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!

It Has Come to My Attention…


It has come to my attention that it is possible to start an order as a cash & carry order (999.000) and then, if a customer changes his or her mind and wants the order to be delivered or the clerk selected the wrong order type for the order, that a recipient’s name could be entered, a credit card approval obtained and the order saved without having a valid account number.

So, in the latest flowerSoft version, which you may or may not have yet, a cash & carry order (indicated by a 999.000 in the account number field) must have either “Taken ” and “Pick Up ” (notice the space after the n and the p) as the first word(s) in the field.
Anything else will trigger this response from flowerSoft…

BADCASH

Note that you can have other words after “Taken ” and “Pick Up “.
For example, you can have “Taken – George Simon” or “Pick Up – George Simon”

You cannot have wording like “George Simon, Taken” or “Picked Up by George Simon”

If you can think of another condition where a cash & carry order must have a different word or words in the recipient’s field, please let me know/

Warning!


Warning!

If you are running flowerSoft in more than one computer and you have to buy a new computer, do not get a computer running Wndows 10!

There is a big problem with computers running Windows 10 that slows down flowerSoft to a crawl when more than one computer is accessing it.

If you have a server and Windows 10 computers accessing it, you are probably experiencing this problem.

Here is what I’ve found out from programmers of other systems experiencing the same problem in their applications…

Has anyone run across settings for Window10 clients that must be set or
changed to improve I/O speed when writing to a WinServer Drive?

We have a network which has and is working wonderful with Win7 clients
and they are trying to change to Win10 clients and the difference in
speed makes the Win10 clients nonfunctional for our software
I remember caching was an issue in earlier versions but I have no idea
what other data to provide or what to ask the hardware guy to help them
get the bottom of this.
All the computers are virtual, to the best of my knowledge.
It is certainly an I/O issue between win10 and the server but I need
some suggestions.
Nancy

Hi George –
 The reason for the hardware slowdown is because of a serious hacker exploit that was discovered on Intel and AMD chipsets.  It is called Spectre and it has to do with the way the chips are able to do speculative execution of instructions by preloading a series of instructions in the instruction cache before it goes through the translation process.  It was discovered by hackers that you could dump the contents of the cache and use that to access privileged memory.  The solution by the chip makers is to disable the speculative execution functionality, which can be up to a 30% performance hit, depending on the type of application.  I don’t know how FlowerSoft fits into that realm, but it sounds like it is being affected.  The chip makers have tried different patches but most of them lead to BSOD situations, not good.
So, we’re stuck with what we got for now.  I tried the remote desktop access option a while back and saw that it was pretty fast .

So far the only solution to this problem that seems to work, is to run remote desktop connections from the Windows 10 computer to the server computer.  This makes the workstation run the programs as if it was running from the server itself.

More info on this problem when and if they become available.
For now, do not buy or upgrade any of your computer to Windows 10.
You can still get computers running Windows 7, which Microsoft will support until January 14th, 2020.

Here are some links to outfits still selling Windows 7 computers:

Ebay.com

NixSys Computers

Amazon.com

Bestbuy.com

NewEgg.com

 

Tip #303 – Freezing an Account


Tip #303
Freezing an Account
(New Feature of flowerSoft 2019)

You all should know that if a “house” account does not pay you in a timely fashion,  you can “suspend” that account thus preventing them from making purchases using the ON ACCOUNT method of payment without a supervisor’s password being entered.  They can make purchases using any of the other methods of payment but not with the ON ACCOUNT method of payment.

You can also “clear” an account, which gets rid of all their transaction, and then you can delete the account from your system.  This action has the disadvantage of losing all the history on the account.  It will be as if it never existed.

However, it was brought to my attention that sometimes you don’t want an account to be able to make purchases of any kind, but you also do not want to lose all the history for that account either.
For example, a company may have several corporate accounts with you that employees use (almost as if they were personal accounts) in the course of doing business for the company.  The employee makes the purchases but the company pays for them.

If one of such employees happens to leave the company, they might not want him or her to be able to charge purchases using their corporate account.

For those and similar cases, we now have the option to “freeze” and account.

Freezing an account prevents it from making any purchases using any type of payment.
Literally, the account is “frozen” as far as making purchases is concerned.  Payment on account can still be accepted for “frozen” accounts.

Here is how to “freeze” and account:

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Bring up the account and hit “F” to display those options.

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flowerSoft will ask for confirmation.

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A supervisor’s password will be required.

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Account is now “frozen”.

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The next time you bring the account up, flowerSoft will inform you that it is frozen and show you only the options allowed for a “frozen” account.
To “un-freeze” the account, you hit “F” again and enter the supervisor’s password.

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If someone tries to enter an order using that account number, they will be informed that the account is “frozen” and cannot be used.

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As stated previously, you will still be able to take payments for “frozen” accounts and any other actions flowerSoft allows except entering a new order using that account number.

If you have any concern about using this new feature, please let me know.

Thanks.

 

Tip #302 – 2 Ways to Export Your E-Mail Addresses


Tip #302
2 Ways to Export Your E-Mail Addresses

Some of you have had some problems understanding how to export your customer’s email addresses to a .csv file, which can then be sent to an outside outfit that generates your promotional mailings.

Here are the 2 different ways to accomplish this.

The first option

The first option is accessed from the Manager’s menu, Client Operations, Page 2.
See the screen shots below…

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The default on this question is “No” because to get gut results you must have calculated the YTD purchases for your customers before running this option.  If you have, then you can answer “Yes” and then tell flowerSoft how many of your best customers you want to export the email addresses for.

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Here, flowerSoft is asking you to enter a date.  This date determines whether an email address will be exported or not.  To be exported, an email address must have been obtained on or after the date entered.

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If you just want the email address for a specific account type, answer “Yes” and then enter the account type you want.  Otherwise, just answer “No” to get all account types.

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Here flowerSoft wants to know the name you want to give to the .csv file that will be created with the email addresses that will be exported.  The choice is yours, but you are limited to 24 characters.

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Now flowerSoft wants to know if the name you chose is OK.

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If you are OK with the name you gave the .csv file, flowerSoft will ask you where you want to store that file.  This is called the PATH to the file and it is very important because you will need to know it later on so that you can retrieve the .csv file and send it to the company that is doing your email marketing.
If you are not particular about where to store the file, you can accept flowerSoft’s default location of \FSROOT\EMAILS\ADDRESSES\ by simply leaving the path field blank.
The drive letter, C:, N:, M:, S: is determined by the drive where your flowerSoft program is installed.

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When flowerSoft is finished exporting the email addresses, it will ask you if you want to see the addresses exported.  If you answer “Yes” you must have Excel installed in the computer you ran this option from.

The identical program as shown above can also be accessed from the Manager’s menu, Marketing menu

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expword22

expword04

 

The second option

The second exporting option is also accessed from the Manager’s menu, Utilities option.
This option is easier to use but less flexible, as the only things you have control over is the name of the .csv file and what date to start from.

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This is the only thing you have control over, the name of the .csv file.

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Once you give your OK to the name of the .csv file, flowerSoft will tell you where it is going to place it.

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This is the only other thing you have control over.
If you do not want all the email addresses on file to be exported, you can tell flowerSoft what date do you want to start from.

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So there you have it.
Option 1 is more flexible than option 2 because it lets you pick the location where the file will be installed and lets you export emails by customer rank (think Christmas gift for your best customers) and you can limit the exported email to one type of account, for example “commercial” accounts only.
It is harder to use because if you do not want to accept the default PATH to the file, you have to enter your own and then remember where you put it.

Option 2 is definitely easier to use as you know the file will always be placed in the \FSROOT\EMAIL\ADDRESSES\ folder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second way and easiest method (but less flexible) is to use the option found in the Manager’s menu, Client Operations, Page #2.

 

 

 

Tip #301 – How Long Did It Take?


Tip #301
How Long Did It Take?

New feature in flowerSoft 2019 allows you to see how long it took for an order to be entered into flowerSoft.
Or, to see how long it took for all the orders for a day or a period of time took to be entered into flowerSoft.
You can get to this new feature by bringing up an order and pressing either E or T.

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From either T or E, you will see the following option:

Tip#301-02

When you hit E, flowerSoft will present you with the following options:

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Hitting 1 at this point will give you the time it took the clerk to enter the order.
Hitting 2 will give the time it took for all the orders for that day to be entered.
Hitting 3 will allow you to enter the starting and ending dates for a period of time.

Examples:

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These times were obtained during a period that had a major holiday in it.
We can then compare it to a period with no major holidays.

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Or, we can compare it for the same period of time on the previous year…

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So by looking at these numbers, you can see that a lot more time is spent entering one order during a holiday than when there is no holiday involved.

I hope you find other good uses for this type of data mining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Features Available Now in flowerSoft


New Features Available Now in flowerSoft

The following features are now available in flowerSoft but probably not on your version.
If you want these new features, just let me know and I will update your system.

  1. Send Order and Delivery confirmations to a customer’s cell phone in addition to his e-mail address.
  2. Send occasion reminders to a customer’s cell phone in addition to his or her e-mail address.
  3. If you do not want fowerSoft to ask you about the wireless carrier gateway for a cell phone you’ve entered, make sure that in your “Defaults” file you have these 2 options set to “N”.
    text2cell01
  4. Similar to the “order map” you get when hitting the F3 key while entering an order, now there is a “record map” you can get by hitting F3 while in a customer’s profile record.record_map
    Hitting the number by the field name will take you directly to that field.  This will help you cut down on the number of times you have to hit the [Enter] key to get to the field you want to go to.
    For example, if after pressing “U” to update, you want to go to the “Remarks” field, hit the F3 key and when this screen is displayed, hit the number “8” to jump to that field immediately.

Obtaining the Carrier’s Name for Existing Cell Phones


OK, so the easy part is getting the carrier’s name on a new cell phone when you are entering a new customer into the system, but what do you do about the hundreds of cell phones already in your system?  How do you get the carrier’s name for those?

Well, let me first start by saying that it is not going to be a walk in the park.
flowerSoft will give you several ways to obtain the carrier’s name but they all require work on your part if you want to get them all at one time or in a short period of time.
However, if you are not in such a big hurry, flowerSoft gives you another way to get the carrier’s name that is a lot less work-intensive.

Let’s start with the way that requires quite a bit of work from you and/or your staff.

flowerSoft has a new menu option that will print you a list of all the cell phones in your system that do not have a carrier linked to them.  In most of your cases, that is every cell phone you have for your customers.
So if you are very slow during the summer months and have staff members not having much to do, you can go to the Manager’s menu, Marketing and then Access My E-Mail Database.

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In there, you will find an option to get a list of cell phones without a carrier.

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flowerSoft will then print you a list of all the cell phones you have in your database that do no have a linked wireless carrier.  This will most likely be every cell phone you have on file, so the list could be very large.  However, flowerSoft will allow you to select only your active accounts…

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flowerSoft will default to a date 1 year prior to today’s date but you can make this date anything you want.

The list looks like this…

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The list will give you the account name, the account number the cell number and the last purchase date.  You would then need to go to each of the accounts, call the customer and get the wireless provider name for their cell phone.

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You would then select the carrier’s name from the list and the flowerSoft will create an email address for the cell phone in a format similar to this: 9177979144.@mms.att.net

If you need to add a new carrier to the mist, make sure its gateway reads .mms or .rms
.sms gateways do not support email to text or the ability to include pictures.

As I previously said, this is a labor intensive method, as it requires calling each customer and obtaining the carrier’s name.  You may not have the personnel or time to use this method but it is the only way to get a carrier’s name for the cell phones on file.

Luckily, flowerSoft provides another method to obtain the carrier’s name for existing cell phones which is a lot less labor-intensive, but it does require the customer calling you to place an order.

If an existing customer with a cell phone on file calls you to place an order (a repeat customer), after the customer is brought up on the screen flowerSoft will display the following message…

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If you answer “Y”es to the question above, flowerSoft will bring up the list of the most popular wireless carriers for you to pick one from…

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Once you pick the carrier, flowerSoft will add an email address for their cell phone and order and delivery confirmations will start going to their cell automatically.
Remember that this is in addition to any other email address the customer has on file with you.

This new feature is an option you have, you do not have to get a carrier’s name for the cell phone if you do not want to and everything will keep working as before.

I will probably also add a field to the “defaults” file that will allow you to tell flowerSoft that you do not want to get carrier’s name from the customers with cell phones and then the questions and messages about getting the carrier’s name will not come up.

Update:
I have added a field in the “Defaults” file that will allow you to either use this new feature or pass on it.
Simply go to the Manager’s menu and access the Defaults menu option.
The navigate to page 9 and towards the bottom of the screen, you will see this new new question:

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Please note that the default is “Y” so if you do NOT want the questions about the wireless cell phone provider to come up, you are going to have to enter a “N” in this field.

I am sure as the shops that are testing this new feature use it for a bit, they will have some suggestions for improvements which we will be happy to make.

Again, if you want to be part of the testing group, just let me know and I will update you flowerSoft program.

Thanks.

 

E-Mail to Cell Phone, How it Works…


I am sure must of you have collected hundreds of cell phone numbers from customers.
Unfortunately, at the time you collected those numbers you did not ask the customer who their cell phone carrier was.  Without knowing who the cell phone carrier is, e-mails to cell phone are not possible.

However, on new cell phones collected, flowerSoft will now ask you for the name of the carrier.  If you get that information from the customer, flowerSoft will start sending order and delivery confirmations (including pictures of the arrangements if you take them) to that cell phone as text messages.  If you, in addition to the cell phone, also get an e-mail address for the customer the confirmations will go to both the e-mail address and the cell phone as a text message.

So on new cell phones collected, there is very little you have to do to get this new flowerSoft feature going.  Basically, all you have to do is get the name of the customer’s cell phone carrier and then select that carrier from a list flowerSoft will display, like this:

  1. Enter a phone number for the customer as you would normally do.
    If the phone number is for a cell phone make sure you do not enter it in the Business Phone or Home Phone fields.

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2.  When you get to the Cell Phone field, enter the cell phone number there.

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3.  Once you enter a cell phone number in the cell phone field, flowerSoft will display  a list of the most used MMS carriers for you to select one.  If the customer’s carrier is not there, flowerSoft will let you add a new carrier to the list but not from here.

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4. At the end of the new customer entry process, flowerSoft will ask you to enter an e-mail address for the new customer…

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If you enter an address there, order and delivery confirmations will go to both the cell phone and the email address.  If you don’t, then only the cell phone will receive the confirmations as text messages.

On the next post we will tackle the problem of obtaining the carrier names for the cell numbers already on file.

 

 

Coming Soon


Coming Soon, E-Mails to Cell Phones

We have finished preliminary work on programs that will allow you to send order and delivery confirmation emails as well as occasion reminder emails to customer cell phones as a text message.  We will begin testing it next week.
All you are required to do is ask the customer for his or her cell phone carrier.  flowerSoft has a database containing the most popular carriers and their gateways.  Once that information is on file, flowerSoft will automatically add an email address for the cell phone.  Something like this: 9177979144@vzwpix.com
Now when the customer places an order, the order and delivery confirmation will automatically go to the cell phone.  This would be in addition to any normal e-mail address the customer has on file with you.  So even if a customer does not have an e-mail address on file, he or she can still receive order, delivery and occasion reminder emails.  Even pictures can be sent to a cell phone as a text message.

Texts are delivered immediately and directly to a device that most of us have with us at all times. Not as many of us are checking email on such a regular basis – even if someone owns a phone capable of sending and receiving email, there’s no guarantee email is being checked as regularly as text messages. SMS messages have more of a sense of urgency, whereas email tends to be seen as information that can be responded to at a later date. With cell numbers typically more closely guarded than email addresses, a text message also represents a more personal and intimate connection.

So, if you want to be part of the test group, let us know and we’ll set you up.