You could spend $150,000 on accounting software, but it wouldn’t help your wholesale business any more than spending only $5,000-$15,000 on Oak Street. This would seem hard to believe until you actually learned that Oak Street is comparable to high-cost packages in terms of the time and effort required for: order entry, creating invoices, selecting orders for shipment, U.P.S. and FedEx processing, reordering merchandise, receiving-in merchandise, processing credit cards, warehouse management, sales analysis, sales commissions, customer service tasks, posting checks, EDI, credit checks, collections, barcode printing, order fulfillment, and many other tasks.
How can Oak Street be so affordably priced? It was small wholesalers who predominantly sought the services of Industrious Software early on, meaning the cost of the software had to be small too. As the user-base grew to include medium-sized wholesalers, the tradition of keeping the cost low has been maintained. A few things factor into why Oak Street can continue to be offered at such low cost today:
- No middlemen get involved in selling it
- As opposed to receiving the training through a ‘dealer’ who has a strong incentive to pile-on the training (because most of the dealer’s profit comes from training), the training is provided directly by Industrious Software (the developer), where the cost is fixed
- Most implementations do not require training to be performed on-site (although if necessary, on-site training can be provided.) The training is provided predominantly via remote connection software so that all of Oak Street functions and features can be demonstrated to the system operators as they watch their own monitor, thus avoiding the expenses involved with travel
In addition to low cost, ease of use is another advantage offered by Oak Street. Admittedly, QuickBooks© pioneered the clever idea of making data entry screens resemble their paper equivalent. The benefit of that to the user was obvious, and so Oak Street emulates that feature. Now, for example, Oak Street’s invoice screens are formatted like an actual invoice. This user-friendly interface is but one example of how Oak Street sets itself apart from the host of mid-range packages.
Good business software should comprehensively and deeply tackle whichever area of business it addresses. The Industrious in the name Industrious Software signifies the commitment to achieving that goal. Providing wholesalers with a solution that far exceeds the simple functionality offered by typical business software is Industrious Software’s primary objective.
For instance, when it comes to setting prices (for inventory items), Oak Street doesn’t just provide for a price based on customer levels (wholesale, distributor, retail, etc.). Instead, the Oak Street user has TWENTY different choices as to how a price might be assigned (e.g., you might want the price to be based on the total quantity ordered for a group of items).
The same holds true for sales rep commissions. Besides just setting a commission rate per sales rep, the Oak Street user has a variety of choices. Just one of the multitudes of options is to specify that commission rates are dependent upon the price that each individual item gets sold for.
Oak Street’s Suggested Reorder Report can provide you with suggestions as to how many of each item you should be reordering…and by what date. The Suggested Reorder Report doesn’t merely base its forecasting on raw sales numbers. Instead, it takes into account TWENTY different factors when it produces a report. (As a side note, you can tell it to ignore exceptionally large ‘one-time’ orders that would inappropriately skew a reorder recommendation).
As for U.P.S. and FedEx shipping services, Oak Street is not limited to linking to those in just one way. Instead, Oak Street offers several different approaches that enable you to connect with those shipping manifest systems based on the way you operate. For example, there are different links depending upon whether you invoice before or after you ship, and different links depending upon whether your products have predefined weights/boxes or not.
This module links directly with the Purchase Order Module to generate invoices and checks automatically. It is a powerful tool used to manage out-going cash. It is rich with analytical reports.
This module was designed to give the highest level of support to customers while acting as a strong tool to manage and collect money. A customer service person can access any invoice in seconds, and view all the related information about that invoice. A full range of reports make money management easy. These reports include accounts receivable aging, account management, delinquent accounts, and many financial related reports.
Advance Shipping Notices
With almost no effort at all, you can send your customers Advance Ship Notices via mail, fax, or e-mail. Advance Ship Notification let’s your customer know what’s on the way, and enables them to track the order. This courtesy notice to your customer will automatically include U.P.S. shipping information imported directly from the U.P.S. software (i.e. the Tracking #, box count, weight, and C.O.D. amount if any).
- Your customers will know exactly what to expect in their shipment
- Your customers will be able to track their shipment online without calling you
- For C.O.D. shipments, your customer will know, ahead of time, the exact amount of the check to prepare for the U.P.S. driver.
Providing this service let’s your customer know that their order is receiving your special attention… what a great way of showing them how much you value their business!
Automated Mass Invoicing
Are you invoicing each order individually? This module ‘batch invoices’ all the shipments recorded in the U.P.S. or FedEx software throughout the day. Here are the answers to common questions we get asked about this feature:
How does the freight get on the invoices?
The U.P.S./FedEx Ground features will instantly and electronically transfer the freight amounts from your shipping computer to the appropriate order/invoice in Oak Street (along with the tracking numbers, weights and number of cartons).
How do the backordered quantities get on the invoices automatically?
Our Stock Allocation module evaluates your on hand inventory and then automatically backorders the appropriate quantities. Of course, sometimes your actual inventory may differ from the computer record. Those exceptions are easily corrected before pressing the Auto-Invoice button. Another way that the correct backordered quantities can automatically appear in Oak Street is by using our Order Fulfillment module via barcode scanning. You may even be able to transfer these quantities from a remote or third party warehouse. Also, if you’re using a remote or third party warehouse, the shipped/backordered quantities can be transferred electronically.
How about credit card authorizations?
The Credit Card Processing module then kicks in to batch authorize or ‘close out’ pre-authorized orders. This applies, of course, only to those orders that you designated during order entry (or order maintenance). All this happens behind the scenes, effortlessly, yet with the control you might need to handle exceptions (i.e. you can easily ‘un-invoice’ and then re-invoice an individual order).
After all your shipments have been auto-invoiced, you may then elect to batch email or fax Advanced Ship Notices to your customers and/or sales reps. The emails come with links so your customer can simply click a button to track the shipment.
Automated Order Picking
In combination with our Stock Allocation program, this feature helps determine which orders to pack and ship now (the day the program is run), and which ones to ‘hold back’. The program achieves this by allocating available stock only to those sales orders meeting user-defined parameters related to order-fulfillment requirements you establish, and then printing formal pick tickets just for those orders. For example, let’s say that you would like to pack and ship all sales orders…
- that are at least x % shippable (meaning that there is enough available stock to pack at least x % of the value of the order)
- with older orders to be considered first
- and, that orders from customers who are on ‘credit hold’ should be bypassed for the time being.
The Stock Allocation program would allow you to establish those (above) order fulfillment guidelines, and then it would systematically examine each sales order in the range specified. You would then get to ‘tag’ any orders that you decide you still want to hold back from shipping at that time, and then let the system print picking tickets for the rest. The pick tickets produced by this system display both the quantity ordered as well as the quantity to be backordered, so the warehouse employees don’t have to waste time searching for merchandise that isn’t there.
Bill of Material
This module keeps track of raw materials, sub assemblies, and finished goods production. This is a powerful tool that allows you to control the manufacturing process.
Contact/Customer Relations Manager
It provides users with a fast and easy way to schedule activities, access notes & information, and produce personalized letters. It does the work of customer service, sales, collections, purchasing, and general office management. From our Contact/Customer Relations Manager tool, you’re only a click or two away from:
- Accessing data: No more closing Oak Street screens and opening others to locate the data you need…just click a tab!
- Managing Contact Information: For any customer, prospect, vendor, sales rep, or inventory item, enter unlimited notes, including subject and time, date, and user stamps.
- Scheduling call-backs, to-do’s, or other activities: Clicking on the scheduler icon launches Microsoft Outlook, allowing for quick and easy scheduling, including ‘copy & pasting’ the current contact for scheduling callbacks, ‘to-do’s, or other activities.
- U.P.S. tracking: Why go to the Internet or the U.P.S. machine to track a package?: Do it right from our Contact / Customer Relations Manager tool.
Credit Card Processing
Instead of having to type credit card information manually into a credit card terminal machine (like the one you’re most likely using at present), the process will be performed from your computer, and it will automatically use the credit card information already on file for each order/invoice needing to get an authorization.
The program also allows for authorizing credit card payments one order or invoice at a time. More importantly, however, is that the interface also provides for the automated batch processing of all credit card authorizations needing to be processed for that day all at once. In other words, instead of getting credit card authorizations one at a time, this interface takes the credit card information entered via Oak Street’s invoice screen (for each ‘credit card’ order that is shipping that day), and gets an approval or decline for each one automatically. The program enters the authorization codes into each respective order/invoice’s credit card authorization code field, and it lets you know which orders you’ll need to put on ‘hold’ (e.g., the card was declined).
The process includes the automation of the fund transfer to your bank account (i.e., this program replaces the use of a ‘manual’ terminal but it doesn’t change the way your account is credited). Multiple merchant accounts can be handled, as well as using the ‘pre-authorization/force’ process. This feature benefits you because it:
- Eliminate re-entering of redundant information
- Speed up the process of getting credit card payment authorizations
- Automatically get authorization codes entered into the invoice file
- Processing can occur from multiple stations
Data Exporter To Your Shipping Services
Enter the UPS box-level shipping information (service, box weights, COD tag amounts, etc.) at the time of creating an invoice inside Oak Street. Oak Street, using an internal U.P.S. Zone/Freight chart determines the correct freight amount, and enters it into the freight field. That information (the information you would normally have been entering directly into U.P.S. WorldShip), gets ‘captured’ in a file that can be imported directly into the U.P.S. WorldShip program. At the click of a button, the U.P.S.-generated shipping labels for that day’s shipments can be printed all at once. Then, complete the batch to satisfy U.P.S.’s online manifest requirements.
Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a requirement of most major retailers. As a result, many wholesalers need to find a viable solution to ‘make it all happen’. But with our third party interface to Oak Street, you are relieved of the technical challenges and confusion of having to understand the various modes of EDI communications: Our partnership with a leader in EDI technology takes care of all your customer specific document exchange requirements…bringing all of your documents together into one place whereby you can send and receive them with a simple-to-use interface that installs on your in-house computer. None of this requires any special technical knowledge or expertise and it’s accomplished over your existing Internet connection. Whether you have a slow dial up connection or a high-speed Internet screamer, your data moves quickly and effortlessly using our partner’s proprietary data transport.
Email and Fax Server
You can easily email to customers, vendors and sales reps, individual documents such as purchase orders, shipment confirmations, A/R statements-of-account, Inventory status reports (to sales reps), and any form, letter, or report, without leaving our software. In addition, our fax server enables you to automatically retrieves a customer’s, vendor’s or sales rep’s fax number, and send them batches of documents or reports to these people without any user input.
Full Commission Statements and Commission Tracking
- Print comprehensive commission statements taking into account all factors affecting commissions and commission rates
- Track the performance and profitability of each sales rep
- Produce sales analysis that makes your sales reps more effective
- Find out if your sales reps are getting the orders, or if the orders are customer-initiated
- Retrieve or transfer accounts by territory, en masse
- Track the performance and profitability of each sales rep
- Automatically creates commission statements; no extra data entry or review is necessary
- Accommodates commission rates that can vary according to sales rep, invoice, items ordered, quantity ordered, customer, type of customer, or how long it takes an invoice to be paid.
- Calculates sales rep commissions for invoices that are paid.
- Calculates sales rep commissions for merchandise that is shipped.
- Charges back sales commissions if invoices become unacceptably delinquent. * Warns the sales rep a month in advance of impending charge backs.
- Tracks the amount of commission paid to each sales rep for transfer to the 1099 Forms.
- Accommodates many factors that affect commission statements, such as split commissions, credits for returns, etc.
- Let’s you calculate commission on merchandise subtotal (not on freight, handling, or sales tax).
- Provide new sales reps with a list of accounts in their area.
- Tracks sales performance based on both what is ordered and shipped each month.
- Reports each sales rep’s customers that have not been reordering.
- Tracks orders placed through the sales rep, verses those placed by customer.
- Tracks which items each sales rep sold.
- Prints commission statements for sub-reps.
- Tracks the sales performance of sub-reps.
The General Ledger Module gives you the tools to manage your business as a whole. The General Ledger Report Writer allows you to create dozens of financial analysis reports that compare periods, budgets, and relative cash flows.
Inventory is often the most expensive asset of the company. Managing the optimum level of inventory can affect the bottom line by tens of thousands of dollars. Oak Street handles finished goods, sub assemblies, and raw materials. You can take advantage of price opportunities by using multiple vendors. You can order by one unit of measure and sell by another. The inventory will commit ordered stock until it is shipped. It will allocate on-hand stock and manage backorders.
Landed Cost’ Tracking
This enhancement builds ocean freight, inland freight, duty, broker fees, or any other additional shipping cost into the cost of an item. Using this option will result in a value for the current Average Landed Cost of the item. The program allows you to distribute each of the ‘additional shipping costs’ (ocean freight, inland freight, broker fee, etc.), among the received goods by any of the five categories (weight; volume; dollar amount; quantity; duty rate). So, as an example, ocean freight can be distributed among the received goods by weight, while brokers fees can be distributed by dollar value of the merchandise.
This module helps implement business plans with price levels, negotiated pricing, promotional pricing, line item commissions, margin based commissions, availability schedules, customer discounts, sales reporting by item/customer/or rep.
Photos On Your Quotes
With this feature, you can access a photo in Oak Street anytime the cursor or highlight bar is on an Inventory File item description on your screen. For example, if you are entering an order, and are utilizing the Lookup Feature to display a scrollable list of Inventory items, first highlight the appropriate inventory item in the scrollable list and, if a valid photo exists for that item, the photo will display. In addition, the Photo Display feature can also be used once an Inventory item has been entered in the Line Item (Body) section of the Sales Order Entry screen.
This module analyzes the orders and available stock to determine what should be ordered when. It automatically prints purchase orders and accounts for landed costs. It provides accurate forecasts for product availability.
Real Time Interface To Your Shipping Services
Oak Street’s Real Time Interface for U.P.S. WorldShip and FedEx Ground provides a direct line of communication between Oak Street and the U.P.S. and FedEx ground shipping software. The shipping software programs captures the customer’s shipping address information directly from the data stored within the Oak Street Orders file. As a result, the freight amount and the tracking numbers that are generated within the U.P.S. and FedEx ground programs automatically get sent back to that sales order inside Oak Street, and can appear on the final invoice going to the customer.
This is designed for the wholesaler (especially an importer) whose available stock on any given day may not meet the stock requirements of orders having reached their required ship date. This feature helps determine which orders to pack and ship now (the day the program is run), and which ones to ‘hold back’. The program achieves this by allocating available stock only to those sales orders meeting your user-defined parameters related to order-fulfillment requirements you establish, and then printing formal pick tickets just for those orders.
Suggested Order Report
This is a sophisticated but powerful tool designed for importers. The program’s report evaluates each item’s past sales history on either a ‘weighted average’ or ‘seasonal average’ basis (you decide which), per item. Using that evaluation, the program determines each item’s days of surplus and expected usage, taking into consideration: lead time; order cycle; current customer orders; open purchase orders; minimum allowable reorder quantity/lot sizes; and inventory on-hand count. Finally, taking all of that information into account, the program makes a recommendation as to how many of each item you should be reordering, and by what date. This is a must-have for the importer who needs to make critical purchasing decisions where past historical data (even ‘seasonal’ history) should be considered when answering the question: How many should we be ordering now?
When you create an inventory item, you can indicate if you want Oak Street to generate a unique UPC code for that inventory item. In that case, a UPC code number will be automatically generated for each new inventory item. (And, you can manually change this number if you wish). UPC numbers can also be created for existing items in your Inventory. This means that, when entering orders, you can now either type/select your normal Inventory item code, or you can use a barcode scanner (connected to our computer system) to scan in the UPC code. In either case, your regular Inventory item will appear on the screen as well as on the appropriate printouts. This is especially useful for taking orders at trade shows. And, when receiving merchandise for vendors, this would enable you to scan items in your Inventory to expedite the packing and shipping of orders. In addition, you can print UPC barcode labels for merchandise that you are shipping to your customer.
We have developed a variety of features that accommodates the storing of an item in multiple bins and/or warehouses. Its features include:
- Pick tickets automatically assigning which bin to use for each line item on the order.
- If there is insufficient stock of an item in one location, the pick ticket will split an item into multiple lines; each line with its own bin number.
- Flexible logic permits the automatic assigning of bins based on either the quantity left in the bin, age of the stock, or areas within the warehouse(s).
- These pick tickets may be printed as an order is entered or preferably as a batch using the Stock allocation feature described above.
- Barcode scanning in order to record where merchandise is being stored or transferred.
- Recording merchandise location is performed by scanning the bin location, the item and either typing the quantity or by repeated scanning of the item.
- Locations need not be predefined for particular merchandise (Both static and dynamic bins are supported).
- Barcodes may be encoded versions of an item number. or UPC number
- Different barcodes may represent different unit measures of the same item.
- Report of low stock levels in a primary picking area (advises of needed transfers).
- Barcode scanning to take a physical count (supports RF scanner or hand held device).
- Order Fulfillment Scanning
- Compares merchandise being packed with the sales order to prevent the over shipping of an item and the shipping of wrong merchandise.
- Supports the automatic assignment of carton number for appearance on the packing list.
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