Chapter 2c: Master FIles

Customer Maintenance

Add, Change, or Delete Customers

Your Customer master file will contain the bulk of permanent data regarding those firms that purchase your merchandise.  In addition, the file contains historical sales information on each customer which can be printed on reports or displayed on the video screen.  But the information you are concerned with when setting up a customer is data such as name and address, salesman, tax codes and credit limit, along with information which will speed up the process of entering orders for the customer, such as terms, ship via, warehouse, price category, and discount percent.


The customer information you collect and write on the data entry worksheets is entered into the system using the Customer Maintenance program.  Like all maintenance programs, you may add a new customer record or change or delete an existing record.


Each customer record requires a unique identifying code called the customer number.  It can be as many as six characters in length.  We recommend a simple strategy for numbering:  use the first three letters of the company name plus a three digit number, usually multiples of 100, to provide space for adding more customers that have similar or identical names.  Alternatively, you might use the first three digits of the zip code, or the first three letters of the second name of the company.




                                                                   Cust              Alternative
Customer name                                        number        numbering

U-SAVE SYSTEMS                                 USA500       USASYS     


UNITED TECHNOLOGIES                    UNI300        UNITEC      
UNITED X-RAY DEVICES, INC.         UNI500        UNIXRA     
UNITEX, INC.                                          UNI700        UNITEX      


Most distributors have customers with a different shipping and billing address, or perhaps multiple shipping locations with one billing address.  In these cases, you must create individual customer master records for the billing location, and each shipping location.  Then when entering a new order, the operator will use the customer number of the shipping location.  Each “ship-to” customer  record will contain the corresponding “bill-to” customer's number and thus the system can automatically create an accounts receivable record for the correct bill-to account.


Other benefits of maintaining a separate record for each shipping location are that each location may have varying salesman, tax rates, even pricing or discounts.  Also, sales history can be accumulated by individual location.


When numbering customers with multiple ship-to locations,  follow this example:


                                                                   Cust              Alternative
Customer name                                        number        numbering

NEW HAVEN SUPPLY CO                    NEW300      NEWHAV   

NEW HAVEN SUPPLY, LOC 1             NEW301      NEWHA1    

NEW HAVEN SUPPLY, LOC 2             NEW302      NEWHA2    




















Customer Maintenance Screen








Customer no                                                                MASTER

 1.Name                                                                       21.Trade disc pct       
 2.Address 1                                                                22.Commission rate   
 3.Address 2                                                                23.Credit limit
 4.City                                                                         24.Credit hold
 5.State                                                                        25.Resale no   
 6.Zip code                                                                  26.UPS zone
 7.Contact                                                                   27.B/O allowed          
 8.Telephone                                                                28.Bill-to CustNo      
 9.Division                                                                   29.A/P Contact          
10.Warehouse                                                             30.A/P Telephone      
11.Salesman                                                                31.FAX phone no      
12.Tax code                                                                32.      
13.Cust class                                                               33.Contract code       
14.Statement                                                               34.Net pricing
15.Fin Chg                                                                  35.
16.Terms                                                                     36.      

17.Price cat                                                                 37.A/R balance          
18.Ship via                                                                  38.Order balance        
19.Frt terms                                                                 39.History  40.Letters
20.Active Since                                                           41.Profile/Notes         






















Customer File Field Definitions



1.  NAME                                                       25 characters maximum


The customer name; prints on most  reports that print customer transactions, or customer sales history, and on pick slips, invoices and statements.  The name may also be used to customize letters when doing a mail/merge task (Word Processing) and you may therefore wish to enter the name and address in upper- and lowercase letters rather than just uppercase.

2.  ADDRESS 1                                             25 characters

3.  ADDRESS 2                                             25 characters

4.  CITY                                                         15 characters

5.  STATE                                                      2 character code


The state code is verified in the Code file and may be used to generate a sales history by state report.



6.  ZIP CODE                                                10 characters


The zip code may be used to sort the customer file when performing Word Processing tasks.



7.  CONTACT                                               20 characters


This contact name represents the buyer to whose attention sales correspondence, pick slips, and invoices are addressed.  It prints directly beneath the company name and address.



8.  TELEPHONE                                          12 characters


The phone number is one method of accessing the customer records when using the Customer Insight program.  It is also printed on the pick slip to aid in deliveries.



9.  DIVISION                                                2 character code


If your chart of accounts has been created to account for revenue and expense in separate divisions (departments, revenue centers) then the customer must be encoded to identify to which division the revenue will be credited.  The code is verified in the Codes file.



10. WAREHOUSE CODE                           2 character code


If your company ships from more than one warehouse the customer must be encoded to identify from which warehouse shipments are most commonly made.  During entry of a sales order for a customer, this field is used to commit inventory in the proper warehouse.  The warehouse code for any individual order may be overridden.  If necessary, see the  instructions entitled, How to set up an Additional Warehouse in the MISCELLANEOUS section of this manual.



11. SALESMAN CODE                               2 character code


Indicate which salesman earns commission for sales to a customer, or indicate "house account".  This field is used during sales order processing to accumulate sales and commission payable by salesman.  The field may be overridden for any individual order.  The code is verified in the Salesman master file, and, therefore, salesman records must be created before customer records may be input.



12. TAX CODE                                             2 character code


Indicate the method of computing sales tax for this customer using one of the available Customer Tax Codes in the Codes file.  Again, this field is used in order processing to compute the proper sales tax on any invoice and to accumulate sale to the general ledger for reporting to tax jurisdictions.  The field may be overridden for any individual order.



ALTERNATE TAX CODE                        2 character code


If your system is set up to allow for taxable and non-taxable merchandise on the same sales invoice, then you may be asked to enter an alternate tax code.  If the customer tax code for any customer is equal to "RS" (resale), then the computer must know which tax jurisdiction is applicable when the customer buys taxable merchandise.


Enter a 2-character Tax Code from the Codes file that has a tax rate that is not zero.



13. CUSTOMER CLASS                            2 character code


This code may help you further classify customers into groups for future analysis of sales.  The code is verified in the Codes file.



14. STATEMENT                                        (Y) or (N)


Indicate if the customer is to receive a statement whenever customer statements are printed.



15. FINANCE CHARGE                            (Y) or (N)


Indicate if the customer is to be charged on past due invoices whenever the finance charge programs are run.


16. TERMS CODE                                       2 character code


Select one of the billing terms codes from the Codes file which defines your agreement with this customer regarding expected payment of invoices.  The field is used on order processing to print the terms description on pick slips and invoices, and to compute cash discount and discount dates (if applicable), and net due dates for each invoice.  The terms code may be overridden for any individual order during the order entry process.



17. PRICE CATEGORY                             1 character code


Use one of the price category codes from the Codes file to indicate which of the nine available prices in each inventory price record apply to this customer.



18. SHIP VIA                                                2 character code


Select one of the ship via codes from the Codes file which reflects the most commonly used method of shipping to this customer.  The field is used in order processing to print the ship via description on pick slips and invoices.  The ship via code may be overridden for any individual order.



19. FREIGHT TERMS                                2 characters


Indicate the terms of the delivery charges, if any, using on of the freight terms codes in the Codes file.



20. ACTIVE SINCE                                     4 digits (MMYY)


Indicate the month and year this customer first became an active account.  This field is only for your information and only appears when the account is displayed by the Customer Insight program.



21. TRADE DISCOUNT PCT                    2.2 digits (99.99)


If the customer receives a discounted price, indicate the discount percent (e.g. 15% discount entered as 15.00).  As each line of merchandise is entered on an order, the net extension is computed by extending the price and quantity, then deducting a discount computed using this discount percentage.  The discount on any line may be overridden as the order is entered.



22. COMMISSION RATE                           2.2 digits (99.99)


A commission rate for each salesman is stored in the Salesman master file.  Thus, when an order is added to the system, the commission may be computed simply by indicating which salesman code is to receive credit for this sale.  However, in some instances, salesmen will earn a different commission rate when a sale is made to a particular customer, or type of customer account.  If you indicate a commission percent in the customer record, this percent will supersede the normal commission rate for any salesman credited with a sale to this customer.


23  CREDIT LIMIT                                     7.2 digits (9999999.99)


When a new order is added to the system, the customer's credit is checked by comparing his current outstanding accounts receivable plus the balance of unshipped orders to his credit limit.  If the limit is already exceeded or is exceeded as the new order is entered, the operator is notified and must answer a yes/no question to proceed with the order. The credit limit is displayed on the Customer Insight screen.



24.  CREDIT HOLD                                    1 character


You may place any customer on credit hold by entering any non-blank character in this field. Then, when an operator attempts to add an order from this customer to the system, a credit hold message appears and the operator must answer a yes/no question to proceed with the order.  The credit hold indicator is displayed on the Customer Insight screen.  Enter 0.00 for “no credit hold”.



25.  RESALE NUMBER                             17 characters


Use this field to keep the customer's resale number (if applicable) on file.  It is store for yo