• BisTrack 2 features 300 enhancements.
• New modules include Web Track, Scan Track, eBusiness and Mobile.
• Real-time, to-the-minute information is a key element of the system.

No fewer than 300 enhancements have been incorporated into bisTrack 2, the latest software release from Progressive Solutions.

Comprising major developments as well as smaller cosmetic changes, the new features were introduced at a series of events last month where the Progressive team explored how the system can be used, not just for operational purposes, but to help companies focus on important business opportunities.

The basic system, developed completely in Microsoft architecture, comprises sales, purchasing, pricing, stock control and financial integration. For timber companies, the system can work with metric or imperial measurements, by tally or by pack, and can control stock by metre, by length, by cube or by tagged or untagged packs. It also supports works orders, landed costs and external third-party operations.

Amongst the new standard enhancements is a Profile Designer which allows customers to create or modify new task pads and menus which can be linked to a particular user. This means that you can restrict the information in the system to certain users and equip them with only what they need to see.

A new Smart View function lets users tailor standard views themselves to make them more relevant to their role. For example, a rep might only be interested in seeing his or her customers.

Favourite feature

The ‘dashboard’ is what managers and business owners say is their favourite feature of the system. Various canned views are shipped with the software which give a snapshot of how the business is performing. Now a new Dashboard Designer has been incorporated which means managers can set up their own dashboard to show whatever key performance indicators they want.

Developments mean bisTrack now links with global positioning systems embedded into individual vehicles. By integrating Microsoft MapPoint, the sales team can pinpoint the actual location of a vehicle carrying a customer’s order and advise accurate delivery times. There are obvious cost and control benefits for transport managers who can better plan journeys and drops and monitor the progress of individual drivers and their vehicles.

And the software integrates chip and pin handling for credit cards, which works by piggybacking on the existing network, eliminating the need for the dedicated phone lines required by PDQ machines. Improved product linking features can be used to create pop-ups prompting staff to suggest associated products, and achieve add-on sales.

Optional modules

New optional modules for bisTrack have also been developed. These include eBusiness, an easy-to-use electronic data interchange module; and Web Track, an optional module available in two versions. As an online trading device, it sits behind a customer’s existing website and provides the shopping cart function for flagged stock already controlled and priced by bisTrack. When orders are placed using Web Track, they are acknow-ledged but parked and then processed in the normal way only when the sales team is present. This gives companies full control over how the order is fulfilled. Web Track can also be used as a customer portal, allowing account customers simply to log on to access their accounts, check their credit and view their own price lists.

The bisTrack Mobile module enables reps or remote workers to make decisions off-site with access to real-time bisTrack data via smart phone technology, reducing the need to equip sales teams with a laptop and the full bisTrack system. The Mobile module also works on industrial PDA devices for stocktaking and price look up, operating either on- or offline within the timber company’s premises.

Data Warehouse is a new module which collects data from every transaction performed in bisTrack for in-depth reporting and business analysis. Information related to time, date and other areas can be captured, providing the answers to questions such as “what percentage of orders do I take before 11am each day?” The data is stored on a separate server to isolate the reporting function and prevent any impact on operational performance.

As Progressive’s sales director Arthur Duffy explained, software may just be a tool but it’s one that can help you tackle important business challenges such as maximising stock value, optimising yard and warehouse operations, streamlining order fulfilment and providing the insight for profitable growth.