Category Archives: Tips

Tips, Tricks and Traps on Using flowerSoft

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 #202 – Transferring Incoming Orders

Tip #202
Transferring Incoming Orders

There is a couple of ways to do a Dove transfer but the easiest one is to do it from the New Orders menu since that is where you will be most of the time.

Instead of selecting an option from 1-7, hit the letter “T”. This will take you to the transfer menu.

Then hit “T” again to start the transfer process.

Once the order is on the screen, you can hit “T” again to start the transfer process, but first
look over the card to make sure everything looks good.
If you have to, hit “A” to auto-fix the card or if you need to correct the spelling, hit “M” to fix manually.

Answer any questions flowerSoft may ask.










Once the order is successfully transferred to the sales file, the incoming order will be deleted (so that you will not transfer it again) and flowerSoft will the do a browse of the incoming orders file to see if there are any more incoming orders to be transferred.

If you have additional orders to be transferred, highlight them and hit <Enter> to begin the transfer process for the next order.


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:


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





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.


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.


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.


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…






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…


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


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.


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…

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…






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

egcr06 egcr05 egcr04 egcr03 egcr02 egcr01

  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…
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…
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…

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…

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…
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.



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.



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.