Fishbowl, QuickBooks

How Do I Drop Ship In Fishbowl?

Why doesn’t my inventory appear in the drop ship section of the inventory module in Fishbowl?

This is a question we recently fielded from one of our clients.  After some review, we uncovered a training issue.  The folks in charge of inventory thought that because the default location for a part was a location called “Drop Ship”; this should make it appear in the Drop Ship section of the inventory module.  This isn’t so.

To properly drop ship an item you must add that item to a sales order.  Then you need to double-click on each line item you want to drop ship, changing the type of item from “Sale” to “Drop Ship”.  This selection is located in the top right corner of the window that opens after you double-click.  Once you save and issue the Sales Order, a Purchase Order is automatically created for each needed vendor.  Please note that for this to work you must go into the part module and specify a default vendor.  Once the Purchase Order is created, all you need to do is go in and set the ship-to address on the Purchase Order to the proper address.  Your inventory will now show in the Drop Ship section within the Inventory Module.

And that is how to properly drop ship items within Fishbowl Inventory.

Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Updating Customer Addresses In Fishbowl

Here at ACSI we do a lot of work via import files.  We recently learned that you cannot update customer addresses in Fishbowl via a mass import/update file.  You can modify customer information, such as terms, but not addresses.  We were able to do an initial import of all the customer addresses, but we soon realized a modification needed to be made.  Therefore we created an update file, but were unable to successfully import it.

We were able to verify with the Fishbowl Support Staff that addresses currently cannot be updated via an import file.  It is on the developers “to-do” list and it should be available in the next release, currently estimated to be made available sometime in January 2010.

Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Multiple Ship To Addresses

One of the things that mid-market level companies tend to deal with are multiple ship to addresses for their customers.  In some of the higher end, more expensive pieces of software, such as Exact/Macola this is something that is handled quite easily.  Quite honestly, QuickBooks® and Fishbowl do a nice job as well.  The issue we have found is with mass importing.

We were working on a data conversion and needed to get customer data out of the Exact/Macola product and into QuickBooks®.  This was not an easy task.  Getting the data out of Macola was not difficult at all; however getting it into QuickBooks® was a bit more of a challenge.  While we were successful in doing so, we ran into an unforeseen issue.  Through testing, trial and error we developed a process that we feel works the best and if you ever find yourself needing to import multiple ship to addresses into QuickBooks® please feel free to contact us.

Along the same lines, we discovered that when using the integration wizard to connect QuickBooks® and Fishbowl Inventory, only the primary addresses are imported.  In order to get additional ship to addresses into Fishbowl, you must do an additional import directly into the system.  In just a few moments we were able to create an import file that extracted the data out of Macola once again and format it for import into Fishbowl.

We have become quite proficient at creating import files that can be used to import large amounts of data into both QuickBooks® and Fishbowl.  Neither of these systems are very forgiving, and many lessons have been learned.  If you ever find your self in need of getting large amounts of data into either of these systems, and have neither the knowledge nor the abilities to create the needed files please feel free to contact us.  We would be more than happy to assist you!

Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Auto Numbering In Fishbowl

There are times when auto numbering is a very convenient thing to have, but there are other times when it creates trouble that we really don’t need.

One of these times is when we have two departments that utilize different numbering schemes for their sales orders. One department is happily moving along entering sales orders and all of a sudden their next number is hundreds or even thousands of numbers ahead or behind the last number they entered. After a few moments they realize that the number matches the format of the other department. How did that happen? Auto numbering! The system takes the last number that was used and adds one to it, then stores it in a hold location until it is called upon by the next sales order.  Again this is not always ideal.

This is something that recently happened with a client of ours,  and one of our recommendations to remedy this issue was to turn off the auto numbering feature in Fishbowl Inventory. This,  however, is not as simple as un-checking a check box. In Fishbowl you go to the Property Module (located in the Setup Module), from there  you will double click on the option you want to remove; in this case “Auto SO Number”, and delete it using the delete button in the menu bar. To turn this feature back on, go to the Sales Order Module (located in the Sales Module), click on Tools/Modules Options and check the “Auto-Assign SO Numbers” checkbox and enter the number for the next Sales Order in the “Next Number” text box.

This was not our only recommendation to fix the problem they were experiencing; however it was a rather simple one when it came right down to it.

Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Data Conversion

Last week we spent quite a bit of time converting a client from Macola to QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions 10 and Fishbowl Inventory 2010.  We made the switch using several custom developed Crystal reports.  These were formatted in a way that they could be exported and used as either .iif or .csv files.  If you have ever worked with importing data into either QBES or Fishbowl Inventory you know that this can sometimes be a rather tedious task.

Overall things went rather well.  We did however run into a few obstacles, some of which were larger than others.  One of the more frustrating obstacles we encountered occurred during the importing of the bill of material into Fishbowl.  The problem was that after our import, everything seemed correct, with the exception of the part number not showing up in the part number column.  We found this to be a rather big issue.  How do we know what parts to pull if the part number is not listed?  The really odd thing was that if you clicked on the line item and then off, the part number would appear.  Talk about confusing…

Well, after working with the great support folks at Fishbowl we determined that this issue was occurring because we didn’t include the unit of measure in our import file, which I might add is not a required field.  So, the lesson learned here was to include as much information as possible when building an import file.  You will have less of a chance for error if you do!

Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Fishbowl Inventory And ODBC

One of the questions we received last week was from a client asking how to setup the Firebird ODBC driver to work with Fishbowl Inventory. This is something we found to be a bit of a challenge about 10 months ago, the first time we tried to set it up.

The first thing discovered right off the bat was that you must have the Fishbowl Server application installed on the machine you are setting up the ODBC driver on. Our client did not realize this either, it was not in the video they had watched. Please note that you will never need to open the server application on this system, you simply need the files installed.

The other part of the setup process that seems to pose a bit of a challenge is defining the actual path to the database. If you are attempting to set up the ODBC driver on the same machine where the Fishbowl file resides then simply use the Browse button and point to the database. However, if the actual database resides on another system, for example on a company server, then you can’t use the Browse button and you certainly can’t use a mapped drive. You must actually specify the destination system IP address followed by a colon (:) then enter the actual path to the database file. Here is an example…\ProgramFiles\Fishbowl\database\data\TestComapny.FDB

After our client used the above information they were able to successfully test the database connection and move forward with their testing. If you have any questions about this setup process, please feel free to contact us.