Inventory Tracking – Understanding Sets and Components
In flowerSoft, an inventory item is any item you want to know its current quantity on hand.
First, let me explain about the different flowerSoft databases (there are 3 of them) involved in item and inventory tracking.
The first database is the Item Description Codes database. Every item you sell should be in this database, whether or not you want to keep track of its quantity on hand.
Why? When you sell an item and you use its item description code, flowerSoft can report on that item. It can tell you how many you sold for any period of time and how much money you made by selling that item.
It can compare how that item sold using two periods of time.
If, for example, you use DRV as the item description code for a dozen red roses in a vase, flowerSoft can tell you how many you sold during Valentine’s Day week in 2014.
It can also compare those figures to any similar period of time, for example 2013 and 2014.
If you do not use item description codes when selling an item, flowerSoft cannot run reports on that item.
If you need or want to keep track of the quantity on hand of an item, then you must use an item description code for the item.
Inventory tracking cannot be done without using item description codes.
To indicate that an item is an inventory item, you first add it to the Item Description Codes database and indicate that the item is an inventory item, meaning that you want to know at all times how many of the item you have on hand.
When you indicate that an item is an inventory item by placing a Y in the appropriate field, a record gets added to the Inventory Items database for that item code.
When you go past the “Inventory Item?” field, flowerSoft makes sure that a record exists in the inventory items database.
If it doesn’t, it will add it for you and if it does, it will ask you if you want to update it or view it.
If in addition, you tell flowerSoft that the item has components, flowerSoft will make you add a record for that item code to the Item Components database.
The need for these 3 separate databases is that you can have Item Description codes that do not need to keep track of the units on hand, so they do not have to be included in the Inventory Items database.
Likewise, you can have inventory items that do not have components, so they do not have to be included in the Item Components database.
Next we’ll look at the steps required for entering an item into the Item Description Codes database, the Inventory Items database and the Item Components database.
But first let me try to explain what a component is.
When an item you sell as a unit, is made up of several different items, the item is called a “set”. The items that are used to make up this “set” are called the “components” of the set.
So if you have an item code A that is made up of items B, C, D and E, A is the set and B, C, D and E are the components.
Items that are components of a set cannot have components themselves. In our example, if you indicate that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E then neither of those items can have components but…
Item C could still be made up of items F, G and H, making it a set, as long as it is not listed as itself being a component of item A. I know this is confusing but let me give you an example to clarify.
If you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E, then item C cannot have components.
But if you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items, B, (F, G, and H), D and E then it is OK for item C to have components because item C itself is not being listed as a component of item A.
The components of item C are the ones that get listed as being part of item A.
So, if the quantity required for each of the components of item A is one, then every time you sell item A flowerSoft will reduce the quantity on hand of items B, F, G, H, D and E by one.
A set’s quantity on hand is determined by the least quantity available of its components. Let’s say to make an item A you need
Let us also say that your quantities on hand for items B, F, G, H, D and E are as follows:
Item Quantity on Hand
B 20 pieces
F 30 pieces
G 90 pieces
H 40 pieces
D 80 pieces
E 60 pieces
Based on this information, how many units on hand will flowerSoft say are available for Item A?
And knowing the item C is made up of items F, G and H, how many pieces of item C will flowerSoft say are available?
And the answer is…
10 sets of item A and 30 sets of item C.
Do you see why?
There are only 20 pieces of item B available and item A requires 2 of them, so after you make 10 sets of item A, you’ll be out of item B so you can’t make anymore sets of item A.
The same goes for item C. You need 3 pieces of item G for each item C. Since you have 90 pieces of item G, after you make 30 sets you’ll be out of item G.
Another good way of looking at sets and components is to look at a recipe for an item. For example, let’s look at Teleflora’s Bee Well Bouquet recipe.
Item code T01J400C is the item code you use when you sell a Bee Well Bouquet. This is the set.
The 9 different items that make up the Bee Well Bouquet are the components.
Unless you want to keep track of your flowers’ quantity on hand, the only item that you will need to enter as a component of the T01J400C item is is the Bee Well Bee.
Why? Because that is the one item you need to know how many you have on hand in order to be able to sell the Bee Well Bouquet.
Every time you sell a T01J400C, one piece will be deducted from the quantity on hand of item TFBWELLB.
You will want to know when you are running low on that item, so that you can order more.
We will talk more on sets and components in the next post.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.