In Cetec ERP, typically RMAs will be created from within the Invoice screen, as returns typically correspond to an initial shipment/invoice. Navigate to SALES » Invoices » Invoice List and select the invoice against which the customer complaint was received. Once you arrive at the Invoice screen look to the left side navigation menu and click on Create a RMA. Cetec ERP automatically assigns to a new RMA a unique RMA number following the most recent RMA created and takes you to the RMA screen. This unique RMA number serves as the reference point between your customer and your company so that all returned items, claims, and transactions surrounding the RMA can be tracked in one place. The customer should reference the RMA # when they ship the defective product back to you or communicate about their request so that you would have reference.
On the left side navigation menu of the main RMA screen, you will notice a link to the invoice from which the RMA was created. You may click on the link at any point to jump back and forth between the RMA and the invoice.
The main RMA screen displays basic information such as customer, RMA entry date, and the related invoice lines. Before updating the RMA, we recommend entering the details of the customer issue in the Comments section. Enter the exact quantity requested to be returned in the Return Qty section. After both fields are filled, click Update to save. You can also delete the RMA at any point by clicking Delete to the right side of the Update button.
To receive defective merchandise, you must first create a PO. To ensure accurate sourcing and traceability, receipts of material are always tied to Purchase Orders in Cetec ERP even if receiving a defective good is not “purchasing,” strictly speaking. To do so, click the Create PO button in the RMA header (next to the Issue Credit and Create Rework Order buttons).
The PO created will be linked to the RMA. To jump back and forth between RMA and PO, click on the respective link near the bottom of the left side navigation menu.
The PO tied to the RMA will have the part and quantity to be returned autopopulated. Note that the vendor for the Purchase Order will default to an intercompany vendor account named RMA Returns. Every instance of Cetec ERP contains this pre-defined internal vendor for the purposes of RMA Purchase Orders.
From here, receiving returned defective mechandise looks exactly the same as receiving any other PO.
The process of receiving defective material from a RMA includes a receiving inspection to validate the customer complaint. Log the validation comments in the receiving inspection field, and if the customer complaint is validated, click Receive to receive the defective material into your inventory.
After receipt comes the parts put-away (i.e. stocking) process. It is strongly recommended that you quarantine a section of the warehouse to serve as the bin to store all defective material. Label this bin so that it is easily identifiable (e.g. RMA-001-019), and put away all returned defective merchandises in this marked area.
The next steps in processing a RMA in Cetec ERP depend on validating customer reported issue and on the preference of the customer for proceeding with the RMA process. Cetec ERP provides you the flexibility to fulfill any combination of scenarios, ranging from issuing a refund, rebuilding the part, replacing the part, etc.
Some basic scenarios are as follows:
Customer wants a refund (and nothing else) - This is the simplest scenario. In this instance, issue a credit memo to the customer, scrap the relevant defective material in your inventory, and close the RMA.
Customer needs the product replaced or repaired and sent back - This scenario could be resolved in several, different ways:
- Issue credit memo to customer for immediate refund, then charge the customer again upon completion and shipment of the re-work order (remember to check the resale value on the re-work invoice!).
- Do not issue credit memo for refund. Simply issue a re-work order at zero resale value. If you take this option, the customer is neither refunded nor charged anything.
- Issue credit memo to customer for immedate refund AND issue a re-work order at zero resale.
Note that a re-work order is autopopulated with information from the RMA for the sake of convenience. This information ought to be carefully reviewed by those responsible for fulfilling re-work orders. For example, re-work orders from RMAs are autopoulated with a resale value of zero. This value may or may not need to be adjusted depending on whether you are charging the customer for the re-work order.
Repairs versus replacements
A supervisor is typically brought in to analyze returned defective material and to address how to go about resolving the RMA. Repairs of product will follow a different process than replacements, and replacement product may be built from scratch or may be pulled from finished goods stock. The potential scenarios and their respective processes are roughly as follows:
Repair. Click Create Re-work Order from the RMA and follow the normal process for re-work orders outlined below.
Replacement (re-built from scratch). Click Create Re-work Order from the RMA and follow the normal process for re-work orders outlined below. Important! In this scenario, the additional components required for the replacement build will have to be manually added to the Order Specific BOM on the re-work order. This is because RMA re-work orders are defaulted with a unique BOM to capture the defective finished good as that which is getting repaired/refurbished on a new work order. For more information on Order Specific BOM Management within the context of a re-work order, see details on re-work orders below.
Replacement (pulled from finished goods stock). Click the Create Stock Order (this feature is in beta) from the RMA to link a brand new stock order to the RMA for tracking purposes. Then, simply fulfill the stock order per normal stock order process.
If you want to issue a refund for the returned merchandise, the issue may be routed to accounting and accounting personnel may navigate to SALES » Invoices » RMA List » [RMA of your choice]. Inside the RMA header, you will see the Issue Credit button between the Create PO button and the Create Rework Order button. Click this button and confirm to create a credit memo. Once a credit memo has been created, the link to it will replace the Issue Credit button to let you track between the credit memo and the pertinent RMA. Click on this link to be taken to Credit Memo page.
From here, issue a credit memo referencing the RMA per the standard accounting process for customer credit memos in Cetec ERP.
To repair or replace returned defective goods, navigate to SALES » Invoices » RMA List » [RMA of your choice]. Within the RMA header, you will see the Create Rework Order button to the right side of the Create PO and Issue Credit buttons. Click this button to create a work order for repair or replacement. Once a work order has been created, the link to that order will replace the Create Rework Order button to let you easily track between the rework order and the pertinent RMA. Click on this link to navigate to the work order view screen for the rework order.
The Work Order screen will have data autopopulated from the RMA that generated it. Note that it is still strongly recommended that you manually review the order data. Pay special attention to various dates (Work Start, Ship, and Dock dates) and the Resale value. To edit these fields, go to the Sales View for the work order, click on Edit to the left side navigation menu, change the values, and click on Update inside the Order header.
Once you are ready to start the work on the returned merchandise, navigate to the Production view by clicking on View from the left side navigation of the Order screen. Every order line has an order line number assigned to it and clicking on this number takes you to the Production page of the corresponding order line. Up top you will see in red the RMA # the work order originates from. From here the rework process is nearly identical to the regular production process.
One area of difference between a regular work order and a rework order is in picking parts. To pick parts, click on Pick Parts from the left side navigation of the Production screen. Cetec ERP utilizes FIFO (First In, First Out) methodology for part picking, and therefore suggests picking the oldest part in inventory. This is problematic because rework orders require the returned defective part, not the oldest part. To address this, we recommend creating a quarantined section for all returned defective material along with an easily identifiable name for the bin location (e.g. RMA-XXX-XXX). When picking parts for rework orders, pay attention to pick your part out of this RMA specific bin location.
Take a note of the Order Specific BOM for the rework order. This rework BOM is special. It is autopopulated with only one component, and this component is itself the top-level finished good on the rework order. This is because you need to allocate the defective product you received in at the beginning of this RMA process to the rework order. Outside of that, the system has no idea what additional components (if any) are needed in order to repair the product. The rework order BOM Management screen lets you make that determination and add new components for the rework order as necessary.