Reorganizing Purchase Products (vs. Starting Over)
After you've used JobTracker Inventory for a while, you might start to question the decisions you made when you set it up. Use it long enough, and you'll probably wish you could just start over and enter all new purchase products, attributes, etc. What we've learned, however, is that starting over almost never works - instead, it's better to evolve what you have and make it better. Here are some tips for doing that.
Clean Up Your Existing Inventory
A good place to start is to clean up your existing inventory and make sure that it's correct. If you have a bunch of old material in the system that no longer exists in real life, let us know by sending an email to email@example.com - we can work with you to create adjustments to zero out that material.
After you change your purchase products, you'll still need to manage the old inventory until it's gone (or until you zero it out and recreate it with new purchase products), so it's important to make it correct.
Set Up New Product Families and Product Lines
Remember that Product Families and Product Lines are simply for organizing Products internally. They are not shown on POs. If you notice that you have a hard time creating inventory views with all the material you want to see, then you probably need to create a new hierarchy. Many customers use a Product Family > Product Line > Product organization like Countertop > Engineered Stone > Cambria and Countertop > Natural Stone > Granite. In this example, you could move Cambria and Granite to new Product Family or Product Line, and nothing else would change about those products.
Because Product Family and Product Lines are just for organization, you'll probably also want to create a special pair for housing your inactive products. Most of our customers make something like z - inactive > z - inactive - whenever you mark a product inactive, then you can also move it to the "z - inactive" product family and product line, so that all inactive products are sorted after active products.
Set Up New Products, 1 by 1
After you rethink your Product Families and Product Lines, it's time to create new products. Simply work down the list of new products you want to create and make each one. You will also likely need to create new attributes.
If you're changing the structure of your products, then you won't have naming problems - for example, let's say you have Granite as a product with Granite Color and Granite Thickness as attributes. If you don't sell the same colors in 2cm and 3cm, then you would probably find it easier to manage two separate products: Granite 2cm and Granite 3cm each with its own color attribute (Granite 2cm Color and Granite 3cm Color). Since all of these names are new, you don't have a naming collision.
However, if you simply want to create a new product called Granite, you can't - because that name is already taken. You could simply create the new product with a a name like "Granite (new)":
Instead, it's probably better to go in the other direction and rename the existing product and attribute as "Granite (old)" since you are going to make it inactive soon anyway:
One caveat ... if you create any printouts with inventory information that your customers actually see, you probably don't want to use a name like "Granite (old)" ... if that's the case, then you might want to use a more cryptic name like "Granite - " instead.
When your new product is set up the way you like it, don't inactive the old product just yet! If you inactive that product, then you won't be able to assign existing inventory to jobs. Instead, simply remove the old product from all cost lists. After you've consumed all the inventory from the old product, then you can mark the product inactive and move it to your z-Inactive Product Family:
If you want to accelerate the process of getting rid of old products, then you can create POs to make new serial numbers for the existing material and create adjustments to zero out the old material (this can be a labeling nightmare, however, so it's usually not worth it unless you just have a handful of an old product).
(Maybe) Create New Cost Lists
If you'd rather make changes all at once instead of incrementally, then the first thing you want to do is create a new Cost List for each of the suppliers that you still use. Call the new cost lists something like 2016 Standard - and then immediately edit each cost list to mark it inactive.
You want to make your new cost lists inactive so that nobody can use them until they're ready.
Now make all your new products and add the new products to the new cost lists. When you're ready to switch over, mark the old cost lists inactive and the new ones active - this will make it so no new material can be ordered (but you still want to wait until all existing inventory is consumed before marking a product inactive - see the section on creating new products, above).