Plus Systems Logo Newsletter 1999-08       Go Back
November 18, 1999

  • Closed November 25-26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Hines Lumber recently ordered an LX5410 Clear/Path to replace their A6 system. Hines has used the POWER PLUS system for their Millwork division for the past ten years.

Springfield Electric announced the acquisition of Holt (formerly Glasco) Electric's location in the St. Louis suburb of Fairview Heights, IL. This becomes Springfield's fourteenth branch.

We've recently completed a nice enhancement discussed at the last users meeting. This is the Exception Event Notification. This enhancement is designed to immediately notify the designated user (either on the 25th line of their terminal or on a printer) whenever certain exceptions occur. These exceptions include customer orders going on credit hold; line items over a certain dollar amount of sell or cost being entered; users trying to cancel special order items off of sales orders, purchase order line items over a certain amount, etc. This immediate warning system is designed to speed up communications between departments, and to try to nip various problem situations in their inception.

Trade Service's Web Order Entry has been recently enhanced and renamed to the Web Service Center. This module now includes invoice inquiry and statements in addition to the original price and availability / order entry features. We will interface this product to the POWER PLUS database as soon as someone orders it. About 10 users of the Array package are currently actively using this module, and another 15-20 have ordered it. It is also in the process of being interfaced to the SHIMS package.

Everybody's coming up with Top 10, Top 50, Top 100 lists this time of the century. So, we decided to list the Top Ten most underused or overlooked features in the POWER PLUS package. But since we came up with 11 things, we'll call it the Big Ten list (see attached).

We will be closed November 25-26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Have a happy one!!

Big Ten Most Underused / Overlooked Features

1. PO Expediting screens. These screens allow you to enter vendor responses to your expedites including expected due date, ship via, PRO number and comments. If used for nothing else, it is extremely helpful for users to know whether the PO due dates they're looking at have been confirmed from expedites or not. Expedited dates flash or come up as a different color on the OI10, OI75, OI85, II50 and IA91 inquiry screens. Expedite info also prints on the open PO report, IN/148. Anyone serious about customer service should use the PO expedite features.

2. PK50 - Online shipping labels. Basic labels to slap on the outside of boxes. You tell it how many labels you need for your order.

3. Printing of service charge invoices. Some customers are more likely to pay service charges if you send them an invoice instead of just printing it on the statement. This can be an automatic part of your statement print routine.

4. Program that automatically places past due customers on hold / takes them off. Credit managers spend a lot of time reviewing aging reports and deciding which customers to place on hold for being past due. Then, they have to remember to take them off once they get current. A typical rule of thumb used by credit managers is that once X% of the customer's balance gets more than Y days old, put them on hold. WFL/AR/UPDATE/HOLDCODES automates this rule of thumb. Note that customers can be exempted from this logic by setting their ABC rating to "A".

5. Another A/R collection tool is Dunning Letters. You can customize a message depending on whether your letter is for customers who are 30, 60 or 90 days past due. The letters also print the invoice numbers, dates, etc., that are past due - like a statement. This is run with WFL/AR/PASTDUE/NOTICES.

6. Batch order entry. You can save yourself and your customers a lot of work if you can take the purchase orders they've entered on their system and turn them into sales orders on your system. This is what Batch O/E is all about. Typically, you need a little program in-between to reformat the customer's data into the format used by the OE/032 program. If your customer can send EDI 855's, we've already got a conversion program for that.

This area is going to keep increasing in interest as time goes on, as both you and your customers try to squeeze more cost out of transactions.

7. Sell multiples. A neat feature added a few years back was the ability to specify that you had to sell an item in even multiples of a specified quantity. As near as we can tell, we've only had one user site that aggressively maintenanced this field on the inventory warehouse record, and they said it saved a bunch of mistakes. It keeps you from selling 1 length of pipe instead of 10, 1 blister pack instead of the 3 or 4 in the pack, etc.

8. Unfilled line items by customer (OI75) and by sales rep (OI85). Perhaps it's just that these two screens are relatively new, but these are great tools for cutting down on printing backorder reports and for getting current info.

9. Tracking project or lot billings. This screen (OI45) has been around a while. It's not something most of our sites would use a lot, but it is handy for seeing how much you've billed to date on either a project (using the PO number) or a lot billing (using the order number) where there have been a lot of individual billings.

10. Customers approaching credit limit. Another screen of fairly recent vintage is CI90. This inquiry allows you to quickly see which customers are getting close to their credit limit, and possibly change their A/R limit before the problem hits.

11. Sales rep calls and expenses. FM26 is the screen you can use to keep track of how often your outside sales reps call on a customer, and the expenses incurred. This data is picked up by the Customer Profitability Analysis report (SA/505).