MOTOR purchased the Advantage AMB module to handle the authentication of customers and manage billing and accounts receivable for the database customers. A large benefit of using AMB is its integration with the rest of the system. The previous method involved several disparate systems requiring manual updating.
Along with the CRASH database, MOTOR also converted the rest of their E-Tech products, including such things as wiring diagrams, heavy truck products and technical service bulletins. Motor's Jay Goklani and Nilesh Acharya spearheaded the effort to combine the E-Tech family of products using AMB. Their efforts paid off, as there were no unanticipated issues at go-live.
"This was a huge undertaking by both Jay and Nilesh," said Todd Ladson, Motor's Director of Finance, as he announced the launch. "Both of them worked extremely hard at combining both the E-Tech family of products along with Advantage's Access Management module, creating a very robust application for our customers."
This month, Customer Portrait presents Network Services Company, a division of ACP Magazines in Australia. ACP joined the Advantage community in 2004.
Network Services Company, a division of ACP Magazines, is Australia's leading distributor of quality publications providing both retail and subscriptions services to more than 100 Australian and International publishers including ACP Magazines. Some of ACP Magazines best known titles include the Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day, TV Week, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Madison, Australian House & Garden, Gourmet Traveller, and Wheels. ACP Magazines is the magazine arm of leading Australian media and entertainment company, PBL Media.
Network Services began looking for a Customer Management System in 2003, and went through a thorough evaluation process, including an RFP, several software presentations, and both site and vendor visits. Their key objectives included: to obtain comprehensive marketing information and analysis, to be able to market more effectively to their existing base, to increase renewal rates overall, and to improve data entry accuracy and efficiency. Advantage was the choice to best satisfy these needs. Network Services went live on Advantage in 2004. "The functionality in Advantage provides an integrated customer management solution," says Tonya James, Subscription Services Manager. "And the analysis reports are great."
Since going live on Advantage, Network Services Subscriptions Services has grown considerably. Today, Network Services is the largest subscriptions services provider in Australia, offering a full-suite of services across the subscriptions lifecycle. They continue to add new titles published by ACP and also increase the business from other publishers. Examples include the launches of Top Gear and Good Food, both joint ventures between ACP Magazines and BBC, as well as the acquisition of eMap and the migration of their 14 titles from a competitor's system. Network Services has also expanded services to a number of other domestic and international publishers, including Puzzler Media, Future Media Australia, and McHugh Media.
Recently, Network Services completed the migration of Australian Geographic to Advantage. This award-winning journal of the Geographic Society showcases the amazing plants and animals of Australia not found anywhere else on earth. Rather than becoming subscribers, readers become members of the society and receive the publication as a benefit of membership. The Australian Geographic Society is committed to supporting scientific research, protecting and fostering a love for our environment and natural heritage, encouraging the spirit of discovery and adventure and spreading knowledge of Australia to Australians and the world. The society also sponsors events such as lecture series and expeditions. The project involved migrating more than 20 years of historical customer management information. It also involved identifying and implementing 16 different service solutions to meet the unique requirements of the publisher.
"We consider the Advantage system and the Advantage support team integral to our ability to expand and develop our service offerings to meet the breadth of service requirements of our publishers", says Tonya. "We have invested in increasing our own knowledge of the Advantage system and developing a strong partnership with Advantage. We believe this is key to our ability to continue to grow and develop as "First Choice" for subscriptions management services."
Ken Darnell, the ACS account manager for Network Services, Karl Davis recently spent a week at their Sydney offices holding training on circulation-related subjects. Ken said that the training went very well and that the Network Services team was enthusiastic and eager to learn. Network Services upgraded a few months ago to Advantage 8R1 and Ken and Karl were also able to help them apply some of the new features and functionality.
A coupon is a discount program you set up to offer a percentage or dollar discount on the order, based on certain parameters. You can allow use of the coupon based on such variables as the promotion code on the order line, the specific items ordered, the owning organization of the product ordered, etc.
The discount is applied only to the "eligible" lines on the order (such discounts are spread proportionally across the eligible lines). In addition, you can set up a particular coupon to allow/disallow repeated uses by the same bill-to customer and access usage statistics for individual customers, as well as the general stats for a coupon "program"---number of uses, sales with and without the coupon discount, etc.
CPNTBL/COU – Coupon Setup
You set up coupons at the CPNTBL/COU view. Coupons can be attached to a promotion, or be valid for a group of promotions, items, owning organizations, etc.
Entering Coupons with the Order
Coupons can be applied to any line items that may be entered on a Master Order at MSTDAT/FST. This includes:
Coupon discounting is supported at the FST entry view (as well as other entry points that support order scripting---for example, the Next Release tab at SVCDAT/BCL).
At MSTDAT/FST, a "Coupon" button is available for inclusion with the order entry script. This allows the rep to enter the coupon at any point of the order (once the order details phase is started, and up until the point that the payment dialog is displayed).
Multiple coupons may be used per order---however, the end result of the order is that only one coupon may be applied per line. In some cases, two or more coupons may be applicable to the same line, in which case the user must inform Advantage which coupon to honor for that line (see "Resolving Coupon Conflicts" below).
The following terminology and distinctions may be useful in understanding this:
- A coupon is assigned to an order (i.e. entered by the rep). This means is the coupon is available to its order lines, but does not necessarily mean that the coupon will actually be used by any of the order lines.
- A coupon is applicable to an order line if it meets the inclusion and exclusion rules for that coupon.
- A coupon is applied to one or more order lines, as long as it is applicable to that line, and the system has not previously applied another coupon to the line.
- A coupon qualifies for a discount if the sum of the order lines to which that coupon is applied meets the criteria (minimum order quantity, minimum order amount) that has been defined for the coupon.
How Coupon Discounts Work
Coupon discounts work just like other discounts. A monetary or % amount is subtracted from the list price of the item(s) in question when a coupon is used on a sale. Coupon discounts are placed into their own discount "bucket" allowing combination codes to rule whether, say, a promotion discount and a coupon discount are added together or compounded together, or whether the highest discount takes precedence.
Coupon discounts will be applied prior to any calculation of tax. That is, tax is calculated based on the discounted amount.
What if the total discount of the coupon is more than the total of the qualifying lines? For example, suppose you offer a $20 off discount, yet qualifying lines 1, 3, and 5 add up to only $18.50. In these cases, the customer loses the remainder of the coupon (or in other words, only $18.50 worth of discounting is applied to the order). In these situations, a message is displayed to the rep during online order entry.
NOTE: For more information on using coupons, see Online Help or request a webinar training session with Doug Moore (email@example.com).
"Whether it involves tweaking renewal Invoice forms or working with System Upgrades over the years, Martha is thorough, conscientious, and keen on details," says Peter Loftus, of Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS). "She is expedient in tackling problems and issues and she goes out of her way to make herself readily available. She has a great temperament and no job seems too big for Martha."
Martha is a member of the Upgrades and IT department led by Ray Zick, and serves as an upgrade engineer for a dozen or so clients each year. As one project winds down to completion, the next is entering the initial busy stage. Upgrade projects happen in four phases: first, the upgrade audit, which may take anywhere from a week to a day. Second is the code configuration, which ranges from two days to two weeks. The third component, testing, can take as long as several months, depending on the complexity. Finally comes the week or two immediately after the cutover to the new revision. During the time the client is testing the new software and immediately after the go-live, Martha acts as a triage person—fixing the things she can and sending the rest to the appropriate ACS engineer.
Ev Acton, Support Center manager, frequently works with Martha. "Martha does a great job of explaining issues to clients at a level that they can understand," says Ev. "She is always VERY willing to help out our customers and it really shows. She's very patient, which many clients really appreciate."
One reason that Martha enjoys working on upgrades is the direct client contact. She has built relationships with a number of clients that she has worked with over the years. One such client is Dottie Thomas of Army Times Publishing. Martha took time on a recent family vacation trip to stop and have dinner with Dottie. "Martha is wonderful," says Dottie. "We at Army Times have worked with her mostly on our upgrades, with an occasional problem solution/fix here and there. Professionally, she is always responsive to our needs and her work is always accurate. Additionally, she takes the time to explain what she did and why. Personally, she is a really nice, interesting person and fun to be around (and she has a really nice family!)."
Martha excels at handling masses of data and detail and she puts these skills to good use in working on upgrades. The initial code compare between the previous version and the new is an exercise in detail which Martha truly enjoys.
Perhaps it is her training in Library Science that makes that kind of detail child's play to her. A native of Ohio, Martha began her education with a bachelor's of arts in English from the College Of Wooster in Ohio. She and husband, Larry, then moved to Michigan so that she could attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, and they have lived in the area ever since. Martha earned a master's degree in Romance Linguistics and one in Library Science, but jobs in the teaching and library fields were hard to come by at that time. She went back to school and earned a PhD in Romance Linguistics at U of M, but as jobs in the field were still scarce, after working as a proofreader at the Middle English Dictionary. she thought computer science would be more practical. She signed up for some computer classes at a local college, and there she found her new profession. She began teaching computer programming at Eastern Michigan University and the local community college, and returned to school again, this time earning a master's degree in computer science from U of M. And somewhere in there, she found time to raise three children.
Martha then decided to enter the corporate world, and joined ACS (then T & B Computing) in 1995. She worked on the CIR team, led by Karl Davis, where she did some software development and worked in the technical support area. She began working on upgrades a few years later.
Paul DesRosiers, Project Director for Upgrades, can't say enough about her. "Martha is our 'go-to' person for Upgrade Audits because of her thoroughness and attention to detail. I can always count on her to complete the task on time and completely," says Paul.
He goes on to say: "She also receives kudos from clients for her thorough responses and analysis of issues. It isn't the simple ‘I've fixed it, try it again' type of response either. She describes her analysis, explains the impact on other areas of the software, suggests areas to test and confirm, as well as documenting her change and why it needed to be changed. Many clients are very appreciative of the extra information that she provides."
Paul credits Martha with making his job easier. "Her hard work has ensured countless successful upgrades and has been instrumental in making our clients more stable and more knowledgeable. Martha builds confidence in our ability to successfully complete projects for them," he explains.
Martha lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan with her husband, Larry, a retired college professor, and two cats. Her married daughter lives close by and Martha enjoys spending time with her 4- year-old grandson. Her daughter is expecting a second child in September. Martha's other two children live out of state—her son in Seattle and her other daughter in Washington, DC. As their children were growing up, Martha and Larry opened their home to a series of 10 exchange students as part of the Youth for Understanding program. She keeps in touch with them all over the world. She and Larry have become second parents to Megumi, their final exchange student, a young woman from Japan, who has come back numerous times to visit and lived with them when she attended college here. At Megumi's recent wedding, Martha and Larry were accorded the same honor as the bride's birth parents.
Martha's interests and hobbies are many and varied. Her fascination with medieval times has led her to participate in medieval reenactments, sew the old-fashioned garments, and sing in a medieval choir. But that's not all—she has won prizes at the state fair for her bobbin lace-making, and she grows peonies, iris, and daylilies. She is also a lay associate of the Cistercian (also called Trappist) order and participates in many activities with that order and with her local parish. Martha speaks fluent Spanish, and also knows French and Italian. She has translated several books from these languages into English for Cistercian Publications and articles for Brill.
Even with all these activities in her life, Martha is not done learning. She remains fascinated by new technologies, and loves to learn about new features and functionality as they are added to Advantage. We could all learn something from you, Martha!
Advantage's Commissions Management (COM) module is integrated with the Circulation and Product Order modules, and allows you to automatically create commissions-due records for your sales representatives. These records can then be passed to an accounts payable system for the actual payout of the commissions. Using COM means that the payable commissions are calculated automatically, based on Advantage net order amounts.
The Commissions Management module offers maximum flexibility for structuring your commissions. You determine how often a sales rep earns commissions, and at what rate. The rep can be paid a percentage of the sale, a graduated amount per quantity (for example, $5.00 for every book on the order), or a flat rate. In addition, COM allows you to create a separate commissions-due record for the sales rep's supervisor (or sales associate). Because calculations of commissions are select-based, you can vary these formulas as much as desired---in essence, you can pay the rep a different commission amount for each type of order that she/he places for the customer. How you define "type of order" is completely up to you.
You can also build in an automatic escalation based on a quantity threshold---for example, you can increase the commission from $5.00 to $5.50 after 100 units of sales. Finally, you can enter manual commissions records as well. For example, you can enter a flat bonus amount for the rep that is not tied to any order activity in Advantage. These manual adjustments can be negative as well---for example, to correct an overpayment of commissions.
However you handle your Commissions payouts, and whatever rate structures you use, the Advantage Commissions Management module can eliminate the need for spreadsheets and calculations outside the system---reducing the time involved and the chances for error.
For more information on the Commissions Management module, contact your Advantage account manager or Ken Nemerovski.
If you determine a mistake has been made, you can re-set the request record completely back to the default settings and start over. Please be advised that this re-set will REMOVE ALL CUSTOMIZED settings – so use it with care. Alternatively, if you want to change something specific about the option you added (perhaps the prompt is incorrect), you must do so at SYSDCT/PRC.
Adding a process option:
The process option allows you to add an environment variable, and then either use that as the stop/start value or use it in your selection criteria.
Clicking on the "Add Option Button" launches the following Dialog box:
The "Reference Name" field is what shows up in your process log, and that is what you need to use in your selection criteria. Please use capital letters for the reference name and use a dash, not an underscore in the field name.
To reference the environment variable in the selection criteria:
For an Alphanumeric field ->> YYY.RRR-ZZZ = GETENV(‘REF-FLD') For a Date field =>> YYY.RRR-DDD = DATE(GENENV(‘REF-FLD')) For an Integer ==>>YYY.RRR-NNN = INTEGER(GETENV(‘REF-FLD'))
Example 1: For a Subscription report looking for specific Donor type records within a given publication: Reference Name: PUB-CDE Actual Name: PUB-CDE Required = Yes Reference Name: DNR-TYP Actual Name: DNR-TYP
Selection Criteria: SUB.DNR-TYP = GETENV(‘DNR-TYP')
Example 2: For an Inventory report using the CDSIGL-M records, where only a certain item should be selected, and only a certain range of accounting dates should be selected:
The example below uses the INVIGL-V Virtual File – looking at the CDSIGL-M records – which are indexed by Item number, and accounting date. This example will prompt for an item number, and also will prompt for a start/stop accounting date.
Although the field is the same (ACT-DTE) – the reference name is used in the selection criteria, so the reference name needs to be unique for the starting date and the ending date. The prompts were also changed for user clarity at run time. Reference Name: ACT-DTE Actual Name: ACT-DTE New prompt: Beginning Date Required = Yes Reference Name: ACT-DTE2 Actual Name: ACT-DTE New Prompt: Ending Date Required = Yes Reference Name: ITM-NUM Actual Name: ITM-NUM Selection Criteria: IGL.ITM-NUM =GETENV(‘ITM-NUM') AND IGL.ACT-DTE >= DATE(GETENV(‘ACT-DTE')) AND IGL.ACT-DTE <= DATE(GETENV(‘ACT-DTE2'))
Process Log Information:
+ date Mon Apr 13 11:01:36 EDT 2009 + id -urn + id -urn + export USER=TBCDOMAIN\AdvService + set -X + trap exit 1 ERR + export SHELLPID=5364 + umask 000 + export SETENV_FILE=./set5364.env + export VFSTAT=YD + export BEG_STEP=0000 + export TOT_LVL=S + export TOT_ONL=N + export SEL_KEY=KEY-1ST + export SEL_NME= + export SEL_VFL=CDSIGL-V + print STR_VAL = <ITM-NUM> + print STP_VAL = <ITM-NUM> + print PAG_KWDS1 = + print PAG_KWDS2 = + print TOT_KWDS1 = IGL.ITM-NUM + print TOT_KWDS2 = + print SEQ_KWDS1 = IGL.ACT-DTE + print SEQ_KWDS2 = + print SLD_DTA31 = IGL.ITM-NUM =GETENV('ITM-NUM') + print SLD_DTA32 = ANDIGL.ACT-DTE >= DATE(GETENV('ACT-DTE')) + print SLD_DTA33 = ANDIGL.ACT-DTE <= DATE(GETENV('ACT-DTE2')) + export PAGELEN=0060 + export DSB_PRT=KKP_HP + export RPT_CPY=01 + export DTE_OPT=A + export REQ_USR=00004632 + export USR_IDN=KPORT + export REQ_NME=INVWWW + export PRJ_NBR=ALL* + export KEY_1ST=P00000303 + export REQ_CNT=00071278 + export CUR_JSQ=0000 + export ACT_DTE2=20090601 + export ACT_DTE=20070101 + export ITM_NUM=0397512478
|AMA was so pleased with the results of their recent upgrade that they sent a sheet cake to ACS, which we all enjoyed. Congratulations to YOU, AMA, on a successful upgrade!|
Upgrading recently to a 2008 release were Farm Progress, who went live in January, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (at Palm Coast Data) with a February go-live. March saw the go-lives of the American Medical Association and American Master Products, and April/May is the scheduled timeframe for Penton and God's World Publications.
Several clients are on board to begin upgrading to 9R1, including Bayard Presse, Boy Scouts of America and Oxford University Press. And 9R2's queue has Kalmbach Publishing, Ogden Publications and Our Sunday Visitor, and Agora.
Many of these clients are using the upgrade as a spring board into other endeavors. New features and functionality continues to be released in several key areas to the publishing industry – including online web features and functionality and a dramatically enhanced Access Management and Billing module. The first step to utilizing these new features is an upgrade in Advantage revisions.
There's plenty of room for you if you want to join the upgrade club! Contact your ACS account manager or Paul DesRosiers today.
Spring into Advantage Webinars!
The April webinar series is well under way. On Tuesday, April 14th, Mike Miklosovic presented a webinar on "Reports and Jobstreams in CDSREQ".
Next on the agenda is a webinar on Wednesday, April 22nd presented by Eric Burbeck that will guide you in "Maintaining a Clean Advantage System". You will learn how to evaluate disk usage, reduce file redundancy, and effectively run the CDSCLN process. See the outline below or visit the Advantage webinar page for additional information.
CDSCLN: Maintaining a Clean Advantage System 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on April 22, 2009
Defining a 'clean' Advantage system
Determine which files are needed on a regular basis
Determine which files are not needed
Evaluate disk usage
Reduce file redundancy
Establish/review retention policies
Preparing to run the CDSCLN process
Set system options for CDSCLN
Running the CDSCLN process
Review the results
Schedule the CDSCLN process