At some point your business will begin to generate orders, and you and your sales, customer service, and accounting personnel will need to be able to track each order. There needs to be an inseparable link between 3 documents: your sales order (and its unique sales order number), your invoice (and its unique invoice number), and your packing list (and its unique pack list number). When you invest in a computer system and software for your business this is an absolute necessity!
The sales order must have a unique number so that sales and customer service personnel can track the customers order-by their purchase order through your computer system. This is very important in manufacturing type environments where orders can go on a variety of different holds. The computer system that you purchase should be able to accommodate items line item identification numbers or part numbers. The customers purchase order should be double verified for accuracy and prominently displayed on every document. There should also be a free form field for plant codes or blanket order release numbers.
All of the sales order information (including the sales order number) needs to automatically populate into the invoice. Information such as the pack list number also needs to be generated through the computer system and linked to the invoice and backwards into the sales order. Invoices need to be automatically generated overnight and mailed or electronically sent the next morning after shipment.
The pack list is a very vital document as most large companies are now paying from the pack list by the pack list number. This is the number that is most often showing on the customers check advice of remittance and the only way for your internal accounting department to determine how funds are to be applied when you receive a check from your customer.
Follow these ideas when your company is planning a computer system purchase and you will save many hours of aggravating mental labor.
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