Updated: November 17, 2020 7:22am

Chapter 1. Introduction


Welcome to Retail Pro Prism! This User's Guide explains how to use RP Prism to operate and manage your retail operation.
This guide assumes you have installed the RP Prism components and initialized the Prism server with data as described in the Getting Started Guide. The illustrations and screenshots in this guide use Prism's default theme and layout (the Simple Customer layout). Your screens may look different depending on the theme/layout selected in Prism Node Preferences > Themes & Layouts.
Prism contains three main modules:

  • POS: Ring up sales, manage customers and run reports.
  • Store Operations: Manage inventory, purchasing, receiving, transfers and employees.
  • Admin Console: Configure preferences and settings, enabling you to customize Prism's workflow and UI to match the needs of your business.

Prism is a complete retail management system. Transactions (receipts), vouchers, slips and memos record actual changes to the inventory and provide a permanent record of those changes. Order documents are used to plan or order future retail activities, but they do not affect inventory.  The information recorded on an order document, such as items, prices, and vendor or customer information, can be easily transferred to a transactional document when the time comes to record the actual activity.

Prism Documents that update Inventory
prism inventory flow

Prism Document Types

  • Transactions can include sale, return and order items. Sale items remove quantities from inventory; Return items add quantities to inventory; Order items do not affect On-Hand Quantity.
  • Receiving vouchers add to inventory the merchandise received from vendors.  Return vouchers are used to subtract from inventory merchandise that is returned to vendors.  A planned purchase of merchandise from a vendor is recorded on a purchase order (PO).
  • Transfer slips record the transfer of merchandise between two inventories (store to store, warehouse to store, etc.).  An out slip subtracts the quantity transferred from the sending inventory and adds it to the receiving inventory.  The order document used to plan a transfer of merchandise is the transfer order (TO). A transfer voucher records the receiving of transfers into an inventory.
  • Adjustment memos can either add or subtract merchandise from inventory.  Memos are used when none of the other transactional documents are appropriate.  For example, adjustment memos would be used to subtract shrinkage quantities from inventory or to add "extra" units discovered during a physical inventory.  Adjustment memos are also used to record adjustments to inventory costs and prices.  There are no order documents related to adjustment memos.

Prism uses a Subsidiary-Store-Workstation hierarchy. A subsidiary represents an individual business unit. For smaller retailers, there will only be a single subsidiary that controls all stores. For larger retailers, multiple subsidiaries will be required. For example, a retailer that operates in 30 countries would have 30 subsidiaries, one for each country in which the retailer has stores. In contrast to a subsidiary, a store represents a single inventory location. Prism supports 987 stores per subsidiary.
Subsidiary fields

Subsidiary Field Description
Number The number assigned to the subsidiary. By default, the next available sequential number is entered. You can edit to a different unused number.
Name The name of the subsidiary.
Active If selected, indicates the subsidiary is active. Transactions and other documents can only be created at stores that belong to active subsidiaries
Base Currency The currency used by the subsidiary. Each subsidiary has only one base currency that is used as the point of comparison for exchange rate calculations. (Defined in Global Preferences > Currencies)
Country  The country where the subsidiary operates.
Season The active season assigned to the subsidiary. Make sure the active season is the same in both Prism and RIL. The season is used for things like Seasonal Pricing, in which prices can configured to change from one defined season to the next.
Retail Calendar Retail calendar assigned to the subsidiary. Retail calendars are used to track the fiscal year or other calendar related to financials. In the current version of Prism, retail calendars must be assigned to subsidiaries in RIL.

Rules for Inactive/Active Subsidiaries

  • An inactive subsidiary cannot be selected in a workstation record
  • If the subsidiary is the last active subsidiary, it cannot be inactivated
  • If the subsidiary is the Default Subsidiary in Installation Defaults, it cannot be inactivated

Subsidiary Modeling
The Subsidiary Modeling feature allows you to copy merchandise records and preference settings from one subsidiary to another. The data that can be copied during Subsidiary Modeling includes:

  • Inventory: All Inventory records are copied from the model to the target.
  • Departments: All Department records are copied from the model to the target.
  • Vendors: All vendor records are copied from the model to the target.
  • Node Preferences: All node preferences are copied from the model to the target.

1.    In the Admin Console, navigate to the Node Preferences area. Click Node Selection on the menu.    
2.    Find the Subsidiary that will be the target of the operation. This is the subsidiary into which you will copy records. Click the Edit button.    
3.    In the dialog, the Target Subsidiary is hardcoded. Click the Source Subsidiary dropdown and pick the desired subs. Merchandise records will copied from this sub to the Target Sub. If you selected the wrong Target Subsidiary, click Cancel to go back to the list of subs and then find the desired subsidiary and edit it.
Select the individual merchandise record types you want to copy. Selecting Inventory, automatically selects Department and Vendor, too. Click the Apply button.    
4.    A confirmation is displayed. The copy process does not take long, but you can check on the status in the Tech Toolkit Scheduler area.  Subsidiary Modeling is run as a "once only" Scheduled Task.
Store information is copied from RIL to the Prism server during initialization. You can add and edit Store records. Previously, store records could only be added and  edited in RIL. To add/edit a store record, in Node Preferences > Node Selection, drill down to the desired subsidiary. Click the Add button to add a new store. When adding/editing a store, enter details for the store in the Store Information dialog. Save the changes.
Refer to the following table for information about the editable store fields:

Store Field Description
Number Store number (e.g. 001). Store numbers of 000 to 999 are allowed, with some numbers reserved.
Name Name of the store.
Store Code The Store Code is an alternative field to enter an identifying number for the store.
Active Active status.
Address 1 Number and street name (e.g. 400 Plaza Dr.)
Address 2 Suite or apartment number (e.g. Suite 200)
Address 3 City, State (e.g. San Francisco, CA)
Postal Code Enter the ZIP Code or Postal Code for the store address.
Phone 1 Enter the primary phone number for the store.
Phone 2 Enter a secondary phone number for the store.
Server Address Enter the Static IP Address of the machine that is the store's Prism server.
Override Global Settings
Subsidiary Select the Subsidiary to which the store is assigned.
Tax Area 1 Select the tax area for the store.
Tax Area 2 (multi tax environments) Select the second tax area for the store.
Price Level Select the price level that will be used by default on transactions created by workstations assigned to the store.
Next Sale No The starting number for document sequences for sale transactions.
Next Return No The starting number for document sequences for returns.
Next Order No The starting number for document sequences for orders.
Next Send Sale No The starting number for document sequences for send sale transactions.

Workstations in Prism consist of the individual machines running Prism through a web browser. In the RP Prism Admin Console, you can edit workstation records. Note: The first time you edit a Workstation, you must enter a Workstation Number before you can save the changes.

Workstation Field Description
Workstation Identification Number Enter a unique identifying number for the workstation.
Name (read-only) Displays the name of the current user's workstation.
Type Select the type of workstation this is:
    Point of Sale
    Back Office
Active If selected, the workstation is active and can be used for transactions. If not selected, the workstation is inactive and cannot be used for transactions.
Use Workstation Sequence Number If selected, the workstation will use its own document numbering sequence, beginning with the entered number.
Subsidiary Select the Subsidiary to be used on transactions created at this workstation.
Note: You cannot assign an inactive Subsidiary. If the Subsidiary is inactive, you will first have to activate the subsidiary, or assign the workstation to a different Subsidiary.
Store Select the Store to be used on transactions created at this workstation.
Price Level Select the Price Level to be used on transactions created at this workstation.
Tax Area 1 Select the Tax Area that this workstation will use on transactions.
Tax Area 2 (Multi sales tax environments) Select the tax area that this workstation will use for Tax Area 2.

About the Prism Enterprise Structure
Every Prism enterprise has a single "HQ" system that serves as "root authority" for the company's servers. All servers other than the Prism HQ server must go through the Join-the-Enterprise process. Joining the Enterprise is the process of adding a node to an enterprise hierarchy. The JTE process establishes the hierarchy of the enterprise by requiring you to identify each server's Point of Authority (POA). The Point of Authority for a given server is the upstream server that is in charge of enterprise data from this server's point of view. When data is created/edited at the store level, it is communicated up the enterprise chain to the top, enforcing the synchronization of data throughout the enterprise.
Each child POA has one or more store servers under it. You can use a single level of POAs, or multiple levels of POAs, but all of them emanate from the one root POA. Store servers are not allowed to replicate data directly with each other; instead, the data must first flow up the hierarchy to the POA and then back down the hierarchy to the target store.

Sample Prism three-tier hierarchy

Sample prism hierarchy

RIL Notes

Sale and Order Items on Same Transaction
When creating a transaction, you can include both sale and order items. The required minimum deposit amount (defined in Prism preferences) is added to the transaction subtotal. When the transaction is sent to RIL, a receipt is created for the sale items on the transaction and a sales order is created for the order items. Tax information is specific to each item and thus allows the split of sale and order items to occur. Any notes entered for sales or orders in RP Prism are written to both the order and sales receipt in RIL.
RP Prism does not use the "Receipt Type" field that is used in RIL. All transactions from RP Prism are added to the RIL database with the Receipt Type set to "Sales." Returns are represented by negative item quantity values.
Disabled/Allowed Functionality
The following functionality is disabled when working with RP Prism documents in RIL:

  • Edit
  • Reverse sales transactions and deposit transactions
  • Generate SO
  • Inactivate (specific to Sales Orders within RIL)
  • SO Deposits
  • Record Sale

Spread/Unspread discounts
Purging RP Prism Transactions from RIL
Documents created in RP Prism can be purged from RIL using Technician's Toolkit (Archive/Purge). The exception is a situation where a link (reference) is found between a sale and order transaction that is the result of splitting a RP Prism transaction into separate sale/order documents in RIL. If a link is found, the related document and original document will not be purged. Example: If the user tries to purge receipts and a receipt originating in RP Prism has a link to an order, both documents will be preserved.
Document and Item Level Associates
Associate information for RP Prism transactions cannot be edited in RIL. If associate information must be updated, the edits must be made in RP Prism.
All currencies defined in RIL preferences are sent to RP Prism during initialization and set to "Active." Be sure to enter (in RIL preferences) the ISO 4207 Abbreviation for each currency used.

Prism Areas that Require RIL
The following features are either not available in RP Prism, or full functionality requires RIL.

Area Description
Commissions Not currently tracked in Prism. Define employee commissions in RIL.
Regions and Districts In RIL, you can define Regions and Districts and assign stores to those regions/districts.
Calendars In RIL, you can define calendars, including retail calendars, that can be used for stock audits and closing accounting periods.
Sub Locations Sublocations enable a single store inventory to be subdivided into sub locations.
Mask Codes Define a mask to obscure the true inventory cost
High Security Receipts Auto-create high-security receipts when certain POS actions occur
Sales Targets Define Sales Targets and assign targets to stores, employees, etc.
Proposed Items Allow remote stations to create inventory items. The proposed items can then be approved by a user at the Main
Pending POs Allow remote stations to create purchase orders. The Pending POs can then be approved by a user at the Main
Clean House Remove inactive items from inventory in a safe and controlled manner
Rounding and Adjusting Instructions Define rounding and adjusting instructions.
Store Class, Store Type, Store Schedule Define a list of Store Class and Store Types. Define a Store Schedule.
Price-Based Stores Allows different stores to use different price levels.
Document Default Stores Assign default stores that will be used when creating specific document types. This can be used to ensure all purchase orders are created at the HQ store, or all orders are created at a certain store.
Time Shifts Define time shifts. You can then assign a time shift to individual employees.
Customer Loyalty Levels and Programs Create loyalty levels and loyalty programs in RIL. Initialize Prism with loyalty data.
Customer Bins and Scoring Auto-generate transfer orders to move inventory from stores with a surplus to stores with a deficiency.
Auto Transfer Auto-generate transfer orders to move inventory from stores with a surplus to stores with a deficiency.
Auto PO Auto generate purchase orders to replenish inventory.
Best Replenishment This enables users to auto generate transfer orders if quantities are available at other stores or generate purchase orders if the quantities must be ordered from a vendor. In other words, the system will pick the best method of replenishment.
Audit The Merchandise > Audit area provides a complete audit trail of changes to cost and quantity
Backup/Recover Database RIL has an interface for backing up/recovering the database. RP Prism has no such interface.
Archive/Restore Data Any archiving of data must be done in RIL.
Purge Data You can purge (permanently delete) data in Tech Toolkit.
Set customer type You can change the Customer Type field for customers in RIL.
Merge customers In RIL Tech Toolkit, you can merge customer records that are duplicates.
Expire central tenders

You can expire central tenders in RIL.