Last week end I upgraded 3 back office computers to RA 14 and 2 shop computers to POS 14.
All went well until yesterday morning when staff started complaining about how hopeless the search function is in POS 14. We are a hardware store with nearly 11,000 items, the terminals are set to search 'description' rather than item code. With POS13 all that was needed to search for Radiata (we have about 60 different radiata items in the store) was to type 'rad' and this would show you the list of different items of radiata, ie profile/size/finishes. Now in POS14 it starts at 'brad' then after 20-30 clicks of Next you see the start of the radiata.
Staff are totally frustrated about the way POS14 carries out the search. I noticed that on the back office (administrator) version it still searches the way it did in POS13 but not at the terminals. Radiata is only one example of the problem, nearly all our timber is creating a headache for the staff. We carry a lot of products that don't have barcodes so the search function is used every second or third transaction.
Has anyone found a work around, short of barcoding every stick of timber and every brick in the shop?
Is it possible to change the way POS searches it's database?
Help, the staff are going to string me up if I don't solve this!
Sorry to hear your frustrations...
Have the staff tried searching for 'radi' instead???? or even 'radiata'?
From what I understand any instance of these three letters is a row 'rad' the program will find. and of cause 'brad' comes before 'rad' hence 'brad' at the top of list found.
Just a suggestion
Hmmm, I wish it was that simple!! Thanks for the suggestion.
The problem is that most of the timber is a Non-inventory item where most of the other stock is Inventory. This means that it is right at the bottom of the Item List.
In POS13, when you typed 'rad' it would list all items whose description began with 'rad', work very well. But in POS14 it will only go to the first occurrence of those 3 letters within the list, when you clicked next it went to the next occurrence. Because the timber is down the bottom of the list it takes many clicks to get down to it. Typing 'radiata' will reduce the number of clicks but only by reducing the number by about half.
I'm wondering what type of search it does i.e Boolean or what ever. Is there a symbol/wildcard that could be added to the search that forces it to start searching at the beginning of the field only.
We have 16k items in our product list and the search is just broken. In the POS2013 product, doing a search and typing in timber, jumped us straight to the timber section of the product, now it throws us in some random section and we have to page down 100's of times to get to timber!
The search has become unusable and just doesn't work anymore for our business.
Is there any way to get the old search back??? Anyway to force it to search like it use it!?
I have been in email contact with one of the POS support staff and here is his reply. It is good news!
In POS 2014 new search functions has been added. It work as wild card search now not as the old search function.
Product Management are working on update for search function. No ETA have been provided to tech support when will this update be available.
So maybe if we keep making more noise we might be able to speed up the process!
In the mean time we will just have to grin and bear it. What we are doing and it may help you is this; The reason the search stops at what appears to be a random entry, is that it is simply the next item with that combination of letters after the previous search. I would suggest you type in more letters to narrow the search i.e. type radiata rather than radi.
Email me at 'mbs at westserv dot net dot au, maybe we can figure out a way to help reduce this problem together and then post a reply/fix back on this forum.
Yesterday when things were quiet for an hour or so I sat at one of the POS terminals and tried to see if there was a way around this problem. I did come up with something, it will take time to setup but it will work (well it did for me).
The problem is really with any item that doesn't have a barcode (in our situation). A quick estimate suggests there is only about 1000 items out of 11,000 that don't have a barcode. In the items list in RA use 'Custom Fields' to add a description. It won't matter if you use the same words for a group of similar items, in fact it is probably a good idea. Our biggest problem has been Radiata, Cypress, Nails, Gal Pipe fittings, PVC pipe & Fittings
Now in POS Admin turn this field on to appear on the POS Terminals, then use this field as you main search field. For me typing Gal in the search field brought up all the Gal Pipe fitting that had these words in the new custom field.
I haven't tried it yet but it may be possible to speed this process up by exporting your item list to Excel. Make sure you have backed up your data file before doing any of this just incase something goes wrong! In Excel delete all items with barcodes, sort items by description (or your problem field). Add the new description to the custom field (it is way off the screen to the right), then import it back into RA. Take your time when setting up the 'mapping' as there are a few tricks you will need to watch out for, I haven't done any importing in RA but did it often in Qbks but I can't see any big differences in RA.
If I get time I will be trying it over the weekend
This will work ok. Some suggestions though:
- if you use iif files rather than Excel, delete Lines 1 to 10 from items.iif - it will be much easier to use the excel filter function.
- Get rid of anything below INVITEMTYPE = DISC and everything below that;
- Detete any items you don't intend to change, particulary those with existing barcodes. Excel loves to change barcodes to scientific notion.
- use only the CUSTFLD1 (Product Number field). CUSTFLD2 (Barcode) is probably safe but stay clear of the other fields
If you have a large items list, the item names will hopefully be set up as Department:Category:Item (eg Timber:Radiata:75x19x3.6).
POS treats Timber:Radiata as a category.
There are some good searching functions that this allows::
- You can search the Category column for Timber OR Radiata
- Just searching by the category column sorts the list by category, so all the Timber:Radiata items are grouped alphabetically
Pressing Timber List brings up this filtered list (this is from the Reckon Sample file)
Finally, to avoid posting errors, any changes to the "Item / subitem of" fields needs to be done between End of Day and the first transaction the next day.
Recommended process is:
- End of Day
- Make changes
- Recommence transactions.
Reckon Accredited Consultant
Brilliant, you have gone into more detail than what I did!
I totally agree with your comment about the first few lines of the IIF file.
I know exactly what you mean about Excel and the way it treats barcodes!
Just not sure why you say use only CustField 1 or 2, unfortunately we can't use them as the software for our hand held scanner uses these fields. Can you elaborate on why you say this?
Setting up a category sounds like a good idea, but wouldn't this have to be done with all items (11k items) for it to work satisfactorily? If we are going to get an update in Sept then we need a quick fix that won't cost a lot of time just to help until the update. I envisage going the category way as taking 2-3 days to complete where-as the Custfield method should only take a few hours. Sure the category way would be a complete fix.
Love the idea of having the buttons on the screen. We do, do this with bags of cement but that is all at this stage.
Several years ago I set up a country service station (including a restaurant and take-away) with POS. Because the food cooked on site didn't have barcodes I had to set them up with there own buttons on the touch screen. This involved 3 separate screens (hmm I think that is the word POS calls them)! One for the restaurant food, one for takeaway, the other for everything else that didn't have barcodes (fuel etc)!
Just so you understand my situation, I have a bookkeeping service, and have been using Qbks for nearly 20 years. The hardware store and servo are some of my clients.
Okay, I had a bit of time over the weekend to "play" with POS and I am going to have to retract what I said about using custom fields and items. POS Admin will NOT bring the custom field info through from RA. We used the customer custom field in previous versions of POS so I presumed that since it worked with customers it would work with Items. I was wrong.
What Graham Boast has said about using Categories will work. For the hardware fellas with the same problem, all our items are basically under the suppliers names, so I could use the suppliers name as the category search name. Setting them up as buttons works. It will bring up items that have and don't have barcodes.
Some examples, I setup a button called Boral with the search in Category for 'Boral Cement' and this brings up all their products. As far as timber is concerned all of our timber is in a category called 'timber' rather than a supplier's name as we source it from a number of suppliers. After talking with the staff they are quite happy if it just brings up the list of all timber not need to sub-categorise it into cypress, radiata etc. If the supplier has barcodes on most of their items I didn't set up buttons for them i.e. Romak, Zenith and most paints suppliers. But the likes of Koala Nails they need a button.
As a result I only had to set up about fifty buttons, I will admit that I did set up individual buttons for some items that we sell a lot of such as Cypress 4x2 RAW and some Maple
Hope this helps
Glad you had some luck with this and it sounds like this will make it easier for staff to find things.
With regard to the custom fields for items, Reckon only allows 5 Custom fields for items, and POS uses all of these.
- 1 - product number
- 2 - barcode. This field predates the barcode field in the item and is now redundant. It can safely be used as a de facto search field. You could perhaps use it for the different types of timber
- 3 and 4 - price levels 2 and 3 respectively. Because POS is expecting a numeric data value, entering alphanumeric data can cause problems.
- 5 - This is the item prompt. If the item was a hamburger, you may enter "would you like fries with that", and this prompt will display on the screen whenever a hamburger is sold. Very handy for rural hardware stores selling regulated items where they have to do the paper work when they sell the product. Not very handy to searching for radiata or Cyprus.