What are the different stages of a sales order?

Sales Orders have different actions that can be performed depending on the state it's in along with a Next Action button that tries to predict what to do next. See below for details.

A Sales Order has many different stages it can be in and various actions will impact how the it flows between these stages.  The two main ways to interact with this flow are the Action menu and the Next Action button.  Both are at the top of the Sales Order window and control the status of the order, pick and pack, create invoices, and print or email documents.  The difference is that the Action menu gives you all of the possible options in one menu while the Next Action button will specifically display a specific action depending on the state that the Sales Order is in at the time.

To see the flow of a sales order with each possible stage, see the section below which steps through the sequence.  If you're just looking for a list of actions that can be used and what they do, click here to go to the next section.

NOTE: Many users don't actually encounter or use every step in the sales order workflow.  Within Configuration Management, some of these steps can be disabled or defaults can be set to skip them altogether.  If you aren't seeing a step, it may be disabled.

Stages of a Sales Order using the Next Action button

This section shows the sequence the Next Action button will go through on a sales order.  Some of these actions can be disabled from showing on this button.  See this article to see how to do that.

Quote to Sales Order

If your order starts as a Quote, then the Next Action button will display as either Book Order or Schedule Order (see this article to understand the difference).  Both will convert the quote into a regular Sales Order with the status corresponding to the button that appears.  Booked Sales Orders will display the Schedule Order action next.



A quote's Next Action button is based on the default Sales Order status which can be set under File > Configuration Management > Sales Orders > Order Options.  The option to change is the "Order status" drop-down underneath "Days to ship".

Customer Credit

If the customer on the Sales Order is on a credit hold of some type, the Next Action button will show as Approve Credit.  It's possible to approve a customer's credit for an order without this button but this will need to be done before much else.


Create Drop Ship and/or Special Order Purchase Orders

If there are Drop Ship (D) or Special Order (S) lines on the Sales Order that haven't yet had a PO created from the Drop Ship Wizard or Special Order Wizard, this action will open the corresponding wizard for all lines on the order that can have POs created.


Picking the Sales Order

After approving the credit, the next step will either be Pick Ticket or Create Picklists depending on whether or not Picklists are turned on.  The Pick Ticket button prints the pick ticket form.  If picklists are being used, then the Next Action button will stay on Create Picklists until the Workflow Status moves to "Pick In Progress" or beyond.



Packaging the Sales Order

After printing the pick ticket or the Workflow Status moves to "Pick In Progress" (which is done when picklists are created), the Next Action button will change to Pack List which will print the packing list form.  


Once the packing list is printed or if it already was printed previously, the Next Action button can then move to Package Shipments if the Packaging Manager module is being used.  This button will create a shipment for the Sales Order so that it doesn't have to be done from the Prepare Shipments window.


Invoicing the Sales Order

Once all other steps in the Sales Order have been completed or skipped, the last stage of the Next Action button is Create Invoice.


Partial Invoicing - Continuing the Sales Order

If a Sales Order was only invoiced for part of the order due to backordered products, the order status will remain open but enter a "Backordered" status and the Workflow Status will change to "Partially Invoiced".  In this state, the Next Action button goes back to Schedule Order and the process starts again from the beginning.

PartiallyInvoiced - ScheduleOrder(cropped)

The Action menu in this stage also has an extra option to mark the order as "Completed" rather than cancelling it.


Action Menu for Sales Orders

All major actions that can be done for a Sales Order can be found in the "Action..." button at the top of the order window.  This list generally remains the same but some actions will be disabled or replaced when an order is in a certain stage or certain Configuration options are used.  For example, the "Pick" menu for printing pick tickets will show the options for printing or emailing a pick ticket form.  However, if Picklists are enabled, the menu changes to the forms for Picklists.

Here is list of the actions that could be used from this menu:

Action Description
Reset prices Tells Acctivate to update line prices based on any price structures created.  Must be in Edit mode.
Reset scheduled quantities Tells Acctivate to schedule all lines based on product availability.  Must be in Edit mode.

Unschedule (Book Order)

Sets the order to the "Booked" status and unschedules lines.
Change Workflow Status Provides a list of workflow statuses that can be set to change the label in the top left of the order.
Create Vendor PO(s) Opens the Drop Ship or Special Order Wizard for 'D' and 'S' lines.  Purchasing Wizard module is required.
Pick List of picking forms to print or email.
Pack List of packing list forms to print or email.
Create Picklists Creates picklists for scheduled lines. Picklists must be enabled.
Package Shipments Create a shipment for the order.  Packaging Manager module must be enabled.
Create Invoice Creates a sales invoice for the order.
Reject Quote Set the quote to the "Rejected" status.
Cancel Order Sets the order (or quote) to the "Cancelled" status.
Mark Completed (Cancel Backorder) Completes an order in the "Backordered" status rather than cancelling it.