Terno: Still Getting It Done

Apr 01, 2003 10:30 PM  By

TERNOVELOCITY IS A SYSTEM to reckon with. This is a “vintage” system that benefits greatly from the breadth and depth of its experience in the direct commerce field. A descendent of the Q\OP system, a dominant player in the 1980s, Terno & Associates has brought TernoVelocity into the 21st century with a graphic interface. (A new version of the SBClient emulation tool will soon be incorporated to give a more Windows-like look-and-feel.)

SMORGASBORD

TernoVelocity is a multi-company, multi-division, and multichannel system for catalog, e-commerce, and retail sales order processing. You can maintain multiple ship-tos for each customer, and bill-to is separate from ordered-by and ship-to, which makes the system as easy to use for B2B companies as it is for B2C.

There is a lot for B2B companies to like. Customer companies can be set up to five pricing levels deep, each company location can have an unlimited number of contacts, and there are fields for “position,” “company,” and “purchase order.” The system supports bids and quotes as well as open account payments, with the ability to mark customers as tax-exempt and log their tax-exempt number. Sales reps can be assigned to customer accounts.

MANAGING ORDERS

Customer records can be retrieved by ZIP/last name, company name, any of three telephone numbers, e-mail address, purchase order number, or credit card number. You can maintain a drop-down list of valid promotion/source codes, and there is easy access to a customer’s previous purchase and payment history at order entry. Customer status messages can display warnings or prevent orders from being placed for problem customers. There are also user-definable fraud control screening algorithms.

SKUs can be retrieved by number, description, keyword, vendor, category, price range, or warehouse. You can maintain an unlimited description on each SKU, along with an image file. There are unlimited notes for customers, orders, and line items.

There is a full and very robust color/style management matrix within styles. TernoVelocity accepts multiple methods of payment for an order, including gift certificates, which can be serialized for multichannel redemption. Future ships are also handled well.

For each user-definable shipping method you can display the actual charge or the charge to the customer, which can be managed in virtually any configuration required. TernoVelocity supports integration with UPS Worldship, FedEx, and Clippership, but can be configured to work with any manifesting system.

You can sort-pick batches by multiple criteria based on number of orders, number of lines, shipping method, ZIP destination, and age of order. The system supports cart, wave, and zone picking. You can set orders to ship complete, if the customer so desires. Drop shipments can be forwarded to a third party and tracked for payment. FTC non-shipment notices are rudimentary, however, with limited ability to “reset the 30-day clock” when an expected shipping date has been modified.

BUNDLED MERCHANDISE FORECASTING

The system supports unlimited substitutes, but if an item is cancelled or the customer won’t accept a backorder, TernoVelocity will capture the lost demand, which helps drive the bundled merchandise forecasting module. You can calculate seasonal adjustments of quantities required, globally update prices for all SKUs in a product group, set quantity price breaks, activate/deactivate items on the Web, assign multiple vendors per product, precede purchase orders with requisitions, and track item serial numbers.

There is full support for multiple warehouses and warehouse transfers. You can do full physical inventories or cycle counts, with variance reports. You can produce bar codes by item or location, but there is no native support for radio frequency data transmission (which can be added if needed). The system supports all returns functions, from reason notations to assigning disposition, putaway, return to vendor, or discard/liquidation, with automatic update of all relevant files.

COMPREHENSIVE CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

TernoVelocity excels at customer database management, offering complex list management utilities. About the only things it doesn’t have are a flag to prevent “correction” of non-standard vanity addresses and “householding” of business records. Otherwise, there is little in the way of list manipulation and analysis that the system doesn’t do.

BUNDLED ACCOUNTING

TernoVelocity boasts a bundled accounting module that Terno & Associates has written itself, which is very unusual these days. It performs all standard A/P, A/R, and G/L functions. Reporting for all modules is flexible and thorough (and user-definable), with output to a screen, a file (spreadsheet or word processing), or as HTML to the Web.

Sounds like it has it all? Well, what TernoVelocity doesn’t provide as a standard feature can most likely be customized. The company has a pretty good track record in doing modifications when required. Will TernoVelocity meet your needs? As always, you must define your own requirements carefully and ask each vendor to indicate in detail how those specs would be accommodated. Since Terno has a track record of providing an honest assessment of capabilities, you’ll be on solid ground in deciding for yourself if the shoe fits.

ERNIE SCHELL is president of Marketing Systems Analysis Inc. He can be reached at (215) 396-0660 or ernie@schell.com.

Terno & Associates
755 Boardman-Canfield Road
Suite N-2
Boardman, OH 44512
(877) 998-3766; (330) 629-7004
info@terno.com; www.terno.com