Item Process Tracking, IPT, is designed to address the need to record specific information about an item, or a process on or with the item, when that item is used on a specific type of transaction. For example, it can be used when receiving an item on a Service RMA to record the condition of the returned item and several return process steps. Or, IPT might be used when receiving an item on a Manufacturing Order to record a post-production checklist. IPT could also be used during Sales Invoicing to record that packing/prepping steps were completed.
The “set of data fields” to be collected and “steps to be completed” for an item on a GP transaction are collectively called a Data Sheet. A Data Sheet is similar to an Excel workbook with a list of fields to be filled-out.
Think of a Data Sheet as an empty template—it has the fields you want to record, and perhaps instructions on what to do.
A Data Sheet is a collection of user-defined fields which need to be recorded for an Item when the item appears on a specific type of transaction. IPT supports two general types of fields on a Data Sheet:
- Attributes are “observed” characteristics, such as a name or date or assessment of grade
- Variables are “measured” characteristics which are always numeric
Each Data Sheet is assigned to one, and only one, type GP transaction, such as an RMA. Each Data Sheet is also linked to one or more Items. The result tells the IPT module that, for example, when 128 SDRAM in on a PO Receipt, use Data Sheet “PO RECEIPT”.
You can have an unlimited number of Data Sheets assigned to each GP Transaction Type, so if each class of Items needs different data recorded or processes performed, you can create on Data Sheet for each class of items.
These transaction types are supported:
- Inventory Adjustment / Variance
- Inventory Transfer
- Manufacturing Component Issue
- Manufacturing Order
- Manufacturing Receipt
- PO Receipt
- RMA (Service Module)
- Sales Invoice
- Sales Order
- Sales Return
When an Item is used on a transaction where the transaction and item are assigned to the same Data Sheet, IPT creates a Data Record. The Data Record is a numbered copy of the Data Sheet created for that specific GP transaction and Item Number.
Think of a Data Record as a copy of the empty template. In a paper-based system, the Data Record is a photo-copy of the Data Sheet. This is the copy you will write on to record information.
The Data Record is where you enter the information required for an item. When completed, the Data Record is “posted”, or moved to history, where it is no longer editable.
Setting up IPT is done in the following order:
Record Numbers: set up numbering sequences for each of the GP Transactions where you will record information about your items. Each GP Transaction must have a different numbering sequence.
Data Sheets: At a minimum you will need to create one Data Sheet for each GP Transaction you want to support with IPT. If different items, or groups of items, require different data collection or processes for a given GP transaction, you will need to create more than one Data Sheet for that GP transaction.
Item-Data Sheet Maintenance: An Item can be assigned to multiple Data Sheets per GP transaction, and a Data Sheet can be linked to multiple items. An Item might have several Data Sheets for Manufacturing, where different data needs to be recorded on three different sequences. The same item might have another Data Sheet for when it is returned on an RMA.
Routings: this optional setup can be used to direct the Data Recording task to specific users. When Routings are enabled, a GP Reminder will be auto-created when a GP transaction is entered where the transaction and item are linked to a Data Sheet.