Eclipse Users Group (UFO) Newsletter                                                                                         April 2014
April Web Classes Posted - New 4 part New Hire!
Date
Class TitleFormat / Presented by
March 31, 2014
New Hire #1 Eterm Basic System Navigation 
Webinar - Zerion
April 1, 2014
New Hire #2 Eterm Basic System Navigation Sales 
Webinar - Zerion
April 2, 2014
New Hire #3 Eterm Basic System Navigation Purchasing 
Webinar - Zerion
April 3, 2014
New Hire #4 Eterm Basic System Navigation Warehouse
Webinar - Zerion
April 10, 2014
Detail Scheduling Solar  
Webinar --  Zerion
April 15, 2014
"Phocas.  A data warehouse with a difference."
Vendor Product Webinar - Phocas
April 17, 2014
Freight-Shipping, Receiving, Billing & Payables Eterm 
Webinar - Zerion
April 24, 2014
Freight-Shipping, Receiving, Billing & Payables Solar  
Webinar - Zerion
April 22, 2014

"Strategic Pricing Module for Eclipse"  

Vendor Product Weinar - SPA
April 27--30, 2014
Epicor Insights 2014 
Las Vegas, NV

In This Issue
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Rundle-Spence Gets Reliable, Easy-To-Use Paperless Reporting & Business Intelligence With MITS

By Colin Sherman, National Sales Manager, MITS, mits.com

 

Rundle-Spence, a full-service plumbing, heating, and industrial supply distributor and fabrication shop, has provided quality products and services to its customers since 1871. The company's success over the years has been rooted in a deep-seated commitment to better service and better value, a pledge that has been backed up with a wide range of time-saving innovations on behalf of customers, partners, and employees.

 

A number of years ago, it became clear to President David Spence that the company needed a better way to get information out of its operational system Epicor's Eclipse. It was time consuming and cumbersome to run reports in Eclipse and according to David, "we needed a standard way of quickly getting paperless reports into the hands of the staff that needed them most: managers and the outside sales force."

 

Rundle-Spence spent a couple of years using a subscription based reporting product, an  experience that helped David really understand what his company needed to be successful: solution reliability, canned reports, and an easy-to-use interface.

 

"When the time came to pick a new solution, our team unanimously decided to move to MITS Distributor Analytics," said David. "MITS delivered everything promised during the evaluation process: product reliability, ease of use and pre-configured reports. MITS runs on a Linux or Unix server and resides in the Universe database along with Eclipse, so we are getting great product performance and exceptional reliability."

   

 

All Rundle-Spence managers, plus purchasing and the outside sales team, are using MITS today. "Our staff has been able to dive right into MITS to get the reports they need, whenever they need them," said David. "Many of the reports we needed came pre-built and ready to run or drill down into."

 

The sales team uses MITS to identify products that are down in sales, as well as areas where complementary products could be sold. Purchasing uses MITS to track dead stock and slow moving items. "MITS' GMROI reports are great-our asset committee uses them to discuss low turning items," said David. "And I use the customer and writer scorecards to identify low profit areas and trends in sales and units."

 

MITS helps Rundle-Spence quickly and easily identify areas of concern so company resources can be focused on growing the business and addressing any operational problems identified through improved reporting and analytics.

 MITS logo   

Support Corner
by Camille Alberico,
Senior Manager, Eclipse Software Support/Customer Support

Solar Eclipse Java Update:

 

Starting with release 878, it is our policy to develop our releases on the latest generally available version of Java. In the case of release 878, the java version that was generally available when we built our development environment was 7u45. This procedure allows us to develop and test our software with the latest java version, and to ensure compatibility of both our core and our companion products. When the Solar release is rolled out to our customer base it is packaged with that java release. We currently develop three solar releases per year.  As always, we highly recommend that you obtain the Java version from the Solar Webstart page.

 

 

 

Training Committee Update

by Rich Chadwick, UFO Training Committee Chair

 

The Eclipse User's Group Training Committee is made up of users who want to expand the knowledge of the user base on the Eclipse software and its related products.  The formal goal is "To provide low cost/high value training to increase the value of membership to our users.  With the support of the Board of Directors, our membership, and our vendor partners this is accomplished in the following manner:

 

1.    Monthly Web classes, these web sessions are the backbone of the training effort.  At no charge we continue of expand this offering.  These monthly classes breakdown into a couple of categories,

a.  Basic Eclipse training designed to meet the needs for newer employees that are conducted on a repeating basis.  This is designed to assist member companies in giving new employees a basic understanding of how Eclipse functions, focusing on Sales Order Entry.

b. Specific subject sessions designed for more advanced users looking to enhance their knowledge of a subject they are know something about already.

c.  Vendor presentations where our vendor partners can explain the uses and advantages of their products.  Although not a product endorsement by the User's Group, these presentations typically highlight with other users have done with the vendor's product.

d.  User Roundtable, sessions dedicated to a specific subject, like Job Management, where users can exchange experiences and ideas. 

 

2.    Web Videos, web recordings of current classes that can be viewed on the user's time schedule.  This is designed for users that wanted the information that was reviewed during a Web Class but their schedule did not permit them to attend.  By expanding and tracking the use of these videos, the committee has seen a marking increase in their usage during the past year.

 

3.    In 2013, the committee along with the Board of Directors decided to start an annual Training and Network conference for just Eclipse users.  Last year's event, held in Las Vegas, was a tremendous success and will be expanded for 2014.   Now called ENCOUNTER 2014, this event will be held at the Atlanta Airport Hilton on September 17-19.  Building on last year's positive feedback the 2014 session will have:

a.   6 tracks of training subjects, up from 3 last year. 

b.   Training conducted by other users, Zerion, and Eclipse trainers from Epicor's Professional Development Department.

c.   Lots of opportunities to share experiences with other Eclipse users.

d.   Vendor product presentations on how their products can enhance your Eclipse system.

e.   Opportunities to see the most current release features and interact with Eclipse Product Management.

f.    The cost for both the conference and the hotel will be kept to a minimum, to encourage member companies to send multiple people, and take advantage of the training and networking opportunity.

g.   Be checking the Eclipse Users Group website for the most current information about ENCOUNTER 2014.

 

4.     The committee continues to monitor each of these activities to find the best possible methods to deliver training to our members. We are doing this for the members and here are some things you can do to help:

a.   Take full advantage of the free web classes, videos, and Roundtables. Make them a standard part of your training program.

b.   Make suggestions about the current schedule and other subjects that would be a benefit to the user base.

c.   Attend ENCOUNTER 2014, meet other users and exchange your experiences.

d.   Teach a class or host a Roundtable on a subject. 

e.   Join the Training Committee we can always use some help. 

 

The UFO Advice Column
by 'Uncle' Frank Ousterhout

 

 

Dear Uncle Frank,

                For our occasional Cash Sale customers we use one or more generic Customer Accounts with the customer account name of 'Cash Sale'.  (Multiple for various preset pricing levels.)  This works fine for small typically non-recurring, non-trade orders.  But we MUST set up a 'named' cash sale account under several scenarios.  If we are selling a serial number tracked item, any item with potential warranty return, any reasonable sized trade purchase with potential future business or if we are taking a deposit on a future sale, then we MUST use the NEW CUSTOMER TEMPLATE in the system. 

 

                When I was working in Eterm I would just go to my starting screen of order entry and type NEW for the template to appear.  In SOLAR I can ONLY do it the same way when I enter Order Entry from the menu prompts.  I type 'new' or click on the New Customer button.

 

                But when I use the Quick Sales Order Entry Widget I am baffled.  If I type 'new' I get all customers with 'new' in their name.  Can I use one of my Widgets for order entry and still enter a new customer?

 

                From,

                Baffled Bob in Boise

 

 

 

Dear Bob,

 

                If you are using a Quick Sales Order Entry Widget you can still create a new Customer using the New Customer Template.  Start the order with one of your usual 'generic' Cash Sale Accounts.  Then use any of the procedures below.  Of course, the following works no matter how you get into an order.

 

                The first option is to click on the Edit Button just below and to the right of the Ship To address.  You then move up to the Customer Name field and type in 'new'.  Note that Solar gives you the ability to edit Ship To information on any of the four order views: Body / Header / Totals / Status.  This is an improvement as you can now change Ship To information wherever you are on the order.

 

                But if you are like me and try to use the mouse as little as possible, you can also get to the change Ship To screen using keystrokes.  Go to the Header view, Use the Edit menu (ALT+E) and you will see Change Ship To.  You can type 'h' or arrow down the menu to the item.  You can also put this on your Custom Toolbar but ONLY if you are sitting on the Header of an order when you go to User Tools and 'Customize Toolbar'. 

 

                Regards,

                Uncle Frank

 

PS: I hope you are entering your Quick Sales Order Entry Widgets with the CTL+ALT+'F-key' function.  It gets set up in the widget data and I change the widget title to remind me of the keystrokes to use for access.  For example, the title on my main widget is 'Quick Sales Order Entry CTL+ALT+F2'

 

 

 

Ten Ways to Turn Eclipse Into a 21st Century Program

 by Zerion Group

 

The business world is in a season of efficiency. Customers and business owners alike want better, faster, cheaper and easier. This presents a challenge, at least theoretically, for some Epicor Eclipse users because the software originally was written in 1989.  Yes, 1989 ...  when the first Bush president moved in to the White House and Milli Vanilli was all the rage.

 

We know Eclipse isn't considered "hip" or "hot"; but, that doesn't mean it needs to be replaced or retired. Eclipse is a sound piece of software with impressive capabilities that can serve hard goods distributors quite well for many years to come. In addition, implementing a new ERP can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in software, licensing and consulting, plus time lost due to training and ramp up time.

 

Instead of replacing Eclipse, we recommend you simply consider enhancing it ... going more "electronic". When the computer and software are doing work instead of people; and, you're eliminating paper, your business will become more streamlined. In some cases, we've seen automation turn a fifteen-person job into a one-person job. Electronic business operations also reduce errors and protect you in cases of fraud, or customer disputes. For a relatively small investment of time and money, you can tap into these under-utilized features and make Eclipse seem new.

 

Here are ten suggestions for going electronic (which are listed in more detail here): 

  1. Automated Clearing House (ACH) 
  2. Eliminating Paper Tickets
  3. Eclipse Proof of Delivery (POD)
  4. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 
  5. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  6. Electronic Signature Capture 
  7. Emailed Invoices 
  8. File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  9. PosPay 
  10. Radio Frequency (RF) 

We also have developed reports, created processes for integrating with third-party vendors and written code and settings for other clients that may be useful to your business' quest to automate operations. Here's a link to an ever-expanding list of other ways our clients have gone electronic.

 

Implementing any, or all, of these changes will make your software appear newer without incurring a massive undertaking or expense. Eclipse users don't take advantage of these opportunities because they're unsure of how to approach them; or, they don't have the knowledge to do it themselves. Most of the changes do indeed require a third party like Zerion or Epicor to set it up. But, consultants and programmers are easily attainable and not nearly as costly as new software. And, the expense is well worth it for a more up-to-date operation!

 

About Zerion

Zerion leverages existing software through consulting, training and customizing to make your business run better. If you're interested in learning more about how we can help, contact us


 

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How to Merge Multiple Orders

by John Heinzel, Revere Electric

  

How to Copy an Order to a new Order 

To create a copy of an existing order with all the parts, from the Body tab of the order from which you want to copy, go to Edit Order>Copy Order To>Sales Order Bid.

(In Eterm, Alt+M, then select Copy to Sales Order Bid

 

 

Click OK to copy (In Eterm, do Alt+B). The original order will close and the new order will open.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

How to Merge Multiple Orders

Sometimes copying to a new order from an existing one is not enough, especially when there are multiple orders you need to combine. The following instructions explain how to add products from one or more orders to a new order.

 

Merge Items from an Order

Use this feature to add products to your order from multiple other bids, orders, or invoices when you need to copy comments, or need to specify whether to copy Price and COGS from each of the other orders.

  1. To add items from other sales orders, start from your new order.
  2. On the Body tab go to Line Item>Merge Items from an Order (in Eterm, Alt+M, then Merge Items from an Order)
  3. Enter the sales order number from which to pull the items
  
4.  If there are multiple generations, you will see the Order Entity Selection dialog, where you need to select one generation, then later repeat this process for each additional generation you wish to merge. (In Eterm, you can select ALL to grab line items from all generations at once.)
 

 5.  In the Line Item Selection window you have an opportunity to exclude some items from being merged by unchecking the box next to them. (In Eterm, enter an X next to each line, or use Alt+A to select all lines). You can also use the Selection>Select Criteria menu of this window to select a particular Price Line, Buy Line, or something in the product descriptions to include from the list of items. (In Eterm use Alt+S to open the Select Criteria screen.)

  


When you close the window you will be prompted on whether to copy the COGS, Price, and Line Item Comments from the other order.

 

You can repeat this process to combine parts from as many orders as you need into the new order.

  

Copy Selected Items (to the OE Clipboard) Solar Only

 

This feature is similar to the previous one, but it is useful if you need to see what you are adding to the new order and where it came from BEFORE you actually add the items to the new order.

 

1.   Open a sales order where you want to add products from other orders.Before you proceed, you will need to clear anything currently on the OE Clipboard so it will be empty.

2.   On the Body tab, go to Line Item>Paste From or Edit OE Clipboard

3.   Use Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select everything currently on the clipboard

4.   Go to File>Clear Selected

 

Now the Order Entry Clipboard is clear, ready for adding new items.

5.   Go to File>Add from Order

6.   Type in the sales order number from which you want to add items.

  

7.   In the Line Item Selection window you have an opportunity to exclude some items from being copied by unchecking the box next to them. You can also use the Selection>Select Criteria menu of this window to select a particular Price Line, Buy Line, or something in the product descriptions to include from the list of items. 

 
8.   Close the Line Item Selection window

This adds the selected items to the Order Entry Clipboard. Repeat steps 5 through 8 on other generations, or other orders, until you have copied everything you want.

9.    Use Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select everything on the Clipboard.

10.  Go to File>Paste & Remove

11.  You will be prompted on whether to use the COGS and Prices from the other orders.

The items from the clipboard will be pasted into your sales order and removed from the clipboard.

 

Consolidate Orders

This feature (From the Body tab, Edit Order menu, Consolidate Orders) doesn't work very well. The idea of consolidating open orders, canceling the items from those orders to create one new order with all the items sounds great, but it often crashes Solar. It only works with orders for the same customer. If it doesn't crash, it doesn't cancel the items from the consolidated orders. It also takes more steps using this window to accomplish the same thing as the Merge Items from an Order feature. If you can figure out what this feature is good for, let us all know.

 

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