Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tip #073 – “Preferred” E-Mail Address


Tip #073
“Preferred” E-Mail Address

This is a new feature, so you may not have it in your system until your next update.

flowerSoft will not give you the opportunity to mark an e-mail address as the “preferred” address for an account that has more than one email address.

When should you use this new feature?
Not often.  As a matter of fact, I would avoid using it unless you absolutely need to use it.

Why?
Because when you mark an address in an account as the “preferred” e-mail address, that will be the only address that will get order and delivery confirmations.

So, if you have 5 e-mail addresses for one account flowerSoft will stop and show you a list with the different e-mail addresses and ask you to select the one you want to send the email to.

If one of those addresses is marked as the “preferred” address, flowerSoft will no longer show you the list and simply and the email to the “preferred” address.

The only other option is to indicated to flowerSoft that you want all the email addresses in an account to receive the order and delivery confirmations, in which case flowerSoft will disregard the “preferred” e-mail marking and send the confirmation to all the e-mail accounts.

Tip #071 – Printing Finance/Re-Billing Charges Report


Tip #071
Printing the Finance/Re-Billing Charge Report

If you select to print the finance/re-billing charge report, be aware that flowerSoft will not post finance/re-billing charges until you run through the process again and this time select NOT to print the report.

In other words, flowerSoft will not post the finance/re-billing charges until you select not to print the report, which tells flowerSoft that everything is OK with the finance/re-billing charges.

Tip #070 – Calculating Finance/Re-Billing Charges


Tip #070
Calculate Finance/Re-Billing Charges

Every month I get at least one call asking why didn’t all the accounts that owe money get a statement.  99% of the time is because the florist forgot to calculate the finance/re-billing charges for the month.

Why is that a requirement, even if you do not impose finance/re-billing charges on your late accounts?

The answer is because one of the options that flowerSoft asks you when generating statements is

so, if an account owes you money from a prior month, and they do not male a payment during the month covered by the statement, they will not have activity for the month!  Therefore, a statement will not be generated.

When you run finance/re-billing charges, even if your interest rate is 0%, flowerSoft will create activity for the month for all the accounts with outstanding balances.

There are some other conditions where flowerSoft will not print a statement, such as for confidential accounts, active zero balance accounts (meaning that the account had activity during the month but their balance is still zero, like when the make a purchase and they also pay for it before the closing date of the statement), credit balance accounts, etc.  But most of the time it is because finance/re-billing charges were not calculated.

Tip #069 – Suspending/Reinstating “House” Accounts


Tip #069
Suspending/Reinstating “House” Accounts

House Accounts have the ability to order flowers and pay for them at a later time.  Normaly, they get 30 days to pay their purchases.  After that, finance charges are imposed on the outstanding balances.

Sometimes, however, a house account will have a large unpaid balance over 30, 60 or 90 days.

If you want to prevent those accounts from charging additional purchases to their house account, the best thing to do is suspend the account.

How do you suspend a house account?   Very easily.  Simply bring up the account and press the letter S to bring up the S options and then press 1 to suspend their charging privileges.

After you press 1, you must enter the supervisor’s password…

and after that, flowerSoft will show…

To re-instate the account’s charging privileges, follow the same procedure.

However, if the account makes a payment, once you enter it, flowerSoft will ask…

If you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will re-instate the account’s charging privileges.

Keeping Your Accountant Happy


It is tax time tomorrow, so you should have probably done this already.

However, for those of you who do not know, you accountant will probably want to know what your A/R were at the end of the year and perhaps also at the beginning of the year.

You can get your A/R at the end of any statement period by following this path: M > R > B > I

This will take you to the A/R as of Statement Closing Date option.

You will then need to tell flowerSoft whether you are running Balance Forward or Open Balance type statements.

After that, you just enter the statement closing date you want (probably 12/31/2011) and flowerSoft will give you a report like this:

which will show your Accounts Receivable balance as of 12/31/2011.

Tip #068 – Routing Your Deliveries


Tip #068
Routing Your Deliveries

If you use the Route & Receipt option in the Dispatcher’s menu, you know that flowerSoft can display the location of your deliveries in a map.  See below.

Select the deliveries to go into your route & receipt form.

and print your route & receipt sheet.  flowerSoft will then ask you if you want to display a Google map with your delivery stops.

If you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will pass the delivery information to Google Maps and then…

A map indicating your delivery stops will be displayed.  You can also ask Google to give you directions to each stop.

Your shop will always be the starting location.

At the present time Google does not optimize your route.  This means that Google will give you directions according to the way you entered the deliveries into the route & receipt form, which means that it is probably not the best order sequence for the deliveries.

However, there are now several web sites that will take your delivery stops and optimize the route for the most efficient way to make those deliveries.

One such option is a web site called myrouteonline found in www.myrouteonline.com.  This service will optimize your deliveries when you provide it with a csv file of your delivery stops, which flowerSoft provides for you.

This service is free if you do not have more than a few deliveries (10 or less) but if you are going to route more than that, then you must pay for a subscription.  These subscriptions allow you a certain number of credits per year.

So if you want to optimize your delivery route, check one of these web services.  There are many, so if you find one that you think is better than my routeonline, then please let us know.

New Web Order Feature


In some occasions, when an order comes in through your web site, it is for delivery outside of your normal delivery area.
Sometimes you need to turn this incoming order into an outgoing order, that is why flowerSoft when processing an incoming web order asks:

If you answer “No”, meaning that you will give this order out to another florist and essentially telling flowerSoft to turn this incoming order into an outgoing order, flowerSoft will ask you if you want to split the service charge into a relay and a delivery charge:

If you select not to split the service charge into a relay and a delivery charge, flowerSoft will transfer the entire service charge to the relay charge of the outgoing order.

This means that you get to keep the entire service charge.  However, if you choose “Yes”, I want to split the service charge into a relay and a delivery charge, flowerSoft will then ask you for the delivery charge amount:

Let’s say you decide to give the filling florist $5 for delivery, flowerSoft will then display the following screen:

It will show you how much you will be giving the filling florist ($67.95) and how much you will be keeping for yourself ($6.95) and ask you for verification.

Once you verify that the amount are correct, flowerSoft will transfer the order into the sales file as an outgoing order.  See below.

A note about fuel surcharges and incoming web orders.  A fuel surcharge cannot be added to an incoming web order because the customer has already agreed to pay a total amount for the order and that cannot be changed.  If you want to add a fuel surcharge to incoming web orders, you must make that part of your web order-entering process.

However, on incoming orders from wire services, flowerSoft will allow you to apply a fuel surcharge to the order.  See below.

After you enter how much of the incoming wire service order should be considered delivery, flowerSoft will calculate and add the fuel surcharge to the order, as shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #067 – What to do About Rising Gas Prices


Tip #067
What to do about rising gas prices.

With the price of gas rising every day, what are your options to stay profitable?

Well, the obvious one is to keep raising your delivery charge, but that involves work on your part.  Especially if you have delivery zones with different delivery prices.

So how can flowerSoft help with this problem?  By borrowing a trick from the transportation industry, and that is the fuel surcharge.

A fuel surcharge is an additional charge that gets added to the delivery of goods.  Just about everyone in the transportation industry uses them, perhaps even your own suppliers.  I’m almost certain tha they are getting charged a fuel surcharge from their suppliers and you can bet they are passing it off to you, perhaps disguised as something else.

flowerSoft has had this feature for many years now but, to my knowledge, only a handful of flowerSoft users actually use it.

So, you ask, “How do I implement a fuel surcharge to my deliveries that is automatic and takes very little time from my busy schedule?”

Here is how:

  1. Go to the Manager’s menu, System Information > Defaults > Operating Defaults, enter the shop # and press U to update the defaults.
  2. Navigate to page # 6 and you’ll see the following:

Now change the “Enable Fuel Surcharge?” answer to Y and enter the Reference Price per Gallon.  This is the price you originally based your delivery charges on.
If you want the fuel surcharge also to be applied to incoming orders (from wire services or your own web site) put a Y in the “Deduct From Product on Incoming Orders” field.  Please note that if you enter a Y in that field the fuel surcharge will be applied automatically to the incoming order and unlike local orders, you will not have the option to apply it to some orders and not others.

Once you’ve done this, all you have to do to maintain this option is answer what the current price per gallon is.

Each morning, the first thing flowerSoft will ask you when you first try to enter an order, is what the current price per gallon is.

If you do not enter anything at this point, flowerSoft will use the last gas price entered to calculate the fuel surcharge.  In other words, if the price per gallon was $4.00 when you last filled up you delivery van, you do not have to remember what that price was each day.  If you don’t enter a price per gallon, flowerSoft will assume that the price did not change since the last time you entered one.

Please note that since flowerSoft only displays this message once a day, if you or one of your employees made a mistake while entering the current price per gallon; you’ll have to go to either the Manager’s menu or the Dispatcher’s menu and access the Delivery Charges menu.  From there access the Edit/View Gas Price History option.  Bring up the incorrect entry, press U to update and change it to whatever the gas price should be.

Also note that fuel surcharges are only added to local and incoming orders, never to outgoing orders.

So, let’s say the gas price for today is $4 per gallon.  After you enter 4.00 in the screen above, flowerSoft will display the following message:

This means that flowerSoft will add a line item to your orders that will be equal to 33.33% of your delivery charge.

When you go past the delivery field, flowerSoft will inform you that it is about to apply a fuel surcharge to the order.  This will give you the option to not apply the delivery surcharge to some orders.  Please note that this option is not available if you decide to apply a gas surcharge to wire service and web orders, as the surcharge is applied automatically.

Once you answer Y to the prompt above, flowerSoft will add a line item to the order showing the fuel surcharge, which in this case will be $9.95, your normal delivery charge times .3333 which is the percentage of how much the cost of 1 gallon of fuel has gone up from your reference gas price of $3.00.  This equals $3.32, which is your fuel surcharge amount.

So there you have it, an easy way to recoup the rising cost of delivery.

Tip #066 – Recurring (Standing) Orders


Tip #066
Recurring (Standing) Orders

Recently one of flowerSoft’s most knowledgeable users said that, while trying to make an order a recurring order, flowerSoft only gave him the option to duplicate it once a year and he wanted to know why.  As a matter of fact, he thought it was a bug.

Well, it is not a bug.  flowerSoft has no bugs!  ;-)

The reason flowerSoft only offered the once a year option is because the order must have had either a Birthday, Anniversary or Holiday occasion.

If you still want to make such an order re-occur more than once a year, you have to change the occasion to something else.  However, if you do, be warned that the order will not be picked up when you do occasion reminders.