One Blog |November 25, 2013 | POS Tracking Software
Implementing POS Marketing Management — As Easy As 1, 2, 3
In response to questions regarding what it takes to implement OnTrak’s premier application, SignTrak, we asked our Product Development Manager and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Rick Flagg *, to write an overview of the implementation process.
Our implementation process — and meeting our customer’s requirements — is the subject of this week’s blog.
As you may know, all OnTrak Software application’s (SignTrak®, PermaTrak®, MenuTrakâ„¢ and SampleTrakâ„¢) are web-based programs that only require a user to have an Internet connection a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Safari on PC or tablet.
Execution of all OnTrak software solutions, and access to your POS Marketing data is ‘cloud based’ or ‘on-demand’, and available any time, any place and anywhere you need the information.
The overall steps to prepare for a SignTrak implementation are simple to follow.
Step 1 — Load The Data
The most time-consuming task for the implementing distributor is the initial data load which requires our customer to provide account, product and user data for import into the SignTrak database. If the distributor uses VIP or Encompass route accounting software, the process is very easy. OnTrak has tools available to access VIP’s applications back-office data; and, Encompass has a built-in routine to push the needed data to SignTrak. If the distributor does NOT use one of these two packages, then an additional bit of up-front work is required.
Since SignTrak allows POS materials for specific products and customers to be ordered and tracked, SignTrak needs to know your POS types and costs, and your supplier, brand and packaging for every product that is warehoused and sold. For accounts, information such as customer name, number, address, sales route and the primary sales representative that calls on the account and supervisor responsible for the account is needed for the order entry process. The data from your route accounting system needs to be in a data format such as that from an Excel spreadsheet file. OnTrak implementation consultants can provide technical details as appropriate for preparing your data files. Our customer’s work for implementation is now finished.
Step 2 — Build a Unique Customer Website
Once our customer’s data is available, OnTrak implementation consultants start to work. We will create a unique website for our new customer. If needed, we will also create a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site for routine, automatic regular transfer of product and account data. Initial copies of all requisite databases will be created, and the initial data provided from the distributor will be imported into SignTrak.
Next is an online system configuration session with our new customer to begin selecting system parameters and settings. System parameters determine which portions of SignTrak’s functionality will be used. For example, if your orders for signs costing over $50 require approval before flowing to the Sign Shop, we’ll turn on the “approval required” feature and enter the approval required cost amount of $50. SignTrak has about twelve parameters that will need to be set up. Additional adjustment to these parameters can be made anytime.
During our online meeting there is an initial discussion about SignTrak’s configurable fields. Configurable fields control all of the dropdown boxes within the system. The contents of each dropdown are totally changeable for each implementation. There are about 35 dropdown fields available for configuration — this, too, is not a daunting task as you will likely only use a few of them for each POS type.
Step 3 — On-Site Training
The final portion of implementation is an on-site visit by one of our consultants. The visit is usually planned over two consecutive days.
On the first day, the system parameters and configurable fields are reviewed for a final time and adjusted as needed. The meeting time then shifts to training the Sign Shop and SignTrak administrators on the mechanics of SignTrak, order workflow and an overview of reporting. At the conclusion of the first day, the Sign Shop is ready to begin accepting and processing SignTrak requests.
The second day is training for Sales Representatives and normally drives the timing for the visit. At the conclusion of the second day Sales Reps will begin placing sign requests into the system.
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* Rick Flagg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org