All About Products
Products in the Point of Sale are used to define items that are sold and processed. The contain the definitions of what items you sell and
information for how the system should process them
Sample of range of fields available to define products
A product record contains the details of an item generally, not details of each individual item. If you are selling televisions, the
product record contains details about the television in general (description, price, etc) but the details of individual items (serial#, etc)
are held elsewhere. A practical limit of around 500,000 product lines is used as an indication of scale, however actual
useable limits vary according to how the system is used.
For each product you supply known details (called attributes) and this information is distributed
around your retail system and made available for use. You can supply as little or as many attribute values for
products as you wish.
To enter product records into the Point Of Sale you can either enter and edit them individually, or use the
Excel bulk product load function.
The system includes a large number of 'pre-defined' attributes over several
industries and you should try and use these, in the manner prescribed, if possible as this allows other
areas of the system to use the information. You can add custom attributes to products (up to 100,000).
Products are also used for anything that can be "sold" to a customer, essentially providing the
details to show on receipts and balance accounting entries.
Is it a product or variant?
One of the problems that arises in retail systems is when is an item
a product entry by itself, and when is it a variant of a base product. (Example, a clothing item that is available in 3 colours - 3 products or 1 product with 3 variants?). While largely a matter of personal choice, keep in mind the
- If you stocktake count the items seperately, they should be seperate products.
- However, if the number of products to support this is unreasonably large (eg there are 16 million colour options)
then using alternative approaches will be better.
- Items that are sold and require 'preference selection' at sale time can be configured using
modifers. (more about modifiers) However for
stock purposes modifiers are not normally stock lines and do not have inventory.
- Reports are typically stronger at product level than product and variant (or modifier) level.
- Different flavours of cans of drink. If each flavour has its own barcode, we recommend different
product lines so you can report by flavour.
- T-shirts sold in 5 sizes and 6 colours.
- If you track item size/colour option individually, then create 30 products (hint, there are ways to do this quickly)
- If you track sizes but not colour, create 5 products.
- If you group them all together and don't need the system to handle much, create one product.
- Magazines. These consist of a single "title", but with "issues" each month. Typically you can have
the most recent two issues on sale. We treat this as one "product" (the title) and each issue is a tracked variant, even with stock levels.
(Note, Magazines have specialised support in the system)
- Coffee. These are one "product", such as a long black, but are customised using modifiers. This permits capture
of customers preferences.
Highly Customised products and services
Some products or services are tighly specialised to customer requirements and need to capture
a large amount of information at sale time. Consider selling new curtains, the sale process needs to capture
these sale specific values (width, length, backing, track type, etc). For these key types of products, a custom
data capture screen is displayed at sale time.
Stock on Hand Counters
Stock on hand counts are generally maintained for all products, even those such as services where it isn't really needed.
Technically it is easier and faster to maintain all items rather than excluding some, however these products can be marked "report Stock on hand as zero"
which causes the system to report them as zero in many places.
There are several different definitions of "stock on hand" that you may see in your system. Which is most sensible
for your environment will depend on your business processes.
|QOH (Quantity on Hand)
SOH (Stock on Hand)
This is the typical definition of stock on hand. It is defined as the count of items in
your store/location and is recorded in measurement units.
This value changes dynamically as items are sold, orders received or stock adjustments performed
This is the number of items that are your property.
|Physical on Hand||
This value is displayed for tracked items only. It is the number of items actually in your
Consider the example where you have 3 cupboards in the showroom. Both stock on hand and physical
on hand will show 3. One item is then sold to a customer, but is not delivered for several days. After
the sale is completed, QOH (Quantity on hand) will reduce to 2, but physical on hand will remain
at 3, reflecting the fact that it is still in your store. The physical count will reduce to 2, once the
delivery has been recorded in the system.
Physical on hand will include items that are not your property, so may not be available for sale.
The following fields are available in the database for products. This is subject to specific site setup. Site specific fields
may also be available, which are not shown below. If the list below does not include a required attribute and it is common across an
industry segment we may be able to add it
Modifiers are values that are collected as preferences at sale time. They are modifying the
item being sold, rather than selecting from a fixed choice. When you order a steak (a "product")
you then supply cooking preferences (rare, medium-rare, etc) which are modifying the product or service
being delivered to the customer.
Modifiers are designed for high speed selection from a range of options, they are not general purpose capture.
It is expected that you can define all the possible selections for modifiers, as they do not permit random text entry
Products can be measured in several different ways depending on what type of product it is. Most products are referred
to as "each" or "units" which is the measurement for single items, such as a can of food. Fieldpine uses the terms "each" and "unit"
Fieldpine POS does not use fractional measurements (thereby avoiding rounding errors common in computers). If you want to measure a fraction of an item,
use a smaller measurement. Liquids are typically measured in ml, and length in mm.
[ Exception, some web browser based
reports do use fractional types and might sometimes have rounding issues ]
Each product can specify 3 seperate units of measure:
- The measurement for stock counting purposes. This is typically the smallest measurement.
- The measurement for pricing purposes.
- The display measurement.
A service station might measure fuel in millilitres for stock purposes, but display pricing in $ per L ($/L).
Common Mesurement Types
|Product||Stock Measurement||Pricing Measurement||Display Measurement|
|Units (eg Can of food)||Units||Units||Units|
|Weight (eg Tomatoes)||Grams||Kilogram||Kilogram|
|Small Weight (eg Truffles)||Grams||Gram||Gram|
|Liquids (eg Petrol)||Millilitres||Litres||Litres|
|Length (eg Length of Ribbon)||Centimetres||Metres||Metres|
- Typically you set the stock measurement to the accuracy of the device measuring it. Fuel controllers are
normally reporting in ml, so set stock measurement to ml. General retail scales are normally reporting in grams, so use
grams for weighed items.
- A 600ml bottle of drink, or a bottle of wine, is measured in units - as you sell and stocktake the bottle.
- A good rule of thumb for selecting stock measurement, is what will you count for a stocktake? For a product
like bananas, you do not typically count each banana, rather you weigh the banana in kilograms and grams
Outer & Logistic Units
Outers are packs of units that are received from suppliers. The outer sizes do not affect measurement selection
for stock level purposes. Outers are used for ordering, but the system will order and receive "1x" outer (of 12 units)
and adjust stock levels by 12, not 1.
A supermarket will typically treat fruit as a weighed item, and set measurements to gram/kilogram. A lunch bar however
will often sell and count fruit as individual items regardless of the specific weight of the item. In this case, you would set
the measurements to each/each.
RTDs can be especially problematic for highly accurate stock tracking. An RTD is typically packaged as a single container
holding 4 drinks. The packaging around all four bottles usually has a barcode, but sometimes the individual bottles can
also have a barcode which might be the same or different to the packaging barcode. This creates a real problem for the
computer as we do not know if the barcode is 1 bottle or 1 container of 4 items.
If you do not sell single bottles from RTD packs, then set the stock and price measurement to units, and treat each pack
of 4 bottles as a single unit. This mirrors what many liquor retailers do already
If you do sell individual bottles
Not all retail products are typical and handled the same way, below are some of the special cases
that you might encounter
Serial Numbered Items
A serial numbered item is where each item is individually numbered, either by the manufacturer or the retailer.
There are two options to handling serial numbered items
Capture serial number at sale time.
This method has sales staff capturing serial numbers at the point the item is sold. Quick and easy,
but does not have any visibility of what items are currently in stock. Most commonly used
where you wish to record serial numbers for warranty purposes but aren't otherwise concerned with
- When creating products, tick the "prompt serial#" option and POS will popup at sale time requesting
- Define a custom capture screen and link this to the product(s). This method is not as quick
as #1, but does allow you to validate serial numbers
Capture and record serial numbers as stock lines
For expensive items or items where the serial number is key to business operation, you can fully track the individual
items through the stock system. When goods arrive you scan or create a serial number, and this individual
item is recorded for stock purposes
- Very accurate tracking of items
- More effort at stock arrival time and more management of system effort
- Recommended for high value items
- Tracked items can include parts or components that make up the single item.
In Fieldpine POS, we refer to individually recorded serial numbers as "tracked items"
Kits & Combos
Kit products are those were you bundle 2 items together and typically offer a discount.
In Fieldpine, each component of the kit (or bundle) is recorded as a product in its own right, and
a "kit" selling control is created to apply this marketing override. Kits should be viewed as a marketing/selling
technique rather than a stock control technique - if you need a stock control technique, then see manufactured products (below).
The common example is selling a "pie" and a "drink" together for a small discount. The pie and the drink are both
individual items, but when they both appear on the sale, the system applies a "kit pricing". There is no requirement
to scan the items together, and you can continue to sell items individually at full price also. It is valid to sell
2x Pies and 1x Drink, resulting in 1x Pie/Drink combo and 1x Pie at full price.
More information refer to Kits & Combos
Bulk Edit Products using Excel
- Goto the product list report [ Home, products, product list ] and search for the range of products
- Save this report as an Excel spreadsheet using the menu at the top left. Not sure how to do this? Read the
introduction to reports from [ Home, start here ]
- Edit the spreadsheet to reflect the values you wish to alter.
- Upload the changed spreadsheet on the page [ Home, products, product upload ] Tip, this page has
additional help, see top right help icon.