Tip #174 – Valentine’s Madness Help

Tip #174
Valentine’s Madness Help

I know you all started getting ready for the Valentine’s Day onslaught already.
As you do every year, you probably already placed your flower orders, looked to hire temp help for that week, made sure your fridge is in good working condition, etc. etc.
Yet, every year you swear you are quitting the flower business during that week.
I have never worked in a flower shop, so I really have never had that experience but I have been in several flower shops on February 13th and 14th and have seen the chaos first hand.
All I can offer help with is flowerSoft, so I’ve added a feature that may save you lots of time and aggravation on Valentine’s Day.
On of the more time-consuming task you and your employees have to perform is sending delivery confirmations.
If you use flowerSoft’s route & receipt forms, you have access to a fairly simple and fast way of indicating which deliveries have been completed and which ones have not.
If you do not use the route & receipt forms then the task is a lot more difficult and time consuming.  When you make 200-300 deliveries in one day, the delivery confirmation task can be overwhelming.

Enter the new “Log-in deliveries by scanning” flowerSoft feature.
What is this new feature that is going to save me hours of work if I choose to use it?
Let me explain.
For many years flowerSoft has had a barcode option.  What this barcode option does is print a barcode representation of the invoice number on the invoice form and on some reports such as route & receipt forms.
This option may be turned off in your system, so if you want to use this new feature you will have to turn it on.  You can find the option in the “Operating Defaults” option of the Manager’s menu.
dcscan11When you turn this option on, flowerSoft will start printing barcodes on the invoice forms and route & receipt forms.
dcscan12If you do not use the route & receipt option, then your drivers will come back with stacks of signed delivery tickets.  You will need to use these tickets to tell flowerSoft that the orders have been delivered and signed by the recipient.  Without the barcode option this task can take hours of your time when you do not have any to spare.
With the barcode option in place, the task can take just a few minutes of your time or one of your employees.  Here is how…

First, let’s talk about what you will need to do.  We already talked about turning on the barcode option, so that the barcodes start displaying on the invoices.  You will also need a barcode scanner.

If you do not have one, you will need to buy one.  You do not need to buy a very expensive one.  You should be able to get one for under $100. It has to be a usb scanner so that you can connect it to one of your computer.  Cordless scanners are a lot more expensive than corded ones and I don’t think you need one to scan the delivery tickets when they come back signed by the recipient.
That is the only piece of equipment that you need to buy if you do not already have.
So what do you do when the signed tickets start coming in?  This is what.
First, let me start by saying that there are some compromises that have to be made.  When you use the route & receipt form to log-in your deliveries, you have the opportunity to enter specific information for each order you’ve delivered, as you can see below.
dcscan14All these options are great but it does take a little time to enter each delivery and when you have hundreds coming in, you simply do not have enough time to do them one at a time.
When you scan the deliveries from the barcode, you do not have the option to specify the specific delivery time, you have to enter an approximate time that will be used for all the deliveries you scan at any one time.  You also cannot specify the name of the person who signed for the order.  flowerSoft will automatically retrieve the first name of the recipient and use it for the signature.  You also do not get to specify the initials of the delivery driver if you do the deliveries for more than one driver at a time.  You only get to enter one set of initials as you will see below.  Those are the 3 compromises you have to make.
So how do we start scanning the invoices?  Here is how…
dcscan01From the Dispatcher’s menu, select the L – Log-in Deliveries Made
dcscan02From that option, select the S – Log-in Deliveries by Scanning
dcscan03flowerSoft will assign a control number and display this screen for you to fill…
Note that you only get to enter one set of driver’s initials, one delivery date and one delivery time.
The “Signed By” field should be left blank if you want flowerSoft to retrieve the name of the recipient from the order itself.  If you want to enter something else in that field, you are free to do so (such as signature on file) but remember that whatever you enter in that field will be used for all the deliveries you scan at one time.
You can then use your barcode scanner to start scanning the invoice numbers of the deliveries made.  As you scan each invoice number, flowerSoft will display that number in the green bar below.
dcscan05If you scan an invoice that has been previously scanned in the same control number set, flowerSoft will respond with…
dcscan15and will not let you scan it again.
If flowerSoft finds that you have previously scanned the invoice but on a different control number set, it will respond with…
dcscan16If you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will allow the invoice to be scanned again.
Once you have finished scanning all the tickets you have on hand, you must hit the F9 key to save the information and exit the program.
If you hit the Esc key to get out of the application, flowerSoft will respond with…
dcscan06If you respond with a “Y”, telling flowerSoft that you really want to Abort the process, the delivery records for the orders scanned will not be updated with the delivery information supplied, it will delete all the scanned records for that control number set and the e-mail confirmations will not be sent.
So make sure to hit F9 to exit the application and save the delivery information to the delivery records.
Route & Receipt forms limit you to 30 deliveries per form, but there is no limit on the number of invoices you can scan using one control number.  You can literally scan hundreds of delivery tickets at one sitting if you want to.
If you rather keep the deliveries for each driver separate, make sue you use the F9 key when you are done scanning the one driver before you start scanning the deliveries for the next one.  This will make flowerSoft give you a new control number and a fresh screen to enter the driver’s initials, delivery date and time.
dcscan08After you finish one set of deliveries, you can use the option to e-mail the delivery confirmations for those orders.
dcscan09This option will only send delivery confirmations for the orders scanned through this new option.  Deliveries recorded using a different method will not be selected.
dcscan10Note that flowerSoft will only send delivery confirmations for the accounts that have provided you with e-mail addresses.  So even though you may have scanned a much larger number of invoice numbers, flowerSoft will only report the actual number of delivery confirmations that were sent.

As this is a brand new feature, I am looking for volunteers to start trying this out and work out any bugs that may exist or features that need to be added.
Hopefully then, it will be perfect for the big holiday.
So if you are willing to help, let me know and I’ll install the option in your system.  Please be aware that you must either already have a barcode scanner or be willing to purchase one.


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