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4.6. Sales and invoicing

A sale in the strict sense is the immediate delivery of the goods to the customer, often against immediate payment. Here is the sales record and issue the customer an invoice or receipt. The sales function in the broader sense also includes the stages of inquiry, offer, order and delivery.

In Fig. 23 on page 96 a distinction is made between the color marking of the rectangles in sales and sales. As with procurement, acquiring new customers and servicing key accounts requires more attention, while routine order processing is easier to automate and requires less skilled labor. In Fig. 24 on page 97, however, both tasks are assigned to the sales module, which is identified by the letter "F". This module supports sales and sales alike.

4.6.1. Customer master data (30)

Similar to the vendor master data (7), the customer master data is also recorded. This includes every address, under which interest was registered for their own products. The goods and customer master data are linked to the initiation of sales. (Arrows 36 + 37)

Customer master data can not be entered in anonymous markets. For stores, the chain is very short. The customer comes into the business, decides, pays the goods and takes them with them. Thus, the entrepreneur can recognize any regular customers, they do not ask for their wishes and they do not inform about new offers. The communication between supplier and buyer takes place via price tags and information about the product characteristics. In addition, the provider can inform unilaterally with his advertising.

4.6.2. incoming inquiries (4)

The incoming requests from potential customers have already been addressed in the context of marketing in response to the promotional activities. But they are also a starting point for the sale. The customers are interested, but do not immediately place an order. In the ERP system, an offer is prepared after a request has been received. For this purpose, customer requirements that are often not formulated concretely need to be assigned to the goods master data. At the same time, the potential customer is created in the customer base as an address, but here marked as an interested party (= potential customer).

Even if there is no order, there are important findings with requests received. It is now known which products the potential customer needs and more can be learned about him. He can later - without bothering him - continue to be informed about current prices or new products. Alternatively, it could also turn out that this prospective customer is not considered as a customer. This would then be noted in the customer master data and also in the future to waste no working hours for him.  

4.6.3. outgoing offer (31)

In the specific offers to specific interested parties - regardless of whether collected or unsolicited offers - the interests and needs of interested parties should be addressed. Even from the care of regular customers can come a request, which was then but compared to the seller often verbally formulated in conversation. (Arrow 40) The sales should make a note about this. In addition to text modules (individual or standardized for customer groups or periods), product names, brief descriptions and prices are taken from the goods master data. Different prices can be formulated for different customer groups. The affiliation to the respective customer group results from the customer master data. (Arrow 41) For offers as replies to inquiries, the data is taken from the recorded customer requests. (Arrow 42)

Outgoing offers are the basis for negotiations with customers. It can be expected that some of the products offered will be taken out later and / or other products added later. There will be several versions of an offer that should be available later. Internal versions that the customer has not received can be deleted. Simulated scenarios of the order to be kept are marked as an internal version of the offer.

4.6.4. incoming order (32)

In Fig. 23 on page 96, this function, as well as the following, is assigned to the paragraph by the color of the rectangles, that is to say a rather executable and automatable function.

Orders may be made on the basis of an inquiry and offer, or from an existing business relationship based on previous offers or catalogs and price lists. For larger quantities or special materials, a purchase can be triggered via a requirement message (arrow 20). In the case of spontaneous orders, goods and customer master data must be assigned if they were not named by the customer. (Arrow 43) For orders from accepted offers, the data of the offer are under a new order no. to copy. (Arrow 44)

The final version of the offer, which is agreed upon with the customer, represents the content of the purchase contract concluded with the customer. If it is fulfilled later, a contract document or an order confirmation with the contract content and the completion date should be created here. This is especially true for a spontaneously incoming order. Here, the customer needs an assumption because there were no previous discussions.

4.6.5. Goods delivery (33)

With the delivery of goods, the order received is executed. As proof, the customer will be provided with a delivery note, on the copy of which he confirms the receipt or notifies quantity deviations or damage. The data from the order will be sent under a delivery note no. copied into the data of the delivery. (Arrow 45) The products produced are assigned to the order and deducted from the inventory of the items concerned. (Arrow 46)

This function includes the outbound logistics from the finished product warehouse to the customer. In this case, a good planning to avoid unnecessary transport and thus costs. It is also necessary to confirm that the customer has received the goods, e.g. by acknowledging the receipt on a delivery note. A delivery in this logic is also the pickup by the customer.


4.6.6. outgoing bill (34)

The data of the delivery is transferred to the billing for billing the order. (Arrow 47) After delivery, the customer will be issued with an invoice with a due date for payment. The data comes from order and delivery. For documentation in the event of complaints, cross-references to inquiries, quotations, orders and deliveries should be saved with the respective document numbers. For this purpose, a separate text document can be created, in which all editing comments should be included.

When selling for cash, the bill is usually created only in short form. The following function (incoming payment) will be canceled. With the short form of the invoice, the customer receives proof that he has bought the goods in this shop. This may be important in the complaint of defective items.

4.6.7. incoming payment (35)

If the services are not paid immediately, they must be settled with data from the sale. The receipt of payment is to be checked and the customers may be reminded. (Arrow 48) When the payment is received, the invoice is marked as cleared and the transaction is completed. The bank document forms the last cross-reference to the invoice.

In Fig. 23 on page 96, these and the previous function have been defined by the color marking of the rectangles as accounting tasks. However, these are largely automatable functions, so that this definition is more likely to be justified historically.