Tips #031 through #040


Tip #031
Holiday Occasions

Although you can choose from a couple of different formats, flowerSoft provides the wording for the occasion reminders.

(By the way, if you think you have wording that is better than what we have, please feel free to send us an email with your wording and we’ll include it with the other options.)

So, birthdays and anniversaries are easy for flowerSoft because it is always a birthday or an anniversary you are reminding your customer about. Although you may not be entirely happy with the way the occasion reminder reads, it will always make reference to birthday or anniversary.

Holidays present a different challenge. How would flowerSoft know which holiday you are remaining the customer about?

Well, when flowerSoft is going through last year’s orders trying to pick the ones that should be included in the reminders for the following month, if it comes across an order that has “HOLIDAY” in the occasion field, it will stop and ask you what word should be used to replace “holiday” in the occasion reminder. Well, in February and May that is pretty easy because more than likely you only care about sending reminders for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.

But what if you are sending reminders for December? What word do you use to replace “holiday” with? Do you use “Christmas”? Maybe it was “Chanukah” that the customer was celebrating. So… how do we solve that problem?

For the answer see Tip #032

 

Tip #032
Holiday Occasions (Cont.)

How can we tell if an order sent in December with “HOLIDAY” in the occasion field was for a customer celebrating Christmas or for one celebrating Chanukah or for one celebrating Kwanzaa? Other than going to the order and reading the enclosure card message, you can’t.

How do we avoid sending a customer an occasion reminder reading “Christmas” when the customer celebrates Chanukah or Kwanzaa?

This is how.

Go to the Manager’s menu and then to System Information and then to Operating Defaults. Press “U” to update the record and navigate to page #21 (as of this writing) or the page titled “Other Settings” and if not already set to “Y”, change the setting shown below to read “Y”.

Changing the Display Holidays List Setting
Changing the Display Holidays List Setting

What setting this to “Y” will do is force flowerSoft to display a list of holidays with dates equal to or greater than the delivery date of the order.

You can then select the correct holiday from the list displayed.


 
Tip #033
Managing Holiday Dates

You’ve learned how to get flowerSoft to ask you for the holiday name.
But how does flowerSoft know what the correct holiday dates are year after year, for holidays that do not fall on the same date each year?

The answer is that flowerSoft does not know. It has to depend on you changing the dates at the end of each year. However, flowerSoft gives you a fairly easy way to do this.
First of all, flowerSoft comes with a database of just about every holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada.

List of Holidays

Mayor and minor ones. Last time I looked, the database had 77 entries. That is an entry for each of 77 different holidays.
Obviously, you do not need to enter dates for each of those holidays if you never or hardly ever have a call for orders celebrating a particular holiday on the list.

The database contains one field that allows you to suppress that holiday.
Entering a “Y” in that field will prevent it from being shown on the holidays list during order taking.

POS list of holidays

Of course some holidays, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day always fall on the same date, but what about the ones that do not, like Chanukah? How do you get those dates?
Well, here is where you have to put a little effort into this but still, flowerSoft tries to make it as painless as possible.
First, it tells you what the date rule is for each holiday and then by providing you with references, which are links to websites that provide the date information for each holiday.
You will, however, have to enter that information manually but think of all the headaches it will save you later.
After all, there are only a handful of important holidays that do not fall on the same date each year.

Chanukah

There you have it, a way to distinguish between different holidays falling within the same month.

So, where do you manage this holiday database from?
You manage it, like most other things, from the Manager’s menu. This time from the Periodic Procedures option.
There you will find an option called “Holidays” that when selected, will take you to this menu.

Holidays Menu

Again, if you are going to use this feature, it is extremely important that you maintain the holiday dates by updating them at the end of each year.

 

Tip #034
Adding the Designer Initials

If you are not the only designer at your shop, you should be keeping track of who designs each order received.

Why? There are several reason.

1. It makes it very easy to see who designed an order by just looking at it on the screen.

2. You can keep track of designer productivity.

3. If you are using the route & receipt forms feature, it is almost mandatory.

4. If you use the “bench” option, it is a requirement.

You should be entering orders into the computer in real time. In other words, as the customer is giving you the order.
When you are entering an order into the system, you probably do not know who is going to be designing the order.
If you are not, and the order has already been designed then you can enter the designer initials when you enter the order.

flowerSoft makes it easy for you to enter the designer’s initials after the order has been entered.
There are several ways to get the designer initials into the order, but the most common one is by bringing the order up on the screen
through the Edit/View Orders option of the Orders Menu, and pressing “D”.
flowerSoft will immediately ask you to enter the designer initials.

designer initials

After the initials are entered, you’ll be able to tell who designed the order by simply looking at the order.

designed by

If an order has the designer initials already recorded, and you press “D” again, flowerSoft will allow you to change or erase the existing initials, but it will also give you opportunity to do other things as the screen shot below will show you.

d options

This brings us to our next tip,

Tip #035
Shortcuts from Edit/View Orders

We try to show as many of the available options at the bottom of the screen as space will allow.

bottom options

However, flowerSoft gives you so many options it is impossible to show them all at the bottom of the screen.
As you saw in the previous tip, pressing the letter “D” on an order will give you 10 different options as to things you can do at that point.

But if you look at the bottom of the screen above, “D” is not even shown. So how do you know that “D” is even an option?

Simple, if you read the options carefully, you will see that one of the options is a question mark (?).

Press the “?” on the keyboard and this is what flowerSoft will display…

all options from edit_view

flowerSoft will display a list of all the different options available while you are looking at the order.
But you are not always in Edit/View Orders. Most of the time you are in the New Orders menu.
What options are available from there? For the answer see Tip #036

 

Tip #036
Options Available from New Orders Menu 

Let’s face it, your computer is going to spend 80-90% of the time in the New Orders Menu

New Orders Menu

We can see that we have the option of entering options 1 through 7, plus the option to exit the menu.
But are those the only options you have from this screen? If you read the bottom of the screen, the obvious answer is “no” there are a LOT of other functions you can perform while on the screen.
All these options are displayed when you pressed the F10 key. We call them the “Quick Access” keys because they give you access to other functions, some totally unrelated to entering an order by simply pressing one key on your keyboard.

qak1

qak2

qak3

Some of these keys are very useful, while others you will only use once in a while.
For example, if you need to look at an order and you know the invoice number, there is no need to exit out of the New Orders menu and go into Edit/View Orders. You can simply press “E” and flowerSoft will ask you to enter the invoice number you want to view or edit.

But let’s say you want to do something entirely different. Your wholesaler just showed up with a delivery of flowers and you have to write him a check.
You could exit the New Orders Menu and then exit the orders menu and then go into the Accounts Payable menu and then go into the Checkbooks menu, enter the password and then go into the Direct Checks menu and then select the Write a Direct Check option.
So how many keystrokes is that? Let’s see X > X > P > C > PASSWORD > C and finally A.
That is 6 keystrokes plus the length of the password. Not terrible but what if there was a much quicker way, like pressing the “@” sign?
Wouldn’t you rather use that? I would, if I knew it was available.
Shortcuts just like this one are available for a myriad of other functions. When you have a little time available, press the F10 key from the New Orders menu and explore them. You might find some very useful ones.

 

Tip #037
The F7 key

Here is pretty useful tip that most of you may not be familiar with.
The F7 key will take you to the end of a field while in entering data into a field. For example, let’s say you enter the customer’s address into the address field
and then you leave the field. But now you find the need to add something the end of the address field, like an apartment #.
You press the up arrow to go back to the address field and most of you will probably use the right arrow key to get to the end of the field and add the information.
Try this instead, use the up arrow to get back to the address field and then press F7. flowerSoft will take you directly to the end of the data in the field.
This is true for any field in flowerSoft except 1-character fields.

But that is not all. Let’s say you used one of the Quick Access keys mentioned on the previous tip. The “E” quick access key that triggers flowerSoft into asking you to enter the invoice number you want to view or edit. Let’s say it is the last order you entered or one you entered recently.
If you press the F7 key at that point, flowerSoft will take you directly to the last invoice number entered without the need to enter the actual number.
If it is not the very last invoice entered you want, it is pretty easy to just arrow up to the one you want.
This would also be true, but not as useful, from other areas. For example, if you are in Edit/View Orders and you are using the Account Name index and press the F7 key from there, flowerSoft will take you to the alphabetically last Account Name in the database, for example “Zwiener, Waylon”. Like I said, not as useful but you get the idea of what the F7 key can do for you. Had you been using the Delivery Date index, pressing the F7 key from there would have taken you to orders with the very last delivery dates in the system. So if you had an order in the system for delivery next Valentine’s Day, it would have taken you directly to that order.

On the enclosure card section, if you arrow up to a line that already has data in it, flowerSoft automatically puts you on the first space after the last letter on the line so that
you can add words to that line. How does flowerSoft do this? By pushing the F7 key for you. Now, if you move to the beginning of the line by pressing the Home key, you
can then move back to the end of the line again by pressing the F7 key.

Try it, you’ll like it.

Tip #038
Aliases and FUAs

Alias = As Known As or AKA
FUA = Frequently Used Address

These are 2 terms used in flowerSoft you should be familiar with and know what the differences are between them.

On this post, let’s start with Aliases, we’ll deal with FUAs on the next post.

There are 2 different kind of aliases, customer aliases and recipient aliases.
They are kept in 2 different databases and are not interchangeable. In other words, a customer alias will not work in the “Deliver To” field and a recipient alias will not work from the Account Number or Account Name fields.

Customer aliases.
When entering a customer alias from the account # field, you can enter it directly into the field. Nothing has to precede it.
If you enter an alias into the account name field, you must precede it with a period (.) to alert flowerSoft that what you are entering is not an account name but an alias you are providing.

Once an alias is entered, and is a valid one (found in the database) flowerSoft will fill out all the information associated with that alias for you. Account number, name, address, city, state, zip code and telephone numbers. Customer aliases must be unique. You cannot have duplicate aliases because flowerSoft would not know which one you want to use. As a matter of fact, flowerSoft will prevent you from entering a new alias that is already in use for someone else. However, you can have several different aliases for the same customer, as long as they are unique.

Recipient aliases
Recipient aliases are similar to customer aliases but can only be used from the “Deliver To” field and you must always precede them with a period (.) or you must press F9 to have flowerSoft prompt you for the alias.

However, there is another BIG difference between customer and recipient aliases and that is that recipient aliases DO NOT have to be unique! In other words, you can have 2 totally different recipient’s with the same recipient alias.
This allows us to have (to our knowledge) another flowerSoft feature not found in any other florist software.

Let us explain, let’s say that you have 10 very good customers that send flowers to their wives often. You don’t want to be embarrassed by having to ask for their names each time they place an order.  You know your memory is not what it used to be and even worse, you don’t want to further embarrass yourself by calling her wife by the wrong name. So what can you do to look good in the eyes of your customer and make them think you remember their wife’s name?

You can give each one of those ten wives the alias of “wife” and you will never have to ask for their name again!
The same goes for mother or daughter or aunt or girlfriend or anything else. Each time, flowerSoft will bring up the correct recipient information.

Now, isn’t that cool?

 

Tip #039
Aliases and FUAs (Cont.)

OK, now that you know all about aliases, let’s talk about QACs (Quick Access Codes) and FUAs (Frequently Used Addresses)

A quick access code is nothing but a shortcut to some information stored in your computer. A quick access code can contain up to 10 alpha-numeric characters. Aliases and FUAs use quick access codes to retrieve the information stored.

When a quick access code is used from the first line of the recipient’s address, it is called a FUA (Frequently Used Address).
When used from the “Delivered To” field, it is called a recipients alias and when used from the Account # or Account Name fields it is called a customer alias.

Like a recipient alias, a FUA can not only hold the address to a place you deliver to frequently, but also the name.
In flowerSoft, the correct or recommended way to enter the recipient information on an order going to a funeral home or hospital is to enter either the deceased’s name or the patient’s name on the “Deliver To” field and the name of the funeral home or hospital on the first line of the recipient’s address field. The address can then be entered on the second line of the recipient’s address.

On a previous post we mentioned quick access codes but we did not go into very much detail as to what they were and when they should be used.
So you ask “What is a FUA and when should we use them?”

A FUA, like the name implies, should be used as a shortcut to places you deliver to frequently. These are mostly hospitals and funeral homes but can also be used for hotels, restaurants and even recipients who are very popular.

Like aliases, they use a quick access codes to retrieve stored information. Unlike an alias, however, a FUA is not used to bring up information on a customer or recipient. Instead, a FUA is used to bring up information on business or places that you deliver to very often. Therefore, a FUA is only used from the first line of the recipient’s address and must be preceded by a period (.) just like a recipient alias.

You saw that the cemeteries, funeral homes and hospitals database had a field designated to keep a quick access code. We also gave a short explanation on how to use a quick access code. If you want to refer back to that post, click on this link: http://wp.me/p24nOe-4H
On that post you can see how a QAC is used in a FUA to access stored delivery information on a hospital.

A FUA holds the following information:

  • A name.      Usually a business name but it could also be the name of an individual.
  • An      address. Only one line since the first line of the recipient’s address is      used for the name.
  • A      cross-street, if one is available to facilitate the delivery.
  • The name      of the city
  • The state      abbreviation
  • The zip      code
  • A phone      number

In other words, all that is needed to deliver the order to the correct location.


Tip #040

Aliases and FUAs (Cont.)

To summarize:

Aliases

  • Aliases are used as shortcuts to customer or recipient information.
  • Customer and Recipient aliases are independent from each other. They are not interchangeable.
  • Customer aliases do not have to be preceded by a period when entered into the account # field.
  • Customer aliases have to be preceded by a period when entered in the Account Name field.
  • Recipient aliases always have to be preceded by a period or entered after pressing the F9 key.
  • Customer aliases have to be unique. Recipient aliases do not.
  • You can have different aliases for the same customer.
  • You can have different aliases for the same recipient as long as the customer is different.

FUAs (Frequently Used Addresses)

  • A FUA can only be used from the first line of the recipient’s address field.
  • A FUA is used mostly to hold funeral home and hospital information but can be used also for hotels, restaurants, etc.
  • Like customer aliases, FUAs must be unique.

QAC (Quick Access Codes)

  • Quick access codes are used by both aliases and FUAs.
  • A quick access code can be up to 10 alpha-numeric characters in length.

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