What’s New Since Elliott V6.7
System Wide Features
Macro & Office Automation
Elliott will allow users to launch a menu item automatically from the command prompt. For example, EL700 02 0101 02 will startup Elliott and launch the A/R module, then access customer file maintenance, and end up in change mode of customer file maintenance. Users can also use the automation function to launch any external Windows application and populate data to the external application from the current Elliott screen. This can be used for a mail merge, dialing a telephone or any other application that you can think of.
Context Sensitive Menu
Users may use the right mouse button to click on any entry fields in the application to display context sensitive menus to perform the following functions: Copy, Paste, Search, Calendar, Convert to Upper/Lower Case, Toggle Yes or No, Send/Paste value from Calculator, etc.
Improved Security Control
Elliott V7.x supports Supervisor equivalent. This means users other than “SUPERVISOR” can create user accounts and grant rights to those accounts. Even though the supervisor can set and change passwords for these accounts, supervisor cannot see account passwords. Non-supervisor users can directly change their password by accessing password setup function on the main menu without the supervisor assistance.
In addition to support of the traditional menu level security, Elliott V7.x also supports global level security. That is, a security feature can span across menu items or sometimes at field level. The introduction of Global Security Control in Elliott V7.x is to supplement menu level security. This also includes Supervisory Relationship control and Event Security control to further fine tune the security controls in each area.
Support CitrixÒ or MicrosoftÒ Terminal Servers
Even though previous versions of Elliott already support Terminal Services, there are a few known issues that have been fixed in this release to ensure full integration of Terminal Services for remote access to Elliott data.
Laser Forms Designer and Bar Codes Support
A GUI for the Elliott laser form designer has been implemented. The designer has been available for Elliott 32-bit application since version 6.X.054. This utility allows you to create a template for each form, such as invoices and purchase orders. For each form you can change the margins, change the line thickness, color and position, specify your own text literals and use your own company logo. The preview function will let you view your design in a WYSIWYG environment before sending the final output to the printer.
Elliott V7.x comes with the following pre-defined laser forms. Users can either create their own or modify the existing ones:
· COP Invoice
· COP Picking Ticket
· PO Purchase Order
· AR Service Invoice
· AR Statement
· IM Item Label
· PR Payroll Check (Margin Control Only)
· AP Payroll Check (Margin Control Only)
A new feature that allows the printing of Item Label with Barcode was added to Elliott V7.x. Users have the choice of using various different sizes of pre-defined laser printer label. Users also have the option to create their own label design or modify existing ones.
From the Print Option Window, users now have the option of choosing "Email" in addition to "Print", "Defer", "Screen", and "Spool To Disk". The print job will be sent as a .TXT file attachment. This is particularly helpful in emailing quotes, order acknowledgements to customers or even emailing weekly reports to supervisors.
CRM and Internet Features
GUI notes have been implemented since the Elliott 32-bit application. Elliott Notes is a great function for entering information about a customer or a vendor to record important information obtained during conversations. It is the centerpiece of Elliott’s CRM. Notes can also be printed on various documents like the picking ticket, packing slip, etc. to allow complete detail information to be presented if necessary.
Tickler is an extension to Notes. Every single note can become a Tickler by simply assigning a follow up date and time. Elliott will then notify the user on the specific date and time via a pop-up of that note on the desktop, with audio effect. Users can use Ticklers for AR collection, customer follow up, or event reminders. Not only is Tickler an important CRM function, it is also an excellent management tool. Elliott V7.x allows supervisors to assign Ticklers to their subordinates. (Note: subordinates are defined by supervisor relationship in password setup.) Supervisors can also see the current Tickler status of a subordinate to evaluate the work status. Reporting functions of outstanding, past-due and history Ticklers can be used to evaluate employee performance. Ticklers can be recurring to remind you of tasks that will happen on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
In Elliott V7.x, users can search notes by using key words. Users can specify the search scope at either the current reference (i.e. notes for this customer), the current file (i.e. notes for all customers), or the entire Elliott notes database.
Links are used to link one object in Elliott (like an Item, or a customer) to a document or a URL address. For example, you can use links for the following:
· Link an item to an image file
· Link an item to its product specification page
· Link a customer to their home page
· Link a customer to their contracts and correspondence letters
You may access Links whenever an Elliott note is available. This includes the inquiry of customers, vendors, items, employees, salesmen, the sales order header, sales order line items, the PO header, PO line items, etc. The design of Links is generic so you can use them for any purpose you may think of.
A hot key can be assigned to each link type. For instance, you can simply type ALT-I (or any key you choose) to bring up the item image from the item file maintenance or stock status inquiry (any place you can access item note). Certain links are pre-built into Elliott V7.x. For example, in a screen where there is a valid street address, you may use a special link called “view map” (Alt-Y) to bring up YahooÒ Map in your browser if you have an Internet connection.
Email Order Acknowledgement
Entering an order for any customer with an Email address will provide an option to send an order acknowledgement via email. This can be done immediately at the time of completing the order entry process by answering “Yes” to the sending Order Acknowledge prompt. If you answer “No”, Order Acknowledgements can still be sent by using a batch routine. Only orders that have eContacts attached and have not been previously sent an Order Acknowledgement via Email will be sent in the batch routine. This function can be used to supplement orders received from the Internet (if Internet orders are not real time) as an acknowledgement to indicate that these orders are now inside the Elliott system.
Email Shipping Notification
Just as with Order Acknowledgement that can be sent via email, shipping notifications also have the option of being sent via email. Elliott V7.x provides full integration with the leading shipping manifest software, Starship. The tracking number that is written from Starship to the Elliott Note database will be used to notify customers via Email. This electronic shipping notification contains a hyperlink that leads to the UPS, FedEx, or USPS website, showing details of the package’s shipping status.
Event Handling is one of the most powerful functions in Elliott V7.x. It is usually used to send an Email in the background when an event in Elliott is taking place. It may also be used to create a tickler if Email is not available or pop-up a message on the user’s computer. Events may be used for many different applications. The following are some examples:
· Notify an administrator when certain critical functions are accessed.
· Alert a user and provide additional instructions when a menu item is chosen.
· Remind salespersons to sell accessory items when a main item is purchased.
· Notify salespersons when an order is placed or deleted.
· Notify inventory control when an out of stock item is received.
· Notify buyers when an item is out of stock.
· Notify the busy travel executive by email about orders, sales, receivables and cash flow status.
Hundreds of events exist in Elliott V7.x. Each user decides which event he/she is interested in subscribing to and upon the triggering of that event, that user will be notified. There are three different types of Events: General, Detail and Management. General Events are fully implemented in Elliott V7.x. Detail Events features are under expansion and additional functions will be added in the future. Management Events are a special type of Detail Event that can be accessed from company file maintenance or the Global Setup menu.
Elliott's eContacts will allow you to store contact information about customers, vendors, employees, ship-to, salespersons, and sales orders, just about anywhere in the system where you can store notes. One of the primary goals of eContact is to support Internet front end Applications. Therefore, each contact’s unique e-mail address is required. eContact’s email addresses are used with Elliott eStore as Login IDs. They are also used for Mass Email, as well as Order and Shipping Acknowledgements. For this reason, eContact is the center of Elliott’s Internet and CRM implementation strategy.
Separate notes, links, and attributes can be stored in eContact, making Elliott V7.x an integrated Contact Management System. eContact also stores passwords, phone numbers, addresses, and credit card information to support the front end Internet eCommerce.
Mass E-Mail Handling
The Elliott V7.x Mass E-mail function is based on the eContact database. Depending on the filter criteria (if any) specified in the Mass Email programs, eContacts are selected for sending email. Users will need to compose the Email message and an attachment can be included for sending with the Mass Email. For email sent on a periodic basis, users can set up an email template and reuse it.
The Mass Email application can also interact with your Email client like OutlookÒ or Outlook Express before sending out email. You can compose your message as HTML in Outlook or Outlook Express to dress up the format of your message.
The Mass Email application can also be used as an eContact exporter. We supply a predefined template which can be used to export Elliott’s eContacts and that can be imported into the Outlook contact database.
An Attribute is like a note and available wherever notes are available. An Attribute is designed to extend the Elliott database without making any modification to the Elliott database. As a common requirement in CRM, the user may decide to track a certain piece of information about a customer or a contact and later perform analysis on that field. Attributes allows users to track any additional information as the need arises. Working in conjunction with the Elliott Export Processor, the user can select and export specific attributes to create a spreadsheet for further analysis.
When working together with a restricted attribute function, Attributes can also be used for license and regulation control as in the Chemical or Pharmaceutical industry.
Attributes are different from Notes in that a Note is intended to store text in free format, while an Attribute is intended to record structural field information.
Credit Card Processing
Elliott V7.x introduces Credit Card Processing as a special cash receipt function. After posting the credit card transactions, the application will update the additional credit card log file. Various reports can be printed from the credit card log file which can be used to reconcile with bank statements. There is also a Credit Card Processing ActiveX control that functions as a real time cash receipt for handling credit card charges from the web.
Manifest Exception Report
Elliott V7.x provides full integration with the leading shipping manifest software, Starship. As an order is processed through Starship, a tracking record is written to Elliott Notes. The user can set up ship-via codes that require the Shipping Manifest. From there, the system can generate a Manifest Exception Report to show the orders that should have been processed through Manifest, but have not yet been completed in a certain number of days. This is a powerful reconciliatory function between Elliott and the Shipping Manifest machine, ensuring minimum shipping errors.
UPS, FedEx and USPS Online Tracking
If the user is using the Starship Manifest System, then Starship can be configured to write the tracking number of a shipment to the Elliott Notes database. To answer a customer question like “Where is my package?” the user can view the shipping status by simply bringing up Notes in Order Inquiry and right clicking on the tracking number. This will launch the Internet Browser and send the UPS, FEDEX and USPS tracking number directly to the appropriate web site, displaying the tracking information of that package. The tracking number is also available on-line in Elliott eStore with a hyper link to the appropriate web site.
This is an extension of Mass Email that will export major Elliott master files. You can set your own criteria and choose the fields you desired, export the selected data to a comma delimited (CSV) or tab delimited file. Export files can be opened directly by Excel or other applications for further analysis. One of the major benefits of using this function vs. report writer or ODBC is the linkage relationship among tables are pre-defined in export processor and users do not need to have the technical knowledge for linking them.
In Elliott V6.7, Bank Book was offered as an add-on. With the release of Version 7.0, this powerful feature will be bundled with the software package.
Bank Book is a powerful feature that works with your General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Payroll modules to maintain various bank accounts and provide accurate bank account reconciliation.
Without the Bank Book feature, reconciling and managing your bank accounts can be a tedious task. However, with Bank Book’s integration to the necessary modules, these tasks are simplified. The purpose of this module is to reconcile your bank statement with your cash account. First, enter the cash account number and bank statement information, then mark deposits and checks as cleared. Once all transactions from the bank statement are marked as cleared and the balance difference is zero, the reconciliation is complete.
The Bank Reconciliation Reports include four reports: Reconciled Summary, Reconciled Detail, In-Progress Reconciled, and In-Progress - data based upon the status of reconciliation. During the reconciliation process, if these reports are printed they will reflect current In-Progress information. Once your account is balanced, the reports will reflect reconciled information.
Even though the previous version of Elliott supports contract pricing, it is usually implemented as price code 1, 2 and 3. Each price code is individually entered and there are no records in the system to show their relationships. This has caused problems when the contracts have expired, causing the user to tediously delete hundreds or thousands of records from the Price Code File. Furthermore, any tracking by contract is very difficult.
In Elliott V7.x, we introduce Contract Pricing either by customer or customer type (group contract pricing – i.e. buying group). Each contract has one contract header and multiple contract items. The contract header may optionally have an expiration date. When the contract has expired, it will automatically take itself out of the pricing calculation or the user can simply delete the contract. Each contract item can be an item or product category. Elliott V7.x also provides a copy function to allow easy setup of a new contract.
Inventory Turnover Report
The Inventory Turnover Report is designed to show each item’s inventory turnover ratio based on Invoice History, Inventory Transaction, Audit Trail File, and Current Inventory Quantity on Hand. Inventory Turnover Report is an important management tool. Many banks will require an inventory turnover report to facilitate auditing as well.
You can allocate an item by making a sales order. In many situations, you may want to set aside inventory without making a sales order. This may include reserving a portion of the inventory for a client or a special purpose. A Hold Transaction file is designed for this kind of occasion. As a hold transaction is entered into the application, Elliott V7.x will increase the quantity allocation for the item. Hold Transactions can be reserved for a user or a salesman and can be released through sales desk or order entry. Each Hold Transaction can expire by a predefined time frame. Included is an option to send Email to the predefined recipient for the Hold Transaction when the hold expires.
New Elliott Add-on Options in V7.x
Active X Components & Web Services
If you need to set up a unique E-Commerce or E-Business application that Elliott.NET won’t fit, then you should consider using Elliott V7.2 ActiveX components or Web Services. How will the ActiveX components & Web Services benefit you? Simply put, you will be able to easily develop a custom web solution on your web site without the need to know the complex logic of how to retrieve or update the Elliott backend database. For example, to create an Elliott order with ActiveX components or Web Services, you only need to give a customer number and an item number, and Elliott ActiveX or Web Services will take care of the rest. Any additional information you provide, the system will honor it and use it. If information is not provided, the system will use default values.
The Elliott ActiveX components & Web Services are considered as the Business Logic Layer and it is the middle tier of the modern three tiers application architecture (while ASP or ASP.NET Page is considered the user interface tier and Elliott Database is consider the Database tier). Elliott ActiveX components & Web Services eliminate the need for the user interface layer programmer to know the complicated logic of a business transaction. It greatly speeds up the programming project implementation cycle.
Remote Sales Order Taking
Remote Sales Order Taking is an interface utility that works with Steven Creeks Associates’ “Take an Order” solution. It is a Palm Pilot solution that a user can use in a trade show or the company show room to take sales orders directly on the hand held device. The Palm Pilot can interface with Elliott at a later time to upload the sales order.
To speed up sales order taking, a Palm with a built in scanner (we suggest to use Symbol’s Palm Pilot) is recommended to be used to scan the item (or UPC) barcode. Take an Order can also interface with a printer via wireless RF ports to print out order acknowledgements immediately without interfacing to Elliott.
Shipping Verification is designed as a barcode solution for the COP package to eliminate possible shipping errors like:
· Shipping an incorrect quantity of a line item to a customer.
· Shipping the wrong item to a customer.
Shipping Verification can be used to automate billing selection, since all items and quantity information is already verified at the shipping verification workstation. It is also a required add-on package to support EDI Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN).
To use Shipping Verification, you will need to setup a workstation in your warehouse with a barcode scanner (attached through a keyboard wedge). You can scan the order number of the picking ticket (if it is bar-coded) and bring up the order in the shipping verification screen. The user interface and capability is similar to a supermarket check out counter. When you scan the barcode on the item, if the item is not on the order, an audio effect will immediately sound to advise you of the error. Also, if you over-scan an item, Elliott V7.x will immediately warn you. Upon completing the scanning and exiting the order, any under scanned items will be reported. The shipping verification data is then stored and can be inquired through Order Inquiry. Once the order is posted, you can also inquire about its shipping data in the Invoice History Inquiry.