Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ISBN, ASIN, ISRC, and other codes

Products need unique codes to identify them.  Why?  Well, people tend to use the same product names as others, so that isn't very good in differentiating one product from another.  In fact, in some businesses, all products may have the same name, but differ in other attributes such as sub-title, version, mixer, etc.

When you sell your products through distributors, other vendors, or over the internet it becomes important to use the standard product codes available there.  Many distributors will require it.

Most people have probably heard of ISBN.  That's a book code, right?  Yes.  If you are in the music industry, you might recognize ISRC as the code relating to a recording such as a track on an album.  ASIN?  Amazon decided to setup its own unique coding system that goes across all of its products, not just books.

So when you are selling your product on the internet using multiple services, you very well may end up with more than one product code for the same product!  Now you will receive a sales report from one source referring to product X, while another source indicates how many of the same product was sold, but refers to it as Y.  That could be tricky.

Fortunately, DashBook Royalty Pro can handle multiple code styles for each product.  So your book can have an ASIN, a pISBN and an eISBN (made-up variations of ISBN to indicate the difference between print and electronic).

Then when you instruct DashBook to import sales from a given sales report, you simply use an import map (relates columns in the report to DashBook data fields) that points to the proper DashBook field.  So your Amazon Kindle import can perform matches on ASIN, while your Lightning Source refers to ISBN.

Similarly in the music business, you can have an ISRC for your tracks and an SKU or Barcode for your albums or releases.  Our import mechanism might seem complex, but it is a simple relationship that directs report columns to DashBook terminology.

Do you have extra codes like Catalog Number?  No problem.  You can go to Setup->Products->Product Code Types and add your own type to your DashBook system.  On the Product screen is an All Product Code Types link where you can see all of the codes for a given product.

This all can be a bit daunting for someone new to the industry, but a lifesaver for those who have to deal with this real world.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Royalties for QuickBooks

DashBook version 5.2 has just been released!

In addition to providing additional report enhancements, the big news for this version is the new ability to create royalty checks directly into QuickBooks using our optional QuickBooks Integration Module.  Now you can pull QuickBooks invoices into DashBook, calculate the royalties using DashBook, and then create royalty checks in QuickBooks.

You can do all of this without any exporting or importing of interim files, since DashBook communicates directly with QuickBooks using Intuit's API (programming interface language).  The advantage of using the API is that QuickBooks can monitor what is being written so that it could complain if any data uploaded was not following the correct format.  This gives instant feedback that what we do is correct.

There are some details in the process, of course.  Within DashBook, you would first mark all of your royalty payments that you are paying as paid.  Then you can instruct DashBook to create QuickBooks checks for all payments within a particular date range.  Aside from providing the start and end dates, there is nothing more to do but click a button to do all of the work.

Of course, you can still import sales from other sales reports, such as Amazon Kindle, Ingram, etc.

Our enhancements to DashBook come from users like you.  If you have some special calculation, reporting, or integration work that would make your life easier, contact us.

We can help you.