Thursday, July 19, 2001






Physical Inventory

The PHYSICAL INVENTORY Function has been added to the IBID software to provide a mechanism for updating inventory records (particularly the information in the On Hand and Price data fields) based on a physical count of the inventory in your store.

Clearly, the first step in this process is to perform the actual physical inventory count. Stores may rent hand-held data collection devices, either from Ingram or Spring Arbor, or hire RGIS to do the count. The data is then transmitted back to the distributor where diskettes are prepared with the new information. In most cases, the diskettes that the vendor prepares will contain complete bibliographic information for each item, including ISBN, Title, Author, Price and number On Hand (this is the ROSI format). The diskettes are then sent to the store and the data base is updated via the Physical Inventory program.The program compares the ISBNs on the diskette with the ISBNs on the computer's data base. Each time the program finds a matching ISBN, it updates the ON HAND field with the quantity that was taken in the physical count, and it may update the PRICE field (this is optional) with the list price from the bibliographic information from the vendor's master file. For ISBNs that match, all other bibliographic fields are left alone -- that is, the program does not change your own Title or Author or Category entries.If an ISBN appears on the diskette for which there is no match on your computer's data base, this means that a book was counted in the physical inventory for which there was no record on your system. In this case, the Physical Inventory program creates a new inventory record. Most of the bibliographic information for this record comes from Ingram or Spring Arbor's master title base -- information such as Title, Author, Publisher, and the like. However, you may control what goes into the VENDOR, CATEGORY, and DEPARTMENT data fields by using this data entry fields on the Physical Inventory screen. (We will explain this at greater length later.)

Once the Physical Inventory program has completed, you may request a number of Discrepancy Reports to determine On Hand and Price differences between your inventory before and after the update. It is important to understand that these Discrepancy Reports must be run before you Exit from the Physical Inventory screen. Once you leave the Physical Inventory screen, that comparative information is lost. Keep in mind, however, that you may run a standard Inventory Valuation Report from the IBID REPORTS menu before you process the update, and then run another one after the information has been entered, to get a comparison of your pre- and post-inventory data bases.The data you receive back from Ingram or Spring Arbor may exceed one floppy diskette. Each of the diskettes will be labeled with a filename, such as T1.DAT, T2.DAT, T3.DAT, and so on. Make a note of these filenames, for later reference. When you insert each diskette in the floppy disk drive, make sure you hold it by the label and that you put it in the drive label-side up. Also make sure you close the lip on the drive for each diskette.

The first few steps in the Physical Inventory procedure are run outside of the IBID program, and are identical to the steps for an initial inventory load. They must be run WITH ALL OTHER USERS OFF THE SYSTEM. They are:

  • 1. Do a backup and reboot the system, and say Y to loading Concurrent DOS . Make sure all stations are out of the IBID program and back at the C:\IBID> prompt. Run the SOLO program to make sure that you are alone on the System.

  • 2. Then, place the first diskette in your computer's floppy disk drive, close the lip on the drive, and at the C:\IBID> prompt, type:

    COPY A:FILENAME and then press ENTER.

    In the place of the FILENAME (typically called T1.DAT, etc.), you type the name that appears on the first diskette from the distributor. This command copies the information from the floppy diskette on to your computer's hard disk.

  • 3. When the procedure is complete and the C:\IBID> prompt returns, take that floppy out of the drive. If you were sent more than one floppy diskette, repeat the step above for the next disks. For example, insert the second disk and type COPY T2.DAT followed by if the second disk has the name T2.DAT written on the label.
  • 4. When all the disks have been copied onto the hard disk. Type the following command to append all the data files together.

    COPY FILE1+FILE2+...LASTFILE IBID.DAT and then press

    where FILE1 to LASTFILE refers to the files that you have copied to the hard disk. For example, to append three files, T1.DAT, T2.DAT, and T3.DAT, that you had copied individually from the floppies, you would type:

    COPY T1.DAT+T2.DAT+T3.DAT IBID.DAT and then press .

    Note: There is a SPACE between COPY and T1.DAT. There is also a SPACE between the name of the LASTFILE and IBID.DAT. These are the only spaces in the command.

    Note: Once the inventory update is complete, you will need to erase the T files from your hard drive.

  • 5. Once you have copied all the information from the floppy diskettes into the file called IBID.DAT on your hard disk, you are ready to go into IBID and use the Physical Inventory module in Utilities. Again, you must be the only user on the System to run this procedure, so use the SOLO program to make sure you are all alone.

  • 6. Next, log on to the IBID program, select the NEXT PAGE option from the Main Menu to get to the Utilities Menu, and then select the PHYSICAL INVENTORY Function from Utilities. For an update of your complete inventory, select ENTIRE INVENTORY.

  • 7. To go forward with the procedure from the Physical Inventory screen fill in the data fields as follows:


    In the FILENAME data field, enter C:IBID.DAT. This is the name of the file on the hard disk created in the procedures described above, and it is this file which will update your data base in the Physical Inventory process.


    In the FORMAT data field, enter the number that corresponds to the format in which the information is recorded on the floppy diskette. In most cases, bookstores will receive information in the ROSI data format (even if RGIS counted the inventory) because the ROSI format includes complete bibliographic information for each record. In the RGIS format, only the ISBN, Price, and On Hand Quantity are included for each item. Your vendor -- Ingram or Spring Arbor -- will inform you of the format used.

    If your data is on the floppy diskette in ROSI format, enter the number 1 in this data field. (Unless otherwise informed, select the ROSI format.) If your information is in RGIS format, enter the number 2 in this field.

    Defaults for new ISBNs

    These data fields let you pre-set certain fields of information for new inventory records that are created as part of the Physical Inventory process. Because the VENDOR, DEPARTMENT, and CATEGORY data fields are required parts of any inventory record, you must enter information in these fields for a complete record to be created for any item that was counted in the physical inventory but not already present on your system. In addition, you may use these fields to help you identify those new records via Reports once your data base is updated.


    Use the VENDOR data field to enter your vendor of preference for all new items created from information on the disk. This field is particularly useful for later use in identifying all new titles created as part of the inventory update.


    The Category entered when counting the inventory will be the one that will appear in the new records. Therefore, each Category should be assigned a unique number for the purpose of the count. In the CATEGORY data field, since you must enter something, enter the section designation you that you use when you do not know which section a book should be in (many stores have created a dummy Category of ZZZ).


    Use the DEPARTMENT data field to enter the Department designation for the new inventory records created as part of the Physical Inventory process.

    Use the Functions on the Physical Inventory screen as follows:


    As always, the DISPLAY Function allows you to review the contents of various data bases in order to select and retrieve information.

    On the Physical Inventory screen, use the DISPLAY Function to gain access to your Vendor Display, Category Display, or Department Display if you need help as you establish the Default information for the new ISBNs. Remember, the location of the cursor when you press the DISPLAY Function determines which data base the System opens for your review.


    To initiate the Physical Inventory procedure, fill in all the data fields, as appropriate, and press the PROCESS key.

    If for some reason you did not execute the preliminary steps from the C:IBID> prompt, and the file IBID.DAT has not been created, the System responds with the message

    Cannot open input file.

    When you select PROCESS, IBID first asks

    Supersede On Hand (Y/N) Y?

    Press to accept the default response of "Yes," instructing IBID to change all the On Hand fields in the inventory to reflect the physical count taken in the store. (If you type N for "No" in response to this question, IBID will add the inventoried quantity to your existing on-hand.)

    Next, IBID asks

    Does input file contain non-numeric ISBNs (Y/N)? N?

    If RGIS did not take inventory of your non-numeric ISBNs such as gift cards, pens, etc. press to accept the default No answer. This will prevent the program from zeroing out the ON HAND quantity of your non-ISBN items. If RGIS did take inventory of your non-numeric ISBN items, type Y for YES and press .

    Next, IBID asks

    Update Category (Y/N)? Y

    Do not answer Yes if you do not want Ingram to update your categories with their category data. Often, their category codes will not reflect your own category codes.

    Next, IBID asks

    Update Price? (Y/N) Y

    Again, if you wish the program to update the Price1 (selling price) field in your inventory record for every item based on the price information supplied on the diskette by the distributor, press to accept the default response of "Yes." If you do not want to override your existing Price information, type N for "No" and press Enter.

    The RETAIL, QUANTITY, and SUMMARY Functions allow you to generate different types of Discrepancy Reports which compare the status of your inventory before and after the Physical Inventory procedure is run. These reports must be run immediately after you have PROCESSed the information and before you Exit from the Physical Inventory screen. Remember, you can run also run a variety of Inventory Valuation Reports from the Reports module in IBID both before and after you run a Physical Inventory to determine the discrepancies in your inventory.

    On the Physical Inventory screen, the RETAIL and QUANTITY Reports both provide a listing of each item for which there was a discrepancy -- either in number on hand or in price -- between the existing inventory record and the new information provided on the diskettes.

    For each item for which there was a discrepancy, each report prints the ISBN, Title, Author and Category. In addition, the report shows the File Quantity which is the number On Hand in the original inventory and the RGIS Quantity which is the number On Hand counted when the physical inventory was done. The report then lists the Quantity Difference between the before and after inventories. The report is sorted in discrepancy order, so that the biggest change shows at the top of the report.

    Next, for each discrepancy item, the report contains a column which shows the File Retail -- the list price from the original inventory -- and one that shows the RGIS Retail, which is the list price for that item from the information on the new diskettes. The report then has a column called Retail Difference which is the difference between the unit price before and after the physical inventory update. The final column, Extended Retail Difference, shows the difference between the number on hand times the list price (or unit price) before the physical inventory and the number on hand times the list price after the inventory update.

    The only difference between the RETAIL and QUANTITY Reports is the way in which the information is sorted in the report. The Retail Discrepancy Report is sorted in descending order by difference in unit price. The Quantity Discrepancy Report is sorted in descending order by quantity differences.

    Unlike the RETAIL and QUANTITY Reports, which are itemized listings of all discrepancies, the SUMMARY Report prints only the Totals Figures, by Department, for each of the columns of information.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: As soon as the physical count of your inventory is taken by RGIS, you must configure and use your IBID system in such a way as to prevent On Hand values from changing based on sales and receiving information until the Physical Inventory procedure has been completed. Specifically:

    1. You must run your cash registers in batch mode--that is, configured in Point of Sales Configuration for ON-LINE INV. set to "No." (Remember to set this back to "Yes" once the entire Physical Inventory process is completed and verified.) Avoid running any weekly or monthly updates, as they will put the inventory back on-line at the end of the update.

    2. In addition, you must be sure not to clear your registers while in batch mode. During this period, use your X-TAPE function on the Point Of Sales Menu to retrieve register totals. (We recommend that you change your Z-Tape Password in System Security during this period to prevent accident register closing.)

    3. Finally, remember not to receive against outstanding purchase orders until the Physical Inventory process is completed. Any changes to On Hand quantities based on receiving will be overridden when the Physical Inventory PROCESS is run.

    If you have any questions, contact the IBID Technical Support staff.


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