Quick Reference Guide
Like other systems, PlantX maintains a list of customers. Add your customers and their pertinent details to the customer list. Explore the numerous settings that tailor each customer account and the way they are handled throughout the system. See the Customer Reference.
Material is short for Plant Material. This is a list of the type of plants you sell. Think of material as the botanical and common names of the plants you sell. Plant names form the basis of everything you do in PlantX. Material information is kept separate from the cataloged inventory; the catalog is just adding sizes or other attributes to the materials. For more information, see the Material Reference. Start by entering some plant material in the material library. Take advantage of the PlantX library of plant names to accelerate your data entry. If you don't find the botanical/common name amongst the over 7,000 names, choose one that is close and modify it to fit your needs.
Maintain your catalog of plants from the inventory view. Your catalog is a list of products you sell. Use the plant materials entered in your Material Library to build your catalog. Each product listed needs two things, the plant material and the attributes. Attributes are the descriptions of the form, root and grade. Most often the attribute is simply the size of the pot in gallons, but it can require more details, such as height, spread, caliper, etc. You can create any number of attributes to describe your product. Note: Older versions of PlantX were limited to about 50 specific attributes, whereas now you can add as many as you need.
Create any number of attributes needed to describe your products. It soon becomes a question of how many attributes do you use? We recommend that you use the minimum number of attributes needed to distinguish two plants. Adding too many attributes can dilute the effectiveness of tracking your inventory and ultimately confuse your customer. As a general rule, if you sell the same plant at two different prices, what is the difference between the two plants? Pot size? Root type? Graft age? Your answer to this question is the attribute(s) you will need to describe the two plants.
Create supplies for each product to record the amount of inventory on hand. From the Supplies/Orders tab, create new supplies and indicate how many plants you have available. While entering supplies, it is required to select a crop and a location.
Crops are created to group supplies into like periods. With PlantX, you can have any number of crops. Typically, there will be a different crop each year or season, like "Spring 2014". If you grow annuals or other periodic plants, create a crop for each to group plants within a short period, like "April Week1". Some growers will have a different crop for each week or month during the Spring growing period. Another way to think of crops is grouping all of the plants that are going to be ready for sale at the same time. See the Crop Reference.
If it is required that you know the whereabouts of your plant supplies, create named locations to track your plants. If you don't use locations, PlantX creates a generic location call "Fields" to record your inventory. Most growers will give names to the various growing fields or greenhouses and use the PlantX feature for better inventory control.
See the Location Reference.
"Orders" is short for "sales orders", and is used to enter customer orders. You should have your materials and inventory ready before you begin entering orders. It is also helpful to have the supplies entered and ready for allocations, but it is not required to start entering orders. Enter the billing and shipping details and settings associated with the order as a whole. Pay close attention to the order status option: The order status allows you to promote an order through the stages of processing, from "New" to "Confirmed" to "Shipped" to "Invoiced," and eventually "Hidden" or "Canceled." See the Order Status Reference.
Order Item Entry
When it comes time to enter the order line items, use the Entry tab for faster data entry. The Entry tab gives you the list of all plants in the catalog, in a single list. Select the desired plant and click the add button. Enter the quantity, price and discount. Repeat until all plants are added. While entering an order, be sure to enter the number of plants they ordered, not the number of plants you can give them; you will allocate items later.
If you are not ready to allocate supplies immediately after entering an order, you may choose to print an order acknowledgment for the customer. The order acknowledgment shows the customer the completed order, with the amounts they ordered. Send the acknowledgment to the customer to show them you received their order.
Allocation is the next step in the order process, and is quickly done using the order's Allocation tab. Many times, customers will not get all of the plants they ordered because stock is low. Use the Allocation tab to indicate the number of plants the customer will be receiving. Select the order item, highlight the supply and click the add allocation button to allocate plants from the selected supply. If you have not yet added supplies to the inventory, the Allocation tab provides a convenient Add Supply option.
Once your allocation is complete, you can now print an order confirmation. Like the order acknowledgment, the confirmation details the number of plants ordered by the customer, but the confirmation also shows the number of plants you allocated to the customer. This report reminds the customer how many plants they ordered, and tells them how many you are able to commit to selling.
With your order allocations complete, you now organize the order into loads. The order may only require a single load to deliver the entire order; if so, there is no need to manage loads. If the order requires partial shipments, use the load manager to group allocated supplies into loads. From the Load Manager tab, select one or more allocations that form a single load and use the change load feature to create the load. Allocations can also be split between two different loads by selecting the allocation and using the split load option. Each load can be invoiced separately, which allows you to create master orders and ship plants on customer demand.
Most of the accounting is managed through the customer list. Each customer has a list of accounting documents like invoices, cash receipts, credit memos and debit memos. There are two views, the document tab and the ledger view. The document tab lists all documents for an account in reverse date order. The ledger view is more like a statement of account, listing only outstanding invoices and debit memos with unapplied payments and credit memos. New documents can be added from either the document tab or the ledger tab.
Most invoices are created directly from orders or loads from orders. If necessary, manual invoices can be created for miscellaneous charges on account. The invoice header has two tabs; the main tab is for basic document details such as date, description and terms, and the contact tab is used to set the billing and shipping contact details. The invoice has three detail tabs for transactions, history and reports. The transactions tab lists the debit and credit transactions that make up the detail of the invoice. The history tab records key events that impact the invoice. The reports tab lists any reports that have been printed for this invoice.
Use the add payments button to enter cash received for an account. Enter the date, description, amount and notes, and PlantX will generate the required debit and credits needed for the cash receipt.
Credit and Debit Memos
Use the add credit memo or add debit memo buttons to create credit and debit memos, respectively. Once the memo document is created, you can add any number of debit or credit transactions to reflect the change in account balance. The total debit/credit amount that is placed on the account is automatically created.
You can match payment amounts to invoices by using the clear balance function of the ledger tab. Select the invoice and while holding the control key, select the payments that apply to the invoice. If the invoice and payment balance to zero, the clear balance button activates. By clicking this button, the invoice and payment will be rolled up into a cleared balance. Cleared balances do not show on the customer's statement since the invoice is paid in full. If you would like to see what invoices or payments were involved in the cleared balance, double-click the line item to show the balance detail. From the balance detail, you can double-click any of the documents and view or print them as before. Cleared balances can be "removed" by selecting a cleared balance and selecting the clear balance button. This "unrolls" the invoice and payments that had been part of a cleared balance.
Although clearing balances reduces the amount of detail shown on the statement, the list of clear balances can become rather long. Optionally, you can clear cleared balances by selecting several balances and applying the clear balance option., but it is preferable to use the balance forward option. When you select all documents and clear balances from the beginning of the list to any point in the list, the balance forward button will activate. Unlike clearing balances, the balance does not have to equal zero in order to function. The balance forward option will roll up any balance amount. And like the clear balance option, balance forwards can also be inspected with a double-click or highlighted and deleted using the delete balance option.
If you use the load manager to define loads, you can use the trucking feature to create trucks and shipping manifests. Use the truck view to create a list of trucks that represent the physical trucks to be dispatched. The unassigned loads tab will list all loads that have not been assigned to a truck. Select the unassigned load, select the truck to which it belongs and then use the assign truck feature to assign the load to the truck. Once the loads are attached to the truck, organize the stops to form the route. See the Trucks Reference.
All reports in PlantX print as PDF documents. In this format, the report can be viewed before it is printed, and it can be e-mailed or saved to disk. Some reports, such as order confirmations or invoices, are stored within PlantX and can be recalled and printed, saved or e-mailed at any time. Since reports or documents can be printed time and time again, it is often left to you to decide which documents should be kept for permanent record. Reports are not kept by default; you must explicitly tell PlantX to keep a report by placing a check in the 'keep report' check box. When you print the more important reports, such as order or accounting documents, you will be prompted on whether or not the document should be kept.