AdvancePro is a Windows software that provides manufacturing, inventories and order management. AdvancePro and QuickBooks can be easily used together, eliminating the need for double entry of information since many essential data elements exchange freely between the two systems.
In order to examine how AdvancePro handles Assemblies, Bills of Material and Manufacturing processes, we first must look at how you create products in AdvancePro. Please note that AdvancePro uses the terms “products” rather than “items” as used in QuickBooks.
Within the AdvancePro Products menu, select the Add Product option to begin the process of creating component products for an assembly:
The Additional Information tab contains some critical data if you’re using QuickBooks with AdvancePro. This is where you map your AdvancePro items with your QuickBooks items. You also define if an item is a parent level item or a sub-item (child) level of another QuickBooks item.
You have an option of linking the item as a “non-inventory” item in QuickBooks, even though it’s stocked in AdvancePro. Any custom fields that transmit data also are configured on this tab.
The Build Pricing Information tab includes the computed cost from the components within the Bill of Materials. It also provides you with a method to set an adjustment amount and mark-up percentage. Based upon these factors, the selling price is computed. A “landed-cost” function also is available from this tab, so you can incorporate freight, handling and other related costs as part of the total cost of the item.
You also can establish volume discount pricing for an assembly item from the bottom section of this tab.
Add-ons items are components that represent “options,” which may be added to, or subtracted from, the standard BOM configuration. Variable type items have quantities that may vary per the specific build requirements at the time. Add-on/variable items are those components that define options with variability.
Most sophisticated manufacturing systems have some form of component substitution functionality. AdvancePro is no exception. The assembly item BOM tab allows you to define acceptable substitutions at the BOM level for each SKU.
This tab also allows you to identify the Vendor’s name for the product, Vendor SKU, minimum reorder number, unit break down, units of measure and specific identification/registration related data.
Essentially, the items making up a kit then can be sold under the single “kit” item. You can configure cost and price the kits based upon a number of options in the same manner as assemblies. The big difference is that kits are simply sold, and the components are picked as part of order fulfillment. There is no actual fabrication, production or batch process required as with assembly manufacturing orders.
Let’s assume we manufacture on an “assemble to order” basis. The first step occurs when a customer places an order for an assembled finished good. We would expect the stock related to this finished good to be insufficient, since we in fact “assemble to order.”
So the sales transaction shows the deficiency and we select the option to create a work order to begin the manufacturing process.
Of course each manufacturing environment can be different. A given manufacturer may “custom build to order” or “build to stock” in order to meet regular on-going demand. There can be multiple warehouses and manufacturing sites, as well as the stocking of pre-assembled sub-assemblies.
Of course, some manufacturers may purchase all of the component sub-assemblies and only produce the final finished good from those sub-assemblies. The options are almost endless.
As a member of the QuickBooks Marketplace for the desktop product line, AdvancePro has been around a good long time. One testimonial appearing on the AdvancePro website read: “I’ve been a long time user of Advance Pro and considered switching a while ago due to previous issues. However, over the past several months, I have gained more confidence with AdvancePro as a company. Things like webinars, new releases and timely support response have shown the company have come back to life.” (Dan George – Administrator, Bestway Casters & Wheels Ltd.).
While some might not consider this testimonial very flattering, it shows two very important things to think about AdvancePro. First, as the writer mentions, the company is showing new lifeblood breathed in by its most recent releases and enhancements.
Second, it shows that the company is open and honest with those reviewing its product. It certainly could have chosen not to post this testimonial, but rather shared it with its website visitors. Good for you AdvancePro.
When I began this series on assemblies, I was only remotely aware of AdvancePro. It simply was not one of the products I routinely had used for either inventory or manufacturing in my long career as a ProAdvisor.
But I can say that I’m glad to have researched the product. You definitely should consider AdvancePro as one of the many options for advanced inventory capabilities and light manufacturing requirements when your QuickBooks clients need to expand beyond QuickBooks Desktop functionality.