Morning Flight Gold


Merchandise in the Gold Edition


Posted: 22 Nov 2007 10:23 am


Repeat orders for Merchandise have proven to be more of a challenge than we first anticipated. Turns out that when a Merchandise item, usually something you buy and then resell, is re-ordered by one of your customers, a number of inconvenient things can happen.

1.The item is discontinued by the manufacturer. Easily solved. MF tells you the item is no longer available, then gives you the option to enter the order anyway. After all, you may have enough widgets to fill the order still sitting on the shelf.
2.The price has gone up. That's not a problem either, save for the fact that you have to break the news to your customer. Morning Flight displays both the new and the old price side by side. You decide what to charge.
3.The item is changed, either by you or by the manufacturer. Here is where the waters get murky. In the original beta, we treated Merchandise the same as Offset and Digital: We retrieved the original pricing from the Order file, but used the current description and up-to-date specs from the Product file. In hindsight, that appears to have been a less than stellar choice. What may only obliquely affect Offset/Copy/Digital products (changing the makeready or spoilage, for instance) can have disastrous results with Merchandise: When Joe Grumpy re-orders album covers, he expects to receive album covers, not ballpoint pens.

So, back to the drawing board. When you create a Merchandise order either from a Quote or a previous Order, MF now retrieves not only the old prices, but the old name, description and other specs from the Quote/Order file as well. The program still displays the original price side by side with the up-to-date price, but if you want to update the name, specs and description, you need to click the Product button or press F2.

Somebody once said that democracy is a very bad form of government, but that all the others are so much worse. This latest upgrade should bring us as close to democratic levels as we're going to get . . . Or not, depending on what better ideas come bubbling to the surface!

If you downloaded the Gold Edition before November 22, 2007, you'll want to upgrade. In addition to how Merchandise is handled with Quotes and Re-Orders, the upgrade includes other enhancements and a bug fix with hourly Merchandise pricing. First, back up the PrintFire directory, then uninstall the old program. Download the new setup file and write down the directory into which you're saving the download. Once the download is complete, go to that directory and click on MFSetupG.exe to install the free upgrade.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel