Using Business Central for Trade Desks and Counter Sales

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Like those working a trade desk or sales counter, professional salespeople typically possess a ton of industry and product knowledge. These are the professionals you turn to when you walk into a business, knowing you need some part but aren’t really sure what you need.

Professional salespeople use knowledge and experience to sell. Unlike a retail operation, where the clerk does not necessarily require intimate knowledge of a topic or product to facilitate the check-out process. Professional salespeople possess many skills, including:

  • In-depth knowledge of products available to the customer,
  • Understanding specifications to ensure there is a match,
  • Knowing which third-party suppliers to turn to when needed,
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment while creating and processing orders,
  • Managing order deposits and payments.

Many businesses that operate a trade desk or sales counter will turn to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Business Central is chock-full of functionality, including financials, warehousing, manufacturing, customer management, inventory, purchasing, sales, and other management areas.

As great as Business Central is out-of-the-box, it does not fully support the workflow of those working a trade desk or sales counter. For professional salespeople to “get the job done,” they need access to information, which Business Central provides. However, it requires a lot of jumping from screen to screen to collect this information. The workflow is cumbersome and prone to human error, which equates to inefficiency. Customer satisfaction is affected by efficiency.

When Business Central users add functionality to the platform, they turn to the Microsoft AppSource online marketplace for third-party apps. The team at Insight Works has developed an app specifically to support those professionals operating a trade desk. The app is called Counter Sales, and it combines Business Central’s functionality into a focused user interface to streamline the order and check-out processes.

While some use the Counter Sales app as a retail point-of-sale (POS) solution, the target user includes those managing a manufacturer’s parts counter, a B2B or industrial retailer, distributors with outlet stores, and other trade-type counter sales.

This article will look at the Counter Sales app to see how it can help streamline the counter sales process.

Simplified Business Central Order Entry Page

Counter Sales is built into Business Central, so there is no need to jump between programs. Because Counter Sales is built directly into Business Central, the app has access to all information stored within Business Central. Users can quickly lookup inventory levels, product details, historical product sales, and more. No more having to jot down notes on scrap paper to fulfill orders.

Quicker Check-Outs Thanks to Barcode Scanning

Counter Sales supports barcode scanning, and, for those who have not integrated a barcode scanner with Business Central, it’s dirt simple. The check-out process can be sped up using barcode scanners to add products to the sales order rather than looking up products or manually entering product IDs. If your products have barcodes, the cost and time it takes to integrate a barcode scanner with Business Central are very much worth the effort considering the long-term time-saving. If your products don’t have barcodes, there are apps that can assign and print barcodes, for example, Warehouse Insight or Barcode Generator.

Spend Less Time Looking When Using Search Tools

Counter Sales include a powerful search function that enables users to identify parts quickly and easily. Don’t mistake powerful with complicated. There is no required knowledge of proprietary wildcards or specific syntax needed to search. The intelligent search feature deciphers the user’s query to return useful results. The enhanced search tool enables users to search by description, item number, cross-reference number, vendor item number, item category code, variant code, department code, project code, serial number, or lot number. Whether you deal with a few hundred parts or a few hundred thousand parts, the keyword search tool helps you quickly nail down the correct part.

Flexible Payment Options to Accommodate the Customer

When using Counter Sales, collecting payments from customers is a breeze because of the multiple payment types per order feature. You can accept various payment types per order, such as part cash, part credit card, and part coupon, all on the same order. Counter Sales also tracks deposits that have been placed on orders as well as layaway payments.

Increase Opportunities by Tracking Lost Sales

A challenge for parts counter is knowing what to carry in inventory and how much. Stocking product that doesn’t move takes up shelf space and ties up cash flow. And not stocking some items results in lost sales. Counter Sales enables your team to track lost sales easily. With lost sales reporting, you’ll see what customers wanted to purchase but were unable to. Through built-in reporting, Counter Sales will present revenue-generating opportunities for you.

End-of-Day Reconciliation is a Breeze

Counter Sales helps you close out the day quickly by automatically generating a cash drawer reconciliation report. While a cash drawer can be integrated with Counter Sales, those using the cloud version of Business Central may require additional integration work to interface with a cash drawer or a receipt printer.

Tracking and Reporting Helps Streamline Operations

In addition to the reporting mentioned above, Counter Sales tracks customer sales so users can quickly look up past orders as needed. One report provides the ability to rank customers by revenue. Another handy report enables managers to see which salespeople provide discounts, what level of discounts, and who is making price overrides. With the second report, managers can set permissions within Counter Sales to control who has discretion over pricing changes and discounts.

Is the Counter Sales App from Insight Works Right for Your Organization?

As mentioned earlier, a manufacturer’s parts counter, a B2B or industrial retail desk, distributor outlet stores, and other trade-type counter sales are typically managed by professional salespeople. For these full-time professionals, being able to process orders quickly impacts the bottom line. With Counter Sales, you get an app for Business Central specifically designed to accommodate the process professional salespeople follow daily.

To learn more, visit, check out the on-demand demo, visit Microsoft AppSource, or reach out to your Microsoft Partner.

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