My current format for descriptions of a product in Inventory would be something like this.
Laptop Lifebook A351 - CPU core i5, 16GB Ram, 256GB Hard Drive
The single biggest problem that I have with this is that I have Laptop Lifebook A351 in Item Name at the top of Inventory Item and I then have to copy this to Description. I then have to change it to bold so the Name vs Description is clear. The problem is that I forget to set the “name” bit in bold occasionally.
I was thinking that the solution to my problem was to show the Item Name as a column on the quotes and invoices. However, as discussed in Legacy Layout topic, I don’t think that is a good idea as it creates yet another column (and we already have quite a few columns).
Many users, myself included see no value in merging the Item Name with the Item Code field. But what about merging the Item Name field with the Description Field? This would actually make it consistent with many suppliers who have the product name and description all in the same column.
The way it would work is that whatever is put into Item Name shows as bold or a different colour like grey and is on the top line in Description. Then whatever you put in Description in the edit field in Inventory items shows up in the description field underneath the information that comes from the Item Name field.
It would also completely remove the need for me to duplicate the name in both Item Name and Description fields and remember to make the “name” part of description bold to differentiate from the description.
I don’t agree with merging the Item Code and Item Name into one field. It doesn’t work as most clients are not interested in the product code. But I understand the direction that the developer is coming from. It would make a lot more sense to do this with the Item Name field and Description Field and would improve the layout of content in the description field if the program can display the name versus description content using built in formatting rather than users having to find a way to separate the name from description.
Please abandon the idea of merging Item Code with Item Name and rather consider merging Item Name and Description.
I agree this would be much better as item name and item description are closer relatives than the item-code.
However, I differ in opinion that item name and description should be one entry field, they should stay separate as they are but rather than concatenating Item Code with Item Name it should be Item Name with Item Description. It would thus easily allow for item code to remain in a separate column without have to resort to hiding item name in inventory as @lubos currently recommends to achieve separation with item-code being on its own.
I realised in the other post from other people replying that I may have inadvertently been unclear as to what I was suggesting.
The three fields should remain completely separate in the edit view. Fully agreed. No argument there. I only meant merging into one column on the quote or invoice view that the client sees. The fields in edit must remain separate for any number of reasons.
I was so focused on discussing what columns to merge in the view that the customers see, that I neglected to make clear that I have no desire to merge the actual fields themselves. Just the view on quotes and invoices - as you say concatenate those two fields into one column.
I have no idea why the developer thinks it makes sense to merge the Item code with Item Name into one column. It doesn’t make any sense to me - especially working with inventory items which require a complete visual separation of code, product name and description to make it easy for non technical clients to read the bit of information that actually interests them.
Actually thinking about some of my suppliers invoices, some do have the code, name and description all in one column. But the key thing with their invoices is how the information is displayed. For example the Item Name is either bigger font, bold or a different colour. The description is standard text and their item code is also in different font, font size or font colour.
I think the problem is not really whether the fields make sense to concatenate on the quote/invoice customer view. The problem with Manager is that there is no builtin formatting that would allow clear visual separation of the code, description and product name. So actually I will amend my topic. Based on looking at other invoices, it is actually possible to have all three fields showing in the same column in customer view. The key issue to resolve would be builtin formatting to display the information separately.
I have mixed feelings about whether it makes sense to include the Part code as part of the Description Column in Customer View. It gets rid of an extra column and can look very visually appealing (if the formatting is done right). Fewer columns does make the quotes/invoices look more modern and easier to scan as people scan down not left to right. It probably would also solve a lot of issues where some part codes are 20 characters and others are 5 - so you have huge gaps in columns because of one entry. But I also feel that the Part code is not necessarily information that the customer wants to read. But if the part code is in different font colour and visually separate from the description content - I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I like the idea of solving the column widths problem that we have had in Manager for years. The widths have never really been optimal.
So I would be open to the idea of concatenating all three fields into one column view with the proviso that Item Code and Item Name can be hidden/shown on form defaults to cater for different companies wanting to show/hide the product code on either quote/invoice or both and for those who want the Item Name to remain Internal use only. The second proviso is the formatting in column view of those three fields.