I’m sure you will have all see the new IT Purchasing Management system in the Spiceworks 5.0 beta which is designed to allow you to start a purchasing workflow, create detailed reports for purchases and track your ticket costs for better billing. It appears that in my earlier reviews of 5.0 I have only skimmed over this exciting new feature so here is a fully fledged review on what it does and how it can help you.
When Spiceworks went out and looked at what IT pro’s were finding hard to manage one of the things that came out was that they are finding it hard to keep track of things they are buying either for internal user or for their clients if they are MSP’s. Some people did have a system for doing this but being able to link this into the helpdesk was going to be a great help.
I’m one of those who doesn’t track purchases so no promises this review will be the best, I’m sort of winging it, but it will give you the idea of the power behind this new exciting system.
When Spiceworks 5.0 is install you can get stuck straight into managing your purchases, one of the easiest ways of adding an item to be purchased is by adding it to a ticket. You can also add items on the purchase’s page but having a ticket for each item will make your reporting more accurate.
The form is simple to fill in just enter a few simple details like, description, quantity, price, vendor, PO number and department.
Once the information is entered and saved you will get given the choice to research the best product / prices via the community, CDW or Comparing prices on PriceGrabber.com.
As you go though the process of getting items approved, brought and delivered you can then mark it off in Spiceworks so that you have complete control and at any point you can send off a report to the people who need it about what’s outstanding, why you brought something or where it is.
Spiceworks already has a powerful reporting system and it now allows you to report on what you have brought.
The basic built-in reports give you Name, Quantity, Price, Total Price, Part Number, Purchased At, Purchase Order, Shipping Code, Received At, Related to, Ticket and Vendor. As with any type of report in Spiceworks you can add or remove columns to make it suit you, either in the report editor or using SQL.
This is great for when your boss needs a report on where all your budget has gone a day before he asks you for it.
A lot of people using Spiceworks are MSP’s and bill on an hourly rate or even if you’re a internal support team you may still want to bill departments or just keep track of where your time is being spent.
In earlier versions of Spiceworks you have been able to add time spent against a ticket but from 5.0 forward you will be able to track what this really costs. Setting your hourly rate in the settings allows you to run reports and track how much a client or department is really costing you.
Of course all of this information can be added to reports so that when your rushed off your feet managing your time isn’t as hard.
I think I’ve covered it all off, if you can think off anything else or fancy writing a review on something Spiceworks yourself drop me a line via the contact form.