Do you ever feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day? With a long list of to-dos and multiple clients to tend to, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and feel like you don’t have enough time to dedicate to doing what you love.
If working smarter, not harder, is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2020, Design Manager’s Catalog feature can help. This little-known shortcut allows you to save a copy of an item and its components for use in future projects with just the click of a few buttons. Here, you’ll learn more about how to incorporate this Pro Cloud feature into your projects to cut down on repetitive data entry and spend more time designing.
Inventory vs. Catalog Items
What is the difference between Inventory items and those you add to your Catalog? Inventory items are products you physically have on hand. These may be part of your showroom, or you may order these items frequently to keep in stock for future projects or to sell. Inventory items are not usually custom-made unless they’ve been returned by a client.
The Catalog Glossary allows you to save a copy of a configuration of an item and its components for use in future projects, or to pre-define commonly used items by filling in as many details as necessary. A Catalog item may contain a component from your inventory to make the item complete.
For example, suppose you have been proposing the same light fixture to many clients over the past six months. To save yourself time, you can add this item to your Catalog. Then you will have it saved to use as-is, or you can customize it for future projects, instead of repeatedly typing the same information each time the fixture is used.
How to Create and Retrieve Catalog Items
There are two ways to add a new item to the Catalog:
- You can go directly to the Catalog Glossary and enter the information there
- You can simply store an item to the Catalog as you are entering it into a project specification.
The latter option may prove more practical since the most common time to realize you are repeatedly using the same item is when you are entering it into the project.
To access the Catalog, simply click the Project Tab on the top toolbar and then choose the Catalog button in the Lists and Glossaries section. The following window will appear:
Here, you are able to add new items, edit existing items, or delete them entirely. Clicking the Add or Edit buttons here will bring up the Item Catalog Window, which you can use to fill in the details of the new item and its components.
Storing existing project items into the Catalog Glossary is simple:
- Just complete the entry of the item and component information as you normally would.
- Then click Store after the item has been successfully entered into the project.
- A window will appear where you can enter a Catalog number, as well as information on the color, size, style, and finish.
- Once you click OK, Design Manager will automatically save all of the information about the highlighted item and its components into the Catalog for future use.
Retrieving an item from the Catalog to use in a project is also straightforward and convenient:
- At the bottom of the Specifications window on the Item View tab you will see a button titled Catalog.
- Click this button and a window titled “Add Item from the Catalog” will appear. Here, you may enter the Catalog number you have assigned to the item or click the search button in the lower-left to see the entire Catalog listing.
- Once you have specified the desired quantity, location, and pricing method for the item, simply click OK and the item will appear in your project.
Potential Use Cases
The Design Manager Catalog feature really shines for items and configurations you use repeatedly for multiple projects. If you have a bathroom vanity, set of end tables, or kitchen cabinetry configuration that you and your clients just can’t get enough of, then adding it to your Catalog is a surefire way to save time and cut down on the amount of manual data entry you or your team members need to do in the future.
The great thing about Catalog items is that they can be as detailed or as general as you want them to be. You can save a specific product such as an armchair or a dresser, but you can also create a template for all lighting fixtures in any project. This can help to ensure that the information you are entering for an item is standardized across projects.
The Catalog is just one of the amazing features available to Design Manager Pro Cloud users. To learn more about the differences between DM Cloud and Pro Cloud, watch this webinar highlighting the advantages of upgrading to Pro Cloud.