You keep using that report… I do not think it means what you think it means.

The other day, a Made2Manage user who worked in production called me because he had a problem with one of his jobs, as it was not showing up on the Work In Process Report (RPWIP). The report description is as follows:

The Work In Process Report reflects the current value of charges that have been accumulated per Job Order, but that have not yet been moved to the Cost Of Goods Sold

After I examined the job, I realized why it didn’t show up. The keyword is value. The RPWIP does not list jobs with $0 value. When I tried to explain to the user why the job was not showing up, he swore that the report had been showing $0 value jobs for all of the years he had worked with it. I had to take a look at the actual program (prg file) to verify that I was right.

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I actually said in my best Inigo Montoya voice, “You keep using that report… I do not think it means what you think it means.” The user laughed, and I promised to create a new report for him that would show all jobs, when I could make time.

Inigo Montoya

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – Inigo Montoya

Another report that people misunderstand is the Sales Order Backlog Report (RPBKLG). The long and confusing description is as follows:

There are three distinct reports in this selection.
1) Order Backlog:
Order Backlog in Price and Units. The report shows units and dollars in time buckets of days, weeks, or months. The report always displays 12 buckets (columns).

2) Back Order
This report shows open sales order items which have a quantity shipped less than the quantity ordered. The date range available for selection is the Sales Order Release due date.

3) Backlog vs. Quotation Analysis:
This report gets the backlog by looking for open sales orders with items that have an order quantity greater than the shipped quantity. It then reviews open quotes and gets similar information.

1) The purpose of this report is to let you know how many items and dollars are booked for each of the next 12 days, or weeks, or months.

2) The purpose of this report is to show which items have not been completely shipped on open orders.

3) The purpose of this report is to assist in analysis of sales trends.


This is the mental picture I get when I imagine who wrote and documented the standard M2M Reports. Wally the Engineer – Dilbert Comics.

When I asked M2M Support to define the difference between Backlog and Back Order, they simply e-mailed me the exact quote I asked them about. So, it’s no wonder that people don’t understand this report. The most common misperception is that this report represents all available items to be invoiced. This is not true, it only takes into account the items that are shippable. I know of at least one company who continued to use RPBKLG as an “non-invoiced report” even after I pointed out that it wasn’t accurate, simply because they had no other alternative. M2M does not offer a report that returns the dollar value of goods on sales orders that have not been shipped or invoiced. I’ve written a SQL statement which accurately returns this value, and I will share it in a later post, as well as an explanation as to why it works.

So I ask my readers, have you misinterpreted the results of a Made2Manage report and if so, which report?

2 comments to You keep using that report… I do not think it means what you think it means.

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