Managing exceptions

Most orders should flow through to fulfillment, shipping and invoicing without any trouble, either via manual processes or automation. Efficiency is lost very quickly when you have to deal with the exceptions - the 'troublesome' orders.

Brightpearl helps with this in a number of ways. This article lists some recommended best practices for exception management.

Orders on hold

Having an 'on hold' status allows you to isolate orders which have gotten stuck during processing. You can either set up multiple 'on hold' statuses for common issues, or set up a single 'on hold' status and use custom fields to capture the reasons.

Setting up an 'on hold' order status

  • Go to Settings > Sales > Sales statuses and click the button to add a new order status.
  • Name it 'On hold' (or similar) and save your changes.
  • Repeat for any additional 'on hold' order statuses.

Setting up an 'on hold reason' custom field

  • Go to Settings > Custom fields > Sales and click the button to add a new custom field.
  • Name the custom field 'reason for hold' (or similar) so that everyone can see why an order has been placed on hold.
  • Set the custom field type - it's recommended to use a 'select list' with a standard list of reasons, e.g.
    • Fraud check
    • Items out of stock
    • Customization required
    • Extra payment required
  • Save the custom field.

How to use the on hold status and custom field

Using the custom field in an order, with an 'on hold' status:

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Using the custom field as a filter on the sales list:

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Using the order status, custom field, and a combination of allocation/fulfillment/payment status filters, you can tackle your exceptional orders in a structured fashion.

Let's have a look at an example. On a daily basis, you could check for orders where:

  • Status: On hold
  • Reason for hold: Items out of stock

Using that report, you can select all orders and choose to batch allocate inventory in case new inventory has arrived and has not been automatically allocated to sales orders.

Next, filter again but show

  • Status: On hold
  • Reason for hold: Items out of stock
  • Allocation status: Fully allocated

This would normally be an empty list, but if any of your sales have now been allocated OK, you can progress them through fulfillment.

Regular tasks 

For tasks like the above, where you are filtering lists and performing actions, you can use a preset to avoid having to filter the report every time.

Alternatively, you could filter a page and add it to your favorites.

Either way, make sure you don't use a fixed date range in your filter as the results will soon become inaccurate!

Learn more about presets here.

Using Automation

The Automation app can be set up to park orders onto any selected status, and to populate any custom fields on the order based on certain order conditions.

You can also use Automation to populate custom fields with dynamic data from the order using widgets in a similar way to populating an order template.

Read more about automation actions.

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