“Add” vs. “Replace” when importing data into your Free Purchase Order Software

Peter works at a hotel/resort in Florida and had a great question about importing data into SpendMap…

“When I import my items, it just keeps adding the new items to the items that are already in the system.  Is there any way to start over and replace everything with the next list of imported items?”

Yes, by default all Master File imports in SpendMap will add to what is already in the Master File.  This is true not only of brand new items, but also new or changed fields for a particular item.  So, for example, you can import the same items over and over again, perhaps to update pricing or other details on an ongoing basis.

But if you’d like to start over, just enable the setting “Allow purging of master files when importing“, in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File, and then you will see the following prompt the next time you run any of the Master File imports…


Move line items to another PO in your Free PO Software

To save time, you can “cut” line items from one Purchase Order in your PO Work Area and then “paste” the line items onto a different PO, rather than starting a new Purchase Order from scratch.

Perhaps you made a last-minute decision to use a different supplier for certain products or services or maybe you want the items moved to a different PO for some other reason.

Just use the [Copy/Cut] button at the bottom of the PO Header Screen to “tag” the applicable line item(s)…

Cut PO Line Item

Then move to the other PO and click the [Add] button to add the line items to the bottom of the list.  Or use [Insert] to add the items in between existing items on the PO…

Paste PO Line Items

All of the line item details will be carried forward to the new PO, including all data entry fields, any internal notes and attachments, split-charge account coding details, etc.

TIP: Use the [Copy/Cut] button to tag as many line items as you like, rather than moving them one at a time.

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

How to copy items, suppliers and other Master File codes in your free PO Software

On the heels of last week’s blog post on time-saving tips, John makes custom t-shirts and was asking if he can copy items to save time…

“Is there any way of duplicating an item? I have several items that are all the same except for item (part number) and description.”

Yes, you can copy items, suppliers, account codes, and most other Master File codes in SpendMap to save time and reduce data entry.

Just go into the applicable Master File and click the [ADD] button to get a blank screen, then enter an existing code in the Code Field and you will be prompted to copy the existing code to a new code.  All details (fields) will be copied to the new code, any of which can then be modified as required.

This section of the Online Help has more information about generic features that can be used across all Master Files in SpendMap…
– System-Wide Features and Information > Master Files > About Master Files


Establishing the In-Stock Quantity of Items in your Free Purchase Order Software

John works in the IT Consulting industry in Georgia and was asking how to tell SpendMap how much of each item he has in-stock when first setting up the Item Master File…

“I am about to import the Items but do not see where I can put in the qty that we currently have in inventory. Where can I import this in – we have 2016 items in inventory. Thanks,”

It is a two-step process to 1) add the items in the Item Master File, and then 2) tell SpendMap how much of each item you have in stock…

So first, you need to get the items into the Item Master File in any of these ways…

  • By importing the items using…
    – PURCHASING > Utility > Data Interfaces > Item Master File > Item Data > Import >
  • By clicking the [Add] button in the [General] Folder of the Item Master File
  • By adding the new items “on-the-fly” as you work in other areas of the system, for example, while creating a new POs or other documents

Then, you can tell SpendMap how much of each item you have in stock by performing a physical inventory count….

  • You can key the count information into the Inventory Count Work Area manually…
    – INVENTORY CONTROL > Adjustments > Inventory counts > Inventory count Work Area
  • Or you can import the in-stock quantities using…
    – INVENTORY CONTROL > Utility > Data Interfaces > Inventory count Work Area > Import >

Either way, the last step is to process the transactions in the Inventory Count Work Area, using…
– INVENTORY CONTROL > Adjustments > Inventory counts > Process count and adjust stock

Only a Few Items?

If you need to update inventory levels for just a few items, it may be more convenient to just post inventory adjustments, rather than doing a full inventory count…
– INVENTORY CONTROL > Adjustments > Adjust stock > Manually adjust stock levels

Perpetual Inventory Maintained Automatically

Going forward, as stock items are added and removed from inventory (e.g. when items are received, when inventory usages are posted, etc.), the inventory levels in SpendMap will be updated automatically, so the system will know exactly what you have in stock for each item at any point in time. Therefore, you won’t have to do a physical inventory count to determine what’s in stock for things like reordering, calculating your inventory value for your financial statements, etc.

Listing items by supplier in your free Purchase Order Software

David works at a small furniture manufacturer in the UK and was asking if it’s possible to list only the items provided by one specific supplier while entering new Purchase Orders in the free version of SpendMap.

Sure thing David, when adding items to your Purchase Orders, just RIGHT-mouse click on the [?] Lookup button next to the Item Code field and you’ll be presented with a bunch of ways to search for items.  Notice how the Supplier Field is already filled in with the supplier on the PO (from the previous screen)…

list items by supplier in free PO software

So just click [OK] to get a list of just the items supplied by that supplier.

You can actually do this anywhere in SpendMap, not just in the PO Work Area.

On a separate but related note, if you ever need a hard copy report listing the items from a supplier, try this…
– PURCHASING > Reports > Supplier information > Items supplied by supplier

Decimal places for price and quantity fields in your free PO System

By default, the Price and Quantity fields are set to two (2) decimal places in the Free Version of SpendMap (e.g. $123.12).

But when purchasing items with a very low unit price, you may need to increase the number of decimal places for prices, which you can do in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > User defined terminology and settings > User defined field settings

decimals in free PO system

You might also want to consider the unit of measure that you’re using.  For example, if you purchase by the thousand (M), you’d need fewer decimal places (e.g. $123.45 vs. $1.2345).  You can set up your units of measure in here…
– PURCHASING > Master Files > Units of measure > Add/modify/delete

Supplier Pricing for Items in Free Purchase Order Software

Cathy in California asked why the pricing that she entered in the Standard Price and Standard Cost fields in the [General] Folder of the Item Master File weren’t copying over to new Purchase Orders, Requisitions and other documents.

Those fields are used for other purposes.  If you want pricing to default on new orders based on the selected item, you can set that up in the [Supplier] Folder of the Item Master File, where you can enter pricing from one or more suppliers, in addition to other related information such as freight charges, if that information is known in advance…

Supplier pricing in free Purchase Order Software

If you don’t want to enter separate pricing for each supplier, that is, if you just want to enter a single price to default on new POs regardless of who you are ordering from, then just enter “*” (an asterisk) for the supplier code, and the price will be used for all new Purchase Orders and other documents, regardless of the supplier.

TIP: If you ever change the price while entering a new Purchase Order, you can optionally update the Item Master’s default pricing right from the PO Entry Screen, so you don’t have to go back to the Item Master File to make the changes there as well.  To enable this feature, just use the “price update option” in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase Order settings > PO entry settings

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.

New Tutorial: Importing items into free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few requests for help with importing your items (item catalogs) into the free Purchase Order Software during initial system setup (saves time over keying in all the item details manually).

So to help you out, we put together a new video tutorial on importing items into the Item Master File.

The video actually covers many generic concepts about SpendMap’s built-in integration tools, not just importing items, so it will also be helpful for you when importing other Master Files (suppliers, account codes, assets, etc), as well as setting up transactional interfaces (e.g. exporting approved invoices to your Accounts Payable system, etc.).

TIP: As you’ll see at the end of the tutorial on importing items, we’ve added a sample import configuration to your Evaluation System, along with a sample spreadsheet containing a few sample items that you can use to test the import utility.  If you recently downloaded the free version, you may need to select the menu Help > Check For Updates to get these files.

You can watch all 14 video tutorials to help implement your free Purchase Order Software on our YouTube channel.

Thanks, and please keep the feedback coming!