We highly recommend most new users and trial accounts visit and use the Quick Start Guide to quickly get your account setup and customized to your business. Below are some supplemental documentation for industry specific businesses.
The product list is list of rows defining the products in your inventory. Each product is defined by a product ID that identifies the product, and a collection of properties that specify what it is. For example, the description, caliber, and weight per item are all properties of a product. There are about 30 pre-defined product properties.
The stock quantity and location of storage are not product properties because they aren't part of the definition of what the product is; they pertain to counting how many you have, and where they are kept. Properties such as these are stock properties, rather than product properties.
The Import or update product list function deals only with the product list. When getting started this is usually the first import operation you do, because you need to define the products before specifying how many you have. A separate operation, Import stock change, is what you use to specify your stock levels based on a physical inventory count. But that comes later. To get started, first you need to define your products.
Import or Update
You can import or update your product list by cutting and pasting from Excel. Each column in the Excel table defines a property; each row is a product. If a product row already exists in the product list, then the import or update operation updates that product; if the product doesn't yet exist, it will be created.
The only required property is the product ID, which identifies the products. All other properties are optional. You can selectively update specific properties of your products by doing the import or update operation with only the property columns you want to update, and of course the product ID column to identify the products.
The first row in the Excel table specifies the names of the columns, which can be in any order. The names have to be exact matches to the supported column names listed below. A simple example might be an Excel table that adds or updates product names of two products:
Product ID Description 3CK-LD101 Green Peony 3CK-LD102 Red Peony
When you paste from Excel into the import window, Finale shows you a summary of the number of rows being imported as new products and the number of existing products being updated. It also summarizes any errors, such as multiple rows with the same product IDs. Can you see the error in this example preview?
This simple import consisted of just three rows, but two of the rows had the same product ID. Multiple rows with the same product ID don't make any sense, because a product can have only one definition. The preview window shows you that the third row is ignored because it has the same product ID as the second row. The preview also shows in the summary that you are importing two newly created products, not modifying existing products.
The column drop-downs for columns #1, #2, and #3, allow you to pick the meaning of each column if your column names didn't match the list of supported column names. In the example above, the column names matched, so the drop-downs were automatically filled in to match the column names just below them. If you had a misspelling in a column name, then you could either hit the browser's back button, fix the misspelling, and paste again, or you could just change the drop-down.
Completing the Operation
After the preview step, Finale presents you with a dialog to continue with the operation. The preview step itself makes no actual changes, so you can use the browser's back button and forward button to flip back and forth and to re-paste information. Only after you confirm the import will any changes be made.
Importing large product lists, of say more than 1000 items, is faster to do in sections. If your Excel product list is 5000 lines long, the quickest way to import it is to divide it into five sections of 1000 items and import each of the 1000 items.
Supported Column Names
The product ID is the unique database key identifying the product. It is the only field that cannot be changed once set. The field can contain ASCII characters not including whitespace, up to 191 characters total. Three common schemes for product IDs are: (1) simply number them starting at 10000 and counting up; (2) encode additional information in the product ID to idendify what it is, such as the caliber, manufacturer, effect type, and maybe year, e.g., 2CK-LID1001; (3) just use the manufacturer's product ID as your own.
The description is the name of the product, up to 256 characters. Non-ASCII Unicode characters are supported, so the name can be in a non-English language, including Asian languages like Chinese or Japanese. The description is also the recipe by which Finale choreography tools construct a default simulation for the product. Since Finale incorporates language parsing technology to interpret and understand the description, the default simulations are usually a reasonable match if the description is in fact descriptive. If the description is a proper name, such as for a consumer cake, then you will need to add a custom simulation rather than relying on the default. The Finale choreography documentation provides further details on simulations.
The category must be an exact match to one of the product categories set in "Application Settings > Product". The matching is case-sensitive and whitespace sensitive.
Notes are a description of the product, up to 256 characters Unicode.
Std accounting cost
Std accounting cost is the cost per each item, written as an integer or floating point number with a period decimal point, no dollar sign or other currency symbol, e.g., "1.2" not "$1.2". Although you may have acquired stock at varying costs from different purchases, this std accounting cost property of the product is a single number that is considered to apply to all stock of this particular product. Therefore if you change the std accounting cost of a product, that change applies to all your stock of that product.
Similar to std accounting cost, the item price is the price per each item, written as an integer or floating point number with a period decimal point, no dollar sign or other currency symbol, e.g., "1.2" not "$1.2". The actual price at which you sell stock may vary from sale to sale depending on discounts that you may offer, but the base level price used in the calculation to determine the actual selling price is this item price for individual items or the case price (see below) for stock sold in cases.
Similar to item price, the case price is the price for stock sold in cases (if you are keeping track of cases separately from open stock), written as an integer or floating point number with a period decimal point, no dollar sign or other currency symbol, e.g., "1.2" not "$1.2". The actual price at which you sell stock may vary from sale to sale depending on discounts that you may offer, but the base level price used in the calculation to determine the actual selling price is the item price and case price.
The standard packing is string of the form "36/1" or "12/12/1" or "12/12" or just "72", defining the default packing for cases of this product. The first number in the string identifies the number of items in the case. Since it is possible to keep stock in cases with different packings simultaneously, the actual packing of case stock must be a property of the stock itself rather than a property of a product. That is why this field is called the "standard packing" or "default packing" rather than the actual "packing." The relationship between the standard packing and the actual packing is this: if you specify a case quantity in a order or stock operation but do not specify the specific packing of that case quantity, then the standard packing is filled in by default. The purpose of the standard packing is to make it so you don't have to type in a specific packing all the time, and yet to allow you to type in a specific packing when you need to.
When the standard packing is filled in by default, the result is identical to the result of typing in that same packing string by hand. This result then becomes a property of the stock involved in that order or stock operation, decoupled from the standard packing property of the product. Thus if you later change the standard packing, that change will have no effect on existing stock or transactions.
Std bin ID
The standard bin ID identifies the standard bin or box or bay in which a product is stored inside a magazine. If the facility or street address is the location, and the magazine or shed is a sub-location, then the bin is a sub-sub-location. In Finale Inventory, storage location records are kept for the location and sub-location, but not for the sub-sub-location. If you move an item from one magazine to another, a record of that transaction is kept (and required for the DSMT report!). However if you move an item from one bin to another, or if you change the name of a bin, that level of detail is not tracked in Finale Inventory. Thus the standard bin is just a property of the product that is maintained as a useful piece of information for warehouse personnel to indicate the usual whereabouts of the stock for picking.
Description coming soon.
The manufacturer field is simply the name of the manufacturer, a Unicode string up to 20 characters long. Since transactions in the DSMT reports are grouped by product category and manufacturer, it is important that your manufacturer field values do not have typographical errors. The items in each group must match exactly. Items with the manufacturer "LIDU" will not match "LDU".
Mfg product ID
The manufacturer product ID is the product ID assigned by the manufacturer. The field can contain ASCII characters not including whitespace, up to 20 characters total. If you are using Finale choreography tools, the manufacturer product ID, if set, will identify the manufacturer provided simulation for that product type if it exists, which would be used as the default simulation for the product instead of a simulation constructed based on the description.
The manufacturer country is the country code, e.g. CHN or USA. It must be an exact match to the international standard country codes.
Manufacturer mark text
The manufacturer mark text, if provided, is included verbatim on any acquisition and disposition reports. Per ATF regulations, the manufacturer marks of identification includes a variety of information that must be included on acquisition and disposition reports (the exact information required depends on the license type). If you are using Finale's data/shift code functionality to keep track of the date/shift code of product lots, then the manufacturer mark text is prepended to the date/shift code to create a the full manufacturer mark that appears in acquisition and disposition reports. If you are using different product IDs (i.e., multiple products) for the different date/shifts of the same product, then since each product ID has the same date shift for all of its stock you can simply set manufacturer mark text field to the full manufacturer mark rather than deal with date/shifts in your orders and stock operations. If your company does not sell product, or if you are keeping your acquisition and disposition reports outside of Finale Inventory, then you can leave this field blank.
Weight per item
Like item cost, the weight per item is the weight of each item, written as an integer or floating point number with a period decimal point, no unit of measure, e.g., "0.025" not "0.025kg". The unit of measure is specified separately as the weight unit (see below).
NEQ per item
Like weight per item, the NEQ is the net explosive quantity of each item, written as an integer or floating point number with a period decimal point, no unit of measure, e.g., "0.025" not "0.025kg". The unit of measure is specified separately as the weight unit (see below).
The weight unit is the weight unit of measure, either "kg" or "lb". If weight per it or NEQ per item is supplied but weight unit is left blank, then it is set to "lb" by default. The field is imported case insensitive. The accepted values for import are kilogram, kilograms, kg, pound, pounds, lb, and lbs.
The hazardous material field is the UN classification number for the product, preceeded by "UN", e.g., "UN0335". The UN number must be listed by itself (don't include the proper shipping name, hazard class, or packing group).
The EX Number is a string of ASCII characters identifying the EX number or EX numbers associated with the product. This field can include multiple EX numbers separated by commas.
The CE Number is a string of ASCII characters identifying the CE number or CE numbers associated with the product. This field can include multiple CE numbers separated by commas.
The choreography tab is the type of the product from a pre-defined list of types used by Finale choreography tools and Finale Inventory. The set of possible values are the following seven strings: Shells, Comets, Mines, Cakes, Other, Candles, Non-Choreographed. If you set the property value to Non-Choreographed, then the product will not appear in Finale choreography tools. This is useful for items like e-match or racks, which you may track in inventory but do not want to use for choreography.
The caliber is a number string including the units, e.g. 3" or 75mm. The units are required. The double quotes or mm units are the only two possibilities. The caliber is used in combination with the description property and other fields to construct a default simulation for the product in Finale choreography tools.
The prefire time in seconds is an integer or floating point number using a period as the decimal point, no units. The prefire is used in combination with the description property and other fields to construct a default simulation for the product in Finale choreography tools.
The duration in seconds is an integer or floating point number using a period as the decimal point, no units. The duration is used in combination with the description property and other fields to construct a default simulation for the product in Finale choreography tools. With respect to the simulation, the choreography tools only use the duration for multi-shot products like cakes, candles, or chains. For such products the duration is defined as the time between the first and last shot ignition.
Chain number of devices
The chain number of devices, if provided, is an integer. This property applies only to chains, indicating the number of shells in the chain for use by the Finale choreography tools. If you are not using Finale choreography tools, you do not need to worry about this field; just leave it blank.
If you are using Finale choreography tools, then you can use this field to specify the number of shells in a chain if the effect's name or animation description does not specify it. If the number of shells is specified in the name, such as in Purple Peony (Chain Of 5) then you can leave this field blank or set it to 0, which is ignored. However if the number of shells is not specified in the description, such as in Blue Peony Finale Chain, then you should set this field to the number of shells in the chain so Finale can construct the correct simulation and allocate the correct number of mortars.
The effect height is an integer or floating point number using a period as the decimal point, no units. It takes on the units specified as distance unit (see below). Along with the description and other properties, the effect height contributes to specifying the default simulation for the product in Finale choreography tools.
The effect width is an integer or floating point number using a period as the decimal point, no units. It takes on the units specified as distance unit (see below).
The safety distance is an integer or floating point number using a period as the decimal point, no units. It takes on the units specified as distance unit (see below).
The distance unit is "meters" or "ft" (either of these two words, exactly).
Product Information Required for Choreography
Using Finale choreography tools you can script shows visually using your own inventory. Finale creates visual simulations automatically based on certain properties of the products defined when you import your inventory. The required properties are:
Finale treats the description as a recipe for constructing the simulation, so the more descriptive the recipe is, the more accurate the simulation will be. For example, 49 Shot 20 Seconds Crackling Chrys w/ Red Tail Cake, Zipper 1.8s PFT, 300', 90 Degrees, 7 Rows is a thorough description. Simple descriptions, like Red Peony will work also.
Determines the size of the simulation and the size of mortar required. Can be in inches or millimeters, e.g, 3" or 75mm.
Finale choreography has six pre-defined categories, or you can use Non-Choreographed to cause the effect not to show up in choreography. Your options are, Shells, Candles, Cakes, Mines, Comets, Other, and Non-Choreographed
Chain number of devices
(for chains only) The number of shells in the chain.
Optionally, choreography will also pick up on these parameters for making simulations:
The time in seconds, or blank or zero for automatic determination based on the effect type and caliber.
(for multi-shot devices and chains only; ignored for single shot devices) The period of time from first to last shot.
The prefire and duration can also be specified in the effect description itself. If specified in both the effect description and also independently, the independent property value applies.
If you fill in the four required fields above, then to script with your inventory you can login from choreography, switch to Inventory View (control-i), and change the selector from "All inventories" to "* YourAccountName". When you click on items from your inventory, simulations will be constructed based on your inventory information. After scripting the show, do "Show > Readdress and re-assign racks" and then "File > Print report > Site layout report > With pictures" and "File > Print labels" to get reports.
When you get a new account on Finale Inventory for a display or consumer fireworks business, the setup process is very similar to the general purpose setup process described in our main getting started documentation. This documentation describes the specific considerations for fireworks businesses.
When you get a new account on Finale Inventory, the first steps for getting started are to configure basic application settings for your company. Then you will import your product list. You can begin preparations by collecting this information for your business:
- List of locations and sub-locations.
- List of users and access privileges.
- List of product categories.
Although it is useful and easiest to setup this information first, the information can always be added or modified later.
Here are some examples for these lists of information.
Locations and magazines
Setup your locations and magazines as described in the general purpose setup process, but be sure that that physical magazines where you need to be able to compute total explosive mass and create Daily Summary of Magazine Transaction reports (DSMT reports) or create as separate magazines within Finale Inventory.
Make a list of your locations and the sub-locations that are within each location. A locations is a physical location, such as would have a street address. Sub-locations are called magazines in Finale Inventory. A sub-location is a bay, shed, garage, or other area within your location in which product is stored. You may also have bins or boxes as a sub-sub-location, but you don't need that information initially. For now, just get a list of your locations and magazines.
If you don't need to keep track of stock levels at separate areas within a location, just create a single sub-location to represent the overall stock level.
The names can be up to 20 characters, ASCII letters and numbers. Generally it is a good idea to have short magazine names since they are sometimes listed in reports in a comma-separated list, and you'd like to be able to see as many as possible in a small area. Here are some examples of locations and magazines:
Utah M1 M2 M3 M3b Overstock 14Shed Colfax P101 P102 P103 Returns PackedShows Sacramento S1 S2 S3
Users and Access Privileges
Next, create a list of the usernames of the people who are going to be using the inventory system. There are two types of usernames: (1) people who do inventory and choreography, and (2) people who do inventory only.
For the first group of people, list their existing Finale Fireworks username, the username with which they login to the choreography product. If multiple people are using the same Finale Fireworks username, then now is the time to split that type of account into individual accounts, so each user of Finale Inventory has his own username. In this case, make up a new "free trial" username for the person or people who are splitting off the original Finale Fireworks username by running the choreography product and clicking the "Make new account" link at the base of the initial login screen. Then include this new username in the list and indicate that it is splitting off the original account. The Finale Fireworks service team will split up the original account and upgrade the new "free trial" account to Finale Business.
For the second group of people, just make up a new username and email for each of them. The Finale Fireworks service team will create their inventory-only accounts and assign them temporary passwords which you can change.
Inventory and Choreography Users ------------------------------------------ Joe1234 Peter5 Currently a shared account Alice New username split off from Peter5 shared account PyroBob New username split off from Peter5 shared account Inventory-Only Users ------------------------------------------ JenRocket firstname.lastname@example.org Freddy1962 email@example.com
List of Product Categories
The product categories are used both for your internal purposes and for producing DSMT reports. The DSMT report in Finale are grouped by the combination of product category and manufacturer, so your product categories need to include the caliber or caliber range in addition to the effect type to produce reports that comply with ATF requirements. Here is an example list:
2" Shells 2 1/2" Shells 3" Shells 4" Shells 5" Shells 6" Shells 8" Shells 10" Shells 12" Shells 2" Salutes 2 1/2" Salutes 3" Salutes 4" Salutes 1/2" Candles 1" Candles 1 1/2" Candles 2" Candles 2 1/2" Candles 3" Candles Cakes Other
Separate from and in addition to these user-defined product categories, Finale Inventory and Finale Choreography also use a pre-defined list of seven product types to categorize effects: Shells, Comets, Mines, Cakes, Candles, Other, and Non-Choreographed. In both Finale Inventory and Choreography, you can filter by these pre-defined product types.