Creating a Job Template

One of the quickest ways to speed up the estimating process is to create Job Templates. If you know how to create a job then you are 95% of the way there!! Simply create a job on estimate (or invoice) like you normally would for One job or One Multi-part job. When everything is perfect and just the way you want it you are ready to create a Job Template. Don’t forget to add a Product and try to make the template usable for any quantity or any paper.

To create a Job Template open the Job window. (If a multi-part job open the first job or what is called the “control job
for the entire thing.)

Now, go to the File menu.
Scroll to Save As.
This automatically opens your Template folder.
Simply give your job template a name, click save and you’re done!
you just created a JOB template, there are 2 kinds: Job and Invoice.

(I personally don’t like Invoice templates for reasons I’ll explain some other day.)
Now, test it out!
Create a new estimate.
Instead of double clicking to create a new job do this:
Go to File > Open Template
Find your template, click Open, and say yes to updating the prices.
There you have it!!

I would also save this in the estimate history for reference later on. I created an account called Templates strictly for this purpose. Why?

2 Reasons:

1. The estimate history is automatically updated when each new version is released. Templates in the Templates folder do not get updated, that is why there a Template Converter utility.

2. You have a backup template that is easily accessible in case your Template gets damaged, or lost.

Excellent Site Council Meeting!

The PrintSmith Site Council meeting went very well in my opinion. We had around 20 users from around the
country (plus about 8 EFI staff) and Chuck Gehman took down extremely detailed notes about our issues and concerns. It was all handled very professionally and I felt that it was a very constructive and positive environment that will result in actually getting things done. I look forward to attending more of these meetings if they have them.

One small side note: I have a whole new respect for the process that the
developers must go through!! I don’t envy their job.

My only wish was that this meeting really should have taken place about 2 years ago.

So the question remains, when will it “work”?
It really depends which features your company needs. They do have a timeline but at this point it is not exactly clear what features will be included and at what dates on the timeline. Of the 20 “major” items on my list about half will make the cut for sure in the next release. Following that, about half of my remaining items will make it in the 2nd release. (Yes, I’m being vague on purpose!)

Think about it, they are partners with Xerox, Adobe, and XmPie. In the long run, they should have the best e-commerce solution out there. Until then, we will have to take a few more “patience” pills.

PrintSmith Site Council Wish List

The PrintSmith Site Council is tomorrow which is a great opportunity for me to post my wish list:

Updated 2006 Site Wish List
(The competition already has many of these features, and I’m not certain which ones have already been addressed)

1.We have several customers who need to see an Automatic Inventory
calculation on their forms from inventory. When they order 50 forms they want to see the inventory reduced by 50 immediately.

2.We have a several customer who need 3rd party approvals on their orders.

3.We want our customers to be able to view their Job Status.

4.Our customers complain about Logins and passwords and us not having the
ability to help them. Need an “As They See it” feature. (This was already mentioned by Bill & Sheila today, but has been on on my list since 2003)

5.Our customers want to make changes to their orders after they were sent.
Very nice for minor mistakes on Composer Business Cards.

6.We need the ability to customize emails sent to our customers.

7.We need to present a 1 Up business card Proof File, but have the
Production PDF file come in to us 4 Up. In other words, there are 2 types of files: 1 for Proofing, and 1 for Production.

8. We need a Drop Down Menu for address locations on Composer Business
Cards. (We have a customer with 14 locations. On Site Composer, we needed 14 Cards.) Does XMPie address this?

9. Browser Based Administration. (I think this one may be fixed in 2.0)

10. Need a “View All” feature that allows the customer to
see All of their forms instead of being forced to go deeper into each Category.

11. Integration of the entire ordering process with the customer’s email
address. Estimating the job, Receiving the order, Viewing the Proof, Notifying the customer of job status, etc.

12. Unit Pricing: I think this one may be fixed but we need to be able to give a price for any qty from 1-50,000.
(Example: The form is already printed, the price is always $.15 each, we just need it to do the math.)

13. We will still need some sort of 3rd party web integration via email and a place to store 3rd party web job numbers that is searchable.

Hope to see everyone in Pittsburgh tomorrow!

How Do I Import my Logo into PrintSmith?

How do I import my logo into PrintSmith?
That question gets asked so often that it amazes me!

In short, you must create a file that can be opened by 3rd party software and then “copied and pasted” into PrintSmith.
The Windows platform requires a JPG or a GIF, and the Mac platform requires a PICT. (Be sure that your logo looks good and is at least 300 dpi, do not import a 72 dpi image.)

On the Windows platform you need to use a 3rd party program like Imaging or Paint to open any JPG or GIF. (Go to Programs > Accessories > Imaging.) Then select the image and Copy it to the clipboard.

On the Mac platform most every program will put both a native & PICT format on the clipboard during a Copy and Paste operation.

On the PrintSmith MASTER, open the Document Preferences under Admin menu, select the Customize Form button, and then select the Images tab. The button next to the Logo ID icon (orange) will open the Image Viewer and that is where you Paste the image from the clipboard. (Do not do this on a workstation unless you plan on copying it to the Master.)

This process creates a file called PS Customizer – User.rsr file on the Master and it will need to be distributed to all the other workstations, the best way to do this is to place the file in the Prices folder on the Master, then perform a Pricing Update on all workstations.

You then may need to size it properly with the parameters using the Form Layout Tab and Logo Base fields.

Starting Record Number for Reporting

If your Report Writer reports take a long time to run, then it is probably time to change the starting record number.

The starting record number is located in the Data Source (Filing Cabinet
Icon). When you click on this the Select Data Source window will appear and
it will tell you what your Data Source is. If you are using “Documents” your
data source is Invoices by default. If you are using a “List Data” note
which database you are using.

Now the trick is to find out what starting record number you need.
The best way is to go to the Downloader and use the Browse function.
Next to “File to Browse” choose the database your are using as your data
source for your report.
In the upper right corner is the number of “Records in File”. This is the
total. At the bottom is the “Go to record” button and a field to enter a number.

Try entering a number that you think might be close and then scan the data.

The number you enter into the Data Source will be the record that the Report
Starts with. It will automatically eliminate all records that precede it.
Thus, the report runs faster because there is less data.

Workstations “Dropping Off”

When we upgraded our Windows 2000 Master computer to Windows Service Pack 3 (WSP3) we started experiencing problems with our workstations “dropping off”. We would try to open an invoice from the pending list and it just would freeze up on us, no warning message or anything. So we had to go into the Task Manager and shut down the application. This would take several minutes and then restart PrintSmith.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go over too well with our production personnel because it is a big waste of time. In fact, we cannot use Tracker because of it. So, we have upgraded to Windows Service Pack 4 for Windows 2000 and are in the middle of testing it.

We are also testing the Port Speed Adjustment (Admin > Prefs > Network) again to see if that helps. So far setting it Zero makes it worse. We are going to leave it at 30 for now.

I will update this as I learn more.

Another Bug bites the dust!

Ever since the release of 7.2 I was having some problems with our Commission reports being unable to tell the difference between Ron, Rob, and Don for the Journal Entries. After many, many emails and about 2 months of trying to figure it out, I got the good news yesterday from PrintSmith service that they found the bug and that it was a longstanding issue that only became evident with the release of 7.2.

Look for the release of 7.2.5 soon. That’s 2 bugs in one week!

7.2.4 Bug Update, Changed Print Drivers

Bug solved!!

Although I am not completely happy with this solution I was able to get our reports to print properly by using a different print driver. I was printing to our Xerox 4110 with a PostScript driver which was giving me fits on pages 2 and beyond. So I switched to the PCL driver and now they print fine. Only problem is that the screens are no longer grey, but very large dots.

Also, I failed to mention that my problem was only occuring on scheduled reports to a specified printer. My concern is that I never had the problem until I upgraded. For some reason, every time there is an upgrade, printing from Report Writer becomes an issue.

At this point, I only have 1 major issue with 7.2.4 left to solve, but I am waiting to hear back from service. (And, yes, it has to do with Report Writer.)

7.2.4 Bug Notice: Report Writer Printing

I installed the 7.2.4 updater last week and I have a discovered a new printing bug that was not there before. When we print a report that is more than 1 page the second page starts reducing the graphics about 50% but not the data. This pattern continues on all of the pages thereafter.

This has affected most in our morning meetings where we have about 7 multipage Scheduling reports. Although we can still read the reports, it is more difficult without the grid lines. At this point, I wish I had stuck with 7.2.3 as this new behavior is frustrating to deal with on a daily basis.