Looking up equipment
There can be many situations where you are trying to find a piece of equipment. Sometimes you might have an equipment reference code, sometimes a customer might have some very specific specifications to be met, or at other times you may want to find and quote everything you have that is close to what the customer is asking for.
The quality of lookups depend on the quality of information entered. If you always enter a manufacturer for example, you can be certain that an equipment lookup for a manufacturer will find the match. Unfortunately, many new MLS customers have not enter manufacturers or UED codes or size specifications for their equipment. Part of a successful search process is spending time to make sure that equipment in your database is fully entered and that you know what equipment specifications may be incomplete.
This tutorial will spend a number of steps showing different types of lookups and their advantages. You will also see how to save lookup options. Being aware of the many equipment lookup option will allow you the most freedom in finding equipment for customers.
Before starting this tutorial, startup and login to LocPlus MLS but close any window inside LocPlus MLS.
Looking up by equipment reference number:
- Before starting any equipment lookup, you must first open the "Find equipment" window. From the menu bar select "FILE / FIND AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT". Remember that the label "F2" next to the option "FIND AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT" means that you can press the F2 function key as an alternative to selecting the option off of the menu bar.
NOTE: Function keys are a faster way of starting up frequently used options. Learn the most common ones like the following:
F1: Looking up customers
F2: Looking up equipment
F3: Looking up wanted equipment requests
F4: Looking up quotes
F9: Checking your appointment calendar
- The "Find equipment" window is displayed. There are four tabs across the top of the window. The first tab is labeled "Classification" it is used for the most frequent lookups by equipment classification. The bottom half of the window displays a list of equipment matching your lookup.
- The second tab is marked "By Ref Code / UED / Mfg". With the mouse, click on the second tab. Use this second tab when you want to search by either Reference Code, UED code, or manufacturer.
- Move to the "Reference code:" ;field and enter in a code like "10000". Since you can set your own equipment reference codes, enter in a code of one of your current pieces of equipment. If you enter a partial code, MLS 2000 will find all equipment which matches the partial code. For example: if you enter "10000"; items "100000", "100001", "100002", "100003", "100004", "100005", "100006", "100007", "100008", "100009" will all be found…if they exists.
- Make sure the field labeled "Manufacturer:" is empty. If there is a manufacturer in the field, move to that field and erase it with the delete key or by blocking out any entry with spaces.
- Make sure the field labeled "UED:" is empty. If there is a UED code entered, then use the mouse key to move to the top of the list and select the option "(Empty)".
- When a search is initiated, a piece of equipment must meet all requirements on this page. If you leave a manufacturer or UED code, then only equipment with the reference code from that manufacturer with the selected UED code will be displayed. Remember not to use multiple restrictions if you are having difficulty finding something.
- On the right side of the window, there is a field marked "Order by:" Select "Reference code" from that pull-down field with the mouse. There are a variety orders to display matching equipment, but if we are looking up by reference number, we will probably want to view the equipment by reference number.
- Under the "Order by:" field, there are "Search from:" boxes. They are labeled "Inventory", "End User", "Dealer", and "Sold". Make sure all of these boxes are checked. If all of these boxes are checked, all equipment will be included in the search, otherwise only equipment with certain ownership status will be included. Since we do not know, the ownership status of our equipment, we don't want to exclude anything.
- Ownership status can be very important when searching for equipment for prospective customers. If you have multiple items available for sale that meet a customers requirements, you may want to present equipment that you own first. Each piece of equipment is owned by a company. Each company is labeled as an "End User", "Inventory", or "Dealer". This owner type is displayed prominently during searches. Using these boxes, you can also limit the searches so that you won't even see these items. In addition to the owner type, the item may not be available. After an item is sold, it may not be "on the market", but you may find that it is worthwhile keeping a record of it in your computer. You never know, if you find a customer who really wants a particular machine, it may be worth a call! So don't delete equipment after it is "sold", just mark it sold in the equipment file. It won't show up in searches unless you mark the "Sold" box!
- Everything should be ready! Press the "Search Now" button. A list of matching equipment will be displayed in the list on the bottom half of the "Find equipment" window.
- Press the tab labeled "Equipment Details". The fields in that tab show more information on the equipment than will fit on the single line below. If you single click with the mouse and/or move up and down the equipment list with the cursor control (arrow) keys details for the selected equipment item will be displayed. When you find an equipment item you were searching for, you can see the full "Equipment Information" window by either pressing the "Done" button or double-clicking with the mouse on the equipment item in the equipment list. Do one of these.
- In the "Equipment Information" window, notice the equipment reference code in the upper-right corner of the window. If that field is disabled (i.e. you can't change it), then your system is setup to have MLS 2000 automatically assign equipment codes. MLS 2000 assigns equipment codes sequentially, starting with "100001".
- To the right, and just a little below the reference code, there is a check box labeled "SOLD". If this box is checked, this piece of equipment is not considered "available". We discussed how this feature in step 10.
- In the "Equipment Information" window, there is a tab labeled "Owner / codes". Point the mouse and click on that tab. The current owner of the equipment is displayed. The "Owner type" discussed in step 10 is displayed under the button labeled "Change Owner >>". Obviously, if you wanted to change the owner of this equipment, you could press the "Change Owner >>" button. We won't do this now. But to view the entire file on the owner to this item, point the mouse to the title "OWNER" above the company name. Click on that title. A "Customer Information" window will open with information for that company.
- We won't review the customer information here, for more information on the "Customer Information" window see the tutorial
- On the left side of the "Customer Information" window, about half-way down the window, in the "General information" tab, there is a field marked "Owner Type:". This is a pull-down control which allows three options "End User", "Dealer", "Inventory". This is where the ownership type discussed in step 10 was discussed.
- Press the "Exit" button in the lower-right hand corner to close the "Customer Information" window. The "Equipment Information" window will be displayed again.
- Click on the tab "Specifications". This window contains controls (or fields) to change the equipment Manufacturer, UED code, and up to eight customized search size parameters. For each classification of equipment, you can specify size parameters to aid in equipment searches and display orders. The use of these specification fields is particularly useful if you have a lot of equipment in your computer with those size specifications. BUT THE SEARCHES WON'T BE SUCCESSFUL IF THE DATA ISN'T ENTERED IN!
- At the bottom of the "Equipment Information" window are buttons labeled "Prev" and "Next". Even though you have done several other tasks, you can still press these buttons to view the respective equipment items in the order of your search in step 11 and 12.
- Press the "Find" button at the bottom of the window to go back to the "Find equipment" window and play more with our searches.
- In the "Find equipment" window, select the "Search options" tab with the mouse.
- The selections in this tab control your search options. There is a field labeled "Max # of records to find". MLS 2000 won't retrieve more matches than this number. Don't set this number too high. If it is too high, performance will be poor. If there are too many matches, you should make your search requirements more restrictive. For example, if you have over 100 matching Vertical turning centers, you may want to search by price or size so that you don't have to look through so many. Set the number in this box to 60.
- There is a checkbox field labeled "Search immediately after changing class". If this box is checked, then every time you change the class a search will be initiated immediately. This can be more convenient in many cases, but since searches can take several seconds it may be distracting if you want to enter other information before the search starts. Uncheck this box if it is checked.
- The fields labeled "Order by:" and "Search from:" were discussed back in step #10. Set these to values you think you will use most frequently. Check the boxes "Inventory", "End User", and "Dealer". Uncheck the box "Sold".
- In the upper-left hand corner of the window there is a button labeled "Update default options for MATT only". (Your name will appear instead of MATT) Press this button with the mouse. This will save the current lookup options. Every time you do an equipment search, you will startup with these options. These will be your options even next time your start up MLS 2000 (As long as you login under your name). Changing these options will not affect other users because they login under different names.
- Press the tab labeled "Classification". Most equipment lookups are performed from this tab. From the list on the left side of the window labeled "Class:" select an equipment classification. (For example: Press)
- On the top center section of the window there are two columns labeled "Minimum" and "Maximum". There are nine lines in each column. The first line is labeled "Price". The remaining eight lines can contain up to eight customized search size parameters. For each classification of equipment, you can specify size parameters to aid in equipment searches. These parameters were discussed in step 19. For example, important specifications for Press equipment might be tonnage, stroke, and bed width. Like the classifications themselves, search specifications may be customized. For more discussion on setting up equipment classifications and search specifications see information on that feature.
- Press the button labeled "Clear Size Limits" at the top center of the window. Pressing this button resets all size restrictions so all equipment will be found. (in other words, equipment will be included in search regardless of specifications)
- Make sure that all boxes are checked under the heading "Search from:" on the right side of the window.
- Press the "Search Now" button. All of the presses in MLS 2000 (or whatever other classification you selected in step 27) will be displayed in the equipment list in the bottom half of the window.
- You can select a piece of equipment by either double-click on the equipment line with the mouse or you may highlight the item with the mouse and then press the "Done" button.
- You can add a new piece of equipment by pressing the "New inventory" button on the right side of the window.
- Or, finally, you can abandon your search by pressing the "Cancel" button on the right hand side of the window.
YOU ARE DONE!
We have reviewed many of the equipment lookup features. Your may want to explore how to add a new piece of equipment to your inventory in the future!