Products in NetForum can include many different kinds of items including membership dues, merchandise, packages, grants, and fees. Physical products are most often handled through the Merchandise group item within the Inventory module whereas the Publication group item handles your books and annual report products, for example. While NetForum delivers an extensive array of baseline product types to begin with, an additional product type, the Miscellaneous Product is also provided in the event you do not find a product type in the baseline offerings that you want to use for what you have in mind. Consider using the Miscellaneous Product in the event that you do not want to create a completely new product type or if you want to create a custom object for your newly defined product type.
The five standard Group Item Links (Add, Find, List, Run Query, Query Central), are available in the Miscellaneous Product group item. Additionally, you can choose Copy Product.
Adding a Miscellaneous Product
To begin tracking and managing miscellaneous product inventory works much the same as Merchandise and Publication inventory: Your first step is to add individual inventory records to NetForum for each of your miscellaneous products. Note that fields in bold in NetForum are required fields. You will not be able to save your miscellaneous product until these fields are complete.
To add a new miscellaneous product to NetForum , follow these steps:
Miscellaneous Product Setup Section
- Select the Inventory tab.
- On the Group Item Overflow menu, click Misc Product.
- Select Add Misc Product from the drop-down menu. The Add Miscellaneous Product page displays.
- Product Code: The product code is often an abbreviated version of your product's name. Product code is required.
- Product Name: The product name should be descriptive enough for your customers to understand it, but short enough for Fulfillment Reports. Product name is required.
- Product Description: Use the description field to add more detailed information about the product. This field is optional but note it is also used during Fulfillment Reports, particularly when you are using Packing Slips during the shipping process.
- Product Category and Type: These drop-down fields are optional and are used for filtering and better control of your inventory. For example, you can choose to create and place member-only, office item, and conference item product categories in your product category drop-down field. This would then allow you to create a pen and pencil set with a conference logo that you specify in the conference item category for much more control over your inventory. For more information on how to set up product types in this drop-down, view the Inventory Setup page. Unlike other inventory items, product type is required for miscellaneous product items. This is often used to specify a custom object to a product type you create for your organization, for example. For more information on how to set up product types in this drop-down, view the Inventory Setup page.
- Price: Enter the price you plan to charge for the product. This field is required.
- Start Date and End Date: Start and end dates are also optional. These dates relate to how long your item will be for the specific price you entered. If the price will not change, you do not need to modify these fields.
- Taxable Flag: If your product is taxable, select this checkbox. Please note that if you do not select this checkbox, NetForum will not allow any taxes at all to be applied to this product, not even deferrals. You are not determining how much tax is applied here, just that it can be in the future.
- Select a Delivery Method for the product by selecting the appropriate checkbox: mail, e-mail, or fax.
- Display order: The order the product will display if used on the Web.
Once you enter enough information about your miscellaneous product that tells NetForum how to display and deliver it, you need to now specify how NetForum will cost it within the Accounting module once it has been purchased by your customers. This is accomplished in the next section on the Add Miscellaneous Product page, the G/L Accounts section. Most of the drop-down menus are bold in this section which means they are also required. However, if you have not used the Accounting module to setup your General Ledger accounts first, you will be unable to complete this section.
- Business Unit: This drop-down will already be populated with your organization's acronym. If you manage more than one entity, you should select which entity this product will be sold under.
- Currency: Allows you to choose which country currency your organization will use.
- Project: For organizations that are concerned with time and project tracking, the project drop-down is available. Project codes are set-up through your business unit under the G/L Accounts tab on the projects child form.
- A/R Account: Drop-down used to designate your accounts receivable account.
- Revenue Account: Drop-down used to designate your revenue account.
- Liability Account: Drop-down used to designate your liability account.
- Return Account: Drop-down used to designate your returns account.
- Write Off Account: Drop-down used to designate your write off account.
- Checkboxes in the G/L Accounts section:
- Split revenue among multiple accounts: To split revenue, select the split revenue among multiple accounts checkbox. If revenue is split, the two accounts will need to be set up on the Price Profile. (Go to the Miscellaneous Product Profile, price child form and click the Goto arrow to go to the Price Profile.)
Price Control Attributes Section
To complete adding a miscellaneous product to NetForum , you must specify the price control attributes, located on the bottom of the Miscellaneous Product Setup page. Price control attributes enable you to specify, for example, if the price assigned is a members-only price or for all who access your Website.
- Member: Use the Member drop-down field if you want to specify that the price you have specified should only be available to members of your organization. Selecting Non-Member means that the price is a non-member price while leaving the drop-down blank means that the price specified will be available to both.
- Member Type: The Member Type drop-down becomes available when you select Member in the Member drop-down field. If you want your merchandise price to be available to only certain member types, you specify which specific types with this drop-down. Note that when you select a member type, other drop-downs then become available that allow you specify the status of your member (Active, Pending, etc.) and specific Chapter as well, if desired.
- Customer Type: The Customer Type field enables you to specify if the customer purchasing the item is an Individual, an Organization, or a Chapter. If you leave this field blank, all customer types will be able to purchase the item. Note that if you specify a customer type, other drop-downs then become available that allow you to further define specific customer types such as Individual and Organization type.
- Default Rate: When this checkbox is selected, no member controls will be in effect for a product even if they have been previously set. For example, you may set a price for your product and decide that it is a members-only product. At some point, you may then decide to offer the same product for sale to non-members but only for a small window of time. You may accomplish this by setting up an entirely new price attribute, described on the Price, or by quickly selecting this checkbox on the current attribute which turns off all member controls and allows non-members to purchase the product. This is a quick way to disable previously defined pricing structures and also useful if you want to demonstrate on your Website the difference between a member-price and a non-member price (to encourage joining). You must remember to deselect the box when you want your members-only pricing structures to be back in effect however. If you want more permanent member and customer pricing structures to manipulate, it is best to set them up through the price profile screen.
- Location: Finally, use the location attributes section to further refine your pricing to location if you desire. You may select as broad a location as region to as narrow as zip code should you choose.
- Click the Save button to save your changes and enter your merchandise into inventory.
Finding a Miscellaneous Product
Finding miscellaneous products that have been entered into the NetForum database is easily accomplished. The Find function is universal throughout NetForum and detailed on the Find topic.
Finding miscellaneous products within the Inventory module follows the same format and function. You may search by the following:
- Product Type
- Business Unit
- Product Name
- If Partial Shipments have been allowed
- If the Track Inventory Flag has been selected
The Advanced View checkbox allows you to conduct Boolean searches to broaden and narrow your search as needed.
Managing Miscellaneous Product Records
Navigating to the Miscellaneous Product Profile
The Miscellaneous Product Profile page is displayed once you have entered a new miscellaneous product into the NetForum application. If you want to navigate to and view a specific profile page:
- Click on the Inventory module from the Module Menu drop-down.
- On the Group Item Overflow menu, click Misc. Product. You can then choose to List Misc. Products or Find Misc. Product.
Depending upon which miscellaneous product you choose, its Miscellaneous Product Profile page will display.
Miscellaneous Product Profile
The Miscellaneous Product Profile displays the business unit, product name, product code, product category, price availability dates, and project name (if applicable). It also displays whether or not this product is taxed, if partial shipments are allowed, and the delivery method.
There are several child forms that can be accessed as well. Child forms are accessed by clicking on the various tabs found at the bottom of each profile page.
Each child form is discussed below.
Prices Child Form
The Price tab on the Miscellaneous Product Profile contains one child form of the same name; the prices child form.
This child form enables you to add additional prices to the same merchandise item. For example, you may want to offer a member price versus a non-member price, a special offer price, or a bulk discount price. To add additional prices, click the Add Record or button.
Once you have added new price records to a merchandise item, you have a variety of options available to manipulate them. Clicking on the expand/collapse folder opens a summary of the pricing options you have specified for that product. For example, in the expanded row below, you are able to see that this is a member price indicated by the 'Y' under the Member column.
You also have the ability to edit or delete the options by clicking on the pencil or red x icons. Finally, you can go to the miscellaneous product record itself by clicking on the green goto arrow. For more detailed information on prices and information on how to set-up pricing structures for your products, view the Price topic.
Inventory Received and Vendor Child Form(s)
The Inventory tab contains two child forms: Inventory Received and Vendor.
The inventory received child form enables you to view what warehouse your product is being stored and distributed from. Note that you must have previously set-up your warehouse first for it to be available in the child form. For more information on this process, view the Warehouse section.
The vendor child form specifies which vendor has been assigned to create or distribute this product. Just as with the inventory child form, you must have previously assigned or added a vendor to this product for it to be noted on this child form. Click the Add Record button to assign a new vendor or to make modifications to your current vendor for this product.
Affiliated Products Tab
The Affiliated Products tab on the Miscellaneous Product Profile enables you to associate other products to the miscellaneous product you are currently viewing.
For example, you can assign a complementary product, a substitute product, and a product that must be purchased first (a prerequisite product). In the example above, the following products have been suggested as affiliated products:
- A small NetForum Tee-Shirt is suggested as a complementary purchase
- An NetForum coffee mug can be used as a substitution product if the current product is sold out or has been concluded
- A publication titled, "Association Management Tasks for the Novice" is suggested as a prerequisite.
The Affiliated Products tab gives you a good deal of control in how your products are sold and distributed.
Editing Miscellaneous Product Data
Just above the child form tabs is an Edit button that enables you to add and view additional, related information to the product you are currently viewing.
On the Miscellaneous Product Profile page, if you click Edit, the Edit Miscellaneous Product dialogue box allows you to change any of the information you entered at the Product Setup window and also additional information such as:
- Additional send options such as microfiche, web, and download url
- Web Integration section available to specify how you want this product to appear on the Web. Those options include:
- If the product should be sold online
- What date the product should be posted to the Web
- What date the product should be removed from the Web
- What date the product should have a New! graphic next to it
- An editing field that enables you to create descriptive text for your product.