Category Archives: Designer Functions

Tips useful to designers

Tip #183 – Adding Designer Instructions


I just had an e-mail from a new flowerSoft user asking how to add designer instructions to an order so that they will print when the order-taking process is completed.
I know most of you know how to do this, but for the benefit of a few new users we’ve added since Valentine’s Day and for all new flowerSoft users in the future, here is how you do it…

From the product screen, after you enter the first line item, you can access the designer instructions screen from either the “Qty.” or “Item Codes” fields below it.

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The “F4 – Designer Instructions field will not display when you are on the first line item fields.  In other words, you have to be in either line item 2, 3, 4 or 5 in order to be able to access the designer instructions screen.

Once you press F4 from one of these fields, the designer instructions screen will open up to let you enter the designer instructions.

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After you finish entering the instructions, as you can see at the bottom of the screen, you hit Esc to save the instructions.  Ctrl + C cancels the instructions.

When you finish, save the order and print it.  The designer instructions will print on a separate worksheet (plain paper) for the designer to use.

 

Tip #169 – Inventory Tracking


Tip #169
Inventory Tracking

Some of you like to keep inventory on everything you sell, including flowers.  Some of you want to keep inventory on all the hard goods you sell, but not flowers.
Some of you just want to keep an accurate count of how many holiday containers you have left during the holidays.
Whichever group you fall into, flowerSoft has the tools to help you.

Simple inventory tracking is…. simple.
You tell the computer how many pieces of something you have (units on hand)  and every time you sell one, the computer reduces the units on hand by one.
This works well if you are keeping track of cards, balloons, stuffed animals, etc.  But what about containers?  You are not selling containers, you are selling an item the is place in a container.
Many times, the same container is used for several different items.  So how do you keep track of items which normally are not sold individually but are used in the production of another item and its quantity is reduced when that other item is sold?  You could try to remember to add a separate line item for those items on the order so that their units on hand is reduced, but that rarely works.  There must be an easier way, and there is.

The concept of sets and components.

I guess one of the things less understood in inventory tracking is the concept of sets and components.
Let me try to explain it in a simple way with an item we are all familiar with, a toilet.
If you were selling toilets and I wanted to buy a toilet, I could go to your store and pick a toilet in my favorite style and color.  You would enter the sale into your computer and your units on hand for that toilet would be reduced by one.
However, if a few months later I had a mishap and dropped something and broke the tank cover of that toilet, I would go back to your store and try to purchase a tank top that would fit the same style and color of the one I had originally bought.  If you run a good plumbing supply house, you should be able to accommodate me.  I should be able to buy the tank top, the tank and the bowl separately.

A set is an inventory item that is made up of several different parts (other items) called components.  In the case of a toilet, the bowl, the tank and the tank top.  A toilet does not exist without any one of those other component items.  You could say that the toilet is a “virtual” item.  It really does not exist.  The bowl, tank and tank top are “real” items that when put together form the “virtual” item we call a toilet.  That is the concept of inventory tracking using sets and components.

The toilet is the set and the bowl, tank and tank cover are the components of that set.
You should be able to go to a plumbing supply house and buy any of those 3 components individually or together as a set.
When a plumbing supply house keeps track of an inventory item such as a toilet, which is made up of other parts, they do not count or keep tally of how many toilets they have.
They keep track of how many bowls, tanks and tank tops they have on hand.   The number of toilets available for sale is the least amount of any of the components that make up that set.

Let’s say that a toilet is composed to bowl A, tank B and tank top C.

Quiz:
A plumbing supply store has on hand (in stock) 157 units of bowl A, 152 units of tank B and 175 units of tank top C.
How many toilets that use those items will their inventory program say they have in stock?

The answer is 152.  Why?  Because that is the least amount available of any of the components.
You would not buy a toilet without the tank, so they cannot sell more toilets than the amount of available tanks in stock.
If they were to put together as many toilets as possible using their “on hand” inventory, they could only put together 152 before they ran out of one of its parts and could no longer sell a complete toilet.
I hope that I have explained this well enough that you now understand this concept if you did not before.

Now let’s see how that concept applies to you and keeping track of containers and other hard goods that are used when making up an item you sell.

A perfect example of this is the containers you buy from the wire services during the holidays.

If you want to keep track of how many of a certain container you have before you need to order more or stop selling the items that use it, you have to keep track of each arrangement that uses that container you sell.  To do this you need to make use of flowerSoft’s item codes.  flowerSoft cannot keep track of inventory if you do not use an item code when you sell an item.
So you must make the items that use those containers “inventory” items.  In other words, items that flowerSoft will keep a count on.

But this presents another problem, even if you keep track of the items that use the container in inventory, how do you keep track of the containers those items have used?

You could, every time you sell an arrangement that uses the container, also add the container item to the order and charge $0.00, since the price of the arrangement includes the container.
This would be just marginally better that keeping track of the inventory by hand.

The way this type of inventory tracking should be done is by the use of components.
After all, what does the arrangement consist of?  Think of it’s recipe.  All the items in a recipe are the components of the item they are a part of.  The different flowers, the greens, the floral foam and the container they all go into.    Take the recipe below…

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Each one of the items listed is a component of Teleflora’s Holiday Glow centerpiece.

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If you wanted to keep track of the “on hand” quantity of each of thee items needed to produce the Holiday Glow centerpiece, you would have to enter each one of them as a component of item T115-3A and each one of them would have to have their own item number.  But this is not what most of you want to do.

If you do not have one of the flowers, you could possibly substitute another but if you do not have the container or some other integral part of item T115-3A, you cannot sell that item.

So even though you could keep track of everything you sell, that is a monumental tasks that most flower shops are not equipped to do because of the manpower and attention to detail it takes.  But you certainly can keep track of how many containers you have on hand, that is not so difficult.

So in the T115-3A item shown above, the most important components are the Hurricane lamp, the pillar candle and the 8″ centerpiece tray, and that is what you want to keep track of.
Without one of those components, you might not be able to produce the item.

So let’s say that you order 100 units of each.  100 Hurricane lamps, 100 pillar candles and 100 8″ centerpiece trays.

So you would think you could sell 100 of the T115-3A item and that would be true if the Hurricane lamp, pillar candle or 8″ centerpiece tray were not used in any other items.  But they are.
The are also used as part of items T115-3B and T115-3C.  In addition the pillar candles are also used in other items, such as T113-3A, 3B and 3C.
You also have to take into account any breakage.  That hurricane lamp looks like a good candidate for breakage.

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So in order to know if you can sell any of those items, you have to know how many of each you have on hand at any time.
If when your shipment arrives, 2 of your hurricane lamps are broken and I came into the store and wanted to buy every T115-3A you can make, you can only sell 98 of them even if you have 100 pillar candles and 100 8″ centerpiece trays.  By know I’m sure you are grasping the concept of sets and components.

So now, how do we implement this in flowerSoft?  Here is how…

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For every item that is a “set”, such as T115-3A, you need to tell flowerSoft that this is an inventory item and that it has “components”.
So those 2 fields have to be marked with a “Y”

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Inventory tracking requires some planning.  You should not go into it before having an idea of what you want to do.

For example, once you enter a “Y” in the “Inventory Item? field, flowerSoft will automatically check to make sure there is an inventory record for that item.
If there isn’t one, it will automatically create one for you with the basic information and then take you to that record to allow you to enter additional information if necessary.

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If additional information needs to be entered for the record created, you should hit “U” to update, enter the additional information and save the record.
Once you exit the record, you will be taken back to the item description record.

Likewise, once you enter “Y” in the “Components?” field, flowerSoft will check to see if there is a record listing the components of the item.  If there isn’t one, you will be asked if you want to add one at this time.

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The reason you are asked if you want to add the components now instead of just taking you to add the components is that adding the components requires that you enter an item code for each component.  So you might not be ready to do that at the moment.  You can always come back later and either update the record and enter the components then or you can use the “Item Components” option of the inventory menu to add the components for the item code.

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If you do choose to add the components of the item code at that time, you will be taken to a new record in the components file for you to entre the components of the item.

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As you can see, you do not have to enter every component of the item, just the ones you want to keep track of.

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Before saving the components record, flowerSoft will give you the opportunity to change the product’s selling price should you feel it necessary.

After you’ve added all the components you want to keep track of for an item, flowerSoft will be able to tell you if you have enough on hand of all the component items to produce the item at the time of order entry.  However, before flowerSoft can do that, you must enter how many units on hand you have for each component item.

There are 2 ways of adding quantity on hand to an inventory item.  One is by going to the inventory record for the item and hitting “Q” to change the quantity on hand.  This option also lets you change the maximum and minimum quantities on hand and the re-order point.

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While this is pretty simple to do, it has one disadvantage.  It does not update the history for the item.

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A better way to record additions and subtraction to the units on hand is to use the “Add to Units on Hand” option of the inventory menu.

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That option does keep a history of what has been done to the inventory item plus it lets you scan the UPC of items that have one.

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which allows you to keep track prices paid for an item and of inventory discrepancies…

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Once we enter all the units on hand for the component items, (I’ve just made all the component items for T115-1A equal to  100 on hand) when we sell that item through order entry flowerSoft will show…
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Please note one very important consideration.  Items can be “Produced” or “Not Produced”.  A “produced” item involves the participation of a designer, while a not-produced item, such as a stuffed teddy bear does not.  If you mark an item as produced, flowerSoft waits until the designer marks the order as completed before deducting the items from inventory.

If you are not going to be using that function in flowerSoft, make sure to mark all your items as “Not Produced”.

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So the next time you sell that item, flowerSoft should show…

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So that is how you track inventory items in flowerSoft.

Be warned though that inventory tracking takes dedication.  Don’t expect the inventory quantities to be correct if you do not record breakages or other actions that might affect the inventory quantities.  For example, if you receive a container shipment for an item that you do not have any of, but do not record the units received until after you’ve sold some of them, the inventory  quantities will not be correct.

So do use the inventory module if you need to keep track of hard goods.  It is a powerful tool, but know that it does require a considerable amount of extra work on your part.

flowerSoft Silver 2014 – New Features and Improvements – Teleflora Products and Recipes


Tip #158
Loading Teleflora Products and Recipes

flowerSoft’s 2014 version gives you the ability to load the Teleflora item codes, recipes and images databases into your existing item, image and recipe databases.  That is 2,120 Teleflora item codes, 1,701 images and 1,822 recipes for most of those items.

The Teleflora item codes, images and recipes will be available to you as you enter a new order and from outside the order-entry process.

Here is how to load all of this new information…

To load the Teleflora item codes into your flowerSoft item codes database, go into the Manager’s menu and select the Utilities option.  From there select the “User Definable Codes and Settings” option.  Now select the first option, “Item Description Codes” and when the menu shown below appears, select the “Item Description Code Sets” option.

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The “Item Description Code Sets” option menu will give you the option to “Load a Description Code Set”.
Select this option as shown below.

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Make sure you read the warning given below carefully.

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flowerSoft will issue a couple of its customary warnings and then ask you if you want to continue with the operation.

The first question asks if you want to replace your current item description codes and the answer to this question should always be “No” unless you really want to get rid of your own codes and replace them with Teleflora’s.

After you answer “No” flowerSoft will tell you that it will add the selected codes to your existing database of item codes and ask for your approval to continue the operation.

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After you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will ask you for the name of the set to load.  You must know the exact name of the code you want to load.  The set that flowerSoft initially comes with is called “default”.  The set of Teleflora codes is called “Teleflora Products” and that is the name you should entered when prompted.

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After you enter the name of the set you want to load, Teleflora Products in this case, flowerSoft will add them to your existing item codes database.

As you can see, you can use this option to do what it was originally intended for which was to give you a way to easily change item prices for the holidays.

In other words, your “default” set should have the prices you normally sell your products for.  However, when holidays come a lot of you have to raise the prices you charge for different products.  Instead of changing those prices every time a holiday rolls around, you can save a set of item codes with the holiday prices and then just simply load them the next time a holiday comes by.

For example, let’s say that you normally sell a dozen long-stem roses, arranged for $59.95 but during Valentine’s week you sell the same roses for $79.95.  So, instead of changing the prices for the products each time Valentine’s comes up and changing them back after the holiday is over, you can change them before Valentine’s week and save those changes as a new set.  You can call this new set “Valentines” for example.  After the Valentine’s holiday has past and is time to roll back the rose prices, instead of doing each item one by one, you can just load your “default” set and be done.
Just make sure to save your existing “default” set before you make any changes to it.

To load the Teleflora recipes into the system, select the Recipes option from the “User Definable Codes/Settings” menu.

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Select the option to “Load Teleflora Recipes”

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Give flowerSoft the OK to continue after reading the warning message.

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After you give the OK, flowerSoft will merge the Teleflora recipes into your own recipe database.

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That is all there is to it.

flowerSoft Silver 2014 – New Features and Improvements – Teleflora Item Codes


Tip #157
Teleflora Item Codes

If you are a Teleflora member, you are in luck!

With the new length of the item codes field, it is now possible for flowerSoft users to enter the Teleflora item codes into an order.
Additionally, flowerSoft now gives you the option of importing over 2000 Teleflora codes into your item codes database.
Along with this, we can provide you with most if not all of the images for those items and some of the recipes too!

Here is an example:

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If a recipe for the item is available, flowerSoft will allow you to look at it by pressing the <Home> key.

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You can also view the image for the item from the recipe screen by pressing the letter “V”

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The size of the image can be increased or decreased by pressing the plus (+) or minus keys (-)

You can also drag the image to any location on the screen.
So if the image is interfering with the viewing of the recipe items like the one shown above, you can drag it to a different location on the screen.

Comments and suggestions welcomed.

flowerSoft Silver 2014 – New Features and Improvements – Weddings Program


Tip #156
Converting a Wedding Proposal into a flowerSoft Sale
and Other Improved Wedding Features.

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You can now add a note to each and every field of the wedding proposal.  These are internal notes and they will not print as part of the wedding contract.

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Creating a Bill of Materials

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Pressing F8 from any of the wedding sections, allows you to enter the bill of materials for that section.
In addition, you can also load an existing recipe into the bill of materials screen.
If you do not have an existing recipe that you can use, flowerSoft will allow you to save the items you entered as a new recipe that can then be used in future wedding proposals.

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A new option to make Delivery, Setup and Breakdown fee tax exempt.

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After the wedding proposal is entered into flowerSoft, you will have some additional options…

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Pressing M from an existing wedding proposal will give you the option of printing one of 3 different Bill of Material reports.

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Hitting C will allow you to convert the wedding proposal to a flowerSoft ON ACCOUNT sale.

Note that no deposits can be entered until the proposal is converted to a sale.

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If no member of the wedding party has an existing house account with you, flowerSoft will take you to open one.
If a member of the wedding party has a house account with you…

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You should then enter Y to enter the original deposit for the wedding.

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If the account has other open invoices, make sure you select the wedding invoice to apply the payment to.

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After the deposit is applied, the wedding proposal to flowerSoft order is complete.

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Below is what the wedding worksheet looks like.

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As always, comments and/or suggestions are welcomed.

Tip #147 – Wedding Consultation to Sale


Tip #147
Converting a Wedding Consultation into a Sale

Converting a wedding consultation into a sale is a pretty simple process once you and the customer have agreed to the wedding proposal.

The order generated will have an ON ACCOUNT method of payment, so flowerSoft needs to create a new account for a member of the wedding party unless one is already available.

The screen shots below will give you an idea of the process.

1. You must start with an existing wedding consultation.

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2. Hit C to convert the consultation into a sale and confirm you really want to do this.

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3. Answer the next few questions that flowerSoft will ask you.

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4. If you answered Y to the question above, flowerSoft will still want to know if you want to use that account.

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5. If you answer Y to the question above, flowerSoft will ask you for the account number.

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6.  You will need to confirm that the account number you provided is correct,

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7.  flowerSoft confirms that it will charge that account for the total outstanding amount.

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8.  flowerSoft will ask for confirmation that the outstanding amount is correct.

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Note: Up to this point, you can hit Ctrl + C tp exit out of the conversion.  After you confirm the outstanding amount it is no longer possible to exit the conversion.

9.  If you answer No, flowerSoft will give you an opportunity to correct the amounts shown.

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10.  After you confirm that the outstanding amount is correct, flowerSoft creates the order and provides you the invoice number for the order.

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11.  This is what the order looks like from the Edit or View Existing Orders option of the Orders menu.

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12.  This is what the customer’s account looks like after the conversion has taken place.

#1 – The credit limit is set to the total amount of the wedding if the existing credit limit is less.  If the credit limit more no changes to the credit limit take place.
#2 – If the account was a CASH ONLY account, it is changed to a “House” account.
#3 – If the group field is empty, group WED is added.  This will allow you to pull accounts who you’ve done weddings for.

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13.  If you answer that there is no existing account, flowerSoft will then tell you that you need to create one.

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14.  flowerSoft will automatically fill some of the required fields and then put you in the Add New Clients screen

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15.  flowerSoft needs to know which phone number you want to use to create the account.
Both the bride’s and the groom’s phone numbers a visible when the question is asked.

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16.  flowerSoft now puts you into a new client screen.  You will fill this screen just like you do when entering a new client from a new order.
Some of the fields are pre-filled for you but you can change them if you want to.

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That is it.  It takes a lot longer to read this post than to actually convert a wedding consultation to a sale, which probably takes less than a couple of minutes.

As always, comments are welcomed.

Tip #146 – Adding a Recipe to a Wedding Consultation


Tip #146
Adding Bill of Materials (Recipes) to a Wedding Consultation

In flowerSoft, a wedding consultation consists of several different sections.

  1. The bride’s bouquet
  2. The bride’s floral headpiece
  3. The throw bouquet
  4. The maid/matron of honor bouquet
  5. The bridesmaids bouquets
  6. The flower girl’s bouquet
  7. The floral headpieces
  8. Boutonnieres
  9. Corsages
  10. Main Altar
  11. Aisle Runner
  12. Other Items
  13. Specialties
  14. Cake Table (top, middle and base) and
  15. Centerpieces

Each section can have its own bill of materials (recipe) and associated image.

To access the bill of materials for any of the above sections, you hit the F8 key and the following screen will be displayed…

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after you finish entering the items required for the section, in this case the bride’s bouquet, you hit F9 to save the bill of materials and exit back to the wedding consultation worksheet program.

If flowerSoft detects that there you have not loaded a previously recorded recipe into the bill of materials for this section (pressing F8 loads an existing recipe) it will ask you if you want to save this bill of materials as a recipe.

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if you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will ask you to give the recipe an ID and a description…

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Once you give the recipe an ID and a description, flowerSoft will save it to the recipes database and it will then be available for future use.

To upload a recipe into a blank (or even filled) bill of materials, press the F8 key and flowerSoft will prompt you for the recipe’s ID

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Once you enter the recipe’s ID, flowerSoft will load that recipe into the current bill of materials for this section of the wedding consultation worksheet.

You can display a list of existing recipes by entering a question mark at the recipe ID prompt.

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Once you select the recipe you want to load by highlighting it and hitting enter, flowerSoft will give you a warning that the action will erase anything you currently have in the bill of materials page.

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If you give the go ahead, flowerSoft will load and display the selected recipe.

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To display an image of what the finished product should look like, you can press the F3 key and flowerSoft will display the image associated with the recipe

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To exit the image view, you hit the Esc key and flowerSoft will return you to the bill of materials page.

After you add the bill of materials for the entire wedding, flowerSoft will give you the option to print the items needed.

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As always, any questions or comments are welcomed.

Tip #145 – Adding Recipes


Tip #145
Adding Recipes in flowerSoft

One of the things you may want to do if you are going to be using flowerSoft’s wedding module is enter the recipes for your favorite bouquets.

Here is how.

From the Manager’s menu, got Utilities and from there to User definable Codes & Settings.
From there you can access the Recipes menu.

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When you select the “Add Recipes” option, the following screen opens up:

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Let’s analyze the different elements of the recipes screen.

#1 – Every recipe must be associated with an item description code.  This would be the recipe ID or code.
So if you are entering a recipe for a floral bouquet, you might want to give it a code like WB001 or something similar.
If the item code does not exist in the item description codes database, flowerSoft will inform you that it does not exist and ask you if you want to add it to the database.

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If you have made a mistake while entering the code, you can then correct it or if not, you can go ahead an add a new item description code.
The point is that every recipe must be associated with an item description code via their mutual ID.  So, if you have a recipe ID of WB001 you must also have an item code WB001.
The opposite is not true since you do not have to have a recipe for every item code you have in your database.

#2 – The quantity field must always be filled.  If you just want to use a line to enter a comment, enter a zero in the quantity field.

#3 – The item code field can be left blank but if you fill it, it will be checked against the item description codes database and if found, the description field will be automatically filled with the description of the item description code.

#4 – The description field must always be filled.  You can have a zero in the quantity field and no item code in the item code field but you must have a description in this field.

#5 and #6 – The size and color fields are optional fields and they do not have to be filled.

#7 – The notes area consists of 4 separate lines.  You can use this are for designer instructions or for other any purpose.  These lines do not have to be filled.

#8 – The image path field is also optional and does not have to be filled.  However, if you want to associate an image with the recipe you have to adhere to certain rules.
The image must be a .jpg file and it must reside in a folder inside the \FSROOT\IMAGES\RECIPES folder.  flowerSoft will only et you enter the name of the file (without the .jpg extension) in this field.
If an image name is entered for a recipe and the recipe is used in a wedding consultation section, the image will be available for viewing from the wedding consultation screen.

Note: If you go into a wedding consultation section that does not have a recipe associated with it, once finished entering the items for that section, flowerSoft will ask you if you want to save the items entered as a recipe.  If you answer “Yes”, flowerSoft will ask you to give the new recipe a code and save the items you’ve entered for that section.  This recipe will then be available for future use in other wedding consultations.  We will go into this in more detail when we talk about wedding consultations in a future post.

So this is how you enter recipes in flowerSoft.  Recipes can be used to describe in detail any produced item you offer, not just in wedding consultations.
Some flowerSoft customers use recipes extensively and use them to control inventory and costs.

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When used in conjunction with the “Bill of Materials” used program, it can be a useful tool to also make sure orders are filled to value.
More on the “Bill of Materials” program in a future post.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Tip #144 – Weddings, a Quick View


Tip #144
Weddings, a Quick View

We’ve made some improvements to the wedding program.  Here is a quick view of the improved version.

The Wedding Menu.  There is only one wedding program.  We’ve eliminated the long and tedious version.

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The general information screen remain the same.

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The ceremony/Reception screen.

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The bridal flowers screen.  This screen has been enhanced by allowing you to add bill of materials (recipes) for all the sections that require flowers.
You can also add images of what the finished product should look like.

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The Bridal Party screen.  As with the Bridal Flowers screen, you will now be able to add bill of materials and images.

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The boutonnieres screen.  It also allows you to add bill of materials and images.

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The corsages screen.

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The ceremony items screen.

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The specialties screen.

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The reception flowers screen.

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The summary of charges screen.
It allows you to separate the charges being paid by the bride, groom and the ones that will be split between the two.

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The payments screen.

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Once you are finished with the wedding worksheet, flowerSoft will give you the option to e-mail it to the customer, as well as print it.

In the next posts, I’ll explain how to use some of the new features as well as to how to convert a wedding proposal into a sale.

We’ll also run through how to add recipes (bill of materials) in flowerSoft and how to link pictures to the recipe.

Tip #131 – If You Are a New flowerSoft User…


Tip #131
Best advice I can ever give you

If you are not familiar with a function, always read the bottom 4 lines of the screen.

A lot of time and effort is spent supplying those prompts to make it easier for you, the user, to understand what flowerSoft is expecting you to do.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Use account # 1111111.000 for testing purposes. Whatever you do using that account, does not count as a real order.

Train new employees using this test account.  It is just like a real account except that flowerSoft ignores anything with the 1111111.000 account number when generating reports and calculating sales taxes.