Entering a sales order

Sales orders are created from the sales order main menu or can be created by copying an existing order. While the sales order is being created it has a status of ‘Under Construction’ during which time data that is entered is saved but not checked for validity. When the sales order is ‘Activated’ then the validity and completeness of the data is checked, the sales order number is allocated and the sales order is scheduled into the resource planning system. (Depending on the complexity of the sales order and factory operations, a sales order may need from a few seconds to several minutes to be activated.)

If the partner information is set up with all required fields completed, it is very easy to enter the sales order header details. Only the customer number is required then all default values will be copied automatically to the header. If the price list for the customer is already known then line prices will be filled in automatically when entering the lines.

It is also possible to create new sales orders directly from the sales forecast system by converting tentative orders to sales orders.

It is also possible to create a sales order from an active sales quotation.

Selling a manufactured item (Make-to-order and Engineer-to-order)

If the item selected in a sales order line is a manufactured item, there are additional features available.

Dedicated work order

Make-to-order is supported by the “dedicated work order” check box. This defaults from the value in the item card. If this is set then when the sales order is activated, a work order for the product on this line will be created and linked to this sales order line. This will happen regardless if the same item id is freely available in stock. By default the work order number will also include a reference to the sales order number and line number. When the line is shipped to the customer, it will only be possible to do so if the dedicated work order has been completed.

Editing product structure and properties

If a dedicated work order is being used, it is possible to edit the product structure and other properties of the work order directly from the sales order line. To do this view, the sub tab of the sales order line for the product structure and press the “Edit structure and properties” button.

This feature is used in the “Engineer-to-order” model. It is possible to create a very generic product structure on the item card and to complete the details when the customer orders. It is also possible to copy the product structure from a CAD system at this stage using the import button.

Note it is only possible to edit the top level product structure here. If the product contains multiple levels of product structure, the lower levels are set on the item card of the subassembly.

Confirming a sales order

The sales order confirmation report is the confirmation that can be sent to the customer. It is possible to print or email it forward.

Sales orders shipped from another location

When entering a sales order it is possible to specify from which location the sales order will be shipped. The default is entered into the sales order header, lines can have different locations. This feature is typically used when the manufacturing or final assembly of a product is out-sourced to a subcontractor.

If the partner data is set up correctly, then the appropriate person from the subcontractor will automatically be emailed a copy of the sales order confirmation without price data. This is so that the subcontractor company is immediately aware of the forthcoming requirements.

Back-to-back orders and triangular shipping.

It is possible to specify that a sales order can have a back-to-back purchase order. This means that the items on a sales order will be purchased from a supplier regardless if they are in stock or not. Additionally if the sales order is specified as direct delivery, the purchase order will have a delivery address of the customer. This is sometimes called triangular shipment.

Sales orders and resource planning

Sales orders are one of the driving forces for the resource planning system. When a sales order is activated then the items required to meet this demand for each individual line are scheduled and allocated. Stockable items such as materials and subassemblies are either allocated to a specific sales order line or are unallocated. This applies whether they are in stock or in a work order in production. If the item does not exist at all, then a plan for creating it is made.

By activating a sales order, this allocation process is run. Note that sales order allocation occurs on a first-come-first-served basis, and it is a benefit of this system that the allocations are not changed by the system throughout the life of the sales order. If it is needed to change the allocations of sales orders then it is possible to reschedule certain sales orders from the planning main menu. This will allow the priority of sales orders to be changed from the first-come-first-served basis to a priority specified by the user. The scheduling system also includes an option to reschedule orders at night based on required date order.

Sales order margin

After a sales order line is shipped it will get the margin calculation. The cost of the items shipped is according to the FIFO (first in first out) calculation method. Note that the FIFO cost of the shipped items is not necessarily the same as the FIFO cost shown on the item card for an inventory. This is because the inventory value is for all items in inventory but the cost of the delivery is for the specific delivered quantity.

Sales order line promise date

It is possible to set the promise date of the goods to the customer from the sales order and also from the production planner screen.


Multiple sales orders and other items can be grouped into projects. This enables the management and tracking of disparate activities in different parts of Manu Online in one place.

Projects can be classified for reporting purposes, and information such as the customer contact and responsible person recorded. Projects can have linked PRM activities for recording miscellaneous text information.

The following items can be grouped under one project

  • Sales orders
  • Direct sales
  • Miscellaneous sales invoicing
  • Service work orders
  • Miscellaneous purchase orders
  • Miscellaneous purchase invoicing

Sales quotations

Sales quotations allow you to offer your customers products before purchase. The screens for sales quotations are very similar to the screens for sales orders. It is possible for instance to configure engineer to order products on an offer and this configuration will be carried through to the sales order if the quotation is converted to an offer. The sales quotation has two extra fields compared to a sales order to cover the classification of the quotation and the cost budget to which expected margins are displayed.

Direct Sales

Direct sales is for selling product without entering a sales order. Direct sales can be used for over-the-counter sales or for mobile sales such as entering work hours and spare parts for maintenance work. The customer can either pay cash or the sale can be retained for invoicing at later date. Direct sales is suitable for bar code scanners at the point of sale (POS).

Sales forecasts

It is possible to create an unlimited number of sales forecasts. Each forecast has its own name and can contain an unlimited number of products with different requirement dates for various customers. There are two types of sales forecasts: comparative forecasts and tentative orders. Both types are entered in a similar way. Sales forecasts are primarily used to ensure that the correct amount of materials are purchased and for budget planning.

Sales forecasts can be marked as ‘Scheduled’. If a forecast is scheduled, then the materials and other items needed to provide for the forecast are included in the planning system. If the forecast is not scheduled it does not affect any item planning and so is recorded for information or archive only. The difference between a comparative forecast and a tentative order is the way in which item planning system handles the information in the sales forecast. In short, comparative forecasts are used in comparison to real sales orders but tentative orders are in addition to real sales orders.

A comparative forecast is typically used for an annual or quarterly forecast of sales. If the comparative forecast is scheduled then the products, quantities and times specified will be taken into account in the resource planning system in comparison to actual sales orders.

A tentative order is used to specify an expectation of receiving specific sales orders from customers. This is used when a sales order is known with reasonable certainty to be coming to the company but for some reason it is not possible to enter an actual sales order. For instance a customer may have informed that the order is coming but has not been finally approved by management, or it may be known that a product is required in a certain project but it is not yet known which project subcontractor will be ordering it. The items requirements indicated by tentative orders are added to actual sales orders. Tentative orders are used for rolling forecast production. In this model the customer gives, for instance monthly, a forecast schedule of their requirements, perhaps 6 months into the future. It is agreed with the customer that 1 months requirements are to be confirmed. At a monthly meeting the new forecast data is entered to the system and the first month’s forecast is created to a sales order.


It is possible to keep a register of agreements in the system. Agreements can be linked to service work orders (e.g. maintenance agreements) and to periodic invoicing (e.g. license or rental sales).

Product tracking

Product tracking keeps a record of the current locations of dispatched products. This is used to improve after sales service, and with warranty and maintenance work.

Product tracking is only available for products that have been issued with a serial number when they have been shipped. The first and default location of a product is the shipping address. However if the product is moved to a new location, then the current location can be updated. The location of a product is a partner id as created in the Partners main menu. If there are locations that are not used in the normal sales process, it may be sensible to use the ‘Other’ partner group.

The comments field in product tracking can contain a link to an external product tracking system.

Showing status to your customers

Customers can view the status of their orders using a link that is placed on your company home page. To view a sales order’s status they have to enter the sales order number and a sales order tracking number that is printed on the sales order confirmation. They do not need to have an account on the system to do this. Note that pricing information is not shown on the status pages.

The link that you must create on your own home page is simply:


where the word ‘company’ is replaced by your own company identifier exactly as used in the first part of your user name.

By using a sales order tracking number, only people who have a copy of the sales order confirmation will be able to access the status page. If the sales order confirmation is forwarded to the customer, then the customer can use the link in the email to directly enter the status site without entering any codes.

There are two levels of details that can be shown to customers: a basic level containing sales order information and any shipping details, or a detailed level showing status of the product in the manufacturing supply chain. The choice of basic or detailed is made by a check box on the customer’s information in the Partner card.

Dispatching a sales order

The procedure for dispatching products for a sales order is described in the Warehouse section.

Invoicing a sales order

The procedure for invoicing a sales order is described in the Invoicing section.