SQUARE ONE Functions
Inventory Tracking Software
SQUARE ONE inventory tracking software uses a modular design, some three of which are required and the others are optional, to be used based upon the stores particular needs and markets. Within the main modules are sub-systems that control the more specific functions used in day-to-day activity.
- System Core: the administrative area of the system*
- Tradebooks: the functional area containing the primary working sub-systems*
- Textbooks: for stores selling textbooks for colleges/universities
- Point of Sale: the register function*
- Accounting: the accounts payable and accounts receivable software
- Multi Store: for operations with multiple locations
- Rentals: for stores that rent audio/video items
(* - required)
The primary working area of our inventory tracking software is Tradebooks, which contains the following subsystems:
The purchasing sub-system is a flexible, easy to use tool for ordering products. Its central feature is a file, called the “Range Screen”, where items waiting to be ordered are held. Buyers place products into this file directly or the system can be configured to suggest items for purchase based upon rules established by the store. The “sources” of these suggestions include daily sales through the registers, special orders taken, front list, and receiving based upon problems experienced there. A buyer then reviews the list, in total or broken into any desired sub-set, and makes quantity and vendor decisions. A complete picture of the current activity and historical sales data for the item is available to support those decisions. After completing this review the desired items are taken from this file and placed onto purchase orders, one at a time or to as many as desired. Sending the orders can be accomplished through electronic ordering, either modem or FTP.
Receiving provides the store with the tools to quickly add purchased items into inventory while still capturing all of the pertinent data about each of them. Scanning is supported and highly recommended. Up to 10 different PO’s can be received at a time. The operator can receive by item, verifying and changing if necessary the quantity, price, discount/markup, and cost, by screen of items, or by the entire PO. Bar code labels can be generated if desired. When the receipt is accepted the retail price, average cost, and on-hand quantity fields on the inventory record are immediately updated. And there are unique procedures for items received that are on a special order. Invoice information can be attached to the receipt for use in invoice validation. Problem codes for issues like short ships or damaged goods can be assigned that interact with purchasing, returns, and accounting. The system also accommodates license plate receiving.
Used Book Receiving
Used book receiving is an optional subsystem. It
is an efficient way to accept used books into inventory without
having to go through the formality of the regular receiving process.
It does not require that a PO be established for each receipt.
The process of accepting a used book into inventory is simple.
First, store inventory is checked to see if a record for the book
already exists. Its bar code can be scanned to facilitate doing
this. The retail price, cost, quantity, and condition code can
all be updated at this time. Bar code labels can be generated
and then the book can go onto the shelf. If it is not currently
showing on the store’s inventory then the system can search
our books-in-print database for it. A keystroke adds the record
and again its quantity, retail price, cost and condition code
can be entered and the book received If the book being received
has the same ISBN as the one on file but not in the same condition
as the one on file, then an Item Number is created for it. Item
Number is a unique SQUARE ONE feature that was created specifically
to allow the store to carry under the same ISBN one or more versions
of the title. Up to 999 Items can be created. The difference could
be retail price, condition, the store’s decision to use
a different book class for this version, a desire to place it
in more than one department/category, or to use a different locator
code for it.
The book returns process is flexible, easy to use, and can be done centrally if desired in a multi-store operation. The system provides several ways to select books to be returned. One method uses return formulas that link average sales with on-hand quantities and desired stock levels. Another would be to run the Sales Analysis Report to identify items not selling. Or the buyer can simply select specific items they wish to send back. In each case the item can be added to a To Be Picked list which can then be used to pull the stock and to either manually or automatically schedule the item for return. When processing the return, the system can cut packing slips to the vendor of record, create return request letters to vendors requiring them, set up returns for items that had problems at receiving, and/or generate packing slips to selected alternate vendors. It is also possible to do each of these steps as a Preview before committing to the action. The ‘Post Returns’ process is the key interactive part of the Returns sub-system. When packing slips are created the system decreases the on-hand quantities for each item and automatically creates a debit memo in the payables system, if it is present, so the store can obtain proper credit for the items it sends back.
This sub-system has been designed so that the store can provide fast, thorough, and efficient service to customers who want to order a product not currently available in inventory or to put one on hold. It offers a wide range of very unique and useful tools to the staff. Typical order creation starts by searching store inventory for availability. Items not on file can easily be added using our Venstock database. A keystroke sets up the order, prompting for the customer’s name. New customers can be created at this time. Shipping and payment methods are entered then the system pulls in the selected product and prompts for the quantity wanted. As many items as desired can be included. Products not available are automatically tagged with an identifying code and sent to the purchasing sub-system for action by a buyer. The system also supports quotations that can be converted into orders later. The system produces unique labels for these orders that are recognized at POS. Receiving interacts with the orders file to facilitate allocations. And there is an automatic web interface tool for adding orders taken there.
This sub-system within our inventory tracking software is designed for keeping track of cost/profit information for the store’s departments and to provide reporting capability for store sales. There are also some year-end administrative tools located here.
These programs provide the tools for taking the store’s annual inventory. They interact with hand-held devices that we can supply. Scanned items can be downloaded to files and put on reports for checking. Ultimately discrepancy reports can be run to show the differences between the scanned amount and the amount in the system. Once all verifications are done the inventory can be applied. Retail dollars, cost dollars, and units are tracked and reported.
The SQUARE ONE® Club sub-system provides the store the capability of tracking customer sales and establishing clubs whose members earn premiums based upon their purchasing history. The definition of the clubs and the premiums offered are totally at the discretion of store management. Bookclub utilizes the same customer file that exists within Tradebooks that is used for special orders, store charge accounts, promotional mailings, and for general store sales and discount programs.
AR lets the store maintain in-house charge accounts for customers. Once the account is established the system tracks all store charges, special order deposits, gift certificates, payments, and credits for that customer. The information for the account can be collected through point-of-sale, special orders, or through the AR module itself. It also maintains a history of each account, keeps all transactions by date, and generates statements, with aging, as often as required by store policy. AR is also used to look up information about the account should any questions be raised.
Accounts Payable has been set up to manage and pay the store’s bills. It handles both the invoices from vendors from which the store orders products and those from vendors providing a service such as telephone or utilities. The first type has matching data keyed into the system from purchasing and receiving. These entries are validated with differences reconciled. The second type can be keyed into the system in Accounts Payable. The module also has the mechanisms for creating checks automatically or manually, using one or more checking accounts. It also accommodates vendors who require prepayment, can create Debit Memos automatically or manually, and has a General Ledger interface package that sets up and exports files to a general ledger package.
The Multi-Store module has been designed for stores that have multiple locations and that want centralized control and efficiency for their operations. Within SQUARE ONE, a single location is designated as the central store from which the system is administered. Central can be an operating store, a warehouse, or simply the main office for the group. Each store in the group can have its own server (CPU) that is polled as often as desired by central, or the entire chain can run off a single server located at central or there can be a combination of both options. Because the system is scaleable there is no limit to the number of stores in the chain. Data for all stores is held at central, available to each store, but each store still operates independently, using its own set of files that contain some elements common to the chain. Purchasing, receiving and returns can be done at central, at each store, or at a combination of both places. Store-to-store transfers are simple. Each store is automatically sent a copy of its portion of centrally placed PO’s so that it can do its own receiving.
The Textbook Module has been specifically designed for bookstores that supply the course materials for colleges and universities. Starting with its Adoptions sub-system, it provides some unique ways to create and maintain the course list for a given term and the books required for each course. Multiple schools and terms can be managed simultaneously. The list of books can be segregated between new and used editions with carryover from a previous term automatically figured into the needed quantities. As titles are established the system will create want lists for them that are ultimately converted into a PO for a vendor. Multiple want lists can be created that can be reworked and combined. There is also a Buyback capability built into this module.
This is a simple to use way to rent items from the store. The system will track what is out while assigning daily rates and figuring out the appropriate charges when the item is checked back in at the register.