updates 4 08

Our Goal is to continue to improve!

As we continue to make improvements for Counterman Pro, we will inform you of these updates and enhancements in this section. We strive to provide the tools and features Counterman users have requested. Listening to your comments and suggestions provides us greater insight to your software needs. We encourage you to contact us with these comments and suggestions by email or phone call. There are some great updates for this release:

New Drop Shipment Logic in Place!
As this industry relies more and more on the web for purchases and on-line stores, Counterman has made great strides in the area of “Drop Shipments” to aid in this process. A “Drop Ship” is when you sell an item to your customer without ever physically touching that item. In other words, many vendors allow for direct shipments from their facility direct to your customer. So the item can be advertised and ordered from you, but when the customer receives the item, it appears (to the customer) to come from your shop. However, it is actually “drop shipped” direct from the supplier. In this scenario it is not necessary to stock these items or handle them in any way.

With this release (version 12/19/2008 or later), items can be flagged for “drop ship” from the POS screen. A separate ordering area is also available for ordering drop shipment items and will include the shipping address for the customer. We have also added a method of reconciling these “drop shipments” once you have verification from the supplier that the item(s) have been shipped.

Receive Date to Order/Receiving Report
Several Counterman users have requested that we add the actual “Receive Date” to the existing Order/ Receiving Report. As this can be valuable information, the date each item was received is now included in this report.

License Updates
Updated Multi-user license (or lease) updates can be a challenge when running this process from a workstation. Counterman has addressed this challenge and made the entire process much easier. It no longer matters if you are on the main (server) computer, or at a workstation (client) computer anymore. In addition, it is no longer necessary to remember the map drive letter that represents the main (server) computer. Counterman has taken all the guess-work out of this process by coding it into the program itself. As long as you can receive email from a computer station that uses Counterman, this new process will be seamless.
Where before, the process would need you to enter the drive letter associated with the main (server) computer, will no longer be necessary. This is now all handled internally.

Activity Report Spacing On the Inventory Activity Report
Counterman has always included Grand Totals for all “inventory valued” items on the last page of this report. For shops out there who are fortunate enough to be doing enough business, these totals could crunch into each other making it rather difficult to read.
Thanks go out to Jeff at Empire Cycles in Amityville, NY for this observation which resulted in the fix for it.

Service Dept Report, Mail Labels, Call List
Several users have requested a means in which to access customers that have had Service work done on their motorcycles. Not only a list, but a way to send out mailers to these customers too. So Counterman has added these features to the existing Service Department Report.
You now have the opportunity to select many options at the top of the Service Department Report screen that includes: Summary Report, Detail Report, Customer List, Mailing Labels, and 30 (labels) per page. When selecting “Customer List”, you will get a report, by customer that includes the customer’s name address and phone number. This list can be used as a Call List to contact your customers that have had service done within the date ranges you entered at the beginning of the report.
Additionally, if Mailing Labels is selected, you can have Counterman print out address labels for all of the selected customers too. The option to print on either 30-up labels is also available.

Mail List Checkbox, Off if no Address! In an effort to keep a valid list of customers and insure these customers are included on your mailing lists, Counterman has always (by default) checked the Mail List checkbox for you every time a new customer is added to the system.
However, this “default” action can cause some issues if address information is not correctly entered. Counterman addresses this issue by checking to see if address information was entered when leaving the add/edit screen. If no address information exists for this customer, then the Mail List Checkbox will automatically be unchecked. The result should be fewer labels with no addresses. Sorry, but this is not retroactive.
If you have existing customers with no addresses and would like to uncheck the Mail List Checkbox for a boatload of them, please let us know. We have available, a program that can take care of this process for you all at once.

Cash Drawer Audit Totals
Corrected In a recent update Counterman started totaling the columns on the Cash Drawer Audit Report. This is a handy tool that allows you to double check the totals on the Cash Drawer Summary page. It has been brought to our attention by Susan at Alter Ego Cycles that the Taxed and Non-Taxed Subtotals were not adding up correctly. With this new version, Counterman is adding these columns correctly.

Safety Nets in Place for Setting Filters
Users who have used the Filtered Reports area of Counterman software, likely already know what the available benefits are from the customization that this type of reporting can do for them. Adding new filters is a great way to go even further with these types of reports, by creating filters that can extract only the information you want. Until now, there has really been no policing the creation of custom filters to insure the filter is a valid one.
We have addressed this issue by validating any new filters that are created. If you happen to put something in one of the filter fields that is not allowed (like a letter in a numeric -only field), Counterman will display information about the mistake and not allow you to save the filter until a correction has been made. Because this process is not retroactive and if you have existing filters that are invalid, Counterman will display a similar message to let you know that the filter will not be set. In these cases, the report will try to run anyway, but the output will not use the set filter. This should help in filter creation and filter selection when running any filtered report.

F&I Enhancements As we continue to enhance the Counterman F&I module we have added two new features:

1. F&I Major Unit Reporting
This is a filtered report where custom filters may be selected to view a list of Major Units. You can find units by color, model, stock number, VIN, etcF Customize this report by creating your own filter(s) too. This is a nice addition to be able to track and confirm existing and sold vehicles. The same “Safety Net” is in place for this newly added reporting that will validate any filters you create.
2. F&I Major Unit Purge A method of purging (erasing) old vehicles from the Major Units database has made the selection of vehicles much easier. This “purge” process can provide a list of Major Units that will be purged prior to actually purging them. Upon selecting the Major Unit Purge process, Counterman will provide a checkbox (which is checked by default) to provide a list of untis that will be purged, once the box is unchecked. Options to select Purge Units With Purchase Date Aged greater than XX-days, and/or by Unsold Units With Date Aged greater than XX-days can also be selected.

We listen to your suggestions and make changes to the software to help make life easier and more profitable in your shop. We would urge you stay tuned for new enhancements to the program, as we welcome (and need) your suggestions! —Ralph Weaver

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