How to Build a PO Items Database in Sage 300 Construction

Aug 16, 2019

Sage 300 CRE tips and tricks

This is important for Inventory Control and management as well as enabling effective Purchasing Procedures in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (aka Timberline Office Software).

Building a PO Items Database

In order to build an effective PO items database, let’s start by asking what are items and what purpose does it serve?  In simple terms it’s an identifier often thought of as a “number” or “item code”.  If this identifier uses alpha and/or special characters are used it becomes more of a description.   For the scope of this article, setting up items in Sage 300 Construction, it refers to a part.

The purpose they serve is a quick look up to longer descriptions and/place holders for storing defaults associated with the item itself.  Using an items codes from a database impacts downstream processing when creating purchase orders.  For example, by selecting the item, the associated descriptions typically appear on the form with the associate price by default.   A by-product of the items database is visibility to item history and location of the item if you maintain inventory.

Timberline office purchasing items

Timberline office purchasing record

Setting Up Items in Purchasing

The mechanics of setting up an item in Purchasing is relatively easy and accomplished through the following steps

  1. From the Setup menu, select Item.
  2. Click [New] and enter the code for the item.
  3. Enter the remaining details for the item. The item code and description are required before you can process a transaction against the item.
  4. Click [Accept] to accept and save the item details.
  5. Click [Finish] to close the Item Master window.

However from a best practices perspective, prior to setting up the item, either through direct entry into the system or via import, you should carefully consider the structure of the code for building an effective items database.

  1. The item code within Sage allows up to 20 characters. Best practices dictate keeping the same length.
  2. The item code needs to be unique. The longer the string, the more possibilities of keeping items unique.  A 5 to 7 in length string should suffice.
  3. Avoid using spaces in the item.
  4. Understand the sort of the item code. The item code is left justified
    • 0001
    • 0001A
    • 0001B
    • 0002
    • 0002A
  5. Make it clearly efficient. Think of the user.  The more complex the code, the greater difficulty to key.  All numbers are easier for data input purposes.  In Sage you can search by the description by changing the view within the input screen.
  6. Avoid punctuation unless you use more the 7 digits.
  7. Also using the letters o and lower-case l. From a visual standpoint, can get confused with 0 or 1
  8. Consider using bar codes.
  9. Consider using web base/portal solutions.  Using a web base portal solution provides enhanced searching where you can search by any work within the string.

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