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Items & Stock Control

Items in NetHelpDesk allow you to have a list of items that you provide/sell/cost manage for your end-users. It can be used in simplistic terms with just an item name and sales price, so they can be issued onto tickets for tracking.

It can also be used for advanced items and stock management for control and analysis of all items, physical, service or otherwise that your organisation provides, with FIFO/AVCO costing and Accounts integration.

In other words, everyone can benefit from the items and stock control areas, regardless of the complexity or modesty of their needs.

Item and Stock 1

The items area needs to be switched on in the main configuration area, and also added to the Agent accounts permissions, for those who want to use this functionality.

Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control. Switch to blue (on).

Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Agents > Permissions. Tick Items on the main screen settings list.


Terminology

The difference between an Item and an Asset: Items are the things you provide. It could be a pen; it could be an expensive Audio/Visual unit. An Asset is something to track once the Item has been issued. A pen is not considered to be an Asset of a business, but an expensive Audio/Visual unit would be. NetHelpDesk treats them in these two ways.


Populating Items

There are two main ways of creating items in NetHelpDesk. One is to manually create each item, or the second is to import them from an external source. We provide an Excel spreadsheet preformatted for use with NetHelpDesk’s main import utility, available on the Tools ribbon.

First, you will need to create an Item Group, and an Item Type. Here are the examples in the database already to get you started:

Item and Stock 2

As with the rest of NetHelpDesk, this list is customisable to your company and industry type. Simply right click on “Items for Sale” to create a new Item Group. Right click on the Item Group to create a new Item Type.

Once you have this structure, you can then right click on the Type to create a new Item.


Generating ID numbers

The Item ID can be specified here.

Enter an ID number for the new item if you would like to manually set this, or leave set as Auto to automatically assign the next number.

Item and Stock 3

If you leave Auto, and click OK, the following message will appear. If the system is to automatically assign a number, it will ask if you want to use the next very highest number?

Item and Stock 4

By clicking Yes, it will use the next highest number. If you have been creating separate lists for different types of items, such as using a 10xx prefix for Monitors, and 20xx prefix for Mice and so on, and you are adding to the list of Mice, it will pick the next very highest number in that list.

If not, it will use the next available number in the database. So if ID 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 have been used, it will select this item as ID 4, as it is the next available number in the database.


Item Entry

Here we will manually create an item first, and then go into how it can be used beyond its basic entry.

Item and Stock 5

Main Details

Main Description*

This is the main label used to identify the item in any of the lists it appears in. May include other items listed here. How you use this list, and how much detail you put is your choice.

Top Level Category

Use this as a place marker or bookmark, to jump to this item in lists quickly. If you have lots of items to add to the database, this helps to ‘categorise’ them into groups.

Status

Item statuses can be added in N > Setup > Main Configuration > Statuses.

Sales Price

The amount to be charged to your end-user, whether just for reporting purposes, charging to a cost centre, or being added to an invoice with billing engine integration.

Cost Price

The amount that is charged to you by your provider (Supplier/Vendor). It will cost you this amount to order this item to resell, or use. If there is no cost associated, simply add 0.00 as a value.


Other Fields

Alternative Description

If there is a secondary description that you need to use for this item, specify it here. It may be internal descriptions that aren’t seen by end-users, or further detail to be provided to the end-user. It is not a mandatory use field.

Created By

Whoever generates this item entry, their Agent ID will appear here. It is not possible to edit this once created.

Supplier

This is the name of the provider of this item.

Supplier Part Code

If using NetHelpDesk to order items through the Purchase Order functionality, linking the Supplier and specifying the Supplier Part Code here is the basics for PO generation in NetHelpDesk. Even if it is just for reference, a useful field to have.

Linked Asset Type

If this Item is to become a tracked asset of the end-user once it is issued, you can link an Asset Type (not Asset Group) to the item. If none is selected here, then NHD will not prompt to generate an Asset.


The Notes area allows for any free text about that particular item. Ideas include, how it came about that you needed that item for your end-users, whether it is likely to be a short-lived item, or who is more likely to need it.


Using Items in Tickets

Once you have created one item or several items, you can then start using them in Tickets. Using the Add button, you can add these items to the following options:

    - Items To Be Issued

    - Quotations

    - Sales Orders

    - Purchase Orders

The items that you have added will appear in the list. You can update items once they have been added, by double clicking on the fields. So, if a customer purchases a one-time piece of software that no one else uses, simply used an item called Miscellaneous generic one-off items. You do not have to add every single item to the Database that may not be used again. If you double click on the description, Item Code, Qty, Price, Cost Centre, Location, you can update these as you go.

    1. Once an item is consigned to a sales order, or items are issued on a ticket, their stock level (if used) will automatically decrease.

    2. If you are going to use the items, but not utilise the Stock Control functionality, make sure this is switched off, as below.

    3. To do this, go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control > Stock Control > Check the box for Do not track stock levels.

    4. The item will then be issued against the ticket for reporting and/or billing purposes.

    5. If you don’t use billing integration with NetHelpDesk, this information can still be reported on, and handed to your procurement and/or finance teams to process. This can be for billing customers externally, or charging budgets assigned to cost centres internally.

    6. There are filters added to the top of the screen, to start searching quickly for items in large lists.

    7. The Top Level added earlier serves as a bookmark to jump to a certain point in the list, as your items will be organised by this Top Level Type, and the first column available after the Item’s unique ID identifier in the database.

    8. A new Item can be created from these screens ad hoc, and added to the Items list.

    9. If more than one location is being used for the stock, then a Show All Locations checkbox is available for this.

Item and Stock 6

As you can see, a lot of the items listings lends itself to Stock Control as well. When you have multiple locations for stock, whether


Populating Items En Masse

If you Items list is quite large, you may want to import a list of items quite quickly. There are some integrations that can handle these, and are dealt with in their own guides.

Go to the Tools Ribbon > Import > Items. You can then use the Items preformatted spreadsheet. Instructions are on the spreadsheet highlighted in blue.

Item and Stock 7

The columns in blue are the parts for basic Items import population. The other parts of the sheet are not required for basic item usage. The examples in this sheet can be removed. Make sure also to remove the instructions before using this spreadsheet.


Stock Control

Once the basic details of the item are in the database, if you wish to move onto Stock Control, the next option along allows you to record the basics of Stock Control. Make sure you have this functionality set to active, or NHD won’t process the stock levels for you.

    1. Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control > Stock Control > Uncheck the box for Do not track stock levels.

    2. To see stock levels that may have been brought in by an import spreadsheet, you may need to click off of the Item view, and go back into it again to see stock levels.


Populating Current Stock Levels

In the Tools ribbon, the Receive Stock button is available to be able to bring items into stock as either:

    a) Part of an initial import, or

    b) Part of a stock take, or

    c) To use an item that has been ordered in from your Vendor/Supplier.

Item and Stock 8

PLEASE NOTE: If when you look at the Item Details screen, the Qty in Stock number is greyed out, it means that stock level tracking has not been switched on yet, as per the point previously in this guide.

They will also not be available in the Items main screen overview, but as soon as the stock level tracking is switched on, they will appear.

The Receive Stock button displays the Goods In screen, where items can be added to stock.

Item and Stock 9

Search

Allows you to look for items in large lists. Clicking on the search button will allow the highlight cursor to jump to the next match of the search criteria you find.

Stock Location

Initially, there will be just one Stock Location by default, termed Main Location. You can add and edit these locations in N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control > Stock Locations, or by selecting Items in the main Screen > Edit Locations.

Qty

Specify the number of items being brought into stock.

Cost

By default, the person bringing items into stock will need to specify the cost of the items purchased, if the item default is set to 0.00. To switch off cost tracking, go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control > uncheck ‘Costs Must Be Entered on Goods In Screen’.

Stock Take

By selecting this box, the integers added to the Qty field will replace the values of Qty in Stock, rather than add to the number. If the number remains at 0, the stock number remains unchanged. If -1 is used, this will zero the stock amounts. To be used as part of a stock take process.

Purchase Order

If you are using Purchase Orders, either as a stand-alone feature, or part of the larger “Quotes Thru Bill” process, you can select a PO to filter the items. The only ones that will appear in your list upon selection, will be the ones specified on the purchase order.


The screen will then display Goods Received – Please refresh the main stock screen upon completion of this process.


Asset Tracking

By clicking on OK once you have everything in this screen you need, and you are utilising the Asset Management part of NHD, by default, NHD will prompt you to create existing Assets for the items you are checking into stock in this screen.

PLEASE NOTE: As above, the difference between an Item and an Asset: Items are the things you provide. It could be a pen; it could be an expensive Audio/Visual unit.

An Asset is something to track once the Item has been issued. A pen is not considered to be an Asset of a business, but an expensive Audio/Visual unit would be. NetHelpDesk treats them in these two ways.

To switch off this functionality of creating Assets here (you may want a different process, adding assets in another way), go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Items and Stock Control > uncheck ‘Must create/select Assets at Goods In Screen and Consignment Time.

However, if you wish to continue creating Assets at this step in your process, for asset tracking for the end-users’ new kit, populate the quantities, and click OK to continue.

    1) The Asset Tag column allows you to populate the field with the tag of an existing Asset you may be using in front of you.

    If you are not utilising Asset Tags specifically, but instead use the Asset Tag field as a unique identifier to show other information, you can populate this here. The information must be in the Asset Tag field in the Asset record.

    2) The Result column will auto-populate based on your next selections.

    3) To be able to create Assets from Items, another setting to make sure is in place, is the Linked Asset Type field against the Item itself.

Item and Stock 10

Create New Asset

Use this button if you wish to create each asset separately, and input all of the Asset’s data one-by-one straight away. If the item is linked to an Asset, NHD will display a blank, new asset screen with all of the Asset Fields set on that Asset Type. Please see separate guide for Asset Management.

Create Every Asset

Use this button if you would like to create all asset entries in one go. Useful if you have a particularly long list, and wish to populate all asset data later in your process.

Clear Selection

If you wish to clear the data you have entered, and the item is selected on the left, highlighted in blue, this button will clear the data entered.

Clear All

If you wish to clear all the data you have entered, this will clear everything in the list.

The screen will then display Goods Received – Please refresh the main stock screen upon completion of this process.


Stock Taking

When your stock is all populated in their various areas, should you ever need to be able to check stock levels, and ensure your stock numbers in NHD match reality, there is a nice Stock Taking feature available in the Receive Stock function.

    1. To have printable sheets of what stock is in NHD to take with you, there are various Item reports that can be downloaded from our online repository to run. Run and print these for your teams who will go to the location, and check that stock levels match reality.

    2. Once they return with the actual numbers, to update any details in NHD, go to the Tools Ribbon > Receive Stock > Stock Take Checkbox.

By selecting this box, the integers added to the Qty field will replace the values of Qty in Stock, rather than add to the number.

So, if in your original report, your stock number in NHD stated 5, but in reality is 3, checking this box, and adding the number 3 into the Qty, the stock level number in NHD will be changed to a 3.

If in your original report, your stock number in NHD stated 5, but in reality is 6, uncheck the stock take button, and add the number 1 into Qty. The stock level number in NHD will now increment by 1 to 6.

If the number remains at 0, the stock number remains unchanged.

If the value -1 is used, this will zero the stock amounts from whatever number is in NHD.

Please note: To stop Agents from abusing this feature, as an Admin user, go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Agents > Edit Account or Template > Permissions > Can Use Stock Take Feature.


Stock Control

The Stock Control tab on items allows an overview of key Stock data.

Item and Stock 11

Qty in Stock

The total number of this item that are considered to be in stock.

Qty on Order

Shows the sum total of all open Purchase Orders currently on order from your Suppliers/Vendors.

Qty Issued

The total number of this item that have been issued on tickets in the item’s lifetime in your database.

Goods In Units

The number of units that come when adding to your database i.e. do you purchase singular units, or do you buy packs of three, and so on?

Goods Out Units

The number of units that are dispatched when adding an item to your order. i.e. do you sell singular units, or do you sell in packs of three, and so on?

Re-order Level

The minimum number of units allowed to be in stock, before a new batch is ordered. Each Agent has the option to turn on a Re-order Level notification when the item hits this re-order quantity level.

Set the minutes between checks for re-order levels in the Advanced Settings tab, under Miscellaneous.

Re-order Qty

The number of units that are bought for re-orders.

Stock Levels

An overview of a stock location breakdown of Qty In Stock.


Stock Transfer History

To see an overview of Stock Transfers for that item, click the Stock Transfer History tab.

Item and Stock 12

Linked Assets

To see all of the Assets that are of the type that is linked to this Item type, click the Linked Assets tab.

Item and Stock 13

Advanced Costing/Pricing Information

By default, all items added will be based on a basic costing method. This allows for items to be added and issued in a standard way, with nothing else taken into consideration, other than the information as it is input.

AVCO

Calculates the Average Costing of all items currently in stock, and uses this amount as the Cost Price value for items as they are issued.

FIFO

Calculates the cost based on a First In, First Out basis. As Items are brought into stock, if the cost price is entered at this point, they are time and date stamped.

For example, if 10 items are currently in stock, and the first order of 4 items cost your business £20, and the subsequent order of 6 items cost £25, NHD will use the cost price of the first 4 items when issued on tickets or consigned to Sales Orders first, before utilising the subsequent 6’s cost price.

Service Fee

A static amount added to the item’s cost price to your business. Usually an expense associated with having someone experienced or with expertise to perform implementation of this item, perhaps a third-party Contractor.

Recovery

A static amount added to the Item’s cost price to your business. Usually an expense associated with implementing an item, and its subsequent depreciation, if there isn’t any hope of salvaging anything from the item’s value after a set period of time.

Margin %

A static percentage of margin added to an item’s Cost Price, to calculate the Item’s sale price. A minimum amount to calculate the sales price with.

Calc Sales Price

If this is selected, it will utilise the Cost Price of the Item, with the Margin percentage (%), the Service Fee and the Recovery Fee to calculate the Sales Price.


Advanced Settings

Some customers have asked us for additional fields in their Item and Stock Management, and these fields are available for all to use, as needed. Explanations of potential usage are:

Bin Location

Location of Item to pick for an order. In large stock locations, items may be separated into bins or pick areas, to allow the Order Fulfilment Agent to locate the item fast at that location.

External Reference

A reference you provide to your end-user, if it differs from the Supplier Part Code, especially if you produce your own catalogue for your end-users to choose from.

Internal Reference

A reference used internally in your organisation, if it differs from your Supplier Part Code and External Reference.

Nominal Code

Used in the Sage integration, when creating an invoice from the sales order, it will override the nominal code in Sage.

Accounts ID

How this Item is referenced in your Third Party Accounts Package, for use with Account Software Integration with NHD, or your Finance/Accounts Team reports, if used.

PO Accounts ID

How this Item is reference in your Third Part Accounts Package, for Purchase Orders for your Suppliers/Vendors, if different from the Accounts ID.

Tax Code (Sales)

When selling an item, a standard tax code to be added to the order, and used for invoicing.

Tax Code (Purchases)

When buying an item, a standard tax code to be added to the order, and used for invoicing.

Not Consignable

Allows the item to be issued on a ticket, but cannot be consigned to a Sales Order.

Apply Discount

At the Area/Client level, a discount can be added to all items added to Sales Orders or issued on tickets for that Area/Client. If the item is eligible for discount at that level, ensure this is checked.

Make Item Obsolete

Retains all data added to this item for auditing purposes, but Item will not be available to select or add to its various uses throughout the software.

Delete Item

Removes the Item from the database. Cannot be undone.


Stock Templates

Stock Templates allow you to create lists of standard stock items to populate stock locations fast.

For example, if you have a standard issue of kit that is in Engineer’s vans, and you have a new joiner, you will be able to set up the new Engineer’s van stock items fast. You can then add stock amounts in a stock take at that location.

Item and Stock 14

When you create a new Stock Location, the screen will allow you to select the Stock Template relevant to your new location.


Stock Locations

If accounting for items in more than one place, then using more than one stock location is sensible. Name each Stock Location based on the details of those places. Some suggestions below.

Item and Stock 15

When adding to the Stock Location list, each location allows for a default Area/Client and Site, and a Stock Template to use.

Item and Stock 16

When bringing Items into stock, and Asset Tracking is being utilised, if the PO is not for a customer, those items will need an Area/Client and Site to create the assets against.

This may be an Area/Client and Site in the treeview you have created for this type of scenario, or if you created yourselves as an “Area/Client” in the treeview, and Items yet to be sold are tracked as Assets of your business or area.

So, if ordering in 10 new PCs in a Purchase Order to your Supplier, when received, if 4 are to go out onto a customer’s sale order, but the other 6 are to remain in your stock cupboard, then the Client used for Devices (serialised) and Site used for Devices (Serialised) will provide a default place those Item’s Assets will be stored.

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