purchase orders

“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)

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

 

Archiving Old Purchase Orders for a Cleaner View

Archive Closed Purchase OrdersPeter works in a state agency in Louisiana and was asking about removing old Purchase Orders from his Open PO list…

“Once a PO is received and closed it should come off the list.”

You can remove received/closed POs from the Open PO list by moving them to the Closed PO Archive, using…
– PURCHASING > Utility > Purge and Archive History > Archived Purchase Orders > Archive closed POs

…or you can use the applicable setting in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File, to be prompted from time-to-time to archive your close POs when logging into SpendMap.

This will reduce the number of POs that you see in the Look-up List in View PO Status, when printing PO-related reports, etc., making it easier to focus your attention on the remaining (still open) orders.

Please note, however, that running this utility may leave some closed Purchase Orders behind (ie. they will remain in the Open PO list), per the setting “Number of days before closed POs are moved to the Closed PO Archive“, which you can find at the bottom of the screen in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO processing settings

That is, this setting will keep received/closed POs in the Open PO area for the number of days that you specify, as you may have need to access recently closed orders.  Most SpendMap customers set this to between 30 and 90 days.  Peter – set yours to zero (0).

While you can always access your old/closed Purchase Orders even after they have been archived, and while you can even unarchive/restore a PO back into the Open PO area, it may be more convenient for you to just keep, say, a month or two worth of old POs front-and-center, again, if you need to refer to recently closed POs as a regular course of business.

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.

Purchase Order Numbers in Free PO Software

We’ve had a few questions about the exclamation marks (!) that show before and after the PO number on Purchase Order forms in the Free Version of SpendMap…

Purchase Order Numbers when previewing

The exclamation marks will only show when you “preview” the PO in your Purchase Order Work Area.  We do this in case someone gets their hands on it, so they know it’s not an official order yet.

Some form layouts also include something like “Draft copy – do not process” somewhere on the form.

When you process the Purchase Order and print an official copy and/or e-mail the PO to your supplier, it will not have the exclamation marks.

For clarity, you should not be sending preview/draft copies of Purchase Orders to your suppliers.  Rather, you should be using the following utility to “process” your new orders when they are ready…
PURCHASING > Purchase Orders > Process New POs > Process my POs

…or you can select to “process now” when prompted upon exiting your PO Work Area.

Hope that helps.  Have a good day!

Separate PDF files to send Purchase Orders to suppliers by e-mail

Imran works in the Engineering Services field and was asking about the best way to create PDF files of his Purchase Orders to send to his suppliers when using the free version of SpendMap.Many-POs-in-PDF

“While processing a PO, how do I print the buyer’s copy and seller’s copy separately?
…it is printing both pages together.”

Imran is printing both a “supplier’s copy” as well as an “internal copy” of his Purchase Orders, and both are ending up in a single PDF file (since both copies are in the same print job).

This would also be an issue when processing multiple POs for multiple suppliers at the same time.  For example, if you processed 5 POs in your PO Work Area for 5 separate suppliers, if you chose to print to a PDF file, you would get a single PDF file containing all 5 orders, again, since all are coming from the same print job.

If you’re printing hard copies (on paper), this doesn’t matter because you’ll just grab the pile of POs off the printer and give each one to the applicable supplier.  But if you’re printing to PDF (most likely to send to your suppliers by e-mail as Imran is trying to do), then you will end up with a single PDF with all POs in a single file, which obviously won’t work.

Solution: Use SpendMap’s Email Module to send the supplier their PDF file.

Instead of enabling multiple copies of your printed POs in PO Printing Settings, just use SpendMap’s built-in email feature to send the supplier their copy of the order.  When you process new orders, SpendMap will create a PDF copy of the PO, attach it to an e-mail message, and will send it to the supplier automatically, with no manual intervention (i.e. it all happens behind-the-scenes, so there is no need to manually create PDF files, manually create e-mail messages, and then attach the applicable PDFs to the applicable e-mails.

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Sender of email messages in your free Purchase Order Software

mail-GREENMichael works in the construction industry in England and was asking about the “From” field when sending Purchase Orders and other documents to his suppliers by e-mail…

“Do all emailed purchase orders need to be sent from the same email address irrespective of user? … Is it possible to have individual email addresses for each user, if so how do I set this up?”

You actually have both options.  The e-mail can come from the individual Buyers (i.e. the person who processes the Purchase Order in SpendMap) or it can be the same e-mail address regardless of who is sending the order, such as “Purchasing@YourCompany” or similar.

It’s controlled by the setting “Sender of external automatic messages” in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Per the Online Help for that setting, the “sender” is noteworthy as the recipient might reply to a message or an error might occur during transmission (in which case the sender would typically get an “undeliverable mail” message from the outgoing mail server), so if you decide to use a single e-mail address for all messages, make sure that someone is set up to receive messages to that account.

Hope that helps.

Seeing other users’ work in your Free Purchase Order Software

PO-Work-Area-Toolbar-ButtonRandy works at a consulting firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was asking why users aren’t able to see other people’s work in SpendMap…

“I installed the free version of SpendMap on a server for two users. They are trying to see each other’s work (one added a PO, but the other can’t see it under the PO Main screen). Is this the way it is supposed to work?”

Randy is referring to Purchase Orders in the users’ PO Work Areas, which contain their “work in progress” (i.e. the POs that are still “on their desks”).  When they’re finished, they will process the new POs, which will update many areas of the system, so that everyone can see (provided they have the appropriate permissions).

So yes, Purchase Orders, Requisitions, RFQs and other “pending” documents/transactions will not be visible (in most areas of the system) until they are processed.

To learn more, check out this section of the Online Help…
– System-Wide Features and Information > System-Wide Features and Utilities > Document Work Areas