ITrack Enterprise Overview
1. Inventory: What kind of parts can you enter into the program? When dealing with new parts, can you set min and max stock limits? Can you keep track of costs of each part? Can you enter more than one part at a time? What kind of information can you store about each part type and can you add pictures of each item? How are parts labeled in Enterprise?
2. Vehicles: Can you inventory whole vehicles? Is there a limitation to the amount of information that you can enter on each vehicle? How many pictures can you attach to each vehicle? Can you track internal costs of each vehicle?
3. Vendors and ordering: Can you enter all of your vendors and their parts into the program? Is it possible to do an import from a vendor catalog? Can you automatically build purchase orders? Is there a tool that allows you to make an educated decision as to which vendor to buy a part from? Can you search for a vendor's parts even if you don't happen to have that part in stock?
4. Core management: Are you able to track cores in Enterprise? How do you know which customers still owe you cores?
5. Customers: Can you keep track of customer accounts? Are past sales and quotes saved for future lookup? Can you keep track of customers' vehicles and the work that you have done on them? Can you store information on parts that a customer is looking for that you may not have on hand? If so, is there a way to search that? What information can you store about a customer?
6. Work Orders: Can you handle service and work orders on both parts and vehicles for not only customers, but also for internally used equipment? Can you keep track of parts and labor that you have invested in re-manufactured parts? Is that data reflected in the internal cost of the part or vehicle? Can you assign certain tasks to specific employees? Are there different pricing structures for internal part usage and for retail situations?
7. Deliveries: Is the software capable of keeping track of delivery schedules? Can you assign certain deliveries to specific drivers? If the part is shipped via UPS or FedEx, can you store tracking numbers in the program? Are there maps available suggesting the most efficient delivery routes.
8. Reports: What types of reports is the software capable of? Can I do a report on sales on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis? Can I build my own custom reports? What kind of inventory reports can I generate? If a report is needed that is not currently available, can I have custom reports made for me?
9. Online: Can I upload my inventory to my website from my program? Do you offer any kind of web services? How are backups done? Do I host my own data? What kind of support is offered for this software?
Inventory is central to ITrack Enterprise, and therefore a great amount of thought has gone into how it is stored, displayed, searched, and entered. Enterprise is flexible and allows the user to enter pretty much anything into your inventory, even things that don't have a physical representation. However, inventory history is much richer on those items whose quantity on hand fluctuates over time.
Because of the flexible part type system, in which a list of part types segment the user's inventory, ITrack allows the entry of pretty much anything. Common examples of inventory include used parts, new (replenishable) parts, vehicles, vehicle whole units, cores, etc.
Because Enterprise facilitates such a varied catalog of inventory, it must also support the gamut of different business models and the part entry methods to facilitate them. For example, a user could start by entering a vehicle, then quickly tearing that vehicle down into a whole list custom list of component parts. In addition, the user could start from the part information screen, rapidly entering replenishable parts straight out of their vendor's catalog.
Many tools exist in ITrack Enterprise for rapidly entering, modifying, and managing large quantities of parts. For example, the Part Information screen can replicate an inventory record to other branches with just a couple clicks. As mentioned before, replenishable inventory records can be rapidly populated out of a purchase vendor's catalog (which can be easily imported using the data management screen). In addition, the copy part functionality allows the user to take an existing inventory record and quickly make a very similar record (making just those modifications that they want). Both of these functions allow an inventory manager to quickly create new inventory records based on existing templates. For modifying or comparing large quantities of inventory records at once, the part modification screen allows the user to send a whole list of search results to a spreadsheet-like interface where you can update a field on thousands of parts with just one click (or even export your inventory to MS Excel).
No matter how you go about creating inventory records, ITrack facilitates the entry of a lot of different pieces of information. Here are examples of some of the more advanced pieces of information that can be associated with a part.
- Tag #: this field stores what you call a part, and it is what a part is called internally. Parts can be search by any information on the search screen, but Tag # has a special place as an inventory record's label. Many users define these numbers manually, while others set their Tag #'s to their default purchase vendor's part #, while yet others use the unique SKU of the inventory record. No matter how you like to refer to your parts, ITrack Enterprise can facilitate it.
- Serials: ITrack facilitates serialized inventory and the separate tracking of individual serial #'s.
- Q&A: ITrack allows the user to define a list of 'questions' based on part type, which can be prompts for any information. Then 'answers' can be defined for each part (for serialized parts, answers can be supplied separately for each serial #).
- Pictures: the user can attach as many digital pictures to each part or vehicle as they want. These pictures can be viewed on the part, printed with the vehicle, seen in the search screen, and even uploaded automatically to [] for online inventory advertisement.
- Attachments: inventory records can have attachments associated with them, allowing manuals, coupons, rebates, or other technical documents to be accessible directly from the part or search.
- Messages: messages are prompts that can be defined to show on various screens or print on various reports whenever that part is involved in the transaction. Example messages might be reminders to salesmen, or notes to pickers.
- Pricing levels: used parts have 4 price levels and a cost, and one core charge. In addition, replenishable (aftermarket) parts can have core charges defined at each pricing level.
- Reordering Information: replenishable inventory records can be marked as stocked or special order, have a reordering method defined (Min/Max or Historical), and can have advanced historical information defined (such as seasonal data, stocking point, stocking days, and a safety stock %).
- And much more...
In ITrack Enterprise, the concept of teardown lists are somewhat central to the categorization of vehicle records in the system. Essentially, the user can create as many teardown lists as they want, and associate one with every vehicle make/model combination. Directly, teardown lists allow the user to choose a list of part types that are automatically created when vehicles of that type go through the teardown process. For example, a company might only take the hood, wheels, engine, and transmission off of a certain class of vehicle. Creating a teardown and associating it with those vehicles facilitates this process automatically. In addition to the teardown process, Q&A for vehicles is associated with teardown lists, meaning that vehicles inherit their 'questions' based on their teardown type.
Another concept closely tied to vehicles in ITrack Enterprise is the creation of whole unit records, which are the inventory half of a vehicle record. Once a whole unit record is created for a vehicle (you can set your global settings such that all vehicles will have whole unit records automatically), you can do work on the unit, associate purchase costs with the unit, and even sell the unit like a normal inventory item.
No matter whether you associate a vehicle with a whole unit or not, you can always define a wide variety of data for the vehicles records you enter. From the automatic VIN decoding using VIN Power, to teardown and purchase tracking, to internal status tracking, to cost tracking and performance, vehicles allow the user associate any data with a vehicle that they would want to track. Below are some of examples of data that can be associated with a vehicle record in ITrack Enterprise.
- Stock #: similar to an inventory record's Tag#, a stock # represents the internal name of a vehicle, and can facilitate any naming scheme a company might require.
- Limitless Damage/Notes fields: the user is able to record as much data as they want in the unlimited notes and damage fields. If you note it, we remember it.
- Pictures: same as the inventory system, vehicles can have a limitless number of pictures associated with them. They can be viewed on the vehicles screen, the vehicle search, and they even show up for parts that came off of that vehicle. You can even hit the email button to send a vehicle spec sheet (with pictures) to a contact or customer.
- Attachments: as with inventory records, vehicles can have attachments associated with them. Such attachments might be titles, scanned documentation, or sale correspondence.
- Q&A: very similar to the inventory system, vehicles can have a user-defined list of 'questions' defined for each teardown list (which teardown list a vehicle uses is based off of its make/model).
- Vehicle cost tracking: in order to properly track the performance of a unit in ITrack, purchase costs, related fees, and internal work/rebuild orders are all tracked for a vehicle. ITrack Enterprise supports both VCR (vehicle cost ratio) part pricing and time of sale %OfP (percent of price) pricing. In VCR pricing, a portion of a vehicle's cost is assigned to each of its components at the time of breakdown based on ratios configured in the teardown. In %OfP, at the time of sale, parts consume a portion of a vehicle's cost when they are sold, based on a percentage of the part's sale price. No matter how a company likes to track vehicle performance, ITrack can track, maintain, and report vehicle costs and sale performance.
Vendors & Ordering
In ITrack, the tracking and maintenance of vendors and their catalogs is very well developed. Vendors can be entered with extensive information on the vendor screen and searched on the vendor list screen.
From the vendor screen, an unlimited number of contacts/addresses associated with each vendor, in the case of multiple vendor contacts or locations. Minimum order information and minimum prepaid freight information can be entered for automatic order generation. Attachments can be associated with the vendor, in order to easily store catalogs, documents, rebates, and other documents. Vendor messages allow the user to create prompts that will automatically display on certain screens or print on certain reports when this vendor is associated with the document. Also from the vendor information screen the user can easily view that vendor's catalog (and create/view matching parts) and purchase order history.
In addition to being able view a vendor's catalog from the vendor information screen, all vendors' catalogs can be searched from Enterprise's vendor pricing search on the search screen. This allows the user to quickly find all vendors who sell a particular item (the one that is the default purchase vendor for that part is be highlighted) and for how much. This search will search the entire vendor catalog, not just those items that you stock.
Since vendors continuously release new versions of their catalogs, ITrack facilitates quick and easy vendor catalog importing. These vendor catalogs can be imported either by ITrack specialists or by the user through the importer on the data management screen.
ITrack Enterprise also has a very fully featured automatic reordering subsystem. Based on part usage on work orders, sales orders (quotes and invoices), transfer orders, and purchase orders, the system can calculate what the available quantity and quantity on hand is for the item at each branch. This data is used to drive the inventory overview screen, which is designed to facilitate automatic, reordering, special order (hot item) management, consumption and order history, multi-branch purchase order creation, and stock transfer creation. Available and on hand quantity, along with part information, such as minimum quantity, maximum quantity, Tag #, order history, and consumption history are presented to the user with a suggested order quantity. This is designed to help the user build a suggested order to a specific purchase vendor.
In ITrack Enterprise, inventory items can be independently configured to require core returns to the purchase vendor and core exchanges from a customer. In addition, optional return time windows can be configured per item (120 days/30 days/unlimited/etc) to keep track of how long after purchase a core can be returned. If a part is sold to a customer that requires a customer core exchange, an inherent core charge will automatically be added to the order. The amount of the charge is based on the inventory record's core pricing levels and the individual customer's pricing markups.
If an acceptable dirty core exchange isn't entered immediately on the sale, an outstanding core exchange record will appear for that customer order on the core management screen. The core management screen keeps track of outstanding customer cores on the Customer Cores tab, shows returned customer cores on the Returned Cores tab, and shows outstanding vendor core charges on the Vendor Cores tab. As mentioned, the Customer Cores page allows the user to review and pursue outstanding customer cores. Once cores are returned, the Returned Cores tab allows the user to take returned core records and associate them with existing inventory records.
This facilitates the use of dirty core pools (serialized or otherwise), or creation of individual used dirty core records for each return, depending on company policy. As with many options that ITrack leaves up to the user, often one option is easier for one business model while the other option facilitates a completely different process. In this case, a company that returns most of its dirty cores to a vendor or who doesn't care about keeping track of the items individually will probably keep items in a dirty core pool for a specific Part #. However, a company that is a certified remanufacturer for a part type or who deals in a lot of used parts might keep track of the items separately to better track individual used part performance.
The last page, Vendor Cores, shows the user outstanding cores owed to purchase vendors. From here, the user can examine needed cores and initiate vendor returns. In order to facilitate returning cores with different core classes or qualities, the item that is returned to satisfy the owed core is flexible.
The customer management screen in Enterprise is very flexible and To be continued...