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:
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.
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).
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The report writer is basically impossible to customize. The program constantly locks up and shuts down. I have to call tech support at least once a week if not more. Everything costs extra. It’s outdated… Yuck.
That I get to leave it at work when I go home.
That it’s here every time I clock in.