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                REVIEW: IMANDI PRO FROM EGAD INTERNATIONAL
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Difficult as it may be to believe, there are apparently people out there
who make money using their Amigas.  Or who use their Amigas to make money.
Or who simply happen to utilize an Amiga somewhere in their business, to
track sales, keep inventory, write invoices, that sort of thing.

If you're one of these lucky people, you may want to give IMANDI Pro a
look.

IMANDI (Inventory Management AND Invoicing) is designed to make the
bookkeeping process easier in its two title areas.  You'll need OS 2.04 or
better, 1.5 megs of RAM or more, and having a hard drive and 020+ would be
a nice idea.

IMANDI will open a custom screen based on your Workbench screenmode, but
seems to be limited to about 640x400 usable size.

It's relatively easy to get started.  Depending on what your priorities
are, you will want to start either in the Customer or Inventory database.
Presuming you want to start by entering your products first, you'll be
confronted with the Inventory Editor, where you can create as many
databases as you choose with as many items as you choose in each.  Your
fields are straightforward (part name, description, your cost and the
price, quantity sold and units, quantity on hand and recommended restock
amount, weight, supplier, and tax and discount flags), and are entered with
the keyboard.  There is also a text field below the entries that tracks
inventory changes (restocks and purchases).

After dealing with your inventory, you'll want some customers.  Frequent
customers can be saved as individual files, so you can track their total
purchases, contact information, credit card number, and the like.  You can
also give them customized tax rates on parts, labor, travel, and mileage,
to suit their location, and grant them special discount status.

The "Prefs" feature doesn't, unfortunately, cover such usual items as
screenmode and colors.  Instead, there are a number of global variables to
deal with, such as labor cost (both on-site and in-house), travel costs,
tax rates, default discount rates, shipper lists, and the terms-of-sale.

Once this has been dealt with, it's time to create some invoices.  You can
either edit a previously saved invoice or generate a new one-both use the
same process.  The Customer, Header, Invoice, and Inventory Editor windows
all pop up at once.  You can essentially fill them out in any order,
however, going from Header to Customer to Inventory (to load a product
database) to Invoice seems most logical.
You enter the salesperson's name, PO number and Part numbers, if
applicable, invoice date (automatic) and shipping date, shipper and FOB,
and the terms (Sale, Net 30, etc.)

Then select your customer, go to the Invoice editor, and sell them items
(you can enter partial names and have the editor search and complete them
through the database).  You can also bill for labor, travel, mileage, or
enter text strings ("babble" entries).  Press F6 to print, and you're off.

Shipping support is a bit weak-you enter the shipping amount when you
select the print option, but IMANDI will not calculate it for you.  The
string that tells your customer how it is being shipped is just that-a text
string with no other value.

Now, about the printing...

IMANDI comes with three PageStream files and accompanying printouts of the
three basic invoice types IMANDI supports (which basically vary only in the
option to turn discount display and Year-To-Date sale display off).  The
idea is that you either duplicate the invoices given to you in the IMANDI
package (which aren't exactly high-quality printouts and come folded in
half) or print your own using PageStream, adding your corporate logo and
information however you see fit (since IMANDI doesn't support any direct
way to include this information, but there is plenty of room in the
upper-left hand corner of the invoice to place it.)  The printing options
seem rather spartan, essentially only allowing you to print to PRT: or a
file.

What else is there to do?  Well, the Inventory Editor allows you to
generate 3 types of reports: Inventory reports, Page reports (individual
item printouts), and Value reports (amount sold versus cost of items on
hand).  Again, you can print to PRT: or a file, spartan but reasonably
effective.

What's there to like?  Well, it is an effective solution for me, for
example, faced with the occasional necessity to generate an invoice for
consulting or journalistic work without the need for excessive bookkeeping
or detail (such as accounts payable or receivable: the terms of sale are
just a text entry, not a piece of data interpreted by IMANDI.)  For
example, IMANDI will tell you when it's time to stock more Pop-Tarts, but
they won't tell you if Herman's Breakfast Emporium is delinquent in his Net
30-1.5% 60 Pop Tart account.  You can always look through invoices you've
generated for Herman's and find out what he owes you, but it's not
automated.

The user interface is very intuitive and to-the-point, and the manual
(which is also available in context-sensitive AmigaGuide on disk) explains
each text field and button in the program.

On the other hand, there are some quirks that make IMANDI a bit tarnished.
For one, it's written in CanDo, meaning it's no speed demon.  While
response was decent on my 3000/030, using a memory-enhanced but
unaccelerated A500/600/1000/2000 may not be as feasible as it sounds.  The
interface isn't configurable.  The windows are not resizeable yet they take
up the entire width of the screen.  There is a documented option to
zip-shrink the Customer Editor (the largest, well over half the screen),
using F9.  However, there is no logical explanation for this nor any way a
user would "stumble" on that solution.  The lack of advanced accounting may
also turn some off.

It's very difficult for business software to find a sense of identity in
the Amiga market.  IMANDI is quite good at inventory management and
acceptably capable of generating invoices, but is not going to be a
full-blown accounting system for your business needs.  As part of a suite,
however, or for the small business with accounting needs that can be
handled easily by hand, IMANDI makes a good investment.