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ERP System & E-Commerce System for MLM Retail Operations. Benefits. Centralize information processing and accounting to a single professionally managed location Use the power of the Internet and the new economy to bring your product to market faster
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This presentation will cover several aspects of the MULT-E-LEVEL server. Some of the topics presented include:
This presentation contains image snapshots of the web interface to the MULT-E-LEVEL server. The MLM company called Baci Ware International, Inc. is featured in this presentation.
All users must login in order to perform work on the system.
Once the user types the Username & Password, the system authenticates the user against the database and the user can proceed to their corresponding home page.
The user has the ability to view his/her own network of recruited agents.
This particular example shows a user with 10 agents under him.
The diagram shows the agent’s hierarchy and level of recruitment.
Additionally, the diagram also shows total sales for each agent during the current month as well as the previous month. In this particular case, the sales are $0.00 for all.
Order entry is performed by users online. The order entry form has controls for modifying several aspects of the order including:
Estimate Shipping Cost
Enter New Item By Description
Change Shipping Address
Enter New Item by Part/Model Number
The order is maintained in the system even if the user looses connection. The user can simply log in again and continue the order entry process.
Close Order & Invoice
The Account Balance screen shows the paid and unpaid invoices for the user.
The user has the option of paying the invoices with a credit card in order to have them shipped.
The user has the option of paying invoices by check.
This screen contains links to the Invoice documents in PDF format for uniform viewing/printing on all browser platforms and operating systems.
The Invoices look EXACTLY the same as the original on any browser equipped with the Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin.
The credit card payment screen is comprehensive and allows the user to enter all the pertinent information.
This information is automatically processed through CyberCash and the funds are automatically placed into the merchant account as payment for the invoice.
Once the payment is cleared, the invoice is marked as paid and is automatically sent to the warehouse for packaging and shipping.
After the credit card information is processed through CyberCash (2-5 seconds), the payment confirmation screen is displayed for the user.
This screen contains a payment ID specific to the MULT-E-LEVEL system, a payment ID specific to the credit card company, and a hyperlink to obtain a payment voucher in PDF format.
The payment voucher functions as a receipt for the user. It is dynamically generated by the MULT-E-Level system as a PDF data stream and is sent to the user.
The browser then automatically loads the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in (PDF reader) and displays the payment voucher.
This functionality is preserved across all browsers equipped with the Adobe Acrobat plug-in.
The payment voucher can then be printed on any printer and it is guaranteed to look EXACTLY the same as the original.
The order history screen displays a summary of all orders placed in the past and shows their corresponding status.
The OPEN order is available to the user in case the user accidentally disconnects or wishes to continue the order entry process at a later time.
The user has the ability to delete any unpaid orders. Their corresponding invoices will be deleted as well.
The user can also obtain a copy of the PO or the Invoice in PDF format for uniform viewing an printing on all browser platforms and operating systems.
The Order Confirmation document is dynamically generated by the MULT-E-LEVEL system as a PDF data stream.
The PDF stream is sent to the user’s browser and the browser displays it with the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.
This mechanism allows the user to view/print the Order Confirmation document uniformly across all browser platforms and operating systems.
The Invoice document is dynamically generated by the MULT-E-LEVEL system as a PDF data stream.
The PDF stream is sent to the user’s browser and the browser displays it with the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.
This mechanism allows the user to view/print Invoice document uniformly across all browser platforms and operating systems.
During the first stage, the user selects all the items that he/she wishes to appear on the PO.
Additionally, the shipping address, shipping method, and any additional comments are also entered into the order.
All interaction is through the web browser interface and can be performed from anywhere in the world.
After the order is “closed”, the system automatically generates a corresponding invoice for the entire order.
Product availability is automatically determined, and holds are placed in the ordered inventory items.
The system automatically calculates the shipping charges by interacting with the FedEx host.
The invoice will show on the account balance page of the user’s account.
The user must now pay the invoice in order to receive the merchandise.
Payment can be performed through the web interface or by calling customer service.
The payment can be applied to multiple invoices at the same time.
Partial invoice payments can only be performed by customer service users from the administrative interface.
Once an invoice has been paid in full, it is marked as “eligible for shipping” and is automatically displayed in the warehouse shipping console for further processing.
Warehouse personnel use the warehouse console (also a web browser) to generate packing slips in PDF format and include them with the product packaging.
Warehouse workers “check out” invoices for packaging in order to prevent circumstances which might result in two persons working on the same package.
Once the packaging stage is complete, the warehouse worker simply clicks a button in order to complete the shipping process.
The system automatically contacts the FedEx host in order to request a shipment and to retrieve a tracking number.
The system automatically prints a FedEx label using a TEC thermal printer from FedEx.
The warehouse worker applies the label to the package and places it in the pickup area of the warehouse.
The last step in the order process is pickup by FedEx.
Depending on how the shipper’s account is set up, FedEx will automatically dispatch a courier to pick up the packages. Alternatively, the shipper may have to call FedEx in order to dispatch a courier.
FedEx will ensure that all tracking information is maintained by the FedEx host.
The user can obtain tracking information directly from FedEx using the tracking information that we assigned to the invoice.
This tracking information is provided as a hyperlink to FedEx from the order history web page.
Physical inventory maintains quantities of each inventory item that is physically located in the warehouse.
These inventory levels may not be all available for sale because some inventory may have been sold but not yet shipped.
Logical inventory maintains quantities of each inventory item that is in the warehouse but not yet sold (merchandise “up for grabs”).
The logical inventory level is always lower than the physical inventory level.
The logical inventory and the physical inventory levels should be equal at the end of the day once all the packages have been shipped.
As soon as an invoice is created for items that have been sold, the system automatically decrements logical inventory.
Essentially, inventory is reserved for a customer.
If the customer changes his/her mind, or if the invoice remains unpaid for a pre-determined period of time, then the items on the invoice should be made available for sale once again.
This is done by increasing the logical inventory back to their original levels.
When a customer order is packaged and shipped, the corresponding items should be subtracted from physical inventory.
This indicates that items have actually left the warehouse.
At this point the physical inventory and logical inventory levels should be equal.
When new merchandise is received into the warehouse, the physical and logical inventory levels should be adjusted accordingly.
The physical inventory is increased indicating that actual product is physically located in the warehouse.
The logical inventory is increased indicating that product is available for sale.
Occasionally, inventory counts will have to be performed in the warehouse.
In the event that losses are detected, the physical and logical levels will have to be adjusted accordingly.
The physical inventory will have to be decreased by the lost amount in order to bring the physical level up to date.
The logical level will have to be decreased by the same amount to signify that the inventory available for sale lower.
In as surplus situation, the physical and logical levels will have to be adjusted accordingly.
The physical inventory will have to be increased by the surplus amount in order to bring the physical level up to date.
The logical level will have to be increased by the same amount to signify that the inventory available for sale higher.
When inventory is transferred out of the warehouse (perhaps as a bulk shipment to a remote warehouse), the levels must be adjusted accordingly.
The physical inventory will be decreased in order to represent the fact that items have been physically removed.
The logical level will have to be decreased in order to represent the fact that fewer items are available for sale.
Order management is performed by users with administrative privileges. Order management consists of the following functions:
Administrators have the option of editing a closed order (perhaps to add more items after the order has been closed).
This function can be performed from the Order Management screen.
Closed orders have invoice numbers
Open orders do not have an invoice yet.
Edit an order (open or closed)
Administrators have the option of creating an invoice for items that exist in the original order but that have not yet been invoiced.
This scenario might arise from a situation where an order must be partially fulfilled immediately, while the rest of the order must be fulfilled at a later time.
Shows number of items in the order vs. number of items already invoiced.
Invoice an order (open or closed)
Invoice management is performed by users with administrative permissions. Invoice management consists of the following functions:
Administrators have the option of deleting invoices which have not been paid.
Any invoices with partial or total payments may not be deleted unless all the payments are deleted first (see Payment Management).
Select invoices to be deleted
Administrators have the option of editing invoices with or without partial payments.
The need for editing invoices might arise in a situation where special pricing might have to be issued to certain customers.
The invoice to be edited is selected from the “Edit Invoices” screen.
Change Shipping Method
Change Bill To address
Administrators have the ability to change the contents of any invoice.
If the invoice has payments, the system ensures that the total of the invoice is never less than the total of the payments.
Changes to the invoice are instantly applied to the account balance. The invoice is marked as “eligible for shipping” if the invoice total equals the payments total.
Change Ship To address
Change Invoice Shipping Status
Change individual invoice items
Select invoice item to change
Payment management is performed by users with administrative privileges. Payment management consists of the following functions:
Administrators can manually apply payments to invoices.
Each payment can be linked with an approval code (i.e. from a credit card company such as Wells Fargo, or from a check guarantee service such as TeleCheck)
The administrator can apply virtually any payment distribution towards any invoices in the user’s account.
An additional service charge can be added to the payment amount. The service charge is added to the first invoice in the batch.
Choose a payment type
Approval code if applicable
Optional service charge
Partial/Full payment amount applied towards the invoice
Most merchants will not use this function. However, some merchants may wish to accept some forms of payments without guaranteeing the funds through some sort of guarantee service.
For example, the merchant may wish to accept check payments without guaranteeing the funds through a service such as TeleCheck.
In this scenario, the merchant can use the system to track payment clearing status by manually changing the “clear/unclear” payment flag.
Once all the payments applicable to an invoice have been marked as cleared, and the invoice is paid in full, then that invoice is automatically marked by the system as “eligible for shipping”.
Payments can be deleted from a user’s account through the use of the Delete Payments screen.
The administrator simply selects the payments to be deleted by clicking in the appropriate check boxes, and then he/she clicks the “Submit” button.
As payments are deleted, the system automatically marks the affected invoices as not eligible for shipping.
RMA is an acronym for Return Merchandise Authorization. The RMA is a formal method for processing customer returns and for issuing credits. There are several functions that must be supported in order to effectively manage returned merchandise. The functions supported by the MULT-E-LEVEL system are:
Administrators can view the RMA history for an account. At this point, the administrator can perform the following functions:
Original Order Number
Create new RMA
Administrators can create a new RMA or can edit an existing RMA.
The functionality for creating a new RMA and for editing an RMA is implemented in the same screen.
The administrator can set the number of items to be authorized for return as well as the unit price for each item to be refunded.
Items already on other RMA
Original item quantity
Refund amount per unit
Receiving RMAs is a function that is performed by the warehouse since all shipments are handled there.
First, the warehouse worker searches for the RMA in the database by reading the RMA number which should be clearly marked on the outside of the package sent by the customer.
If the RMA number is found, then the shipment should be accepted.
If the RMA number does not exist or is invalid, then the shipment should be refused and should be returned to the shipper.
The second step in receiving the RMA is to enter the number of items contained in the package.
It is perfectly acceptable for the package to contain fewer items than on the original RMA. Perhaps the customer changed his/her mind.
Items on RMA
Items already returned
Items found in the package
Finally, the warehouse worker must determine if the items are in good condition to be returned to inventory.
Lastly, the credit is automatically created by clicking the “receive” button.
Return items to stock?
The newly issued credit appears in the user’s Account Balance page.
This credit can be used in the next payment made by the user.
To apply the credit, simply select the credit along with all the invoices that must be paid, and then proceed through the payment process as usual.
The system automatically subtracts the credit amount from the total amount of the invoices.
New Credit created from RMA
Inventory management consists of a wide array of functions and tasks that must be performed by the administrator. The MULT-E-LEVEL system currently implements a subset of the entire spectrum of functions that can be performed:
At the heart of the inventory management functionality is the inventory transaction log. All inventory levels, calculations, and reports are based on the transaction log.
View shipping transaction details
View all transaction details
New inventory transaction
The inventory transaction report is extremely flexible and can be customized to display virtually any data.
Transactions are shown in different colors according to type for easy identification.
The applicable parameters are automatically generated by the system from the Inventory Levels screen.
The administrator can perform more advanced reporting based on proprietary criteria.
To view ALL transactions, simply leave each field blank and press the “submit” button.
Type of transaction
Different colors represent different types of transactions
This function allows the administrator to modify a transaction from the inventory transaction log.
Information about the change in the transaction is stored in the database and consists of the following information which cannot be changed by any user:
This function allows the administrator assemble new items from existing inventory items. For example, an MLM retailer might want to assemble special DEMO kits for sale to its agents. These kits are essentially composite inventory items which are built from certain elemental inventory items.
During the assembly process, the inventory must reflect the removal of the elemental inventory items and the addition of one or more composite items.
The assembly process can be customized by specifying:
The disassembly process is performed by specifying negative quantities.
The ability to manage user accounts in the system is crucial. The MULT-E-LEVEL system provides administrators with the ability to:
Startup Kit ID
Users belonging to MLM hierarchical networks are added into the system under their recruiter (sponsor). The system allows the administrator to enter this field along with other personal data.
Usually MLM companies require users to purchase a startup kit in order to join the MLM network.
The system uses a variation of the the MD5 checksum algorithm to authenticate the startup Kit ID. Additionally, the system checks for duplicate Kit IDs.
The system stores the hierarchical data in an optimized relation database structure. This optimization is critical during the process of commission calculations. The system hides this complexity from the user.
Other personal info fields
This function allows the administrator to set the following user account attributes:
This function allows the administrator to manage taxing entities applicable to each user account.
Taxing entities charge sales taxes using a scheme based on the following parameters:
Select taxing entity
Add taxing entity
The system applies taxes to each purchase made under the user’s account.
Taxing entities are managed through a different interface (such as a standard RDBMS) not shown in this presentation.
Remove taxing entity
MLM organizations calculate bonuses and commissions payable to each user in their MLM. These calculations are performed at regular intervals. These calculations are typically based on sales “points” generated by the members.
The calculation schemes vary from simple to extremely complex and usually consider factors such as individual “points”, overall sub-network “points”, limited sub-network “points”, seniority, recruiting performance, etc.
The MULT-E-LEVEL system at Baci Wear International employs a sophisticated calculation algorithm for this process.
MULT-E-LEVEL implements the commission & bonus calculation mechanism with the following features:
The Bonuses & Commissions calculation screen consists of a simple interface that allows administrators to:
Pay period date range
The function to view the calculation log is not shown in this presentation. This is done through a standard RDBMS interface such as Access 2000.
The function to delete past pay periods is not shown in this presentation. This is done through a standard RDBMS interface.
Calculate next period
All checks are generated by the system as a single PDF document.
The PDF document contains check layout information to be printed on standard check forms.
Printing can be performed from anywhere in the world using a web browser configured with the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.
The comptroller simply places standard check forms into a laser printer, and hits the PRINT button on the browser interface.
The resulting checks look professional and can be inserted inside standard window envelopes for immediate mailing.
The complexity of shipping operations is often underestimated. The following considerations must be made in order to implement effective operations in a busy warehouse with several people performing tasks in parallel:
The MULT-E-LEVEL system satisfies all of these requirements and achieves tight integration with FedEx through the ShipAPI interface.
The warehouse shipping roster displays invoices at various stages of processing by the warehouse.
By clicking the “Pack Status ON/OFF” the warehouse worker can mark an invoice as “being packaged.”
This prevents other users form working on the same order simultaneously.
The warehouse worker can then begin to package the items.
Invoice eligible for shipping
Invoice being packaged
Invoice already shipped
The warehouse worker must then generate a packing slip to be included with the shipment.
The packing slip is generated by the system as a PDF document printable from the web browser.
Finally, the warehouse user simply clicks the “Ship via FedEx” button to automatically request a shipment through FedEx. The system then prints a standard shipping label using the FedEx printer.
Shipping label generated with TEC thermal printer from FedEx
Print label and call notify FedEx
Ship by other means (3rd party shipping company)
At this point the package is ready for pickup.