configuration

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

 

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

Budget threshold warning in your Free Purchase Order Software

We added a new feature in v14 of SpendMap that can help you stick to your budget by proactively warning you when you’re running out of money.

In Cost Center History/Budget Settings, you can establish the “budget threshold”.  For example, you might want to be warned once you’re down to, say, 20% of the budget remaining (i.e. 80% budget consumed).

While entering new POs, the hyperlink that shows the total value of the order at the top of the Purchase Order Header Screen will change from green to yellow when the budget threshold has been reached.  Then the hyperlink will eventually change to red when there’s nothing left in the budget.

Budget warning on Purchase Order screen

TIP: Click through that hyperlink to see the full budget details.

On a related note, you can also prohibit/stop the processing of Purchase Orders and other documents that will exceed the budget, using the related options in Cost Center History/Budget Settings…

Budget settings in free Purchase Order Software

How to display ONLY those items from the supplier on your Purchase Order

There is a new feature in version 14 of SpendMap that you can use to limit the items that your staff can select while entering Purchase Orders, such that they will only be able to select the standard items that you have set up for that supplier in advance.  That is, you can prohibit the use of non-standard items/suppliers.

Just use the new setting in PO Entry Settings, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase Order settings > PO entry settings

Listing only-items-for-supplier in PO Software

Alternatively, without this formal restriction, users can also search for items by supplier while entering new POs.

Finally, if you forgo the restriction and allow your staff to select non-standard items/suppliers but still want to know when it’s happening, you can use the setting “Log if non-standard supplier is chosen”, in System Alert Log Settings…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > System alert log settings

Is your free Purchase Order Software a bit too loud?

After all that New Year’s fun, you might want to turn the volume down a bit in your free Purchase Order software.

To disable the warning/notification sounds in SpendMap, just use the Workstation Setting for “Audible Prompts (beeping)“, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Workstation configuration settings

In v12.65 it is setting #4 but in v14 (coming soon) we moved it to #12.

No-Sound

 

Free Purchase Order Software is like nuts in the shell

Ever notice how those Christmas nuts (in the shell) taste better?  Having to do a little work somehow makes the victory that little bit sweeter.

It’s kind of like the free version of SpendMap.  Sure, you’ll have to do some reading and maybe watch some video tutorials, but it’ll sure be sweet to have a totally free Purchase Order system up and running in the new year.

Or if you prefer your treats ready-to-eat, please call us to learn about the paid/commercial version of SpendMap, which comes with a full range of professional services like one-on-one training and implementation consulting.  We would be happy to crack the shells for you so that you can just dig in.

Ho-ho-ho.

xmas-nuts-green

Can’t see your free Purchase Order Software?

The free version of SpendMap can show you where the money is going.  But only if you can read the screens!

If you would like to make the screens a bit bigger in your free Purchase Order Software System, try using setting #10 (Font/Screen Scaling Factor) in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Workstation configuration settings

Visibility and free Purchase Order Software

Upgraded e-mail features in your free Purchase Order Software

We made two fairly significant improvements to the e-mail features in the Free Version of SpendMap (including v12.65)…mail-GREEN

1) Encrypted E-Mail

SpendMap now supports encrypted (SSL/TLS) connections to the mail server.  Better security aside, we have been finding that more and more e-mail providers (like Google’s Gmail) no longer support unencrypted connections.  If you previously had trouble getting SpendMap to work with your e-mail system, please try again after upgrading.

Note the new “Secure Connection” setting under the Server Name or IP Address field, in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Please note that to send e-mail, SpendMap now requires the Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 or above to be installed on the PC (available since 2010).

We normally don’t make changes to published versions of SpendMap but we made an exception in this case due to recent changes at Google and the increasing number of requests for this feature.

2) Free, Built-In E-mail Service

The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.

Just enter “SpendMap” in the Server Name or IP Address field in E-mail Settings to use this free service (don’t worry about the other SMTP settings as they will be ignored when using the built-in e-mail service).  The Online Help for the Server Name or IP Address field has additional details.

For new downloads of the free version of SpendMap, the Evaluation Copy is preconfigured to use this new e-mail service.  If you already have SpendMap installed, your settings will not change automatically but you can manually change the Server Name or IP Address field per above if you want to use this free service.

How to include your account number for the supplier on the PO form in your free PO software system

Chaim works in the security solutions industry in New Jersey and was asking how to include an account number for the supplier on the PO form…

When I place an order, our suppliers would like to know our account number. In the Supplier information there are fields to enter Phone, Fax, but not our Account Number.  The Account Number should appear on the PO.

Great question, Chaim!

Most people use the Comment 1 field or the Delivery Note field for that, both of which can be renamed to “Account Number” or similar.

You can enter the supplier’s account number into either of those fields in the [Miscellaneous] folder of the Supplier Master File, and it will carry forward to the PO Header for each new PO for that supplier and will be available to print on the PO form…

supplier account number on Purchase Order

TIP: Make sure that the field that you use appears on your PO form layout.  Delivery Note appears on form layouts 1, 2, and 5, where Comment 1 only appears on form layout 3.  Of course, if you upgrade to the paid/commercial version of SpendMap, we can customize your PO form with any fields you like.

You can preview and/or select your PO form layout, using the [Change PO Layout Option] button, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO printing settings > Settings

Renaming the Fields

You can rename the field titles from “Comment 1” or “Delivery Note” to “Account Number”, which will update the field title in the Supplier Master File, as well as on the PO Header screen and the PO form itself.

Just go in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO printing settings > Text-Based Field Positions and Field Settings > Standard

…and change the Title of field #19 (Delivery Note) or #21 (Comment 1) , then exit and re-run SpendMap.