More Efficient Sales Order Processing in Fishbowl Inventory

If you’re spending too much time entering Sales Orders, instead of talking to customers, your business is going to suffer.  Follow these helpful tips to make your Sales Order Processing faster and simpler.

Sales Orders

Tip 1: Quick Fulfill

If you don’t want to worry about going through picking and shipping, you can just click the “Quick Fulfill” button, and your sales order will be completed in just a couple of quick steps…right from the Sales Order module!

Tip 2: Product Trees

Sales Order Search Options

If you’ve set up a Product Tree in Fishbowl, you can access the product tree from the Sales Order module to help in creating your sales orders.  To access the product tree, click the Product Tree icon at the top of the search pane (the middle of the three icons). Then, you can easily navigate through your product tree and double-click on the products that you want to add to the sales order.  This feature can be especially helpful for new salespeople.

Tip 3: Quick Add

The “Quick Add” search option can also be found at the top of the search pane in the Sales Order module (it’s the icon on the right…the one that looks like a sales tag).  When you click on this icon, a list of your products will be displayed in the search pane, and you can double-click on any product that you want to add to your sales order.  For an added bonus: any product that you highlight in the Quick Add search pane will display the “On Hand” and “Available” quantities below the list.  Super helpful!

Tip 4: Quick Lists

If you have customers that order the same products every day/week/month, you can create a Quick List that you can use every time your customer places an order.  The Quick List allows you to add an entire list of products, including quantities, to an order with just a few simple clicks.

Tip 5: Mass Issuing

If you are in the practice of creating estimates for your customers, follow these simple steps to issue multiple sales orders at the same time:

  1. Highlight the unissued sales orders in the search pane
  2. Right-click on one of the highlighted orders
  3. Choose “Issue Sales Order”

Once you have completed these steps, all of your highlighted orders will then be issued and ready for picking.

Tip 6: Mass Picking

Similar to Tip 5, if you are in the Picking Module, you can highlight multiple orders in the search pane and choose to Start, Finish, or Commit all of the highlighted picks at the same time.

Hopefully, some of these tips will help make your sales order entry go a little more smoothly in the future.  Give us a call if you have questions about any of these processes.

Making Manufacturing Easy in Fishbowl Inventory

Some of you may be familiar with the manufacturing processes in Fishbowl Inventory, but here are some tips that might help streamline your everyday manufacturing activities.

You Can Modify Your Work Orders

One thing that is certain in your daily production activities, is that things do not always turn out how we plan them.  So, how can you make changes to Manufacture Orders that you have already created in Fishbowl?  Let’s find out:

  1. Did you know you can split your Work Orders into more manageable chunks? When you are starting a Work Order, you have the option to start a lower quantity than the original quantity on the Work Order.  For example: if you have a Work Order for a quantity of 50, when you start the Work Order, you can change the starting quantity to 25, and the Work Order will then be split into two separate Work Orders on the same Manufacture Order.  This makes it pretty smooth for separating your production over multiple days.
  2. You can substitute parts and quantities on a Work Order. If you need to change a Raw Good, or even a Finished Good, on any of your Work Orders, you can visit the “Materials” tab on an unissued Manufacture Order, or the “WO Details” tab on an issued Manufacture Order.  In either of these tabs, you can switch your parts, or quantities, if the situation requires.
  3. Once your Raw Goods have been picked, you cannot make changes to the parts or quantities, unless the pick is voided. Once you have voided the pick, you can make your needed changes.

There Are More Ways Than One to Finish a Work Order

The long way to complete a Work Order is by clicking the “Start” button, then going to the picking module to complete the pick, and then returning to the Manufacture Order to “Finish” the Work Order.  You don’t have to take all of these steps, if you don’t have changes to make on the order.  Instead, you can do one of the following:

  1. You can skip straight to the “Finish” step in the Manufacture Order module. This will combine the “Start”, “Pick”, and “Finish” steps into one quick and easy wizard.
  2. You can click the “Quick Fulfill” icon at the upper-left-hand side of the screen to finish all Work Orders within a Manufacture Order.

Taking these steps will help streamline your manufacturing, especially if you have a lot of Work Orders to process each day.

What if You Make a Mistake?

Even the most advanced Fishbowl Inventory users can make mistakes when it comes to manufacturing.  So, what do you do when you have completed a Work Order, and find out that it was done incorrectly?  You might be tempted to make inventory adjustments to get your inventory back to where it should be.  However, the best practice is to do a “Disassemble” Work Order.  Here’s how you disassemble your Work Orders:

  1. Create a new Manufacture Order.
  2. Click the green plus sign at the right side of the screen. This will open the “Add Bill of Materials” screen.
  3. Choose “Disassemble” from the list.
  4. Use the drop-down list, or the magnifying glass, to choose which Work Order you are going to disassemble.
  5. In the next screen, type the quantity of that item that you are going to disassemble.
  6. Finish the wizard, adding any other pertinent information.
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 to add more disassemble Work Orders to the Manufacture Order, if needed.

Once you have added all of the disassemble Work Orders to your Manufacture Order, issue the Manufacture Order and then process the Work Orders as usual.  Completing these disassemble Work Orders will remove the Finished Goods, and will place the Raw Goods, back into your inventory.  Don’t forget to create your replacement Work Orders!

As usual, feel free to call or email us if you have any questions about Fishbowl Inventory, or if you would like to find out more about our custom integrations and add-ons.

Don’t Let the Winds of Change Blow You Away

Changes are coming in 2017!  Make sure your anchors are ready before you set sail.

Sailing rough waters

Changes to Fishbowl Inventory

As we mentioned in our last Blog Post, Fishbowl Inventory is getting a major overhaul to its database.  These changes could make for some very large waves when it comes to integrated apps and custom reports.  Plus, there will be some new features that you might need help navigating.

Anchor Yourself to our Support

We want to provide you with the best customer service available in the industry.  So far, we think we’re doing a great job!  Therefore, to help you overcome the wind and the waves that are sure to come about with the Fishbowl changes, we offer a yearly support contract for all of the custom integrations we create for you.

Details:

  • We want to give you ample time to make sure your custom integrations are serving you well.  So, we give you a 90-day window for you to see your integrations in action before we ask that you sign up for the support that will be needed when those pesky winds blow.
  • We want to make sure you have an active support contract in place after those 90 days so we can assist with the issues to come.  Your support contract becomes your anchor to make sure that if you are blown about in the tempests, your downtime is minimal, and your boat doesn’t get swamped.
  • Help us reduce delays by keeping your support contract active.  It’s not fun to try to navigate the waters of paperwork while your boat is sinking!  The first lines of safety will be thrown to those who have an active support contract.  Please plan ahead!
  • While support contracts do not cover changes to the integrations that are caused by major Fishbowl upgrades, customers who have active support contracts, and who purchase the code upgrades, will be given first priority.

Calm Waters

These are all great reasons to have your anchor in place before you set sail.  With everything in place, we will quickly guide you back to safe waters, where you no longer need worry about distant storms.  And don’t worry: LilyPad Mobile Sales and LilyPad Mobile Warehouse will be ready to help along the way.

 

What Does the Next Release of Fishbowl Inventory Mean For You?

In February, Fishbowl Inventory is planning their first release of 2017, and we bet you’re wondering what to expect.  Is it going to be a simple update to fix bugs, a complete makeover of the software, or something in between?  Let’s see what Fishbowl has to say!

The BIG News: They’re Changing Their Database Management System!

Fishbowl is changing from the Firebird database manager to a MySQL database manager.  What does this mean for all of us?  MySQL is supposed to be faster, meaning that you will have less waiting time while processing your orders.  MySQL is also more stable.  Hopefully, this means that there will be fewer reasons to call the Fishbowl Support Team (not that we don’t love talking to support).

Let’s Not Forget Some of the Other Feature Updates

Among the various fixes and updates, you should see the following in the new release:

  • Export to/import from XLS and XLSX files.  What does that mean?  It means that you can use regular excel files to change information in, add information to, or remove information from, Fishbowl.  The only option we used to have is to use .csv files, which can still be manipulated in excel, but are sometimes a little finicky.
  • Adding a markup to your shipping rates.  This will help all of you who are using Carton-Based Shipping, and are sick of manually increasing the shipping prices on the sales order after they have been added from the shipping module.  It looks like this is going to be a percentage-based markup.  We’re all interested to see how it works.
  • There is now a button in the Bill of Materials Module that will allow you to access the multi-level bill of materials report.  While this report is not new, and accessibility to the report from the Bill of Materials Module is not a novel concept, it might be more fun to click the button, rather than opening the drop-down “Reports” menu.

We Can Fix It

Some Things to Remember When Updating, and How we Can Help:

  1. Your custom reports may not work any more.  Don’t worry, we can fix them!
  2. Your integrations may break (check with your supplier to see if your integration is compatible).  We can fix these, as well!
  3. The world may end!  Well, maybe not, but we suggest you don’t update to the newest version of Fishbowl for at least 3 to 4 weeks after the release.  We know…it’s tempting to hit the upgrade button as soon as it becomes available.  Don’t give in!  We need to give enough time for them to figure out all of the bugs.
  4. Once you’re ready to pull the trigger, it sounds like the update may take a while…so, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete the update before beginning work for the day.

Remember, we are here to help with anything related to Fishbowl.  Let us know if you have any questions about all  of the upcoming changes to Fishbowl.

Saying Farewell to 2016

As we come to the end of the year, it’s customary to look back a little. Sometimes it is hard to do in a business which is always looking forward.

However, when you get a chance, the things that stick out are the people. Although the products and places are important, it’s the people that make the difference.

Celebrating The Past

This year we celebrated our 10th year of partnership with Fishbowl. I remember vividly being at a Client and having them show us this software called Fishbowl which they had just bought. At the time, we were working with other software solutions and were impressed enough by what we saw to give them a call. They told us what a big company they were and we said the same. Both of us stretched the truth a bit. We went to partner training that April which Fishbowl had conveniently scheduled for the same time as the Brigham Young University and Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) commencements, so the nearest hotel rooms were 50 miles away. First discovery: Utah has traffic. Second discovery: outstanding people and a great product.  A lot has changed since then but the basis of the relationship has never faltered – trust and respect. Thanks for 10 great years and many more.

partnership

Celebrating The Present

Another thing we celebrate is how cool our clients are. We have the most interesting people use our products and services.  It is amazing.  From day to day, week to week, we “work” for distributors and manufacturers who make and sell just about anything you can imagine, and some you can’t (believe me). Just getting to interact with all these people and their businesses makes this the greatest job in the world. This year we learned about whoopee cushions, organic goat feed, custom 4-wheel drive vehicles, gluing guns, and wine bottles (empty, unfortunately) to name a few.  In blogs to come, we’ll introduce you to some of them.

Celebrating The Future

business-growth

This year we also expanded in other ways, adding people and even a new office in sunny Florida. This is either to service our growing client base in the Southeast or to give us a respite from the Northern winters – you guess. Our team continues to grow with talented, committed teammates offering the best service and smarts in the business.

And of course, we have a new website with a blog which will remind us to share with you and thank you more often. That may turn out to be the best development of all of them.

Sharpe Concepts and LilyPad Applications release LilyPad Mobile Warehouse 3.0

Pick in LMW

LilyPad Applications have released our next leap forward with LilyPad Mobile Warehouse. Master Pack functionality now gives the user more data input options by utilizing Outer Box (Master Pack) and Inner Box (Inner Pack) UPC codes, and associated quantity calculations, to identify picking, packing, and receiving in bulk. The Master Pack functionality is also utilized in nearly all LilyPad Mobile Warehouse modules.

Master Pack functionality is only available in LilyPad Mobile Warehouse, solidifying LilyPad Applications’ top leader standing as THE Fishbowl Premier Partner!

But wait, there’s more!!!

LilyPad Mobile Warehouse now allows the user to Apply Payments to Sales Order creation including taking credit card payments through a third party gateway platform built into LilyPad Mobile Warehouse.

Check out our Release Notes for more information or click here to Get Involved with LilyPad today!

Scan 2D Barcodes with the New LilyPad Add-on to Fishbowl

With the help of LilyPad Applications’ new Mobile Warehouse product, Fishbowl customers can now scan 2D barcodes rather than just 1D barcodes. This is a big deal because it lets you do much more with your barcode scanners in a shorter amount of time. You can scan a single barcode and populate dozens of fields in Fishbowl at the same time.

To understand how this works, let’s first talk about the difference between 1D and 2D barcodes.
barcode-xt2

1D vs. 2D Barcodes

Fishbowl has traditionally allowed companies to scan UPCs and other linear or 1D barcodes to:

  • Access detailed part information
  • Cycle count inventory
  • Update inventory quantities
  • Reorder products
  • And more

Each 1D barcode is connected to a specific file in Fishbowl’s database, and scanning it allows you to gain access to the data in that file. UPCs and other similar barcodes are generally rectangular in shape and made up of a number of white and black lines along with various numbers and/or letters on the top or bottom.

2D barcodes, on the other hand, are often smaller and contain all sorts of nonlinear designs, such as pixels, dots, and squares. Think of QR codes. Those are 2D barcodes, and they are scanned not just horizontally but vertically, as well. Thus, they can contain geometrically more information than standard 1D barcodes.

1D barcodes can be scanned with a laser scanner while 2D barcodes can only be read by using a device that takes a picture of them and treats them as an image, not just a string of code. Luckily, most smartphones and tablets work well in this capacity.

LilyPad Mobile Warehouse

Let’s return to LilyPad Mobile Warehouse. As noted earlier, this solution gives Fishbowl customers the ability to create, map, and scan 2D barcodes.

“Now, an electronics distributor can pull in 100 serial numbers off a case of product, or a food packager can pull part number, price, lot number, and expiration date, all from a single scan,” said Sal Cucinella, CEO of LilyPad Applications.

This is particularly useful for companies in the following industries:

  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Medical
  • Pharmaceutical