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We Didn’t Forget Reporting…

In Customers,General,Reports,Version Updates on December 17, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , ,

Ascend version 2.12 has been out in the wild for about a week, but we haven’t finished telling you about all the new features quite yet. This update includes reporting improvements to help you track customer group sales, so if you want to learn how the get the most out of your data keep reading.

Still using an older version of Ascend? Update to start taking advantage of these and other improvements today.

 New AOR Reports: Get a snapshot report for customer group sales that allows you to quickly:

  • See the top items sold to a group
  • Show total sales and average transaction size for a given time period
  • Compare sale results to the last 90 days or the complete group sales history

Flexible Filters: Need specific sale information? Our new filter helps you:

  • Develop a sales strategy based on top performing products or seasons
  • Customize your search by combining filters with specific keywords or values
  • Narrow down group sales by day, user, vendor and much more!

 Learn More Now: Ready to see these new reports in action? Get started by watching this video then take a look at some of our other videos to learn more about all the improvements included with Ascend version 2.12.

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Upgrade to Version 2.12 Today!

In Customers,General,Inventory,On Sale,Ordering,Version Updates on December 10, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Version 2.12 is here and we’re ready to share all of its newest feature with retailers far and wide. If you haven’t updated your system, make sure to do so as soon as possible to start taking advantage of all of the improvements we’ve made.

Not sure what’s included? Read on for a short list highlighting some of the major changes or click here to check out the release notes.

 Note Worthy Updates:

  •  Customer Groups will allow you to create groups of any type and size, then track their sales activity or automatically give group members special pricing at the register.
  •  Our updated Category Mapper function is similar to the one you’re already used to and allows you to map uncategorized products in one click without leaving the order/receiving screen.
  •  Vendor Product Spreadsheets have also gotten an update and will now allow Ascend to recognize any categorization made before importing. Our system will also export other product attributes including: “Category”, “eCommerce”, and “Non-Inventory” options allowing you to efficiently view and modify settings outside of Ascend.
  •  We’ve made it easier to print product labels and have taken the guess work out of receipt printing. Simply configure your desired workstations to print gift receipts by default or keep paper out of the equation and have your system email receipts instead. It’s up to you!
  •  Our new Sales Item Comments field allows for more detailed special order tracking. You can now include individual customer requests or shipping updates to help communicate information between store team members. You don’t even have to leave the screen you’re working on to make changes, just double click on the item and type away.

Update Today: Ascend version 2.12 has been released to all retailers, so update now! Want more information on these and all other changes? Click here to view the release notes or here for a complete list of Ascend version 2.12 video tutorials.

 

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Comments Welcome

In General,Ordering,Version Updates on December 5, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged:

Ascend version 2.12 is less than a week away. When you upgrade, you’ll be able to add comments to sales items. Additionally, any comments added to a special order item will be shared between the sales and order screens.

Have a customer that is taking a portion of their purchase home with them now and coming back for rest? Simply make note of that in the sales item comments field. Just learned of a shipping delay that has pushed back the delivery of an ordered part? Update the comments field in the order and anyone who opens the layaway will be up to speed.

Record Item-specific Requests: Our new comments field allows for more detailed special order tracking. You can now effortlessly:

  • Include individual customer requests or requirements for special order items without leaving the transaction
  • Communicate stock or shipping information between store team members
  • Display comments across all special order reports

Start Learning Now: Ascend version 2.12 will be released on December 9th to all retailers, so get ready to hit the ground running and learn how to use this new functions today by watching this short video. Click here for a complete list of Ascend version 2.12 video tutorials.

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Would You like a Gift Receipt for That?

In Inventory,Sales,Version Updates on November 25, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , ,

The holidays usually mean two things for retailers: big sales and the need for gift receipts. Tackle both with Ascend version 2.12 and the new features it brings to help make this holiday season your most successful ever. We’ve made it easier to print product labels and included new receipt default settings to make gift and email receipts a breeze.

Labels in 1, 2, 3: Our new label printing functions make printing a three step process regardless of the number of labels needed. Easily:

  • Print labels for all products included in an On-Sale Record
  • Print quantity on hand for each selected product or an individual label for selected products
  • Or prompt Ascend to ask you to specify how many copies you’d like to print and whether you’d like to include Sale Price for each product individually

Automate Receipt Printing: New receipt default settings help transactions move more quickly. You no longer have to manually email receipt copies to customers or worry about the number of copies that are printed. Workstation specific settings allow you to:

  • Print gift receipts by default
  • Email receipts by default
  • Adjust the default amount of receipt copies printed after every transactions
  • Set a shop or backroom computer to print no receipts

Start Learning Now: Ascend version 2.12 will be released on December 9th, so learn how to use our new label printing and receipt default functions today. Missed last week’s tutorials? You can find them all here.

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For Every Product, There is a Category

In Inventory,Version Updates on November 18, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Categorizing products isn’t always easy, but it is important for every retailer. Not only does it make for a more organized database, but it affects reporting, helps narrow search results, and allows you to create a complete cycle count schedule. To help get all of your items properly sorted, we’ve made it faster for you to categorize products and easier to modify products via Vendor Product imports.

Mapping Made Easy: With our new Category Mapper function you’ll:

  • Be off to a quick start by using the same category mapper you’re already familiar with
  • Easily map uncategorized products without leaving the order/receiving screen
  • Categorize multiple products with a single click

Smart Vendor Imports:  Vendor Product spreadsheets have just gotten more powerful. We’ve added the ability for Ascend to recognize and export new Vendor Product spreadsheet columns so you can:

  • Categorize before importing
  • Export and efficiently modify product attributes outside of Ascend including: “Category”, “eCommerce”, and “Non-Inventory” options

More Control:  We’ve added “None” to the Category dropdown menu when exporting in-store products. You’ll now be able to:

  • Easily identify uncategorized products
  • Modify product categories en masse in a spreadsheet

Start Learning Now: Want to see the new category mapping function in action? Watch this video so that you’re ready when version 2.12 is released on December 9th. Missed last week’s tutorials? You can find them all here.

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Introducing Ascend Customer Groups!

In Customers,On Sale,Version Updates on November 12, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , , , ,

Version 2.12 is almost here.  It’s available now for our Early Release retailers and will be available to everyone on December 9th.  With this latest version we’re excited to introduce Customer Groups.  For a quick preview of this new feature, check out this video from Ascend’s Product Manager, Luke Natvig.

The Power is in Your Hands:  With our new Customer Groups feature you’ll be able to:

  • Create groups of any type and size.
  • Track their sales activity with reports.
  • Automatically give group members special pricing at the register.
  • Send email updates to group members.

Flexibility & Simplicity:  With Customer Groups we’ve covered all the bases to help you easily implement this new feature in your stores:

  • There’s no limit to the number of groups you can create.
  • Customers can be members of as many groups as you want them to be.
  • For automatic special pricing we’ve used our already familiar On Sale feature.
  • Any On Sale pricing rules you create for one group can be used for any other groups.
  • We’ve created varying levels of user permissions for you.  You don’t have to give employees full access for adding customers to groups.  You can limit them to adding one customer at a time.
  • You can add customers en masse from the back office.  You can also add them individually right from the sales screen.
  • If you add a customer to a group in the middle of the sale, the prices of the items you already added will automatically be updated with the group’s special pricing.
  • For retailers with multiple locations, you can create groups from any location.  Also, any changes to the groups will be updated in real time across all locations using our new multi-store sync technology.

Start Learning Now:  We want you to hit the ground running when we release Version 2.12 on December 9th.  To help, we’ve created a series of brief video tutorials to teach you everything you need to know about customer groups.  Click here to watch them and in less than 20 minutes you’ll be a pro.

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Introducing Ascend Inventory Services!

In Inventory on November 7, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla

Inventory, like laundry, requires constant attention. Accurate information helps you make the right buying decisions so that you have the right inventory at the right time to make the sale. We know it takes a lot of discipline to get this part of your business right, so we’ve introduced Ascend Inventory Services to help you and your team achieve and maintain accurate records. And we understand that every retailers needs are unique. Different sales volume, business strategies, locations, product assortments and even average daily sales all impact the inventory decisions you make every day.

Ascend Inventory Services provides client specific training. Our coaching can include on-site work, training or extended off-site coaching to help you improve your inventory processes and management. We’re committed to providing a personalized plan to each of our clients, big or small. So give us a call today and let us develop a package that works for you.

Accurate Data & Great Decision Making

We establish a regular schedule with you and your team to review your goals and objectives. We also take the time to discuss your recent cycle counts, questions about inventory best practices and we provide continued training so that your inventory management is maintained and perfected as your business grows. Ready to get started? Here’s what we can help you with:

  • Review your Ascend Database Health Checkup
  • Analyze and improve your category structure for better reporting
  • Facilitate an on-site, full store physical inventory
  • Cycle count training and the establishment of a regular count schedule
  • Ordering, receiving, special orders and layaways
  • Identify and eliminate aged inventory
  • Create an assortment plan/category management strategy
  • Institute a system that lets you know when and how much to buy
  • Provide 6 months of continuous improvement coaching

Ascend Inventory Services Offers Three Great Services to Get You on Track & Keep You There

  • On-Site Physical Inventory and Coaching
  • Remote Inventory Coaching
  • On-Site Physical Inventory

So why us? Because we’re inventory experts. Just ask Ascend’s Software and Service Sales Coordinator, Geof Brown. We’re confident that we can help you excel at inventory management which will allow you to make the right buy decisions at the right time.

What’s Next?

Give us a call at 877 875 8663 to sign up or to get more information about the program. Let Ascend Inventory Services help you build and maintain a great inventory.

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Reduce Scanning Time During Your Next Inventory Count

In General,Inventory,Payment Processing,Uncategorized on October 23, 2014 by Luke Natvig Tagged: , , ,

Payment Processing Update
As you may be aware, we’re one year away from a major milestone in payment processing. Simply put, by October 2015 retailers need to be able to process EMV (Chip & PIN) cards or they risk shouldering the liability for fraudulent transactions. We are actively working to support this and will be offering a solution to you several months before the October 2015 deadline. Here are 2 things you can do while we work on this:

  1. Continue following this blog for updates. We’ll post updates here as they become available. Be aware that several payment processing companies are using the confusion and misinformation surrounding this deadline as a scare tactic to coerce customers into switching to their product. Please contact us before making any payment processing changes.
  2. Budget for new hardware. Your current credit card swipes and pin pad readers will need to be replaced to support this new technology. We don’t have the exact costs nailed down just yet, but we we want you to be aware of this upcoming expense.

In addition to Chip & PIN support, we’re going to use this as an opportunity to review options for supporting mobile and  NFC payments (like Apple Pay). More to come.

Beef up your scanner fleet for inventory!
For most of the year, one inventory scanner is enough to maintain your cycle counts. But when it’s time to tackle your entire inventory, nothing beats the Ascend Rental Scanner Program! We have a fleet of scanners available to rent so you can close your store, perform your inventory and get back to selling as quickly as possible.

Follow these simple steps to take advantage of this great program:

  1. Determine the date(s) you will be scanning. Shipping usually takes a few business days, so please apply a 4 business day buffer before and after the requested dates to accommodate shipping and receiving. And you won’t be charged for transit time – we don’t start charging you until the scanners arrive.
  2. Figure our how many units you’ll need.
    • If you are requesting between 1-3 scanners, the rental cost is $80/unit/day.
    • If you are requesting 4 or more scanners, the rental cost is $65/unit/day.
  3. Contact us to schedule your rental! Give us a call at 877 875 8663 or email us at help@ascendrms.comSupply is limited so make sure to schedule out your equipment in advance to ensure availability. And don’t worry, Ascend Sales Guy Extraordinaire Pat Gronemus makes sure that shipping is always included with your rentals.

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Say “Goodbye” to XP and “Hello!” to Your New Windows PC

In Sales on October 13, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , , , , ,

As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft stopped providing support for its Windows XP operating system. Windows XP is 12 years old and that’s pretty old for an operating system. Microsoft does support its older operating systems, but it’s already more than 2 years past the standard ten years of support they normally provide.

While it’s true that you can keep using your PC with XP after support ends, we don’t recommend it. And neither does Ascend Installer, Kristina Florin.

Not only are XP PCs five times more vulnerable to security risks and viruses – which means you could get hacked and have your personal and customer information stolen – but companies that make the devices you connect to your PC won’t provide updated drivers that work with Windows XP.

Basically, your PC running Windows XP is not secure and is at risk for infection. Payment processing functions are also at risk, even if you don’t use an XP PC to process payments directly.

According to the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Section 6.1, Merchants Must: Ensure that all system components and software are protected from known vulnerabilities by having the latest vendor-supplied security patches installed. Install Critical security patches within one month of release. 

Since Microsoft will no longer be issuing updates to counter security threats or vulnerabilities within Windows XP, any applications being used on this operating system will no longer meet this PCI Standard.

Without the latest protections for your PC against viruses, spyware and other malicious software that can compromise your system, you’re leaving the door wide open for hackers.

​Still using XP? Help make Kristina’s life a bit easier and upgrade from your old non secure PC to a new reliable PC! Give us a call to find out more about our great deals.

Contact Ascend Sales at 920-478-2191 ext 12030 or email them at sales@ascendrms.com today.

 

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Introducing Ascend Bookkeeping!

In Finance on October 6, 2014 by Eddy Cevilla Tagged: , , , , ,

We know it can take a lot of effort to produce accurate and timely financials. Even with all the data, it’s not always easy to determine action items based on a few sheets of paper. Many people are often left asking themselves, “What are the numbers telling me? What should I continue to do?” and “What should I do differently?”

Quick, accurate financial statements are critical to your success in order to have the information you need in time to act on your results. So, we’ve introduced Ascend Bookkeeping and have people, like Maggie Ellison, working hard to help you and your business obtain financial success.

Each month we’ll meet with you for a performance recap. We’ll take the time to provide you the full financial package and discuss areas of strength and opportunity for your business.

Wondering just how much more we can take care of for you? Read on…

Introducing Ascend Bookkeeping Services.

Accurate

  • Integrate Ascend with QuickBooks to create a gap less workflow that produces data based on true sales and cost of goods sold.
  • Perform a monthly comparative analysis against Ascend data to ensure accurate reporting.
  • Match all purchase order activity between Ascend and vendor invoices.
  • Key verified vendor invoices to ensure proper accounting of inventory, freight and other goods/fees.
  • Code all bank and credit card activity to appropriate accounts.
  • Reconcile all bank, credit card, lines of credit, loans and other accounts monthly to verify consistency.
  • Key payroll information provided by your payroll processor.
  • Ascend will become your bookkeeping solution, even able to prepare sales tax filings. We’ll meet with you weekly to answer questions and catch‐up on anything you might need help with.

Timely

  • We will deliver your financial package within 10 days of month-end, giving you more time to worry about what really matters – your business.

Insightful

  • Update your Ascend Analytics Finance page.
  • Discuss your cash flow.
  • Provide income statements compared to last year and budget (Monthly & YTD) and a Balance Sheet so you can see how your money comes and goes.
  • Deliver a personal monthly performance recap with insightful commentary and action items to help you manage your store and your team as necessary.

So why us? Because we’re bookkeeping experts. We’ve helped over 400 dealers integrate Ascend with Quickbooks and provided their teams with a wide variety of bookkeeper training. We’re confident that we can supply you the information and assistance your business needs to thrive.

What’s next?
Give us a call at 877 875 8663 to talk to talk to one of our experts and sign up or to get more information about the program.

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