What issue does every trading business strive to conquer? Years of working with numerous different companies have taught me that most business owners would love to avoid being stuck with slow moving stock.

If they use SAP Business One then they can of course use the ‘Inactive Inventory’ report to check and review slower moving items.  However, this is not an ideal solution because by the time management run and review the report and work out a plan to deal with it, a few days may have passed and they would lose valuable selling time.

One good way around this is at the point of sale: when closing the sale, the salesperson involved should be knowledgeable of existing stock – in particular of items of which there plenty in stock and which may be suitable alternative or additional sale items.

SAP Business One has the alternative item function but it is purely used for substitution when certain items are out of stock.  However, it’s possible to combine this functionality with Boyum Solutions’ B1 Usability Package’s validation system to generate a pop up, even when there is enough stock to fulfil the order, which will remind salespeople to prioritise selling the alternative items that they have too much of in stock.

But how on earth do I do that?..
In order to do this, first enter the alternative items are overstocked in the Alternative Item table.  You can then either use the minimum stock level field or create a user-defined field to use as the ideal stock level for these alternative items.  Next you can set up a validation on line level on sales documents such as Sales Quotation or Sales Order.

This validation will be triggered whenever the user finishes entering the item code and goes to exit the field.  The validation will check first if the item entered has an alternative item and whether that item’s available quantity exceeds the ideal stock level.  If the answer is yes, then the system will generate a pop-up advising the user that there is an alternative item for the item he/she just entered, and that the alternative item has more stock than it should.   This reminder should prompt the user to try to sell the over-stocked item first before they sell the one they just entered.

This simple messaging functionality should help sales staff to sell any slow-moving or overstocked items first, without the need to constantly check which items they should sell first.

Alternative uses
A similar concept can be applied on discounted items, monthly specials, etc.  All you need to do is to set up a condition for the user and the system can then generate a pop-up showing any kind of reminder when the correct situation applies.

This pop-up message can also be substituted with other functions, such as launching an internal or external web page, a report or even a dashboard showing the sales trend of a certain item.

Use of this kind of functionality can be of tremendous benefit to a trading company during sales activities.  Not only do their salespeople know immediately which stock items they should sell first, but by checking the graphs/charts they can also plan how best to sell those items.  A case in point that the validation system featured in Boyum Solutions’ B1 Usability Package is indeed a very valuable sales aid.