These icons are available at EVERY view - even views without Order Entry capability (CDSOPR...).
The icons - in order from left to right - are as follows:
- Blue & yellow figurines: Customer Lookup (Control key plus number 1 key = CTL-1)
- Darker blue square icon: Inventory Lookup (CTL-2)
- Orange figure with pen: Customer Notes (CTL-3)
- Orange square icon: Publication Information (CTL-4) - see issues, rates, delivery codes and much more
- White square icon: next Due Notes (CTL-5) - sort in reverse order by Due Date
- Open envelope icon: Promotion Finder (CTL-6) - Old fashioned value list works on the Promo Code at the bottom of the dialog box
- Yellow figurine: Customer Overview (CTL-7) - for current session customer
- Orange figure in frame: Customer Portrait (CTL-8) - for current session customer
- Scissors in box: Coupon Information for customer and for coupon (CTL-0) - as of 2007r2
- Red phone: Call Tracking icon (CTL-9)
These ten icons can save you time and effort when looking up information, whether checking up on something or working with a customer.
Of note to academic publishers, Advantage now accommodates Ringgold's institutional identifier, which will enable publishers using Advantage and Ringgold's services to link customers within their database to the institutions with which they have affiliations. This will allow enhanced data management, for example viewing total purchases of institutional customers. Institutions often have numerous locations, perhaps with different names, purchasing products and it has been difficult to analyze their total buying practices. It also allows easier identification of renewals which appear to be cancellations and new orders, and identification of the degree of duplication of titles within a single institution.
"This is something that all academic publishers have been asking for and will use," says Dan Heffernan, vice president and chief product manager at ACS. "Ringgold's identifier is an emerging standard in the industry and we are happy that Ringgold has provided us with the functionality so that we can provide it to our publishing clients."
About Ringgold Inc.
Ringgold has developed a database of nearly 100,000 institutions worldwide which subscribe to academic journals. This database contains valuable information about the institutions, their size, type and tiers. Ringgold provides the research services to correctly identify subscribers and allocate them to the correct institutions using researchers with specialist language and country knowledge. Over 40 academic publishers use Ringgold services to improve their customer support and marketing capabilities, and Ringgold is working with subscription agents, hosting platforms, intermediaries and NISO to create a standard institutional identifier for the library and publishing industry.
You can have Advantage save archival copies of all your reports to different directories or even automatically copy and send these reports to various users.
The Printer settings at CDSSYS/PRT can be used to control whether the reports print any actual copies and where the files are saved. You can have the files saved to the run-time user directory, with the date/time stamp included, simply by checking the archive button. If you never want these reports printed out, simply choose "0" as the override number of copies.
You can also specify a directory where the files will be saved in \reports\special_directory\yymm\dd\*.report - by choosing the ‘archive to directory' function, and specifying the new directory name. This can be very useful for all your nightly/weekly/cycle-end related reports.
At 2005r2 and up, you can make use of the OPR300 automatic distribution feature which allows you to send specific reports either via email or ftp, or to copy the reports to a specific directory. This is very useful for clients with users connected over a wide network.
If you need some reports in a given posting to go to an actual printer, while you only want the others to get saved into the usual folder, you can use the SYSRPT screen (at 2007r1, the SYSRPT screen moved to CDSSYS/RPO)to define the specific printer to use for this report. For example, maybe you would like your ARP237 report to print in the accounting department. You would establish ARP237.REPORT at SYSRPT to be printed to ACCOUNTING_HP7NP (or whatever the name of the printer is you have set up as the accounting printer). This printer must be available on the network for Advantage to "see".
- to get new features designed to give you a competitive edge
- to realize efficiencies designed to reduce your cost of doing business
- to decrease the project length by doing upgrades more often
To help you meet this objective, we have continued to refine our project methodology and to decrease the time and resources needed to complete an upgrade. As a result, today, over two-thirds of our client base are on a revision within three years of the current (Release 2005r0 or higher). The higher this percentage goes, the more it allows us to focus resources on the current revisions of the software instead of on maintaining older releases, which is something everyone benefits from.
Who is upgrading?
2008r1 is being implemented at three sites, with go-lives for all three in April and May. Five additional clients are slated to get this release early second quarter, with another dozen clients discussing upgrade plans with their respective account managers. We will complete more than 20 upgrade projects this year, and by year's end, 12 15 clients will be on an 8r1 or higher revision.
The first client to use the 2008r1 revision in a live production environment is expected to be ACS! We use the Advantage software to track issues and have multiple users in the system every day. We also employ web capsules to show your open issues lists via the client web page. Our go-live is targeted for early April and we're currently working through the upgrade methodology like any other client would.
What's in this release?
The 2008r1 revision brings many fantastic new features and enhancements including:
- * The Global Process Request View CDSREQ. One centrally located workspace to request processes, reports, and job streams. This display also supports the scheduling of job streams.
- * CIR Subscription fields in MSTDAT scripting
- * Telesales to Teleservice redesign
- * Plus many, many more
For more information on any of the new features in the 2008r1 release, contact your ACS account manager to request a downloadable version of the full Release Notes. If you're looking for something more abbreviated, you can ask them for the ‘Highlights' document that touches on the most high profile changes of the release.
When can I get the current release?
Now! 2008r1 was released on February 15. 8R2 will be available June 9th. Contact your account manager today to start the process.
- The Advantage package feature now supports "mix-and-match" packages. Using this setup, pricing is at the package level, but the customer is allowed to choose from a list of available components. For example, you could create an offer with 15 available items, and set up three different packages: one with 6-unit pricing, one with 8-unit pricing, and one with 12-unit pricing. The customer would choose the desired package, and then select any combination of the 15 items (in a bundle of 6, 8, or 12 items).
- Previously, CIR renewals allowed you to define different offers either subscription choices or member choices from which the subscriber could choose when responding. This has been expanded to include general promotion choices. Now you can offer the subscriber any of the following options in responding to a renewal promotion: subscribe to a different publication (in effect, use the renewal to switch or upgrade pubs), receive a subscription package, or receive a package consisting of a subscription and a PRO item.
- You can now define the valid login days and times, as well as the maximum number of concurrent sessions, on a user-by-user basis. You can use the first feature to restrict a user or set of users to specific login windows. You can use the second feature to minimize the number of stranded sessions across the system. Also, by setting the "number of sessions" indicator to zero, you can effectively disable an Advantage user - which may be useful in certain temporary situations.
- You can now access the list of valid values for a closed, validated field in an Advantage dialog box (it is not possible to drag the value list icon from the toolbar into a pop-up dialog box in order to see these values). From within the dialog, drag the "?" in the upper right corner to the field in question. This launches the context-sensitive help display that provides information from the data dictionary. The help display now includes a button to display the list of valid values for the field.
Advantage allows you to reverse a check or credit card payment after it has been posted to a customer's account. The instances when you may want to use this feature are to back out a bad check or to correct a payment that was entered against the wrong customer.
ARPCGP Entry Defaults
The ARPCGP workspace contains the following control group defaults to support entry of credit reversals.
- Account Shortcut Code: if you enter a miscellaneous debit code here (set up at ARPTBL/GLD) this value will default into the miscellaneous debit dialog, if you enter a returned check fee.
- Credit Reason: if entered, this value defaults into the Credit Reason field for RC transactions at ARPCSH. Note that other ARPCSH transactions can include a credit reason code; this control group default is used for the RC function only. This can be used for automatic generation of a customer note when the RC function is performed.
- Bad Check: this can be used to default the Bad Check indicator to Y for the RC function. It could be used, for example, if you are entering an entire batch of bad checks. It is also used if you are trying to reverse a CC payment on a customer's account.
- Prompt for bank fee: checking this box causes the debit entry dialog to automatically display during the RC function. It could be used, for example, if your organization routinely charges a fee for returned checks.
Setup of Credit Reason (Customer Service Reason) for Automatic Note
Set up Credit Reasons that will generate a customer service note (and optional letter) at the SVCTBL/RSN view.
Note that the Advantage field for customer service reason codes is CNTC-RSN, while the Credit Reason field is CRD-RSN, with valid values set up at CDSVLU. To auto-generate a note through the RC function at ARPCSH, you must set up the customer service reason code record, and also a credit reason code record at CDSVLU, where the customer service reason code and the credit reason code are identical.
Note the following points for setting up customer service/credit reasons:
- The Reason Category must be blank.
- The Area must be ARP.
- The Text for Note may be filled in (or left blank). If filled in, this defaults as the text for the note, with any entry in the Comments field at ARPCSH (during the RC function) prefixed to this.
- Respond With may be used to link to an action code, to generate a customer service letter.
The note is automatically generated when the transaction is entered. If the transaction is deleted before posting, the note is deleted as well.
RC Function at ARPCSH
At the ARPCSH workspace, use the SPC - Search Posted Checks function and provide the customer number. ARP will display all of the payments that have been posted for the customer.
Enter RC (Reverse Credit/Bad Check) in the function field click on the payment you want to reverse, and press <ENTER>. ARP will ask for more information.
- Entry Date: The current date will default into this field. Press <TAB>.
- Bad Check?: This is a required field. Enter Y or N. Bad check information is recorded on the customer's credit record - displayed at the ARPCRD workspace.
- Comment: This is an area where you can record information that may be helpful if this reversal is investigated in the future. It is optional. Press <TAB>.
- Suspense Acct & Cash Ctl: These fields will be filled with the value from the control group. You can change them if you wish.
- Credit Reason: You can associate a reason code with the reversal. Valid codes are established at the CDSVLU workspace under keyword CRD-RSN. This is an optional field. Press <ENTER>.
If you are reversing a credit card payment, the system will ask you whether this reversal should credit the customer's charge card. A "Yes" answer will credit the customer's card. Also, make sure Bad Check is set to Y.
When the transaction is posted, the check will be shown as a "B" type of transaction at the ARP view of SVCDAT. The original check amount is displayed under the Amount column and the Remaining column will show zero.
Returned Check Fee
If you want to charge a customer a fee when a payment is reversed, you can do this at the time of the RC function. One method is to press the DBT button to enter the details for the debit memo as shown below. Another is to indicate "Prompt for bank fee" on the ARPCGP control group---which causes the system to automatically prompt for the fee payment.
Either method opens a dialog with the miscellaneous debit code defaulted in---if you have set up a default at ARPCGP.
The debit is created when the transaction is entered. If the transaction is deleted before posting, the debit is deleted as well.
When posted, this will create a debit memo (invoice) on the customer's account for the amount shown. That invoice can be picked up by your billing selections to send a notification to the customer.
This first translation project took a while, as Advantage tools had to be modified to isolate all translatable text, which was then used to populate a database table. Programmers wrote utilities to export the English text into comma delimited files where it could be sent to Bayard for translation. It was vital to them to closely supervise the translation because the specialized terminology would be difficult for most translators to understand. And as Bayard went through the process, they sometimes had to go back and change translations as they gained understanding of Advantage concepts. It was an iterative process, over numerous builds of Advantage.
Subsequent translations will be much easier. In fact, we are working on one right now from American English to British English for our UK friends!
Saga Magazine provides high quality journalism to the over 50s. Content includes leading celebrity interviews, in-depth features on current affairs, history and world events, plus useful articles on health, money, food, gardening, travel, and more.
Saga began to source a new fulfillment system in 2006 to replace their aging in-house system and went through a thorough evaluation process, including an RFP, software presentations, a visit to ACS offices, and site visits. Their objectives included the ability to obtain timely marketing information and analysis, improved flexibility for renewal efforts, improved customer service detail and the ability to interface successfully with other Saga systems. Advantage was the system chosen to best satisfy all of these needs.
"Advantage gives me the marketing tools I need to achieve my marketing objectives," says Craig Lowe, Head of subscription marketing at Saga. "And the ACS team are all fantastic to work with."
Craig also served as the Saga in-house project manager during the last few months of the implementation.
The ACS team on the project included Tim Zapawa as project director, Bill Pinard as project manager, Mike Hasey and Karl Davis as lead engineers. Tim Martin was also involved in helping define modification specifications, including a drag/drop interface between Saga's Agent Front End (AFE) system and Advantage.
- The Telesales module has been substantially expanded with this release, and also renamed to "Teleservices." The Teleservices redesign allows you to create flexible call lists, each with its unique set of components (for example, customer subscriptions, customer A/R, orders), and also to perform an expanded number of functions within each of these components, or stages, of the call. For instance, you can perform a subset of subscription modifications such as rate and copy changes without breaking the call flow. And you no longer need to route from view to view during the call; Teleservices presents the entire call flow, from A/R inquiry to customer addresses to order entry, in one scrollable view.
- Advantage now supports discounts by "coupon." This is a discount program that allows you to offer a discount percent or flat dollar amount off an order, based on such order criteria as the items being ordered, the owning organizations of the items, the order promotion, and others. You control whether the coupon can be applied multiple times on an order, and whether it can be reused by the same customer across orders.
- Pro-forma functionality has been expanded into a quote management feature. You can set up multiple quotes (pro-forma orders) for a customer, and control the length of time for which the quote offer is valid. The feature offers flexible means for storing, presenting, and sending a quote to the customer.
- All batch process and report requests have been consolidated into a single view, CDSREQ . The view allows you to more easily maintain process schedules and run-time options, and also offers the ability to create and schedule jobstreams.
- Access Management (AMB) agreement entry has been added to Master Order. This means you can create a combined order consisting of CIR subscriptions, PRO products, Conference and Event registrations, and Access Management agreements.
- Order entry scripting at MSTDAT/FST now includes full access to CIR subscription data entry fields, for tailored order entry scripts.
- Credit card information has been consolidated into a single database table. This minimizes, for security reasons, the number of places that the customer's credit card information (including the encrypted number, if you are using that feature) is stored on the system.
- When you are entering an order that includes installment billing, you have the option of varying, on the fly, the installment amounts and dates for the customer. For example, you might offer the customer the choice to weight his or her payments toward the end of the installment schedule.