Product Questions


Are Job Numbers unique?


Posted: 3 August 2009

Not to beat a dead horse, but I need to confirm this. When MF assigns a job number, is that job number unique to that job forever? I am trying to get an internal system set up to better track and file my jobs/orders. So what I'm wondering is, if MF assigns job number 0609-00052 to an invoice we print for customer X, am I able to recall or reference that order strictly by that job number? Would MF be able to track the history of that particular job number?

. . . . .  Craig

Yes Craig, the number is unique, and for all practical purposes, forever. All MF numbers (quotes, estimates, jobs, and invoices) cycle. Actually, no numbering system allows any number to stay unique forever. Even sequential systems are finite and have to be reset to a new starting number at some point.

Morning Flight numbers do double duty. They not only serve to identify a transaction, they also tell you at a glance in what month and year that transaction took place. For instance, job number 0609-00052 used in your example says this is the 52nd order entered in June of 2009. The 0609 cycle started with 0100 (January 2000) and will run to 1299 (December 2099). After that, the 100-year old numbers get re-used.

I have a feeling that's going to be beyond Morning Flight's life span. I know it's beyond mine. Fortunately, at this point, I couldn't feel better!

. . . . .  Hal Heindel

What about the second part? Even if it's not "forever," can the numbers be used to recall a job for re-print or tracking? In other words, if my customer asked when was the last time job number 0609-00052 was run, is there a way to call that job number up and see? Also if they tell me they need to re-order job 0609-00052, is there a way to search, based on that number?

Would it make sense to use the MF job numbers internally to track and file orders and artwork? In my eyes if the job numbers change each time a re-order is placed then it will not. BTW forever in my eyes is 5 to 10 years, after that the job is history.

. . . . .  Craig

Because 0609-00052 tells you from the first four digits that the job was run in June of 2009, you don't have to bother looking that up. Based on your average monthly order volume, you probably have a pretty good idea about whether 00052 (the 52nd order in June) was run at the beginning, middle, or end of the month.

The problem with numbers is that, in the real world, customers rarely recall your last job number. At best, they might come up with their previous PO number. Nine out of ten, though, it's more like "Can you run us another batch of letterheads? The last batch? Oh, I dunno, but we're out and we'd like the same quantity as last time."

In those rare cases where a customer can submit your old order number, the order is easy enough to look up. Just click the ID heading in the browse box to sort all orders numerically. Most of the time, what you'll have is not a number but the customer's name and what they ordered. And that's what Morning Flight's search function is based on:

Isolate the customer
Isolate the product
Search by date

In the Order Finder window below, the detailed specs in the black panel make it easy to narrow the search to the order you're looking for.

Every order system needs a good search tool. At the Unitac print shop, we tried several approaches over a twenty+ year period. The one now built into Morning Flight is the one we stayed with.

. . . . .  Hal Heindel