New fields: Sales Class, Category, Segment. Brands.
We created Product Tags some time ago, touting these as a means of categorizing products in ways not achieved via existing means, such as Product Category (PCAT or SUBPCAT) or Vendor. Now that a number of jobbers have implemented those tags, we’re seeing them being used for much the same things, which is largely about positioning products in a CRM according to how they are categorized for marketing. This common use signals to us a need to make some new classification fields standard. So, we’re adding four:
- Sales Class is a very broad classification that marks a major line of business, such as Lubricants or Cardlock. We assume that most of our clients will have three to ten Sales Classes.
- Sales Category resides under a Sales Class, and would be similar in scope to a PCAT. We’re going to try to change the way we think of PCAT, now as a Posting category rather than a Product category. So a product will have two such ‘categories’, a PCAT to control how it posts in the system, and an SCAT to group how marketing wants to see it.
- Sales Segment resides under a Sales Category, and would be similar to a SUBPCAT.
This triple-tiered structure will have no effect on posting to G/L. It’s there to allow marketing to group products in whatever manner makes sense to them, while leaving in place the current schemes for routing product sales to the financials.
The fourth new field is Brand. That would be similar to our current tagging of a product with a Vendor Code. But we’ve found that doesn’t fit so well when dealing with house brands. So from here, Vendor will be where the Purchase Order goes, while Brand can serve to allow marketing to organize the products into ‘lines’.
So, two fields are added to Product Maintenance: Segment and Brand. Segment is required, as we want the sum of all segments to equal total sales. PCAT maintenance now has a new field for Default Segment, in case that helps when adding new products. From the Segment, we know the Sales Category and Sales Class. Brand will be optional.