Softhard Solutions ShopMate Main Product Sales Module Explanation Page
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Softhard Solutions ShopMate

Business Accounting Product Sales Module Explanation

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ShopMate Automotive Business Accounting Product Sales Module

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Welcome to Softhard Solutions ShopMate Main Product Sales Module Explanation page. Only two clicks from the Home Page will have an invoice set up and ready to go ... in seconds. The Invoices created here in this Main Product Sales Manager are for Customers you have or want to have on your system for currently selected Branch.

Selected customer's ID is used for every invoice you create in this form. When first establishing ShopMate operations, two customers are automatically created, the owner of ShopMate with ID 1 and Counter Sales with ID 2. So if you are at that stage you must create new customers.
View Product Sales Module Screen Shot...

The following tasks are available on this page:

If you want to be able to issue invoices quickly (e.g. point of sale), without having to select a customer before you create an invoice, you must do this in the Counter Sales Manager form where only one customer, Counter Sales, is used with Customer ID 2. You can get to the Counter Sales Manager by clicking on the More... button located on the top right action bar and selecting the Counter Sales choice or selecting the first choice of the main Tool Bar Sales button menu.

Depending on what your company does, you may not need the automotive component feature provided by ShopMate. By default, this component is turned on when you first setup ShopMate. If your company deals with customer vehicles and issues invoices for the work done on their vehicle, you should turn this feature on.

You can turn this feature component On or Off using the switch in the Main Business Administration Module or using Show Vehicles menu on the Main, Context or Tool Bar menus. If selected, displays current customer's vehicle details in the grid and the vehicle related buttons become visible. If left unselected, these are not visible and not available for selections and the grid contains all history invoices, if any, of currently selected customer instead.

Currently selected customer's ID is used for every invoice you create in this form. If you want to be able to issue invoices quickly (e.g. point of sale), without having to select a customer before you create an invoice, you must do this in the Counter Sales section where only one customer, Counter Sales, is used with Customer ID 2. The reserved customer IDs are ID 1 - your company and ID 2 - Counter Sales.

Tips
ShopMate has a notion of Open and Closed invoices and orders. While they are Open, they are just templates and can be manipulated as you like, even deleted, with no reflection in the financial system or your products stock. When Closed, they are taken off of the Main Sales or Purchases and become part of the financial system.

When the invoices or orders are Closed they are Posted from sales/purchases into the financial system, products (only those with the Stocked property set) are added or deducted to/from stock as needed, you can't change things any more and the invoices/orders are ready for the receiving/issuing of payment for them.

Even if you do NOT use purchase orders you still should periodically Close all the orders that ShopMate automatically creates when any product's Reorder Level is set, or an invoice containing any Stocked products is Closed, not delete them.

If you delete them, they will only be recreated again by ShopMate. You should Close (post) them and issue payments for them otherwise your financial reports will be incorrect (100% profit). You should maintain all products' correct Retail and Supply (except labour) prices for balancing.

By default, at start up, each employee is marked as present at work, except for employees marked as Inactive and entries made on Saturdays and Sundays. It is your responsibility to see that the entries, employee attendance and wage Approval, are correct for each day of employee operations.

All your labour products should have the ItemsInUnit property set to a number greater than one. If we assume that the Items are minutes of a Unit (one hour), you can set the ItemsInUnit to 60 (minutes). Then in an invoice you can enter e.g. 2.3 (hours) into Units and the Items (minutes) will be correctly calculated in this invoice item.

The updatable grids may contain one or more fields that are too short to display fully. You can click into these fields and the editor will display all words fully below it, formatted (even if a field is not normally updatable - if you try to update such field the editor will simply return the previous data).

Before a product is being pulled into the invoices or orders via a bar code scanning device, make sure the designated bar code field receiving the number is in focus.

Although you may, it is advisable NOT to use dot (.) as a first letter of the product names you yourself create.

If you are currently a MotoShop Automotive user you might ask a question: what is the difference between MotoShop Automotive and ShopMate? The answer is they both do the same thing but ShopMate does it better, is most modern software you can get, is written in .Net technology and, unlike MotoShop, is fully supported by Softhard Solutions.

MotoShop Automotive was built with the automotive industry businesses in mind, ShopMate was built for any small to medium business including automotive industry.


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ShopMate System Products Usage

When you first establish your ShopMate System Operations, ShopMate comes with four System Replacement Products. This enables you to work immediately, without having to put in your own products. They are replacement products for products you would normally have in your stock.

A special system labour product (.Labour) is used in invoices for the users to be able to use a special invoice for those customers that want to see in their invoices the Labour Price and Parts Price separately.

Some of our users do not put in any products of their own into the system, they only use these system products in their invoicing and ordering. These four system products all have a dot at the beginning of their name with names as follows:

  • .Buy_in - ID 1
    is used as a replacement for physical products you buy-in constantly and sell immediately but may not keep in stock. Just use this system product in your invoices and rename its name to the name of product you buy on the customer's behalf and do not want to keep it in stock. You only change the name of the product in the invoice not the product itself so the reports will show .Buy_in product sale.

    Important Note
    A common mistake made by users is pulling this product into an invoice and re-naming and using it as a Labour product and expecting to get correct labour reports. This product is meant only for physical product not labour product. Any reports on labour will be then incorrect since these 'labour products' are not found by the system.

    It is probably the best practice to use the system .Buy_in product in the invoices and keep renaming it appropriately as a physical product not labour. That way your labour reports will never be incorrect.

  • .Sublet - ID 2
    similar to .Buy_in, it is used as a replacement for physical products for times when you get some customer work done outside your place of business but the customer pays you and you get some of that amount and the rest goes to the company that actually did the work. You may or may not have the product they named in their invoice to you, in your stock. Just use this product in your invoices and rename its name to the name they have used when invoicing you. You only change the name of the product in the invoice not the product itself so the reports will show .Sublet product sale.
     
  • .Payable - ID 3
    is used only in the ordering system not invoicing and is used as a replacement for physical product which enables you to have suppliers in your database that don't have actual products 'attached' to them yet. In the meantime you can at least use this system product in the orders and rename its name so the supplier understands, until such time as you do end up 'attaching' a real product(s) to them. As a minimum every supplier is associated with this system product. You only change the name of the product in the purchase order not the product itself so the reports will show .Payable product order.
     
  • .Labour - ID 4
    is a special system product used as a replacement for any type of service work you provide for customers and you get paid for. Just use this product in your invoices and rename its name to the name appropriate to the labour you have performed on the customer's behalf and do not want to create your own labour product. You only change the name of the product in the invoice not the product itself so the reports will show .Labour product sale. You can also create your own labour products (the category ID of these must be set to 2 - Labour).

    Important Note
    A common mistake made by users is creating their own labour products, naming them appropriate names but forgetting to assign the Category ID 2 - Labour to them. Any reports on labour will be then incorrect since these labour products are not found by the system.

    It is probably the best practice to use the system .Labour product in the invoices and keep renaming it appropriately. That way your labour reports will never be incorrect.

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Ways to Discount Customers in ShopMate

There are many ways for your customers to get the discount prices you offer on your products. The following are discounts implemented in ShopMate you can use if you want to, shown in the order in which the system searches for set discounts when they are being pulled into the invoices if a customer is a member of other discount schemes:

  1. In the Customer Manager form, in the Settings task Tab, you can set a Global product discount there. Customer gets this much discount on all products in invoices in percent automatically.

    Be careful with this super discount. Customer will get the percentage discount you set there on all products in their invoice(s), even if a product already has a Special on it (buy x and get x free scheme) by your supplier and on top of any other discount schemes the customer may be a member of.
     
  2. In the Invoice Manager form, there is a Reward field in every Open Invoice, on the Products task Tab in the products grid. It is meant to give a customer a special Reward Discount by deducting the set Reward amount from the Retail Price set on that entered product.

    Customer will get this amount discount even if that product already has a Special on it (buy x and get x free scheme) by your supplier and on top of any other discount schemes the customer may be a member of.

    When set, ShopMate remembers it and next time this product is pulled in for this customer the deduction is done automatically. You can clear the field by entering a zero in it, negative value is not allowed.

    If you have the same product entered into the Invoice several times and you change or clear the Reward field in one of them, only that record is changed, the others are not and next time the product is pulled in for this customer the value will be different from others.
     
  3. In the Customer Manager form, in the Settings task Tab, you can set the other discount, you select a Special Level Price of a participating product(s).

    When set, it will be used when you are pulling in any of the products that have these special levels set into the invoices. If there is a Special on a product (get x and get x free scheme) by your supplier, this discount is disregarded if set.
     
  4. In the Custom Prices Manager form one selected customer receives the selected and entered discounted retail prices of products. If there is a Special on a product (buy x and get x free scheme) by your supplier, this discount is disregarded if set.
     
  5. In the Customer Group Prices Manager form all selected and entered customers of a named group receive (share) the same selected and entered discounted retail prices of products in that group.

    If there is a Special on a product (buy x and get x free scheme) by your supplier, this discount is disregarded if set.
     
  6. You can also give customer a discount percentage if they pay for their invoice(s) in short, predetermined time from the Invoice Date. You can set this first in the Customer Manager form, in the Settings task Tab and second in the Invoice Manager form, on the Totals task Tab, set Early Payment Discount for the current customer.

    There is also available in ShopMate 'Buy from us X products and Get Cash rebate or X products free' customer enticement product handling scheme (this depends on your suppliers supporting this).

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Sales New Invoices Task Tab

This tab is used for creating a new invoice(s) for currently selected customer in the Customer combo box up the top. After you select a customer, there are several ways to quickly view the currently selected customer history.

If the grid shows the customer vehicles, click View menu up the top or right click anywhere on the form for context menu (these menu options toggle between Show Vehicles - unselected and Hide Vehicles - selected) and clear the Hide Vehicles option.

The grid will show customer's all invoices, if any, instead of vehicles. Then, double click the selector bar of the desired invoice to view its details. You can also click the Jobs or History buttons up the top to see more details.

Grid's Colour Coding

If showing Vehicles:
If the customer has earned some points you have awarded him for continuing service, to remind you to consider some rewards in the next invoice, the Registration # and Service Points fields will appear in RED to draw your attention to it.

If showing Invoices:
For Open invoices
If an invoice is marked as Quote the colour is DimGray, otherwise it is Black.
For Closed invoices
If an unpaid invoice has received a partial payment the colour is Blue otherwise it is MediumOrchid.
If a paid invoice is marked as Bad (has received a partial payment and the rest is unrecoverable) the colour is Red otherwise it is Green.

Following table contains all the available elements for review.

Element Description
Search Text Box:
Search for
customer vehicles

Search for customer vehicle registration number. This search text box is available when the automotive option of ShopMate is turned on. Type in fuzzy word to search for in ShopMate table Cars in Registration field.

A fuzzy search means you can, in relation to the Registration table field, type any combination of letters and/or numbers into this fuzzy search word field that may be contained in this table field, left, right or anywhere in between. Then press the Enter key or Search button for results.

Pressing enter key or Search button when this text box is empty returns all available records in database.

Grid:
Current
customer
vehicles or
invoices

This grid is a single-select grid and contains customer vehicles only if the Show Vehicles menu option is selected in the View menu above. It contains all the vehicles that the currently selected customer may own (fleet). If unchecked this grid contains all invoices of currently selected customer instead and you can use the 'Review Invoice' button or double click the selector bar on the far left of the invoice grid for quick review.

If you select (highlight by left clicking the selector bar) any vehicle record in this grid, its details will be included in all newly created invoices for the currently selected customer and date.

To create an invoice quickly, if the next invoice is going to be a Customer vehicle invoice, you can double click the selector bar on the far left of the vehicle grid or, after you select a vehicle record, double click the grid anywhere outside the vehicle records.

If a vehicle record's Registration # field appears in Red font, this indicates (and draws your attention to) the customer vehicle has earned some service points you have awarded him for continuing service, to remind you to consider some rewards in the next invoice.

Calendar:
Multi Month
Calendar

This is the main calendar for creating new invoices, one of the most important ones inside ShopMate. If you are working in the automotive repair industry you can book the customer vehicles (or if not, other services) ahead of time in this calendar.

The calendar may flicker colours at times for your attention.

Click on any date showing on the current calendar page, or change the current settings to a past day/month/year or future day/month/year. The calendar always displays two or more months, depending on your video resolution, for clearer viewing of booked vehicles or services.

Select any date in this main calendar to see a list of invoices 'created' on that date on the Invoices created on task Tab. To be able to see the date an invoice is 'created' on helps you to keep track of how long it takes between when you 'create' an invoice (booking) and when you 'close' it. It helps you keep better track of how your invoices are going from beginning to end.

Important Notes
Any calendar week day that is in bold font indicates it contains one or more Open Invoices that are yet to be attended to. If the selected day contains only Closed Invoices, you closed all the invoices created on the selected date, the calendar day font will NOT be bolded but the invoices will appear on the 'Selected Day Invoices' task Tab as Closed Invoices.

It helps you make sure you never lose track of Open Invoices that need work on. Also note that every Invoice contains three important dates:

First is a date you can't see or update in the system. It is called Start Date and keeps the date of the creation (today's date) of the invoice. That way the time it takes to finish the invoice task (service) can be calculated in reports.

Second, called Booking Date, is a date of the day for which the customer is actually booked for your service. This date, usually in the future, never changes as the current days progress towards it and is used in reports of employee hours availability. Invoices with Booking Date set to some future date can't be Closed.

Third is the Invoice Date which changes as the days progress since it is the date of closing the invoice. This date is changed automatically after every midnight until the invoice is closed. The difference between Start Date and this date shows you how many days you may have worked on the customer task.

It is the Booking Date that the 'bolded day numbers' dates in the calendar represent.

In any calendar that appears inside ShopMate, click on the arrows to make changes, or click on top of the month in the title to change the month or on top of the year to change the year.

You will never get lost in the calendar. Simply click on the 'Today's current date' red or blue square at the bottom of the calendar or right click anywhere on top of the calendar and press 'Go to today', to immediately return to the current date.

Important Note
If you change the date in the calendar to a past date, the task screen will temporarily show a reddish hue to help draw your attention to the fact that the calendar is set in the 'past' and no new invoices may be made. As soon as you click back onto Today's current date (or onto a future date), the colour of your task screen will return to a normal colour.

Any invoice ticked as a Quote will also have the above mentioned reddish hue, but it stays permanently that way for as long as the invoice has the Quote property set, check box ticked. You can't Close a Quote (Estimate Only) invoice, but with one click you can untick the Quote check box to turn the Quote invoice into a normal Tax Invoice (with normal colouring) and then you can Close (post) it.

Combo boxes:
Customer name
Company name

These combo boxes display current customer by name and company name. All customers are contained in these two combo boxes by customer name and customer company name for currently selected Branch.

If you know either of these, select the current customer from the list. If you need to do searching for unknown or partially known customer, press the Search for customer button.

Important Note
All new invoices and vehicles will be created for this, currently selected, displayed in these two combo boxes, customer only.

To Add a new Customer to database:

Click into either of these customer combo boxes and select and click the first entry which should be something like:

to add a new customer to the database. You can also click the More... button up the top and select the option there.

Button:
Review current
customer
Left click on this button to go into the currently selected customer's record and review it.
Button:
Review
customer jobs
Click on this button to go into the currently selected customer Jobs tracking manager and review whatever you need. This is the only place where you can re-open closed and paid for invoices.
Button:
Review
customer history
Left click on this button to go into the currently selected customer's history of invoices and products purchased and review it.
Button:
Search for
customer
Click on this button to go into the Customer Search Manager to do more advanced search for any customer.
Button:
Add new invoice
Click on this button to add a new invoice for the currently selected customer. If a vehicle is selected (highlighted by clicking the selector bar) that vehicle's details will be entered into the newly created invoice.

If the next invoice is going to be a Customer vehicle invoice, you can double click the selector bar on the far left of the vehicle grid to achieve the same thing.
Button:
Search for
any invoice
Click on this button to search for any invoice in database. If you select an invoice in the search manager, you will be taken straight to its reviewing.
Button:
Add new vehicle

This button is visible only if 'Show Vehicles' option is selected in the View menu.

Only click on this button if you work with vehicles and want to 'attach' a vehicle to the Current customer that is not in the system yet and, optionally, to their invoices. If you do click on it, a box will appear where you have to type in the 'Registration' number and 'Make' of a vehicle.

If you enter in those details, a vehicle will immediately be 'attached' to the selected customer and you'll be taken into the newly-created Vehicle Details record.

As soon as you fill in vehicle details and click on 'OK', ShopMate will add vehicle-related columns to the grid, already selected, ready for your new invoices.

Button:
Review
selected vehicle

This button is visible only if 'Show Vehicles' option is selected in the View menu. It is enabled only if you select (by clicking on it) a vehicle record in the current customer's grid of vehicles.

Click on this button to review the selected vehicle's record in the current customer's grid of vehicles.

Button:
Search for
any vehicle

This button is visible only if 'Show Vehicles' option is selected in the View menu.

If the Search text box contains any search text, clicking this button searches for this text first. Click on this button to go into the Vehicle Search Manager to do more advanced search for any vehicle. If a vehicle is returned and it does not belong to the currently selected customer, the vehicle owner customer will be selected automatically.

Button:
Print Rewards

In the Invoice Manager, there is a Reward field in every Open Invoice, on the Products task Tab in the products grid. It is meant to give a customer a special, invisible (not saved in General Ledger) Reward by deducting the set Reward amount, a few dollars, from the Normal Retail Price set on that entered product. Check and preview or print the rewards the currently selected customer may have on which products.

More... Button:
Add new customer
Click on this option to create a new customer.
More... Button:
Counter sales
module

Click on this option to go into the Counter Sales section designed for point of sales to various unknown customers. Normal invoices are not printed. Instead customer invoice receipts are printed. The CustomerID 2 is used in all new counter sale invoices.

If you want to be able to select customers and their names from your database, stay in this section where you have that ability. From the customer Search button you can even select Counter Sale customer too.

More... Button:
Receive
invoice payments
Click on this option to Receive invoice payments for closed invoices. When an invoice is paid for, all its products marked as Stock will be deducted from the Stock marker.
More... Button:
Review
invoice templates
Click on this option to Review invoice templates for open invoices. You create these templates and use them to quickly add to invoice product items. Each template can generate customer reward points and when used by customer invoices, after accumulating certain number of points, you can reward the customer in the next invoice (good for marketing customers).
More... Button:
Review
closed invoices
Click on this option to Review closed (posted to financial system) invoices.
More... Button:
Check
product reorder
Click on this option to Check for product re-order for products that are marked as Stock product and have their re-order level property set higher than 0 (zero).
More... Button:
Send E-mail
Click on this option to email the current customer. You can use this button to email messages to anyone, not just the current customer.

The emailing should work even if you do not have an SMTP protocol (simple mail transport protocol) installed on your machine.
More... Button:
Print form face
Click on this option to Print or Preview form's currently showing face in various picture formats.

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Sales Selected Day Invoices Task Tab

This is a very important task tab. Select any date in the main calendar to see a list of Open and Closed invoices created on that date on this task Tab. To be able to see the date an invoice is created on helps you keep track of how long it takes between when you create an invoice (booking) and when you close it.

It helps you keep track of how your invoices and availability of employee hours progress.

Note
If you change the date in the calendar to a past date, looking for invoices, the task screen will temporarily show a reddish hue to help draw your attention to the fact that the calendar is set in the 'past' and no new invoices may be created. As soon as you click back onto Today's current date (or onto a future date), the colour of your task screen will return to a normal colour.

Grid's Colour Coding

For Open invoices
If an invoice is marked as Quote the colour is DimGray, otherwise it is Black.
For Closed invoices
If an unpaid invoice has received a partial payment the colour is Blue otherwise it is MediumOrchid.
If a paid invoice is marked as Bad (has received a partial payment and the rest is unrecoverable) the colour is Red otherwise it is Green.

Following table contains all the available elements for review.

Element Description
Grid:
Selected day
invoices

This grid is a single-select grid and contains a list of all invoices created on the currently selected date, both, open and closed.

Click into any column heading to sort the records or double-click the selector bar to review desired invoice.

Button:
Review invoice
Click on this button to review selected invoice. You can also left double click on a required record on its selector bar to go straight to its review.


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Sales All Open Invoices Task Tab

Grid's Colour Coding

For Open invoices only
If an invoice is marked as Quote the colour is DimGray, otherwise it is Black.

Following table contains all the available elements for review.

Element Description
Grid:
All open
invoices

This grid is a multi-select grid and shows a list of all the 'Open' invoices in database for current branch, not just the invoices for the currently selected date.

Click into any column heading to sort the records or double-click the selector bar to review desired invoice.

Button:
Review invoice
Click on this button to review selected (with an arrow on selector bar) invoice. You can also left double click on a required record on the selector bar to go straight to its review.
Button:
Delete invoice
Click on this button to delete the selected (must be highlighted) open invoice. You can select several records (the grid is multi-select) to delete at a time.

Left click the record selector to select starting record and then using either Shift-Click key to select batch or Ctrl-Click key to select individual records or Click-Hold-Drag selector bar up or down and then delete them all by clicking this button. You can also click the top left corner of the grid to select all records it contains.


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