Saturday 8 May 2021

What the # ?!

 I mentioned in a previous post that I would explain about price codes.

If you think about it all the program needs to work out a frame price is the cost of the moulding and its width. Once it knows the rebate dimensions it can work how much moulding will be needed (2 * X + 2 * Y, + 8 * moulding width)

This was the principle that the first Wessex Pricing Program (WPP1) used.
The idea was resurrected in the Framers Pricing App. Here the App can work out a cost either by using an Id number from a csv file (for instance "PW112"), or a pricing code which contains the information needed.
How does the App distinguish between the two?
The price code always is always preceded by "#" (eg. #34G). The numbers represent the moulding cost, while the letter represents the width.
In practical terms, there is a utility in the App (and now in the desktop program) whereby you can enter the cost and the width of a moulding and it will issue a code that you can write on the moulding sample.
(App - go to "Settings" and tap "Get Moulding Code". WPP4 - go to "Tools" > "Get Moulding Code") It is now easy to give a price - put in the dimensions, look on the sample for the price code and enter that, together with glass, mount and sundries.
It is good practice to check the code each time you get an invoice for that moulding.

The sharp-witted amongst you will have spotted that the code does not identify an individual moulding, A moulding with the same cost and width will have the same code. So, if you are recording a job, you will need to be able to identify the particular moulding.
In WPP4 you can do this in the "Notes" section when saving the Job. With the App the world is your oyster! You could record the details in a duplicate-book or you could take a screen-shot of the price and a photo of the work and sample(s), being careful to marry up the two images (rename them in file manager), or a mixture of the two.
Also, the width part of the code (the letter) covers a number of Mm. and so is not quite precise. In practice the effect on the final cost is minimal.

So why go with this form of pricing when other more exact ways are available?
Simply because it is so straightforward and easy to understand. There are no databases to maintain, no csv files to wrestle with. The costing is slightly less exact (by pence not pounds), but if your margins are that tight then use a different system. 
Another reason to include these codes in WPP4 is to better integrate the program with the Pricing App. Already you can export a file of mouldings from the desktop program to the App, now you can go the other way and use the App's pricing codes in the main program.

Wednesday 5 May 2021

User Requests and a New Version

 Version 4.4.10  

Most of the features in this update are based on ideas and requests from framers who use the program.

  • You can now save a first name to the customer record, not just an initial. Upto 15 characters.

  • You can search the customers by their telephone number as well as their name. Useful if someone rings or texts and doesn't leave their name.

  • While I was at it, I took the opportunity to improve the name search itself. Previously the search was just on the surname. So search for "SMITH" and all the Smiths would come up and you'd need to scroll through until you'd found the right initial and phone number. Now now you can type "SMITH" then "space", then the initial/first name - much more efficient. It is also the same when searching names to save with the invoice and when searching through the work tickets to find a customer's past jobs.
  • This next one is for users who also have The Famers Pricing App on their phone. You have for a few years now been able to create a file of your mouldings and their prices which can be imported into the App ("File" > "Create Mouldings.csv"). So that the App and Wessex Professional are working with the same data (they work out the prices in the same way). The App can also work out prices using a moulding code (beginning with "#"). But Wessex Professional would not recognize these codes - until now! It is quite a big subject and I plan to write a post about these codes, but for now, if you use # codes with the App you can use them with Wessex Professional too.

  • I have also corrected a problem that could occur when editing a job on the Jobs list (before it is saved to an invoice). This is a useful feature if the customer changes their mind about an earlier job (say, they want to change the type of glass). Click on the job you want to change - you'll have choice to Edit, Delete or Cancel.

If you choose Edit You'll be taken back to the pricing tab with all the details in place for you to change. You'll notice the "Add to Invoice" button has changed to "Update Invoice". Previously, if you had used an "Extra Cost" in that job this wasn't included in the price data (even though it was shown). This has now been sorted out, even if you have called Extra Cost something else.

  • Wessex no longer sell the "Basic" version of the program (WPP4B), which has really been overtaken by the Framers Pricing App. However this causes a problem if someone has that version and wants to put it on a new computer. Upto now it hasn't been possible, but now, if your computer dies and you need to put the Basic version onto a new machine, you can do so (contact Wessex for a new enabling code)..

So, a big thank you to those framers who made the suggestions.

One thing to note however, is that once you have run the update you will not be able to import the database into an earlier version of the program (though why would you want to? - The updates are free and there is no advantage in using an out-of-date version).