The goal of our monthly newsletter, the VMS Connection is to provide a higher level of service to our new and existing users by keeping you connected and helping you get the most out of your software. We encourage you to email Linda Bishop with comments, suggestions and ideas for future articles. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Graphical Formats in Ventus
One of the new and exciting features in Ventus software is the graphical formats, which have a very user-friendly interface. The interface features a unique drag-and-drop functionality and is incorporated in every format in Ventus:
Service Billing – Invoice
Service Billing – Contract Billing
Service Billing – Contract Renewal
Service Billing – Ticket
Service Billing – New Ticket
Accounts Receivable – Invoice
Accounts Receivable – Customer Statement
Accounts Receivable – Cash Receipt
Sales Order – Invoice
Sales Order – Ticket
Accounts Payable – Purchase Order
Accounts Payable – Checks
Payroll – Checks
The best part about the drag-and-drop functionality is the ease of use. Anyone can easily learn how to set up formats and adjust them as needed. This was often a very cumbersome and time consuming process in our GUI product so we believe we have developed a very unique feature.
We are also incorporating the drag-and-drop interface into our report writer which means that customizing reports will work the same way that customizing formats do. All of your available fields to use will be off to the left hand side of the screen and you will drag-and-drop the ones you want onto the format or report. For Payroll and Accounts Payable checks, we are even going to have your check display on the screen so you can drag-and-drop whichever fields you want directly on to the check!
For this article, we’ll feature the Service Billing – New Ticket Format.
This is the initial screen you will see for all formats. By clicking on “Edit Ticket Format” you will then see the drag-and-drop interface. It’s as easy as it sounds too. Just click and hold your mouse on an available field name then drag it over to the white space on the screen. You can place the field names wherever you like. This will be how it displays on the screen when creating a new ticket.
Let’s add some common field names to our format by just dragging them over.
You can position these fields wherever you like on the page. This is how they will display when you create a new ticket on the service dispatch board. After you have dragged-and-dropped your field names to the screen, you can also rearrange them if you don’t like it at first. Let’s set it up with more of a list view.
You can add as many or as few fields as you like. It just depends on what you want to see on the initial new ticket screen. Some fields are informational only while others are fields you need to input data. Whenever you are finished just click save at the bottom then go and create a new ticket!
In today’s economic climate you need an edge to stay ahead of your competitors. This advanced training session will show you how to find customers who have not had service for a long period of time, create a mailing list, and merge this list with a sales letter created in WORD.
Marketing to Dormant Customers
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm Central Location: Internet WebEx Instructor: Jim Snyder Cost: $200 per connection Topics will include:
Example of a marketing letter set up in WORD
Using ODBC to find customers who have not had any activity since a given date
Creating a mailing list containing these customers
The following are questions we receive often in support regarding the dispatch board. A solution is provided for each.
“Help, my calls are not showing on the dispatch board”
Cause: It is common to use the incorrect date when rescheduling the board first thing in the morning.
Solution: The easiest way to trouble shoot is to open the board and choose “Find ticket off board” from the drop down menu (on top):
Now type in the ticket number that should be showing on the board:
Next click on Modify ticket:
Look at the schedule date:
The date shown above will tell you the date the board is scheduled for. You will need to change this to the correct date.
Simply reschedule the board again using the date found in the modify screen as the “from” date and your tickets will be there.
Help, my board looks “different.”
Cause: Changes were made in the dispatch board list and the board type was changed from “New” to “Original”
Solution: Simply go back in and change it to “New” from the drop down list.
Another common question we receive in support occurs when setting up a new dispatcher and calls are not showing correctly on their board.
Cause: The “Dispatch Board List” is usually the reason the calls are not showing up correctly.
Solution: First, verify the set up closely. The problem could be anything from a tech not set up in their list to the incorrect div/dept or even the Call type may be set incorrectly. After you’ve made these corrections, in most cases this will solve the problem; if not then you will need to call VMS Support.
VMS support call hours are: 7am to 5:30pm Central Time Monday through Thursday 7am to 5:00pm Central Time on Friday
If you ever experience any difficulty placing a support call, please do not hesitate to let us know. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service thus allowing you to get the most out of your software.
Direct Print Feature
For those of you replacing older printers with new models, there seems to be an issue occurring concerning our users’ understanding of the Direct Print feature.
Simply put, when you set Checks or Invoices or any print task – usually a formatted print task – to Direct Print, you are instructing the VMS software to attempt to bypass the printer driver altogether. As there are great variations between printer drivers, this setup is desirable when printing a particular item to different printers – if we can bypass the driver, the resulting printed product will be the same, regardless of the printer to which it has been sent.
There is a common issue, however, with USB-connected printers and the Direct Print feature: they are incompatible with each other. If you have noticed that you are able to print Reports to your local USB printer, but none of the formatted tasks out of VMS, this is why.
Unlike a network or LPT-connected printer, the USB port is a Virtual printer port, as shown above. This means that a USB-connected printer must use the driver provided by the manufacturer in order to accomplish any printing task at all.
If you must use a USB printer for print tasks that are set to Direct Print, you can create a Custom Font List for this printer by going into Administration -> Printer Management -> Printer Page Length:
Find your printer in this list, and Double-Click on it.
Now, click on the box that indicates Custom Font list.
In the following screen, unselect the Direct Print checks for your USB-connected printer.
Configure all of your settings in this screen to match the ones portrayed below, and click OK.
While this will enable you to now print to your USB-connected device, it may not print as accurately or correctly as that task does to printers that are able to accept Direct Print tasks. If this is the case, the behavior is caused by variations in print drivers, and cannot be further addressed from within VMS.
Meet Dot Desrosiers
This month we are pleased to spotlight the newest member of the VMS team, Dot Desrosiers, Implementation Specialist.
Dot will be working with the VMS team on our new Ventus software release. Dot comes on board with extensive knowledge and expertise; 25 years of accounting experience and 15 years in the computer industry. She has a BS/BA in Management Information Systems, specializing in Accounting Information Systems. Her past experience includes providing quality software support and training, assisting clients with SQL data issues, and assisting team members in resolving difficult data and client issues. Dot has already become an invaluable member of the VMS team.
Personal Profile: Dot originally from St. Petersburg, Florida now resides in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Her hobbies include, diving, waterskiing, gardening, sewing and crafts. She recently married in June 2009 to husband David and has 2 adopted children from a previous marriage. Dot grew up in the construction business, where her Dad was a contractor. She recently designed and built her own home in 2007.