Handshake supports splitting your catalog by manufacturer
If you are selling multiple brands, this feature could make life a lot easier. Using manufacturers in Handshake adds a little bit of complexity, however, so in the spirit of simplest is best, you should only use this feature if you actually need to.
Thankfully, the format of the items spreadsheet is very similar whether you are using manufacturers explicitly or simply representing them as top-level categories, so it should be very easy to switch back and forth to see which method best matches your workflow.
Benefits of using manufacturers
- You can split orders by manufacturer - This means you can write one big order for multiple brands during an appointment, but transmit only the relevant line items to each manufacturer later on (via email or exported spreadsheet). This is helpful if all your brands are not shipped from a single location.
- The catalogs of each manufacturer are kept completely separate - If you are writing an order and you go into manufacturer A's catalog and start a search, you will not see search results from manufacturer B's catalog, which would be confusing, especially if both manufacturers have similar products (e.g. you represent two dinnerware brands and they both sell a lot of plates). That being said, from the first page of your catalog where you see all available manufacturer lines, you can search globally across all manufacturers.
- You can define manufacturer-specific fields for your customers - Right now, the only supported one is the customer ID (i.e. you can store multiple customer IDs for each customer in the system, which manufacturers might require you to transmit to them with your sales orders). We will add support for more manufacturer-specific customer fields in future as users request them.