FAQs for EXCELr8d Order Sheets

What is an EXCELr8d Order Sheet?

Why would I want to use an electronic order sheet?

How does BrokerForce™ create an EXCELr8d order sheet?

How does the EXCELr8d e-mail process work?

Can I reuse an order sheet?

What if the order is for a new customer?

What if header information like ShipTo information has changed?

Can I add a new item to the order?

What about price changes?

Can an in-progress order be exported for editing?

Can I view or print an order sheet if I don't have Excel?


Why would I want use an electronic order sheet?

Electronic order sheets are practical, efficient, and economical way to obtain orders from your customers.  They are practical because, like a printed order sheet, the user only needs to enter a minimum of information and the quantities of items they would like to order.  Completed order sheets may be printed as a hard copy record and are easily processed in a fraction of the time a handwritten order can be deciphered and re-entered.  All of which contributes to the practical nature of these sheets.

EXCELr8d orders can be efficiently created and transferred.  An EXCELr8d order sheet may be generated by the agency and e-mailed in seconds.  Ideally, an order sheet will become a reusable object for the customer's ordering needs.  A customer specific order sheet can be massaged to optimize product turnover rate and minimize holding costs.  Unlike printed order sheets, electronic order sheets are dynamic.  They may be changed as product selection, conditions, and prices change.  Select a customer, a vendor, and click <Export> to create a new customer specific guide with the latest information.

EXCELr8d order sheets may be exchanged by e-mail, remote access connections, the Internet, or fax.   All of which are faster and more economical than other forms of transfer like over-night mail or EDI via a value added network.

How does BrokerForce™ create an EXCELr8d order sheet?

First, determine if you want to make an order sheet that can be used for any customer or for a specific customer.  If you want it to be usable by any customer, on the EDI form, select 'VendorOrderSheet_EXCELr8d' from the Export drop list.  If you want it to be for a specific customer, choose 'CustomerOrderSheet_EXCELr8d'.  The advantage to a customer order sheet is that header information is already completed for the customer.  This type of order sheet should only be used for the customer chosen.  

When prompted, select the respective vendor and a category if you want to restrict the list of products for the order sheet.   For customer specific order sheets, placing a check in the Previous Items check box will further restrict the order sheet to only items that customer has previously ordered. 

Click the folder.gif (892 bytes) Export Folders button to select a path for where the order sheet file is to be placed.  For hand helds running Windows CE, you can choose the Synchronized Files folder.  Click the <Export File> button.  This file can now be used as a template.  After the file is opened in Excel on the target machine, from Excel's menu ribbon, select <File>, <Save As>, and enter a unique name that can be differentiated from other orders for this vendor.  Click <Save>.  You will now be working with the copy versus the original.  Complete order header information and enter quantities for the necessary line items.  Save the completed order sheet for processing by BrokerForce™.

How does the e-mail process work?

Agency - After a BrokerForce™ user creates an EXCELr8d order sheet for a customer, the user is prompted to 'Email the Order Sheet?'.   If the user clicks <Yes>, a new Microsoft Outlook e-mail message is created and instructions are added to the body of the message for completing the order sheet.  The order sheet file will automatically be attached to the new message.  If BrokerForce™ found an e-mail address for the prospective recipient, that address will be used.  Otherwise, an address must be entered when the new message opens.  Additional text may be added to the text body of the message.  Clicking the <Send> button will place the message into the Out Box where it will wait to be sent.  After the order has been completed by the customer, the agency will then await the return of a completed order file.

Tip: create a desktop short cut to a folder like like 'C:\EXCELr8d_Orders_InBox\' that you can use for incoming order sheets.  An order sheet that has just been received may be dragged directly from the Outlook message to this folder for future processing.

To process the incoming order,  a BrokerForce™ user clicks the <EXCELr8d Orders Process> button on the Order form and follows the three step (guided) process to import the completed order sheet file.

Customer - After you receive an e-mail message with an EXCELr8d order file attached, you should decide if you want to be able to reuse this order sheet for future orders.  If not, and your e-mail software supports file editing (Outlook, Eudora...), open the file, complete the order sheet and <Forward> it back to the agency for processing.  Upon request, the agency will send you a new order sheet that reflects the latest price and product changes. 
Note: If you <Reply> to the message, the order file might not be attached to your reply.
If you want to reuse the order sheet for future orders, save a copy of the original file on a local drive before it is edited to use as a template for future orders.   There are at least two ways to do this.  Use the <Save file attachment> feature of your e-mail software, or open the file, select <File>, <Save As>, and enter the path and file name to save the template.  Once you have made a template copy of the order, make another copy of this unedited template to edit as a new order that can be transferred to the agency.  After this order sheet copy is completed, it may be attached to an e-mail message and forwarded to the agency.
Note: To edit an EXCELr8d order sheet, requires software that is capable of editing an EXCEL 5 file.  See the  Microsoft® Excel Viewer 97 information below for viewing and printing the file without a copy of Microsoft® Excel.

Can an order sheet be used for a new customer?

Yes.  If a vendor order sheet is used and BrokerForce™ doesn't recognize the customer during the import process, the user will be prompted to select a customer on the order form or to create a new customer record using the information available from the order sheet.  Either way, during the import process, the <Process Header> button will change to a <Resume> button.  Click this button to resume the order process after a customer is selected on the Order form or a new customer record has been entered on the Customer form.

What if header information like ShipTo information is changed?

Based on an order's vendor/customer combination, the import process compares each field (name, address, etc.) from the order sheet to the default information provided by BrokerForce™.   If a variance occurs, the user is prompted to select from either the order sheet version or the current order's default settings.

Can I add a new item to the order?

Yes.  If an item has not been previously ordered, or it wasn't available when the order sheet was generated, add it directly below the last item on the order sheet.  After entering the quantity, enter the item number and/or the product name in their respective columns.  If the import process recognizes either the item number or product name, it will be added to the order.  If an item is unrecognized, the user will be prompted to continue using the information available from the order sheet or to skip over that item and perhaps select another from the available products list immediately after the import process has completed.

What about price changes?

If the price has been changed on the order sheet or a new price applies, the user will be prompted to accept or reject any price that would not ordinarily be awarded by the ordering process.  All prices are compared for promotions and volume pricing during the import process. The user will be given the option of which price to apply.

Can an in-progress order be exported for editing?

Yes.  Any order may be exported using the EXCELr8d Dialog pop-up.  This dialog form is accessed by clicking the <EXCELr8d Orders Dialog> button on the Order form.   Click the <Import EXCELr8d Order> button to toggle the button to the <Export EXCELr8d Order> state.  The export file name will default to the OrderID number followed by '.xls'.  After the order is exported to an Excel file, you will be prompted to e-mail it.  The e-mail address, if available, on the order will be used as the default recipient address for the message.

Can I view or print the order sheet if I don't have a copy of Excel?

Yes.  EXCELr8d order sheets may be viewed or printed with the free for the download Microsoft® Excel Viewer.  Although this viewer does not allow the user to make edits or calculations, it does allow the user to page through the order, print selected areas or pages, and to move between the header and order details worksheets.  A printed order sheet can be used to walk around with and enter the desired quantities of line items.  An order sheet completed in this manner may be faxed.

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