Publications are books or other documents (not including subscriptions) that are single purchases. Despite the fact that they are physical inventory and could be considered part of Merchandise inventory, Publication inventory is generally treated separately from Merchandise inventory and has its own group item icon. Examples of Publications an organization may have includes books, annual reports, and directories. Publications may also have different formats such as printed books or online PDFs. A lot of the same fields from the Merchandise product are seen when you begin to enter your publications into inventory however, you'll also notice some additional fields that are specific to publications, such as the ISBN number, edition, and publication date. These are discussed in more detail below.

The five standard Group Item Links (Add, Find, List, Run Query, Query Central), are available in the Publication group item. Additionally, you can choose to Copy Publication.

Adding Publication Inventory

To begin tracking and managing your organization's publications, your first step is to add individual inventory records to NetForum for each of your publications. Note that fields in bold in NetForum are required fields. You will not be able to save your publications until these fields are complete.

To add a new publication to NetForum , follow these steps:

Publication Overview Section

  1. Select the Inventory tab.
  2. On the Group Item menu, click Publication.
  3. Select Add Publication from the drop-down menu. The Publication Setup page displays.
  4. Product Code: The product code is often an abbreviated or short version of your publication's name. A Product Code is required.
  5. Product Name: The product name should be descriptive enough for your customers to understand what it is but short enough for Fulfillment Reports. Product Name is required.
  6. 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.
  7. Product Category and Format: These drop-down fields are optional and are used for filtering and better control of your publication inventory. For example, for product category you can choose to create and specify what type of publication it is you are entering (training manuals, software manuals, etc.). For format you are able to specify if the publications can be downloaded via PDF from the web in the drop-down, for example. For more information on how to set up product types in this drop-down, view the Inventory Setup page.
  8. Price: Enter the price you plan to charge for the publication. Remember, this is just an initial price. You are able to modify this price later with suggested member price versus non-member, for example. This field is required.
  9. Weight: The weight of your publication is important if you use a Shipping Carrier (FedEx, UPS, etc.) to ship and are charged by weight for shipping. Therefore, this field is optional.
  10. Start Date and End Date: Start and end dates are also optional. These dates relate to how long your publication will be for the specific price you entered if placed for sale on your Web site. If the price will not change, you do not need to modify these fields.
  11. Shippable: Select this checkbox if your publication will be shipped. You must select this checkbox if you want to be able to run Fulfillment Reports on your inventory as well regardless of whether or not you want to ship your products.
  12. Allow Partial Shipments: Selecting this checkbox will allow partial shipments of your inventory when needed. For example, if your organization sells encyclopedias and set A-F is available but not G-L, having this selected allows the shipment of set A-F while the rest are on backorder.
  13. Taxable Flag: If your publication 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.
  14. Allow Backorders: Select this checkbox if you will be using a Warehouse and want to allow backorders. This means that, if your warehouse is out of your product, your members will still be able to order it and it will be placed on backorder.
  15. Sell Online: Select this checkbox if you want your publication available for sale on your Web site. Note that if you select your item available for online sale, you then have the option to specify when you wish your item to appear online by using the post to web date field. Your item will appear on that date and be removed on the date you specify in the remove date field. If you want a new icon next to your item, specify a date for that icon to appear next to it in the new until field. The new icon will then remain next to your publication until the date specified.
  16. ISBN Number: Enter the ISBN number of your publication. This should be a 10 or 13 digit number.
  17. Edition: This field is used to specify an edition of your publication if you desire. You can use this field to track versions of a publication if necessary.
  18. Number of Pages: Enter the number of pages of your publication if desired.
  19. Year Published: The year the publication was first published.
  20. Print Date: The year the publication is printed. This may differ from the publish date if the publication has many reprints, for example.
  21. Select a Delivery Method for the product by selecting the appropriate checkbox: mail, e-mail, fax, or web.

G/L Section

Once you enter enough information about your publication that tells NetForum how to display and track 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 Publication Setup page, the G/L Accounts section. Most of the drop-down menus are bold in this section, you will note, 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A/R Account: Drop-down used to designate your accounts receivable account.
  4. Revenue Account: Drop-down used to designate your revenue account.
  5. Liability Account: Drop-down used to designate your liability account.
  6. Return Account: Drop-down used to designate your returns account.
  7. Write Off Account: Drop-down used to designate your write off account.
  8. 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 Merchandise Profile, price child form and click the Goto arrow to go to the Price Profile.)
      • Deferred: To defer revenue, select the deferred checkbox and then select the deferred revenue account. You will also have the option of entering a date of when the amount should be recognized.
      • Track inventory: To track inventory, select the track inventory checkbox and then select the COGs and damaged goods account(s) if you plan to implement Cost of Goods (COGs) accounting methods. Note that it is important to select this checkbox if you plan to keep track of inventory amounts for this publication even if you do not plan to implement COGs accounting methods. In other words, if this checkbox is NOT selected, NetForum will not track inventory amounts for this merchandise which also means you will not be able to generate fulfillment reports.

Price Control Attributes Section

To complete adding a publication to NetForum , you must specify the price control attributes, located on the bottom of the Publication 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Member Type: The Member Type drop-down becomes available when you select Member in the Member drop-down field. If you want your publication 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.
  3. Customer Type: The Customer Type field enables you to specify if the customer purchasing the publication is an Individual, an Organization, or a Chapter. If you leave this field blank, all customer types will be able to purchase the publication. 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.
  4. 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 topic, 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Click the Save button to save your changes and enter your publication into inventory.

Important Checkboxes When Adding a Publication

Tip: There are three important checkboxes that should be double-checked each time you enter a new publication into inventory. These three checkboxes affect other systems within inventory. If they are not selected, you should be reminded of what will be affected later.

Checkbox Description
Shippable Selecting the shippable checkbox allows your publication to be shipped by a Shipping Carrier you select (UPS, FedEx, etc.). More importantly, selecting shippable also allows you to create Fulfillment Reports for your warehouse so that your organization knows what inventory is available, has been committed and so forth.
Taxable Flag If you do not have the taxable flag selected, this item cannot have tax applied when it is purchased in any state or country.
Track Inventory The track inventory checkbox enables more than just Cost of Goods (COGs) accounting methods. The track inventory checkbox also means that an exact count of your publication inventory is now kept in your warehouse and in NetForum based on amounts you specify.

Finding Publication Records

Finding publications 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 publications within the Inventory module follows the same format and function. You may search by the following:

  • Publication Code
  • Publication Name
  • ISBN Number
  • Number of Pages
  • Edition
  • Weight
  • Keyword

The Advanced View checkbox allows you to conduct Boolean searches to broaden and narrow your search as needed.

Managing Publication Records

Navigating to the Publication Profile

The Publication Profile page is displayed once you have entered a new 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 menu, click Publication. You can then choose to List Publication or Find Publication items.
  • You can also choose to click on the Publications icon from the Inventory content group page.

Depending upon which publication you choose, its Publication Profile page will display.

Publication Profile

The Publication Profile shows the publication name, product code, category, price availability dates, G/L account information, business unit, project name (if applicable), whether or not this inventory is tracked, whether or not this product is taxed, whether or not partial shipments are allowed, merchandise weight, and the delivery method.

Additional information such as ISBN numbers, year published, edition, print date, and number of pages is specified for publications that you do not see on profile pages for merchandise inventory. Further, you are also able to view online information for publication items such as the post to web date, when to remove it from the web, and how long to specify this item as a 'new' item.

There are several child forms that can be accessed from each publication profile page 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 Tab

Prices Child Form

The Prices tab on the Publication Profile contains one child form that you are able to manipulate; the publication price child form.

This child form enables you to add additional prices for the same publication. 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 publication, 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 publication.

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 publication 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.

Affiliated Products Tab

The Affiliated Products tab on the Publication Profile enables you to associate other products to the publication you are currently viewing in the Publication Profile.

For example, you can assign complementary, substitution, and prerequisite publications that can or should be purchased first. In the example above, the following publications have been suggested as affiliated products:

  • A 12 oz. NetForum Coffee Mug is suggested as a complementary purchase when purchasing the Association Management Tasks for Novice book.
  • An NetForum Tee-Shirt is suggested as a substitution product if the book is out of stock.
  • A prerequisite of Learning C++ in 101 Days is the prerequisite publication suggested in this case (it is a very technical association!).

Each child form is described more in detail below.

Complementary Product Child Form

The complementary product child form enables you to specify what publication or product in inventory is a complementary product (to the publication you are currently viewing) and recommended for purchase to your customer. Click the Add Record button to specify the complementary item in a drop-down menu.

For more information, view the Complementary Products page.

Substitute Products Child Form

The substitute product child form enables you to specify what product or publication in inventory can be substituted for the item you are currently ordering in the event it is not available and you do not want to place it on back order. Click the Add Record button to specify the substitute item that should be used.

Once a substitute item has been specified, you will notice on the Centralized Order Entry pages now that the substitute product drop-down contains the item for the products identified. You are able to click on the Add link directly within the COE form to add the substitution product should you need to do so.

Prerequisites Child Form

The prerequisites child form enables you to specify what product or publication in inventory must be purchased first before the item you are currently viewing. Click the Add Record button to specify the prerequisite item that should be purchased. For example, memberships may be specified as required before the purchase of certain items.

Once a prerequisite item has been specified, you will notice on the Centralized Order Entry pages now that the prerequisite product error message will be generated if you try to purchase this item first without purchasing the prerequisite product first. As noted in the example above, Learning C++ in 101 Days has been specified as a prerequisite publication to the Association Management book. Therefore, this item cannot be purchased before the purchase of the C++ book which is why this error message has been generated.

For more information, view the Product Prerequisites page.

Miscellaneous Tab

The Bundle Child Form

The Miscellaneous tab contains four child forms that are very easily set-up, beginning with the bundle child form.

The bundle (component of) child form will show you if this publication belongs to a bundle. You do not add this publication to a bundle on this page. That is completed in the Product Bundles set-up. However, if you have previously added this publication to a bundle, it will be noted here. In this example, the Association Management book has been added to a bundle.

The Keywords Child Form

The keywords child form contains all the keywords that have been assigned to this publication through a combination of the Admin module and the Keyword action bar icon. For more information on how to assign keywords to a publication so that it can be searched through keywords, view the Keywords page. Only users with Admin access can add new keywords to the system.

The People/Companies Child Form

The people/companies child form enables you to add additional information about the publication such as associated roles and customer types. Add a new role to your publication by clicking the Add Record button.

Once you associate a role to a publication, you may also add commissions to the role if appropriate by clicking on the add commissions link. This will allow you to specify the percentage of commission allowed per role as well as the minimum and maximum sales (per publication) required for the commission rate. Note that you must set-up the roles you want to associate to your publications (such as author, editor, publisher, etc.) first in the Inventory Setup module before they will appear in the people/companies child form.

The Publication/Shipping Child Form

The shipping region childform enables you to specify what shipping carrier you will use to distribute this product upon purchase. Note that you must have previously set-up your carrier first for it to be available in the drop-down menu. Click the Add Record button to specify the carrier that should be used. When you select the appropriate carrier, the values you assigned to that carrier such as name and shipping costs associated with that carrier will also be filled.

Inventory Tab

Inventory Items and Vendor Child Form(s)

The Inventory tab contains two child forms: Inventory Items and Vendor.

The inventory child form enables you to specify and view what warehouse your publication is being stored and distributed from (if it is a physical publication as opposed to, for example, a PDF or soft copy publication). Note that you must have previously set-up your warehouse first for it to be available in the child form. By noting the Quantity on Hand field for each warehouse that a publication is stored from you are able to ascertain an exact count of how much this particular publication you have. Note that you must be tracking inventory to manage this which means that you must select the track inventory checkbox when you first enter this publication into your NetForum inventory.

Click the Add Record button to add a new warehouse or to make modifications to your current warehouse for this publication.

For example, the image below demonstrates the following for this warehouse selected on this particular publication:

  • The primary location box is selected so that if another warehouse is added this warehouse location is designated as the primary
  • The low inventory checkbox is selected designating that the user wants to be notified when the product number is 'low on inventory'
  • The notification email has been filled in so that the user can be notified by email when inventory becomes low as specified
  • The reorder point has been specified for this product at 20. This means that when the warehouse tracks this inventory at 20 remaining, the user will be sent an email with this notice so he/she can order more of the product from the vendor.

The vendor child form specifies which vendor has been assigned to create or distribute this publication. Just as with the inventory child form, you must have previously assigned or added a vendor to this publication 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. Just as when you add a new merchandise vendor, when you add the publication vendor from the Publication Profile you are given the opportunity to add invoice payment terms, production lead time, and estimated unit cost for the publication.

Editing Publication Data

Just above the child form tabs is an Edit button that enables you to add and view additional, related information about the publication you are viewing.

On the Publication Profile page, if you click Edit, the Edit Publication Product dialogue box allows you to change any of the information you entered at the Publication Setup window and also enables you to add a reorder point. This means that when the quantity of this publication reaches the number you place in this field in the warehouse, additional inventory will need to be added.

Note by the screenshot below that the Edit Publication Product dialogue window also supplies a Web Integration section that enables you to add information about adding your publication for distribution to the Web.

You are able to add the following information:

  • A thumbnail image displaying your publication
  • A 'show as new' date which means an image will display noting this publication as a new publication until the date you specify that it is no longer new
  • An URL where the publication can be downloaded in electronic format
  • The number of days the publication should be available on the Web
  • An editable field where you can enter an online abstract that describes your publication.

This information is normally added through the web information icon (next to the edit and keywords icons) or at publication creation.

Re-allocating Publications to Another Warehouse

The re-allocate inventory icon on the Publication Profile page allows you to move publications from one warehouse to another warehouse.

To re-allocate inventory:

  1. Go to the Publication Profile.
  2. Click the re-allocate inventory icon.
  3. On the inventory re-allocation window, select the original warehouse.
  4. Enter the quantity to be re-allocated.
  5. Select the second warehouse.
  6. Click re-allocate inventory.

Ordering Publications Using Centralized Order Entry

Once your publication has been set-up within NetForum , you may begin to sell it on your Web site or use the Centralized Order Entry (COE) process in NetForum to sell publications yourself to individual customers. This process is described below. For more details on COE, visit the Centralized Order Entry page.

To Order Publications Using Centralized Order Entry:

  1. Go to the Individual Profile who needs a specific publication that you want to sell.
  2. Click the Order Entry icon.
  3. On the Centralized Order Entry | Order page, expand the Product Selector menu and select publications.
  4. The Centralized Order Entry - Publications | Add Publications window appears. Select a category type to search for in the category drop-down menu. In this example, a non-fiction author example is used so that is selected in the screenshot.
  5. Once you have selected the type of publication you want to order in the category drop-down, you are able to search for all products under that category your organization has available in inventory. You do this by using the LookUp button .
  6. The LookUp button returns a list of publications available in inventory. Select the publication you want to order. Note the following fields are now automatically filled in for you:
    • The full publication name is now completed above the category drop-down you selected
    • The product code acronym is displayed
    • Sale price, quantity, and list price are assigned
    • Because you are ordering this item directly from the individual's profile page, his/her name and shipping address are also automatically listed
    • The warehouse where this product is stored is detailed.
  7. You may modify the sale price and quantity fields as desired. However, if you modify the sale price of the item, you must specify the reason for overriding the original price in the override reason drop-down. If this drop-down is blank, it is because your Accounting department has not specified override reasons in their day-to-day workflows. This is accomplished in the Accounting module, under set-up. For more information on specifying price overrides, see the Price Override Reason section.
  8. If any discounts or shipping rates will apply to this product, you can apply them by clicking on the apply discounts and apply shippingicons. All amounts applied will appear in the Discount/shipping/tax area as well as in the itemized total.
  9. Click Save & Add Another to add another item, or click Save & Finish to return to the Centralized Order Entry | Order page.
  10. Notice that when you return to the Centralized Order Entry | Order page, a line item has now been added to the 'Line Items' section specifying what publication you have ordered for the customer. In this example, a book on association management. The line items details the quantity, price, any discounts, taxes, and shipping rates specified.
  11. Before you can save this publication order, you need to specify which batch will handle the payment. You do that in the batch drop-down menu within the batch section.
  12. Next, select a payment type in the type drop-down . Various payment methods will then become available depending upon the type you choose. For example, selecting a type of prepaid will allow you to choose a method of check or credit card whereas selecting a type of terms will prompt you to specify invoice terms.
  13. Select a payment method (type of credit card, cash, or check) or invoice terms depending upon the type of payment you chose.
  14. For credit card transactions, enter the credit card number, credit card expiration date, card holder's name, and payment amount.
  15. Select the auto apply checkbox to apply the payment to the credit card.
  16. Click Save. The transaction is added to the Individual Profile, payments child form. If you check the warehouse where the merchandise item is stored you will also notice that the committed amount has been increased by the amount of items you ordered while the amount available has been decreased by that same amount (if you have selected the track inventory checkbox for this particular merchandise item). This means that your warehouse has committed X amount of this product to this individual thereby decreasing the available amount in storage. For more detailed information on batch processing, review the Batch topic.

Publication Keyword

Publication Keyword covers how to add a keyword for publication and then add it to a publication.

Configuring a Product to Sell Online

Configure a Product to Sell Online covers how to set-up a product for sale in eWeb.