Category Archives: Manager Functions

Tips useful to managers

Tip #199 – Re-sending Order and Delivery Confirmations


Tip #199
Re-Sending Order and Delivery Confirmations

I was asked today how to do this, so here it is for all of you to enjoy.

Every once in a while you will need to re-send an order or a delivery confirmation or even just a copy of an invoice or a text message.  Here is how to do it.

Follow this path from the main menu: O > E and bring up the order you need to re-send a confirmation for.
While viewing the order on the screen, press the letter to display the available options shown below…

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Select the option you want and then select the email address you want to send it to…

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That’s it.  3 keystrokes.  I wonder how long would it take to do the same thing in a graphical environment.

Also note that one of the options available is to look at the email history for the order.  This will let you know when and to which email addresses the confirmations have been sent to.

Tip #198 – Recording ON ACCOUNT Payments by Statement Number


Tip #198
Recording ON ACCOUNT Payments by Statement Number

Please Note:
While a flowerSoft customer (Larry of Flowerworks in Lincoln, Nebraska) was testing this feature he noticed that it was not working for him, so he called me to find out why.  While looking into his system, I noticed that he was trying to use this feature on a statement for a customer that had missed making a payment for the previous statement sent.
Since this is a new feature, I was trying to seed the systems of the flower shops where I had installed the latest version, by running a process that reads the statement transactions file (which contain both the invoice # and the statement #) and looking up the invoice number in the sales file and updating a new field in that file file with the statement number where the invoices were shown.
This process seemed to work perfectly during my testing.  Things always work perfectly when I am doing the testing, the problems always come up when you guys start using the new features.
The problem was that I was using a system that generated “open item” statements, not “balance forward” statements to do my testing.
The process also worked on “balance forward” statements with one caveat, there could be no balance forward.  Why?  Because “balance forward” statements  only show current period transactions.  Any un-paid transactions are part of the “previous balance” amount.  The invoice number is not shown on the statement.
Since previous un-paid transactions are not part of the statement, the process I was running was not updating the un-paid invoices with the latest statement number.  The statement that Larry was trying to pay contained only 1 transaction, the finance charge.  The invoices he was trying to pay contained a different statement number, so flowerSoft could not find them when looking for the statement number Larry had entered.
So, for those of you running “balance forward” statements and thinking of using this new feature, you may or will run into problems if you try to use it on accounts that have either missed a payment or not paid the full amount of the previous statement.  This will hold true until you run statements again.  When you run the statements, flowerSoft will update each invoice with the latest statement #, so when you try to use the feature, it will always be able to find the invoices that were part of the latest statement, whether they are part of the previous balance amount or new transactions for the current period.
Those of you using “open item” statements should not have any problems since your statements always include all invoices with outstanding balances.

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Let me start by saying that this is a brand new feature and most of you do not have it yet.

I received an email a couple of days ago from a flowerSoft user asking…

“George
I have a client who likes to pay by reference instead of invoice number.
Can you please in writing tell me how to do this?
I have had trouble with this issue a few times in the past.”

Well, as you probably know, there is no way to pay by reference (statement) number in flowerSoft.  Until now…

Although no one has asked for this in the past 28 years, I thought about it and it is possible for someone with an very active account to send you a check and just include the statement’s reference number.  I guess, the only option at that point was to go into that statement and see which invoices were charged on the statement and then select each invoice through the A/R Add Payments option.

Well, now there is a way to tell flowerSoft what statement number you want to pay and flowerSoft will gather the invoices shown on that statement for you.  All you have to do is enter the customer’s check number.

There are some restrictions with this method, however.

The first one is that the statement cannot have shown more than 24 charges (including finance/rebilling) charges.

The second one is that there is no deviation from the amount paid.  It will always be the outstanding amount shown on the statement.  There is no option to waive finance charges or re-billing charges and no option for sales allowances.

Here is how it works…

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Tip #196 – Replenishing an EGC


Tip #196
Replenishing an EGC

So now we know how to sell EGCs and also accept them as payment.
Next we are going to learn how to add money to (replenish) an existing EGC.
Basically, it is very similar to selling a new EGC.
Here is how…egcr08 egcr07

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  1.  You first enter the order and sell an EGC$ for whatever amount the customer wants to add to the EGC and then print and  save the order.
  2. After the order is saved, flowerSoft will ask you a series of questions.  The first one of which is trying to find the EGC that needs to be replenished.
  3. Once the correct EGC is selected, it is just a simple matter of telling flowerSoft if the password for the card will remain the same or if it will be different.

If you have any questions, please ask.

 

Tip #195 – Accepting Electronic Gift Cards (EGC) as Payment


Tip #195
Accepting Electronic Gift Cards (EGC) as Payment

So now that you know how to sell an Electronic Gift Card, let me show you how to accept one as payment.  I am going to refer to electronic gift cards as either e-gift cards or EGCs for short.

First off, the same rules apply as with a paper gift certificate.  If the balance in the EGC is less that the total of the order you must use SPLIT as the method of payment and then select e-gift card as one of the methods of payment in the SPLIT.

So here is the process of accepting and EGC to pay for an order.
After entering the order, just before you get to the method of payment screen, you will select E-GIFT CARD as the method of payment, egcp01flowerSoft will display the following message on the screen…
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alerting you to make sure the e-gift card has sufficient available balance to pay the full amount of the order.  You could answer “Yes” if you are sure the EGC available balance will cover the total amount of the order, but what if you are not sure?   How do you determine what the EGC’s available balance is at this point?

Simple, look at the bottom of the screen.  What does it say?

To find out an EGC’s available balance you simply hit “C” at this point and flowerSoft will come back with…
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Yep, you need to know the EGC’s password.  flowerSoft told you so on the previous screen.
flowerSoft cannot assume that the person supplying the EGS is the same person who purchased it, so it cannot go be the customer’s account number.  flowerSoft has to assume that the person providing the EGC is not the same person who purchased it, hence the gift in electronic gift card.
So flowerSoft must find the card by the password used when it was purchased..  Without it, the transaction cannot be completed.

Once you enter the correct password, flowerSoft will display all e-gift cards containing that password.  It is possible that the same password was used for two or more different gift cards by different customers or even the same customer, although the latter should be discouraged.
The possibility of different EGCs with the same or similar password may present a problem, even if the passwords are not identical.
For example, if one e-gift card has a password of george and another one has a password of george2014 and you enter george as the password when prompted, flowerSoft will display both e-gift cards, as shown below…
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Why?  Because even though flowerSoft is looking for an exact match of what you entered as the EGC’s password (george), strage as it may seem to you, george2014 is also an exact match as far as flowerSoft is concerned, so it displays both cards.
This is not a big problem since flowerSoft is also showing you what the password is for each of the EGCs displayed.
Be careful though, since flowerSoft cannot assume the customer paying with the e-gift card is the same customer that purchased the e-gift card, it cannot limit the cards being displayed to a specific account and it has no way of knowing if you selected the correct card from the list.
It is also possible, though unlikely, for several e-gift cards to be displayed and only one belonging to the customer making the purchase.
Make sure you select the correct one by observing the details of the e-gift cards as displayed on the screen.  You can also press “V” to display more complete details on the EGC highlighted…
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If necessary, ask the customer for the name of the person who gave them the e-gift card so that you can make sure you are selecting the correct one.
Due diligence are two words that are thrown around a lot these days, so I am going to use them also.  Make sure you do your utmost to make sure you are selecting the correct EGC in the event that more than one is shown on the screen.

Even after you’ve highlighted the correct EGC, flowerSoft will still give you another opportunity to verify it…egcp06Notice that now you can also view the invoice on which the EGC was sold, as an additional aid in determining the correct EGC to be used.
Once you have determined which one is the correct e-gift card, select it by highlighting and hitting the <Enter> key, flowerSoft still wants to make sure you have not made a mistake by asking you to…
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to hit “A” to accept the ECG shown on the screen as payment.

A bit of an overkill but better safe than sorry.
Once you hit “A” to accept the EGC displayed as payment, flowerSoft will put the EGC number of the order and take you past the expiration date field and then ask how much money from the gift card should be used to pay for the order.egcp09 If you select to use less than the available balance on the card, flowerSoft will keep the remaining balance as available for future purchases.

If you select to use the full available amount of the EGC, the flowerSoft will assume that you gave customer whatever the balance was in cash.
In other words, the available balance of this EGC was #100.  If you enter 100.00 in the amount tendered field, the available balance of the card will be $0.00 and flowerSoft will assume that you gave the customer change, just like if they had handed you a $100 bill.
If you enter 94.40 in the amount tendered field, flowerSoft will keep a balance of $7.60 as available in that card unless you in the screen below that you are giving the remaining $7.60 as change to the customer.egcp10

After you answer the question (I answered :No” to keep the $7.60 as available balance in the card), flowerSoft will print a receipt and save the order.

In the next post, we’ll learn how to replenish an existing EGC.
In other words, how to add money to an existing e-gift card.

 

Tip #194 – Selling Electronic Gift Cards (Certificates)


Tip #194
Selling Electronic Gift Cards (Certificates)

So now we are going to learn how to sell, meaning entering into flowerSoft, an electronic gift card.

There are some Item Description Codes in flowerSoft that should never be removed.  Among them is EGC, which stands for Electronic Gift Card.

To sell an electronic gift card, you simply enter the EGC code in one of the order’s lines as shown below.  Electronic Gift Cards can be sold to the customer in person or over the phone.  An electronic gift card, just like any other gift card or certificate is exempt from sales tax, as that will be paid by the recipient of the gift card when making a purchase.egc10

 egc11Notice that there is no sales tax calculated when your customer is going to pay for the electronic gift card.

When you save the order and go through the print options, flowerSoft will then record the electronic gift card sale.egc01The best method is to have flowerSoft generate the electronic gift card number.  If you are going to swipe a physical card, you have to make sure that you do it using an old swiper that does not encode the information read from the mag stripe or you can enter the number by hand if it is visible to the naked eye..egc02As usual, flowerSoft will ask for confirmation of your actionsegc03and then for an expiration date.egc04Since we are talking mainly about “virtual” gift cards, a gift card that can be accepted over the phone as well as in person, you should answer “Y”es here.egc05The customer will need to tell you what the password for the gift card is going to be.  You can also pick the password but it is best to have the customer pick it, if possible.egc07The password will have to be entered twice to make sure there is no mistake.egc08flowerSoft will then inform you that the gift card has been recorded and ask you if you want to print and/or email a receipt to give to the customer.egc09egc12

You can choose to do both if the customer is in the store or if you want to keep a printed copy for yourself.  Below is a copy of what the e-mailed receipt looks like.

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Above is the email version of the electronic gift card receipt.  The printed copy is identical.

Next post, we’ll learn how to accept an electronic gift certificate as a method of payment and how to replenish the value of an existing electronic gift card.

Reminder


Reminder

Have your employees exit all the way out of flowerSoft before they go home each day.

I am seeing a lot of workstations left in the New Orders menu, Time Clock and other applications.

Have them log all the way out to their desktops.

Failure to do this prevents your backup program from backing up all your files.

One day, sooner or later, you are going to need a good backup of your data and you may discover you do not have one.

So please, make sure you and your employees exit all the way out of flowerSoft before they go home each day.

 

Tip #193 – Gift Cards and Certificates


Tip #193
Gift Cards and Certificates

We are all familiar with gift certificates.  We’ve either given them to someone or received them from someone.  They are most time printed on paper and, if from a small business or shop, usually hand-written.  Most of you probably carry them in your store.
A few of you might ever carry your own personalized store gift cards, with your name and logo on the card.   Gift card sales are expected to hit $200 Billion in 2014

Your own gift card is a very profitable item to sell.  Why?  Because not only does it potentially bring new customers into your store but also, according to the latest research, 8 to 10% of them are never used.  That is a huge number.  And that number is for Visa, Amex and big store gift cards which are a lot easier to redeem than your shop’s gift card.
Think about it, that means that if you sell $1000 worth of gift cards $80 to $100 go straight to your bottom line.  In my opinion, your own gift cards would have a much higher rate of non-redemption since they have to be used in person at  your store, which makes it kind of inconvenient for the recipient of the gift card.

Remember the early days of Dove and Mercury?  Some shrewd florists never used these electronic systems to send outgoing orders.  They would rather incur the expense of phoning them out (and some still do) in the hope that the filling florist would never report the transaction to the wire service.  Well, while that might no longer be as wide-spread as it was when most shops did not have POS systems,   I’ll bet that even shops with a fancy computer system still fail to report some of the phone-in orders

While the big profitability of phoning orders out might have mostly gone away, the profitability of selling gift cards that might never be claimed is definitely still here in a big way.  Remember that 8 to 10% goes directly to your bottom line, so you want to get in that action.
However, most florist have a difficult time selling gift cards and/or certificates to their own stores.  Why?  Precisely for the same reason you want to start selling those profitable gift cards.  Most consumers realize that a gift card that can only be used in person at your store is a lot harder to redeem than a Visa or Amex card that can be used anywhere, so normally they would opt to buy a Visa gift card over a gift card issued by and only redeemable in person at George’s Flowers and Gifts.

So how do you overcome this obvious obstacle of trying to sell a gift card that can only be used in person at your store?
flowerSoft has had the answer for several years now but only a few of you know about it and make use of it.
The answer is a “virtual” gift card.  A gift card that can be used by the recipient without the need to physically be in your store.  That should overcome one of the main objections consumers have about buying your own store’s gift card.

In the next post I will tell you how to sell and re-deem these electronic gift cards through flowerSoft’s point of sale program.

Tip #191 – E-Mailing Confirmations to Multiple Addresses


Tip #191
E-Mailing Confirmations to Multiple Addresses

We all know that flowerSoft allows you to keep multiple e-mail addresses for each customer.  When an order or delivery confirmation is sent to the customer, flowerSoft will display a window showing all the e-mail addresses on file for that customer and waits for you to select which one you want to use.

What you may not know is that flowerSoft has a feature that allows you to send the order and delivery confirmations to all the addresses on file for the customer.

The easiest way is to bring up the account in Edit/View Clients and then press the letter “E”.flowerSoft will display the email address on file for the account and show you some options.

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If you select option “S”, flowerSoft will send all order and delivery confirmations to all the email addresses on file for the account.

If you want to send either order confirmations or delivery confirmations but not both, you must do this by updating the customer’s record.

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When you get past the CONF field, flowerSoft will display the following message if it detects that there are multiple email addresses for the account…

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Is you answer yes to the question, flowerSoft will then display…

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and after that it will allow you to select whether you want to send order and delivery confirmations or just one of the two.

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That is all there is to it.

 

 

Tip # 188 – Calculating Reciprocity


Tip #188
Calculating Reciprocity

As you should know, one of the options available in the End of Year procedures is the calculation of the reciprocity between you and other flower shops.ffr01ffr02ffr03ffr04
ffr05ffr07ffr08 ffr06ffr09ffr10Once you calculate the reciprocity through these menu options, flowerSoft will keep the reciprocity up-to-date in real time.
This reciprocity is displayed when you select a florist for an outgoing order.

Normally, when the reciprocity is calculated through the Periodic Procedures menu, you select to calculate the reciprocity for all the flower shops in the database but if you need to see your reciprocity with a certain florist before entering an order, you can access the single-shop reciprocity program from a “Quick Access” key.  By pressing the tilde (~), flowerSoft will put you directly into the program without the need to first access the reciprocity menu.ffr11

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To calculate the reciprocity, you must enter the flower shop’s code with the wire service, but I am sure you have enough trouble remembering your own codes let alone someone else’s.
Knowing this, flowerSoft lets you select the desired shop by entering the wire service and the name of the shop.
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Upon doing this, flowerSoft will display a list of all the shops matching the wire service name and at least the first 5 characters of the name you entered. You must then highlight and select the correct shop from the list.  Be aware that there may be many shops with similar names within each wire service so make sure you select the one you want.
The list is sorted by wire service name, shop name, city, state and zip code.

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Once you’ve selected the correct shop, flowerSoft will calculate and display your reciprocity with that shop.

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Tip #186 – Help Eliminate Below Average Orders


Tip #186
Help Eliminate Below Average Orders

As floral industry experts such as Tim Huckabee of Floral Strategies and Dan McManus of Team Floral advocate in their training sessions, you and your employees should always try to get your customers to spend more than what they normally spend; but do it in such a way that is not offensive and does not make you look like you are always pushing higher priced items.

But, how do you know how much your customer normally spends on flowers?
Well, flowerSoft has a couple of tools to help you with that.

If the customer is a returning customer, flowerSoft will know how much the customer spends on average for the product (not including delivery, sales tax or other charges) and will display that on the screen during order entry.

I’ve improved that old feature by letting you and your employees know if the order being entered is below what the customer normally spends.

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flowerSoft will display this message while in the product entry screen and then again just before the method of payment screen.

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Of course, this only works when the customer has a purchase history with you.  The first time a customer calls your shop you’ll have to rely on Tim’s and Dan’s teachings or your own experience to determine how much the customer is willing to spend.

Another flowerSoft tool you can use to increase sales is by the use of “price points”.
The “price points” feature was explained on Tip #140
https://flowersoftsilver.com/2013/07/09/tip-139/

flowerSoft does offer one more tool to help increase the total of the order by the use of “upsells”.

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How to activate the “upsells” feature and details on how to use it have been posted before.  Take a look at these old posts…

Tip #095
https://flowersoftsilver.com/2012/08/02/tip-095/

and Tip #128
https://flowersoftsilver.com/2013/04/27/tip-128/

and Tip #061
https://flowersoftsilver.com/2012/01/29/tip-061/