|What do you use for your back-end system|
Tele sales,inventory, finance etc.
Just wondering what software everyone else is using to handle offline inventory, sales order processing and accounts. Being a one man band (and ex-programmer) I use my own MS-Access system to handle everything, which is fine when it's just me, but I'll soon be in the position of having staff to enter orders etc. so I will probably look into purchasing a system that's going to be easier for people to use.
Maybe there's a comphensive list of software available somewhere on the web, but I can't find it.
Powerbuilder for everything.
I use a cobbled together system of Retail.ICE, Quickbooks and software that came with our shopping cart.
I programmed a custom system for everything using ColdFusion MX. Shopping cart, inventory tracking, order tracking, affiliate program, link program, and more.
You might consider programming a front-end for your Access database with Coldfusion. Coldfusion integrates with Access Databases rather easily. Also, if you used to be a programmer of any sort you should be able to learn Coldfusion easily.
I use QuickBooks for the majority of our backend work - sales orders, invoices, customer payments, inventory, purchase orders and accounting mostly. I've written custom tools to import data from my orders database on the web site so there's very little manual data entry.
We have over 1100 inventory items in QuickBooks and I have a feeling I'm not far from exceeding it capability to manage inventory -- that's not QB's main job, and it seems that it's getting slower as time goes by.
It'd be smarter to use QB to keep track of total daily sales and accounts payable, but I'm in a little too deep at this point to just change how I do things...
Thanks for the replies.
I think I'll need to buy software as I just don't have the time to start programming a better UI. My accountant has advised me to consider Quickbooks, though how easy is it to import/export data and customise?
Currently my Access system allows me to:
1)Import orders from my custom web shop
2)Process credit card transactions (using ActiveX component)(for phone orders)
3)Postcode addresss lookup for delivery/invoice addresses (for phone orders) for speed and acurracy.
4)Export data to Courier system for printing of despatch labels and delivery manifest
5)Inventory control & forecasting
6)Reconcilling online credit card transactions received against individual orders
Does anything think the above is possible with Quickbooks?
QuickBooks is easy to import/export. Just starts coming apart when you have a lot of SKUs.
I would say you need to answer:
1. Do I need a warehouse tracking system?
if Yes...find a warehouse and shipping system that has financials built in...not the other way around.
2. Do I do my own taxes or does someone do them for me?
I do my own...QB and TurboTax have good integration, etc.
If someone else does them look for something that generates ACCURATE reports.
I am not suggesting one package over another...just trying to give an example of how to look at the problem. There are some software selection matrices on the web...usually used for consulting. I would find one that fits your finances/reporting/sales needs and fill it out. It should highlight your needs and help in the decision process.
Keep in mind with QB that, if you want to import things like sales orders, invoices, payments, etc. you'll need to use their SDK to build the integration, and (the important part), you need to be using QB Pro or Premiere or some higher version. Found that one out the hard way after buy QB Basic to get started with. There is some rudimentary import capability via the IIF file format, but it doesn't support all the things you're likely to want.
QB works acceptably well for inventory control, provided you enter invoices for every order -- either by importing or manual entry. Plus you have to enter your item receipts when new inventory is received. The benefit is that creating purchase orders is fairly easy, though not automatic.
QB really shines as an accounting tool for tracking your income and expenses, but isn't particularly suited as a point of sale system (Intuit sells a separate POS system that is separate from but integrates with QuickBooks. Aimed more at a retail storefront operation than a web store, I think.) It'll handle the inventory, sales orders, invoices, etc. for you but there are probably better tools.
I use Stoneedge to manage all my ordes that I import from my website. I then calculate monthly summaries (total sales, sales tax, shipping revenue, etc...) and enter that into Quickbooks. If you try to import every order into Quickbooks, you'll soon find that you will have a sluggish system and QB has a limit to how many records it can store. You can also enter daily summaries if you would like as well.
It's hard to find one system to do every thing. A lot of people use the above described system and it works fairly well.
We have used Mail Order Manager from Dydacomp for quite a few years. The acounting end is a little weak but the rest is great, i.e. inventory, shipping etc..