When you buy a product, it becomes your asset.
|On 8/15/02 you bought 4 bottles of Nature's Blend 500 mg tablets of Vitamin C in 100-tablet bottles. This was purchased from My Drug Mart, and the cost was $2.95 per bottle. You use two tablets (1 gram) per day.|
Go ahead and start adding the asset from Example 1. Follow Steps 1 through 4 below, which tell you what to enter, together with comments. You can check what you have entered against the completed form shown below in Figure 1.
Refer to the Steps below as you enter your data for the respective sections of the form: Bought, Product, Covers need for, and Management.
Step 1. "Bought:" Provide data about the purchase, including:
Step 2. "Product:" Provide data about the product (or service) purchased: the name and the count and size of the entity.
Full names are recommended, at least until you are familiar enough with the program to know when short names1 may be O. K. for you. Just include as much information as possible, and try to use a regular format as shown in the following examples:
|Asset type:||Format & sample(s):|
Format: brand flavor/color/scent 'more description' 'actual thing'
Sample: Pentel 0.5mm B Hi-Polymer pencil leads
Format: make model options 'more description' 'actual thing'
Sample: Dell Dimension 8100 desktop PC
Format: brand/generic color/texture/pattern 'more description' 'actual thing'
Sample: Hathaway broad weave blue pinstriped button-collar long sleeve dress shirt
1Short names are things like "peanut butter" or "CD player".
These names are quick and easy to type, but you will sacrifice some benefits and accuracy.
For example, your buying advice won't be as accurate,
you'll get less accurate offers from sellers (since they don't know what you actually buy)
and less useful selling advice
(since the exact make & model of the product you're selling is not known).
But in some cases, for some assets, short names may work fine.
The product itself can always be taken as the Entity, and many times it is the only choice, e. g., a 16 fl. oz. bottle of shampoo for which the Count is 1 and the Size is 16 fl. oz. However, some products consist of uniformly-sized components (e. g., tablets, cans, packets, etc.). The size may be given for the component and not for the product as a whole. For example, If the product is a 100-count bottle of 500 mg Vitamin C tablets, you can choose tablet as the Entity. Then, the Count is 100 and the Size is 500 mg. MakeLifeEasy will calculate the amount of the product.
Now, go ahead and enter the data for the 8/15/02 purchase in Example 1:
The best units to use for a supply-type asset's size are the actual units shown on the product, e.g., oz, floz, etc. Here are some other examples of Count and Size entries:
|32 oz box of Tide||1 (pack)||32 oz|
|4-pack of 7 oz cans of Edge Shaving Gel||4-pack||7 oz|
|3-pack of Nike Crew athletic socks||3-pack||1 count|
|Toro T5100 self-propelled lawnmower||1||1 count|
|(all durables)||(depends)||ALWAYS 1 count|
|(all apparel)||(depends)||ALWAYS 1 count
for the Entity)
For more examples you can go to the first part of the
In Depth: Entering Product Size topic
(then click the "Back" button to return here).
NOTE: If "bottle" had been used as the Entity, the Count would be "1" and the Size would be "50,000 mg" or "50 grams." In either case the amount of the product is 50 grams, and, since you bought 4 bottles, the amount of the asset is 200 grams.
Step 3. "Covers need for:" You bought this asset because you needed it, right? Here you select the need (shopping list item) this asset covers.
Every asset must be assigned to cover a need. Prices and other information, such as usage rate, are stored and processed according to these need categories. For best results the standard need folders should be used as much as possible.
In Example 1 the need name for 500 mg tablets Vitamin C has not yet been created. Therefore, you will click on the "Get..." button. On the page that pops up you will find an entry similar to that shown in Figure 2, especially if this is the first vitamin that has been entered.
You will be shown some "Most likely matches" from your existing needs and from the standard needs. If none of these fit, you would go on to "More choices."
The suggestion from existing needs (based on the word "Nature's") doesn't fit. However, based on the keyword "vitamin", MakeLifeEasy has matched the product with a couple of standard needs, and we can use one of them.
Typically, vitamins would be in "Health & beauty", so you would most likely want to pick that one, together with the subfolder "Vitamins." After you've picked it, you will see the selection, "Health & beauty >> Vitamins", appear in the "Folder & need name" box in the "Add New Need" section.
If this were the only vitamin you intended to place under management, you might leave the need name as "Health & beauty >> Vitamins." However, because of the disadvantages of short names explained in Step 2a, above, you want to be specific. The "Retrieve a Need" page makes it easy to do. Just click on the "down arrow" as shown in Figure 3, below, and the product name is added to the box. However, "Nature's Blend" is not the only brand you use to cover this need, so you select "Nature's Blend" and delete it. Now you have the need name.
REMINDER: The assets that you use to cover this need should be substitutes for one another, as far as you're concerned. That is, you don't really care which one is chosen to cover the need.
Next, you will enter the Usage rate for the need. For Example 1, the usage is two 500 mg tablets per day for a total of 1,000 mg, or 1 gram per day, so enter that amount in the boxes provided.
This will be the usage rate for this need,
and the assets you enter to cover this need
will "inherit" the rate (see Step 4b, below).
Step 4. "Management:" In this section of the Add an Asset form you will enter Activate and Usage rate information for the asset, as follows:
Other choices for "Activate (start using):" are
You could change the usage rate here, but it would apply only to this asset. It would not be changed for the need.
If at any time you do wish to change the usage rate for the need and/or an asset covering it, you can do so by going to the Current Assets panel of the Need Properties page. Click on the "A" button for an asset, and you will get the Need Use Rate Analysis page. Another way is to go to the Management panel of the respective Properties pages to change the usage rate for the need and/or the asset.
For more information on discovering and changing your usage rate go to How To... Improve the Accuracy of My Usage Rates.
All information for Example 1 has now been entered. Click the "Add Asset" button, and the asset will added.
Next, enter the asset described in Example 2. It is exactly the same as Example 1 except for the purchase date. You will see how much more quickly it will be done.
|On 10/1/02 you bought another 4 bottles of Nature's Blend 500 mg tablets of Vitamin C in 100-tablet bottles. This was also purchased from My Drug Mart, and the cost was $2.95 per bottle. You usage remains the same: two tablets (1 gram) per day.|
When adding an asset after the product has once been entered into the system, you will need only to complete Step 1 and the first part of Step 2 as explained below. The remainder of the data will be entered automatically.
Step 1. Enter the data as you did for Example 1, except this time you can select the seller's name from the pick list. The purchase date is 10/1/02.
Step 2. When you enter this purchase, you won't type in the product name. Instead, click on "Find existing. . ." and enter a keyword in the box provided. The keyword, "Vitamin", could be used. Practice with others if you want, e.g., "Nature", "Blend", "500." The keyword should be at least three letters long. You will be shown a list of previously-entered products having this keyword.
Click "Get it" for "Nature's Blend 500 mg tablets of Vitamin C". Then, not only the name will be entered, but also the Count, Size, and Entity; the Need name; and the Management information. In other words, all of the remaining steps will be done automatically.
Using "Find existing..." also helps to avoid duplicate products and keeps your database neat and small. Be sure to use this handy tool.
All information for Example 2 has now been entered.
Click the "Add Asset" button, and the asset will added.
Here are two more examples of the Add an Asset page with all data entered and ready to save:
Example 3: This example shows that you bought one 9 floz (fluid ounce) bottle of "Johnson's Kids No More Tangles shampoo" for $1.89 from drugstore.com on 1/1/2001. You use 0.5 floz of it each day:
Example 4: This example shows that you bought two 12-packs of medium-sized Scotch brand post-it notes, 100 count per pack, from My Drug Mart on 2/23/02. You paid $2.89 for each 12-pack. Your average use is 10 post-it notes per day: