Here in Wisconsin, we’re being spoiled with some distinctly spring-like weather. Of course, we’re back to our normal temperatures in the 40s by the end of the week, but for now we’ll enjoy the sun and you can enjoy a preview of the the Spring 2017 version of Ascend!
Early release retailers can expect to see the update next Tuesday morning (February 28th). Everyone else can expect to see the update on the morning of March 28th. This week, we’ll focus on the highlights of the release – but be sure to read the full release notes to get the details on all of the changes coming your way!
Accept more credit cards: If you use the integrated payment processing through Chase Paymentech™, you’ve probably received emails regarding Secure Hash Algorithm updates (SHA to SHA-2) and MasterCard’s® expanding bank identification number (BIN) range.
Long story short, we’ve got you covered! Want to accept JCB (via Discover) cards? Done and done!
However, these changes do mean that you’ll need to update your Ingenico devices after you update your Ascend software, so be sure to allow about 10 minutes per device to complete this. If you’re having trouble running the update, calibrate the device before you give it another go.
Better special order tracking: When you don’t have a product in stock and need to special order it for the customer, we’ve consolidated and simplified the prompts. Now just enter any applicable comments for your buyer and confirm that yes, you really do want to special order it before wrapping up the sale.
If you want to order it from Trek or QBP, you can even check their availability directly from the Special Order prompt so that you can give your customer an ETA right then and there.
When you add the item to an order, the PO details flow through to the transaction so anyone can easily give the customer an accurate update on status. And when you’re receiving an order, the Transaction column lets you see whether the item belongs to a layaway or a work order with just a glance.
And last but not least – you no longer lose the tracking details when the customer takes their product home and you mark the special order completed.
What landline? We live in a mobile world, and most people’s primary phone nowadays is their cell phone. When you create new customers, their primary phone number now defaults to a type of Mobile instead of Home (existing customers won’t be affected). But keep in mind – customers may be charged for incoming SMS (text) messages, and Ascend does not alert users if a message cannot be sent (e.g. non-mobile phone number), so always verify the phone type with the customer!
Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling: Have a work order with a long history? Layaway have a story all its own? Any comments that exceed the field’s space on the screen show a scroll bar so you can easily see what you’re getting into, and skip to just the spot you need.
Full-page facelift: Give your customers the skinny on their repairs without destroying an entire forest – we’ve maximized the amount of space used for full-page work order receipts. Simple repairs no longer require a two-page printout, and irrelevant fields don’t show up at all. Discounts display according to your configurations in Options > Receipts > Extra Receipt Options. And customer phone numbers are formatted for easy readability.
Transfer by serial number: Is your shop a wiz with serial numbers? Are all of your serialized items tagged with a serial number barcode? When you’re checking in a transfer from another store, just scan the barcode to check off the item in your receiving list. And when you’re checking a transfer out, scanning the serial number actually selects it.
The Saga of Multi-Store: Our multi-store revamp did not work out as well as we’d planned. We realize this, and we really do appreciate your patience. Our developers have been hard at work designing a new back-end platform to better handle and distribute the increased load so that your workflow isn’t interrupted. All the existing multi-store functionality will remain the same, but it’s been beefed up to be more stable and much faster.
We have all the groundwork in place for this new framework in Spring 2017 – but we want to be smart about our “real world” testing, so we’ll be migrating retailers to this new platform individually, to start. If your shop is interested in being an early tester for this new service, please email email@example.com (with the subject “Multi-Store Migration to Stratus”) after you’ve updated to Spring 2017.
Time is running out: We’re closing in on our new, personalized website – which means the end of the universal login. If you’ve already sent in your login request, you should’ve received an email confirmation. We’ll begin setting up the new accounts early next week, and you’ll receive another email with your next steps.
If you haven’t submitted your request, do so now! There will be a short grace period where the universal login will still get you in to all of our files – but it won’t be long before you lose all access.
Don’t miss out: Through the end of February, upgrade your register and service peripherals for 10% off their regular price. And if you spend $1,500 ($1,975 CA) or more, you’ll get interest-free financing for 12 months. Check our minimum hardware requirements, then place your order now to ensure you “sale” through your summer business!