I wanted to take a minute to tell you all about the latest release of Lizzy, or at least give you the highlights, as this was a pretty massive release. Normally we try to release every month to month and a half but this one has taken almost 3 months to complete. We are very excited to finally have it out though as it marks a major milestone in the evolution of Lizzy and we’ve been working really hard to reach it. So here are the details.
Master Price Files: This is something I’ve been talking about a lot and while this release is not the one that contains the actual ability to take advantage of the Master Price file module, it is the one that actually contains it. In the next release you’ll start to see the ability for you to actually use it, but we had to take it in steps to insure that we didn’t break anything along the way.
Price Category and Industry Changes: You’ll notice in company settings the ability to now choose any combination of industries that you happen to be in. This will allow you to narrow down the items in your major unit Unit Types as well as the categories of items when you create new inventory. This has now been standardized across all dealerships to enable us to begin building the next phase of Lizzy, which we’re more than certain you are all going to like when it’s complete.
Barcode Printing: It might not seem like a big deal, but Lizzy now sports a new barcode printing system that we hope exceeds the abilities of what TBA was able to do in the past. The new processes not only include the ability for Lizzy to print barcodes from key places within the program, but also to store key information that allows us to get to the exact part being scanned. Remember, Lizzy can track inventory in many different ways, to include physical locations within the dealership as well as different distribution centers. So our barcodes had to encompass all the different processes in order to operate perfectly and as such, took a bit of time to get through. We’re pretty excited though about finally having this done and working so well.
Inventory Changes: In the past, not only with Lizzy, but TBA as well, we’ve always had problems with dealerships creating inventory and selecting accounts that were just plain wrong or didn’t make sense. We’ve been trying our best to eliminate this error but dealers kept on going side ways when it came to the accounting process. In this release we have changed things yet again to hopefully put a nail in it once and for all.
The scenario was that someone would import a price file and select the accounts they wanted to use. Then someone else would come along and add a new part manually for whatever reason, but when they did, they would select different accounts for the item than the originals. Even though it should have used the same one as the other items and Lizzy attempted to set it that way, it would inevitably get changed. So in this release of Lizzy, we have elected to remove the ability to set accounts based on individual part numbers and instead have set the system up to auto set them on a per manufacturer basis. This insures that you will NEVER have an item without the proper accounting and that all items for that vendor will exist with the same accounts, unless sub-accounts had been selected for the category of item, which would then be used. It is all handled now from one location in the CRM system instead of for each individual item.
New Template: We’ve been talking a while about redesigning the user interface and have begun that project now that we’re coming to a close on Lizzy’s core functionality. If you’d like to check out another menu system and color scheme, do the following: select System -> Security -> My Profile and then choose the Template drop down. It currently is set to Default 2; change it to Clean Blue then select the save button. Next, completely close your browser, reopen and login again. You should see a completely different color and menu system. There will be more coming soon now that we’ve worked out the first one.
New Chat System: With the new template, came a newly designed chat system and in future releases it will get even better. You can see the Learning Center for more information on how to use it.
Rental Processes: The rental system has been enhanced and in the next release will sport the new scheduling system for scheduling and keeping track of your rental equipment.
General Ledger: We’ve redesigned the General Ledger Location form to allow for lots of other ways to get at just the things you want to see. If you’re interested in the accounting processes you should check it out and let us know if there are any other items you’d like to see there.
Payroll Tables Updated: The payroll system has been updated for the 2011 year. Aren’t we all just so excited about that? Lizzy can help the government steal more of our money that we work so hard to get?
Form Emails: We’ve enhanced the form emails to allow for more formatting options and attachments. While other systems allow you to build email templates and send them to customers, we’ve found that because of all the anti-spam filters that exist most of the images get blocked. As a result we’ve included the ability to attach your brochure, or images, as PDF documents and have them serve as your primary source of information. This allows for you to send the email looking anyway you want as well as attach the actual images and information inside a file that the recipients will actually be able to view and print. We’ve also added a new selection tool on the email screen to select which form email you’d like to use.
While there have been tons of little changes and tweaks as well (I’m sure I’ve left off a few other major things) I’ll turn to the release notes for all the core detail. We’ll be uploading the final release notes later today for everyone to see, so pay attention to your login screens for that information. I’ll also update this entry and post the new link as soon as I have it ready.
Thanks for all your patience on this release as I know it took longer than normal. We’re going to work hard at getting them out faster from this point forward. This was a major hurdle to get through and now that we’ve moved past it, you should start to see things flowing much faster going forward.
Happy new year to all of our awesome customers. 2011 is going to be our year to explode and begin to push things the way we always wanted. We’re already adding new dealers at a record pace and are hiring new staff to help with all the new work. Stay tuned to the “In the News” section of the site as I plan to be a lot more vocal going forward with everything that is going on within the company and the product.