Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tip #263 – New Feature


Tip #263
New Feature

I am sure most, if not all, of you are familiar with setting up recurring orders in flowerSoft.
A customer places an order to be delivered on his wife’s birthday and then tells you to automatically repeat the order for the next 20 years.

Pretty simple to do in flowerSoft.

After you enter the original order, you go into the “Other Functions” > Recurring (Standing) Orders > Mark Orders menu option and you then bring up the original order….


You then hit “R” and you tell flowerSoft how many times to duplicate the order…


Pretty simple, I think.

However, what if your customer wants to automatically send flowers to his wife every Mother’s Day.
Not so simple now because Mother’s Day does not fall on the same date every year.
Had he wanted to send his wife or girlfriend flowers for Valentine’s Day, that would not be a problem since Valentine’s Day falls on the same date every year.

No problem there.

But holidays that fall on the same day of the week, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day, do present a problem because there is no easy way to calculate the actual dates the holiday falls on.

Not anymore. flowerSoft can now calculate the actual dates for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day for the next 50 years.

The requirements:

  1. You must have the holiday entered in the “Holidays” database, preferably with this year’s holiday date.
  2. flowerSoft will need to deliver on the actual holiday date.
  3. As of now, the only holidays flowerSoft will calculate the dates for are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day.
  4. 50 is the most number of times you can repeat the order. So there is a maximum of 50 years.

Those are the only requirements.

When you attempt to mark an order as a recurring order and that order has a HOLIDAY occasion, flowerSoft will display this warning…

 

You can the proceed and enter the required information…

Make sure you select the correct holiday name from the list displayed…

Notice how all the orders have different delivery dates…

For holidays that do not always fall on the same date and are other than Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day, you still do have the option of entering the dates manually.
You do this by marking the order as recurring, entering the number of times it should be repeated and then in the first delivery date field pressing the F8 key…

flowerSoft will then change the ONCE A YEAR frequency to SPECIFIC DATES…

You then leave the starting date blank and flowerSoft will then allow you to enter additional dates as required…

That’s it folks.

Start selling your customers recurring Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day orders.

PS – One word of caution. Some of your systems are set up to accept 2020 as the highest possible date and some are set up to accept 2025 as the highest possible date.
Ehrn entering dates, start getting used to entering the full 4-digit year as in 02142026 and not 021426.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday


Wishing Lambros Barbagiannis, owner of Allendale Florist in Allendale, New Jersey and one of flowerSoft’s oldest and most knowledgeable users a happy birthday today.

Lambros has provided many ideas that have resulted in some of flowerSoft’s coolest features.

Here is a picture of Lambros from some years ago, when he ran his father’s shop Embassy Florist in New York City.

Lambros

Happy Birthday, Lambros!

*** Important Notice *** – Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 No Longer Supported


*** Important Notice ***

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
No Longer Supported by Cayan (Merchant Warehouse)

If you have any computers still using Windows XP or a server running Windows Server 2003, as of May 18th, 2015 you won’t be able to get credit card approvals unless you either upgrade the operating systems or apply patches to those operating systems making them more secure.

If you do not understand what you are about to read below, please contact your IT professional (not flowerSoft) to help you upgrade your obsolete computer system(s).

You should have received an email from Cayan (Merchant Warehouse) stating:

Cayan is dedicated to maintaining a high level of security and protecting all communications with our partners and merchants. On May 18, Cayan will be taking steps to further protect the privacy and security of our partners’, merchants’ and cardholders’ data. First, Cayan will no longer support the use of the RC4 cipher used to encrypt data. This cipher is considered weak and are susceptible to attack, and is disallowed by PCI. Cayan supports the more secure DES and AES ciphers. Second, Cayan will begin using stronger digital certificates, issued by DigiCert. These changes increases the certificate’s strength to use 2048 bits and uses the more secure SHA-2 hash algorithm instead of MD5, which is considered weak and is susceptible to attack.

To prevent our systems from being exposed to these threats, Cayan will be making changes to its security protocols on May 18.

What systems are affected?

Any system that makes an encrypted connection to Cayan and only uses the RC4 cipher. Any system that does not have the DigiCert Global Root CA certificate in its certificate store. Any system that makes an encrypted connection to Cayan using only the MD5 hashing algorithm. This includes web browsers, points of sale, and terminals.


Please click on the link below after you read this if you think you may be affected by this change:
https://cayan.com/ssl


How do I know if I am affected? Is there a way for me to check my terminal or point of sale?

Most modern operating systems will not be affected by this change. Some older operating systems (such as Windows XP, Windows POSReady 2009, and Windows Server 2003) will work, but require certain patches to be applied, described below. Other older operating systems (such as Windows 2000) do not support these modern security protocols and are no longer receiving updates from their respective vendors. Because of this, these systems are not PCI compliant and will not be supported by Cayan beyond May 18. Please consult your IT department for the specific ciphers your systems support.

If you are able to visit this test page from a web browser on your point of sale without seeing any warnings or errors, you are likely unaffected by these changes.

What will happen if I am affected?

If you fall into one of the above categories and you do not take corrective action by May 18th, you will not be able to process transactions as Cayan will no longer support these insecure security protocols.

I believe that I will be affected by this change. What corrective actions should I take?

In accordance with PCI standards, Cayan always recommends using operating systems that are being actively supported and updated by their vendors. Operating systems such as Windows Server 2000 and Windows XP have fallen out of support with Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2003 beyond July 14, 2015. These out of date systems may presently work with Cayan’s payment gateway, but they do not use up to date security standards, may be susceptible to attack, and cannot be certified as PCI compliant, as they are no longer receiving updates from Microsoft. Because of their age, it is unlikely that Cayan will be able to support these systems much further into the future.

Before May 18:

Please ensure that you have installed the latest service packs and updates from your operating system vendors and point of sale vendors. For Windows XP, this means that you must be updated to Service Pack #3. Windows POSReady 2009 is based on Windows XP Service Pack #3, and should not require any additional updates. For Windows 2003, this means that you must be updated to Service Pack #2. Windows 2003 users must also install the following hotfix from Microsoft to enable SHA-2 based encryption. On Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Windows POSReady 2009, Cayan strongly recommends upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 8, which is the latest version of that browser supported on those platforms. Windows 2000, Millennium, and earlier are not supported by Cayan.

Older operating systems such as Windows XP and POSReady 2009 require that you download the DigiCert Global Root CA certificate and install it into your point of sale’s trusted key store. On a Windows system, you can do this by double clicking the certificate once you have downloaded it and then following the prompts on screen.


To download the certificate from Digicert:
http://cacerts.digicert.com/DigiCertGlobalRootCA.crt


For enterprise deployments (e.g. supporting multiple points of sale, potentially across multiple physical locations/storefronts), you may wish to use Windows Group Policy to install this certificate and these security patches onto multiple machines. Please consult your IT department for more details.

I took corrective action. How can I test that everything worked?

If you are able to visit this test page from a web browser on your point of sale without any warnings or errors, it is likely that your system will work after Cayan’s switchover on May 18th.

Cayan has also set up a test environment with these security settings already applied. This environment is reachable via its external IP of 63.128.13.166. Please consult your IT department and/or POS vendor for instructions on how to validate your system against Cayan’s test environment.

For questions regarding this, please contact Cayan’s technical support team at 855-273-4203


Please click on the link below after you’ve read this if you think you may be affected by this change:
https://cayan.com/ssl


Tip #262 – How to Install the Florist Directories


Tip #262
How to Install the Latest Florist Directories

No need to log into my Dropbox to download the florists.exe file.
Simply click on the link below and it will take you to the download location.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p9r4389bxjay0go/florists.exe?dl=0

Your flowerSoft is most likely located in a folder called FSSILVER.
That folder should be in your local C drive if you have a single user version or in a drive usually mapped as N if you are running a multi-user version of flowerSoft.

You can download the link to any location you want but I would download it to the \FSSILVER\FSROOT folder as that will give you an idea as to where your flowerSoft is installed.
When flowerSoft asks you during installation where the florists.exe file is located, you will know the answer.

The most important thing to know for a successful installation of the florist directories is to know the exact location of your flowerSoft installation.
flowerSoft will tell you where it thinks it is installed but you have to verify that information.

After you download the link, you should go to the Manager’s menu > Utilities > Florist Database > Install Florist Directories option

You should see the following on your screen…

The first thing you should do is save your current markings for your preferred and favorite florists. If you do not do this, you will lose that information.

After you have saved your markings, you can continue with the installation.

Make sure the florists.exe file is in the location flowerSoft expects to see it.

Remember that your flowerSoft could be installed just about anywhere. Make sure you are giving flowerSoft the correct location.

flowerSoft will warn you about saving your favorites and preferred florist settings.

One way of making sure you downloaded the florists.exe file to the correct location is that you will see current dates in the installation screen.

After a successful installation, you should restore the previously save preferred and favorite florist markings.

You should then use the option to add additional listings.
The florist directories supplied by FTD and Teleflora usually have only one way of referring to a city as for example Saint Louis.
If when you are typing the order, you enter St. Louis as the recipient’s city, flowerSoft will not find any florists at that location.

By running the next option, you insure that flowerSoft will find florists in Saint Louis whether you typed St. Louis, St Louis or Saint Louis as the recipient’s city.

After that is done, you should re-build the florist indexes to insure everything is as it should be.

 

Now you should have the latest florist listing from Teleflora and FTD in time for the Mother’s Day holiday.
In addition, flowerSoft has also created a list of F2F florists, in case you want to give your outgoing orders directly to other shops.

As is normally the case, this takes a lot longer to explain than to do.

 

Did you know?


Did You Know?

That in approximately the space that 1 small picture like this one,
65206

takes to store in your computer, flowerSoft can store at least 250 order records?
Or that in the same space that Video Tip #7 takes in my computer, flowerSoft can store up to 3,000 order records?

No wonder hard drives today come in terabytes.

When flowerSoft was originally written, a 40MB (MB=Megabytes) hard drive was considered large.
I remember telling a flowerSoft customer once, after he upgraded from a 40MB drive to a 1GB(Gigabyte) drive that he would never have to purchase a larger drive again.
Today, the flowerSoft programs alone (no data) take over 2GB of space and it would not fit in that 1GB drive.

My current computer (almost 5 years old) has a 1TB (terabyte) hard drive and I have used over 375GB of space in it.  A terabyte is 1,024 Gigabytes or over 1,000 times larger than the drive I told that flowerSoft customer he would never have to upgrade.

Here are some facts that will blow your mind…

In 1991, consumer grade, 1 gigabyte (1/1000 TB) disk drives were available for US$2699 and more, and two years later prices for this capacity had dropped to US$1499.  By 1995, 1 GB drives could be purchased for US$849.

  • 2007: 1 terabyte hard disk costs US$375
  • 2010: 2 terabyte hard disk costs US$200
  • 2012: 4 terabyte hard disk US$450 (Hitachi, largest available in consumer market), 1 terabyte hard disk US$100
  • 2013: 4 terabyte hard disk US$179, 3 terabyte hard disk $129, 2 terabyte hard disk $100, 1 terabyte hard disk US$80
  • 2014: 4 terabyte hard disk US$150, 3 terabyte hard disk $129, 2 terabyte hard disk $90, 1 terabyte hard disk US$60
  • Early 2015: 4 terabyte hard disk US$134, 3 terabyte hard disc $89, 2 terabyte hard disk $65, 1 terabyte hard disk US$45

Video Tip #008 – Switching Accounts


Video Tip #008
Switching Accounts

This problem does not happen nearly as often as the duplicate accounts scenario but if I wrote a program to handle it, it must have happened to somebody.

This problem involves also 2 accounts, either related or unrelated, where the transactions have been entered under the incorrect account number.

This could be a case where a husband and wife have separate accounts and you’ve entered significant number of transactions under the wrong account.  I used the word significant because if it is just one or two transactions it is better to edit the orders and use the correct account number.

The problem with this option is that it will take all the records from one account and move them to the other account and then do the same for the other account.  In effect you are performing an account number swap.

Like I said, the need for this option will not come up often, but it is there if it ever does.

Here is the video tip…

Video Tip #007 – Getting Rid of Duplicate Accounts


Video Tip #007
Getting Rid of Duplicate Accounts

If it hasn’t happened yet, sooner or later it will happen.
You will have to separate accounts for the same customer.

How does this happen?
Usually because they give you a different phone number, either work, home or cell, than the one they gave you when you first opened the account.

So the question is, once you discover that you have two or more accounts for the same customer and you have done this unintentionally, how do you get rid of the duplicate accounts.

Here is a short video explaining you how it is done…

Tip #261 – Customer/Employee Avg. Order Value


Tip #261
Customer/Employee Avg. Order Value

As an owner/manager you will sometimes want to know how much some of your good customers spend on each order they place and how certain employees perform when taking orders from those customers.
flowerSoft gives you an easy way to do this. Here is how…

  1. Go to the customer’s profile. Once you have the record on the screen, hit the letter “A”

     

    Upon hitting “A”, this list of options will come up…

     

     

    Select “V” to access the Avg. Order Value option.

     

     

    If you just want to view the customer’s statistical data, leave the “Sold By” initials blank but if you want to compare them against a specific set of initials, enter it here.

    Once you do that, flowerSoft will start the calculation and display the following screen…

     

     

    Here we are comparing all the orders within the time period of 01/01/2015 and 04/09/2015 from all customers and this customer.

    flowerSoft defaults the time period to the beginning of the year and today’s date. The time period can be changed to your specifications by hitting the letter “D”.

    The screen is showing you the total number of orders processed in the time period (including cash & carry orders and incoming orders) and the orders processed for the particular customer.

    It also shows the Dollar value of the product in those orders. In other words, the Dollar amounts do not include Delivery, Service Charges or Sales Tax collected.

    It shows you what the average order value from all your customer was within that time period and what the average order value from the specific customer.

    It also compares the customer’s average order value for the period to the average order value for all the customers in that period of time and tells you what the difference is.

    For example, on the screen-shot above, this customer spends an average of $47.43 more on each order they place that your other customers.

    Since I also included a set of initials, it also compares the orders entered by that employee.

    For example, we can tell from the screen-shot that CBC entered 561 of the 3,080 orders processed in the time period.

    It also shows that the average order value on orders taken by CBC was $1.25 lower that the orders taken for all customers during that time period.

    In addition when CBC took an order from this customer, the value of the order was $33.50 less that when other employees took an order from the same customer.

    You can then try to determine why this is or ignore it you wish.

    If you do not enter a set of initials, flowerSoft will only calculate the top half of the screen, since it has no set of initials to use when calculating the bottom part.

     

     

    This option can also be accessed when entering a new order and hitting F6 from the “Ordered By” filed but I don’t think that is the ideal place to do it from.

     

    This option is not to be confused with the Employee Productivity Report found in the Manager’s menu.

     

     

    The employee productivity report, which deals only with employee statistics (no customer stats), will be dealt with in a future post.