Now that we are comfortable with Business Groups, we turn our attention to Item records.
Item records were covered in-depth during our October Office Hours. Download presentation
In a nutshell: if you want to sell it to someone, you have to have an Item record for it. Items can be assigned to Item classes, which are just groups of Items, to make finding a specific Item easier. An Item class can make creating new Items easier too as settings from the assigned Item Class will flow down to the new Item record before you save it.
In Fonteva, the type of Item you are looking at is important. There will be different fields populated and different related lists with important information depending on the type of Item. Key types of Items to be aware of are:
Item Record Detail
Every Item will display key fields in the Item Attributes section. Most importantly, this is where the type of Item is identified. Use these checkboxes to help you filter list views so you can review similar Items at the same time.
The other key section for all Items is the GL Accounts section. This is where you can set the income account, and also the Payment Priority. Payment Priority tells the system where this Item falls in priority in case the customer doesn’t include enough money when they pay. For example, best practices would dictate that membership Items should always be marked Priority 1 so any payment is applied there first if the payment doesn’t cover all the Items on the sales order.
Revenue deferral behavior is set at the Item level as well. Fonteva can recognize revenue:
- Immediately, if the Defer Revenue checkbox is unchecked.
- Over time, customarily used in Memberships to allocate money over a full year.
- As of a certain date, usually used with events to recognize revenue the last day of the event).
Shipping Items can get a little confusing. You have to have an Item for the Shipping Rate, which will be calculated based on Item weight or value, and then you also have to mark any Item record where you want to charge shipping fees when it’s purchased as “Require Shipping.” If the purchased Item does not have “Require Shipping” checked, the system will not add any shipping fees to the order.
The other key thing to check on the actual Item is the Item weight and Unit of Measure specified. I’ve had clients miss shipping charges because they set their Item weights to ounces but set their shipping rate minimum to five pounds. Since the Item was marked as five – not 80 — ounces, it wasn’t enough to trigger the shipping charge.
Item Record Related Lists
Important related list information changes from Item type to type. Any Item record is going to have records in its related lists for Pricing Rules, Package Items and Access Permissions. Pricing rules calculate pricing for the Item every time it’s added to a Sales Order. A few common areas to note include:
- For Tax and Shipping charge Items, you are always just going to have one price rule, set at $0 since the charges will be calculated specifically for each sales order those charges are applied to. But other Items might have five or even 10 price rules; I think the most I’ve seen was 42, and that was too many! Access Permissions control who can even see the Item when they go to purchase Items online.
- If you are reviewing a membership Item, it’s critical for you to review related Subscription Plans, Renewal Paths, and Badge Workflows:
- Subscription Plans hold important information for membership term settings, proration rules, Invoicing settings and Installment options.
- Renewal Paths can help you move members from one member type to another over time.
- Badge Workflows tell the system to assign badges to new or renewing members so they can access different Items or content online.
- In a Merchandise Item record, you’ll want to review the related catalog (where it’s sold in the online store) and any Forms that might be attached to collect information from the purchaser.
- Events are a totally different ball game (no pun intended), and it’ll be easier to review them by going to the Events tab and opening the event in the event builder, where you can access the ticket tab. That’s where all the finance information is stored for events.
Take some time and poke around in your instance to get familiar with all the information contained in your Item records. These settings and their related records determine a lot of automated behaviors as customers move through the purchase process as well as how transactions are generated in the end.
In our next post, we’ll talk more in-depth about Data Flow in Fonteva, specifically starting with Sales orders. This is where Business Groups and Items come together to generate downstream receipts and transactions. Stay with us next month to get a good look at how Items and Business Groups work together every day.