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The 2015 Mid -Year Update from the Vendor Relations Committee
2015 is More Exciting than Fireworks on the Fourth!!

by Bill Fitzgerald, Chair, Vendor Relations Committee


Happy July!  We hope that everyone's summer is off to a great start!  Hard to believe that the 4th of July is just around the corner.  Encounter is only two months away and the response from our vendors and membership has been very strong.  


We now have 27 vendor partners who offer a range of technology solutions and services.  Remember that in addition to all the great products and services offered by our vendor partners, the dues they pay to become vendor partners allow the User's Group to offer free training to our membership.  Twenty-two of these vendor partners are sponsors of Encounter 2015. In addition to the vendor representatives and presenters, 300+ UFO Group members have registered to attend Encounter. We did expect close to 300 attendees this year but we blew by that number.  We are sold out of seats but do have a waiting list. If you would like to be added to that list send Mary Barlow and email requesting to be added to the waiting list for Encounter 2015. So this Encounter promises to be the biggest and best yet!


Remember this year Encounter will be held in beautiful San Antonio from September 13th-15th.  We are always on the lookout for new vendor partners so if there is a vendor you've worked with that offers a product or service you believe our members would value, please email Mary Barlow and we will send them an application package. 


The Vendor Relations Committee team worked hard to revise the Vendor Application Package, prepare the Encounter 2015 vendor registration materials and schedule the vendor presentations and newsletter articles.  Special thanks to Andrew Pearen of Spaenaur for his work on the Vendor Application and Encounter 2015 documents and to Daron Brown of FD Lawrence for scheduling the vendor presentations and newsletter articles.  If we get any more vendor partners we're going to need a longer year!! 


Stayed tuned to the Vendor Relations Committee in 2015!  We're just getting started!

3 Reasons You Need Mobile-Friendly eCommerce NOW

Computer Pundits Corp. - Vendor Partner  CPC logo

 

 

In a recent blog, Computer Pundits defined "detailed product content" and the critical role it plays in search engine rankings and eCommerce success. Without a doubt, providing robust content-above and beyond what's found in ERP and manufacturer databases-is storefront priority number one. Priority number two? Making sure customers can easily navigate that detailed product content from all the devices they use. More and more often, those devices will be smart phones and tablets.

 

Here are three urgent reasons to commit to mobile-friendly eCommerce:

Google Penalizes Sites That Don't Play Nice on Smart Devices - Google recently updated their algorithms to include mobile-friendliness as a factor in their ranking system. Nearly 70% of users either shop or research their purchases via mobile devices, so it makes sense that Google would reward sites that display content in a mobile-friendly manner. If you've noticed a decline in new visitors lately, this might be why. Google offers a free "Mobile-Friendly Test" on their website to help you find out.

 

Your Sales Force and Customers are Mobile, Your Storefront Should be Too -Your customers and sales reps expect quick and easy access to the product information they need regardless of the device they're using. Obviously, your sales force will work around inconveniences, but customers won't. You can expect almost half of them to jump ship if they find better mobile experiences elsewhere.

  

You Want a Piece of the Billion Dollar Mobile Commerce Pie - Mobile usage is quickly overtaking desktop usage, so going mobile will be necessary for any company hoping to succeed online in the future. The good news is there will be plenty of online dollars to go around: eCommerce sales are expected to climb from $780 billion in 2015 to over $1.3 trillion by 2020.

 

So what does it take to be mobile-friendly? Your site needs to be useable on small screens: text big enough to read without zooming, links far enough apart to make them easy to tap with a finger, and pages that fit without scrolling side to side. For help, check out Computer Pundit's eCommerce21 Mobile app. It automatically scales storefronts to fit mobile devices, giving users larger navigation buttons and simplified content with all the functionality of the full-scale site, including ERP integration and full shopping cart functionality.  You can learn more at www.computerpundits.com or call 1-888-786-3487.


"The UFO Advice Column" 
  by 'Uncle' Frank Ousterhout

A Message from Uncle Frank:

In lieu of answering a letter this month, I am instead sharing some tips.

                Regards,

                Uncle Frank


 

Tip #1 - (l picked this up at the recent Insights Conference)

WHY IS MY ORDER ON CREDIT HOLD?

                When an order is going on credit hold, you get a message box of explanation but then it disappears.  Then you see on the bottom ribbon line of the order "Shipping Ticket on Hold".

                If you click on that message, the credit hold reason box will reappear!

 

Tip #2

PRINTING SCREENS FOR DOCUMENTATION (ETERM)

                If you need to print an Eterm screen, for example to show a Report Writer layout, change the background colors to anything but the Eclipse standard blue with black border.  Using the standard screens your screen captures are hard to read and use a lot of ink when reproduced by others.

                You can easily change the screen look on Eterm by using the Configure tab at the top and choosing Colors.  You will have many options.  Just use the drop down box and select 'Window'.  Then change the Text to Black and the Background to White.  Or you can choose any other readable combination.  When done, go back and select 'Defaults' on any screen and all colors revert back to the Eclipse default color scheme.


 

Tip #3

BULLETIN BOARD THREADS

                I know I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating.  When using our UFO Website Bulletin Boards (you are using the BB aren't you?) to see responses to Threads, use the 'Thread Tools' tab to 'Subscribe to this Thread'.  Then choose your Notification Type.  I use 'Daily update by email' for timely but not overwhelming responses. 

                Remember, you can ALSO subscribe to an entire Forum by using 'Forum Tools' and then 'Subscribe to This Forum'.  Again, you choose your Notification Type. 

                A best practice is to have at least one individual in your organization subscribe to each Forum topic based on their job responsibilities.  You will be amazed at the information that will flow back into your company.  Often when a response to a question is posted by one of our many smart, sophisticated Eclipse users, it will teach ME something (and I then say to myself - 'I didn't know that!").

Who is Business Data Links?

by Business Data Links - Vendor Partner


 
Business Data Links was founded in November of 1999 as a nationwide functional technology management firm. Our core competency is helping wholesale distributors with not only their IT infrastructure needs, but also their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

BDL's services include consultation and application of Web Commerce, Technology Infrastructure, Managed IT Support, and Network Security.
Our expertise also includes a thorough understanding of multiple ERP systems, in which their services focus solely on informing business owners on the benefits of having a concise and easy "business management system". BDL's work will help business owners and employees create an ERP system specific for their business needs by providing:
  • 24 Hour Available Support
  • Responsive Services in IT and ERP Support
  • Technology Infrastructure / Network Engineering
  • Scheduled Maintenance Activities throughout the Year
  • Expert On-site, Online or Destination Training and Guidance

BDL delivers a suite of services designed to reduce the afflictions that affect your company's daily operations. We are focused on fixing problems before the problem arises by creating proactive solutions and services to keep your systems up and running.


Our mission is to assist our clients by growing, managing and supporting their IT ecosystem. BDL will help you make better decisions efficiently and enhance profitability. We want to help inspire and implement better solutions to minimize your business problems and maximize your profits.

 

 

 

3670 W. Temple Ave., Suite 192

Pomona, CA 91768

(909) 595-5626

www.businessdatalinks.com

 

Did You Forget or Never Knew??

By Elizabeth Richardt - CappUSA


 

My In-Process Queue

Just what is the Queue telling me?


 

This is really an important queue that you, as a salesperson or the writer of the order, should monitor every day. But... what I have found is the salesperson or writer has no idea what the queue is telling them.

 

 

  • First, lets' talk about the set-up.
    • A User ID is required, you cannot leave this field blank.
    • Authorization Code - "MIPO.USER.ONLY" - if you assign this code, then the user can only enter their ID, not any one else.
  •  Headings
    • My Role - this is the role the user in the ID field played. For example, you could have been the 'Writer", "Inside or Outside" salesperson, or the "Person" that printed the ship ticket
    • Pick/Ship Print Time - this is the date and time the pick ticket printed if the "Enable Picking Confirmation" control maintenance record is enabled. If it is not enabled, then this field displays the date and time the ship ticket printed.
    • Ship Date - the date the order shipped from the warehouse
    • Order# - If the order has processed, then you will see the order number plus the generation, but if it has not, then you will see the order number only
    • Ship-To Name - the customer to whom the order shipped
    • Status - such as invoicing or credit hold, or if on a manifest you can see the manifest number and whether the manifest is locked. There are other options that I will go over as we discuss this further in this doc.
    • Ship-Via - on the order
    • Create your only view. I added "Invoice Amt" for my salesmen.
  • Configure the Queue's Display Options
    • Under 'Options" on the Menu Bar
      • Show Order Detail Pane - by selecting this option, as you move your mouse over the order, the products on the order will display at the bottom of the screen
      • Set Preferred Search Length - this is the number of items that the server processes before displaying the results in the queue. The default is 50.
  • Viewing Items and Orders
    • Under "View" on the Menu Bar
      • View Items - a window will pop up showing - Quantity, unit of measure, description, ship quantity, backorder quantity, and available date.
    • Under "Order" on the Menu Bar
      • You have your Edit or View order options
  • Now to discuss the "STATUS" column and see examples - this is the heart of this queue - here are a few of the messages you will see.
    • Invoicing - Print on Hold - these order are on Profit Hold - you may need to review these.
    • Invoicing - Invoice Preview Queue - getting ready to be invoiced - you don't need to be concerned with these.
    • Invoicing - Waiting to be Preview - ready to be picked up by G/P report to see if okay to be invoiced - you don't need to be concerned with these.
    • Invoicing - with no other message - If the Ship Date is more than a day old - there is usually an issue - These are the ones you should review. The first place to look in the order is the Change Log. An example of an order not completing the invoice process, Credit Card being Declined as it is going through the invoice process.  These orders will not be invoiced until the issue is resolved.
    • Printed Pick Ticket on printer.... - tells you where your order is waiting
    • Picking - User ID - Person Picking the Ticket
    • Will Call - Not Picked Up Yet - Order in your Will Call Area
    • Manifest - waiting to be added or the Manifest number 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there are areas of Eclipse that you have questions about, please send me an email. I will be happy to cover them.  sis@cappusa.com

Getting the Most From Activity Triggers and Phantoms

Ponderosa Logo
by Roy Olsen, Ponderosa Innovative Solutions, Vendor Partner


 


 

If you're familiar with Eclipse's activity trigger capabilities, you know they provide a useful way to automatically send sales order details or other information via email, fax, etc when a given event takes place, like when a new sales order is entered. This article explains some of the advanced details of using activity triggers, as well as discussing how to address situations where you need to go beyond what triggers can do.


 


 

  

Sometimes companies using Eclipse want to set up triggers for a group or even all customers. When the control parameter Activity Trigger Default Inherit is set, triggers will follow a hierarchy (that is unless Inherit on a customer's Activity Trigger Maintenance screen is set to NO). If there's no trigger for a given event defined for a Ship-To, Eclipse will check its Bill-To and then the Branch entity. Also, if a Corporate Customer has been defined in Control Maintenance, its triggers will be at the top of the hierarchy. This is a useful way to establish default triggers for all customers in Eclipse.

  

It's possible to customize what a given activity does by overriding the default subroutine in Activity Trigger Maintenance. Using knowledgeable Eclipse programmers (like our staff at Ponderosa Innovative Solutions), you can have a subroutine developed that replaces the standard one Eclipse has. One example of this is to alter how something like order acknowledgments are sent to email as a CSV or HTML file, instead of (or in addition to) a PDF.

  

While customer activity triggers are well supported in Eclipse, this is not always the case in the realm of vendors. For example, New Purchase Order triggers work fine for orders directly entered into Purchase Order Entry, but they don't work for PO's created from one of the queues - like the Suggested P/O Queue. Even when the PO is edited in Purchase Order Entry after being created from the queue, the trigger won't be activated for that new PO.

  

If you're wondering "How do we get around this?", one answer is to have a periodic phantom process play this role. Recently we had a case where a vendor wanted to have all new PO's transmitted via FTP. To solve this we developed a phantom that runs every few minutes and checks the list of that vendor's new purchase orders. When the process finds new PO's that were created since the last time it ran, these are transmitted to the vendor. This method serves the same purpose as an activity trigger. However since the phantom runs in the background it has the additional advantage of not making the user who entered the PO wait for it to be sent before being returned to the menu.

 

To sum up, activity triggers are a great feature in Eclipse to automatically send information to customers, vendors or salespeople when a given event occurs. But when you want to do something that's outside the scope of what Eclipse provides, you can use a custom phantom process to do the job.


 

Contact us at info@pondersolutions.net or call 303-716-9844 - Roy Olsen

July 2015
In This Issue
July Training
Solar Classes are now on 9.0

DateClassLoc/Presenter
Jul 6thNew Hire #1 Solar Basic System Navigation Web - Zerion

Jul 7th
New Hire #2 Solar Basic System Navigation SalesWeb - Zerion
Jul 8thNew Hire #3 Solar Basic System Navigation PurchasingWeb- Zerion
Jul 9thNew Hire #4 Solar Basic System Navigation WarehousingWeb - Zerion
Jul
16th
Where Did That Price Come From?   Solar
Web - Zerion
Jul
21st

The Product Data Dilemma solved by Cloud LSI

Second Phase Vendor Product Presentation
Jul
23rd

Advanced SOE Solar

Web - Zerion
Jul
30th
Managing Consigned Inventory - Solar
Web - Zerion

New & Returning Members
 
NameState
New 
Members
Johnstone Memphis Group
Memphis, TN
MORSCO (Morrison)Ft. Worth, TX
Michigan Electric SupplyBurton, MI
Werner Electric
MN
Cottage Grove, MN
Returning
Members
Van Meter IndCedar Rapids, IA
Multi SalesLa Palma, CA
BabscoElkhart, IN

 

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Disclaimer  The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by UFO and while we endeavor to keep the information up-to-date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this newsletter or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the newsletter for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data arising out of, or in connection with, the use of the information in this newsletter.
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