Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tip #085 – Comparing Two Periods

Tip #085
Comparing Periods

If you have had flowerSoft for at least 1 year, one of the very interesting things you can do is compare two periods of time and see how your business is doing when compared to the same period a year ago.

Hopefully, all of you had a profitable Mother’s Day.  But, do you know if it was more profitable than last year?

Let’s learn how to do comparisons.

First of all, all the comparisons are accessed from the Manager’s menu > Financial Operations > Compare

This will bring you to the menu shown below.

Let’s first try to compare this Mother’s Day to last year’s Mother’s Day.

Go to option 8 – Sales comparisons/Analysis

The first thing you have to do is decide which dates you are going to use for your comparison.  In the one below, I decided to use a starting date 7 days from Mother’s Day and an end date of Mother’s date.  You can use whatever dates you feel are appropriate.

Using my dates, I came up with the following report.

This report tells me that, for the periods, I selected, I had 146 more orders this year than last.  It also shows me, though, that my average sale went down by $1.90.

So our revenues increased by $6,470.85 but we probably made less profit on each sale.

We also see that the big increase came from local orders, which is good.  Outgoing orders went down by a bit and incoming orders went down by quite a bit, which is probably also good.

Cash and credit card sales went up but sales ON ACCOUNT went down.  You could view this as good or bad, depending on how prompt your house account customers pay their bills.

A lot more people decided to come into the store to place this order this year than last, which probable explains the increase in cash sales.

So as you can see, this report offers you a lot of data for you to analyze.

Another comparison you can run is the product sales analysis.  This report will tell you what items sold and which ones did not when compared to a year ago and help you plan for next year.

Remember that you can run these reports at any time, so if you prefer to run them a month or so before a big holiday to help you plan, that is fine also.

Tip #084 – Order & Delivery Confirmations

Tip #084
Order & Delivery Confirmations

I’ve been asked to explain the correct process to send order and delivery confirmations to customers.  Here it goes.

The customer’s profile record screen has two fields, one is marked O/C and the other one D/C

They stand for Order Confirmations and Delivery Confirmations respectively.
In the screen shot above, they are both marked with an N.  That means that this customer will not receive either order nor delivery confirmations.
In order for the customer to receive either type of confirmation, those fields have to be marked with  Y.

You can select just to send one type of confirmation and not the other by placing a Y in one of the fields and an N in the other.

If you enter a Y in one of the fields and you do not have an e-mail address for the customer already on file, flowerSoft will respond with…

If you are adding a new customer record, flowerSoft will ask you if you want to enter an email address after you’ve entered all the information needed to open a new account.
If you are changing the settings for an existing customer, you will need to press E after you save the record to enter a new e-mail address for the customer.

Notice the field labeled “Default Address?”.  This is a new field that was made available for customer who have several e-mail addresses on file but want to receive confirmation on only one of those addresses.  If you have such a condition, enter a Y in this field.

If you have entered a cell phone number for the customer, and you have on your default settings that you want to send text confirmations to a customer’s cell phone, flowerSoft will ask you for the name of the carrier

If the customer’s cell phone carrier is not shown on the list, hit the @ sign and flowerSoft will allow you to enter a new carrier

as you can see, you must know what to enter in the yellow line.  That information is almost always available in the internet.

Please note that text messages to a customer’s cell phone cannot contain images and may cost money to the customer if they do not have a plan with an unlimited number of text messages.  Always ask the customers if they would like to receive confirmations via a text message before setting up this option for them.

This is basically all that is needed to set up a customer to receive order and delivery confirmations.

If you have already entered a number of e-mail addresses for customers that do not have these setting correctly marked, you can update each customer manually or you can update all customers with e-mail addresses to receive both order and delivery confirmations in one step by going to the Manager’s menu > Client Operations > E-Mail Addresses Database > Set Order & Deliv. Confirmations.

This process will set both order and delivery confirmation fields in the customer’s profile record to Y for customers will e-mail addresses on file.

Order confirmations will be automatically sent when the customer places an order.
Delivery confirmations is a little more involved.

For flowerSoft to be able to send delivery confirmations, you must somehow tell flowerSoft that the order has been delivered.  The best way to do this is by using the route & recipt forms program.  When your driver gets back from making the deliveries, you, your dispatcher or the driver can mark the orders as delivered by going into the Dispatcher’s menu and selecting option L – Log-in Deliveries From R&R Form.  flowerSoft will then send the delivery confirmations for the orders marked as delivered.

If you do not use the route & receipt forms program, then you must mark each order as delivered a different and more difficult way.

You must go into the Dispatcher’s menu and select option E – Edit/View Deliveries by Inv. No.. select each invoice delivered, update the record and entered the actual delivery date and time, driver’s initials, who signed for the order and any pertinent remarks.

After that is done for all the orders delivered, you must go to the Dispatcher’s menu > Delivery Confirmations and select option 5 – Send Delivery Confirmations.

So, as you can see that is a little more involved than doing it through the Route & Receipt option.

To modify the wording that gets sent with the delivery confirmations, you can select the option in the Dispatcher’s menu > Delivery Confirmations labeled Add/Modify Message Text

When you select this option, flowerSoft will display the following screen

You can replace the text as you see fit.  Notice the special character markers and the explanation on how to use them at the bottom of the screen.

If you want to go the Carter’s Florist route and include a picture of each arrangement as it leaves the store with the delivery confirmations, you must place the jpg file of the picture in the FSROOT\PICTURES folder.  Remember that you must inform us if you want to use this type of confirmation as modifications have to be made to your version of the program.  Also remember that each file must be named with the invoice # and the .jpg extension.  In other words the picture for the arrangement ordered in invoice 2358 must be called 2358.jpg.
Also, the wording with those messages is not customizable.

I think this covers it and hope have not forgotten anything.  If I have or if there is anything else you’d like to know about sending delivery confirmations to your customers, please let me know.

Tip #078.1 – Search for a Recipient (Rev. #1)

Tip #078
Search for a Recipient (Revision #1)
(As suggested by Chris of Owens Flowershop in Lawrence, KS)

(To see the deleted portions of this post, see the original Tip #078 post)

Another way flowerSoft helps you search for a recipient is by pressing the F4 key from the “Deliver To” field and display a list of recipient’s the customer has sent flowers to in the past.

We have recently added the option of pressing the F6 key after you’ve typed the first name of the recipient to search flowerSoft’s database of previously delivered to names.

As you type, flowerSoft will move the highlight bar to show the closest match to what you have typed.  This is similar to what is called auto-complete.

Entering the first name before pressing the F6 is not absolutely necessary but it helps narrow down the search. After you press the F6 key, flowerSoft opens a window showing the closest matching names.

Here is Chris’ excellent suggestion.

She asked if it was possible to show the last delivery date on this window, so that if the recipient has moved it will be easier to determine which is the most recent address.

This is how flowerSoft gets better each day, by users like you offering great suggestions like the one Chris just offered.

Thank you, Chris!

Tip #082 – How Many Accounts do I Have?

Tip #082
Accounts Info

Ever wonder how many accounts you have in your database?  How many of them are active accounts?  Or how many new accounts have you opened during the past year?

Try this on for size…

To get to this option, follow this path from the Main Menu: M > P > J
and you will get this or something similar…

What could be easier.  It just takes 3 keystrokes.

Tip #081 – Sales Comparisons

Tip #081
Sales Comparisons

A recent email from a customer asked:

Cannot recall how to pull the number of corsages and boutonnières and dollar sales of each for April 15, 2011 and April 16, 2011.

Would like to know this figure to compare to our similar sales this Fri. and Sat. 
Can you send me a map or a better brain? 

Cheers, Marc 

and the answer is…

M > R > A > B > 1 > 3 > N

Enter dates for first period and then the dates for the second period.