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June 2007 Update

June 6th, 2007 • Comments
Much work has been done since the last update. The main changes include:
  • Timesheets - by adding timesheet sub-employees to a user, users can now be setup to be able to either view or view and modify timesheets for other users.
  • Job Schedule - buttons have been added to expand sub items. Each press of the "Expand All" button will open another level of detail of the listed jobs. The "Collapse All" button will minimize all job details to the minimum level.
  • New System submenu - under the Administration menu, three new sections exist under the "System" submenu. They are: "System Info" - gives a summary of transaction counts in Blaq and Employee Access; "System Backup" - shows a log of recent backups (please note this log will show as empty initially but the backups have still been run); "System Options" - the same as the previous "Options" section available from the "Administration" menu.
  • Cost pricing - for non-chargeable accounts (re-do and samples) the pricing can be set to product's cost pricing (if it has been entered) by setting the "Non-chargeable Accounts use Cost Pricing" to "Yes" in the Administration > System > System Options > Transaction Settings section.
  • Production Details - a new function has been added to this section and because of this (and more to come) a few of the buttons have been moved to a sub-menu accessible from the "Actions" button at the far right of the buttons below the Production Details. The "Load from Job/Quote/etc." and Re-number functions have been moved here, and a new "Re-price" function has been added. The "Re-price" function will go through all the components in the current transaction and re-price them using the system pricing. If no pricing for a product exists then the price won't be changed.
  • Goods Receiving - the previous "Goods Outstanding" and "Goods Received" section have been merged into this one section. Depending on a user's access rights to this section, the options can be limited accordingly. The different options are: Add - outstanding products can be received; Modify - the date received and invoice # can be altered for received products and if the order hasn't been closed the quantity received can also be altered; Add & Modify - a combination of the Add and Modify options previously mentioned.
  • Products - new fields have been added to the products section for a future upgrade. They are: "Website" (under Buying & Selling) and "Preferred Supplier". While their information can be entered now, neither are functional yet. "Website" will enable a user to quickly lookup a product on a supplier's website or it will enable you to embed links in Invoice/Quote templates for your customer to be able to lookup a product from a pdf. Preferred Supplier will make purchasing products easier by listing separately specified products when ordering in a Purchase Order.
  • New tab within Jobs, 'Quote Details' shows all the production details of the quote the job was converted from (if it was converted from a quote). Any of the Components or entire Items of the original quote can then be copied to the job.
  • The design of all grids within the Comments, Quote Details, Production Details and Costs sections have been updated to better integrate with the design of the rest of Blaq.
  • Most pop-up windows within the Comments, Quote Details, Production Details and Costs sections are now created within the same window, making it faster.
  • All alterations within the Comments, Quote Details, Production Details and Costs sections of a transaction now are performed without having to refresh the entire page - instead, only the grid is generally reset. For example, if moving a component down within Production Details, only the grid is refreshed making it a lot quicker.
  • All Items within the Comments, Quote Details, Production Details and Costs sections can now be 'Minimised' and 'Maximised'. A small "-" or "+" besides the Item Title on the grid allows that Item's Components to be hidden or if clicked again, to be shown. A "+" and "-" button at the bottom right of each grid minimises or maximises all Items in the grid.
  • The Costs section now has subtotals for each of it's subsections.
  • New 'System Maintenance' section - under Administration > System > Maintenance:
    • allows the status of any transaction to be changed to another status - eg. an closed job set to Open or an invoice to be reset to Closed for exporting again.
    • allows exported batches of transactions to be reset so they can be exported again
There have also been a few visual improvements:
  • The edit screens have been give a more modern look
  • The lists (jobs, quotes, etc.) have been changed so now if the lists are scrolled the list headers do not move, making them visible at all times.


August 2006 Update

August 20th, 2006 • Comments
Over the past couple of months much work has been done on Blaq to include enhancements which have been requested by Blaq users. These requests include:
  • Most sections of Blaq have been given a fresher, cleaner look - but the functionality mostly remains the same. The only change to the functionality is the inclusion of a 'side-bar' in some sections. This new side-bar aids with navigation and also provides details about the currently open transactions, customers, etc.

  • View drop-down - near the top of many list windows, a View drop-down gives the user the ability to quickly see various views. For example, whilst looking at the list of Jobs, a user can select "Open" to view only the Open jobs.

  • Jobs - a new Status has been added - "Completed". This status is for when a job has been finished, but may not be ready to be invoiced. If selected, the job won't show up in the Planner & My Week Ahead sections.

  • Within jobs, the delivery section has been combined with the costs section. The Costs section will now show:

    1. Time Sheets - any time sheet entries allocated to this job.

    2. Purchases - the components of any purchase order allocated to this job.

    3. Cost Components - components can be added here (by clicking on "Add Cost Component" on the toolbar at the bottom of the window) which are used to track the costs incurred for the job. These components don't affect the components in the Production Details of the job. These components can also be deleted if necessary.

    4. Deliveries - any deliveries allocated to this job.

    5. All costs can be added to the Production Details of the job by either selecting a specific component and clicking on "Add Cost to Job" or clicking on "Add All Costs to Job" for all costs.

  • Transaction Components - when entering a component, if the product code is known, it can now be entered directly into the code field of the component, instead of having to use the lookup window. The lookup window is still available if the code is not known.

  • Activities - this new section has been added to the CRM. It allows you to view a list of all your activities. Within contacts, you can now also view all the activities for a contact.

  • Charts - the charts in the different Administration & Customer/Supplier sections have all been combined into one Charts section, found in the Tools section. This section now allows charts to be created with different combinations of parameters. For example, the sales history of a particular category and/or product for a specific Customer can be selected. Different date ranges are now available also.

  • Messages - Blaq users can now send each other messages within Blaq. To create a message, click on the "New Message" button at the bottom of the Blaq window. Select a Blaq user from the list (and a CC if desired), give the message a subject and enter your message. When finished, click on "Ok" at the bottom of the window. The recipient will be alerted to the new message at the bottom of their Blaq window. It will show up in the list of reminders & messages. They can then select the message and click on "View" to see the message. Alternatively, the message is available through the Inbox of the user's Blaq E-mail section.

  • Contacts - added fields for the contact's business & home address.

  • Spell Checker - most windows can now use an in-built spell checker. Simply click on the spell check button on the Blaq toolbar, or the Spell Check button available in most pop-up windows.


June 2006 Update

June 5th, 2006 • Comments
A new Job Scheduling section has been added. It is found in the Transactions module. All open Jobs are listed in date order, and the list can be filtered by Date, Branch, Sales Rep and Operator. Under each job, the sections and components of that job can be viewed.


May 2006 Update

May 25th, 2006 • Comments
There are several improvements in this month's upgrade:
  • Scrolling - the toolbar and tabs are now fixed in all windows so when scrolling down the window, the toolbar and tabs are always accessible at the top of the window no matter where you are on the page. Likewise, in the Comments or Production Details sections of a transaction, there is a toolbar for adding/deleting comments, items & components fixed at the bottom of the window.
  • Component Details - the Details section of a Component has now been extended to allow much more to be entered.
  • Timesheets - in the Planner section, timesheet entries can be made in the Day View. This way, you can keep track of the work done on a particular job. This work can be viewed in the new Costs section of the job. To add a timesheet entry, go to the Planner Day view, select the relevant time then click on the New button on the toolbar and select "New Time Sheet Entry". Select the Start and Finish Time, the job and the "activity" - the type of work involved. The Activity is selectable from a list of products which have been set as "Time Sheet" products in the Administration > Products section.


New Graphs

March 23rd, 2006 • Comments
Up until now, users have been able to view yearly sales graphs of their customers, including sales by category. Now, the graphs have been extended to show: the entire company, branches, sales reps, territories, suppliers, product categories, groups and products. The sales graphs now show the previous year vs. the year before, averages and percentage splits.