Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Getting started with OrderHarmony

Ah the humble checklist.

I've always been a fan of a good list; particularly adding my own little squares so I can physically tick completed tasks. While this gets some laughs now and again, I stick by them as the best tool for helping me feel organised and in control.

This all sounds very boring but there's proof that checklists improve the effectiveness of teams and even save lives!

So, we thought that a checklist would help you too.

Extract form the OrderHarmony Getting Started checklist

Here's our PDF guide to Getting Started with OrderHarmony. It includes useful hints on how you can make sure the products is right for you and a checklist of items you need to complete to get up & running with the system.

Happy ticking!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

8 reasons to NOT manage your orders with spreadsheets

As your business grows, the spreadsheets you started using to manage your sales orders and inventory will likely stop working so well. Its worse that that. In fact:

Using spreadsheets to manage your orders could be harming your business.

I've made this list of the top 8 reasons why our customers stopped using spreadsheets to run their business, and switched to a proper order management system.

1. Nobody understands that complex spreadsheet

Often the business owner will have set up the spreadsheet in the first place. They know exactly how it works, but it can be difficult to pass this knowledge onto new staff members as you grow. 

a spreadsheet
"...since The Climbing Works opened in 2006, they had relied on rudimentary spreadsheet software to keep track of their stock. What they’d hoped would be a straightforward system had become antiquated and cumbersome over time. “It just wasn't working as well as we wanted it to. It was overly-complex and difficult to manage.”

2. Spreadsheets are hard to share

Spreadsheets cannot easily be shared and updated by multiple users. This leads to them feeling fragile and confusing - who made the last update? What has changed? Did we send that order last week or not?  

3. Stale data is worse than no data

If your team is growing or you are operating across multiple sales channels, a spreadsheet quickly becomes out of date. Sales order management becomes impossible as orders keep coming in. Did someone forget to update row 25645? Who knows?

"Eventually, all spreadsheet applications fail because they are so easy to do that they are used for things they should not be used for," - Nigel Pendse, Business Intelligence Expert

4. No reporting? Intelligent decisions are harder to make

Reporting is essential to understanding your business - what product are my top sellers? When do I need to raise a Purchase Order? How many widgets do I need to order? Who updated this product information? Without reporting, you can't measure or improve performance.

5. Lack of control is bad for business

Very quickly things can feel out of control. Instead of concentrating on making sales and running the business, before using OrderHarmony our customers reported feeling overwhelmed with paper work and constantly battling to find time for more important tasks. 

A hand reaching out of a huge pile of papers
“Stock control and overview of shipments and orders saves time and keeps me on top of the day-to-day running of my business.” Diamach

6. Without workflow, there's no rules

Strong processes that are easy to communicate across your business are vital. Spreadsheets do not prescribe a workflow - meaning you could be using several different processes for the same operation & your staff are confused. 

7. Lose that file and you're in BIG trouble

I bet you have all lost a spreadsheet in some obscure folder deep on your hard drive at some point, I know I have! 

Spreadsheets are easy to accidentally overwrite or lose completely. Business data needs to be securely stored so you can have peace of mind that a broken laptop is not a disaster for your business.

8. No communication

Spreadsheets cannot communicate! They don't know when to tell your customers about the progress of their Sales Order and they certainly don't email POs to your Suppliers.

What's the alternative?

Spreadsheets can be great for getting started - they are simple, quick and cost-effective to set-up but as your business grows, there will come a point where the limitations of a manual system will start to have a negative impact on your productivity. When that happens, you should investigate proper order management systems.

We make OrderHarmony, software-as-a-service that has helped many wholesale businesses escape their spreadsheet woes and scale up with a proper order management system. 

the author, Hannah Chaplin of OrderHarmony by Hannah Chaplin, OrderHarmony COO

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Change to Stock Value Calculation

We've made a small change to the way the stock value report calculates the unit value of each SKU.

We still average the cost over the purchase orders in the system, however we now exclude any CANCELLED PO lines from that average.

Please let me know if you have any feedback on this update.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Changes to how order lines are shown

We've made a couple of change to help make order processing clearer.

This change is on the sales order page.

  • We don't show that an order line is Allocated any more. 
  • In place of Allocated, we tell you if the order line is In Stock or Out of Stock or Part Stock.
  • If the order line is on already on a shipment, we give you a link to the exact shipment.
  • Pickable doesn't appear any more. A line that would have been pickable before, now has a link to the shipment. 
  • If you Unallocate a line, we do show that, just like before.
We think the changes should do the following for you:
  • Make it easier to see what is in an in an out of stock when you're processing a sales order
  • Make it clearer what shipment is relevant to each order line
Let me know if you have any feedback on this update.

Friday, 7 February 2014

New features released this week

A bunch of new features were released this week thanks to your feedback. Keep it coming! 
  • All stock report - you can now filter by warehouse (multi-warehouse only)
  • Xero integration - if you create a sales invoice every time you dispatch a shipment, you can now have the non-stock items sent over with the first invoice. See settings / integrations / Xero for details.
  • Webhooks on shipment dispatch. Allows you to make an HTTP request to a third party server whenever a shipment is dispatched. We'll follow up with more details on this feature later.
  • "Estimated date shippable" and "Late Orders list" had a bug that meant for customers in NZ and Australia, we didn't take the timezone into account, which is now fixed.
  • Sorting fixed on "Goods in expected" report.
  • Shipment export report now has date filters.
  • POs with lots of lines should perform better as we load some background data more intelligently.
We're working hard every day to make OrderHarmony better for you. Thanks for your support.


Monday, 27 January 2014

Updates released this weekend

We've released a batch of updates this weekend, these are available now to all OrderHarmony customers.

  • Coloured tags on sales orders help you to quickly find the sales order lines that you are interested in.
  • You can now store more details against a supplier, and use new tags on the PO PDFs and emails to display the supplier address on your outgoing emails and documents.
  • See which POs include a given SKU from the SKU page.
  • Goods in expected report now shows the supplier more clearly.
  • You can now configure the number of days to due date for Xero purchase order invoices.
  • Order export report now gives you a date range filter for improved performance.
Please let me know how you like the new features.

We're continuously improving OrderHarmony to help you run your business and your feedback is absolutely essential to this.