I’m trying to set up ERPNext the way to fit our project management needs. I have written this simple text to help me understand how ERPNext works, as I cannot find any comprehensive guide how to set it up for a company like ours. I post it here, because there are still some unanswered questions. If I get the answers, I will update the document, as I think that it could be helpful for a lot of companies in similar business. It is pretty long post, sorry for that, but I think that it is better to have everything in one place than to open several topics with individual questions, also it is better for understanding the context.
We are company delivering security alarms and CCTV cameras. Our workflow is simple – we buy material (cameras, cables etc) and use it to implement CCTV or alarm system in various buildings. So we work both with material and services.
This is the way I think things should work… for simplicity I start directly with Sales Order.
New sales order, enter items (several material components + one service item for installation), set delivery date, Save, Submit
Blue Make – Project
Now I’m in Project view:
Give it some reasonable name, set project type, set complete method (task progress), set start and end dates.
There are created tasks for both material and service items, so I have deleted material tasks as they don’t make sense to me. Then set up start and end date for task/tasks, if I want to enter estimated time, I have to go to the tasks full view dialog.
If I want to create some subtask under that task I go to Project-Task-New, but before it I have to check IsGroup in the task I want it to be parent (in my case one created automatically when creating project)
Q: Is it possible to create these tasks only for services?
Q: Is it possible to automatically enter Estimated Time value from Sales Order Item qtty (hours) value, from that was task created?
Q: What is the benefit of creating Cost Center for the project? I guess I can put all the costs to the project the same way. Or is it for some „related“ costs I can’t put to project via Items?
All required material I have on stock, now I want to issue it to workers.
Go back to Sales Order, Blue Make – Material Request.
And in Material Request view
Set Required Date and type to Material Issue, Save, Submit
Q: Is it possible to set default type to Material Issue?
Q: Is it possible to automatically delete Service Items (doesn’t make sense to issue them)
Now let’s issue requested material to workers
Blue Make – Issue Material
In More Information I have to enter my Project, if I won’t enter it, cost for the material won’t go to the Project.
Q: Is it possible to enter automatically linked project? Should be already linked via Sales Order/Material Request I guess.
Now I can go to the Stock Ledger (Stock – Stock Ledger) and check if there is a movement. OK, it is there. Then I go to the Items view to see, if there is updated stock balance, but there is still issued amount displayed as Reserved Qty.
Q: Should we use Material Request/Issue or Delivery function to put material on project? Request/Issue makes more sense to me, as we issue material several time during the project to the workers. The Delivery note is issued for all of the components at once at the end of the project, when is the work accepted by customer. But if I do Delivery at the end of the project, all the material is issued twice (first time by Material Issue and second time by Delivery). And if I don’t make Delivery, Sales Order stays in To Deliver state. What are the best practices here?
Then I go to the Projects - Project to check, if in my project is recorded cost of issued material. And OK, it is there in Costing and Billing - Total Consumed Material Cost. Also in Margin – Gross Margin I can see impact of issued material.
Q: What is the difference if I create Material Request from the Project view instead of from Sales Order? If I create Material Request from the Project page (Material Request “+”, Get Items from… Sales Order), delete service Items, set Type to Material Issue, Save, Submit, then in Project – Costing and Billing - Total Consumed Material Cost is still zero.
Q: Seems that Total Consumed Material Cost is displayed without VAT, but Estimated Cost and Total Sales Amount are displayed with VAT included, this is confusing, maybe would be better to display all the values without VAT, is it possible to set it up this way?
Another place, where I expect to see project costs is Profitability Analysis. If I go to Accounts – Other Reports – Profitability Analysis and choose report based on Project, there is nothing.
Q: Why I can’t see anything in Profitability Analysis?
Let‘s enter some working hours on project.
Project – Timesheet – New, then enter Employee. In table below I enter Activity Type (with set Activity Cost), From Time, Hours and Project. Then I need to click gray arrow at the end of the row and in appearing dialog select Task.
I don’t check Bill checkbox, as I don’t bill hours, but agreed price from sales order.
Save – Submit
Q: Is ts possible to enter automatically project? Should be already linked, if I created timesheet from the project view.
Let’s check if recorded work is present in cost of the project. Projects - Project - Costing and Billing - Total Costing Amount via Timesheets – OK, it is there and it corresponds with rate, set to Employee in Activity Cost.
Once again I go to the Profitability Analysis, but there is still nothing.
Q: Why I still can’t see anything in Profitability Analysis?
So Task is completed (I entered to the Timesheet all the hours, planned for the Task). But in Task view, there is still %Progress as 0. Also in Project view is %Completed displayed as 0 (Complete Method was set to Task Progress). If I manually enter %Progress to Task 100%, it is automatically displayed also in Project view, as expected.
Q: Do I have to enter task progress manually in the Task view? Is it possible to calculate it automatically from working hours assigned to this task in timesheet?
Project is finished, let’s make invoice.
Sales Order – Blue Make – Invoice
Everything is OK, so Save – Submit
Now I see in my Project Total Billed Amount and Margin, numbers are OK.
But if I look at Sales Order, it is still in state „To Deliver“. I think that only way to move it to done status is to do Blue Make – Delivery, Save, Submit. But if I do it this way, I have another move in stock and all the material is issued twice, as I already described above…