Ad Specialties in Merchandise


Posted: 19 August 2010

Good afternoon, Hal. I don't do much with ad specialties (pens, mugs, etc.) but I have an opportunity to quote a rather big job. I want to put the products into MF so I can email a nice estimate and record it should it become a job. Anyway, I understand the four methods for entering merchandise - piece, lot, /M, and hourly. Let me tell you what I'm trying to do and my issue will become evident. I have coozies (can holders) that are available in any quantity at a minimum of 210 with a $100 set-up charge and price breaks at 525, 1050, and 2625.

1.When I enter it by the piece, I have no way to indicate the minimum quantity or the set-up charge.
2.When I enter it per lot, there is no way to select an odd quantity or set-up charges.
3.By the 1000 has the set-up charge but I can't indicate the minimum quantity or the price break at 525.
4.Obviously, per hour does not apply here.

Is there a work-around or am I missing something? As you know, I primarily use Merchandise for my wide format so minimums are normally not an issue and of course I'm more flexible than these ad specialty companies.

. . . . .  Keith

Neither, Keith. The closest you could come is per 1,000. You'd have to roll the setup charge into your minimum. At 50 cents a coozie, your minimum price would be $105.00 plus the $100.00 setup charge. You could then accommodate two of the quantity price breaks with a percentage value, but not the third. See the attachment. The main problem I see is with the capped minimum which would prevent you from charging much more than the 50 cents per coozie.

Maybe it's time (after the Gold has been released) to add a "U-Define" merchandise pricing scheme. We can't change the monthly data file structure for merchandise without a major ripple effect. But, I think all the elements are there, in different combinations, to pick and choose and then reassemble into the pricing structure you're looking for.

Who knows, might even find a way to add the art charges for merchandise you put on the wish list a few months back!

. . . . .  Hal Heindel


Wow, you remembered! And this is what makes MF better than all the other programs out there!

I ended up settling on the per piece pricing. I worded the minimum quantity in the product description and I'll just have to remind Cousin Mel about it. I do 90% of the estimating anyway and my Cousin Mel (Andy) is actually pretty damn smart. Also, I found it easier to input the price breaks. The 5% and 10% discounts under per 1,000 seemed a little difficult to match-up with price breaks at 525, 1050, and 2625. I put the set-up charge under packaging, where I have all my other pre-press and post-press charges for wide-format.

A user-defined section for merchandise would be the ticket! The level of flexibility it would add! MF may not be able to make sandwiches, but it'll be able to price 'em!

. . . . .  Keith

Thanks, Keith! That could be our mission statement.

. . . . .  Hal Heindel

I had a thought here. It would be nice to have a user-defined addition to the merchandise section. Like an out sourced BC with a base price, then you can add typesetting for example. Now we set our pricing up with art and without art and it works. Just would make it a bit nicer.

Now for what I wanted to say: We have talked a lot about Cousin Mel. Why couldn't we have an admin mode that is passed worded? In admin mode you can tweak and fine tune if you need. It find that it works really well out of the box.

MF has really come a long ways. We have now dropped our other computer estimating program and gone all MF Gold. The girls are starting to really like it! Everyone was a bit scared at first but that has changed.

. . . . .  jerryjfm

Happy to hear that, Jerry. In the Silver, Pixelblitz, and Gold Editions you do have an admin mode and the ability to assign user accounts with password protection. It's under Log-In > Set User Accounts. In the screen captures below, only the admin has access to My World and My Shop.

. . . . .  Hal Heindel



Well Hal, to be honest I do not use the admin a lot. Just a few times so far. I use MF right out of the box and just change the numbers and products. It is a matter of learning to us MF. We had the same estimating program for 16 years and it was DOS. Yours has much more to offer.

. . . . .  jerryjfm