Managing Parts

It's assumed that to be reading this, you don't have an IT department or much for electronic data feed. In an ideal world, all users of this software would be corporate or small business entities with Microsoft SQL Server or even MySQL on a Linux system; the idea would be that you manage parts using these tools and export industry standard CSV files which PostFrame Manager can read. That's the preferred way of doing things.

The IT way of data management uses a database for holding data, updating prices, and so on. It then extracts these to industry standard CSV files (almost all software designed to manage data will support this format.) CSV is the universal format; the data handling system can read/write these and the PostFrame Manager system can as well.

See the diagram; the upper blocks show data being pulled to/from the database to the CSV format; the lower blocks show how PostFrame Manager handles these. The rectangle marked PFM/LDE will be discussed from here on.

LDE is shorthand for Local Data Editor, which is the Product Catalogue Editor. Essentially the function of this is to allow you to manipulate data directly in the CSV format without using a spreadsheet; the data is then written to the hyperfast reading binary format (BPI/BPF) used by PostFrame Manager to derive prices in realtime.

In this case the word "local" means your computer; that is, the updates etc that are done via this utility will only work on the data files on this computer. To reflect this on multiple computers (i.e. if your sales staff has laptops) then you would need to copy the datafile set to each one after editing. It's simpler to use the SQL capability and a server... however, we know that many builders aren't running servers or are big enough to need to do this, hence we've created this utility so that data manipulation can be done.

The overall use of the editor is simple enough; follow the steps to open the data file in question and narrow the list somewhat based on Type. This lets you look directly at e.g. Overhead doors in the list without having to scroll through various sliders, walk doors, etc. Note that we store data in different files; doors and windows have their own data storage. The reason for this is that overall this is a great deal simpler to manage than one humongous data file.

(Note: in this illustration the Price Ea edit box is marked as "'##" rather than showing a price. This is a mode of operation choice; this software allows you to distribute encrypted CSV data to dealers such that they can add parts but are unable to edit or change anything but what they add. Your copy of the utility would be able to see and manipulate the prices, of course. Theirs would not. Why do this? Letting dealers add their own data is sometimes needed.)

Price updates can be done "locally" as well. Similar to the editing process, the idea is to first open the correct data file and then operate on it as needed. In this case the assumption is that you will use this to update large chunks of data at once rather than have to use the editor to update each part individually.

For example, in the illustration shown, let's say your windows supplier has just emailed you notice that henceforth all of the Single Hung with Snap-In J Trim windows they carry will have a price increase of 4%. Step 1 - 4 lets you get to the parts you need, then on Step 5 you would click "Pctg Increase", enter "4" into the text box, click the Step 6 "Apply Update" button, and finally, click the "FINISH" button in Step 7.

We have tried to keep this as simple as possible. Not simple enough? Let us know what you think will help you and your business!


Copyright 2004-2009 by BizPortz, Inc. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED