But what does it take to get this kind of information into the system?
1. The manufacturer has a small number of products per invoice, typically with large-dollar items.
2. There are specific items under promotion, or which otherwise require more specific tracking.
In these types of cases, the entering of that information is worth the extra time. However, on a larger scale when we talk about line item detail, we need to talk about invoice import with line item detail.
When importing the data, does it take more effort to get the line item details?
Absolutely not (well, 30 seconds I guess is not absolutely no extra time). Here is what we are talking about:
Changing from the Invoice Totals to the Line Item Details section is just a click and selection of the appropriate columns in the spreadsheet. With this change there is absolutely no difference in the number of conflicts or other time the user needs to spend with the import.
Sounds simple. What is the challenge then?
There is but one challenge -- getting your manufacturer to send you a report with the details. Many manufacturers already send this information, whether it is in the commission statement or existing reports the e-mail out. The format, of course, needs to be some type of spreadsheet that can be imported (as is the case for any totals being imported currently).
If your manufacturers are not already sending you the details, it is an easy topic to discuss with them -- the manufacturer should be quite aware how details of what a customer is buying drastically changes the conversation with the customer and improves the sales rep's ability to cross-sell, track promotions, and generally have a much better understanding of the territory.
What needs to happen on the technical side is an addition to, or new report with the line items in it. This conversation needs to be had internally at the manufacturer, and typically needs to be driven by management as a business enhancer. To help get the conversation started, EYOND has put together a set of letters and specifications to explain the benefits and give the technical details to the manufacturer. Contact us for a copy to send out to your manufacturers.