Is your order management system missing important features? Do you know which products you’re out of and when to reorder more? Order management is such a critical process to companies that it can very well make or break your business. A poor order management system can become frustrating and time consuming if you try to remember when, how much, and from whom to order on paper or in Excel. Excel spreadsheets were never designed to handle a heavy order load or to make it possible to automate many parts of the order management process.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTOMATION
You need an automated order management system to make your job easier. Don’t settle for overpriced software when you can get the same (or better) functionality for a fraction of the cost with Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse. Fishbowl’s order management features are more than adequate for most small and midsize businesses that are looking to upgrade from Excel, QuickBooks, and other simple solutions without having to break the bank.
Fishbowl gives you all of the tools you need to manage your orders, from selling and shipping to purchasing and receiving. Fishbowl shows you where your inventory is in real time. Know how many items are in the middle of being manufactured and what stage they are at, what parts are picked and ready to be packed, what items are packed and ready to be shipped, and so much more. Plus, Fishbowl’s features are scalable, so you can stay with the same order management system for the long term instead of having to learn a new one every few years when you outgrow your old one. Fishbowl handles the day-to-day order management tasks, which allows you to focus on growing your business.
Shipping becomes much easier when you use Fishbowl to automate shipments. For example, Fishbowl ShipExpress is a free plugin that you can activate in the Fishbowl dashboard to integrate with dozens of carriers, compare shipping prices, print shipping labels, ship goods in batches, verify physical addresses, and receive exclusive discounts.
Another useful feature is that once you mark a package as shipped, Fishbowl automatically removes it from your available stock. There is no possibility of selling too many items and going negative on their quantities because Fishbowl won’t let you ship items you don’t have. It gives a popup warning when that happens, so you can either do a short shipment or arrange for drop shipping from another facility. In addition, Fishbowl automatically updates your inventory quantities to reflect incoming shipments when they are received.
Reporting is also an essential tool in any order management system, so Fishbowl offers dozens of prebuilt reports and it also has the option to create custom reports for you. You can use these reports to check each product’s gross sales, monitor profit margins to see if you’re pricing your products appropriately, and keep track of each customer’s purchase history using numerous filters to get to exactly the right data you’re looking for. And that’s just a small sample of all of the reports available from Fishbowl.
Sales Order Management
With Fishbowl, you have numerous options to create sales orders. There’s the manual method of entering customer data, number of products sold, destinations, etc. Spreadsheets can be used to generate multiple sales orders at the same time. Also, you can integrate Fishbowl with many ecommerce solutions, including Amazon, BigCommerce, eBay, Kinein, Magento, Shopify, 3dcart, Volusion, Web Shop Manager, WooCommerce, X-Cart, and Zen Cart. When a customer makes a purchase on one of those solutions, it automatically sends that information to Fishbowl in the form of a sales order. The best part is that not only does Fishbowl update its own inventory records to reflect each ecommerce sale but it also automatically updates all of your other ecommerce accounts it is integrated with so that they match up perfectly.
If you sell products to retail chains, you will need to make sure your sales orders and purchase orders are formatted correctly for each one. Most big-box stores require vendors to comply with their unique requirements. Rather than attempting to do this manually, you’re better off using an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to automatically reformat your sales orders and purchase orders for each retailer. Fishbowl integrates with SPS Commerce and TrueCommerce EDI to enable this functionality.
Fishbowl gives you total control of the status of your sales orders. You can see which ones are in the quoting phase, picking phase, packing phase, and shipping phase. In the quoting and picking phases, you can see if you have enough inventory on hand to completely fulfill the order or if any items are short. If some items are too low, you can automatically generate purchase orders for them. When you ship goods out, in addition to deducting the inventory from the system, Fishbowl automatically adjusts the cost of goods sold and inventory asset in your accounting solution. That is one reason why it’s a good idea to integrate QuickBooks or Xero with Fishbowl.
Transfer Order Management
No two locations are exactly alike. They will have different customer demand trends and certain items will be more popular than others at each one. When working with multiple warehouses and/or stores, you need to be able to quickly move items between them to replenish the stock at one location when you have a surplus at another. Do you know how to move an item from one location to another without recording it as a sale? Simple: use a transfer order.
Fishbowl lets you set up transfer orders to be automatically generated to move goods between locations if one happens to run out and there is not enough time to order more. It’s important to note that shipping items from one warehouse to another isn’t free, so you still have to record the costs incurred in the transfer process. That’s another benefit of using transfer orders. They track those costs and add them to the total cost of the items, which helps with pricing them for customers.
Manufacture Order Management
Manufacture orders give you the ability to house multiple work orders in a sequential order so that you can tell at a glance which stage of production a particular manufacturing job has reached. You can create manufacture orders to restock items that are sold, manufacture customized products, prepare for seasonal changes in demand, and more. Plus, you will be able to keep a close eye on the total number of raw goods and finished products in your inventory and how they are affected by each manufacturing job.
Reporting is an essential tool in any order management system, so Fishbowl offers dozens of prebuilt reports and it also has the option to create custom reports for you. You can use these reports to check each product’s gross sales, monitor profit margins to see if you’re pricing your products appropriately, and keep track of each customer’s purchase history using numerous filters to get to exactly the right data you’re looking for. And that’s just a small sample of all of the reports available from Fishbowl.
Fishbowl can help create reorder points for you to set minimum and maximum inventory quantities for each of your parts and products based on past sales, future projections, safety stock, lead times, vendor requirements and incentives, how often you want to purchase, and more. You can also manually create company-wide or location-specific reorder points if you want to handle that task yourself. Simply hit the Auto Reorder Point button and walk through the steps, and then Fishbowl will calculate and suggest what your reorder points should be. This is a powerful tool that enables you to prevent those pesky stockouts!
Once you have set up reorder points and some of your items reach those reorder points, Fishbowl can automatically create purchase orders for those items. These purchase orders contain the preferred vendor and the proper quantity that you preset. You can immediately issue a purchase order to the vendor or alter it first and then issue it.
And that’s not all. You can generate purchase orders by running reports on your demand and forecasting when you will need more of a certain item to meet a big influx of sales. One more way to automatically generate purchase orders is when you issue sales orders or manufacture orders that have short items. When there aren’t enough items to fulfill a sales order or complete a manufacture order, Fishbowl will let you know what you need to reorder. This function is a huge time saver!
Fishbowl gives you all of the tools necessary for a clean and efficient order management system.