Base Information Management

Sales & Distribution - An Overview

Manufacturing and Distribution companies are experiencing considerable changes in their business environments. The competition is becoming more global. Product life cycles are getting shorter and customer preferences changing rapidly. Reduced delivery lead times are a prerequisite to compete, and offering customised products is of vital importance. Customer loyalty cannot be taken for granted anymore.

Increased efficiency in distribution is a key factor to ensure that companies retain a competitive edge and improve both profit margins and customer service. In helping business to obtain a competitive edge
, BASE offers ITM™ Sales and Distribution, a comprehensive set of the best components from quotations to logistics management across the supply chain. ITM™ is integrated with other modules of ITM and provides powerful tools to plan resources to ensure and analyse sales.

Following submodules are offered under Sales & Distribution Module :


Sales quotations are created through a manual entry and all information that would be required to confirm a sales order is captured and validated by the system. A sales quotation is like a customer order, except material reservations and statistical follow-up are not carried out. You can also create a sales quotation by copying a previous quotation and changing it as needed. On confirmation of the quotation, you can select all or part of the quotation to a sales order with a reference to the quotation. Quotations can be "threaded" for customers allowing them to be tracked to ensure regular follow up and allow sales personnel to make informed decisions.

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A Product Configurator helps you and your customer define and verify make-to-order or assemble-to-order requirements, ensuring accurate, buildable orders. This knowledge-based system captures the valuable know-how of your marketing, engineering, and manufacturing personnel and makes it available to every member of your sales force.

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Price List

ITM supports the concept of differential pricing by maintaining multiple price lists for a given item. On order placement, it selects the price list based on the rules defined in the system.

It is equipped with tools for creating, copying and changing price list for different market segments, eliminating the need for repetitive manual entry. These tools also help your agents, dealers and stockist to generate their price list based on pricing policies framed by your organisation.

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Discount models define the discounts that are automatically entered for a customer order line. Discounts are defined in the price list and can be configured to market segments on limit values in the discount scale (e.g. quantity, amount, etc.). The size of the discount can be varied based on an order size or based on quantity or volume scales achieved over a predefined period.

The discount module regulates changes carried out in item discounts and determines, the manner in which they have to be presented on the invoice.

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Sales Campaign and Promotions

Sales promotions can be defined by capturing the information required to implement a sales or promotion campaign. Critical components of sales campaigns like discounts, period of the campaign, eligibility criteria, target achievements and restrictions on geographical region, market segment can be imposed

Promotion management is integrated with order entry so that valid promotions retrieve sales prices or discounts pertaining to the campaign to the order line automatically.

For new product promotions credit and return policy can be switched to an "Over- ride" mode so that your channel partners can place their routine orders without having restrictions imposed upon them due to non performance or slow off-take of a new products.

ITM has incorporated extensive tools for analysis and review of outcomes of sales promotions.

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Sales Order

Sales Order Management ensures order accuracy as it captures, maintains, and shares product and distribution information across your enterprise. It meets your order processing requirements from rapid, repetitive order entry to complex, detailed orders with multiple shipping schedules.

The system automatically splits the orders into divisions or pre-defined objects, based on the items ordered, eliminating manual segregation. This feature enables the organisation to monitor sales performances and facilitate autonomy, of these divisions or objects

Orders can be generated by any of the following methods

  • Direct Entry
  • Sales agreement
  • Auto replenishments
  • Channel partner replenishments

Direct Entry --

You can enter order lines using different panel layouts. You can use a detailed panel where all information is editable. Or, you can use a panel for quick entry so only item number and quantity need be entered in each line. Full-screen entry is another option. Regardless of the method used, you can define the contents of each panel.

Sales agreements --

Customers can place sales orders on terms and conditions defined in an agreement. ITM maintains detailed of the sales contracts such as price lists, payment terms, items and validity of the agreement, minimum order, maximum order per period and total order value of the contract. The system checks the enforcement of the terms on each order entry.

Auto replenishment --

Orders are generated automatically for replenishment at customer warehouse. This is managed by either generating an order at specific time intervals or on reduction of stock to pre-determined re-order level. Through this integrated approach to order fulfillment, purchase requirements are planned to satisfy the orders at the earliest and at the lowest cost possible. Customer relationships, and ultimately your competitive position in the market, are strengthened.

Channel Partner Replenishments --

Allows you to dispatch goods based on requirements and demands received by the channel partner from their customers, eliminating the need of the channel partner to stock inventory at its own location.

Similar to auto- replenishment, ITM allows you to automatically generate orders for your Channel partners. They could be Stock -and - sell agents, consignment agents, dealers or any other entity. Channel partners are connected to you by ITM and follow the rules and structures that you specify in your system.

Order Entry Checks :

At order line entry, the system carries out different checks as set in the customer or order type. Examples are:

  • Reasonability checks to ensure the quantity matches the customer’s buying pattern for each item. This covers the buying information for the customer and item over a predefined purchase period.
  • Reasonability checks can also be set as a maximum / minimum quantity per agreement line or customer / item relation, without using the customer-buying pattern.
  • Duplicate checks ensure that the customer has not ordered the item more than once for the same confirmed delivery date.

ITM has the provision to close pending sales order for partially executed manually which are not to be executed.

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A hierarchical credit policy can be specified at an item, divisional, organisational, and customer level. The credit check is carried on a hierarchy, defined on the amount outstanding, period of the amount outstanding and maximum value of gross order value.

The system has capabilities to define complex credit policies where divisional credit checks are compared with organisational limits and customer limits with respect to geographical regions or sales agents.

The credit check process is invoked at the time of confirmation of the sales order or invoice generation, to ensure compliance with the credit policy.

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Available to Promise

Available to promise (AtP) is a powerful tool providing projected inventory positions in a time- phased manner. ITM stimulates the effect of production orders and customer orders till the required date, calculating a "Should be" status of items for a required date taking into consideration current stock position, demand forecasts, production lead times, and Min Stock requirements. Conversely it can also determine the earliest delivery date for a required product and quantity. ITM reviews other sourcing alternatives across the enterprise instead of planning customer deliveries according to locally available inventory and capacity. AtP calculations ensure that there is sufficient product availability for a specific customer and, if so, to identify exactly where and when that product is available.

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ITM allows you to create invoices automatically on completion of order acceptance. It provides the flexibility to allocate stock by expiry date, lot number or FIFO methods.

With extensive invoicing and reporting functionality, you can accurately and easily prepare, calculate, and submit invoices. ITM has a provision to segregate a sales order and create invoices according to divisions of the organisations based on the items they manufacture or market. It is possible to have separate invoices for trading, consignment sales etc.

The system can be configured to accept a minimum value per invoice. These can be further specified for each division individually.

The invoicing process is completely integrated with the Accounts Receivable, Sales Commission, Customer discounts, General Ledger, Taxation, inventory management, costing and Sales Analysis modules.

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Sales Returns

An activity that is closely monitored by the management providing an indicator of the effectiveness of planning, forecasting and distribution activity. It also throws light on areas of possible revenue leakages.

Sales staff can be penalised as per sales incentive schemes to avoid "dumping " of goods by over enthusiastic sales staff to achieve targets.

Return of goods sold under special promotions schemes are tracked so as to ensure that the customer or stockist does not get benefits of the scheme on return of goods sold under a scheme.

The system blocks future invoicing of an item for a predefined period in the event the stockist or Agent has returned a substantial quantity in the past.

The system provides an option of automatically generating a credit note or providing replacement for returned goods. It calculates the tax effects for the option selected and creates the necessary entries to the effected modules.

For return of products where the organisation is merely a marketing agent, the system initiates purchase return procedure.

Depending on whether the goods returned are saleable, have expired, or need re-processing, the system automatically updates the inventory and gives the necessary general ledger effect.

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Email : March 2000, Base Information Management