How to Setup a Catalog

Your catalog is a global (for all locations) database of:

 

  • everything you inventory
  • every service you provide
  • every device you repair.

 

Think of it as a master price list. Your Catalog is closely tied to the accuracy of your reports, so we have designed the catalog in such a way that it is not easy to add new items on the fly (i.e. during ticket creation). If you create your catalog before-hand then you eliminate the possibility of typos, duplicate entries, incorrectly named items etc. As a result, you have good business data that is able to generate clear and accurate reports for the metrics you want to see. You do have to spend more time up-front developing your catalog before you can effectively use RepairQ, but we feel it is well worth the investment. 

 

Here is a visual diagram that shows you the hierarchy of your catalog:

 

 

All of the following sections are found under settings, and only the manager or inventory manager has permission to access them.

Item Types

Item types are essentially high-level categories to organize your catalog. You set certain characteristics at the item type level like whether items will be taxable, contribute towards cost of goods, etc. A common list might look like this:

 

  • Phone
  • Pre-Paid Phone Services
  • Accessory
  • Part
  • Labor
  • Other
  • Other Device(s) - Tablet, Game Console, 2-Way Radio, etc
Each item type lets you set the following characteristics:
  • Taxable => this flag designates that sales tax must be collected when this item is sold to a customer
  • Pretaxed => this flag designates that sales tax was paid when the item was purchased from the supplier
  • Labor => this flag designates this item is labor (labor have unique hooks in the system)
  • Part => this flag designates this item is a part (parts have unique hooks in the system)
  • Can bundle => this flag is combined with the Part or Labor flag to allow bundling of parts and labor into a single line item on a ticket. Bundling a part with labor lets you remove a part from inventory without letting the customer know how much the part cost you. Your profitability report will also benefit from the extra information regarding the cost of goods for the services you render.
Item Types are simply groups of Catalog Items with similar characteristics.  Therefore the characteristics designated for an item type apply to each Catalog Item categorized under it.  Before you start setting up your Catalog Items you need to decide what Item Types you need to setup for your Catalog. You might start by asking yourself the following questions:
  • What are the sales/value-added tax laws in my state? These can vary based on the transaction, and it will affect whether items are taxable, pretaxed, or if it would be advantageous to bundle parts & labor or charge separately. You don't want to be double taxed right? Make sure you consider:
    • Merchandise
    • Parts
    • Labor
    • Parts added to labor as a single line-item charge
    • Labor added to parts as a single line-item charge
  • Do I want to bundle parts & labor together into a single line-item charge on tickets, or do I want to charge for them separately?
  • How many categories do I need to organize my catalog and my physical inventory?
  • Some reports are organized by Item Type, so think about how you want your sales to roll-up into high-level categories. See picture below for an example of this:

Sales/VAT Tax Resources:

Manufacturers

We will likely have a pre-filled list of manufacturers for you, but if you wish to add/edit/remove any of them it is your prerogative. Manufactures add an additional level of categorization for inventory items.

Tips:

 

  • you can add a "N/A" or "DNA" for catalog items where "manufacturer" doesn't apply
  • you can add a manufacturer called "Internal Labor" for labor catalog items

 

Adding Catalog Items

Once you have your item types and manufacturers setup, you can setup your catalog. We recommend you come up with standardized naming conventions for your catalog items so that you can grow your business effectively without losing the ability to track the important things. Here are a few broad guidelines to help put some handles on this:

  • You should have a catalog item for each distinct item you want to add to a ticket.
  • You should have a catalog item for each item you want to track separately because:
    • Revenue reports are organized by catalog item
    • Productivity reports are organized by catalog item
    • Marketing lists are generated by catalog item
  • You should have a catalog item for each device you repair (and/or sell), this will allow you to attach an item as a repair device on a repair ticket.
    • You must select the "is repairable" checkbox for each of these items.
    • It is OK to setup separate Catalog Items for phone models that are both Inventory Items (things you sell) and Repair Devices (things you repair)
      • iPhone 4S - this may be the name of a catalog item that you setup for repairs only
      • iPhone 4S White 32G - this may be then name of a catalog item you setup for sales only
    • You may want to have an "other" catalog item to handle the exceptions
      • With so many models out there in the world, it might be difficult to keep the rare and old models in your catalog. Since employees cannot add a catalog item on-the-fly (from the ticket screen), they may need a catch-all item for the rare exceptions. They will still be able to describe what "other" means in this case by using the repair device "description" field.
    • Read How Should I Setup My Repair Devices for more info
Each catalog item has the following information:
  • Item type
  • Manufacturer - you can add a "N/A" or "DNA" for catalog items where this doesn't apply; you can add a manufacturer called "Internal Labor" for labor catalog items
  • SKU - this is a unique alpha-numeric number that is used for barcodes and quick searches
  • UPC- You can create a custom UPC for a Catalog Item, or use this field to link an existing UPC to a catalog item.
  • Name - this is the name or description that appears in searches when adding an item to a ticket
  • Search Key - this is basically a way to "tag" this item to help guide search results. Enter a separate search key per line.
  • Repairable - Does this catalog item represent an item you perform repairs/services for? This will allow you to attach this catalog item as a "repair device" on a repair ticket.
  • Inventoried - Do you keep this item in your physical inventory?
    • Serialized - Do you want to serialize each individual item under this catalog item? This will force you to enter the right serial number when adding an item to a ticket.  This is great for tracking ESN/IMEI on phones or for tracking high dollar merchandise/parts to deter theft.
    • Restocking fee - allows you to set a mandatory restocking fee for returned items
    • Reorder Quantity - when the instock quantity reaches the reorder quantity a re-order warning is generated for this item
  • Price - default price you charge for this item. This can be overridden when adding inventory
  • Cost - default cost you pay for this item. This can be overridden when adding inventory

Catalog Import

 

You can add catalog items in batches with the spreadsheet import feature. At the bottom of your catalog list  you will find the import feature. 

 

Before importing your catalog, there are a few things you should be aware of.

 

  1. You must have all of the item types used in the import file already created in your system.
  2. You must have a manufacturers used in the import file already created in your system.
  3. Each SKU# must be unique

 

Read our How to Import Data Into RepairQ article for more help.

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