General Chat

 

Comments from Down Under

 

Posted: 05 Sep 2006 08:44 am

 

Hal, I recently downloaded the beta of Morning Flight Silver, and was very impressed with the simplicity, compared to other products I have been evaluating over the last few months. Of course, I cannot help to also be impressed by the price!

I own and run a digital colour print shop in Sydney, Australia: we have a Canon IR3200 and a Konica Minolta C500 digital copier (as our main equipment) plus wide format inkjets and a few other small copiers. We are about to go full circle and are soon to get a Heidelberg QMDI 46 offset press, after having disposed of our last ink-on-paper press almost a decade ago! MorningFlight seems just what we need now, with the upcoming expansion. Quoting is already tedious, and prone to errors: I hate to think what trouble we could get into in the next few months without an automated system.

I have spent my Saturday playing with the beta, and already have many questions. The first ones seem to be the same ones that a lot of people on the forums are asking ... When is the manual coming out? When is the Gold Edition due? How much will it be? When is the network version available? However, I also have some quick, specific questions, the answers to which I could not find straight away ...

1.There is a "Shipping" section... but where does shipping get added to the estimate? Can you print the shipping method on the quote?
2.Is there any way to type a short, "plain English" description of a job that can appear at the top of a quote? EG "Certificates for ABC Holdings employees". I can certainly edit the "opening remarks" of the quote, but that could be tedious, especially if I want the same short description to be seen on the price sheet and the job ticket (and then later on an invoice, in the Gold Edition).
3.I have read a recent post from Basil about GST tax here in Australia, so I know how MF works at the moment. However, it would be nice for us to have an option to INCLUDE taxes in the final quote, as there is one and only one tax level here in all of Oz. Could it not work like the "markup," just adding 10% to the bottom line? We currently like to give our customers a grand total quote that includes everything (pre-press, printing, post-press, tax, delivery) and then list the items in a later communication, only if they ask for it.

I'm sure I will have other questions, after I spend my Sunday (and probably a few nights next week) working my way through the programme.

For now - I am very impressed. I hope you keep up the fantastic work, and that future development is not held back by ANYTHING. If I can contribute in any way, I would be willing to explore the possibility down the track. Best regards,
. . . . . John

 

Thank you, John, for sharing your first impression of Morning Flight. With our printing operations now shut down, the help system and user manuals are being worked on full time. First off the press will be the manual for the Free Edition. Only it won't be coming off the press exactly. We've decided to offer it as an Acrobat .pdf file download - free of charge, same as the program.

A public beta of the Gold Edition will be made available soon after the Silver Edition is released (that edition is ready now, waiting for a printed manual). Haven't set a firm price for the Gold yet, but it will likely sell for $585 US, minus the cost of the Silver Edition for someone who's upgrading.

As mentioned elsewhere on this forum, Morning Flight can be used in its present form on a small network. The program only lacks record locking, which means that if two users work on the same record at the same time, the last save overrides the prior one. We plan to add record locking at some point, but it's not on the front burner.

Now, to answer your specific questions: The "plain English" description does exist in the form of a keyword (F8 on the Quote screen). It's short, 35 characters, and currently does not get printed on the Quote Sheet. It probably should, so that's something we'll include in the next version. Printing that description on invoices or estimates, however, might prove cumbersome, since both can include several quotes or orders.

At the moment, shipping and taxes can be added to orders but not to estimates. That's not an omission, but left out by design. Once an order is placed, you usually know what to ship, how to ship it, and where to ship it to. That's rarely the case during estimating.

On the other hand, we've now had two users ask that delivery charges and local taxes be made available for estimates. Does anyone else need this? If so, it's easy enough to add. Morning Flight has already benefited from significant contributions from "down under," especially in the digital arena. There is always room for improvement.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel