One of the most frequently overlooked elements in a business is its order management. Companies need to coordinate the entire process from the time a customer places an order until they receive their product or service. Effective order management can help the company oversee the lifecycle of an order by tracking all the information and processes, from order entry to fulfillment, and even service after the sale.
Without visibility into that order, errors are bound to occur, and that can have a significant impact on how customers perceive your business or brand. Fortunately, the Sales Order functionality of QuickBooks Enterprise can help your business streamline the sales order process efficiently, ensuring happy customers in today’s competitive environment.
Not sure where to start? Here’s an overview of how to use QuickBooks Enterprise for order management.
Step 1: Enter the Order
When a customer places a new order, the first step is to enter the sales order in QuickBooks Enterprise.
A sales order is helpful for tracking orders before they are ready to be delivered or billed to the customer. It is essentially the business’s way of recording that it has promised to make a sale.
Entering a sales order doesn’t record income on the books. Instead, it creates a placeholder that the company can easily review. It also flags the inventory item on that sales order as a pending sale so the company can track its ability to fulfill all new orders generated that day.
If you want, you can even customize the look of your sales order by clicking on the Formatting tab at the top of the sales order, then selecting Customize Design. The software will walk you through a wizard to add a logo, select a customized background, change colors and fonts, and change the look of the grid and shading on your QuickBooks forms. While customizing your sales orders isn’t strictly necessary, it can be a nice touch to add your company’s branding to the QuickBooks forms your customers see every time they place an order.
Once the sales order has been entered, this will be reflected in inventory level reports generated from QuickBooks Enterprise.
Step 2: Fulfill the Order
Beginning with the 2019 version of QuickBooks Enterprise, the software comes with a Pick, Pack, and Ship feature that allows users to track the sales order fulfillment program on a single dashboard.
To use Pick, Pack, and Ship, you need to enable the Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet in the Advanced Inventory settings. You may also want to use a mobile barcode scanner or Android phone that is linked to the company file. If you aren’t using a barcode scanner, you’ll have to update the pick information manually.
Now, from the Customers menu, select Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet, then select Dashboard. The dashboard will show all open sales orders, how many have been picked, how many have been packed, and how many have been shipped.
Select the sales orders you want to pick by clicking on the box on the left. Then use the drop-down menu under Batch Actions to select Send for Picking. This will create a Pick List. All items on the sales order should already be checked; you can de-select certain items if needed. Then you’ll need to select a site if you use multiple inventory sites.
Once you select Next, QuickBooks Enterprise will create a Pick List. You can assign a Picker and Send to Device (if using a scanner) or Print Picklist (if using a manual process).
Now that you’ve created the Pick List, you can track the real-time status of the order from the warehouse on the Pick tab. Once the warehouse scans the items from the Pick List, you’ll see an orange arrow notification indicating the Pick List has been updated.
If you’re not using a barcode scanner, the picker will need to update the pick information manually.
If you don’t use a separate pack process, you can send your picked and packed order straight to Ship. Otherwise, once the Sales Order status shows “Picked” or “Partially Picked” on the Dashboard, you can start the Pack process.
Once again, select the Sales Order to be packed from the Dashboard, then select Send for Packing in the Action drop-down. On the Packer column, you can choose a packer off of your list, if necessary, then select Send to Device to pass the packing list to the warehouse.
The packer will need to scan the packing list to be fulfilled, finalize the entry, and hit Finish to send the completed packing list back to QuickBooks Enterprise. If not using a scanner, the packer will need to update that information manually.
Back at the Pack tab on the Sales Order Fulfillment worksheet, an orange flag will indicate that the order has been packed. If there are any exceptions, such as an incorrect number of items packed, QuickBooks Enterprise will alert you with a message.
After the item is Packed, it’s time to ship! From the Dashboard, select the sales order to be shipped and select Print Shipping Label from the Action column. Then you can choose the desired shipping method: USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
You’ll get a pop-up telling you that the Sales Order will be updated with the tracking information once you print the shipping label. Select Next.
If this is your first time using this process, the software will ask you to sign into your Stamps.com, FedEx, or UPS account or create a new account if you don’t already have one. Information already in the system will auto-fill into the form. You’ll need to provide any additional required information. Then select Ship.
Once the shipping label process is complete, you will receive a confirmation screen with cost and shipping details. The software will update the shipping details, and you can view them by selecting the View Details link on the Dashboard.
If you’ve only shipped one order, you can mark it as shipped in the Action column. If shipping multiple sales orders in one day, you can check the box to the left of each shipped order, then choose Mark as Shipped from the Batch Actions drop-down menu.
Of course, depending on the size of your company and the number of sales orders you fulfill each day, your business’s Pick, Pack, and Ship process might look a little different. We’ve shown you one way, but the beauty of QuickBooks Enterprise is that the sales order fulfillment process is versatile and can be customized to fit your needs.
Step 3: Invoice the Order
Now that you’ve fulfilled the customer’s order, it’s time to make sure you get paid. This is where invoicing comes in.
The great thing about separating the Sales Order and invoicing processes within QuickBooks Enterprise is that you can bill customers for multiple orders on the same invoice. That’s helpful when you have customers who might order several times a day, week, or month, but you only bill them at specific intervals. It’s also beneficial when some inventory items are not available, so you need to invoice a partially completed order.
To create your invoice, go to the Customers menu, and select Create Invoice. Then select the customer’s name in the box at the top of the invoice. A box will pop up listing all of the available sales orders that can be invoiced. Select one or several sales orders, then select OK.
Another box will pop up asking whether you want to create an invoice for all items on the sales order or just selected items. If some of the items from the sales order weren’t in stock, you would choose the second option. Otherwise, stick with “Create an invoice for all of the sales order(s).”
Hit OK again, and QuickBooks Enterprise will generate an invoice with all the information from the sales order.
Review the invoice details, making any changes to the terms or customer message, as needed. Then select Save & Close.
Now, you can send one or multiple invoices via email or print multiple invoices as a batch to be mailed.
Creating the invoice will generate an Account Receivable, so all reports related to inventory, revenues, and accounts receivable will now reflect the order.
Using the order management features within QuickBooks Enterprise can make order fulfillment and supervision far more straightforward than you might imagine. From a single dashboard, you have complete visibility into what your customers want, whether their orders are being processed, and how long it takes an order to get from generation to shipping.
That level of transparency is crucial for keeping customers happy and building a successful business.
If you need more features and functions than QuickBooks Enterprise can provide, the software allows for integration with multiple add-ons that can enhance your order management process.
Contact one of our Solutions Consultants today at 855-321-6576 to get special discounts and offers for QuickBooks Enterprise licenses and learn more about hosting your QuickBooks Enterprise company file on the cloud.