” icon at the top of that Help section, to watch a video tutorial on importing data into SpendMap (the video actually uses importing of items in its examples).

Also, as you will see during the video tutorial, in the Evaluation Copy of SpendMap (the one that comes preloaded with sample data), we included a sample Excel spreadsheet with a few sample items to import, and there is an Import Configuration already set up to match that spreadsheet.  So give it a try in your Eval Copy first, to see how it works, before actually importing your items into your Live Copy of SpendMap.

Finally, here are a few other blog posts related to importing data.

Hope that helps.

-FP

Open Order Warning in your Free Purchase Order Software

Nadine runs a property management company in New York and wants to know if she has any open orders for an item before placing a subsequent order for more of the same…

“Were trying to get organized (using SpendMap) but sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what he right hand is doing.  How does a Buyer know if someone else already ordered something?”

Sure Nadine, now that all your Buyers are using SpendMap, it’s easy for them to check on each other’s work and eliminate duplicate orders.  Here are a few options to consider…

  1. Check before you start:  You can always use View PO Status or View Item History to see the orders that are out there, before going into your PO Work Area to create a new order…
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > PO Status > Current POs
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > Item History
  2. Check while you’re at it:  Better yet, while adding new items to Purchase Orders in your PO Work Area, you can also use the [History] button at the bottom of the PO Line Item Details screen, to see the complete purchase history of the item.  If you click to see the [Details] of a recent purchase, you will see both the original order quantity, as well as the quantity on-order.
  3. Let SpendMap check for you:  Even better yet, to make sure that your Buyers are aware of any open orders, without them having to proactively look for that information, you can use the Open Order Warning feature in SpendMap, to actively warn them if they attempt to create a duplicate order…

Open Order Warning

If you like the sound of #3 above, you can enable the feature by selecting an option for “Open Order Warning Option”, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase Order settings > PO entry settings

Then, if Buyers try to create a new Purchase Order for an item that is already on an open (unreceived) order, they will get a warning message like this…

Open Order Warning in Free Purchase Order Software

 

Move your Free Purchase Order Software to another computer

John runs a small pest control business in the UK and has been using the Free Version of SpendMap on his laptop but now wants to move it to his desktop computer.

“Can I move SpendMap from my laptop to a desktop PC?”

Sure John, the steps are pretty much the same as moving it to a network server, so please start by taking a look at the section “Network Installation Instructions”, in the Getting Started Documentation that come with your free PO software.

Only you can ignore Step 2, as those registry settings only apply when installing it on a server.

And regarding Step 3, you most likely already have full access/rights to all folders on your own C: drive, so you can probably skip this step too.  That said, it is possible that you don’t have full access/rights on the new PC, in which case Step 3 would apply.

As always, if you have any trouble at all, you can reach us on our free support ticket system, by selecting “Free Online Support”, under the Help menu in SpendMap.

“Waiting to Start Report” message in your Free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few support requests from people who are seeing a message like “Waiting to start report” when printing Purchase Orders or other reports to a PDF file in the free version of SpendMap, or when emailing POs in PDF format.

We think the problem may be a result of a big update to Windows 10 that Microsoft pushed out recently.

Either way, if you ever have trouble creating PDF files in your free SpendMap system, please try removing and then reinstalling SpendMap’s PDF printer driver (you will need Administrator access/rights on PC to do this)…

  1. Exit SpendMap.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel, navigate to “Devices and printers”, and remove the “Palmas PDF printer” by RIGHT-mouse-clicking on the icon and selecting “Remove device”.
  3. To reinstall the PDF printer driver, just RIGHT-mouse-click on the shortcut/icon that you use to run SpendMap and select “Run As Administrator”.  As you log into SpendMap, you will see additional prompts to install the printer driver.

If you are still not able to view or email POs or other reports in PDF format, please let us know on our Support Ticket System.

Thanks, and sorry for any inconvenience.

-FP

When to Use a Change Order in your Free Purchase Order Software

When you need to modify a Purchase Order after it has already been sent to your supplier, you would typically process a Change Order in SpendMap.

In order to communicate to the supplier that this is a modification to an existing order rather than a brand new order, SpendMap will print “Change Order” rather than “Purchase Order” at the top of the form.  You will also see a “revision number” that will increment each time the order is changed (e.g. PO #1000-1, 1000-2, etc.).

What about changes that don’t impact the supplier?

While it’s common to use a Change Order when making changes that will affect your supplier, such as a quantity or price change, there are times when you may not want to bother informing your supplier that an order changed.  For example, it might not make sense to notify your supplier in this way if you just need to change the account coding or other “internal” fields that are of no concern to your supplier.

So, if you’d like to modify a PO without processing a Change Order, without incrementing the PO revision number, etc., just answer [No] to the following prompt, which you will see when you click the [OK] button on the PO Header Screen to save your changes…

To learn more about what happens when you make changes to Purchase Orders that have already been processed, check out the following section of the Online Help in SpendMap…
– Purchasing (Main Module) > Purchase Orders > Modify a processed (About Change Orders)

Multiple Currencies in your Free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few requests for a blog post that explains how Currency Conversion (multiple currencies) works in the Free Version of SpendMap, that is, what happens in SpendMap when you place Purchase Orders in currencies other than your own (landed) currency.

In a nutshell, when you set up a new supplier, you can tell SpendMap the currency to use (i.e. the currency the supplier’s Purchase Orders and invoices will be in), and then SpendMap will convert those orders to your local/landed currency for internal reporting purposes.

Here’s how it works…

Step 1 – Your Default/Local/Landed Currency

First things first, you need to set up your local/landed currency.  That’s the currency SpendMap will use for internal reporting.  We’ll use United States Dollars (USD) for this example.

Step 2 – Your Supplier’s Currency

Next, tell SpendMap which currency to use for each supplier.  Let’s say that a Buyer in the USA is ordering something from a supplier in Canada to make the most of the strong US dollar…

Step 3 – Purchase Orders in Your Supplier’s Currency

Now, when you process Purchase Orders for that supplier, the orders will be in the supplier’s currency (Canadian dollars in this example)…

Step 4 – Currency Conversion (Reporting in Landed Currency)

In most cases, orders that are placed in your Supplier’s currency will be converted to your local/landed currency for reporting purposes, so that you can “compare apples to apples”.  For example, your budget reporting, inventory valuation, spend by supplier, and similar reports that might include purchases in many different currencies, will be converted to your local/landed currency for easy comparison.

For example, here’s the Spend by Supplier Report, showing that we just spent US $730.20 (not $1,000) with our friendly Canadian supplier…

I say “in most cases” because there are a few exceptions where you still might want to see your supplier’s currency, in which case SpendMap will ask you whether you want to use your supplier’s currencies or your landed currency.  The PO Listing Report is a good example.

Step 5 – Update Exchange Rates

Since exchange rates between currencies fluctuate all the time, you should update the Rate Field (the exchange rate) for each currency code in SpendMap from time to time.  You can do this manually in the Tax and Exchange Rate Master File, or check out this blog post to learn how to automatically update the exchange rates from Yahoo! Finance.

Codes or Descriptions in your Free Purchase Order Software?

Throughout SpendMap, when creating Purchase Orders and working in other areas of the system, you will select master file “codes”, such as GL account codes, item codes (part numbers), supplier codes, etc.

For example, your GL account code for “office supplies” might be “0-663-1”, or something like that, which might not be very meaningful to your SpendMap users.

If you use meaningful codes that make sense to your users, don’t bother reading the rest of this post and just get back to saving your company money or whatever you were doing.

But if your master file codes don’t have meaning to your users, here are some tips to make SpendMap more intuitive for them…

Display Description Instead of Code

Did you know that you can set up SpendMap to display the description rather than the code on screens throughout the system?  Here where you can do that…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Master file settings > Master file code/description display options

Alternate Between Code and Description

Regardless of whether or not you’re displaying the code or description per above, you can alternate between the code and description at any time using the <F2> key on your keyboard, or you can hover your mouse over a field, like this…

Sorting Look-Up Lists

Drop-down lists can also be sorted either by code or description, using…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Master file settings > Additional sort options for master file lookups

How to over-receive a PO in your Free Purchase Order Software

To receive more than the quantity ordered, go to the Receiving Screen and double-click on the line item or use the button [Receive line in details mode] to get to the Receiving “Details” Screen.  Enter the quantity, then check the box immediately to the right called “Override PO quantity and close“.

NOTE: In order to over-receive Purchase Orders, the setting “Allow users to over receive Purchase Orders?” must be enabled for the user in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File.

TIP: Another alternative would be to do a Change Order, that is, you could also modify the quantity of the PO before receiving.  You can learn more in the following section of the Online Help in SpendMap…
– Purchasing (Main Module) > Purchase Orders > Modify a processed PO (About Change Orders)

How to Personalize the Email Messages in your Free Purchase Order Software

Peter from the United Kingdom reached out to us on Facebook to ask if he could personalize the emails that SpendMap creates when sending Purchase Orders to his suppliers…

“Is there a way to create a template email?  Also is there a way that the (PDF file name) can be defined, either to match the PO or have a prefix?”

Yes, there are settings in SpendMap to personalize the email messages, including;

  1. Adding your company name to the “From” field of the email messages,
  2. Adding any text that you want to the body of the email itself, and
  3. You can customize the filename of the PDF document (i.e. the PO itself) to show your company name (or any other prefix), as well as including the PO number in the filename.

All these options are available in the middle of the Email Settings screen, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings


The Online Help for that screen has all the details about how to use those settings, but here’s what your emails might look like, based on the settings used above…

Email Purchase Order