Welcome to the flowerSoft Silver Blog!


Welcome to the flowerSoft Silver blog.
We are starting our 30th year in business!
Yet, we are constantly improving and adding new features to the program in an effort to make it as good as any software can be.
If you are a flowerSoft user, feel free to comment on the program.
What you would like to see added or improved.
If you are a florist but not a flowerSoft user, feel free to ask any questions about flowerSoft and explore all of its features.  We can give you a web demo if you have an interest.

Thank you!

Final Warning!


Final Warning!

This is the notice we received from Cayan today.

Cayan Notice_03

This is the email you should have received from Cayan today…

Cayan_04

If your systems are running TLS 1.0 you may see service disruptions starting as early as this Friday.

Some of you experienced service disruptions as early as May 11th, right in the middle of the Mother’s Day crunch.  We got Cayan to roll back the change at that time but no longer.  This is from an email I received from Cayan today:

Hi George,

Our release schedule puts this change around Friday of this week. I do not believe we can delay rolling this out any past that. Do you believe everyone will be updated by then? “

Here is what I answered:

Hi Evan,
I have updated as many customers as I could but I am afraid some will still not be updated by Friday.
The flowerSoft customers that have not been updated have either not given us access to their systems or they have computers running Windows Server 2003 and/or Windows XP.
As you know, the TLS 1.2 version will not run on Windows Server or Windows XP systems, so unless those customers upgrade their computers we won’t be able to help them.
There isn’t much more I can do at this point, although I am still trying to gain access to some systems.
So go ahead with your change on Friday if you must and those customer affected will need to clear their credit cards through their Cayan portal or through their credit card terminals.
Thank you for rolling back the change you guys made before Mother’s Day, it was a great help to our customers.

So if you are one of few flowerSoft customers that have not allowed us access to your system or are still running either Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP, be aware that you may not be able to clear your credit cards through flowerSoft as early as this Friday and definitely by July 1st of this year.

You still have a little bit of time, but not much.

 

Urgent Warning!


Urgent Warning!

I hope you all had a prosperous Mother’s Day week, however it did not go very smoothly for some flowerSoft customers.
As you are probably aware, because of all the notices you have been getting from us and Cayan, the the end of TLS 1.0 is upon us.

Cayan Notice_01Cayan Notice_02

TLS stands for Transport Layer Security and is a protocol that provides communications security over a computer network.  It provides privacy and data integrity between two communication computer applications.
Up to recently, most of you have been running our credit card approval program that uses TLS version 1.0 and everything has been working great.

We upgraded the credit card approval program to now use TLS version 1.2 instead of 1.0  and most of you members of our support program, are running the new version and have nothing to worry about unless you are using very old computers running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP.
If you have any computers running those old and no-longer-supported versions of Windows at your shop, you will need to upgrade them to at least Windows 7 immediately and then contact us so that we can install the credit card approval version that will work past July 1st.

If as of July 1st you are still running the credit card approval version using TLS 1.0, you will not be able to get approvals.
In addition, as mentioned above, if you have any computers running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP at that time, you will also not be able to get approvals.

Also, because of a change Cayan had to make to the way they provide the approval information to flowerSoft, it broke all the versions of our credit card approval program.  The one using TLS 1.0 and the one using TLS 1.2.   This is why on or about 05/11/2018, for a short period of time, you started seeing huge tip amounts on your credit card approvals.  Fortunately, as soon as we contacted Cayan about the problem, they rolled back the change and you were able to continue getting approvals without any further major disruptions.

We have fixed our credit card approval programs to allow for this change Cayan must make this week, but it will not help you if we have not been able to upgrade your system with the latest credit card approval program.

If you are affected by Cayan’s brownout, it is imperative that you contact us right way and provide us with a way to connect to your computers, so that we can make the necessary changes.

We use Logmein or TeamViewer to connect to your systems, please provide us with your credentials as soon as they are available so that we can upgrade your flowerSoft to its latest version of the credit card approval program

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Important Notice


Important Notice

If you are getting credit card approvals through flowerSoft, you should have received this notice from Cayan.

Update on TLS Service Disruption 

As we previously informed you, the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) has declared that the widely-used Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 encryption method is no longer secure enough to keep sensitive information safe. Therefore, the PCI Security Council has mandated that TLS 1.0 must be disabled by June 30, 2018. Cayan has been working with its POS partners to ensure that they are ready for the upcoming deadline. Because it is not always clear to merchants if they are compliant with the new standard, Cayan will be implementing a series of short, scheduled brownouts in production. These brownouts are brief scheduled periods where Cayan will be disabling TLS 1.0 in all its products. Merchants whose Point of Sale does not support TLS 1.1/1.2 will be unable to process credit card transactions for the duration of the brownout. Merchants whose Point of Sale does support TLS 1.1/1.2 will be unaffected by these brownouts. Merchants affected by the brownouts are strongly encouraged to contact their POS provider to update their solution. We’ve intentionally left three weeks’ time between brownouts to give merchants time to bring their systems into compliance. Note that the brownout scheduled for April 2nd has now been canceled. Brownouts are now scheduled for the following periods:         • Monday, April 23: 10-10:15am EST         • Tuesday, May 15: 12-12:15pm EST         • Wednesday, June 6: 2-2:15pm EST         • Thursday, June 28: 4-4:15pm EST Cayan reserves the right to alter the above brownout schedule as necessary. July 1 Deadline If your POS doesn’t support TLS 1.1 or 1.2 before July 1, 2018, you will no longer be able to process card transactions. What is Cayan’s response? TLS 1.2 is already supported on Genius terminals, Virtual Terminals, Portals, and Payment Gateway. During its early-morning maintenance window on July 1, 2018, Cayan will disable support for TLS 1.0 in all its products, as mandated by the PCI Security Council. Since the deadline was announced in 2015, Cayan has been working with its POS partners and merchants to ensure that they are ready for the upcoming deadline. To help educate its merchants and draw attention to this deadline, Cayan is implementing the series of short, scheduled brownouts identified above. Why does this matter now? July 1 is 90 days away. The key to avoiding disruptions on July 1, 2018 is being prepared and updating to TLS 1.1 or 1.2 as soon as possible. How can I get started? Get in touch with your POS provider as soon as possible. Find out what version of TLS they’re currently supporting and ask them what their plan to update looks like. Don’t wait You can avoid brownouts and avoid the blackout coming on July 1st by acting now. Contact your POS provider or visit https://cayan.com/tls to discuss next steps today. Sincerely, The Cayan Team

If you are not sure if your flowerSoft has been updated to the latest version, which will support TLS 1.2, give us a call to schedule your update.

Tip #300 – Order Statistics


Tip #300
Order Statistics

One thing I am always asked by flowerSoft customers is “How can I find out how many orders I took last month.” or “How much money did I make this Valentine’s Day?”
They put all this data into flowerSoft and justifiably so, they want to do some “data mining”.

Well, flowerSoft 2018 now gives you an easy way to take a look and some of the order data you have been adding to your system.  Here is how…

From the Manager’s menu, go to the F – Financials option and from there, select the
S – Sales Analysis menu option.  From the  Sales Analysis menu, select the S – Order Statistics option.
Once you select this option, you will be given the choice to calculate the statistics by Order Date or Delivery Date.  One you make that choice, flowerSoft will ask you for the “From” date and the “To” date.
After you have entered those dates, flowerSoft will read the sales records for that date period and, when finished calculating, will show you the following screens…

Order Statistics 01
Order Statistics 02
Order Statistics 03

So here we have a full year (2017) of the order data entered by a flowerSoft customer to look at.
What can we tell from the data shown?
Well, we can tell that they average approximately 33 orders per work day and 89% of their business is from local customers or web customers sending orders to recipients in their delivery area.
Almost 9 out of every 10 orders are local orders that generate 88% of their revenue.
Since you get to keep all or most of the money generated by local orders, I think this is a great ratio.
If you look at the orders by the method of payment, you can see that 70% of their orders are paid by credit card and 18% are charged to a house account.  The rest are by either check, cash or other means not involving a collection procedure.
This ratio is not bad at all.  82% of their orders are paid for using “cash” and only 18% require collection.
However, note that 18% of house account purchases represent 27% of their revenue.  That is money that will not be collected for at least 30 days.

I had this flowerSoft customer who use to let a big international airline carry large balances into the 90-days column.  When I asked him why, he said it was because they gave him a lot of business every month and he was afraid they would go somewhere else if he pushed them too hard for it.
You have to extend credit to corporate, professional and other institutions if you want their business but personal “house” accounts should be kept to a minimum.
In this example, if you look at the 3rd screen shot, you can see that 6,225 or 17% of their customers have “House” accounts.  This seems kind of high to me.

Another interesting statistic is that 28% of their business comes from walk-in customers and 18% from web customers.  Both those numbers look very good.

Now let’s go to “Orders by Occasion”.
Here I have a problem, not just with shop but most of flowerSoft customers.
One of the most profitable features in flowerSoft is the “Occasion Reminders” feature.
It is automatic and it takes very little effort on your part to use it effectively.
This feature will generate, letters, post cards or emails notifying the customer that in the past, they have placed an order with you going to a relative or friend and asks them if they want to repeat the order.  I’ve been told by several flowerSoft customer that the response rate for this feature is over 60%.
The problem is this, flowerSoft can only automatically send occasion reminders for orders that have either a Birthday, Anniversary or Holiday in the occasion field.
If you use a card sentiment code such as HB or HA or HMD among many others, flowerSoft will provide the correct occasion in the occasion field.  However, a lot of the clerks don’t bother using these shortcuts and just type “Happy Birthday” or Happy Anniversary” or “Happy Mother’s Day” into the card.
The problem with this is that flowerSoft cannot then supply the occasion for you and if the clerk does not fill the correct occasion in the occasion field, possibly hundreds of orders that would have been included in the occasion reminders run, cannot be because they do not contain one of the three occasions.  This could mean thousands of Dollars in lost business to you.
When I look at the numbers in that screen, it is difficult for me to believe that 56% of the orders did not fall into one of the other occasion “buckets”.
If you use the occasion reminders feature or you plan to start using it, make sure you stress the importance of filling the correct occasion in the occasion field to your employees.

The stats of orders by time placed could help you determine when you need to have more employees available, although looking at this shop’s figures it looks that they take the same amount of orders in the AM and PM hours.
The same goes for the Deliveries and Pick-Ups numbers.  Please note that the
“Timed Deliveries” percentage is based on the number of deliveries and not on the number of orders like the other percentages are.

Finally, the Miscellaneous stats show you other bits of information that you might find interesting or useful.

flowerSoft will not save these calculations to your hard drive but it will print a hard copy if you so desire.  You can do this by hitting F8 once flowerSoft finishes calculating the stats for the period you selected.

Order Statistics 04

If you can think of other order based stats that you might find useful, please let me know and I will try to include them in this program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back From Florida…


I am back from beautiful and warm Miami Beach and ready to share some of the new features I’ve added while there to flowerSoft 2018.

But first some sad news.  When I got back to New York I found out that Bernard Silver, the one person that help me understand the floral business intricacies when I first started developing flowerSoft, passed away Friday, March 16th.  He was 80 years old.

There have been many florists who have helped me improve flowerSoft through the years, but Bernard was the first at a time when I knew nothing about the floral business.
I will always be grateful to Bernard for unselfishly sharing his knowledge with me and allowing me to camp out at his shop and learn from him during those early days.
I will surely miss him.  My condolences to his family.

I am attaching a link to an article in Staten Island’s local newspaper, if you want to learn a little more about this very nice man.

Bernard Silver

Thank you.

Leaving for Florida


I will be leaving for beautiful and warm Miami Beach on Thursday and will be away for 2 months.

So during that time, please do not get into any trouble.  You know who you are, Lucy.

Have a very prosperous Valentine’s Day.

PS – I will be available via cell phone.

Tip #299 – The “D” Options


Tip #299
The “D” Options

The options available under the letter “D” are one of the most under-utilized in flowerSoft.  Maybe is because most of you do not know much about them.

Here they are:

The D Options

Option #1 – Add Designer Initials
This option allows you to quickly add the designer’s initials to any local or incoming order already in your system.

Option #2 – Add/Update Delivery Information
This option allow you to add the actual delivery date and time, driver, recipient’s signature and any delivery remarks to an order.
This are the same options that are available through the route & receipt program but useful to those who don’t use it.

Option #3 – View Delivery Information
This option allows you to view the delivery information entered for an order by either the driver or the dispatcher.  That information could have been entered through the route and receipt program or through option #2 above.  It includes all the information shown below.

DOPT01

Option #4 – Display Promotional Discounts
This option allows you to display the details of promotional discounts applied to an order.  Right now, these discounts are offered by credit card companies or manufacturers but could soon also be offered by you directly to your customers.
Discounts are shown as negative amounts.  If the amount shown is positive, it represents a surcharge, not a discount.

DOPT02

Option #5 – Make This a “Default” Order
If you did not know it, you can make any order by a customer be their “default” order.
This means that they can call you to place an order and simply say “Send by default order to my wife.”
It could be anyone and all they have to give you is the recipient’s address if you do not have it.

DOPT03

This can save you quite a bit of time the customer orders and wants to use his or her “default” order, since most of the information is already there.

Option #6 – Add/View Delivery Instructions
This option helps if you have previously specific delivery instructions for a recipient in an order you have taken.
This option will allow you to view, change or add those instructions as needed.

Option #7 – Change Delivery Date
This option allows you to change the delivery date of an order without having to update order.  The existing delivery date is shown in parenthesis.

Option #8 – Manually Applied Discounts
This option displays the total amount of the discounts applied to the order.

Option #9 – Driver’s Initials
This option allows you to add the drivre’s initials to an order without having to update the order.

Option #0 – Print Delivery Pool Ticket
If you use a delivery service, this option allows you to print the delivery pool ticket.

Option #S – Delivery Status
This option lets you know what the delivery statis of an order is.
Delivery status can be: ordered, ready, delivered and not available.
This option is only available with a special delivery program provided by an outside vendor.  If you are interested, let me know.

Option #W – Write FSDELS file
This option writes a text file required by the special delivery program mentioned in option #S.

Option Z – Get DZone
This option gets the delivery zone for an order if delivery zones have been defined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #298 – The “B” and “C” Options


Tip #298
The “B” and “C” Options

This tip will cover 2 letters because there aren’t many options associated with them.
Let’s take a look at what is available.

The “B” Option

tip#298=01

When looking at an existing order, the only thing the letter “B” lets you do is “browse” a list of other existing orders.
I found the record above by using the invoice number index, so if at this point I happen to hit the letter “B”, flowerSoft will display the following list of orders sorted by invoice number…

tip#298-02

Note that the order you were looking at, invoice # 95527 is at the top of the list.
The list will display 18 orders at time.
Here is a tip that is not documented and one that most of you are not aware of.
If while in a “browse” view such as the one shown above, you can hit the letter “B” to jump to the bottom-most record on the list…

tip#28-03

Likewise, if you are at the bottom of the list or anywhere in that neighborhood, you can hit “T” and have the highlight jump to the top record on the list.

tip#298-02

The highlight does not have to be at the top or bottom of the list for this feature to work.
No matter where the highlight is on the list, hitting “B” will take you to the bottom-most record on the list.  Hitting “T” from anywhere on the list will likewise take you the top-most record.

The other options available from the “browse” list are all documented at the bottom of the screen.
Hitting “U” will put the highlighted record in “update” mode, just as if you had hit “U” from the full-view screen shown at the top of this tip.

Some other options you are likely to use are:

  1. Hitting the “Enter” key to select the record and bring it into full view.
  2. Hitting “S” to select a “selection” set.
    This option requires a bit of understanding of how selection sets work, so I won’t go into how to write one.
    One of the options you will see at the bottom is “L-Load” and hitting the letter “L” will display a list of the pre-loaded selection sets.
    flowerSoft comes pre-loaded with some selection sets and I will get into how to load them and modify them in a future post.
    For now, stay away from this option and use the provided indexes to find records.
  3. Hitting “Z” to start a “Fuzzy” search.  Too complicated to explain.
    Stay away from this option.
  4. Hitting  “R” to Reset.  Stay away from this option also, it won’t be of much help to you.
  5. Hitting “C” for Continuous On.  This option could be of use sometimes.
    What is does is display pages of “browse” records continuously until you hit the letter “C” again.  So if you are browsing through the records of a very large account and want to get through some of the records quickly, you can hit the “C” key to start the scrolling list of records, and then “C” again to stop the list.
    The up and down arrows also control the direction in which the list will scroll.
  6. Hitting “F” for Format will allow you to change the fields that are displayed on the browse list.  I would also stay away from this option but if you don’t, at least do not save your changes because you will be stuck with that format in future browses.
  7. Hitting “H” to Hardcopy will send to your printer the list of records being displayed on the screen.
  8. Hitting “X” will of course take you out of the browse format and put you back into the index selection screen you first used to find the record(s).

That is all there is to know about the “B” option.

The “C” Option

tip#298=01

The “C” option deals strictly with the enclosure card.
When you hit the letter “C”, flowerSoft displays the following screen…

tip#298-05

The options available from this point are enumerated on the right-hand side of the screen.

The A. Auto-Fix Card will tell flowerSoft to try to fix the wording of a card that is not wrapped correctly between the available lines.  This usually only happens with incoming orders.

The E. Edit Card will allow you to fix the card just like if you had updated the order and gotten down to the card section.

The “P” option will allow you to print the enclosure card if you are using separate enclosure card forms.

The “S” option will allow you to spell-check the card.

The “C” option will allow you to change the occasion of the order.

“X” will of course get you out of this option and back to the order.

That is all there is for the “C” option.

 

 

 

Tip #297 – The Letter “A” and All Its Options


Tip #297
The Letter A and All Its Options

Tip297-01

When you hit the letter “A” from outside an order, the following options will be displayed…

Tip297-01

The first option, “1. Add/Update Again Record” you should have to use very seldom.
An “aging” record is a record of an invoice with an outstanding balance.  It could be for the full amount of the invoice or just a portion of it.
“Aging” records are only created for orders paid with an “ON ACCOUNT” method of payment.  “Aging” records are used to calculate a “house” account’s aging balances such as “current”, “30-days”, “60-days”, etc.
An “aging” record will have a date equal to the delivery date of the order.
“Aging” records are also used to display an account’s open invoices when you go to make a “payment on account” for the customer.
Once an invoice is paid in full, the “aging” record will be deleted, as it is no longer needed.
Very seldom you will need to use this feature and when you do, we will tell you to do so.
So for now, just forget about this option.

The second option, “2. Add or View Alt. Delivery Dates” does just what it says.
If an order has alternate delivery dates, it will display them or if it doesn’t, it will let you add them.
In case you don’t know about alternate delivery dates, flowerSoft gives the option to have a second and third alternate delivery dates for an order.  This comes in handy during the holiday rush.
When you are entering a new order and get to the “Delivery Time” field, you will notice that there is a prompt at the bottom of the screen that reads:
“F8-Alternate Delivery Dates”.

Tip 297-03

If you hit F8 while in the “Delivery Time” field, the following popup will appear:

tip 297-04

Just enter the dates for the alternate dates and you are all set.
By the way, while entering a new order, alternate delivery date fields also accept the day of the week abbreviations, just like the regular delivery date field does.  In other words, you can use MO, TU, WE, TH, FR, SA and SU in the fields and flowerSoft will translate it into the correct date for that day.  You can also precede the abbreviations with an “N” to indicate that you want “next” not “this” whichever day of the week.
After you enter your alternate delivery dates, flowerSoft will ask you for confirmation and save the alternate delivery dates.

tip 297-05

If an existing order already has alternate delivery dates, you can display those dates by hitting A and then 2 while looking at the order.

tip 297-06

If you need to change the date  or add an additional date, you can hit “U” and flowerSoft will put you in update mode.

tip 297-07

One thing to note, when updating or adding an alternate delivery date to an existing order, you must hit Esc to Record  it or Ctrl + C  to Cancel.

If when you hit A and 2 on an existing order that does not have an alternate delivery date, flowerSoft will respond with the following message:

tip 297-08

If you respond  “Yes” to the question, flowerSoft then will allow you to enter the alternate delivery date(s).

tip 297-09

If while viewing existing orders, you come across an order with alternate delivery dates that have not as yet passed, flowerSoft will display this message:

tip 297-10

However, that is all flowerSoft will do for you.
It will allow you to add alternate delivery dates to an order but it will not place the orders with alternate delivery dates on a route sheet for the alternate date or will not change the date on which a customer’s “house” account will be charged for the order.
To do that you need to change the original delivery date of the order, which flowerSoft also allows you to do from outside the order by pressing D + 7, but that is an option for a different letter and hence a different post.
OK, enough about alternate delivery dates.  Let’s move on to the next “A” option.

Option #3 will usually show as “Not Available” because is only used on orders that have either a credit card or prepaid method of payment and have no recorded approval and token numbers.

 

If the order has a credit card or prepaid method of payment and no approval or token numbers, then option #3 will become available.

Option #3. Add Approval & Token #

tip 297-11

This option will allow you to enter an approval and a token number for the order that is missing them.
Upon you hitting A and 3 on an order that is missing the approval #, flowerSoft will display the following:

tip 297-12

and then after you enter the approval #…

tip 297-13

You can leave the token # blank if you do not have one.

tip 297-14

That covers option #3

Option #4. Erase Approval & Token #
Again, this is an option you will seldom have to use, but if you do you will also need to provide a supervisor’s password.
You will need to enter a password because this option will also allow you to get a new approval on the order, if one is necessary.

Option #5. Enter a New Approval & Token # allows you to change the existing approval and token numbers.  This is seldom used also but available if you’ve made a mistake while entering the numbers on a prepaid or preapproved order.

Option #6. Get Credit Card Approval allows you to get an approval through flowerSoft for an order that has not been previously approved or one where the approval and token numbers have been erased.

Option A. Address Verification
flowerSoft will get an address verification on the customer’s or recipient’s address when this option is used.  An external program is used, so you may see some ads.

When you hit A and A, flowerSoft will display the following screen:

tip 297-15

You will then have to choose which address you want to verify.
I would guess most of the time it will be the recipient’s address but both are available for you.
Once you select an address to verify, flowerSoft will send the selected address to a free program that will do the actual verification.  There is nothing else you have to do unless you want to use some of the additional options offers but may charge you to use them.

tip 297-16

Option C. Add or Change Commissioned Agent.
If there is a commissioned agent for this order, flowerSoft will allow you to change it or add it if there isn’t one.
For those of you who do not know how or have never used the commissioned agents feature, flowerSoft allows you to pay a percentage of the product amount of the order to an outside agent or even an employee who drives business into your shop.
Most of the time, commissioned agents are employees of a hotel or a funeral home, but it can be anyone you choose.
Commissioned agents are set up from the Manager’s menu Employee Operations.

tip 297-17

However, although not recommended since they should be set up by a manager or supervisor, they can also be added on the fly from a new order by entering “C” in the “Source” field.

Option C allows you to change or add a commissioned agent’s code to an existing order you might have missed or entered the incorrect code for.

When you press A and C, flowerSoft checks to see if a commissioned agent’s code has been entered for the order.  If one has not, the following message will be displayed:

tip 297-18

and then ask you if you want to add one…

tip 297-19

If you answer “Yes” flowerSoft will provide you with the means to enter an existing agent’s code or create a new one.
The first thing you will be asked is the name of the organization, this could be a hotel, a funeral home or any other organization.
If there is no organization, you can leave that field blank.

tip 297-20

If you enter a name for the organization and flowerSoft will try to find an exact match or anything greater.  Most of the time, unless you have never used this option before, flowerSoft will find organization names equal to or greater than what you entered and will display then in a browse screen like this…

tip 297-21

Note that even though the name I entered, “The Plaza Hotel”, flowerSoft displayed all organizations with a name alphabetically greater than “The Plaza Hotel”, so when selecting from the list, make sure you are selecting the organization you mean to select.

If flowerSoft cannot find a match at all, it will display the following message…

tip 297-22

and if you answer “Yes” to the question above, flowerSoft will provide you with the means to add a new organization and commissioned agent.

tip 297-23

Please note that you can have as many different agents as you want for one organization.
You can even have the same agent for many different organizations but not with the same agent code.  Agent codes cannot be duplicated.

Option D. Change Item Code or Description

This option allows you to change the Item Description Code or the Item Description for any of the items entered without having to update the order.
However, only the item code and the description will be updated.
Even if there is a unit price associated with the item code, it will not replace the existing unit price.

tip 297-24

tip 297-25

tip 297-26

Well, that is all for the “A” options at this time.