Author Archives: Kris Stroeve

Monthly Billing

For many people there is always a bit of anxiety when it comes to creating an invoice. There is only one reason to invoice: we need to get paid for the time and resources expended that month, so that we can invest more time and resources next month. As far as Fusion is concerned, invoicing can be boiled down to five considerations: Items, Usage, Attributes, Yardage, and Other Items. The first three areas are where we are going to set our focus, but for now let’s talk about yardage and other items.

Yardage is simply a value put against head days of a lot. Other items are a way of attributing a bulk charge against a lot. These can have a note associated with them and can be backdated, and as long as it is within the current billing period these items will appear on the invoice. You can add other items in the Billing tab of the Lot Edit window.

Both yardage and other items are quite simple to use and understand. The next few areas are a bit more involved and deserve more attention. Let’s start with “Items”. Items are ingredients, inputs, or drugs and are created in the Admin module under Set Up.

“Usage” is determined by the actions taken in the yard:

  • Feeding creates usage that will effect commodities and ingredients.
  • Chuteside events (treating or processing) will create drug and input usage.
  • Other input usage can be created by using the Bulk Add Input window for things like bedding or pen delivered hay.

Once usage is created it will be associated with an attribute. Attributes can be set at any time within the current billing period. This includes backdating the item attribute to the beginning of the billing period at a later point. Most usage will only need to be multiplied by “cost” and “bill at” values for each item, but some items like ingredients and some inputs will also rely on dry matter or equivalency values to come up with the correct usage, cost, and bill at values.

The point is that before we invoice we should review our attributes and usage. These two areas, if not set or tracked properly, will give you grey hair no matter how you create an invoice.

Here’s how we do it. First, let’s review our current attributes. As you are well aware, very few of these attributes will change month to month so it is not always necessary to print this off every time, but this is how to find your current attribute values:

  1. Open the Bulk Attribute Change window (Fusion Core → Attributes → Bulk Attribute Change).
  2. Select the item (ex. Drug) on the top left then the attribute (ex. Cost) just to the right. Now click the Fill List button.
  3. Click the Show Advanced button on the bottom left of the window. In the middle of the window you will find an area that lets you change the information in the “Previous” column based on these choices. Fill the Item Attribute, Location, and Date in with the information that you want to see. Now go ahead and click the Update Previous Column button. (Location is one thing you need to be aware of, because if you were setting location specific pricing or attributes these will only be listed per location in the list that we are about to print. If you are running location specific attributes you will need to print this list per location.)
  4. You will notice that the “Previous” column is filled with the current values that will be used for billing. Now go to any one of the column headers and right click. Four options will appear in a drop list. This is where you can print the list of current attributes.

I imagine that this list will only have to be printed off once or twice. After that you will know where to look to find current values and the list will not be needed. I also think that this is a great way to calm fears of wondering if you have everything covered.

Next let’s look at the usage for the month. You will find this in Fusion Office under Yard Reports. If you choose Feedlot Usage Report, the window that opens up will default to the previous month. Select the location (all locations is not an option). If you’d like you can narrow it down to a specific lot, but in this case we will leave that field blank. Now check all the boxes of the areas that you’d like to review (usually all of them) and print. With this report you will be able to see if you have all your cost and bill at values in correctly. You can also double check the usage for the month prior to invoicing.

If you do come across an item that was missed you can create usage in a number of ways. Depending on how you want this to happen you may have to create a virtual job or mix a load of feed and back date it, or create a drug or input event.

Once you’ve gone through these two steps you may find that you have completely missed a charge like a chute fee (which would be an input). At this point you have to go through this process:

  • Create an input called “Chute Fee”
  • Create “cost” and “bill at” attributes
  • Create usage. In a case like this I would just make an input event for the 250 “Chute Fees” against lot X if lot X had 250hd.

This would just be a bulk charge to cover the cost of what we had missed during that month. If this were a drug and I wanted the charges and withdrawals to apply to each animal I would create a virtual job.

Bringing Grass Cattle Back Into the Feedlot

I have had a lot of calls from people asking how to best deal with cattle that have been in the feedlot for backgrounding, out to grass over the summer, and then back in for finishing. Some of you want to keep the past history for future treatment, health, and production information. Others don’t care about it and just want to start fresh when they come back in. Either way, this should help.

If You Want to Start Fresh

Do a search for those animals that went out to grass. Make sure you have the right bunch. Then select all animals and choose Bulk Update from the Modify button. Use this window to change the status of all the animals to “Not Current”.

At this point you are ready to process these cattle and Fusion will now recognize them as new cattle and start billing their new lot from that day forward.

If You Want To Retain History, But Not Billing

This can be fairly simple if the correct steps are taken beforehand. If you know a certain group of cattle will be going to grass over summer then coming back in the fall, make sure you have those cattle identified in a way that you can do a search to find those ID’s before they arrive in the fall. This can be done with custom IDs.

When those same cattle come back in the fall, do a search for them in the animal list window using the ID mentioned above. Then select all animals and choose Bulk Update from the Modify button. Now you will check the Change Status To checkbox and select Current from the drop list. You will also use this window to change the Location/Lot to the new lot that they will be going into. The options below the location/lot check box should be set to Move Animal To New Lot On Date, usually with the current date set. At this time be sure to hit the tab key to get the cursor out of the lot field. Once that is done select anything else you’d like to change at a lot level like current and home pens, cattle type. You may even want to add a note.

At this point you are ready to process cattle. Fusion will now recognize them from the new lot and bill accordingly.

If you need or want to change the management tag number you will have to set up a job that will overwrite custom IDs. To do this you will have to select the “Overwrite if this ID already exists” checkbox in the “Change Custom ID” subjob. This will apply to every one of your custom ID’s you want to change.