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News

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    ACS Wants to Help You Meet Your 2009 Goals

    Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year! 2008 was a tough year for many industries. Here in Michigan, countless businesses and households have been hit hard by woes of the big-three automakers, in addition to the general challenges of a struggling economy. While ACS is not unaffected by the economic conditions, the list of prospective clients interested in Advantage remains steady and we are doing okay. Among the Advantage community, I hear with some frequency of publishers and associations cutting back on staff, reducing issue frequencies, and merging titles. Unfortunately, many of our clients serve market segments that are significantly affected by the current recession. Nevertheless, we continue to see promising signs among our …



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    Cool, Creative Customer Notes Features

    You can now use the Customer Service Notes management feature to organize customer notes (SVCCON-M records) into a hierarchical/priority-based structure for more efficient addressing by your customer service personnel. In summary, the feature works as follows:  You work with notes that have been created by the system---through the Web, the SVC125 upload, etc. In other words, this feature does not create customer notes on its own, but rather offers the means to respond to them more efficiently. An SVC process (SVC125 or SVC305) is used to select the notes to be imported into the feature. Each select level used with SVC125 or SVC305 includes the path name (i.e. …



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    Exciting New Features in 2009R1!

    The first release of 2009 offers some exciting new features and will be available in early February. Here are some highlights: Conference and Event: You can now choose to defer income for conference registrations entered within the CEM module (previously, all income was earned up front when the registration was posted). This will allow you to accept registration orders, but not earn the associated income until the actual start of the conference. This behavior is variable at the individual conference/location level. Gift Subs: A new analysis table, CIRPMG-M, tracks promotion responses for subscriptions that have been specifically identified as "gifts." While one definition of a gift subscription is simply one where the bill- …



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    Todd Gilson: Assuredly High Quality

    Todd Gilson is a man of many trades. Give him a job, any job, and he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. This attitude is a great help to him in his present position on the Advantage QA team, but has also come in very handy in his earlier days working on implementation projects. Roger Domras, currently at American Psychiatric Association, was working at the University of Chicago Press some years ago when Todd was assigned to the installation. Roger has this to say about that experience: "Todd was extremely conscientious and wanted to ensure that everything worked as expected. He dug right in to any questions that we had and if he didn't know the answer, he made sure that he contacted the right person and found the …



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    Using Subscription Adjustment Reasons

        You can attach a reason code to all customer service subscription adjustment transactions and also have a note automatically created with the transaction. This way, you have a visible customer service audit trail of all such changes that may be quickly referenced. You might want to know, for example, why the customer is changing the number of copies or migrating from one publication to another. You define the valid values by operation code for these transactions at the CIRTBL/RSN ?Subscription Adjustment Reason view. Create Customer Note controls whether a customer note should be automatically created at order entry time for a transaction using this reason code. The note is automatically generated …



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    Membership Module

    Does your business include the ability for customers to become members of a club, group, society or other such organization? If so, the Membership (MBR) module may be right for you. MBR allows you to manage one - or more - membership organizations, and administer related tasks such as dues collection, fulfillment of membership journals and newsletters, and participation in organizational activities (councils, discussion groups, etc.). Actually, any membership activity for which you charge a recurring fee can be set up as a participation element within the organization. Users have a lot of flexibility in setting up the benefit-of-membership tables, where you define the benefits that a member receives. You might choose to base them on a certain level of …



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    Agora France Goes Live on Advantage

    Viva la France! We recently added a new flag on the world map of Advantage user locations as Agora France went live on Advantage in October. Les Publications Agora, located in Paris, publishes six newsletters and a weekly magazine in the financial investment field, and also offers a stock exchange alert service and downloadable documents about specific investments. Levi Hyssong managed the project on the ACS side, while John Moore and Emily Buchholz were the engineers who handled the conversion. They converted customers, subscriptions, and direct debit information from the previous system in to Advantage. Agora has developed successful strategy for handling multiple locations. The French group will share the database with the headquarters in Baltimore, …



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    Rrrring! Rrrring! Advantage Teleservices Module Calling

    The whole purpose of the Teleservices module (TEL) is to help you sell your company's products and services over the phone, and it does that in many different ways. Teleservices is a client-directed, workflow-oriented module, and works with outbound calls (where you are calling customers) and inbound calls (where they are calling you) …



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    Advantage a Great Tool for Audience Development

    Once upon a time, a multi-title publisher would have multiple boxes of subscriber files to handle fulfillment. At some point, these card files went onto computer systems, but remained segmented by title. Then a revolution came along: a single customer database. First, this meant that a subscriber to two publications would have just one customer record in the database. Then later, it meant that a subscriber to two titles, who purchased books and other products, who also attended a conference and did some advertising and bought online content, still had just one customer record in the database. Marketers were thrilled! In one place, they could see everything such a customer had done? all the buying behavior, payment patterns, responses to promotions and …



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    Where in the World are all the Advantage Users?

    Users of Advantage software can be found all over the world; in fact, some of the locations may surprise you. The interactive map above identifies each location where Advantage is in use.  To zoom in on a particular area, click on the country or draw a box around the specific area. Clicking on a dot will take you to the homepage of that client. To return to the global view, click anywhere on the map without a dot.  Clicking on land will zoom to that whole country.  Clicking on water will zoom out to the entire world. Here is a list of all the Advantage user locations we are aware of. If we missed a location for your company, please email me at cmorp@advantagecs.com and I'll be sure and add it. The map will be appearing on our new website, coming soon. ACP …



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