Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Change of Plans

Howdy all!

I've been working on the new report system, and just now realized that the custom sorting is not working right. The 1st custom sort works, but LRO isn't picking up the 2nd custom sort. In addition, I'm only about 30% done with it. Therefore I have decided that the new report system can wait until 1.3.2. I want to do some more thinking and make sure I'm designing the new system in the best way possible. Also, there are too many other good changes (mainly with regards to the S-28 form) that I really want to get out there soon.

One of the new features will help detect erroneous S-28 links. For example, S-14 item 5334 clearly should be linked to S-28 field 5334. Since there's a direct relation, I can detect (and warn you) when this is not the case. LRO will also detect missing links now too. If you have item number 5306 in your inventory, but don't have any links at all on the S-28 builder, LRO will warn you. Because without the links, this inventory item would not be counted! And finally, there is a new report that will show you all of your current links. With all these improvements, LRO is really going to help you make sure your S-28 form is correct! :-)

Remember back then when I said I would consider Inventory Thresholds? Where you could set a minimum # of an item, and LRO would warn you when you get that low? Well, I've determined that this is not the best way to go. It would require much maintenance, and just add to the bells and whistles that are already going off for other things. So...I've decided the best course of action would be to create a report that uses an algorithm to predict what you need to order based on your previous movements of literature. No maintenance on your part! Just keep good inventory records, and LRO will try to help you out with suggestions on what to order. How cool is that??? ^_^

Here's what I have in mind:

You will get to choose between 3 "sensitivities": Low, Normal, or High. Based on your sensitivity, an algorithm involving the Average movement of literature and the Standard Deviation will be used. If the number of stock of an item is LOWER THAN the calculated number, than you will see LRO suggests you order more of an item. Here's the algorithms:

  • Low: The threshold will be the Average movement per month.
  • Normal: The threshold will be the Average movement multiplied by 2.
  • High: The threshold will be the Average movement multiplied by 3.

All three sensitivities take into account Standard Deviation.  If there is a mass movement of literature, the calculated average is reduced proportionally so you don't get a huge threshold.  The Standard Deviation must reach a certain threshold for itself before the Average is reduced.  The higher the sensitivity, the higher the threshold for Standard Deviation.  And so the Average will be more likely to be affected by mass movements.

Let's look at a simple example. Let's say over the course of 4 months, you move the following amount of Knowledge books: 10, 10, 50, 10. Based on these numbers, the Average would be "20" and the Standard Deviation would be "20". So the thresholds would be:

  • Low: 20
  • Normal: 40
  • High: 60

If your current quantity of an item is below that threshold, then that item will show up on LRO's report. LRO will also suggest a quantity to order, while showing you your current quantity.

Other notes on this new feature:

  • When calculating averages and standard deviations, decimals are always rounded up.
  • If an item had a negative movement for a month, that month is calculated as "0". This might happen if someone returned an item to stock, and you didn't mark it down as "received".
  • If an item is marked as "inactive", LRO will not make suggestions on it.
  • If an item is part of an S-28 field with an asterisk in the name (*), then LRO will not make suggestions for it. Since these items (with the asterisk) should be special request items only.

Of course, you shouldn't 100% rely on LRO to tell you what you need to re-stock, but hopefully this will help you catch something you missed (or didn't think of). You might have a "good" stock of a particular item, but based on previous movement, it might be a good idea to stock up again. And that is what this will hopefully catch. As we test this new feature (and I get some feedback), the algorithms may be adjusted. But I think this will do fine.

So...version 1.3.1 is scheduled for this weekend, provided all goes well of course. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Report Screen concept idea

Howdy all!

Version 1.3.1 is moving along quickly! I've gotten a lot fixed up already. I'm about ready to start on the Report improvements. But before I do, I just wanted to show y'all and get your thoughts on it:

Click image to enlarge:

Notice the "Quick Reports" at the top...which will select all the right options below to give you exactly the report you need. If you have any ideas for "Quick Reports", let me know ASAP via either the Support Forum or the comments here.

If none of the "Quick Reports" will do it for you, you will have the ability to customize the report in almost any way you need with the options below. Change the grouping, the sorting, or filter what is displayed. :-)

Once again...if there are any ideas, let me know SOON. Also...keep in mind the screenshot is a rough-draft. There will be a few changes.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Poll & Updated S-28 Form for Russian users

Howdy All!

I have a new poll available. Remember how I said the next release would have major improvements to the Reports? Well right now, I have some report buttons outside of the "Reports" screen. One can be found on the "View All Orders" screen and 3 are on the "Order Form & Mgmt" screen. These are NOT unique! You can run the same exact reports on the "Reports" screen by using the "Status" tab and checking off "Show Details".

That being the case...

Can I remove these "extra" report buttons, in order to save space & avoid confusion?

Please use the poll to the right to vote.

This poll is now closed.


Also...Russian users have an updated S-28 form available for download. Download the update if you are ready for it. :-)

PS - I also just realized that the "Update Management" screen is says it is the S-14 form that has an update, but in fact it is the S-28 form. So don't be confused by this...I will correct the wording to say "S-28" in version 1.3.1.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Items available

Howdy all!

New items are available for download:

  • 9263:  Jehovah's Witnesses--Faith in Action, Part 1: Out of Darkness--On DVD
  • 5232:  God's Word for Us Through Jeremiah
  • 6654:  Was Life Created?
  • 6655:  The Origin of Life--Five Questions Worth Asking

Also, I've received an updated S-28 form for Russian users.  I should have this update ready by this weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Version 1.3.0 has been released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:
  • New Feature: Gridview for adding annual items. This tool is located under "Other Tools"
  • New Feature: Translation of Languages selection!! Spanish and Russian users will now see the list of languages in their own language!
  • Added: A "Find" button to Inventory Management. Will jump to a record instead of filtering the entire list.
  • Added: A button (with a green plus) on Inventory Management to allow for placing an order right there.
  • Added "different language highlight" to 2 history of orders reports.
  • Changed: Inventory Management's "Single Month" report is now a fillable form. Renamed to "Inventory Check-in form".
  • Changed: History of Orders for "Deliverable" and "Completed" statuses should have been showing the publisher name as the grouping & showing language instead of item number.
  • Fixed: Order Form "Reset" button CLEARED the Request Month instead of resetting it.
  • Fixed: Improved speed of inventory management report screen opening. Noticeably slow on older computers with a lot of inventory items.
  • Fixed: Error when trying to view the orders of a publisher who had an apostrophe (') in their name.
  • Fixed: Error when opening View All Orders report with Request Month turned on and with an order that has no Request Month.
  • Fixed: Issue with calulation of Access version. May have caused non-English users to get an error when trying to print a report to PDF.

Wow, lots of good changes! Most notably the translation of the list of languages into the native tongues of Spanish and Russian users. And also the grid view tool for a mass entering of orders Annual Items. This tool is located under "Other Tools". I want to thank all the brothers who gave feedback for this upgrade! It is always appreciated! :-)

Also, I noticed that I was forgot the annual item "Watch Tower Publications Index, 2010". This annual item has been included with the update, as well is available as a literature update for those who aren't ready to upgrade LRO yet.

I have not made Help information for the new gridview tool yet. I think it is fairly understandable, but in case someone needs it, here are the instructions:

Go to "Other Tools" and click on the "Annual Items - Gridview Entry" button.

You will then see a list of the Annual Items. LRO will take a guess at which year the annual items are for. If it is January - July, it will guess for the CURRENT year. If it is August - December, LRO will guess for the NEXT year. Please verify the item number (by clicking on the dropdowns and looking at the selection) before continuing.

You will then see a list of publishers in a grid format. Enter in the publisher's order for each Annual Item. You do NOT have to enter "0" for items they don't want. It is recommended that you leave it blank instead of entering "0". You will not hurt LRO if you enter "0", it is just easier to read if you leave it blank.

Finally, select the Request Month (if you have it turned on) and then click on "Submit". It will submit all the orders (and give you a message how many were added). You can then go and look at them on your Unordered Items screen.

I hope all enjoy this new version! The next upgrade will focus on improving reports. :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Items available

Howdy all!

I've made the annual items available for download.  This includes the daily text, bound volumes, yearbook, etc.  Please get them at your earliest convenience.

  • English users should get 7 new items.
  • Russian users should get 4 new items. (some were already added a couple months ago)
  • Spanish users should get 7 new items.

Also, I'm still working on the next release.  Not sure if I will have it done by this weekend, or if it will be a mid-week release.  The new annual items gridview tool is taking longer than expected.  Everything is going well though...but I haven't tested it on other versions of Access yet.  There may be another version that throws a wrench into my release date.