ERP Academy Podcast Episode 2
Turnkey 365 ERP Academy - Item Master in GP and BC
How do GP and BC handle your inventory? In episode one, Kurt, Bob, and Chuck discussed finance and excel related to Dynamics GP and BC. This is all well and good - but you won't be able to use finance without items and inventory! Your item master is a critical component of inventory management and business processes, allowing for centralized information, accurate inventory control, streamlined purchasing, data consistency, and so much more.
See Below for the full transcription of this episode!
Kurt Quiggle (00:00):
In the dairy industry, we could make vanilla ice cream about 30 ways, but the skew going to the grocer was the same, right? It was still vanilla ice cream, and it still had the same content as far as sugar, et cetera, but different recipes, and we needed to know which recipe was used.
Chuck Coxhead (00:22):
Hey, welcome back to Turnkey 365 ERP Academy. Today we're going to get into one of the places where ERP starts. I mean, there's two real big things, right? Of course there's the finance side, and that's crucially important, but the finances don't happen unless you're actually working with items in the case of inventory and item. Is that piece okay? It is that one thing that really kicks it all off. It's inventory able, it's manufacturable, it's shippable, it's all of the different stuff. And so we're going to take a look at the items here and the differences between Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Once again, I am joined by Kurt Quiggle, representing the GP side and our expert there. And Bob Richardson representing the business central side from our amazing consultant team. Welcome, gents.
Kurt Quiggle (01:12):
Chuck Coxhead (01:13):
Good afternoon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me back. So the items, anything that has a master, an item master must be crucially important. And having gone through 35 years of manufacturing related life items are near and dear to my heart. So Kurt, why don't we kick it off with you, okay? Because really we're looking at how we can handle an item. What does it look like? What are the things we can do with it in GP, and what are the kind of strengths and limitations in that platform?
Kurt Quiggle (01:51):
Absolutely. And again, we're not here to show preference one way or the other, but really just shine the light on what the packages do and what typical clientele needs out of the inventory module within GP and or BC.
Kurt Quiggle (02:12):
So let me share my application here, guys. Awesome. There's GP. So without too much ado, right, I have the inventory item card open within GP. Again, unique identifier for an item. A place for a description is included. Short descriptions, generic descriptions, different ways we would refer to that item. Really when we just are looking at it from that widget, that piece that it happens to be. And then of course, other things around that item need to be captured if it's an item that we stock, whether or not it's a service item. So we may add labor to an invoice, we may add, you name it, configuration, things like that. And it's just a line item. When we're selling things, we can have that service item when it's a service type item that I'm referring to, Hey, we don't have to maintain balances, we don't have to have 10 on hand.
Kurt Quiggle (03:17):
We don't have to bring it in. We don't have to move it out. So that's where the surfaces come into play. Another type of item that we can create and track within GP is a kitted item. And a kit is again, a grouping of components. So maybe I'm selling a parts to remanufacture, a hydraulic cylinder, and it's going to contain o-ring, seals, clips, et cetera. I can contain that on that kit. So if I sell that kit, I'm selling all of those pieces that make up that remanufacturing kit. So using the word kit in a description is terrible, guys, I apologize for that, but
Chuck Coxhead (03:59):
Kurt Quiggle (03:59):
Chuck Coxhead (04:01):
Yeah, but everybody does that. You're going to call it the type, but all those descriptions, it does end up being kit in the manufacturing world and distribution world, they do think of it as a kit. And I don't think that we can underscore the importance of that kit here. So sorry to slow this down a little bit, but I don't think we can underscore the importance of it because it is everywhere from manufacturing to service kits of parts that you would sell in post-sale to value added distributors to any sort of mix and match part that is out there, or even creating a kit, an assembly of parts so that you can send it to another facility as a complete set of parts to be assembled or integrated at a different stage. So all those different scenarios I've run across so many times, and I think the crit, the kit is really crucial.
Kurt Quiggle (04:59):
It is, it is. And again, as you've mentioned, so many projects I've been involved with, it ends up being one of the saving graces as we're talking about how items move throughout a facility and how they're sold or again moved and we can group them together and call it that kit, that bundle. And in GP, that kit is the best way to think of it is a bundle of goods being moved at the same time. It can be priced uniquely. However, we don't count a kit. We only count its components under it. So I can't say I have 10 of those kits on hand. They don't really exist. It's a fictitious grouping, so to speak,
Chuck Coxhead (05:48):
But that would be a sales inventory item with a different part, with a separate bill of material where we would bring all those things up into there. Absolutely. When I first got into ERP, I used an old system called Man, man, I may have even mentioned that in our last episode. And we used to have a phantom assembly, which is essentially what that was. And that way we would have able to advance some custom set of components to the next level, and then they would feed through to the higher level bill of material in terms of inventory count and that sort of thing. So it's interesting the differences between the systems, which is why we're doing a comparison today because every system is just that little bit different and kind of where it came from and how it evolved up from its original architecture.
Kurt Quiggle (06:34):
Absolutely. But that was a good one to really phone in or hone in phone, oh my goodness, been on support too long today.
Chuck Coxhead (06:45):
Well, thanks for doing that, our customers appreciate it.
Kurt Quiggle (06:47):
Yeah, no worries, no worries. Other items on that list, again, an item type, you could mark it as discontinued and GP, if it's marked discontinued, we can continue to sell that item. It is just a classification at that point. Within this list, once you set a type, whether it's a kit, a service fee or inventory, it really stays that, right? It doesn't evolve into anything else. It's pretty much a fixed item. We can move into some of the other pertinent information we track within GP around an item card. What do you think? A little
Chuck Coxhead (07:30):
Deeper? Yes, please.
Kurt Quiggle (07:31):
Yes, please. Awesome, awesome. There's
Chuck Coxhead (07:32):
So much of the item. We could do this for the next two hours.
Kurt Quiggle (07:36):
Well, we could, except when we look at that GP window, not that many fields to talk about. So tends to be one of the areas in the deployments I've been involved in where we really want that little bit more, but we're not going to cover all of it today. But again, valuation methods available within GP, pretty standard out of the box accounting methodology where it gets into some of the uniqueness. Again, is an item taxable or do we worry about our taxes based on who's buying it,
Chuck Coxhead (08:13):
Kurt Quiggle (08:14):
So we start getting deeper into that accounting layer at that point. Unit of measure schedules always a long conversation during a deployment, always to get to the bottom of how does this particular ERP system quantify things, right? And in GP, we take it to the smallest movable, countable unit of measure. So in the world of beverages, if we have a 12 pack, six pack can, our base unit of measure would be can
Chuck Coxhead (08:51):
Kurt Quiggle (08:51):
Stacking on top of that, then are the combinations I can build off of that can all the way up to pallet truck, et cetera. And then rolling into some of the other item attributes we'd start getting interested in, again, the idea of if I were out of something, is there another substitute item that could take its place in a sales order as well as here's the magic sauce, right? Am I tracking serial numbers? Lot numbers. Okay,
Chuck Coxhead (09:27):
Well, that's an entirely different episode that I want to get to because it's crucially important for medical manufacturing, defense manufacturing, food manufacturing, gosh, so many different things. So any place where reliability and traceability are important,
Kurt Quiggle (09:43):
And as you were talking about some of the attributes that we like to layer in on top of an item, we have some user-defined fields available in GP
Chuck Coxhead (09:52):
Kurt Quiggle (09:52):
Again, add some extra information about that item in the sense of grouping it, categorizing it, those type of things. So a manufacturer, a style, a feature, these are things I've created. This is plank slate for our users. They can name these fields what they want and kind of track what they would like to within that. There's also additional information here as far as if we were to talk about cycle counts, that's probably another session as well. How do we account for that inventory and what do we count and when, yes, please. GP utilizes A, B, C codes in the sense of my high moving items, my low moving items, what's important to count and when do I want to count it? And again, that's really at that high level GPS structure around an inventory MasterCard, that item, that widget that I want to move.
Chuck Coxhead (10:56):
Well, a couple of things. Strike me there. So one, when I look at the first screen here, it depends on the structure. So you may have an administration person, administrative person who's entering those items. You may have an engineering person who's entering those items. You may have someone in the supply chain who's entering those items when you start getting into tax schedules and valuation method. Now, valuation method may be relatively standard in that we're using fi, f o or Li o or what have you, probably across all of the organizations, certainly across most of us. So it's relatively straightforward, but you start getting in a tax schedule, depending on the understanding of the person and the standard processes of the company, you might now have to take that item, get it entered, then hand it off to someone in accounting. If you're doing something like that, you may not.
Chuck Coxhead (11:49):
But to me, the important part is how are you training your team? What systems and processes are you creating so that you can avoid the handoff if at all possible when you do that, that I have seen other systems where they focus primarily on the engineering aspect, if you will, and they don't get into tax schedule and that kind of thing because that's applied later on in a processor disparate area. So there's always going to be differences between systems, again, depending on how the architecture was originally created and evolved, and business understanding has evolved. I mean, truly things are different than they were 30 years ago, 35 years ago when I first got into my first M R P system.
Kurt Quiggle (12:31):
Absolutely. And to support that logic, you can see on my screen, the items in red are the required information to create and save an item.
Chuck Coxhead (12:40):
Kurt Quiggle (12:41):
Once that's done, the ability to make some other changes and edits that can happen again from an accounting team member or another team member, those are attributes that can be added at a later time. But out of the gate, we're going to have just that initial record being created and saved to the database needs those main fields filled in after that. Yeah, it flows through. Different people touch 'em. Most companies, like you said, not everybody holds all of the cards in creating that item. They just don't know all of the facts.
Chuck Coxhead (13:16):
And when it comes to that ERP implementation, that's the perfect time to erase the whiteboard and say, how can we eliminate the handoffs so we can improve our return on investment and time to value, have that opportunity to consider what's the best way of doing things, not just apply a great big expensive calculator on top of the exact processes you already do. Yeah,
Kurt Quiggle (13:37):
Absolutely. Just real lightly to, and again, it's probably another session. We get so many ideas when we get together, but pricing in the sense that our price lists within GP, again, can be based in different ways, whether it's going to be a straight up currency amount, price based on list a percent based on current cost, et cetera. So we have some good pricing structure within GP in the sense of being able to set up price levels and price lists for our customers, but it is more aligned with our customer than it is with our item itself.
Chuck Coxhead (14:19):
Kurt Quiggle (14:20):
We can have multiple pricing groups, multiple price lists, but we assign that then to the customer in order to know how that is going to be priced. So again, topic for another day. So I'm absolutely curious on what that looks like in BC in a sister product here.
Chuck Coxhead (14:42):
So I want to see it. I want to show it to everybody. Bob, why don't you do just that?
Bob Richardson (14:48):
That sounds like my cue. So I'll go ahead and share my screen. You should be seeing my lab. We can. So again, this is my role center for Business Central, and right now I'm logged in as the business manager for evaluation, but I have other choices that would give me a different layout. So
Chuck Coxhead (15:20):
Inventory, and that's important in that what I was just mentioning relative to handoffs and that sort of thing, having those controls, you may not want certain functions, setting things related to finance and costing methods and that sort of thing. It could be something that you have someone in standards accounting is doing, and certainly there's some level of ability to control anything in this system, but we're going to get to that on a different day.
Bob Richardson (15:49):
Yeah, exactly. And it's not just control, it's user friendliness as far as what do you have to wade through to get your job done while you're in Business Central, for instance.
Chuck Coxhead (16:02):
Oh, does user
Bob Richardson (16:03):
Experience matter? Just stick here because Huh?
Chuck Coxhead (16:05):
Does user experience matter? Go figure it. I think
Bob Richardson (16:10):
It seems to, yes. But anyway, up here at the top is some fast links to the job that I'm trying to get done. And let's just go ahead and click on items since that was the discussion of the day. What you're going to see come up is the list of items that are in the system right now. So it's more of a table view and out of the box you can and see the help that's available on the screens that you're navigating to.
Kurt Quiggle (16:53):
Is that a pop-up help menu in the bottom left corner? Did I just see that?
Bob Richardson (16:57):
It was, and when you first get into Business Central as a user, it'll guide you through a lot of little helpful tours. And I can turn it off right here. So if I've seen 'em all, I can disable it and I think I will this time. Just
Kurt Quiggle (17:23):
That was actually nice to see though. That's back to that self-help idea. When we're in a new environment, being able to find our own way, which many of us like to be independent in our jobs, it's nice to have things like that pop up and tell us how do I get there? What do I do next? That's pretty cool.
Bob Richardson (17:45):
Chuck Coxhead (17:45):
Facilitate the new employee. You
Bob Richardson (17:46):
Distracted me. I'm off topic. Off topic. A new feature in Business Central is the availability of product videos, which kind of give you a quick overview of some of the
Chuck Coxhead (18:02):
Areas. Well, let's bookmark that. Let's bookmark that for another episode. But I will tell you that if you've got the company who's moving from GP to BC, isn't that crucially important, right?
Bob Richardson (18:14):
It is. And if I clicked on one,
Chuck Coxhead (18:17):
Bob Richardson (18:18):
Yeah, so you see, I bookmarked it like you asked me to, but these will take you to YouTube videos that describe different areas of BC. But we are here to talk about items
Chuck Coxhead (18:31):
Bob Richardson (18:31):
So as soon as my screen comes off, I can click on any of these items. But what we're looking at right now is the table view. So Business Central is built on tables, but every time you click into one of the entries in a table, it takes you to what's called a card. So we'll click into the bicycle card and see what it tells us.
Kurt Quiggle (19:10):
That's kind of nice too. That nomenclature of a card has persisted through a lot of the Microsoft products.
Bob Richardson (19:19):
And for us, even older folk, the old Rolodex full of either customers, vendors, items that flows through where you can spin it around and pull out the card that you want to work with, et cetera. But here we are. This one's already set up. It's assigned an item number to us, and we can add a description to that. You mentioned being able to block an item. We can do that and we can describe whether it's a service item or a non-inventory item. In this case, it is an inventory type item.
Chuck Coxhead (20:04):
So just pause here for a second. So the number that's assigned, so the system is assigning that number, or can it be custom for the organization as well?
Bob Richardson (20:15):
They can be custom,
Chuck Coxhead (20:17):
Bob Richardson (20:17):
But if you want to use the built-in numbering system, it's called the numbers series, and you can assign it to any of the entries that you want to make in Business Central. But here is, well,
Chuck Coxhead (20:31):
It's a crucially important point in that the human mind has the predilection to assigning significance to different portions of a part number. I've seen the part numbering systems over and over again, and I'm, you fellows have too. And eventually when you are signing significance, you run out of digits because your combinations grow and grow and grow. So having a unique number and then assigning a specification and having a good description system and set of fields that help you to really narrow it down and understand what that item is, is really going to give you the more long-term successful outcome that you need for creating these items. So I'm a big fan of that, of just the sequential numbers, if you will. And then using the system, what it's designed for, filters, searches, narrowing down, that kind of thing so that we can get to the item we want rather than trying to always box ourselves into a corner because of the intricacies of this human brain.
Kurt Quiggle (21:36):
Bob Richardson (21:38):
That is, and right from the home screen up in the ribbon, we can copy this item to create a new one that's got similar features,
Chuck Coxhead (21:49):
Bob Richardson (21:50):
The inventory right from the screen, create a stock keeping unit where we can assign an inventory type item to different areas that can only be accessed that way. Can you
Chuck Coxhead (22:08):
Give me an example of that?
Bob Richardson (22:11):
For instance, if I want only red bicycles in the blue warehouse, I can call that a stock keeping unit where it's managed totally outside of the bicycle item card, but it's still related to the bicycle item card.
Chuck Coxhead (22:32):
Bob Richardson (22:34):
And what I wanted to show you is that we can get to from here, the unit of measures that Kurt talked about right now, this one is set to pieces, but we can certainly add units of measure for bicycles if we want sell them by the truckload or whatnot. It will be bringing up a unit of measure, and I'm going to stop clicking into some of these, but it's very easy to add different unit of measures for an item.
Kurt Quiggle (23:13):
So very similar in again, those attributes that we think about when we cross ERP systems, a unique identifier, a description, a unit of measure, a price, all of it is there. It shouldn't be intimidating by any chance to be looking at a different system.
Chuck Coxhead (23:32):
I, Kurt, I think that's the beauty of it, is that when you have ERP experience in one platform, to some extent you have ERP experience in every platform, correct? In that it's not that the concepts are very, very, very similar. It all comes down to is the feature set this or is the feature set this, is it a subset, is it a superset? And what's the user experience and what are the other benefits that it might get from me versus on-prem versus cloud and all the different things. So I think that's important for folks to understand when you have experience in one ERP to a certain extent, you have experience in all of them.
Bob Richardson (24:15):
And we can categorize, we can set the attributes for items, weight, gross weight, volume, things that matter, and shipping and whatnot.
Kurt Quiggle (24:32):
And just an observation, and I think you can help me with this. My screen was really simplistic. I just had a little bit of information there. And looking at what you're seeing here, I mean there's a lot of information on this screen and that could seem a little intimidating.
Bob Richardson (24:52):
It can be cleaned up. These are the screens that I have open for demonstration, but I can show less or show more if there's something that I was looking for, but I don't see right away. And I can certainly personalize the screen and hide fields permanently. They aren't deleted from the system, but they're deleted from the item card itself across the board so that they don't interfere with the normal activities. You can see how many I have on hand.
Chuck Coxhead (25:31):
Bob Richardson (25:32):
Yeah. If I click on this, it'll tell me how many I have on hand by location, different warehouses. It can tell me some upcoming activity. Like it says that I have five on a sales order right now. So those are tied up, probably indicates that I need to assemble five. Again, different costing methods are available for items. I can set standard costs from a purchase. Pricing can be driven by calculations, either set the profit or set the price based on the profit I'd like or just no relationship at all. If I just want to set a price that I want to live with as far as how this item is handled, do I buy it?
Chuck Coxhead (26:34):
Bob Richardson (26:35):
Produce it? Is it an assembly that relates to the kit that you guys were talking about? In this case, it's a production order item, so it should have a production bomb associated with it. And I'm not seeing that field, but I'm sure here we go. It's an assembled a stock item, so there's no bomb. But I can go on if I wanted to, I could go up and click and look at the bomb that's tied to a production item as far as planning, I can set it to reorder a fixed quantity or minimum quantities lot for lot reordering. If it's required, I can set it for reorder points right now. The reorder point is when I run out and the reorder quantity is set to a hundred minimum order, maximum order quantities. So this ties to when I buy, this is tied to how I buy if it's a purchase item.
Kurt Quiggle (28:04):
What's interesting here, gentlemen, not that we were going to contrast and compare, but a lot of these things that Bob is pointing out are available to find within GP through another window or through another menu. But what's amazing here is he's on one screen.
Chuck Coxhead (28:23):
Kurt Quiggle (28:25):
That's very, very refreshing to see.
Chuck Coxhead (28:28):
So for the evaluation user, but if it would certainly be a different experience depending on those roles that are set up, which might actually make it more akin to what we see in GP. So if I'm in an inventory role or a planning role supply chain role, I'm only going to be, I may be able to see this data, but I can't do much with it. So effectively it's not quite as useful and I certainly can't act on it because my role limits it. So if anything, it could be a little overwhelming looking at all of these fields at one time.
Kurt Quiggle (29:04):
But again, we need to remind folks that Bob's in with God-like rights, I'm sure as he can see everything he needs to see.
Chuck Coxhead (29:13):
Yep, exactly. And so Kurt, I want to circle back and take a look at GP again. And so one, I've taken a few notes. Notes here. Yeah, go. I don't want to circle back right now. I want to hear the rest of what show
Bob Richardson (29:23):
I tracking is available in BC. And I didn't hear Kurt talk about it, but I assume it is the serial numbers and lot numbers and expiration dates and whatnot. And he pointed out being able to go in and make inventory counts and all those processes are available from this screen too, as far as being able to create counting periods, adjust inventories, et cetera. It's all right here. Item reclassifications, the item journal. You don't have to typically navigate forward to accomplish what you're trying to get done with an item,
Chuck Coxhead (30:17):
But I think the tables are really an interesting change. And I'm thinking that people are going to have a preference one way or another. I think when we all get started in this manufacturing and we go back all the way to before M R P, we would write it down, you would write a bill of material on a piece of paper, which then became a spreadsheet, which then became individual items in the M R P system. Well nay M R P system later, ERP, and coming back to that table structure is really, really interesting. But I think there's going to be a personal preference because again, it might be a little overwhelming, it might be confusing, it might be more than a person needs. So I have a preference for just showing them what they need so as not to make it a more complicated onboarding and training. It's not that it would be, it's what is my personal preference when I'm choosing the system, but this makes a whole lot more sense in a lot of ways when you think of the business as a whole, when you think of the inventory as a whole or the manufacturing as a whole, and then I can see more information versus I'm myopic and I need to think about just that item and I don't want to confuse the situation.
Bob Richardson (31:40):
Chuck Coxhead (31:40):
Can we customize that table view so we can see what columns we want?
Bob Richardson (31:44):
Oh, we certainly can.
Chuck Coxhead (31:46):
So for instance,
Bob Richardson (31:47):
I would go item inventory. Yeah, I,
Chuck Coxhead (31:51):
If I were doing an inventory feature, inventory control function, then I would want to see when was the last cycle count, what was the last count, whatever those fields that I saw there in the item and the item data in that field.
Bob Richardson (32:13):
Yeah, I don't know if that field is available to bring in, but there is certainly many
Chuck Coxhead (32:22):
Bob Richardson (32:23):
Can be brought in.
Chuck Coxhead (32:24):
It may not be unlimited, but customizable,
Bob Richardson (32:28):
Right? It is custom. And actually you say not unlimited, but with the new design feature that's available in Business Central, you can bring in fields from tables outside the database that we're working in now and make them available too. And then it will generate the configuration package for you to bring to production. So that field can be available also, but here is the list of fields that are not shown on the table. So I'm just trying to
Chuck Coxhead (33:08):
Give all those people reason to ask for the big wide monitor, the big curved monitor now, because that table is this long instead of this long. It used to be.
Bob Richardson (33:18):
Yeah. And so I talked a little bit about stock keeping units. There's a field that says whether or not a stock keeping unit has been generated for this item, and as soon as things get caught up. So there are a few stock keeping units that are created for some of these items.
Chuck Coxhead (33:48):
Kurt Quiggle (33:49):
Bob Richardson (33:50):
Chuck Coxhead (33:51):
Alright. How about we circle back? Let's take a look at, I've got a few questions for GP. There's some things I'd like to see. Let's start with the standard cost. So you were looking at creating a new item, Kurt.
Kurt Quiggle (34:06):
Yeah. And we're going to just blow everybody's mind here in two seconds.
Chuck Coxhead (34:14):
Fantastic. I'm looking forward to it. But you're cleaning up the mess if my mind blows.
Kurt Quiggle (34:20):
Oh my goodness. It's a table view of inventory
Chuck Coxhead (34:23):
Kurt Quiggle (34:24):
In GP. Oh my goodness.
Chuck Coxhead (34:27):
Kurt Quiggle (34:29):
Chuck Coxhead (34:29):
And there it is, right? We're not trying to say one's better than the other, as you so eloquently said in the beginning, Kurt, it's just about different.
Bob Richardson (34:36):
Chuck Coxhead (34:36):
We use it? How does it work? That sort of thing. Both are great systems
Kurt Quiggle (34:41):
Evolved, that navigation ability and how people navigated within an ERP system has evolved. GP kept up the navigation lift list idea, that area where all my items are listed and being able to do some searches or customization around again, what Curt sees as an end user
Chuck Coxhead (35:03):
Kurt Quiggle (35:03):
Then being able to interact with that item, whether that's to create a transaction from it, do inquiry into it, et cetera. And when I hover on an item, I see more detail about it down below. Again, those quantities on hand, quantity, allocated quantity order. So a lot of what we see in that air quotes, modern ERP
Chuck Coxhead (35:26):
Kurt Quiggle (35:27):
Is that in the sense that it has evolved over the years. And what we find is that us gray haired old consultants, we live in that old mindset of how did we learn to use the product, even though it's evolved quite well in a lot of regards, so that we do have similar functionality. My available columns are not as broad as BBCs, but our significant information is definitely here. My quantity available is right here, visible, et cetera. So
Chuck Coxhead (36:03):
Well with that small tweak in the user interface, providing that data at the bottom of the screen eliminates the need for the columns. And now that my company can save money on monitor size, darn it.
Kurt Quiggle (36:12):
Chuck Coxhead (36:12):
I tried to get you a bigger monitor.
Kurt Quiggle (36:15):
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. But again, I wanted to make sure we pointed that out, that the interface is there. And then again, a double click on that item, and I am back into that item maintenance card as we were talking about. And then you had a specific question, Chuck, on where you wanted to go once we got in here.
Chuck Coxhead (36:38):
So some of the things that, so standard costs, okay, and of course I see the field for that. They have standard and current costs,
Kurt Quiggle (36:46):
Chuck Coxhead (36:46):
Crucial for the manufacturers.
Kurt Quiggle (36:48):
And again, standard cost, cur cost, how those interact within GP.
Chuck Coxhead (36:53):
Kurt Quiggle (36:53):
Definitely have a basis in how our valuation method is set up. If we are average perpetual, these take on different meaning than if they are li, o f O, and when are they updated and who updates them? Meaning does the system maintain that value or does an end user maintain that value? And again, there's some critical differentiation happening based on the valuation method being utilized for that item.
Chuck Coxhead (37:21):
Well, and that's a crucial point as well in that if I think about QuickBooks users out there that are considering that step, a QuickBooks user can be a bookkeeper, but they don't really get into this level of costing and understanding the impacts of that in terms of pricing and profit margins and all the different things that someone who's a deep C F O highly experienced is going to really understand and want to get into that and make sure that it works in a way that's best for the company or most advantageous to the company as well as the customer for pricing. So there's a major difference in that regard. But other than that, again, under the hood probably it works the same. You're experienced in one to a certain extent, you're experienced in all. So how many are on order and how many are on hand
Kurt Quiggle (38:17):
Quantity, on order quantity available? Bottom right corner.
Chuck Coxhead (38:21):
Kurt Quiggle (38:21):
Is global at this point
Chuck Coxhead (38:24):
Kurt Quiggle (38:24):
The sense that it is for my entire company, if we were to actually go in a little bit deeper, or had I set my navigation list up a little different, obviously I can have quantities at different sites.
Chuck Coxhead (38:39):
Kurt Quiggle (38:39):
Again, that's my global,
Chuck Coxhead (38:41):
Kurt Quiggle (38:42):
If I were to scroll through the sites where this happened to be, those numbers could be different because it is a multi-site type software where I could have multiple warehouses, multiple place I'm doing business, and how many of those goods do I have on hand at any one of them? And you can see that this is rolling with zeros as I scroll through my sites. But again, this navigation list can also give us some of that information on where those quantities are available if we build it out correctly.
Chuck Coxhead (39:16):
Okay. Now I don't want to go too deeply into things like in process work orders and that sort of thing. I'll skip over that, but let's go back to inventory. So in terms of the planning data, so minimum order quantity, economic order quantity, reorder point, things like that?
Kurt Quiggle (39:36):
Oh, absolutely. All available in the sense of item resource planning. And again, BC also sits well there in the ability to, if it's planned law for lot. So typically, again, there's not a lot of shortcomings when it comes to the idea of can GP do that for us, where we typically have those really kind of conversations. It is around the attributes of that item in the sense that man, again, you get into different organizations where we need to track revision levels and all of that. It starts getting a little more complicated at that point. But for the most part, GP is a quality product that's evolved well over the years.
Chuck Coxhead (40:33):
Love it. And in terms of the planning, so the thing that I saw that really I loved seeing was the data for planning inventory counts. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to have to do inventory counts. I'll accept cycle counts. I don't want to have to shut the company down. Like we used to mobilize every employee in the company to be counting a hundred percent of the inventory on one day. I far prefer cycle counts maximum, but where is that information in terms of when it was accounted last, that sort of thing
Kurt Quiggle (41:11):
On our item itself, not as readily available. There are reports that can be generated for that.
Chuck Coxhead (41:18):
Okay, perfect. Yep. And
Kurt Quiggle (41:19):
Then again, I can identify that information, but it's not right at my fingertips counted on July 1st. However, the ease of cycle counting within is there. And again, generating that cycle count based on A, B, c codes, et cetera. Once it's generated, it can be exported to Excel where that count work could be done and then imported back from Excel without any third party products whatsoever.
Chuck Coxhead (41:51):
Love that. Love that. And honestly, that's a pretty realistic, there's two ways to do it. One, you can do a cycle count in real time with mobile data. Okay, two, you're going to do it structurally where a report would suffice very, very well. And then, which is essentially mobile data where you take that report, you have an Excel spreadsheet, you do your count, you enter it in the Excel spreadsheet, you report it back, there's a lag in that data entry, but not enough to get exercised over typically. Typically.
Kurt Quiggle (42:25):
Correct. And again, I use that Excel comment because I do know VC from a Excel interface, being able to interact with that window is quite simplistic. So that puts us on par between the two products quite well, our stock
Chuck Coxhead (42:41):
Count. Well, there's also a danger in that, yes, I can do this and I need to have it in real time. And that can inflate your costs to operate your business. Absolutely. So if you don't need it, don't invest in it necessarily, whether it be from a software perspective, not that the prices are going to be any issue there, but not from a software perspective, but from a workflow perspective, why do more than you need to do if you're not going to do anything with it, if it's not going to deliver value and it's not going to have any kind of impact. So you can't assume it's a problem, is the issue. Correct. It always comes back to how does your business operate?
Kurt Quiggle (43:20):
Chuck Coxhead (43:20):
Kurt Quiggle (43:22):
Yep, yep, yep. And there's that stock count window being able to add things to this and how it's going to be counted. There's routines within the mass ad to do so again, to set that structure and when we start the count generate, so counting report, if I was going to do it on paper or after it's been started, obviously then I can export it to Excel. So there's beautiful, there's kind of a whirlwind on very light feature functionality on both products, but very comparable.
Chuck Coxhead (43:57):
Alright, we're just about through our time, but I have one important question for both of you because you brought it up Kurt, and that is item revision levels. Item revision levels can really be a bear. Not all systems handle it gracefully. And so we develop workarounds
Kurt Quiggle (44:17):
Chuck Coxhead (44:20):
Item 1000 revision C is not the same as item 1000. Revision D, even if they're exactly the same in form fit and function for inventory purposes, they potentially different. So how would you do that in the item? Is it a workaround or does it handle the revisions? And then we're going to go ask Bob the same thing and see it in
Kurt Quiggle (44:42):
BC at the item level, at the item level here I'm going to say we would be working around that. We do a workaround again, we'd be doing a workaround. I'd be using a user defined field, probably tracking that or using utility to increment. My other ways I've done it in the past, Chuck is increment that item number to then match the manufacturing revision number that's happening on the M R P side of the house. But again, clearly visible at the inventory side in GP, we usually have to kind of tweak around that in order to see that rev level.
Chuck Coxhead (45:28):
No, that is not uncommon. What I want to avoid is putting rev C in the item number.
Kurt Quiggle (45:36):
Yes, sir. All
Chuck Coxhead (45:36):
Kurt Quiggle (45:38):
Yeah. So we typically use it again, like I said, a user-defined field and go from there.
Chuck Coxhead (45:43):
And honestly, that's extremely clean. So it's extremely clean. It's not confusing at all as long as people truly understand that rev C is not the same as rev D
Kurt Quiggle (45:55):
Or you tie it all the way back to that bill of material or that manufacturing structure. And again, at a reporting level, be able to see that.
Chuck Coxhead (46:04):
And it might be that the manufacturer of the paint changed,
Kurt Quiggle (46:09):
Chuck Coxhead (46:09):
It might be that simple. They're still acceptable from form fit and function, but they are different parts because if the paint starts to flake, you want to know what paint was on there.
Kurt Quiggle (46:20):
Chuck Coxhead (46:22):
So how about we go back to BC, if you can get into that a little bit, Bob, and then we can wrap this up. I bet you can guess how I started my career
Kurt Quiggle (46:37):
In the dairy industry, we could make vanilla ice cream about 30 ways, but the SKU going to the grocer was the same, right? It's
Chuck Coxhead (46:47):
Too much for ice
Kurt Quiggle (46:48):
Cream and it still had the same content as far as sugar, et cetera, but different recipes and we needed to know which recipe was used.
Chuck Coxhead (46:59):
Bob Richardson (47:00):
We're talking about item revisions. Is that where
Chuck Coxhead (47:03):
Item revisions? Yes, sir.
Bob Richardson (47:05):
Yes. Well, I mean, I've talked on stock keeping units, so we could certainly set up different stock keeping units to track it that way. If it's an item tracked type material with lot numbers or serial numbers, we could certainly set up a separate numbering system for the revision and track it that way. Variant codes are available to track different things that way, or just block the item, create a new one, update any bill of materials that that item is used in
Chuck Coxhead (47:44):
Bob Richardson (47:45):
You're good to go. Just a slight change.
Chuck Coxhead (47:50):
The variant is a really interesting idea because you wouldn't always block the item. I might have a thousand of them that are with a paint manufactured by my previous vendor and that item, that paint is discontinued. But those products are perfectly saleable,
Bob Richardson (48:08):
Chuck Coxhead (48:09):
So however, now I have a new item. Now there's other we're not even going to get into. Yes, I could have either one dual source going into a single item, different conversation for a different day. But just in this rudimentary example, the variation is a very interesting way of handling that.
Bob Richardson (48:29):
Chuck Coxhead (48:31):
Or the variant.
Bob Richardson (48:31):
I hovered over the text for variant mandatory if exists, and it brings up a description of what that field can be used for. And in this case specifies whether a variant must be selected if variants exist for the item. So if you're trying to work through some older material and you set up the new item variant,
Chuck Coxhead (48:57):
Bob Richardson (48:57):
Can say that you want to force flushing out inventory before this item gets used. So
Chuck Coxhead (49:07):
That's one way.
Bob Richardson (49:09):
Chuck Coxhead (49:09):
Bob Richardson (49:10):
Chuck Coxhead (49:14):
And then another way could be do exactly the same as GP and that is set up a new item,
Bob Richardson (49:19):
Set up a new
Chuck Coxhead (49:20):
Item, accounting with a new bill of material, potentially a new cost, et cetera, et cetera. That is unique to that RevD. In this example,
Bob Richardson (49:29):
The new item is very user-friendly as far as moving to new costs. It without a doubt. Yeah. When you're trying to change cost in an existing item, it is not as user friendly. It's just starting with a clean slate. I will say that
Chuck Coxhead (49:47):
Recognizing that we do know that standard costs can be changed over time in a cycle, if you will. Next year the standard cost will be different. So you have current costs and you have standard costs, but again, the least often you have to touch those things, the less time it takes until you have more productive organization. Exactly. So again, all these differences lead back to this is cafeteria style. In a lot of ways this is an enablement platform to enable what works for you in the most productive way.
Bob Richardson (50:23):
Yes, Microsoft listens to its clients. If somebody's asked for a feature that works better for their business, Microsoft has done a good job of building it into their software systems, GP and BC together.
Chuck Coxhead (50:39):
Well, I think that's enough said. I would do a mic drop, but I really don't want to break my mic, so
Kurt Quiggle (50:45):
Chuck Coxhead (50:46):
All right. Kurt, do you have any closing thoughts?
Kurt Quiggle (50:49):
No, I just, again, every time we do this, the excitement's building and on my side, as I start thinking about transitioning and looking at options for our clientele, that there's some amazing options out there and BC being one of 'em, and I've got a lot to learn, but I'm pretty confident I can learn it, right? I see those similarities and it doesn't intimidate me.
Chuck Coxhead (51:16):
And as we go through this, I know we're going to see over and over and over again. Honestly, you can use either one. If you've got GP, stay on GP for as long as the winds keep you there. And when you're ready to go, go, because clearly these differences, they're there, but it doesn't change what you're able to accomplish. I think that's crucial. Bob, do you have any closing thoughts?
Bob Richardson (51:39):
No. The same thing. If you're happy and successful with GP as your operating system, stick with it. But if you're expanding and you're looking at buying an additional software unit to go along with GP and expand your business, well maybe it's time to upgrade and look at what BC has to offer.
Chuck Coxhead (52:04):
Right? And until then, sock away your money and plan for your capital budget for whenever you're going to do it.
Kurt Quiggle (52:11):
Whenever you're ready, we're here.
Chuck Coxhead (52:13):
Amen, brother. Well, gentlemen, thank you so much. I love taking these dives. Everything you get to learn, Kurt, it's just as exciting for me. I love seeing it because the better I am and the better I'm going to be for our customers, and I know you guys feel the same way. Thank you so much for tuning into the turnkey 365 ERP Academy. Stay tuned for the next episode when we're going to take more deep dives into GP and BC. Cheers.