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Services business that needs to buy 'stuff' not raw materials


#1

Hi there. New to ERPNext, and there are some things I just don’t ‘Get’.

My first use-case is purchasing. We don’t manufacture, we’re a services company that needs to buy parts for maintenance contracts etc, as well as things like printers for the office.

Right now people fill in an excel Purchase Request, which as far as I can tell is equivalent to Material Request in ERPNext, but it all seems to be focused around manufacturing, maintaining ‘stock’ (rather than parts which aren’t assets either)

Another issue with this is that the ‘items’ have to be defined first, and they’re permanent. I may only ever buy one Xerox Photocopier, so I don’t need a stock level-tracking, warehousing application, and ideally the Material Request would just be free text. If it’s harder to use than typing in Excel, I’ll never get it off the ground.

Can anyone point me toward the right documentation that will explain how ERPNext could operate a non-manufacturing business, largely project-based, that still needs to buy ‘stuff’ - without developing custom apps as much as possible

Thanks for any advice you can give.


#2

Welcome to ERPNext jamesbooker

Lots of docs and pointers to be found, in your case for eg https://erpnext.com/docs/user/manual/en/selling/articles/erpnext-for-services-organization

Here is the relevant intro doc for most any type of ‘stuff’ https://erpnext.com/docs/user/manual/en/stock/item

For service business Items, leave these turned off:

Maintain Stock: If you are maintaining stock of this Item in your Inventory, ERPNext will make a stock ledger entry for each transaction of this item.

Is Fixed Asset: Tick this checkbox if this item is an Asset. Check out the Asset Module to know more.

"
Another issue with this is that the ‘items’ have to be defined first, and they’re permanent. I may only ever buy one Xerox Photocopier, so I don’t need a stock level-tracking, warehousing application, and ideally the Material Request would just be free text. If it’s harder to use than typing in Excel, I’ll never get it off the ground.
"
Yes before you can refer to an Item, first you must be define it (although that is easily done ‘on the fly’ and you can change and update most of their properties at any time)

Whether you require an ERP all depends on your specific needs: An ERP is to a spreadsheet, what a calculator is to pencil and paper. Its a tool that takes discipline to learn and apply.

For the ERP to be effective you best have a business case with real problems to resolve.

Search a bit to find out all the practical uses folks find for ERPNext.


#3

Well, if you just don’t want to setup items at all, just have one item call it GenericItem or something, set it up as a non-stock item (non-stock items get expensed out as soon as you make a Purchase Receipt/Invoice. Stock items move into your inventory) and operate totally on Item Descriptions.

That should replicate your current system, help you move to structured data, get you going, and as soon as your people get used to ERPNext, you can start experimenting with other features.

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Jay