Tip #176 – The “Bench” Option

Tip #176
The “Bench” Option

“What is the “bench” option?”, you ask.
The “bench” option refers to the designer’s “bench” and is a feature similar to what you see at fast food restaurants, where one person takes your order at the counter and another one fills your order in the back.

The “bench” option was written many, many years ago to satisfy the needs of at that time  New York City’s largest florist.  If you have a computer available for your designers, you may want to take advantage of this feature.

The way this feature works is this…
First, you have to turn the feature on in flowerSoft’s default menu.
After you turn this feature on, each time you have a local or incoming order, flowerSoft will save a copy of the order to the “bench” file.
To access the “bench” file, your designers have to use this option found in the “Other Functions” menu.

The Design Bench Menu
Let’s look at the options…

When you select O- Orders to be filled, flowerSoft will display a list of indexes for your designer to choose from…
Most of the time, your designers should choose index A – Delivery Date.
Indices D, E and G are used mostly for searching for orders.
Index D requires the designer’s initials, so unless the designer for the order has been pre-assigned, this index is of little use.
Index E requires the recipient’s last name.  This is of some use if you want the order for a certain recipient to be filled first.
Index G requires the invoice number, so I see very little use for this index.

So let’s assume your designer selects to use index A by hitting the <Enter> key from the date field without entering a date (if you enter a date, you need to hit <Enter> twice in order to skip the delivery time field) so as to get the list of orders needing to be filled with the earliest delivery date first.
flowerSoft will then display a list of all the order needing to be processed in ascending  date order, with any orders having an entry in the delivery time field at the top of the list…
If you or your order entry clerks do not use the F6 key while in the delivery time field and since flowerSoft allows you to enter just about anything is that field, your designer will need to interpret the entry in that field to determine which orders need to be filled first.  The delivery time contents are sorted in descending order because if they were sorted in ascending order all the orders with blank delivery times with come up first.

The way computers sort characters is by what is called their “ascii value” which is a number.  The character with the lowest ascii value that can be used in the delivery time field is a blank space.  So if the first character in the date field is a blank, it would be at the top of the list (if it was an ascending sort) even if characters following the space were not blanks.  So that you can understand better what I mean here is a partial table of  characters.
The characters are sorted from the top left box, the one reading “space” with a decimal value of 32, down and then over to the next column.  Because flowerSoft converts any letters in that field to uppercase, it doesn’t matter if you enter the time using upper or lower case letters. An “A” or an “a” will have the same decimal value of 65 because flowerSoft will convert the lowercase “a” to an uppercase “A”.
The reason I’m explaining this is because if you do not use the F6 key to enter the delivery time, the field contents will be sorted using the ascii value of the characters and that is how they will show on the list of orders that need filling and also on the route & receipt forms.

On the screen shot of the orders needing to be processed above, invoice # 48635 would probably need to be filled first (even though is fourth on the list) because is for an AM delivery.  The “AM” came up fourth because the sort is in descending order  and a “B” has a higher ascii value than an “A”.

If you or your clerks had used the F6 key while in the delivery time field, the orders needing to be filled first would always come up first because flowerSoft sorts the entries a special way when the F6 key is pressed so that the different delivery times show up in a logical order.

bench10I highly recommend that you use the F6 key is you need to enter a delivery time.
Going back now to our list of deliveries that need filling…
Let’s say your designer highlights and selects invoice 48635 because it is for an AM delivery.
Notice the options shown at the bottom of the screen.  The designer can choose I to see if there are any designer instructions, R to view the recipe for any items sold that have a recipe, C to view an item’s components (if any) and M to record the materials used to make up the order.  If the order has any designer instructions, a popup reminder will be shown automatically.
The most important option is P to mark the order as processed.  The designer should do this after the order has been completed, so that it will be removed from the file.
When the designer hits P to mark the order as processed, the first thing flowerSoft will do is ask for his or her initials…
Once the designer enters his or her initials, flowerSoft will mark the bench copy of the order as processed and update the designer initials field.  It will then lookup the record for the order on the sales file and update the designer’s initials there and the update the delivery record information with the designer’s initials and the date and time the designed was completed.   After it does this, it will show a message saying that the order has been processed…
and then delete the bench copy of the order, so when the designer looks at the orders needing to be process the processed order will not be there.

If you have any comments or improvements you would like to see made, please let me know.


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