Category Archives: Manager Functions

Tips useful to managers

Tip #283 – Default Delivery Date and Sentriment


Tip #283
Default Delivery Date and Sentiment

In our endless quest to make order entry more efficient, I have added a new feature to flowerSoft 2016 which may not prove to be very useful for this holiday since most of you do not have it yet.

From the Manager’s menu > System Information > Defaults, flowerSoft will now allow you to set a default delivery date for a holiday (or any day) and a sentiment associated with that date. For example, you could set the default delivery date for next Valentine’s Day as 02/13/2017 (or 02/14/2017 if you prefer) and a sentiment of “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY”.

In the defaults settings (page 1) you will now see 3 new fields. If you leave the default delivery date blank, the feature will be disabled. If the default delivery date is earlier that today’s date, the feature will also be disabled.

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In the “Default Delivery Date” field you will enter the date you want displayed for delivery and the sentiment code associated with that date.

For illustration purposes, I set up my default delivery date as 05/08/2016 and my default sentiment code as HMD for Happy Mother’s Day.
You may want to set your default delivery date to the day before the actual holiday which in this case would have been 05/07/2016 had you wanted to encourage early deliveries.

So now the default settings for the default delivery date are set.

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Upon first entering the first line of the enclosure card, flowerSoft will take a look at the defaults record and see if you have defined a default delivery date. If you have, if will automatically supply the delivery date and the sentiment code associated with that date, if there is one.
The reason flowerSoft only supplies the code is in case if you do not need that sentiment for a specific order, it will be easier to erase or type another sentiment code. Once you hit <Enter> past the sentiment code, the sentiment wording and its associated occasion will be displayed.

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When you enter the delivery date field, the “default” date will be already displayed. However, you can easily increase (+) or decrease (-) the delivery date by pressing the plus or minus keys.
All other features associated with the delivery date remain active, so you can still use the first 2 letters of the delivery day or bring up the calendar by pressing F9.

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Once this new feature is implemented in your system, the delivery date will no longer be blank when you first enter it.
It will either have the default delivery date, if there is one defined for a date greater than today’s date or it will show today’s date if no default delivery date is defined.
You can increase or decrease the delivery day by pressing the plus or minus keys.
So if you find it easier to hit the plus key 4 times to get to next Tuesday instead of typing TU, you can now do that.
If you accidentally hit the plus key too many times and go past your desired delivery date, you can then hit the minus key to go back one day at a time.

Even though you may not have this new feature yet, you can still define a default sentiment code and then you may enter it by just typing a period from the first line of the card message.
The advantage of using sentiment codes is that they have an occasion associated with them so all your Valentine and Mother’s Day orders will have the HOLIDAY occasion and will be included when you do your occasion reminders next year.

As usual, if you can think of any improvements that can be made to this feature please let me know.

 

 

 

Tip #215 – Paying CODs and Pay on Pick Up Orders


Tip #215
Paying Outstanding CODs and Pay on Pick Up Orders

When you enter an order with a COD or Pay on P/UP method of payment, you will not be able to pay that order by updating and changing the method of payment.

The outstanding orders must be paid using the following method:

 

Please note:

  1. Method of payment on the invoice will be changed by flowerSoft, not you, from COD or Pay on P/UP to whatever method you selected for payment.
  2. Use the number in from of the method of payment to select that method of payment.
  3. If you selected credit card and the transaction was approved a token and approval number will show on the screen.

     

Tip #214 – Form Letters Using Word & Mail Merge


Tip #214
Form Letters Using Word & Mail Merge

As you probably know, flowerSoft lets you type your own form letters through its database. However, a database is not a word processor and when compared to something like Word, does a pretty poor job of formatting a letter.
A database however, does a great job of locating and selecting records that can then be used to generate the form letters.
In the past, I’ve tried to provide several form letters and let you pick which one you want to use. However, everyone has their own opinion of what the letters should look like and I’ve been making changes to the letters on an individual basis.

I have decided that it is much better for all involved, to let you use Word to write your own form letters and teach you how to use the data extracted from flowerSoft to generate the letters. It is not that difficult.
The examples shown here were created with Word 2007. Other versions of Word should be very similar.
I am also assuming that you will be using your own letterheads for this process. If you are printing on plain paper, you will need to add your name and address to the top of the letter.

Here is how to do it…

  1. Open Microsoft Word (yes, it is required) and create your form letter.

    The first thing you need to do when you open your blank document is to use the line spacing option and select to remove the space after a Paragraph. See below…

    The reason we need to do this is that Word’s mail merge inserts a space after each line of the address block and it just does not look good.

  2. Now type your letter. Just the body of the letter, do not enter a customer’s address or a salutation. It should look something like this…

After you have composed your letter, save it giving it a name that you will remember later. For example, we could call this one “New Recipient Letter”

  1. Now we will need to extract the recipient data in flowerSoft to use with the form letter. Here is how we do that:
  • Go to the Manager’s menu and select the Marketing option. From there, select the Import/Export option.

    From there select the Export Recipients to a CSV file option

    Since this is a letter to be sent to new recipients, we are going to select option #4 of the menu.
    You could also use option #5 if you want but that option will select recipients you’ve delivered to before and might have gotten the letter already.

    Next, answer all the questions flowerSoft will ask…

So not we have our data source for the form letters. Please remember the name and location of the file, you will need it later.
I suggest saving all the data files to the \FSROOT\EXPORT folder, that way you will always know where to find them later.

  1. Now let’s open up the form letter you created before and see what we have to do now.

    Notice the Mailings tab. Click on it.

    Click on the Select Recipients option and then click on the Use Existing List option.

    Navigate to the location where you stored the recipients list. This would be \FSROOT\EXPORT\ unless you used something different, and find your file.

    Once you select the file, Word will pop up the window below asking to verify the data layout.

    Just click on OK. Do not select any other options.

    After you click on OK, Word will display the document again…

    Now is time to insert the data we want to extract from our recipient file.

    The first thing we want to do, assuming you are using a single window envelope, is place the recipient’s address on the letter.

    We do this by selecting the “Address Block” from the Mailings tab.

    You can experiment with the location but I’ve found that entering the data starting 5 or 6 lines from the top of the letter works well.

    Never print all your letters without first checking to see that the customer’s address shows through the envelope’s window.

    Print just one letter to verify correctness of the address block position.

    When you click on Address Block, Word will again display this window…

    And you should just click on OK again.

    Next, Word will show you how it will format the Address Block. Because of the way flowerSoft names the recipient’s name field, Word will not select it as part of the address block.

    All you have to do to fix this is click on the Match Fields button.

    Click on the down arrowhead for the “First Name field…

    And select Recipient Name from the list of fields.

    Do not try to match the “Last Name” or any of the other fields marked (not matched). Just click OK.

    Word will now display the correct address block.

    Click on OK and Word will insert the address block on the letter.

    Now let’s insert the Greeting Line. Click on the Greeting Line option of the Mailings tab.

    Word will respond with this…

    As you can see, Word has the correct data for the greeting line, so all we have to do is click OK.

    And Word will insert the greeting line tag on the letter.

    The last action to take is to tell Word to create the merge…

    We do that by clicking on the Finish & Merge option.

    We should select the “Edit Individual Documents” option unless you are absolutely sure everything is correct.

    Word will then ask if you want to merge all the records or just the current one. Select all the records…

    Word will then display all the merged records on the screen.
    You can review all the letters and make corrections as necessary and then print them.

    That is all there is to it. It takes a lot longer to explain the process than to actually do it.

    This method of doing form letters allows you a lot more flexibility.

    Since Word is doing the printing, you can select any font you like and you can print to any printer, even host-based printers.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

     

     

     

 

Tip #213 – Mass Mailings (Exporting Your Top Accounts)


Tip #213
Mass Mailings (Exporting Your Top Accounts)

Suppose you want to do (or have someone do for you) a mass mailing to your top accounts. How would you go about it?

Here is how…

Go to Manager’s menu – Client Operations


  • Select Option #5 – YTD Purchases


  • Select Option F – Same as Above but for Any Period (Option E does only 1 year)


  • Select a period of time to calculate


  • Let flowerSoft run through your accounts and calculate the purchases for the period selected.


  • When flowerSoft finishes calculating the purchases, it will ask you how many you want to print.

    Select the number of records you want to export and print to the screen (unless you want a hard copy).

    You must print either to paper or the screen as this is what actually ranks the customers.


  • flowerSoft will then ask you if you want to export the accounts. Answer “Y”.


  • Tell flowerSoft where you want the exported csv file to be placed and what name to give it.


  • flowerSoft will give you a chance to change your mind or correct a mistake.


  • More than likely, you will not want to print address labels for the top accounts but if you do, answer “Y”

    The label size is the standard 1″ x 2 5/8″ , 3-across.


  • flowerSoft will first print to the screen (unless told otherwise) the accounts in rank # order.

 


 

and export the csv file with the name you gave it to the location you specified.


 

If you had the accounts already ranked as you wanted, you could do the following…

  • Import/Export Menu option of the Manager’s Client Operations menu.

 



  • The select option C – Export Clients to a CSV File.

  • Select the customers by rank (option R)


  • Tell flowerSoft the highest rank to select…


  • Give the csv file a name…


  • Verify the file name…


  • Then tell flowerSoft where you want the file placed…


  • Answer the question about exporting the headings. Accept the default unless you know better…


  • flowerSoft will tell you how many records were exported.

(Notice that is a couple less than what you asked for, but now you know why.)


  • flowerSoft will then ask you if you want to see the information exported…


  • Answer “Y” if you want to see it or send it to someone directly from Excel.


Note that the file is exported in customer name order, not customer rank order.

Probably takes longer to explain this it than to actually do it.

 


Tip #205 – Exporting Your Customer Data to Excel


Tip #205
Exporting Your Customer Data to Excel

There will be times when you’ll need to export your customer data to another program or service that will require you to give them your customer data in a format they can understand.

flowerSoft allows you to export your data to a csv file which can be read by Excel and many other programs. Here are the 15 steps you need to take…

  1. Go to the Manager’s menu

2. Select Client Operations 

3. Select Import/Export menu 


4.  Select C. Export Clients to a CSV File 

5.  Select which clients you want to export.
Option 1 selects all your clients. Other options are self-explanatory. 

6.  If you want to select a specific group of client from the group of clients requested above, enter “Y”es, otherwise accept the default of “N”o. 

7.Give the file to be exported a name. Do not include the extension, which will be .csv. Enter only the name. You will need to remember this name later. 

8.  Give flowerSoft the OK to create the file. 

9.  Enter the path (location in your hard drive) where the file should be placed once it is created. You will need to remember where you placed this file. 

10.  Tell flowerSoft if you want to export the field headings or not. It defaults to “Y”es. 

11.  flowerSoft will select the records requested and tell you how many client records were exported. 

12.  flowerSoft will ask you if you want to see the information exported. If you answer “Y”es you will need to have Excel or some other program like Excel that will allow you to view the file. 

13.  flowerSoft will open the file in Excel

14.  If you are mailing to another person or organization, select to send the file as an attachment. 

15.  Enter the email address where you want the file sent, add something to the body of the email and send.

Tip #204 – Bad Check Charge Back


Tip #204
Bad Check Charge Back

It has happened to most of us. We get a check from a customer, we deposit it and a couple of days later we get a letter from the bank telling us that the check from the customer bounced along with a $20 to $30 charge.

So how do we recoup that money?

flowerSoft has always given you to option to debit a customer’s account for the total of the check plus any bank charges, but now flowerSoft goes a step further and (if possible) it will reverse the effect the bad check had on the customer’s account.

In other words, it will void the check and remove the amount paid from the invoices it affected. It will then add a debit for the amount of the bank charge.

This is particularly good news for those of you who send “open-item” statements, since now all those invoices that were marked as paid will show again on the statements instead of one lump sum that is difficult to explain.

Here is how to enter a bad check chargeback…

These are the invoices paid by the bad check (check #104)

Step 1 – Go to the Accounts Receivable menu and select option P – Payments/Credits/Debits

Step 2 – Select option C – Charge Back a Returned Check

Step 3 – Enter pertinent information. Once you enter the payment reference number (check number) flowerSoft will display a list of payments for that customer using that reference number.

Yes, as horrible as that is, some of you enter the same reference number every time you get a payment from a customer, so I have to make sure you are selecting the correct one.

Step 4 – Tell flowerSoft everything is OK.

flowerSoft will then tell you if the charge back was successful.

The is the way the invoices for the customer’s account will look now…

Easy as pie.

 

 

 

 

Tip #203 – Inventory Tracking – Understanding Sets and Components


Tip #203
Inventory Tracking – Understanding Sets and Components

In flowerSoft, an inventory item is any item you want to know its current quantity on hand.

First, let me explain about the different flowerSoft databases (there are 3 of them) involved in item and inventory tracking.

The first database is the Item Description Codes database. Every item you sell should be in this database, whether or not you want to keep track of its quantity on hand.
Why? When you sell an item and you use its item description code, flowerSoft can report on that item. It can tell you how many you sold for any period of time and how much money you made by selling that item.
It can compare how that item sold using two periods of time.
If, for example, you use DRV as the item description code for a dozen red roses in a vase, flowerSoft can tell you how many you sold during Valentine’s Day week in 2014.
It can also compare those figures to any similar period of time, for example 2013 and 2014.
If you do not use item description codes when selling an item, flowerSoft cannot run reports on that item.

If you need or want to keep track of the quantity on hand of an item, then you must use an item description code for the item.
Inventory tracking cannot be done without using item description codes.

To indicate that an item is an inventory item, you first add it to the Item Description Codes database and indicate that the item is an inventory item, meaning that you want to know at all times how many of the item you have on hand.
When you indicate that an item is an inventory item by placing a Y in the appropriate field, a record gets added to the Inventory Items database for that item code.

When you go past the “Inventory Item?” field, flowerSoft makes sure that a record exists in the inventory items database.
If it doesn’t, it will add it for you and if it does, it will ask you if you want to update it or view it.

If in addition, you tell flowerSoft that the item has components, flowerSoft will make you add a record for that item code to the Item Components database.

The need for these 3 separate databases is that you can have Item Description codes that do not need to keep track of the units on hand, so they do not have to be included in the Inventory Items database.
Likewise, you can have inventory items that do not have components, so they do not have to be included in the Item Components database.

Next we’ll look at the steps required for entering an item into the Item Description Codes database, the Inventory Items database and the Item Components database.

But first let me try to explain what a component is.

When an item you sell as a unit, is made up of several different items, the item is called a “set”. The items that are used to make up this “set” are called the “components” of the set.
So if you have an item code A that is made up of items B, C, D and E, A is the set and B, C, D and E are the components.

Items that are components of a set cannot have components themselves. In our example, if you indicate that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E then neither of those items can have components but…

Item C could still be made up of items F, G and H, making it a set, as long as it is not listed as itself being a component of item A. I know this is confusing but let me give you an example to clarify.

If you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items B, C, D and E, then item C cannot have components.
But if you tell flowerSoft that item A is made up of items, B, (F, G, and H), D and E then it is OK for item C to have components because item C itself is not being listed as a component of item A.
The components of item C are the ones that get listed as being part of item A.

So, if the quantity required for each of the components of item A is one, then every time you sell item A flowerSoft will reduce the quantity on hand of items B, F, G, H, D and E by one.

A set’s quantity on hand is determined by the least quantity available of its components. Let’s say to make an item A you need

Let us also say that your quantities on hand for items B, F, G, H, D and E are as follows:

Item    Quantity on Hand
B    20 pieces
F    30 pieces
G    90 pieces
H    40 pieces
D    80 pieces
E    60 pieces

Based on this information, how many units on hand will flowerSoft say are available for Item A?
And knowing the item C is made up of items F, G and H, how many pieces of item C will flowerSoft say are available?

And the answer is…

10 sets of item A and 30 sets of item C.

Do you see why?

There are only 20 pieces of item B available and item A requires 2 of them, so after you make 10 sets of item A, you’ll be out of item B so you can’t make anymore sets of item A.

The same goes for item C. You need 3 pieces of item G for each item C. Since you have 90 pieces of item G, after you make 30 sets you’ll be out of item G.

Another good way of looking at sets and components is to look at a recipe for an item. For example, let’s look at Teleflora’s Bee Well Bouquet recipe.

Item code T01J400C is the item code you use when you sell a Bee Well Bouquet. This is the set.
The 9 different items that make up the Bee Well Bouquet are the components.

Unless you want to keep track of your flowers’ quantity on hand, the only item that you will need to enter as a component of the T01J400C item is is the Bee Well Bee.
Why? Because that is the one item you need to know how many you have on hand in order to be able to sell the Bee Well Bouquet.

Every time you sell a T01J400C, one piece will be deducted from the quantity on hand of item TFBWELLB.
You will want to know when you are running low on that item, so that you can order more.

We will talk more on sets and components in the next post.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Tip #201 – FSN Orders


 Tip #201
FSN Orders

FSN (Flower Shop Network) orders should always be entered as local orders in flowerSoft.  Just like you enter an order from one of your house accounts.

Open an house account for FSN, making sure the account name is either
FSN, Flowershop Network or Flower Shop Network. 

Do not make this account a cash only account, give it a credit limit.fsn01

Give this account a preferred customer discount of 20%.fsn02

When you enter an FSN order into flowerSoft, enter it as a local order with an ON ACCOUNT method of payment.  When FSN send you a check for payment of orders filled, enter the payments as an payment on account through the A/R module.fsn03

flowerSoft will include the delivery charge in the 20% discount.fsn04

Please note that this is the only time flowerSoft will include the delivery charge when calculating a discount.  Normally, the discount is given on the product amount only.

 

Tip #200 – Sales Analysis Reports


Tip #200 – Sales Analysis Reports

As you probably know, flowerSoft offers a myriad of sales analysis reports but perhaps you’ve had no time to look through them all.  Some of these reports can be very useful and can help you manage your flower shop more efficiently.
Let’s take a look at the most useful ones.

As you all know, we get to the Reports menu by following this path from the Main menu:
M > R.  To get to the Sales reports: M > R > A and to get to the Sales Analysis Reports menu: M > R > A > B.  This last keystroke combination will put you here:

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Here are some of the menu options under the Sales Analysis Reports menu…

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I don’t have the time to go through all these reports here but, when you have some free time, try a few of these to see what they report on and if they would be useful to you.
Remember, all the reports can be printed to the screen so you would not even be wasting paper.

I want to show one in particular that I just had a request for, some many of you will not have this report available in your system yet.

The report I want to tell you about will be found in the Orders Analysis menu under options R and S.  Option S is a summarized version of option R.  In other words, it does not show the details of how the figures were obtained, but it also uses a lot less paper.

Yesterday, I was asked by a flowerSoft customer if there was a way to report on the number and amount of the sales each separate workstation took each day.
Although there is a report that would show the sales entered into the system by each clerk, there was no report that could break those down the work station.  Now there is.  Let’s look at option R – Sales by Register No. (Detailed)

As you know, each workstation using flowerSoft has (or should have if set up properly) a unique register number.  Since the register number that entered the order into flowerSoft is kept in a field in the sales record menu, it is a simple matter to write a report showing sales figures for each register.

If you have a multiple shop setup, when selecting option R, the first thing flowerSoft will ask is for the shop number you want to report on,  If you want to report on all the shops at one time (the figures are kept separate) you will need to enter 999 as the shop number.  Otherwise you just enter the shop number you want to report on.  A number from 1 to 998.

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After that, simply select the time period you want to report on.  Let’s take last week, for exam[;e.  You would select option 5, and flowerSoft will supply the dates for you.

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After you tell flowerSoft that you have no corrections to make, it will read through the sales records and select the ones for the period requested.  After that, it will ask you if you want to print the report to the screen instead of paper.  Until you find out which reports you really like and are certain you would use them in the future, you should always first print them to the screen, like I am going to do here so that I can show you what it looks like.

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Notice that the default is “N” for No, which means that if you do not enter “Y” the report will print on paper.

Here is what both the detailed and summary reports look like…

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