MS-DOS, 1 floppy disk
This is a compact program that manages up to a billion names and addresses, and can keep track of multiple lists within a large list, so you can code names in a multitude of ways. For instance, you can have prospects, subscribers, members, and your personal Christmas list all in the same file (or up to a billion separate files, if you wish) and view or print only those which match a given code. This works with combinations, so you can send to both prospects and current clients by including whatever code you assigned to both of them in your selection.
Suppose you want to send a special offer to just your new prospects. If you used "P" for the prospect code, then just enter "P" and that's all the names that will be selected for the mailing (and printing of the lists, in any sort order). But if you want to include both your current clients, coded "C", in the mailing, you can enter "PC" and both sets of names will be combined into a single mailing, giving you more matches for carrier route sorting, state sorting, five digit zip matches, and so forth for lower bulk rates.
CSM also lets you do telephone marketing by preparing a list of names and putting them on screen with prior response codes and notes, letting you call and record the results, and keeping track of where you left off, so you can come in tomorrow or in a week and the program remembers exactly who is next to call. This works very well for charity work spread over a few days or weeks. Fund raisers find this feature very useful, especially with the quick lookup of pledges by code and the room to enter unlimited notes about a call.
The merging and purging capabilities are impressive: you can select many levels of duplicate name recognition and removal, and yet the removed names are put into a safe keeping file so you can check them, merge them back again, and not lose any valuable information. If you want very tight screening, to cut mailing costs, you can tell the program to consider the same address with different names to be a duplicate (which eliminates multiple mailings to some apartments, doctors in the same office, and so forth). Or you can select many other levels, including one where you get to see and select which of two proposed duplicates to remove, if either, on every possible duplicate name. This of course is too slow for huge lists, but fine for tightly controlled smaller lists.
Sorting and label printing can be done by zipcode and state, company and zipcode, last name and zipcode, and many other options. Labels can be printed in single, 3-up, 4-up, and many other formats to match the kind of printer and label forms you purchased. You can even print telephone listings on plain paper, and specify a limit to how many names to include, the starting and ending zipcodes, or to skip those which have been previously printed a certain number of times (the program records each printing and keeps track of name usage so you don't beat a dead horse and waste money on mailings that are obviously not productive -- you can decide who will be included by various usage and demographic criteria including SIC codes).
CSM also has a "smart editor" for manually typing in names and addresses, and a fast lookup section to find people by city, name, firm, state, zipcode, or address. You can then edit or delete any record. You can attach a note to any name and use the system as a giant cardfile, with unlimited cards for each name (up to one billion).
MS-DOS, 1 floppy disk
The CEDAR Billing System can be turned on in the morning and used to run your business all day long! It holds your client list, with phone and fax numbers, unlimited notes, an automatic to-do list linked to client records, and records your sales, income and billing information. It does account aging, prints aged statements, and gives you sales reports. It also has a journal linked to a chart of accounts that lets you record your transactions and gives you a wealth of different reports including customized ones you can create yourself (and save for future use).
CEDAR also creates quick letters for any client: use it instead of a word processor, and you all you have to write is the body of the text. Your address and the client address are automatically printed along with the date (you can over-write this information to use it as a general letter writing program), and the format is set up so you can use a window envelope, eliminating the need to address one yourself.
Inventory control is part of the CEDAR functions: you can set up manufacturing inventory or just regular retail inventory (in the manufacturing inventory, each completed item sold can be linked to any number of component parts (including such things as packaging, labor cost units, and allocation of property taxes, if you wish), and the component quantity will automatically be reduced by every part that is put into inventory for resale. You can generate lists of needed parts, automatically, simply by entering the number of complete items you wish to produce (the table of parts per item then is referenced to build the requirements per item, and then the remaining inventory consulted to determine required purchases).
It's all the little things that make CEDAR so useful, however: customizable invoices that can print one, two or three lines of description for every item; selectable formats that can show 30-60-90 day aging bars at the bottom of invoices (or not, as you wish), point-of-sale payment entry so you can generate an invoice and pay it all in one operation, and hand the client the invoice marked "paid" or even partially paid, right on the spot, as well as saving pending sales to generate a composite invoice later, or generating invoices without printing them, and then batch printing at a later date. In other words, CEDAR can work in many flexible ways to best suit your operation, instead of forcing you to change your way of doing things to accomodate the program.
One of the very handy features of CEDAR is the way invoices and price quotes are entered. CEDAR builds a "catalog" of your services and products, with name, description, pricing (including quantity discounts, if applicable), inventory (where applicable), and internal information such as your vendor, product category, minimum inventory level and cost. You just enter the items as you go. No need to spend a week just typing in parts. Then, the next time you sell one of the items, all you have to do is type any part of the name or description, and the rest of the info including pricing will instantly appear on the invoice screen. You do NOT have to remember complex part numbers or codes: the program will search out the part from anything you care to enter, and ask if the part it found is the one you had in mind. You can edit the description, price, and other information as you enter the item, right in the middle of making the invoice if necessary, and the program will ask if you want to change the catalog record or just make an exception on this one invoice.
Some of the successful users of CEDAR include: mail order businesses, bottled water route sales, motels, manufacturing plants, software firms, retail stores, professional services (legal, medical, dental), lumber yards, hardware stores, wholesale distribution of cleaning supplies, food, and restuarant supplies, food service businesses, electrical contractors, and construction firms (drywall, general contractors, cabinet shops). Each client in the CEDAR list can have a trade discount applied to all items purchased, and each group of items you enter can have a separate, flexible discount either by percentage or by dollar amount off the listed price. Sales tax is automatic if you turn it on (but optional, so you can turn it off).
MS-DOS, 1 floppy disk
Powder Coating is a kind of finishing that might be described as painting without the liquid. It's actually a lot more involved and better than that: the materials that make up the actual pigment and protective dry coating are not dissolved in a solvent and sprayed on the surface of the parts. Instead, the coating is a fine powder that is highly charged with electricity and attracted to the grounded parts (usually metal, but not always). The high voltage charge causes the fine powder to spread out evenly on the surface of the part, for a precision thickness and even coverage. Then the parts are put into a baking oven and the powder coating is actually melted into a film that seeps into the pores which expand when the part is heated. When the part cools, the pores and surface fisures shrink again, and the coating is held partly below the surface and partly on top, for an extremely durable, often weather-proof finish.
The shops which apply powder coating under contract or by the job (job shops, in other words, who must be able to quote a price on things they may have never seen before), often have a problem when it comes to figuring out what to charge the first time a job is done, and quite often find that it is hard to pass on tricky information about voltages, pressures, preheating of the part, masking and plugging of holes where a certain part is not coated, preparation and cleaning procedures for any given part, and the average time it should take to accomplish all the steps of preparation, cleaning, racking or hanging the parts, coating them in the booth or automatic coating line, and various heat processes to cure the finishes, plus the necessary handling, packaging, and shipping for different parts and clients.
PCDS does all this and far more. It is a program you can turn on in the morning and run your business all day without any other software. It takes orders, does quotes, figures out profitable pricing, analyzes your operation to give you best pricing at each step, prints shop orders and "travelers" that detail the times and required processes for each part, prints the invoices and statements, does the aging and prints mailing lists, and even writes letters to the clients (any letter can be turned into a form letter).
PCDS has in-depth part processing storage information, with all the details of coating, including various powders, technical application notes, colors, top and base coating processes, oven times and temperatures, special cleaning and out-gassing procedures, environmental concerns for the parts, and much more. You can use any or none of it, as you wish. But you will certainly want to use the job costing features: they are worth far more than the price of the software to most job shops, because in a short time the savings they give you over just a best guess on new job pricing will add significantly to your bottom line. Powder shops from Canada to San Diego, Maine to Florida boost their profits on new jobs and continually improve their production on old jobs with PCDS.
Every time you run a job, PCDS can record the time at every step, from cleaning to racking, coating (booth time) to baking, wrapping and shipping, as well as material costs such as the coating and consumables used on the job. Then it compares the last times with the average of all previous jobs, and determines if the people involved might be eligible for incentive pay, or a talking to about their procedure! You get not just the total job time, but the specifics of every step in the process, both in terms of time per part, cost per part, total cost and total time in that operation for the job.
The program knows how to scale the cost with quantity, so you get reasonable estimates for changes in the batch size. All this is automatic, based on an interview that you can conduct at any time with the software, which asks you for a series of costs from your last statement of income and expenses, and some reasonable estimates on your actual depreciation costs for the equipment life (not the IRS rules, but what in reality you could expect before encountering certain expenses). PCDS then factors all these figures into the cost of doing business for each operation, including the profit percentage you want to make and can reasonably expect considering the local competition.