Typically, Advantage product returns are entered at MSTDAT/FST, using an order type of "C". There are numerous methods of entering the return, including specifying the invoice number only, specifying the item number only, etc. The steps for entering the return in these different scenarios vary slightly. As of 2009R1, users can enter applied returns at SVCDAT/PRO (or MSTDAT/PRO).
Locating the order at SVCDAT/PRO
Users locate the order at SVCDAT/PRO using normal search methods:
- Bill-to Customer
- Order Number
- Control Group
- Status (although only posted orders can have returns entered against them)
- PO Number
- Ship-to Customer
- Docket Number
Once the order is located, the user chooses the "Applied Return" action (also available as a right-click action). This button will only be enabled if the user has an open control group and a return can be entered against the order. The user will be presented with the following dialog box:
They will be prompted to enter a credit reason code, which will be used on all returned lines. The user can create Return Authorization orders, which will hold the return until the stock is actually returned. The user can also choose to do a "Quick Return All" which creates a return line for all lines on the original order. The "Refund Order" box indicates whether the return credit will be refunded back to the customer (as long as the original order was paid).
Returning Line by Line
If the user opts not to do a "Quick Return All," they will be presented with a dialog box where they can mark which lines were returned.
The user can also enter a partial credit on the returned line so that full credit is not given or freight is not refunded.
Once the return is created, the user will receive a dialog box telling them the Voucher Number that was created.
When maintaining office records in Advantage, CDSCMP/OFF creates a new version of the office each time it is added or changed. Older versions have a status of "O".
You also use CDSCMP/OFF to define the jurisdictions in which a business unit is subject to tax. You identify states, provinces, or countries where a business unit is taxable at the second and third tabs of the Office Maintenance dialog box at CDSCMP/OFF.
Be careful when maintaining your office setup, however, because deleting an obsolete version of an office record will also delete all corresponding taxation setup.
You can find more information on this issue by reading Alert 262055.
You can review other alerts that affect your Advantage revision by logging into the ACS support website and using the Knowledge Base links at the left. Note that critical alerts are emailed directly to your inbox.
If you are not currently receiving email alerts, but would like to, simply send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be added as an Advantage System Administrator for your company. For more information about alerts, please contact Angie Markel.
Here are some of the new features you will receive with the 10R3 release of Advantage, which is scheduled for release in October.
· The following additional flexibility has been added for Access Management and Billing discounting:
- The ability, at the agreement level, to specify separate default discounts for a new agreement and a renewal to that agreement.
- The availability, at the access point level, of such "PRO-like" discounting features as combination code, discount source, etc.
- The ability to offer an access point discount through a specific date, or indefinitely.
· For AMB agreements, you can now offer ‘n' number of free days before the paid agreement starts. Previously, you could offer free days at the end of the agreement, but not the start. These are now discrete fields on the agreement entry dialog---"free days" prior to the start of the agreement, and "extension days" after the paid agreement is finished.
· You can now perform many subscription modifications directly at SVCDAT/CIR through the use of a Modification push-button. This is the same functionality that is available through the Subscriptions call list component at TELDAT. The Modification button at SVCDAT/CIR offers most of the major subscription adjustments, including cancel, RAT, RTC, suspends, etc.
· A default coupon has been added to the promotion options setup. You can now have this default coupon code flow onto all orders entered under the promotion.
· You can now expose the City name as a direct search field at SVCDAT. Previously, City was available through the search filters only at the SVCDAT workspace; it can now function as one of the customer search fields.
· You can now specify a callback time on a customer note, in addition to the callback date. Thus, you could log (for example) that the customer is to be contacted on 3:00 p.m. on the specified date.
· A call list component for AMB has been added to Telesales. As part of a call, you can now inquire on or service the customer's AMB agreement.
Bob Gray has the distinction of having more years of seniority at ACS than the company has been in business. That's because Bob was working at one of the firms that merged to become T & B Computing (the original name of ACS) and was allowed to count his years of service there when T & B Computing was formed.
In his 30+ years here, Bob has witnessed remarkable changes in operating systems, programming languages and software technology. When he first began his career in computing, he programmed in Fortran for a mainframe computer, even using card decks on occasion, and had to debug using core dumps (or hex dumps). Access to the computer was through shared terminals in a terminal room, where they were connected via phone modems running 300 baud. Reports and data were printed out on green-bar paper.
By the time T & B was formed, the programmers got desktop terminals, which was a huge deal, Bob recalls. From mainframes, he went to Prime mini-computers and was involved in writing the General Mailing System, which was the forerunner of today's circulation functionality. Over the years, the software was ported from Prime to VAX VMS, to UNIX and then to Windows.
In the early 90's, Bob moved from the circulation side of the software to the book and product order. Development in that area has been his focus ever since and he has worked on such functionality as taxes, EDI, customer search, duplicate consolidation, payment dialog boxes, premiums and premium sets, online authorization for credit cards and the new user interface. Bob's favorite tasks involve creating a new feature or piece of functionality that he knows will be useful to clients and improve what Advantage has to offer.
Currently in the product development group led by Howie Brooks, Bob has nothing but admiration for Howie as a supervisor. He is especially impressed with Howie's ability to multi-task. And Howie has good things to say about him: "Bob is the resident expert on all things PRO, but he's also more of an expert in CIR/AMB/ARP, etc. than he'll readily admit. You can depend on Bob for anything and know that he gives everything his best effort. He cares deeply for the integrity of the product."
Bob's reputation for caring about the integrity of the software is well known. Other engineers like to run their ideas past him because he is good at pointing out potential problems with a design. As Howie explains, "If your design can get past Bob, then there's a very good chance you've covered the bases."
Bob has worked with nearly everyone at ACS over the years. Project manager John Sheehy has this to say about his experience with Bob: "I've had the pleasure of working closely with Bob over the last three years on a large development project. His attention to detail and ability to consider wider development implications proved to be an invaluable asset to the project's success. His easy-going nature also makes him a lot of fun to work with and very approachable for development collaboration."
A native of Ann Arbor, Bob studied engineering at the University of Michigan as well as elementary education at Eastern Michigan University. Upon graduation, teaching jobs were scarce and Bob went to work for Project Management Associates—a precursor to T & B Computing—and has never been sorry.
Bob and his wife of 36+ years, Sarah, live in Saline with the youngest of their five children. Their eldest, Angela, 35, lives in Ohio and works for Xavier University. Charlie, 33, is a lawyer and lives in Cleveland with his wife and Bob and Sarah's first grandchild, Arlo. Robert, 30 manages a small business in Ann Arbor and Carla, 28 works in federal law enforcement in Washington, DC. And the "baby" of the family, Eleanor, 16, attends high school in Saline. Bob is visibly proud of all of his children and their accomplishments and enjoys visiting them whenever possible. In his leisure time, Bob enjoys gardening and playing hockey and is also an avid runner and tennis player. He is not one to sit still or waste time.
We hope that Bob continues to use his considerable energy on Advantage development for many more years.
Have you ever looked at a new feature in Advantage and thought to yourself "Oh, I wish they had just done this one little additional piece?" We have heard this enough times that we are trying something new. Effective immediately, ACS is posting descriptions of modifications that have been approved for development on the Advantage User Community Message Board at the Support website.
What does this mean to you? Well, now you will be able to read about coming features while they are still in development (actually the posting will be before programming). Look them over and get in touch with us if you have any suggestions that you think would improve the feature. Or maybe you would want to have some functionality added on to a modification. Contact Tim Martin of the ACS Modifications Team with any input, advice or requests along these lines.
We're just posting the descriptions that will affect the standard functionality of the Publisher's Advantage Computing System (minus the client and estimate information). The posting doesn't mean the feature will be in the very next release. Please contact your ACS representative if you want information about that.
We're trying this out for the rest of the year. Let us know how it works for you. We look forward to your feedback on this new approach.
Here to serve you, the Advantage Support Center is always available to provide assistance. The center is staffed during normal coverage hours (8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays). In addition, after-hours support is easily accessible outside these hours.
Access methods and contact information is listed below.
Normal Coverage Hours Support
During normal coverage hours, support issues may be reported to the Support Center via any of these three methods:
Call the Support Center hotline at (734) 327-2340 and your call will be routed to a Support Center analyst or the Support Center Manager.
Support issues may be logged at the ACS website: www.advantagecs.com .
Use the "Open New Service Request" link on the "Support Login" page to initiate a request. (Note: the maximum size of an attachment is 4MB.)
Send email to SUPPORT@advantagecs.com
The support inbox is monitored by Support Center staff during normal coverage hours. An analyst will log a request (CSL) and contact you. For tasks requiring immediate attention, include the word "URGENT" in the subject line. For tasks needed by a specific date, include the phrase "NEED BY" followed by the date.
For after-hours support, call the Support Center hotline at (734) 327-2340 or (734) 327-3600.
Follow the instructions on the recorded greeting to leave either an emergency support message or a next-day support message. Emergency support messages are routed immediately to the on-call analyst. In addition, when possible, send email to email@example.com. The email will be sent directly to the on-call analyst. Please leave a call-back number for the on-call analyst to contact you.
Note: When calling the main hotline numbers (734-327-2340 or 743-327-3600), the phone switch is set up to automatically retry the on-call analyst's cell phone several times to ensure calls are not missed. When you also send email to firstname.lastname@example.org mail server automatically routes that mail to the on-call analyst's cell phone.
Note: The after-hours greeting contains two additional backup numbers:
· The on-call cell phone (734) 730-4199.
· Back-up cell phone number (734) 516-2554.
If you do not receive a call back within 30 minutes, dial the on-call number first, then the back-up cell if necessary.
To escalate a reported issue contact:
Evelyn Acton, Support Center Manager (734) 327-2334
Greg Stout, Vice President, Client Services(734) 327-3656
We are pleased to welcome Sean Leslie, who joins ACS as a programmer in the Product Development group led by Howie Brooks. Sean is a recent graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Florida, and earned a degree in computer science there. Sean has always been interested in computers, although his early interest was focused on playing games on them (something he still likes to do).
Sean grew up in Miami, but with both parents employed by major airlines, the family did a lot of traveling including many trips up and down the east coast, and treks to Vancouver, Seattle, Mt. St. Helens and the Gulf Coast.
After graduating from college, Sean looked for a job in the computer game development field, but did not find that to his liking. He came to Michigan when his girlfriend got a job here and joined ACS a few months after that. Sean is proud that he survived his first Michigan winter, and he is confident that he can weather more.
Sean lives in Ann Arbor and is getting to know the area. When he isn't working, Sean enjoys movies—especially documentaries, and hopes to return to a previous pastime, fine-scale models. As a software engineer, it's an unwritten law that he is hooked on computer games—and he is—but another of Sean's hobbies is a little more unusual. He enjoys cross-stitching, especially as a way to pass the time on long road trips.
We welcome Sean, with all his varied talents, to the ACS family.
We are pleased to welcome Rob Elliott, who joins ACS as a programmer in the Product Development group led by Howie Brooks. Rob is a graduate of the University of Michigan: Dearborn, where he earned a degree in Computer and Information Science (CISI). Rob grew up in Holly, Michigan, where he wrestled, ran Cross Country, and was a vital member of the Quiz Bowl team. Rob has four much older siblings, so was raised essentially an only child, with strong logical influence from his father.
Since childhood Rob has seen through the eyes of a scientist, always exploring and seeking to understand the world around him. His family has a long history of engineering, and he follows suit with ease. Rob appreciates the multiplication of effort that computers make possible; the fact that he can spend a relatively small amount of time programming something that when implemented, will save its users huge amounts of time and effort.
Rob put himself through college with small programming jobs before settling in at a Southfield-based software development company. There he developed intra-office communication management software, used by hundreds of call centers and government agencies. He spent three years there before coming to ACS on the recommendation and encouragement of John Moore, an old college friend who has worked at ACS since 2005.
Rob met his wife and long-time sweetheart Anna in college. They recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary, having been wed on 07/07/07 —clearly a lucky date. When he's not working, Rob enjoys trying new things and pushing himself to leave his comfort zone. Whether they are foods, sports, music, or friends, Rob tries to keep an open mind. He has typical geek interests in technical gadgets, computers, gaming, but also enjoys a good book, conversation, adventuring, or even Japanese anime. Rob finds a particular fascination in artificial intelligence, and how well or poorly it evolves to mimic the human existence. He feels the more computers come to resemble us, the better we are able to define our own uniqueness.
We are glad that Rob has brought his intelligence—real or artificial—to ACS and we welcome him.
The Publishing division at Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) has been happily using Advantage for many years and the Curriculum division was brought online in 4th quarter of 2009 with a successful implementation. The remaining division, Offertory Solutions, recently went live on Advantage after an extensive development and implementation project. Offertory Solutions primarily prints and sells offering envelopes to churches, and although there are some features in common with magazine and book sales, the vast majority of the functionality is unique and required development.
The new system replaces several other outdated systems, as OSV was looking to advance their technology both in the office and on the production floor. As of July 19th, all of OSV--the Publishing, Curriculum and Offertory Solutions divisions--use Advantage for their business applications.
OSV internally began the requirement phase of the OMEGA (Order Management Envelope Graphical Application) project in 2006 but was formalized in June 2007 with ACS. The project was roughly broken up into two parts: end users in the office (OMEGA) and end users on the production floor (Production Scheduler). The actual development time for both of these ended up encompassing more than 12,000 hours, 30 formal design specifications (250+ pages), 200+ informal design specifications, and 15,000 hours of testing.
The new system offers significant benefits and productivity improvements including ease of cross-training, improvement of data integrity, more complete integration of systems, flexibility, enhanced performance, closing the loop on communications to customers, better application of standards, improved accountability, and more recent technology.
The success of this project was the direct result of the dedication, determination, commitment and support of a lot of people at OSV and ACS. Troy Payton, Manager of Application Development in IT, was the Project Manager for OMEGA and Production Scheduler. Working with Troy was ACS Project Manager John Sheehy.
Here is what Troy had to say at the time of go-live: "We made it! I personally want to thank the ACS staff for their many hours of hard work and dedication to this projecttheir knowledge and determination, with the help from our core team, made this implementation possible. It has been a privilege to get to know and work side-by-side with such a great group of people. This new system will significantly improve our efficiency and quality of work, opening up doors for continued growth we couldn't have imagined possible with our previous systems."
John has this to add: "This project is a testament to the relationship between ACS and OSV we could not have succeeded without the commitment and close partnership of both companies. Working with the OSV core teams has been a tremendous experience. Their dedication over the last three years ensured a successful cutover. Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight Troy's tireless dedication to the project's success. To echo Troy: We made it!"
Members of the OSV Core Team, some of whom devoted 18 months to the task of testing every function within the system to ensure that it would work correctly at go-live, included Beth Hoover, Susie Swaidner, Amanda Bechtold, Jo Jamison, Bennie Sams, Mark Peterson, Trista Shenefield, Roger Boylan, Heather Bowman, Kim Bowen, Candace Foust, Jim Lewis, Pat Alles, and Greg Rorick. OSV also noted that while these individuals were working on this project; other employees throughout the organization were helping in picking up the workload for the Core Team members. So everyone in the Offertory Solutions Division contributed and supported the project over its life.
As with OSV, many ACS employees worked long hours to meet the project goals and deadlines. The principle developers and architects were Toby Hartman, Paul Sauter, and Bob Gray. Additional engineering support came from Jim Blaney and Derek Johnson. On the analyst side, Eric Burbeck provided exceptional assistance guiding the OSV core teams through the implementation phases. Nearly every other ACS employee had some involvement through the project's life cycle as well.
OSV executives were pleased with the success of the project and had these comments:
"The Advantage Computing system recently implemented for our division will allow us to grow our business and operate with significantly improved efficiency and quality. The improved visibility into our data will allow us to make much better business decisions in the future. The attention to detail during this project by the ACS staff and our core team made this large project a great success."
- Kyle Hamilton, President and General Manager (Offertory Solutions)
"The coordinated effort between OSV and the Advantage Computing Systems technology staff is one of the reasons why our implementation of our new integrated business system was a success. This new system will provide a lot of improvement opportunities for our business that were never possible before."
- Roger Ross, Director of Information Technology
"The ACS team worked closely with our staff and listened closely to our description of business processes. The result is a smooth transition to the new system. The new system provides customer service and sales a dramatically improved business tool."
- Terry Poplava, Director of Sales and Marketing (Offertory Solutions)
"I can't say enough about the professionalism and dedication of the ACS staff. We have been extremely pleased with their timely response to our challenges. The system that they developed for us and the speed of the implementation has been world class."
- Tim Shoup, Director of Manufacturing (Offertory Solutions)
Congratulations to OSV on a highly successful project.