Monthly filter orders

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

I'm wondering how some of you handle tracking and placing monthly filter orders for customers who are on recurring maintenance agreements.

Prior to using ST, we used to use ESC (dESCo). In there, we could create the customers' equipment lists, and save the various filter sizes and types needed for their equipment as Parts. Based on the Parts list, and the customers' recurring service interval, we could click a couple of buttons and produce a list of all the filters we would need for the upcoming month's maintenances, and place a bulk order with our supplier, all sorted by customer and location(s). A week or two later, dozens and dozens of boxes of filters arrive at our back door, all labelled and ready for the technicians to take with them to the maintenance jobs.

ST doesn't seem to have this capability (or if it does, we haven't found it yet), so we continue to use ESC just for this feature. But, because we're not using ESC for invoicing any more, the customers' recurring interval no longer updates automatically in there to set the date for their next filter order, so we're having to do more and more manipulating just to keep our filter orders list up to date and accurate each month. I don't think we'll be able to continue limping along trying to work with two programs that don't talk to each other, duplicating efforts in both programs, to be able to do something that used to be so easy to do.

Any ideas or suggestions? Do you run an Access database separately? Or a massive Excel sheet? Or another program altogether? Or does ST have this feature at all (we haven't found a place to identify the filter sizes and types except in a notes field, which doesn't export easily to Excel)?



New Contributor II

I have found a good solution that works for our filter delivery. Tag each membership and location with a monthly tag that they registered or renewed in, Tag: July Self Renew or July Auto, 

Set up the filter delivery as a recurring event then within the membership page assign the recurring event with the filter in the equipment section.

You'll want to set up your filter in the location's equipment so the name displays the filter size, drop down type  reflects the filter type: ours are Filter standard, Filter-electronic, filter-special order,

Once the filter is assigned to the recurring event and the tag is on the membership you'll be able to see these members and filters on the follow up page under recurring events. 

sort by zip codes or however you want to split them up, then start scheduling them for designated days. 

I always double check the filter delivery with a filter delivery report before ordering filters to make sure everyone is on the follow up screen. If they are on one or the other it's usually due to a missing tag, recurring event being dismissed or completed, or a missing equipment. 

I export the follow up sheet and format the equipment names to create an order, create labels, etc. 

It's a ton of work and not scalable so we are looking into outsourcing our filter delivery. 

Hope this helps. 

Recurring service events.PNG

Previous ContributorPrevious Contributor
Former Community Member

any better ways to track filters. we are creating tags for each filter - but it seems crazy to have all these tags. do others setup filter sizes in Equipment????

we need to run a weekly report for maintenance visits to pull what filters we need by tech - any ideas please

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

@Twyla Perez? - I have found a method that works. I am converting our system over from our old program to this way each month now. It's a fair bit of work getting it all set up, but it does work!

When you are in a LOCATION record, click on Add Recurring Service.

Choose the Recurring Service Type (you may need to set up this first if you don't have anything to select).

Name - should auto-populate based on above

Tags - add a tag here if you wish. We have a Residential Advantage Plan and a Commercial Advantage Plan, I created colour-coded tags for easy reference.

Invoice Template - this is optional

Business Unit - choose the BU

Job Type - choose the JT

Priority - we use "Low"

Campaign - this is optional

Job Summary - what you write here will automatically show up in the Job Summary (which shows up on the technician's iPad when the job is created from your Schedule). I suggest writing something like "Maintenance - Cost $xxx.xx per visit - Filter Order # _____ - and any other special notes particular to this location that the technician needs to know about"

From - choose a starting date

Recurrence Type - choose what works for you. Many of our customers are 4 times a year, so I select "Seasonal" and choose which months their Maintenance appts occur

Duration Type - select the appropriate one for your customer

# of Total Visits - not available if you chose "Continuous" above

First visit already complete - not available if you chose "Continuous" above

Memo - Here is where I write in the Filter Order details for your supplier. I suggest entering it in this layout:

"Filter Order 77340:

(1) 14 x 20 x 1 Throw-away

(1) 20 x 24 x 1 Throw-away

(1) 20 x 26 x 1 Throw-away

(1) 22 x 22 x 1 Throw-away

(1) 22 x 26 x 1 Throw-away" [i.e., type [Enter] at the end of each line here; it will make the report much easier to read later!]

Then click Save.

Then, for your Filter Order report, go to Reports -> Recurring Services Report

Set dates to next month, then export to Excel

Open Excel spreadsheet and enable editing.

Hide all columns except B, C, O, and Q.

Select Column O, format cells to Wrap Text

Select All cells, format cells to Left Justify and Center Vertically in the cell

Sort sheet by Customer

Change row heights manually, and delete any rows with no filters to order

You can hide column Q now if you don't need the dates showing on the report.

Page Layout tab - put a check mark in the "Print" box under Gridlines (Sheet Options section)

Print Preview, set to Landscape orientation, Fit All Columns on One Page. Make sure it all looks the way you want it to. Print if you want to.

Save in xls format, and also Print to PDF. If you email the order to your supplier, send them the PDF.

I'm not sure if it's possible to set up all these Excel manipulations as a Template. If it is possible, it will definitely save a lot of time getting the page layout correct right away. (Especially auto-adjusting the row heights so that you can see all the filters listed for each location!)

Good luck!!

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

@Scott Weaver? - Were you able to find a good answer? We are trying to implement something similiar

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

Looking a bit further, I have stumbled on the Recurring Service Report, which doesn't appear to amount to much for the on-screen report, but the Export to Excel has many additional columns with potentially relevant information that we could use. I'll be checking this out...

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

Steve, thanks for the suggestion. One thing that seems to be lacking in the Active Member Report and Active Recurrence Report is the actual filter requirements for each customer. The only detail that shows up in the Recurrence Report is the Task name. We are looking for a report that will show us how many filters and what sizes are needed for those memberships.

Also, the Recurrence report only has one date filter... which means the report will show ALL recurring memberships that exist in ST starting from the date I key in until infinity. We are looking for a report that shows only the recurring memberships that are due to occur within a one-month time frame (i.e. next month).

If a customer is on a 2x a year agreement (most of our Residential customers would be on this interval), their next maintenance should be 6 months after the date of their last maintenance (or at least within that month). Our Commercial customers tend more to be on a 4x a year agreement, so theirs should be 3 months after their last one. But we haven't found a way for ST to show us which customers are due for maintenance next month (based on their last maintenance and their recurrence interval), and what filters they need. ESC did this automatically, after the equipment and filter info were saved in the customer's profile.

Previous Contributor
Former Community Member

Have you tried setting up those reminders as memberships? Then you can track them with the Active Membership Reports... Just a thought! @Scott Weaver?