Like any company buying and selling inventory, wholesale distributors who deal with promotional products will need software to help manage inventory, accounting, sales and everything in between. However, promotional product companies also have a few unique processes that you should consider when looking for promotional products order management software. For example, many promotional product businesses deal with international manufacturers, make use of catalogues or eCommerce for selling products, provide custom graphics and logo options and sell inventory items available in multiple variables. These specific processes require an order management system that provides features such as product matrix, multi-currency, landed cost tracking, eCommerce and more. Below we take a look at some of the features available in Blue Link ERP and why it’s a great option for promotional product companies that need order management software.
When it comes to promotional products, we can all think of common examples based on items we’ve received at tradeshows, when visiting a company’s location and from sales reps. Items such as pens, notepads, tote bags, water bottles, t-shirts, office supplies, headphones and more are pretty typical, and all have something in common – each base unit of inventory could be available in multiple colors, sizes or styles. If you’re dealing with inventory items that have different variables, you will want to find an order management system that includes product matrix functionality. This allows you to create sales orders and purchase orders containing products with multiple variables by entering quantities in a matrix style for a given base item. Following this approach, an order entry employee can place orders by navigating a matrix of product variables (for example, colors and sizes for a given product style), adding quantities as appropriate. This allows you to create multiple order lines in a fraction of the time that it would take to key them in line by line.
Blue Link’s software is completely multi-currency which allows you to set default currencies for customers and vendors and ensures that any transaction is converted to your home currency without any additional manual calculations or entries. You can create customer quotes and purchase orders in the customer or suppliers’ currency, and the system will automatically record the transaction in the appropriate currencies once converted to a sales order or purchase order. For example, a payable in the supplier’s currency with a foreign exchange difference and the inventory or expense in the home currency. This eliminates the manual process of having to remember to convert pricing for inventory or factor in exchange rates when posting the transaction.
Transformation Purchase Orders
Transformation purchase orders (POs) are useful when an existing inventory item needs to be transformed through the use of a third-party vendor into one or more different items. For wholesale distributors in the promotional products industry, this could include a third-party vendor adding embroidery, graphics, a custom logo, or other design elements to an existing inventory item. This is a common request from customers that want to add their branding, logo or message to the promotional items they sell and give away. The benefit of transformation purchase orders is that they capture the cost of the root inventory item, plus the incremental processing cost of the third-party vendor. If you have multi-step transformations using several different vendors, new purchase orders and drop ship information are automatically created in the system for each vendor. The system will then automatically create payables for the incremental costs.
Landed Cost Tracking
If you’re importing inventory from overseas, or even just receiving products from across the country, you will want to have functionality for landed cost tracking in your promotional products order management software. This allows you to track and account for all the costs associated with getting inventory into your warehouse, including duty, brokerage, freight, insurance and storage. Many promotional product companies work with international manufacturers and suppliers and belong to sophisticated supply chains with international shipping. Using software such as Blue Link ERP to track your landed costs allows you to determine your “true” inventory costs to aid in purchasing and pricing decision-making and to help with maintaining target gross margins.
B2B Online Order Portal
Before eCommerce, product catalogues were a great way for your customers to see all your available promotional products for sale and then use the information to place an order with a sales rep. While some companies are still using catalogues today, you can achieve the same results by setting up a B2B online order portal. Blue Link’s portal functionality acts as a secure and fast way for your customers to place orders online. Each customer must have an account set up to place an order which allows you to control customer-specific pricing and inventory. Once logged in, customers can also see past sales orders, create lists and review open orders. Blue Link’s B2B online order portal is also a great tool for use by your sales team when interacting with customers over the phone or in person.
Learn more about order management software for your promotional product's company and the features available with Blue Link ERP software.