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Idea: Change in Project-Billing

Hi,

I have looked up a lot of project management tools in the past like “Taiga”, “OpenProject”, “Odoo” and others. In principle all of the mentioned applications including ERPNext do not provide a satisfying workflow. Either there is not billing-option or the billing-option does not work properly.

Assuming that ERPNext will grow in the future (and I am quite sure…since I am stuck with this app since mid 2014) “we” should think of a better project-implementation.

Suggesting just a few “new” business types:

IT Services (hour-based)
General Services (hour-based)
Designer (based on hour of work or on work-pieces)
Text-Writer (based on words) - PR & Social Media e.g.
Translator (based on word-count)

This leads me to the next thing. When we are in Projects and we are seeing the tasks, we should implement:

deadline/date of service, hour/qty to bill, rate (e.g. from products)

This could be easily transformed (like an sales order) to a sales invoice stating the Task, qty, deadline and rate. As for now when I create a Time Log Batch and say “Make invoice” it is simply annoying…don’t you think?

Best,
Dan

6 Likes

+1 to @daniel’s proposal. Very much needed workflow.

1 Like

Share the exact workflow. I would like to help improving this

1 Like

@vivek thank you for your message.
I would like to share two workflows which some of my customers are actually confronted with. One one hand a designer and on the other hand a text-writer/translator.

Case 1 - Designer:

Starts Project “Redesign CI” - billing on work-pieces according to agreement with customer

Tasks:

  • Letterhead for invoices: 100 US$ - deadline 30/04/16 - qty 1
  • New Logo 340 US$ - deadline 04/05/16- qty 1
  • New Website-Design (no coding) 1200 US$ - deadline 30/05/16 - qty 1
  • Shooting of Company/Facility and Employees 320 US$ - deadline 22/04/16 - qty 1
  • CI Compliance Sheet (Information about Color, Fonts, etc…) 0 US$ - free of charge - deadline 01/06/16 - qty 1

The designer agreed to charge the customer when he is finished, so he completes all tasks and “submits” the tasks as invoicing/sales order positions. But other than the Time Log Batch invoicing, a row of invoice looks like the following:

Pos: 1 - Art-Code: Project ID+Pos No. - Description: Letterhead for invoices - Qty: 1 - Price-List: 100 US$ - Total: 100 US$
..
..
Pos: 5 - Art-Code: Project ID+Pos No. - Description: CI Compliance Sheet (Information about Color, Fonts, etc...) - Qty: 1 - Price-List: 0 US$ - Total: 0 US$

Case 2 - Translator/Text-Writer:
Basically this business differs from other kind of services as the texter or translator charges either word count, DIN Lines or characters…so this workflow may be a bit confusing but would be the same as above.

The translator or agency creates a new Project (mostly translator or customer-based on monthly basis). In our Test-Case we have a project of “Translator English-Arabic-Indian: Month April”.

Tasks:

  • E-ARAB / Manual 0.1 US$ - deadline 30/04/16 - words 1500
  • E-IND / ISO Document 0.13 US$ - deadline 23/04/16 - words 60000
  • E-ARAB / Website 0.1 US$ - deadline 26/04/16 - words 3000

Invoicing Example:

>    Pos: 1 - Art-Code: Project ID+Pos No. - Description: E-ARAB / Manual - Qty: 1500 - Price-List: 0.1 US$ - Total: 150 US$
>     ..
>     ..
>     Pos: 3 - Art-Code: Project ID+Pos No. - Description: E-ARAB / Website - Qty: 3000 - Price-List: 0.1 US$ - Total: 300 US$

Hope this workflow is understandable :wink: if not - just ask please.

If we go further this workflow, we could create a strong project management suite like:
When deadline is near like d-3 --> Email to Assigned employee to remind him
Assign Tasks to users --> only if task is completed it could be invoiced.

Another idea:
Invoicing based on Tasks and Projects. I can choose to either invoice a whole project at once or charge by tasks.

This is something, I have been missing in ALL other ERP or Project Management Suites.

1 Like

I agree, I’ve been pushing for Projects to be better integrated for a while now. I think V7 will have some improvements but I haven’t checked it out yet, but hopefully it’s along the same lines with what you are saying. We are a mixed model Engineering Services and Manufacturing company and the system has a hard time with the Engineering portion of it… Manufacturing is a bit clunky but it works ok.

Invoicing for projects/tasks is definitely something I’d like to see, along with:

-Pulling/pushing details from Sales Order to project, (Projected Cost, Tasks, etc)
-Add cost of purchased Items from Purchase Order, instead of just Purchase Receipt.
-More stream line Clock In/Out of tasks, time logs are good for supervisor level people to correct but just not intuitive for operators.
-Hourly labor tracking/payroll for Projects/Production based on time logs
-Better analysis of profit/loss for a project.

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@daniel @agerken mockups will be very helpful!

How should I do the mockup?

Try Pencil: http://pencil.evolus.vn

1 Like

Will do

I was going to ask you what form/forum is best for submitting ideas, I have a bunch of little ideas that I think would make the system much more intelligent. Mostly dealing with Project and Manufacturing/Stock.

I also have a rough idea for a shop-floor module but that’s a whole different ballgame. Maybe one of these days I’ll have enough time to figure out how to make it.

@rmehta

Here you are:

4 Likes

This would be great!

1 Like

thanks

Idea is great.
Small note regarding Pencil software — original project got unmaintained, but there is an active fork of it: https://github.com/prikhi/pencil

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@daniel nice!

If your projects are itemized, why not use Items and then Quotation -> Invoice cycle

Or idea :bulb: Maybe there should be an option to make Project from Sales Order, where the items become tasks (?) – this will be a lot easier to execute.

3 Likes

Well this would be a word flow that is ok for me. But I guess for agencies like mentioned they won’t create sales order . Primary the problem is that projects should remain as flexible as they are now. Add a task should be that easy

@rmehta
I have just checked again what you mean by reconstructing your mentioned workflow. I have to say, that creating sales orders or quotation and then creating a project out of them sounds not good to me.

In fact it is nearly Item-Driven. But would you as a creative agency create “static” items whereas you are a free mind? Nope. And I think that’s also now how ERPNext is constructed. Of course there are static elements but first of all it is a flexible yet great ERP and that’s why we (as community) love it that muck.

Best,
Dan

1 Like

Thats sounds good to me for using ERPNext for a design studio.
However, could we integrate billing and invoicing too. Also sub task or a milestone feature will be a very good add-on.

How do we proceed

@daniel do you have developers who can work on this?