It’s the Little Things…

In Inventory,Sales on September 12, 2014 by Luke Natvig Tagged: , , ,

It’s been just over a week since we released Version 2.11 and the majority of you have already upgraded. If you haven’t yet, make plans to upgrade soon (it only takes a few minutes). When you do, you’ll be able to start enjoying these small changes that have a big impact in Ascend.

Save Sales Invoices to PDF
In Version 2.10, we introduced PDF attachments for emailed receipts. This was a welcome change, but you still had to email yourself if you wanted a PDF version of a sales receipt. In Version 2.11, you can save invoices directly to your computer. It’s simple. When you’re in a sale, click the “Preview” button on the on the toolbar to view the receipt. From there, click the “Save” button and choose the location where you want to save the file.

See Your Scanned Inventory Sections
Last year, we overhauled our inventory process. A lot of steps were removed and discrepancies can now all be resolved in one screen. In version 2.11, you’ll find a “Scan File” column to the Reconcile Inventory screen. Now, when you’re performing an inventory count, you’ll be able to view the section(s) in which an item was scanned. This will help you identify re-scans that need to take place if a particular section seems to be the source of several of your discrepancies.

Scan File Column

But, Wait! There’s more…
We’ve added a few small touches to help you better communicate with your customers. In the customer record, there’s now a small label icon to print a label for the Billing or Shipping address.

Customer Address Label

And on the customer panel, you’ll see a birthday cake if your customer’s birthday is within one week of the date you’re ringing up their transaction.

Birthday Cake Icon



Customize Your SMS Defaults

In Customers,Ordering,Version Updates,Work Orders on September 3, 2014 by Luke Natvig Tagged: , ,

Version 2.11 is now available! If you haven’t already, upgrade today and join the hundreds of dealers already taking advantage of Ascend’s new features.

Customize Your SMS Defaults
A few versions back, we added SMS integration to Ascend. (Do you remember which version? We’ll send a small care package to the first person who comments with the correct answer.) Since then, thousands of text messages have been sent through Ascend. Obviously, you love this feature. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could customize the default message? In version 2.11, you can.

Once you’ve upgraded, go to Options -> Services and click the new “SMS Setup” button. From there, you can setup different defaults depending on the origin of the message.  The example below shows the setup for the message generated when a Special Order Item is received.

SMS Setup ScreenCreate your message in the Default Message box. You can (and should!) enhance the message with the Tags listed on the right. Double-click a Tag to insert it into the message. The Tag represents a placeholder for the actual information that will appear in the message. The Message Preview field allows you to preview your message with sample data and make sure you’re staying within the SMS character limit.

Enjoy the Automated Awesomeness
Once you’ve finished your setup, continue to use Ascend as normal and smile each time the message YOU created gets sent out. Here’s an example of how the message we setup above appears in a Purchase Order once a Special Order Item is received.

SMS - Special Order Received











As you can see, the Tags have been replaced with the customer’s first name, the product keyword, the user’s first name and the location name. You also still have the option to edit the message before sending it.

So please, upgrade, customize and enjoy!


On Sale Keeps Getting Better

In Customers,On Sale on August 30, 2014 by Luke Natvig

Version 2.11 is just days away! It will be available to all dealers on September 2nd. Click here to register for our release webinar at 10:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, September 3rd.  We’ll also continue to review new features in upcoming blog posts. Below we’ll cover some additional On Sale features that will be included in this release.

Place Categories On Sale
When you create a new On Sale record, you’ll now have the option to designate it as a category sale. When building a category sale, you can select and apply a percentage discount to the categories you choose. Products in the categories placed on sale will automatically have the discount applied, even if they are categorized after the sale has been created. Category On Sale Tree

Create & Edit from Any Location
If you’re a multi-store dealership, you’ll notice some improvements we made with regard to sharing. On Sale records will be automatically shared to all other locations in real time. Updates to existing records can be made from any location and will also automatically be shared. If for some reason an On Sale record needs to be ignored at a certain store, you can simply uncheck the “Use Sale Pricing” check box at that location and the pricing for that sale won’t be applied. Use Sale Pricing Check box

Goodbye, Customer Advanced Properties
Here is your final reminder that the fields behind the “Show Advanced Properties” button in the customer record have been removed in version 2.11. Most (if not all) of you are already not using these fields. If you are, please prepared for life after they’re gone.

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On Sale Labels are here!

In Customers,On Sale on August 18, 2014 by Luke Natvig

Version 2.11 is just around the corner! It went out to our Early Release dealers last week and will be released to all dealers on September 2nd. Over the next few weeks, we’ll preview some of the new features coming your way.

Put a List of Items On Sale

You’ll see a new “Product List Search” tab when placing items on sale. On this tab, you can scan or paste UPCs or SKUs into the top section of the window. When you click Search, the items will appear in the grid below. From there, you can apply your sale pricing to the items in the grid without having to look them up one at a time.


Print On Sale Labels

When a product is on sale, Ascend labels will now display the Sale Price and MSRP. If you don’t want to print the sale price, you can uncheck the “Print Sale Price” check box.

On Sale Label

Stay tuned next week for a preview of Category On Sale enhancements and some improvements we’ve made to On Sale sharing.




Your Trek World To-Do List

In General,Version Updates on July 31, 2014 by Mark Hoggatt Tagged: , , , ,

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you next week at Trek World (8/4 – 8/6).  If you’re attending, here’s your Ascend to-do list:

  1. Bring your questions to our lab:  Our Support Team will be available in full force in the Ascend Lab.  Please stop by during our scheduled hours with any questions you have for us.
  2. Attend our seminar:  We’ve released many improvements since we met last year.  Attend our seminar to find out the top ways our customers are taking advantage of these latest changes.  Luke Natvig, our Support and Product Manager will be leading this session in the Ascend Lab.  Check the daily schedule for times.
  3. Learn about our new services:  We’re excited to introduce our new professional services for bookkeeping and inventory management.  Join us and learn all about them from Mark Hoggatt, our General Manager, and Erin Tome, our Services Team Manager.  Check the daily schedule for times and location.
  4. Order hardware:  Our Sales Team will be located on the bottom level of the Monona Terrace,  just outside the show floor.  Stop by to order the new PCs and hardware you need for your stores.  As always, all the hardware we use at the show is on sale while supplies last.
  5. BONUS – Visit us at Outdoor Retailer:  For the first time ever, we’re attending the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City August 6th – 8th.  We’ll be in booth # 32197.  If you or anyone from your stores are attending, make sure to stop by and say hello.  If you know any other retailers that are going, please tell them to come see us.

The Ascend Support Line will be open during Trek World.  We’ll have support available during our standard hours from 8am to 6pm Central Time.

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Keep Up With Your Inventory This Summer

In Inventory,Products on June 18, 2014 by Luke Natvig

On June 10th we released Version 2.10 and several hundred locations have already updated.  If you’re not one of them, here are a few more reasons you should upgrade today.

Fix What You Need To Now

The Remove Duplicate Products tool is a great way to keep your product records clean. We’ve added an Inventory Only check box so, if you’re short on time, you can easily clean up what needs fixing right now. Also, you can now scan or type in a bar code in the Product field if you’re looking to address a specific duplicate.

Remove Duplicate Products

Remote Inventory Matters

If you’re a multi-store dealer, we’ve added some new features to help you manage your inventory.  When attempting to hide a product at the primary store, we’ve added a check to make sure that no inventory exists for that item at secondary locations. If it does, the product record can’t be hidden. We’ve also added a new Remote Inventory Only check box to the Remote Product Lookup screen. This is checked by default and filters your search results to only display items that are in stock at the secondary locations.


Remote Product Lookup

For a full list of features and fixes in version 2.10, read our release notes and watch the recorded webinar. Upgrade today!

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You’re Just Days Away From A Better Customer Record

In Customers on June 6, 2014 by Luke Natvig

When you upgrade to Version 2.10 next week, you’ll enjoy these updates we’ve made to the customer record.

Send Messages On Demand

We’ve added Email and SMS buttons to the customer record. They become active once an email address or mobile phone number is entered for the customer. Click these buttons to launch a blank draft so you can send a message to the customer from any place you can access their record.

You Asked, We Answered

In Version 2.9 we added a requirement that customer email addresses be unique within the database. In Version 2.10 we’ve added the option to turn this off.

We’ve also resolved a multi-store issue where duplicate customer account numbers were being created for customers created at different locations. The Location Short Code is now used to prefix new account numbers. In addition to resolving duplicates, it also gives you a quick visual indicator of where a customer record was originally created within your dealership.

Address Updates

The button formerly used to copy Billing Address to the Shipping Address fields has been replaced with a “Use Billing Address for Shipping” check box. When this is checked, the fields for Shipping Address will be populated on demand with the most current information in the Billing Address fields. We’ve also added the ability to designate the Shipping Address as “Commercial” or “Residential”.

Goodbye, Advanced Properties

While we’re on the subject of the customer record, to increase credit card security the “Show Advanced Properties” button will be removed with our Version 2.11 release in September. If you’re using these fields, start planning now for life after they’re gone.

New Release Information

We’re just days away from the Version 2.10 release!  Please join us for a brief online session to review the new fixes and features. We’re updating the format and offering two 30-minutes sessions (20 minutes to review the new features and 10 minutes for Q&A). Click one of the links below to register. All times are Central Daylight Time.

Wednesday, June 11th 9:00 – 9:30 AM
Wednesday, June 11th 11:00 – 11:30 AM

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Are You Capturing More Customer Data?

In Customers,Reports on May 29, 2014 by Luke Natvig

In Version 2.9, we introduced the new Customer Data Capture report. It tells you, by employee, how well you’re doing at getting contact information from your customers. With version 2.10, we’ve made some improvements.

If you’ve run the Customer Data Capture report in the last week, you’ve seen a new “Address” column to track the capture of a customer Billing Address. We also updated the calculation of percentage captured for each metric to be a subset of total transactions instead of customers captured. Lastly, we improved the .pdf export to default to landscape format with all columns displayed on one page.

Customer Data Capture 2014-05-25

Even Fewer Clicks for Online Reports:

When you upgrade to Version 2.10 on June 10th, you’ll also notice some improvements in the Reports screen of Ascend. Direct links to the Ascend Health Checkup, Customer Data Capture and Inventory & Sales History reports on AOR have been added. Before, you had to click the AOR button, scroll through the list of reports, and click on these reports to run them. Now, it takes one simple click from within Ascend.

AOR in the Client


The Version 2.10 release is less than 2 weeks away.  Be sure to mark your calendars to upgrade and start enjoying these new features!

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What’s an .rpt file? Upgrade and you won’t care.

In Ordering,Reports,Sales on May 14, 2014 by Luke Natvig

In version 2.10, we’ve made some replacements and additions we think you’re going to love.


We didn’t want XP to be lonely in retirement, so we decided to get rid of some older file formats, too. When you email a receipt, you’ll be sending a .pdf file instead of .htm. When you email a purchase order, it will also be .pdf instead of .htm. And we didn’t stop there. Saved reports will be .pdf instead of .rpt. and any exports that used to produce .xls files will now be in .xlsx format.


While updating these areas, we added some new functionality as well. The reports toolbar now has an Email button. Clicking this button will create a blank email draft with the report attached as a .pdf file. The SQL query toolbar has two new buttons, Email & Export. The Email button will create blank email draft with the query attached as a .xlsx file.  The Export button will give you the option of exporting the file in .csv or .xlsx format.

As a bonus, you’ll also have the option to email a purchase order as a .pdf or .xlsx attachment.

Obligatory End of XP Reminder

Computers running Windows XP will not be able to upgrade to this version. Version 2.10 went out for Early Release yesterday and will be released to all dealers on June 10th.   Happy upgrading!


More Customer Data at your Fingertips

In Customers,Reports,Sales on May 7, 2014 by Mark Hoggatt Tagged: ,

With Ascend Version 2.9 we introduced our new Customer Panel. The new panel puts a wealth of information about your customers right at your fingertips in the sales screen. In Ascend Version 2.10, due out on June 10th, you can look forward to even more.

Totals for All Locations:

Many of you have more than one retail location. When you’re with a customer, you want to see the total value of their business at all of your stores. To help you, we’ve added an All Locations column to the Sales tab.  Here it is in action:

Sales Tab with All Locations

Complete Dealership History

The History tab is the place to get detailed information about the items your customers have purchased from you.  Currently it only shows details for the location you’re in.  In Version 2.10 we’ve added a Dealership History link to this tab. When you click on it, you’ll automatically be directed to the Customer Transaction History report in AOR. By default, the report will display the customer’s transactions at all of your locations over the past year. You can change the date range or filter down to specific locations from there. We’ve added a new permission that allows access this report only (and not the rest of the reports on AOR).  When you upgrade, it will be enabled by default for all of your users.

Ascend Version 2.10 will be available for early release on May 13th.  If you’d like to be part of this group, contact the Support Team.  It will be available to everyone on June 10th.

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