1. Do not allow negative inventory
Many small businesses allow their inventory to go negative. SMBs are frequently short on staff so they bypass the receiving or build process and ship or use stock. After the fact they try to correct quantities but by then it’s hard to trace back to the correct on hand quantities so their inventory become a mess. QuickBooks allows you to go into negative inventory. You will get a warning but that's it. All Orders on the other hand has a preference to disable negative inventory. This small preference will force staff to complete the receiving or build process beforehand. Some may argue that this would delay the shipping process and take more time. However one could also argue that it takes MUCH more time to have to circle back to correct negative quantity instead of doing it right the first time.
2. The bill of materials should be a management tool
QuickBooks is a great accounting program and that what the build assembly allows you to do, account for components and cost rollup. However your assemblies together with your bill of materials should also be a management tool.
The bill of materials should be able to store critical information about the production process. All Orders allows you to use routing steps, build instructions, component level instructions and associated documents like drawings.
The bill of materials can also be a valuable costing tool and therefore there should be a cost roll-up when the cost of your components change or even when the cost of the a components of a sub-assembly changes; QuickBooks assembly does neither.
3. Allocate stock for a build
Normally when you start a build (i.e. work order) you would like to be able to
be able to allocation available stock then do a purchase order for the rest.
In QuickBooks if you do not have sufficient stock the entire build assembly goes
to 'Pending' mode which makes it extremely difficult to determine required stock
and plan production.
All Orders allows you to 'Allocate' stock to a work order thus preventing another user from mistakenly believing that the stock is available. In addition All Orders uses status to inform the user on the readiness of a particular work orders. A work order can easily be de-allocated if the stock is required elsewhere. The ability to allocate stock avoids the pending build issue so common in QuickBooks.
4. Auto create work orders and build them in batches
Creating a build assembly can only be done one at a time and it could be extremely time consuming. All Orders has a couple of tools that make the job easier. Firstly you can use the "Reorder Analysis" to create work order based on different criteria like deficiency, required and reorder point. Secondly the work orders can be processed in batch from the work order list on which you can allocate, change status and finish work orders. In All Orders you can process 100 work orders at the same time!
5. Use the work order for scheduling and quality control
The work order lists and reports have various programmed information
that help you track their progress. In addition, All Orders work orders
contain up to 30 custom fields each which can augment the status tracking and/or
provide data storage for your quality control procedures.
6. Use labels with barcodes
This seems obvious but many manufacturers don't bother to put the appropriate label on finished goods. A label should at a minimum have the SKU, description, quantity and date. Other useful information would be the lot/batch number, work order # and best before date or expiration date. It would be extremely beneficial to you and your customers if your labels have bar codes. This would allow both you and your customers to use scanner to ship and receive product.