Last month, we went over how to create purchase orders, send and receive them in The Uniform Solution. This month, we’ll take a closer look at the important role special orders play in successfully using The Uniform Solution program.

What Exactly is a Special Order?

A special order is a type of transaction that is normally reserved for customers who want to purchase items that are not currently in stock. Special orders are handled differently than standard sales, because the items must be ordered or have work done, received, and then delivered to the customer in order to complete the transaction.

Special orders can be created in two-ways; during a sale or by using the Orders icon on the software’s toolbar. First, we’ll go over how to add special order items during an existing sale. Then, we’ll discuss how to create a special order using the Orders icon on the program’s toolbar.

How Do I Create a Special Order During a Sale?

  • Before special order items can be saved to a sale, a customer must be added to the transaction by using F2-New Customer or F4-Find Customer.
  • To add special order items during a sale, simply add the desired items to the sale by entering in the barcode number in the Scan/Qty field or using F7-Lookup. If the customer is a part of an already existing contract, you can press Alt + F7 to access the inventory search. You’ll then select the contract that customer belongs to, and select the items from there.
  • Press the “S” key on the keyboard, and press Enter.
  • This will change the item type from purchase to special order. You’ll notice the special order icon will appear to the left of the item.
  • Once all desired items have been added to the sale, Select the F5-Payment button and receive the deposit from your customer to complete the current transaction.

 

What is a Collate I.D.? How Do I Use It?

The Collate I.D. feature is an excellent way to keep track of multiple special orders from one customer. Assigning a Collate I.D. to special orders that are from the same contract, group or customer, will ensure that a vendor keeps them together in the same box. Below are instructions on how to access the Collate I.D. feature.

    • Once an item is added to a special order, you’ll have the option to select the Order Options tab.
    • Under the Order Information section, there is a field entitled Collate I.D.. Here, you’ll assign an I.D. number to the special order.
    • Be sure to assign the same Collate I.D. to the special orders that you want to be grouped together.
    • When the purchase order is created via F2-Auto Create, it will group the special orders from the same vendor with the same Collate I.D. together.

Again, the Collate I.D. will ensure that all special orders from the same vendor are shipped together by creating a separate purchase order for each Collate I.D. This opens up the opportunity to drop-ship special orders that before had to be sorted.

Note: Once the sale is complete, the special order can be found by selecting the Orders icon on the program’s toolbar and selecting the Sales or the Special Orders tab. Make sure that the “Delivery Required” options is checked as well.¬†

How Do I Create a Special Order using the Orders Icon?

  • Select the Orders icon on the program’s toolbar.
  • Select the Order button located near the bottom-left corner of the All Special Orders screen or right-click anywhere in the active screen and select New Special Order.
  • The Adding Special Order screen will appear. A customer must be added to the transaction by using F2-New Customer or F4-Find Customer.
  • Add the desired items to the special order.
  • Once all items have been added to the special order, select the F5-Payment button.
  • The Payment Screen will require a deposit depending upon the Sales Deposits Required amount that is determined in the store’s settings.
  • Receive the deposit from your customer and select OK to complete the transaction.
Note: To change the deposit required percentage for special orders, go to Setup > Store > This Location > Pricing. 

How Are Special Orders “Accounted” For?

Special orders are not accounted for like a traditional transaction, and will not show as a sale on the day that the order is taken. Any payment collected at the time the order is placed is considered a deposit. A special order is not considered a sale until the items are delivered to the customer in the system. Once the items are delivered, the original deposit amount is applied as a deposit credit payment, and will reflect as sale for the day the items are delivered.

What Do I Do After the Special Order is Placed?

When it is time to place an order from a vendor, and you wish to include special orders, you must create a purchase order using the F2-AutoCreate button. If you need a refresher on the different ways to create a purchase order, send it to a vendor, or how to receive items in the system, take a look at last month’s blog entitled “The Life Cycle of a Purchase Order”.

 

Getting familiar with special orders and the different ways that they can be created, is important for maintaining successful customer relationships and improving customer satisfaction. Special orders allow you, as the business owner, to retain customers even if the desired items are not currently in stock.

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