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Time to Evict those Dust Bunnies from Your ERP System

By now most of us have begun to see hints of spring crop up, which means it’s time to start all those wonderful household chores that we put off all winter. Time to chase those dust bunnies out of their comfy and cozy homes!

dusty computer keyboard

This should be no different for your ERP system. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is a memory, and we have made it through the first month of the year, which for most of us is filled with those dreaded year-end processes.

You’ve heard Holly talk about cleaning up the Job Queue and the Change Log but how many of us think about Pending Transfers, Purchase Orders that have not been invoiced, Past Due Purchase Orders, Purchase and Sales Prices updates, and the seldom acknowledged Pending Returns.

Pending Transfers

Why should you care about pending transfers? After all, stock will transfer when it can, right?

Several factors could cause a transfer to not ship on time: delay in stock from the vendor, being sold out of material, or just somehow missing it. Let’s face it, things happen! So, what’s the answer?

Have a point person that can be informed when a transfer is not able to ship on time. This can be a shipping supervisor, a warehouse manager, or a purchasing agent. Take it a step further and review open transfers for the coming week or month to verify dates, not forgetting to check for those that are past due! Have this person be responsible for verifying if transfers are still valid and when they can ship, as well as for updating shipment dates. The level of accuracy you gain will allow sales to provide accurate information to their customers and purchasing to plan accordingly.

Purchase Orders

By now all your carriers should be settled back into their normal delivery schedules. It’s the perfect time to check for any past due purchases that have not been updated. Not only is it time to check for past due purchases but also to verify if you have paid all your invoices.

Our vendors often get busy themselves and miss sending invoices. We shrug it off like it is nothing. Next thing we know, it’s months or years later. We think we paid it, but we forgot to post it to the purchase order. Or perhaps, we just never paid it, and now we want to close out the purchase order. Each scenario requires a different solution; however, catching them early keeps your ERP clean and running smoothly.

Purchase/Sales Prices

A New Year brings hope and the thought of starting fresh. For many of us, that means new pricing. These pricing changes could come from your suppliers, or perhaps your company is rolling out new pricing for your customers. Even if the change won’t happen for a few months, why not get those prices loaded and update the dates when they will change.

There is nothing worse than purchasing a part for $0.75 and selling it for $1.00 only to find out on the next purchase that the new purchase price is $1.02. You are stuck selling it for $1.00 because the sales team was not aware of the increase. With that said, I implore you to have open communication between your purchasing and sales departments. Without that interdepartmental coordination, your business cannot succeed.

Pending Returns

Returns seem straightforward, right? They usually are, but what happens when a customer requests to return product then changes their mind?

They often forget to tell us. We’ve entered a return and provided paperwork to the customer. From our perspective, we’re done until the parts arrive back. Sure, but have you ever thought about what that means for your business? Your ERP sees that as inventory pending arrival and calculates it as such. If the customer never sends that stock back, it causes purchasing to purchase incorrectly and could cause sales to provide inaccurate information to customers.

To solve this issue, you’ll want to periodically review your pending returns. The timeline for when a return is too old to remain in the system will depend on your industry and business model. In my experience, we followed up with the customer after a week or month, sometimes even twice. After a return hit 4 months, we stopped calling and just deleted it.


You will often hear us say, “Oh, it’s that time of year” for this or for that, but these tasks can and should be done more often. As a former purchasing agent, I cannot stress enough how much of a game changer it was to implement these tasks monthly. Some of them were easier than others, but the most important thing was keeping up with them and communicating with those who were assigned each task. At first, it was challenging to get everyone on board to do their part, but I provided examples of how each task affected the ERP, my job, and (most importantly) how it affected their job.

Remember, just because something “isn’t your job” doesn’t mean that you can’t make it better.

Your Business Central (NAV) Caretaker,

Marguerite Manelski
Innovia Consulting Customer Care Agent

This blog is part of an ongoing series from the Innovia Customer Care team. Click on the image below to read all the other entries in this series.

Customer Care Graphic


Marguerite Manelski

Marguerite Manelski

Marguerite is an Application Consultant with Innovia Consultant on the Support Team. She helps a wide range of clients configuring and solving problems with their ERP systems. She has specific expertise in purchasing, inventory, and related specializations.

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