Only a year ago, all of us were panicked into believing that Intuit would discontinue all the desktop versions in a short period of time once and for all. And look what is happening - lots of enhancements have been announced for the desktop products since then. The desktop versions of QuickBooks are still getting fixes and improvements!
Take QuickBooks Enterprise for instance - all insightful accountants and QuickBooks experts have been going on and on in their blogs about a number of really exciting features they got to see in the pre-release version, one of them being Enhanced Sales Order Fulfillment with Barcode Scanning. You can read a very detailed overview and a step-by-step guide to this feature by Charlie Russell, Senior Technology Editor, Sleeter Group/Accountex Report, who took a really deep dive on this module and put the results together in two long but comprehensive articles. Meanwhile, let us have a quick look at where QuickBooks Enterprise users can win and where they are likely to end up losing by utilizing the newly announced enhanced order fulfillment in QuickBooks v18.
To take advantage of the enhancement, you would have to acquire and enable Advanced Inventory software for QuickBooks Enterprise that entails extra spendings but opens up a much more sophisticated way to manage your inventory and orders with barcode scanning and more.
With HandiFox, you would be able to experience advanced order management without the Advanced Inventory of QuickBooks Enterprise. The less costly QuickBooks Premier + HandiFox get you the same pack of order fulfillment features but at a lower price!
Constant Internet connection is a #2 requirement if you want to make use of the new pick/pack feature. Your warehouse personnel should be equipped with handhelds (preferably with scanning abilities) and have good Wi-Fi coverage to make the data exchange smooth and quick.
HandiFox can record pick/pack operations without an Internet connection and send this data over to QuickBooks once you are back online. This is clearly a huge pro!
Barcode scanning device
As of now, the support for barcode scanning devices in QuickBooks Enterprise v18 remains pretty limited - there is only the ruggedized Motorola MC40 device that was tested and works well for barcoding tasks. Otherwise, you can use any Android device (4.4 and later) to do picking/packing but this process eventually turns into a manual task of typing in quantities. Error-prone, isn’t it?
HandiFox’s support of Bluetooth scanners gives you much more flexibility in this respect.
Items for picking
QuickBooks is said to allow you pick only Inventory items and Inventory Assemblies which is kind of a serious downside. It can be a non-starter for some businesses at that point as those that struggle to cover all inventory on hand would definitely want and need to record other item types, too.
In HandiFox, your warehouse workers are able to pick the following item types - Inventory Part, Inventory Assembly, Non-Inventory, Service, Other Charge, Discount, therefore giving your business a much better visibility into your inventory.
Transactions for picking
The beta version of QuickBooks Enterprise v18 features the ability to pick Sales Orders only.
In HandiFox, you can pick Sales Orders, Invoices, and Sales Receipts.
Switching between items
With the new pick/pack feature in QuickBooks Enterprise, picking items with different barcodes turns out a fairly disruptive process. Every time you switch from one item to another one with a different barcode, the app brings up a dialog box with a request to confirm the switch or continue with the prior item. You might also find it frustrating not to be able to switch from one bin to another or pick items from several bins at a time.
HandiFox allows you to pick items with different barcodes, from different bins effortlessly and without having to stop.
Once the Sales Order is picked on the device, the Invoice is not created automatically and the QOH for the item is not changed. The user of QuickBooks Enterprise has to go and create the Invoice manually and only then the QOH is updated. It is hard to say if this one is a pro or con as different businesses prefer different levels of automation at this stage.
Once all items are packed, HandiFox users see a new automatically created Invoice and QOH values changed in QuickBooks immediately.