Now that we are comfortable with business groups, we turn our attention to item records.
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In a nutshell: if you want to sell something to someone, you have to have an item record for that something. 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 related lists with important information depending on the type of Item. Key types of items to be aware of, are Events, Membership, Merchandise, Tax, and Shipping.
Item Record Detail
Every item displays 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 general ledger accounts section. This is where you set the income account and the payment priority. Payment priority tells the system where this item falls in priority in case the customer does not include enough money during payment. 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 does not 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 must 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. We have seen organizations 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 will 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, there will be one price rule set to $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. Access permissions control who can see the item when they go to purchase Items online.
- If you are reviewing a membership item, it’s critical to review related subscription plans, renewal paths, and badge workflows:
- Subscription plans contain 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 should 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, and it is 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. This is where the financial information is stored for events.
Take some time to investigate your instance and become familiar with the different types of information contained in your item records. These settings and their related records determine many 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.
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