As part of my duties at the shop, it falls to me to handle various administrative tasks, such as filing invoices, sorting packing slips, and taking care of billing and payments. Often this last task can be rather frustrating.
Pictured here is a reenactment of my typical posture when faced with difficulties with the order entry program.
If you look closely, you will see that our order entry program looks like something ancient, a relic of the pre-internet age. Indeed, I understand that this particular program dates all the way back to 1989.
You can probably understand my plight when I say that it can be supremely aggravating to enter in deposits and other information into the order entry program. Navigating this nigh-prehistoric contraption is more of an art than a science.
To be perfectly clear, my primary duty related to the program is to enter in the payments for completed jobs. Jobs are categorized within our in-house accounting system as Level 1 (Entered), Level 2 (In Progress), Level 3 (Completed), and Level 4 (Paid).
(Being young in years and having less experience with the program than my boss, I may be mistaken in some of the particulars, but this is the gist of it.)
Problems occur in the order entry program when something gets misfiled. For example, a job that is ordered, printed, shipped, and paid for may still linger at Level 1 or 2. Alternatively, a job that has not been paid for may have miraculously found its way to Level 4.
The explanations for such phenomena are often mundane. They are typically the result of operator-error, either by me or one of my coworkers. On other occasions, this misfiling occurs due to a wonky payment deal that we’ve negotiated with the client. I decline to share further details regarding such instances.
The larger point is that our order entry program is quite archaic and is the source of hundreds of wasted man-hours that could have been spent fine-tuning our product and helping the customer. But until we can afford to invest in a completely updated order entry system, it will have to suffice.
My responsibility, therefore, is to try to make sense of it as much as I can while my boss is busy with other tasks. The better I can understand the program without his aid, the better my chances of continued employment are.
That said, I really wish we had something else. Really, it would be great.
Marketing Director at the Renton Printery. Providing advice on print-buying and business, along with notes on the state of the shop.