This training guide covers the same material as the Tracker basics streaming video tutorial. It's based on the sample data provided with the Tracker. If you're not using the sample data, contact us. We’ll help you set it up (if you're using the Tracker for real, we'll set it up separately from your real data and show you how to switch between the 2).
The best way to learn the Tracker is to watch a tutorial then immediately work thru the corresponding training guide, i.e., sit in front of your computer, type in the data that's asked for, push the buttons that are described, etc.
Covered in this training guide
- Edit, add and find tools, equipment and jobs
- Transfer tools and equipment to jobs and storage sites
- Examine tool and equipment histories
- Run reports
- Start the Tracker. If you're running the demo version, click DEMO then TRACKER LITE.
- Click on the INVENTORY button.
- The Tracker displays data in spreadsheet-style grids. Different kinds of data are presented and edited in different ways. TAB to the DESCRIPTION column. A down-pointing arrow will appear at the right-hand side of the column. Click on that arrow and a list will pop up (which is why this is called a ‘popup’). Click on one of the values in the list to select it.
- Tracker popups are described in detail in the tips and tricks tutorial and training guide. For now, you need to know that popups generally let you pick a value from the popup’s list or (if the popup is closed) type in a value. If the value already exists, it will be selected. If it doesn’t, the Tracker will generally ask if you want to add it.
Delete the description that’s displayed by repeatedly pressing the DEL key on your keyboard. Type in SAWZALL and press TAB. The value already exists in the description list, so the Tracker accepts it. Click in the DESCRIPTION column again (in the same row) and use the DEL or BACKSPACE keys on your keyboard to erase SAWZALL. Then type COMPRESSOR and press TAB. If COMPRESSOR hasn’t already been added to your sample data, a window will appear, saying the value doesn’t exist and asking if you want to add it (click YES).
- TAB to the COST column, which is a type-in column. Try typing the letter A. The Tracker won't accept it: it knows this column must contain a number. This is a simple example of an important feature: the Tracker is constantly working to prevent you from entering bad data. You can't, for example, type letters into a field that’s supposed to contain numbers, neither can you enter an invalid date (13/32/2004). There are many more examples. For now, type 20,000 and press TAB.
- TAB to the VEHICLE column, which is a check box. If checked, the value is 'true' or 'yes.' If blank, the value is 'false' or 'no.' Click on the box to check it. Click again to uncheck.
- TAB to the CONOTES column, which is a note. A note is limited in length only by the amount of disk space you have. You can type directly into the note as you see it in the grid but, if you double-click on it, an editing window will appear. Close the editing window by clicking on the X in its upper-right corner.
- TAB until you’re back to the ID column. Note that, unlike a spreadsheet, the Tracker 'wraps around' when you reach the right-hand side of the grid.
- Save the changes you’ve made by clicking the SAVE button at the bottom of the window. Then click ADD, which adds a row to the grid. Type in SAW 24 as an Id and press TAB. Enter a description and other data if you like, then click SAVE.
- It’s often faster and easier to copy an existing ID than to enter a description, cost, model number, etc. Click anywhere in the row that contains PUTRUCK1. This will select that row (you’ll see a black pointer on the left side of the grid). Click the OTHER button at the bottom of the window. COPY is already selected, so click OK. Most of the data in the PUTRUCK1 row will be copied to a new record. The data that’s not copied needs to be different, for example, the ID itself. Type in PUTRUCK4 then click SAVE.
- The Tracker’s other edit windows look and work the same as the Inventory window. For example, click on JOBS at the top of the window. The Jobs window will appear. The grid looks and works the same. You have the same buttons at the bottom of the window. If you wanted to add a new job, you’d click ADD. Do so, if you like, then click CLOSE.
- After you’ve entered a lot of data, you’ll want to be able to find the information you want quickly. Click the FIND button at the bottom of the Inventory window. The top portion of the window that appears is for one-column ‘begins with’ or 'equals' searches, the bottom for multi-column searches or searches where where you want to use a comparison other than ‘begins with’ (for example, 'greater than' and 'contains'). This training guide covers just one-column ‘begins with’ searches. More complicated searches are covered in the tips and tricks tutorial and training guide.
Click on the arrow to the right of ID then scroll up and click on DESCRIPTION. TAB once so the cursor is in the blank field under DESCRIPTION. Type SAW then click OK. The Tracker will sort the data by description and select the first match (since this is a ‘begins with’ search and there’s only a few items in the sample data, you could have typed S, SAWZ or SAWZALL and gotten the same result).
- Now we’re ready to transfer a tool to a job. Click the TO JOB button in the upper left. The window that appears contains 2 grids. The upper grid is the header. It contains information that describes the entire order. The lower detail grid will contain the list of tool Ids you’re transferring.
- The TO column in the header is for a job number, TO NAME for a job name. You can select the job you want by number or name. Click on the arrow in the TO column and a list of jobs will appear. Click on one to select it. Then TAB to the TO NAME column and pick a different job. The job number will change to match the job name you selected.
- You don’t have to pick the job from a list: you can type in a job number or name (this is handy if you’re a good typist: you don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard). Click in the TO column again and delete the value that’s there. Then type JOB 3 and press TAB. If JOB 3 already exists, the Tracker will accept it and display its name. If JOB 3 doesn’t exist, a window will appear, asking if you want to add it (if that happens, answer YES and enter a JOB NAME and ADDRESS for job 3; then click SAVE, then CLOSE).
- TAB to the LOCATION NOW column. This will automatically be filled when you’re transferring items to jobs with your default storage site. If there’s a value in this column, your searches are limited to the location entered. For now, delete the location that’s displayed with the DEL or BACKSPACE keys on your keyboard.
- TAB to the TRANSFER DATE column. This date defaults to today but can be edited if, for example, you’re entering an order that was shipped yesterday.
TAB to the SHIP NOTE column and double-click on it to open its editing window. Whatever you type here will appear at the top of shipping tags, which we’ll look at in a moment. For now, type DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO JOB (this note is often used for such directions) then close the note editing window by clicking the X in its upper right corner.
- Press SAVE & ADD to add Ids to the order (you can also press FIND, but we’ll look at that later). A row is added to the detail grid. Type P and press TAB. A list appears: all the items whose Id begins with P. You can check one or more of the checkboxes in the leftmost column (for now, check the checkbox to the left of PUTRUCK3) then click ADD to add the checked Ids to your order (if a window appears, asking if you want to transfer PUTRUCK3, answer YES).
The Id field in the To Job window contains a built-in find. If you type something in the Id field and press TAB or ENTER, the Tracker will look for the Ids that begin with whatever you typed (if the LOCATION NOW column in the header is filled in, it will limit the find to Ids that begin with whatever you typed at the location in the LOCATION NOW column).
- Click SAVE & ADD, type PUTRUCK1 and press TAB. This time, only one Id matches your search, so the Tracker selects and displays it.
- Click SAVE & ADD again (if a window appears, asking if you want to transfer PUTRUCK3, answer YES). The DESCRIPTION field in the To Job window also contains a built-in find. TAB to DESCRIPTION, click on the arrow, and select PICKUP 1/2 TON. You’ll see a list of all the items whose description begins with PICKTUP 1/2 TON. Click CANCEL to close the window without adding anything to your order.
- As mentioned earlier, you can also use the FIND button & window to add items to an order. Click FIND, click on the down arrow to the right of DESCRIPTION, click on ID, TAB to the blank field underneath ID and type S, then click OK again. A list of Ids beginning with S will appear. Click CANCEL to close the window without adding anything to your order.
- A shipping tag lists everything in an order. You can send that list to each destination so they can verify they received everything sent. Shipping tags can be printed automatically or manually. To do it manually, click on the REPORTS menu then on SHIPPING TAG. A report setup window will appear. Click on the button to the left of SCREEN then on the OK button. A screen image of the tag will appear.
If you only see one of the items ordered on the tag, the second is coming from a different source location (the Tracker prints separate shipping tags for each source). Press the PgDn key on your keyboard or click on the right-pointing arrow in the report toolbar to advance to the second shipping tag. Then press ESC on your keyboard to close the report preview. Press ESC again to close the report setup window.
- Transferring inventory to a storage site works exactly the same as transferring it to a job. Click on the TO STORAGE button. The To Job window should still be open, so a window will appear, asking if you want close the open transaction window and open a new one. Answer YES.
The TO column in the To Storage window will automatically be filled in with your default storage site (you can have as many storage sites as you want in the Tracker). Otherwise, it works exactly the same as the To Job window. If you wanted to add an Id to the order, you’d click on SAVE & ADD then type in an Id, the first part of an Id or a description. And so forth.
You can transfer Ids from job to job or from storage site to storage site. The important thing is the destination: if you’re transferring Ids to a job, click on the TO JOB button; if to a storage site, click on TO STORAGE.
- Click on the TRACKER menu then on EDIT HISTORY. Every time you transfer an item, you’re adding to this history file. Which is why you’ll see more than one row for the same Id. You can trace the history of the item: where it is now, where it was last, where it was before that. You can answer questions like, "Who had the generator last" and "How much has the compressor been used recently?" (Some rows have no locations: the sample data includes repair and maintenance data, which generally doesn’t include locations.)
- You can also examine history in reports. Click the REPORTS menu, HISTORY, SUMMARY WITH UTILIZATION. In the report setup window, click SCREEN then OK. This report presents your history data in a summary fashion and calculates usage. Press ESC on your keyboard twice to close the report and report setup window.
- Like the Inventory window, inventory reports list where items are, right now. Click the REPORTS menu, INVENTORY, SORTED BY ID. In the report setup window, click SCREEN and OK. Press ESC on your keyboard once to close the report. Leave the report setup window open.
- People often want to report on a specific set of data, for example, everything at a particular location. Click on the FIND button then on the arrow to the right of ID. Scroll to and click on LOCATION, then TAB so the cursor is in the blank field under LOCATION. Type JOB 3, click OK, then click OK again. The report that appears will only display the Ids at Job 3.
You may remember that when we used a one-column ‘begins with’ find in the inventory window, the Tracker sorted the data using the column we'd selected and selected the first match. Reports are different. They only display the data that actually matches a one-column ‘begins with’ find.
- Press ESC on your keyboard twice to close the report and the report setup window.
- There are many variations on inventory reports in the Tracker. One that’s particularly useful is the sort by location, which page breaks for every location. This is handy if you want to hand reports to your managers that list the items at their jobs: each job will begin on a new page. Click the REPORTS menu, INVENTORY, SORTED BY LOCATION. In the report setup window, click SCREEN and OK. Press the PgDn key on your keyboard or click on the right-pointing arrow in the report toolbar to advance to the second and third location. Press ESC on your keyboard twice to close the report and the report setup window.
This training guide covers the basics, only. More detailed info is included in our other streaming video tutorials and training guides and in the Tracker help system. To open the help system, click on the HELP menu then on HELP CONTENTS. The help system is described in more detail in the tips and tricks video and training guide.
Copyright 2006 Waterwheel Software, Inc.
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