Stock Control Archives - SQLWorks

Getting Started with Quality Testing

 

We’ve introduced some important quality assurance tools into SQLWorks – allowing users to formalise their quality tests at different points of the stock control lifecycle.

Quality tests can be customised extensively and introduced at various stages of your workflow – including when receiving goods in, when manufacturing finished goods, or whenever you choose to test a batch that is being held in stock. We’ve also included new abilities to generate, store and integrate Quality Certificates – which will be covered more fully in a future blog post.

 

qa test- types

 

About Quality Testing

Quality tests may be created as standalone templates for your business, and can be customised for a wide range of different metrics. Saved tests can be either advisory or pass/fail, and include numerical measurements, dates, text answers and more – as well as specifying a level of precision for measurement, up to five decimal places.

You can assign tests (or a subset) as the default to any stock item in the stock ledger, formalising the ‘official’ set of tests that apply to that item.

 

qa tests 2

 

Quality Testing on Receipt

One of the most useful places to perform quality testing is at goods-in, at the point you receive inbound stock from a supplier. This can help check that you received what you purchase ordered, and that nothing is defective, damaged or missing.

To support this we’ve extended quality testing to the line-level of our purchase order receipt window – where the user can specify not only what goods were received, any variation to quantity, and those goods’ supplier lot number – but also save quality tests applicable to that line.

The correct tests for each line are automatically derived from that stock item’s defaults saved in the stock ledger, and results are automatically saved onto each new batch of stock that is created in the system when you receive the goods in – confirming that new stock has had its quality verified.

 

qa testing goods in

 

Quality Testing Manufacturing

Quality testing is also now available within Works Orders, helping you to verify that your finished goods have been manufactured correctly for sale.

Testing is listed under the ‘Inspection’ tab of a Works Order, and can be completed for each batch of finished goods that will be created by the works order.

Once again, the default tests are drawn directly from those specified on that stock item’s defaults.

 

qa inspection

 

Batch Quality Testing

Alternatively, a quality test may be completed for any given batch of stock via the ‘Batch Info’ tab of the stock ledger.

This is useful when you want to complete quality testing as a standalone process, test a batch at random, or look for something advised by a supplier (such as during a recall.)

SQLWorks gives businesses exceptional traceability over batches, the quality of your component stock, and the quality of your finished goods.

Using Shipping Controls

According to recent ONS figures, over 30% of businesses in the UK experienced difficulties getting the stock they needed during 2021, as supply chain issues continue to bite. Ensuring goods and materials arrive on time, in the right place, has become an important part of maintaining productivity.

SQLWorks offers a range of optional shipping controls that can help businesses better manage challenging supply chains, including:

 

Consolidations

Consolidations allow a purchasing manager to group individual purchase orders together into a consolidated group (for example representing the contents of a single shipping container) and assign meta-data to that consolidation, such as freight vessel numbers, suppliers, delivery details, docking dates and more.

Each new consolidation can be managed from the Purchase Ledger – simply select the purchase orders that need to be grouped and move them across the screen from left to right to assign them to the container.

consolidations

Here you can also manage other important information about that container, including actual delivery circumstances, additional on-costs or customs duty, and complete the shipping process.

On-costs can even be automatically split among the contents of that container, allowing a business to factor in the cost of shipping goods into those stock items’ cost-prices, sale-prices, and their eventual profitability.

 

Barcoding

SQLWorks permits stock-handlers to assign a barcode to any stock item, for use elsewhere in the platform. Intelligent Stock Ledger search fields allow the user to also search based on these bar codes, identifying a stock item even if only its bar code is known.

barcoding

Besides each stock item’s ‘Bar Code’ field you can also generate a preview – this same technology can optionally be used on a company’s templates for orders, pick sheets, delivery notes and many others, to help speed-up stock identification wherever that paperwork needs to be used.

SQLWorks uses EAN13 barcode generation that is accurate, internationalised, and works with a wide range of 3rd-party barcode scanning devices.

 

Dangerous Goods & Tariff Codes

With the need to declare tariff codes for internationally shipped goods, and dangerous goods codes for anything hazardous, these can be assigned to any stock item in SQLWorks under the ‘Advanced’ Tab.

tariff codes

We use formats from the UK Department for International Trade’s published 2021 dataset as our starting point.

Much like pricing or descriptions, shipping codes can be merged wherever stock items appear on documentation – please discuss with the SQLWorks team if your business has any special requirements.

 

Please speak to the SQLWorks Team to learn how our software can transform business operations. Contact us.

Introduction to Backflushing

Backflushing is an alternative method of allocating components or materials to manufacturing, whereby stock is deducted only after production has been completed.

Backflushing makes it easier to work with quantities that would otherwise be highly impractical to ‘pick’ for use on Works Orders, and is a particularly useful technique when:

    • Components are too small or numerous to be ‘counted out’ in a sensible timeframe. (e.g.: screws, nuts, bolts, other low-cost parts used in volume.)
    • When materials are divisible, liquid, molten, gaseous, in lengths, weights, or otherwise issued ‘approximately.’ (e.g.: paint, ingredients, chemicals etc.)
    • Where a ‘spare’ quantity needs to be returned to stock after manufacturing is finished. (e.g.: scrapings, leftovers, recycled material.)

In SQLWorks every component on a Bill of Material (BOM) has a default allocation method – either ‘Standard’, ‘Backflush’ or ‘Return’ which defines how stock of this item will be ‘used up’ in the Stock Ledger. These work as follows:

    • ‘Standard’ – This is the default, and is used for all items that need to be counted out in advance of production. Components will be removed from stock when the user clicks ‘Take’ on the Works Order, before production begins.
    • ‘Backflush’ – Components will only be removed from stock after the Works Order is built, and the user is then asked to specify how much has been used.
    • ‘Return’ – Similar to backflushing, however components will only be removed from stock after the Works Order is built, and the user is then asked to specify a ‘spare’ quantity that gets returned to stock.

By changing a component stock item to ‘Backflush’ on a BOM, nothing will be removed from stock at the ‘Take’ stage, instead being deducted only after that BOM has been ‘built’ on a Works Order. The user can then specify how much has (or hasn’t) been used.

This is significantly more practical for certain items – although production managers may need to initially estimate the stock quantity of a Backflush item that they expect to use on its BOM (e.g.: how much paint an item typically needs.)

The user can edit a component’s default type by right clicking on it in a BOM, and choosing ‘Change Component Type.’ Components set to Backflush will be marked with a small ‘B’ symbol in the BOM.

When ‘Taken’ within a Works Order, only Standard items will listed as being removed from stock, and Backflush items will always show a taken quantity of zero (with the user then prompted after the ‘build’ stage for the correct quantity used for Backflush, or quantity excess for Return.)

backflushing

For many manufacturers, drawing down stock ‘post-production’ in this way may be the only way to accurately update your usage of resources. Using backflushing is an efficient way of tracking manufacturing using more fluid components, and allows SQLWorks to keep your production precise.

Managing Assets & Machinery

Asset Register


If a business harnesses important physical assets, keeping track of these over time quickly becomes essential.

Whether it’s your own machinery, or a piece of equipment you maintain for a client, attributing costs to these accurately is an key part of your business financial planning – and helps you make smarter decisions about future investment.

SQLWorks supports this process with a dedicated asset register – allowing the user to save a range of information (including make, model, warranty and more) for both in-house and client assets to aid day-to-day business operations. Asset Register can be found in the Stock Ledger, and helps the user build a centralised and definitive list that can be controlled with permissions groups, like any other SQLWorks Ledger.

For in-house assets, SQLWorks users can also link these assets to Purchase Orders – ensuring that asset’s data contains a detailed maintenance history that includes financials.

Helpfully, this also works across multiple Purchase Ledger suppliers, so that maintenance costs (such as repairs or replacement parts) remain accurate even if an asset’s service contract changes hands. This helps a company stay flexible, since accounting and contract periods may be much shorter than machinery lifecycles.

Assets may also be optionally enabled as a special tab in a customer’s Sales Ledger account – ensuring a service engineer can easily access known information about a client’s asset as a part of routine account maintenance. This might include location, serial numbering for identification, or notes on past repair work.

SQLWorks ensures business managers can properly document and maintain a full asset register – itself an asset to a well-informed team.

 

For expertise and software assistance, please contact our SQLWorks Team today

Getting Started with Dispatch Planner

Dispatch Planner


Managing outbound goods often requires an overarching view of business operations ‘as-a-whole’ – looking across all sales accounts, orders and products. We’ve given users the power to do this via SQLWorks Dispatch Planner.

Dispatch Planner gives order managers and warehouse teams a comprehensive dashboard to maximise visibility and control over orders. Dispatch Planner is accessible within the Stock Ledger, and (by default) loads a comprehensive list of all outstanding customer sales Orders with key information about each order.

dispatch planner

Double clicking on an order allows a drill-down to the exact order, meaning shopfloor teams don’t need to access individual customer sales accounts to understand workloads and even check line-level detail.

Simple ‘traffic-light’ statuses indicate whether the required stock quantity is available for each order to be shipped in full. By selecting an order, dispatch managers can also view the same information for each order line of the order – with the same status indication based on free stock availability. Orders will only be considered ready to ship in full once every line on that order is available to ship.

When ready to ship, dispatches can be sent to dispatch and invoiced (and emailed automatically to the customer) in one smooth workflow, removing the outstanding order from the Dispatch Planner list.

dispatch planner

High volume companies may lengthen or shorten the time horizon of the viewed orders, or filter by warehouse. Where goods are not ‘Ready to Ship’, SQLWorks will make the user aware of why an order is delayed – for example, showing Purchasing Delays.

For companies that use Delivery/Dispatch Notes prior to invoice, the Dispatch Planner will also allow the generation of new delivery notes from here, list any valid delivery note numbers for each order for cross-referencing, and require the user to select an existing delivery note before invoicing a previous dispatch.

Dispatch Planner shows the real power of SQLWorks: as the ability to cross-reference stock control and ordering globally across the business allows you to manage operations quickly, efficiently, and with confidence.

 

You can find more detail about how to use Dispatch Planner here

Introduction to Production Planning

Production Planning


We’ve extended SQLWorks to include more powerful production planning/process routing in Version 10 – allowing Production Managers to masterplan working spaces, types of work, and employee skills to organise manufacturing capacity more effectively.

Workshop Map can be opened via the Products module in the NavBar, and uses three key elements:

  • Work Centres
These are places where work is done – normally a specific location or tooling area on the factory floor, and remember important data such as available working hours, setup/lag costs and more.
  • Processes
This is a type of manufacturing process – such as assembly, welding, mixing, painting etc, and can be restricted to specific work centres or employees.
  • Employees
This is the employee table used in SQLWorks CRM – listing your company’s available staff.

Each Process Route has a series of numbered steps (carried out in a specific order) called a Work Flow. To organise the Work Flow, the production manager simply chooses the Work Centre, Process, and Employee that is assigned at each step – by dragging and dropping them into the Workflow builder.

Workflow steps each carry associated costs and manufacturing times, allowing the system to build a comprehensive picture of the process route a finished product must follow to be completed in full.

production planning

Production managers can save Template Process Routes and assign these to Bills of Material – with the right default process routes being loaded automatically on new Works Orders to save time. Expected completion times are estimated automatically, and progress can be logged as each step of the Workflow is underway

Any Process Routes that are currently in use will be shown in the ‘Active Process Routes’ table, along with the details of the BOMs being produced which follow that process route.

Production Managers can also use this part of SQLWorks to generate reports (either from the perspective of Work Centres, Processes or Employee) to see outstanding and current Works Orders, and to gauge capacity from each.

This helps inform staffing decisions, shift patterns or identify production bottlenecks. Where there is a clash (for example, if a ‘Welding’ process employee has more welding hours due on Works Orders than is available in the calendar), SQLWorks will display ‘CLASH’ in red next to that Bill of Materials.

Overall SQLWorks’ Production Planning gives Production Managers the power to coordinate working spaces/resources, types of work, and personnel for maximum control. Production Routes help structure and streamline the manufacturing process, and organise manufacturing capacity more intelligently.

 

For expertise and software assistance, please contact our SQLWorks Team today

Introduction to Stock Audit and Stock Taking

Stock Audit allows businesses to perform a comprehensive stock take, record variances, verify the results, report on valuation, and automatically adjust stock levels for accuracy.

Stock takes can be initiated, or continued, by clicking on ’Stock Audit’ under ‘Products’ in the Main SQLWorks Navigation Bar (1). To begin a new stock take simply click ‘Create New’ or load an unfinished stocktake via ‘Load Existing’. Each stock take is warehouse specific, and can be given a reference ID.

Users must choose whether the final results will ’Save Quantity’ (adjust the actual quantity to a fixed number established from the stock check) or ’Save Variance’ (adjust the actual quantity according to a variance from the theoretical quantity, incorporating quantity changes which may have taken place during the stock take.)

stock audit type

Clicking ‘Print Sheets’ generates a series of stock take forms, listing the stock items and locations under review, which can be printed and assigned to stock counters for counting. Printed stock take sheets include a notes field for stock counters to record additional information, but do not list the theoretical quantity, so as not to prejudice the accuracy of the stock take.

stock audit sheets

Once stock counters have returned their stock take sheets, stock controllers can enter counted values in the ‘Count’ column next to each item by entering the name of the counter in the ‘Counted By’ dropdown (2) at the top of the window. The ‘Variance’ Column automatically calculates the variance, and a note of the counter’s name is recorded in the ‘Count By’ column (3)

If required, stock controllers can print “check sheets” in order to have questionable variances verified by a second counter, and enter a revised quantity in the same field by using the ‘Checked By’ dropdown at the top of the window (2). The ‘Variance’ Column automatically calculates the variance, and a note of the checker’s name is recorded in the ‘Check By’ column (3). When printing check sheets you may enter a single product code or a csv of codes, each product including its current values for all bin locations are printed on their own page.

To review the records, clicking the ‘Print Variance’ button at the top of the window produces a report on the results of the stock take, grouping the variances on each item across all monitored locations, and calculating a monetary value for the overall positive or negative variance.

By clicking ‘Finish’, the results of either the ’Save Quantity’ or ’Save Variance’ stock take are applied to the SQLWorks Stock Ledger to bring the stock levels back into alignment with the stock take.*

 

For additional information on stock control, contact our team today.

 

 

*If the ‘Free Qty’ tickbox is ticked at the top of the theory column, the theoretical values for the stock audit are shown excluding any allocated quantity. SQLWorks will not accept a variance which adjusts the quantity of an item below the quantity of that item which is already Allocated to Sales Orders, and will instead adjust the Actual quantity as close to the recorded variance as allowed numerically.

stock free

Fact Sheet: Stock Quantities

SQLWorks calculates a number of different stock quantities for measuring how much stock you have.

These allow you to measure how much of each stock item are at different stages of your stock control process, and can be found displayed in the Stock Ledger for each stock item as follows. Scroll down for more information about each.

Stock Quantities


Actual

‘What I own now’

  • Actual Stock is the quantity of an item you currently own within your warehouse(s.)

 

Actual 


Pending

‘What I own which is temporarily unavailable’

  • Pending Stock is the quantity of an item you currently own which is not to hand – for example Stock you own which is in ‘Transit’ internally, or stock currently waiting in ‘Make’ Bins for manufacturing.*

*The exact nature of Pending stock may vary between individual SQLWorks companies, and may represent stock dispatched but not processed, if this setting is applied – please contact your account manager to clarify.

Pending


Allocated

‘What’s been sold to a specific customer’

  • Allocated Stock is the quantity of an item you currently own which has been reserved to fulfil a specific customer’s order.

Allocated


Free

‘What’s really in hand’

  • Free Stock is your Actual Stock minus any stock currently Pending or Allocated. This count typically represents the amount of stock you own that’s on hand, and does not include anything currently in transit, or already allocated to fulfil specific sales orders.

Available


SOP

‘What’s been ordered’

  • SOP stock is the quantity of a stock item which is wanted by your customers (currently outstanding on your sales orders.) This includes any Allocated stock already reserved to fulfil specific sales orders.

SQLWorks can be configured to exclude Forward Orders from this number.

SOP


Available

‘What would I have left’

Available stock is your Actual Stock minus your SOP. This count represents the maximum quantity of a stock item you own which could still be sold if all your sales orders were fulfilled.

Free


WoP

‘What’s needed for parts / to be made from parts’

  • WoP Stock is the quantity of an item currently listed on outstanding works orders – to be made from other stock items, or used to make other stock items.

WOP


POP

‘What’s on order’

  • POP stock is the quantity of an item currently listed on outstanding purchase orders. This is stock you are expecting to be delivered by suppliers.

SQLWorks can be configured to exclude Forward Orders from this number.

POP 


Potential

‘What I could have’

  • Potential Stock is all your potential stock added together. This count represents the maximum amount of stock you would have if you fulfilled all outstanding customer orders, received all outstanding purchase orders and build all outstanding works orders.
  • If you are using SQLWorks MRP, the Potential stock is the quantity that will be compared to your re-order level for each stock item (within your chosen time horizon) to inform whether additional stock needs to be purchased or manufactured.

Potential


Stock Quantities Overall:

 

Stock Quantities

 

For help and advice on SQLWorks’ Stock Control capabilities, please contact our team today.

 

Team SQLWorks at EurOmnis 2016

EurOmnis

Our SQLWorks team recently exhibited at the 2016 EuroOmnis developers conference in Tuscany, Italy – joining Omnis developers conference from more than a dozen countries around the globe.

EurOmnis is an annual educational event designed to bring Omnis programmers together to share knowledge and to showcase the very latest in software development.

“Lineal have been part of, and latterly helped organise, this international conference of Omnis developers since 1999” explained Managing Director Mike Matthews. “As a member of the Omnis developers group (ODEV), our SQLWorks Business Management Software undergoes an ongoing process of learning and development – and we’re always looking at what features future versions of SQLWorks will need to stay at the forefront.”

“The best businesses are always looking to the latest technology for an extra edge, so both our team and SQLWorks software need to be just as agile.”

EurOmnis

Attendees enjoyed classes, discussions and more surrounding the latest advances in Omnis software development, including javascript web tools, responsive graphs and visualisation aids, and Omnis development for portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Representatives from Omnis were also present, to host seminars informing and updating attendees on the platform’s latest news, as well as explore likely developments in the near future and gather feedback.

EurOmnis

The conference also gives developers a chance to showcase what they have been working on to other developers, drawing on software projects undertaken across countless industries and sectors.

To learn more about SQLWorks: contact us today.

Importing your data to SQLWorks

importing –

If you’re new to SQLWorks, importing your existing data to SQLWorks can seem daunting. Fear not! We’ve prepared this handy guide to make this process easier.

Decisions about your data are yours – but at any stage, you can ask the SQLWorks Team for help.

 

About Your Data

Data imported into SQLWorks is categorised in two types: Static and Transactional.

Static data is fixed lists of ‘things’ – including companies, contacts, address, your stock list, warehouses and more. Transactional data includes list of transactions, stock movements and financial ledger entries like orders, invoices, credit notes and more. Static data must be imported first, followed by transactional data.

importing

 

Finding Your Data

Both your static and transactional data comes from whichever system(s) you use currently – this could mean importing from a number of sources, including:

  • An old software program (e.g.: Sage)
  • A patchwork of spreadsheets (e.g.: Microsoft Excel)
  • A legacy database program or file (odbc compatible)
  • Nowhere (because you’re a new or paper-based company)
  • Some combination of the above

It’s up to you what data you place in SQLWorks, however whilst some data is almost always needed SQLWorks (even if entered new), other data is optional. As a rule, names, codes, accounting and VAT entries will need to be imported, but the optional parts of how your business model works (e.g.: records of quotes, or past stock movements) are optional.

 

How To Import:

All data for importing into SQLWorks needs to be given to the SQLWorks team in one of two formats:

  • An agreed file format exported from another software (e.g.: Sage export file)
  • A comma or tab delimited spreadsheet, .CSV or .TXT file. (e.g.: If using Excel, it is helpful to save the files as a .CSV in the ‘save as’ menu)

If you provide data to the SQLWorks team in spreadsheets (or .CSV/.TXT files) these will need column headings grouping certain types of the data together. For example, in a stock list, all your stock codes need to be in the same column, under an identifiable heading such as ‘Stock Code.’ The SQLWorks team can help you with this stage if you get stuck.

Depending on what SQLWorks modules you will be using, you will need to import files for the following data (see table below). Compulsory data within these are marked – for example: every Company imported must have a name.

 

 

SQLWorks Core

CRM

ACCOUNTS

STOCK

Static Companies

  • Name
  • Company Code

 

Contacts

  • Name

 

Addresses

  • Line 1
  Sales Accounts

  • Name
  • Company Code

Purchase Accounts

  • Name
  • Company Code

Nominal Codes

  • Name
  • Nominal Code
 
Transactional    

 

Outstanding Sales Orders

  • Company code

 

Outstanding Purchase Orders

  • Company code

 

Outstanding Sales Invoices

  • Company code
  • Date
  • Amount
  • VAT

 

Outstanding Purchase Invoices

  • Company
  • Date
  • Amount
  • VAT

 

Bank Rec

 

1 Bank Account

  • Name, Acc & Sort Codes

 

1 Petty Cash Account

  • Link to Bank Account
 
Optional Static

 

 

 

 

Sales Leads

 

Projects

  • Project Code

 

 

Nominal Departments

  • Name
  • Department Code

 

Nominal Analysis Codes

  • Name
  • Analysis Code

 

Nominal Subheadings

  • Name

 

Budgets

  • Amount
Warehouses

  • Name
  • Number

 

Stock List

  • Stock Item Name
  • Stock Code
  • Sale Price
  • Purchase Cost
  • Current Stock Quantity

 

Warehouse Bins

  • Number
Optional Transactional

Tasks

 

Phone Logs

 

Actions

 

Emails

 

Historic Sales Quotes

  • Company
  • Date

 

Historic Purchase Quotes

  • Company
  • Date

 

Historic Sales Orders

  • Company
  • Date

 

Historic Purchase Orders

  • Company
  • Date

 

Historic Sales Invoices / Receipts / Credit Notes

  • Company
  • Date
  • Amount
  • VAT

 

Historic Purchase Invoices / Payments / Credit Notes

  • Company
  • Date
  • Amount
  • VAT

 

Purchase Invoices (Historic)

Stock Movements

  • Stock Code
  • Date