Minotaur Minute

Our collection of Minotaur Minute tips.

Let’s say you didn’t want your users to be able to edit the tax fields on order entry. You can contact your Minotaur Project Manager (PM) and request that those fields be set as ‘read only’ or hidden completely. A request like this is very fast for us to implement, less than 15 minutes.

For example, you could have every order be flagged as a quote instead of an order when first created. Again, contact your Minotaur Project Manager.

When you press Excel from Minotaur, it automatically created a new workbook. Sometimes, you’d prefer to just put the current report on the clipboard, but still formatted for Excel so you can paste it into open workbook, well, you can!

Just press ALT-Z with any report open and go to the target worksheet and hit paste in the cell you want the data to start loading too.

Be careful, it overwrites anything in its way. This is a great time saver when you are taking data to an existing spreadsheet.

This can be handy with different screen sizes or where you have the new giant 4K resolution monitors.

Simply go to menu path HS and change the Report Zoom (default is 1.0) to whatever you like. I use 1.1 shown below to make it easy on my eyes.

You can also change the default Report Font. I use the default font Consolas, because like Courier, it is a fixed width font, but I prefer the look of Consolas.

Most of you are aware of the $ comment type that can pop up a dialog box when you start a transaction with a customer or supplier code where a comment has been set up. We find Minotaur customers use that for information they want staff to be reminded of each time they enter an order for that customer or supplier.

Did you know that you can also have special comment types that are programmed to appear only on specific documents generated from Minotaur? For customers, you may have *INV type comments that only appear on the Invoice, *PAC type comments that only appear on the Packing Slip and more. There is no limit to the types of specialized comments you can use. They are totally up to you and can function the way you want.

Perhaps you want to send a holiday message on all invoices, that could be a comment type. Then, at the end of December you could change it to a Happy New Year message, etc. Speak to your Project Manager if you want more details on how to set up and use comment types.

Remember to backup your Minotaur Folder regularly. If you can’t be certain that all users will be out of the software, then you need to make sure your backup software uses the Actian/Pervasive Backup Agent that was released starting with pSQL version 11 SP3.

The only safe way to know your backups are working is to do a full restore into a safe directory and run some transaction tests. With so many viruses and real looking emails that a staff member might accidentally click, having a back up that works is more important than ever. We are happy to work with you and/or your IT group to help you restore and test a back up to confirm the backup is in fact picking up all the info it should. Call us if we can help.

The Minotaur program creates daily audit files in the Minotaur folders. Typically in data\audit directory. These files can grow quite large and impact your backups. It is a good idea to compress those files to save on disk space, even though disk space is cheap. We recommend you compress everything three months back, typically into monthly files. So on Dec 1st, you would compress everything from September and leave it in the audit folder. This can speed up the time it takes for your backup program to perform the backup. It does NOT affect your usage of the program. You’ll still have all your transactions history available for users.

You’ll often hear your Minotaur Project Manager talk about parameters. An easy way of understanding parameters is to think of them like light switches. The Minotaur program has tremendous flexibility and the ability to turn on or off various functionality based on your current needs.

For example, you might not want your order entry staff to see a customers credit history as they begin to enter a customer order. Perhaps you have different staff who are responsible for receivables and the clients credit status doesn’t matter when an order is placed. You may have had your Minotaur Project Manager turn off the credit screen so that your order entry staff don’t see it.

If in the future, you decide you want order entry staff to help with collections, you could have that parameter turned back on. Your Project Manager works with you during the implementation of the program to set the switches the way you want them when you start using Minotaur. So, if you develop a new need that you don’t see a way to manage in Minotaur, don’t assume that feature is not available, always ask your Minotaur Project Manager “Is there a parameter for that?”.

Parameters are one way your Minotaur system can be tailored to your needs. Each year we offer our customers an annual review meeting as part of the license price you pay. That is a great time to talk about new needs or items on your wish list, as it could be the software can already do what you want and that it would be easy for us to flip the relevant switch. Minotaur exists to make your growth easier, so keep us in the loop on emerging needs and we’ll help you get more from your Minotaur system.

This less than 2 minute video with Wendy will show you how to take advantage of Minotaur’s existing home screen button functionality.

Minotaur Innovation is based on features our customers want, so feel free to make suggestions. Ron was so excited to show you our new home screen functionality which will be released next year, he couldn’t keep it under 5 minutes, so if you have 9 minutes on a Friday afternoon, and want to see what will be possible with Minotaur in 2021, take a peak…

Do you have common phrases that you want to insert on orders and invoices?

You can create non-inventory (NI) item codes for those.

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Lets say you always insert your warehouse pickup hours on your orders and currently type them in each time. e.g. “Pickups between 9am and 5pm M-F”

You could create a NI part code like *PU with that phrase so you just have to type *PU and it will add the phrase to the order. *PU would also print on your documents. This is great if you want to extend holiday greetings on your documents for a period of time.

If you want to hide the phrase on the order and only have it show on the invoice, talk to your Project Manager as we could easily adjust the program to hide the *PU type codes in some situations. These NI item codes have many different uses and can be combined with other features like VUPMEE (a powerful Minotaur tool that allows pre-defined things–like item codes, landing factors, etc.) to only appear for certain customers or certain suppliers for PO’s or Orders. (Watch for a future tip describing VUPMEE options).

Do you need some special fields added to your orders?

Did you know that you can add order attributes to your system that will flow from Orders to Shipments and Invoices. You could add any of the types of fields that you can with attributes in other areas of the system. Those field types include fields that have a lookup list, a date, a Y or N, text, a dollar amount, an integer, or just numeric. Some samples uses are shown below:

These order attributes are great if you want to capture specific data about orders and be able to report on that data. An example could be truck arrival and departure time. Another example would be invoice attributes, where you could tie in information related to payments. Talk to your Project Manager for pricing.

Did you know that Judith is an author and educator about traceability technology? She has written two books that are available worldwide on Amazon and was a chapter author for a textbook on the subject of food traceability for a book published by Springer Publishing. Judith enjoys speaking at conferences, most recently at a conference on Blockchain at the University of Windsor (before COVID).

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If you’d like a copy of Judith’s most recent book titled Traceability Technology For Food Manufacturers: How To Be Ready For Blockchain, email her at judith@minotaursoftware.com

 

In the following video, Judith will help you understand barcodes, specifically the GTIN-12 (formerly called a UPC) and the GTIN-14 (case code) and what each barcode is useful for. You’ll be a barcode expert in no time.

Learn how to quickly decipher the information in these important barcodes?

Code 128 or GS1-128 Barcodes are the barcodes that Minotaur uses and that can be useful for traceability when it contains the relevant segments. Join Judith for this 7-minute video and you’ll understand Code-128 barcodes by the end.

Judith refers to a list of the “Application Identifiers” (the segment numbers that tell you what each segment contains), in her video. To see the segment list, go to Wikipedia Code 128

Would you like a way to manage your collections schedule?

You can use Customer Attributes to set up fields to manage this process. Do you find you have regular customer notes mixed in with accounts receivable notes and trying to sort through them to find the relevant notes wastes time? Use Minotaur Customer Attributes to set up a separate Notes area for AR-related history.

Also, create a NXTCAL field for the date you next want to reach out to them. Define the fields here…

When you want to record notes from calls or emails you can simply go to the attributes tab for the customer and have only AR related notes to look at.

You could also setup a call management system by having a NXTCAL Date field in customer attributes and use a report to show who you should call each day. A report can be easily created to help manage this process.

Finally, you could also modify the system so that every time an invoice is created for a customer, it updates the NXTCAL date field to be x Days after the invoice is due to call the customer.

We can set up an automatic system to resend a copy of open invoices to customers a number of days before they are due to avoid the “I didn’t get the invoice and didn’t realize it was due” excuse.

If you want more control over the collections process, ask your Minotaur Project Manager about our new Invoice Attributes where you can set up a system by invoice to manage the NXTCAL date and have a “notes” fields for each individual invoice. This way the history of the collection efforts around individual invoices can be tied directly to that invoice and not be in the general notes.

If you were involved in the original implementation of the Minotaur program at your company, you may remember that we used Excel as an intermediary program when populating some initial data to your Minotaur system.

This data (such as customer masters, item masters, supplier masters, etc.) often came from an existing accounting package or Excel sheets you were using before Minotaur. For most customers, we manipulated your Excel files and loaded them to your new system.

To do this we used our data loading utility. Some customers own the utility if they use it to load information to their Minotaur system on a more regular basis. For example, some customers load pricing weekly from Excel, others load budgets to the system (yes, you can make budgets in Minotaur both for GL accounts and sales figures as some Minotaur reports can show you how you are doing compared to your budget). Another ongoing use of the data loading utility is for loading planned production into Minotaur.

While it is a simple utility, it is powerful, so it’s important that it is only used by those who understand its implications. Why? Because it has the power to overwrite existing information. We always recommend that if you are going to load data from an Excel file, that you work with your Project Manager to set up the file format and do so to your test system first, to make sure everything goes into the right screen and fields, before you begin loading to your live system.

There are two ways to prepare Excel files for loading to Minotaur. The first way is to set up the Excel file so that each column in the file represents a field on a given Minotaur screen. Taking a simple screen like the GL Account set up screen (LGA) which only has 6 fields, can help illustrate this method:

As you know, the Tab key moves you from field to field within a Minotaur screen, so if you Tab from one field to another in a screen you can see the order of the fields. The Excel sheet is set up so each field is a column, except the first column which is used for the special format of the menu path.

Talk to your Project Manager if there is information you’d like to load regularly to your Minotaur system.

Does entering your production schedule take hours from your day?

If entering your production schedule takes a long time at your company, you may want to look at an Excel-based production scheduler as a way of saving time.

Ron developed this Excel sheet for a Minotaur client to allow for very fast loading of up to two weeks of Disassembly Work Orders in just a few minutes.

The following short video by Ron gives a quick over view of how it all works.

The Excel sheet shown in the video is for simple production scenarios, where the customer only used a single level of production. We have also created a much more sophisticated spreadsheet that works with multi-level production, allowing for the scheduling of 8 weeks of production at time, and now takes them just 20 minutes. This ended up saving this Minotaur customer a full day of data entry, each time it is used.

If you are using Microsoft Office Excel as your spreadsheet program, list-style Minotaur reports should parse and open directly in Excel when the Excel button is pressed from the reports menu at the bottom of each report screen.

If that doesn’t happen, it could be that you are using an older version of Excel that needs to have the menu path of the Excel program entered in the Minotaur menu option HS. This option would only appear for a user who has access to that menu option.

If you are using Minotaur via terminal server either because you company doesn’t have its server onsite or because you are working from home or at another location, you have two options:

1. If a copy of Excel is set up on your terminal server session, you can just press the Excel button from the report and it should open in the Excel on your terminal server session with the information parsed into columns as normal. Then, use SAVE FILE AS and save it as an .xls(x) file. If you prefer to work with the file on your local machine, you can click the square in the upper left corner of the spreadsheet to copy the entire sheet to the clipboard, hop back over the terminal server to your local machine and paste and save the file there.

OR

2. If you don’t have Excel set up on your terminal server session, you can press ALT Z in the Minotaur report window and answer Y to “Send Entire File to Clipboard?”. That puts the information on the clipboard in tab delimited format, so you can just paste into your local copy of Excel or into Google Sheets, if that is your preferred program. This method does not require that you have Excel on your Remote Desktop terminal server session. Be warned, however, that it may insert a blank line where Minotaur had planned to put a page break if you had printed the report, so a bit of manual formatting in Excel may be needed with this method.

In the past several years, Liz has been working through the over 300 reports in the Minotaur system to make all list style reports export to Excel ‘nicely’, meaning ensuring the columns parse (separate) as you would want them to. If you discover a column style Minotaur report that you use, that doesn’t flow nicely to Excel, please alert your Minotaur Project Manager and they can ask Liz to review that report before your next update.

If you are getting trailing spaces when you export to Excel, there is a parameter that can be set in your system to remove the trailing spaces. Let us know if we can help.

Do you want a live link to Excel from Minotaur?

If you regularly pull the same information from Minotaur reports into an Excel file for ongoing monitoring, or for creating a pivot table, it is possible to create a ‘live’ link to your Minotaur data. ‘Live’ is in quotes because in Excel, when you create a Link to pull data from another database, the user still needs to press the “Refresh” button to have the information update. You can force a refresh any time you open the spreadsheet as well.

To establish this link, you will need the DDFs (Data Definition Files) for your Minotaur system (recall, we are currently offering complimentary DDFs with any Minotaur license upgrade purchase). These files will allow you to do data extraction into your favorite tool like Excel, MS Access, or external report programs and dashboards like Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence).

With the DDFs, a link between Minotaur’s database and Excel can be established using what is called the “ODBC connector” in Excel. This is getting pretty technical, so feel free to just call us for help.

You’ll want to ensure you pull the correct information from Minotaur to Excel. We can help and the article below on the Database can explain why it can get a little tricky.

Once established, this Excel file could be used regularly, sourcing information from your Minotaur system.

To be able to pull relevant information from your Minotaur system, you’ll need to understand a bit about databases, or you can leave it all to us and just call your Project Manager to make it work.

Minotaur uses the Actian pSQL database (formerly called Pervasive) to store your valuable business information with each transaction you complete in Minotaur. There are multiple competing companies that sell SQL databases. Microsoft is one of them, but there are many others. Minotaur uses Actian pSQL because we find it a very stable database that requires little maintenance for our customers. Most customers rarely think about the database Minotaur uses because it is like an “Energizer Bunny” that just keeps going in the background.

Within the database, your business information is separated into tables and fields. New tables and fields get added as we add functionality to the program. Sometimes we add tables and/or fields specifically for your company, if we add a customization to your program. If you do have tables or fields added for your company, the DDF (data definition files) must be updated to include those new tables and fields, in order for you to tap into those tables and fields from an outside program.

If you have access to menu option DFGF, you can see a listing of the tables and fields within Minotaur.

Minotaur has over 185 tables in the base system and each of those tables contains a bunch of fields. So, knowing what tables and what fields to point to when making a live Excel link or a link to a dashboard program is critical for you to get the expected information from your system.

All the Minotaur system reports pull information from the tables and fields or in some cases display the results of a computation done on the table information. For example, a Minotaur report that has a % of Sales column, calculates the % of Sales information each time you run the report, since in Minotaur you can edit and change transactions (if you have the required user rights to do edits), means the information on a report needs to always represent the most up to date information for the period you are reporting on. So if a report in Minotaur shows you a result on a report and you want that same information to appear in your new Excel file, you’ll need to be pulling the same fields from the same tables or performing the same calculation Minotaur does in that report.

We invite you to talk to your Minotaur Project Manager if you’d like assistance with establishing a live link from your Minotaur data to Excel or other programs. We can point you to the right tables and fields to source that data.

In this short video, Judith explains what EDI is, when you’ll need it and how Minotaur EDI can make your growth easier.

EDI Document Numbers

EDI is a standardized method of sending information back and forth between two businesses. It allows companies with different software programs to communicate in a common language.

EDI Documents all have numbers. An 810 is an invoice, and 850 is a PO, an 875 is a Grocery Products PO. A full list of various documents and their number can be viewed HERE. Most of our customers start needing EDI when they begin selling to major retailers. Depending on what your product is, whether it is shelf stable and whether you deliver direct to store or to the retailer’s warehouse, the retailer may or may not issue you a PO using EDI. However, invoicing with EDI is common across all types of items.

What’s important to understand is that while the document number is consistent, each retailer will pick and choose from many fields to include in their EDI specification. Meaning, a given retailer, to be able to load your document into their computer system, will request that your EDI file include certain fields in a certain order. This requires that your documents be ‘mapped’ to the retailers requirements. This is done once, when you begin using Minotaur EDI for each retailer, according to what that retailer requires. Once set up, the EDI documents to and from that retailer will flow into and out of Minotaur, in the correct format for that customer.

What’s an ASN?

ASN stands for Advanced Shipping Notice. It’s an EDI document (document 856) that contains details about what you are shipping to a customer. It is becoming more common, as retailers update their own computer systems and is designed to make it easier and faster for the retailer to receive products into their warehouse. You’ll be asked to put a skid label on each skid you ship that retailer (it’s called an MH10 label and is typically a 4″ x 6″ label) that, like the EDI document, is formatted in a particular way for that retailer. On the skid label will be a serial number (in the 00 segment) along with a number of other fields requested by the retailer, in a certain order, such as the PO number, ship-to location, carrier, etc.

The serial number on the label, in itself, is meaningless. It’s the ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice) EDI document that gives the label serial number meaning. The Shipping Notice sends details about what is on that skid (what sku(s), quantities, and possibly lot number or expiry information). The electronic ASN document must arrive at the retailers warehouse and be read into their system BEFORE the actual shipment reaches their dock. The reason for this is because when the retailers’ staff scan the serial number on your label, it will match it up with the electronic document you sent and populate the retailers inventory system with all the details. That allows the retailer to move your product(s) around their warehouse with the one serial number but know the details of what they have on hand.

Managing EDI PO’s and Invoices are office functions, meaning, they are tasks typically done in your office. But when an ASN and MH10 label are requested by your trading partner, you will have to bring your warehouse staff into the EDI process to make it happen. If you are shipping multiple skids with different products, you will need to ensure that each MH10 label is applied to the correct skid; because, if you make a mistake, the retailer will often fine you.

Minotaur can help you meet the need for ASN’s and MH10 labels with your customers. We have methods using scanning with our handheld warehouse management system as well as screen to enter the information to print the labels if you are not scanning.

If your customer begins asking for ASN’s and MH10 labels, talk to us and we’ll help you streamline the creation and delivery of these documents, saving your staff time and helping to make your growth easier.

Is EDI just for dealing with customers?

No, many Minotaur customers use EDI to send information between their own companies, or between themselves and their third party warehouses.

We also have customers that have one company that manufactures product and another that sells it. EDI is an efficient way of sending details back and forth between those companies.

A few of our customers request ASN’s from their suppliers, so they can read in those EDI documents to populate their Minotaur system with the details of what the supplier has shipped them, rather than needing to scan all the incoming cases. It can speed up receiving especially for those where each case is serialized and where you want to bill your customer based on the exact weight of the specific cases you ship them, such as in the meat and cheese industries.

AS2 – What is it and can it save you money?

Many of our customers use a VAN (Value Added Network) to provide them with a ‘mailbox’ where EDI documents can be picked up or dropped off for their trading partners. These VAN’s typically have both monthly charges and charges by document sent and received.

However, that is not the only way to send and received electronic documents with your partners. These documents can be emailed, or sent directly to a trading partner if they have a supplier portal or using AS2, which is a more direct way of of a trading partner sending and receiving documents.

AS2 is really just ftp (file transfer protocol) software that is highly encrypted. It is software you buy and put on your server, and that software talks to your partners server directly, cutting the VAN out of the picture. Many of the VAN’s can use AS2 software for you for those partners that insist on its use. If you are currently paying a lot for an EDI service, especially if you ship direct to store and therefore have lots of smaller EDI documents (an invoice for each store) going out, document fees can really add up and having your own AS2 software could save you significant money.

For EDI documents between your own companies or divisions, we can place outgoing EDI documents in a directory on your server and your other company can pick them up there, no need for a middle man.

If you are spending a lot of time doing duplicate entry of orders or invoices into Minotaur because you are only using an outside portal service, talk to us about how Minotaur EDI can help save you time and money.

Stay on top of your Payables! Buttons are powerful.

You can add a dashboard button to show you all of your un-reconciled inventory receipts older than 90 days.

Click and it can show you by supplier all of the unreconciled bills outstanding older than a given amount of days.

Desktop Summary Button

Or you could just show all open receipts on the dashboard button? You decide.

 

This and other configured buttons can be set up against hours by your Minotaur Project Manager.

This applies to lots of other metrics as well. Open P.O.s, Sales Orders, etc. If you are running a report frequently talk to us about getting a quick dashboard button set up.

Many Minotaur customers are sending bulk emails from their Minotaur system to save on admin time. Below are some examples of how other customers are using bulk emailing:

1. Sending customer statements
2. Sending reminders for appointments to deliver or pick up
3. Sending pay stubs to employees paid by direct deposit
4. Sending remittance advice if paying suppliers by EFT (EFT’s explained below)

Prior to bulk emailing, these companies were sending the emails one by one. How much time could your staff save sending regular emails to your customers or employees? What higher value tasks could they use that time for?

Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is an electronic method of sending money. It can be used to pay suppliers or to send money to staff for payroll or expense reimbursement.

Click here to see how you can send EFT’s from Minotaur. 

A customer recently requested a quick way to see any items that are below the minimum quantity set on their item master.

Normally you would manage this with a combination of our VVRRR Requirements report and the VVRRM MRP report.

In this case, they just wanted a fast way to see if, across all locations, they had any items today that were below the minimum.

It was the work of just a few minutes using our flexible report writer menu DFD to craft this report. The report sample is shown below. Speak to your Minotaur Project Manager if you would like a report like this or a quick lesson on how to create it yourself.

You could also have us create a dashboard button that could show a quick count of any items that were below the minimum threshold.

Minotaur is not just an office ERP system. We offer programs that can be used right on the production floor. One such program is Production Recognition. The idea is to provide a fast, easy way for staff on the production floor to both print labels AND recognize production at the same time.

For traceability and lot control, it is important that activities in your system happen in the same order as they happen in real life; meaning, you need to receive raw materials before you use them, and you need to record production before you move, ship or invoice it.

When products are being made and need to move to rack/bin locations in the warehouse or if some needs to be shipped right out to customers, before the whole run is finished, it can cause time delays in product movement to wait for someone in an office to record the transaction. Minotaur production recognition functionality can speed up that process by allowing plant floor staff to do the recording in a tightly controlled way.

Below is an example of one of our production recognition screens:

Using a touch screen (either a fixed workstation or a rugged tablet), users can print labels for finished good cases and/or skids, if they are palletizing products, and that label printing process can serve double duty; meaning, it can produce the needed label (with one or more barcodes for scanning), AND record the item as made, so it can immediately be moved or shipped. This touch screen production recognition can be tied to weigh scales or not, depending on your needs. If you are ready to automate your warehouse or plant, talk to us.

Attaching Scales to Minotaur

Minotaur has several customers that need to weigh product as part of manufacturing, whether it be weighing an interim product (like a blend) that will go into making another product, or weighing a finished product and assigning it a lot number (or serial number, if you sell the finished good by weight like meat and cheese companies do).

When connecting a scale to Minotaur, it is critical that the indicator be a network indicator that can handle ‘network traffic’. Many scale indicators (the part of the scale system that shows the weight and where you press Tare) are not designed for use on a network. Many were designed to be used as stand alone units that only require power, and weren’t intended to become part of a larger connected system.

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We recommend the Matrix 365 indicator (picture above), as a reliable network indicator. It costs approx. $1250 USD from our partner Matrix Scale, located in Mississauga, ON. We have learned that not all indicators can be networked successfully. Some scale providers created ‘networkable’ indicators by attempting to retrofit their original units with network cards and the results are mixed. We found a few of these retrofitted units work for adding a single scale to the network, but they can get confused, if you try to add more than one of the retrofitted units to your network.

The good news is that indicators can be swapped out while the other pieces of a scale station (the load cell, base, etc.) do not need replacing. These indicators have proven to work well and have reliably been used for over 15 years by Minotaur customers.

We were happy to find Matrix Scale (an Ontario company), because they were large enough to serve customers worldwide, but small enough to take the time to work with us providing sample units so we could ensure the units work well with Minotaur. Matrix can ship the units already configured to connect to Minotaur and they can be installed by your local scale company. These network indicators give each indicator a unique IP address on your network, so Minotaur can tie a given username to sourcing the weight from a specific IP address indicator.

While some customers tried adding IP converters to scales, to avoid changing out the indicators, we found them slow to send the information over the network and unreliable. The most economical method to connect your scale is to just replace the indicator piece with one proven to connect to our system reliably. Matrix also sells industrial PC’s, network label printers, rugged stainless printer enclosures, and more. So, they are a good option for many of the pieces you might want to create a complete fixed plant floor station, with or without the scale.

If you’d like an introduction to Matrix scale, or if you’d like information on Minotaur’s weigh/label application, just ask.

We’ve had a few beta sites working with our new Flexible User Interface (UI) offering and feedback has been great. With this new feature, which can be added to your existing Minotaur system, you’ll get new layouts for some of your most used screens. If you have customizations on those screens, additional time may be needed to ensure any added fields have a home on the new screen layout.

Your Project Manager will also have the ability to make additional edits to these or other screens. Perhaps you’d like to highlight certain fields, make some fields bigger, or show them in a different colour or on a different part of the screen. For changes beyond those we have already done, we can make additional changes on an hourly basis. If you feel that there are screens where it would help the efficiency of your users to have certain fields grouped or highlighted, or if you want to have the screens on the handheld appear larger, the new UI is a great option.

Here are two screen shots of redesigned screen samples. The first is an option for those who have Minotaur’s touch screen production recognition. The second is the standard customer master screen.

Talk to your Minotaur Project Manager if you are interested in exploring the new UI functionality.

Want to run a report to see all employee DOBs (date of birth) or other information for all employees or a particular group of employees?

There isn’t a stock report for that but if you use the Employee Flexible Updater, you can get what you want easily. Highlight one of the report only fields (see below for the other fields options)

You select a field from the options, then you’ll be presented with the employee filter screen, where you can narrow the report to some employees or groups of employees if you choose. Once you go past the employee filter screen, you will see the following screen. Just choose the “Report Only” option.

And Voila:

1. Buttons can be static or dynamic “live”:

Live buttons show information right on the button that is recalculated on a timer unique to each set of buttons, whereas static buttons just show words. Static buttons can either point to a menu option, a report or just be used as a placeholder, to form headings if you group like buttons together. (put NA in the menu path field to make a header button).

2. You can name your buttons whatever you like. You can choose the colours, sizes, and font sizes on your buttons.  

3. Different users can have different buttons–they are tied to a user name.

4. Buttons can be multiple lines – you are not limited to a single line of output.

5. Buttons can be nested. Perhaps you don’t want to show the bank balances to everyone that might come close enough to your screen to see them. But, you need to see this information often and don’t want to have to rerun or refresh a report. You can have nested buttons, where pressing one button show additional button options, which can in turn be dynamic.

6. Clicking on buttons can produce graphs and charts, not just reports. Buttons can show a report to provide more detail. For example, if your dynamic button shows open order totals, when you click it, it could show you the actual order information. This can include standard reports or custom reports. Clicking can be done with a mouse or using a touchscreen.

7. Dynamic buttons can show you the value of a GL account, include calculations, show record counts, i.e. number of open PO’s, orders and more.

8. The New Minotaur UI Option gives greater button flexibility. It can allow you to see percentages and the numbers can appear in different colours based on conditions, such a showing in red if it is a negative number. 

One Minotaur customer is in the process of using buttons for call management for AR. Their button shows the number of calls due today. When clicked, it gives a detailed list of AR for those calls with comments by invoice separate from customer comments. (note that some button functions require our new UI enhanced functionality). Talk to your Minotaur Project Manager today to get buttons working for you and your team.

Could a big dashboard of production metrics help your plant floor staff?

Below is Ron’s test Minotaur home screen. It shows how you can have a variety of colours and sizes for your background, buttons, fonts, header buttons, and dynamic buttons. Lot’s of possibilities to help improve productivity.

Even Better Dashboards

Using Minotaur’s newly available enhanced user interface functionality, you can have even more user dashboard flexibility.

Would it help your staff to know how many orders were taken today (perhaps they have daily goals for number of orders or order total value)?

Buttons can allow you to gamify some repetitive work. For example, it could become a personal challenge to try and reach a new personal best number of calls or orders for order entry staff.

Could a better dashboard help your warehouse manager or staff to monitor how many orders they need to pick today, how many have already been picked or how many deliveries are expected to be received today?

Information is power and our goal is to help you and your team access the information from your Minotaur system in ways that make your growth easier.

Some Button Examples

Below are some zoomed-in examples of Minotaur Buttons that you might value on your desktop. Some of the formatting may require our new Flexible UI functionality.

This Button shows:
1. TRAY PRODUCTION LINEWO
2. Qty MADE so far today.
3. WO qty planned.
4. % complete against planned

Button will appear in Green if production is at or ahead of schedule based on units produced target per hour from item attribute and time of first production recognized until this moment in time.

If below units per hour, then the red arrow will show.

All customers using Zen 13 or 14 could add a script that Minotaur has created that can be set to run regularly to keep your tables in an optimum state for speed. It also reduces the space required for your tables and returns results faster. In one case, reports ran up to 40% faster after running this script.

It can be run without kicking users off Minotaur, but should be done off hours as it will impact speed while it is running. Contact Ron at Minotaur if you want help setting this up.

If you have a particular report that you run regularly that takes a long time and would like us to see if we can optimize it for your particular scenario. We would be happy to analyze the scenario it to see if it could be improved for you, perhaps by creating a specific targeted report.

We have the ability to have more columns in the Customer Aged Receivables Report, you can have 1,2 or 3 more columns added.

The typical system looks like this:

To this:

This is quick to configure in your system and just time and materials to update your AEditorRow_23ging report. Talk to your Minotaur Project Manager if this would be useful to your business.

Learn how to set up your task bar so Minotaur is easily accessible whenever you need it.

Here’s how!

Just create a new shortcut on your desktop and put (screen shots below)

Cmd /c “j:\app\mbsstart.bat”

Your path and launcher may be different. Just adjust the part in quotes as needed. On the next screen give it a name as appropriate.

Then right click on the new icon and you can then choose pin to taskbar and or pin to start menu.

Change the icon before you make the shortcuts so it has our logo on it to be easily identifiable. Our icons are usually in J:\util\icon folder several colour choices to choose from.

The only downside is that it does launch but the actual application will be a new icon on the task bar with a generic icon representing it. That is why I make it my last icon so it makes sense for what is beside it generally.

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