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ShopKey5 Management / Service Writer

Getting Information About ShopKey5 Management/Service Writer: User Guide (.pdf) | Putting Management System/Service Writer to Work | Teach Yourself Management System/Service Writer |System Requirements | Network Administrator's Guide

Free! Order NAPA parts from within your ShopKey5 Management and Repair and Estimating Software. Link to the NAPA Parts Catalog Order form.


Questions and Answers about Management System/Service Writer:

I am a new user of Management System/Service Writer. What is the best way to install and begin using Management in my shop?
I have a suggestion to improve Management System/Service Writer
Can I get a printed copy of the user's guide?
My HP LaserJet 1000 Printer prints a black square block in place of a wiring diagram
Why does my cash receipts report 'paid on' column list some items as Deposit, Account, or Invoice?
Why does an invoice# appear on my Posted Orders Report, but it does not appear on my Cash Reciepts Report?
Why are the totals on my Posted Order Report higher than the totals on the Cash Receipts Reports?
Why is my Posted Orders 'Grand Total' different than my 'Sales Receipts Summary' total?
How can I setup 'Parts Kits' to prompt me for alternative part items?
When I setup the 'Price Markup Matrix', and choose done the change is not reflected on the my inventory.
How do I add all of my customers to the view list to print labels or follow-up letters for everyone?
How do I print all of my postcards correctly without wasting my postcard stock?
How do I put my existing charge accounts into the Series management program?
How do I make a single payment to multiple invoices on the same charged account?
Why does the cost field say zero or have(*****) on the 'Incomplete Items Report', especially since I already have a cost on that paticular part?
How do I print a Vendor List of parts?
How is the labor cost dollar amount calculated?
I made an error when making a payment to an invoice. How do i properly correct this payment even though the order is now posted for Series 4.4?
I made an error when making a payment to an invoice. How do I properly correct this payment for older versions of Series 4.11 and older?
How can I charge Hazmat per part instead of per invoice or attach a fee to a part in inventory?
How do I use the NSF(Insufficent funds) function after receiving a returned check?
I received an error that said list of parts exceeded maximum allowed while attempting to perform a search on my inventory. Why am I receiving this error?
How do I create a backup for my current database?
How can I make the program carry the labor hours or parts commission to the technician automatically?
I have created a tire package but when I increase the number of tires the total number of wheel alignments increase. How can I fix this problem?
When I print an Invoice from Series 4.4 on my Epson LQ 570E printer information that should print on the right hand side of the document is cut off. How can I correct this problem?
How can I add a core to a inventoried part? How are cores transfered to an order?

Important Note for Windows 95 Users - With our first release of early 2005, our Management System software will no longer install properly on Windows 95 and Windows 98 First Edition operating systems. This is because of Microsoft's ongoing migration to newer operating systems and lack of continued compatible file/DLL support for Windows 95. With each quarterly release, we will be encouraging our Management System customers using older Windows operating systems to migrate. It is our hope that this advance notice will allow for adequate time for that migration.


What is the best way to to install and use Management in my shop?

To facilitate a smooth process of implementing Management Systemin your business, ShopKey strongly recommends that you follow these
"5-steps-to-success," in order:

1. Using the installation CD, install the Training/Jump Start version of the software. This installs the Management software to your computer along with a sample database of customer and vehicle information.

2. Work through the exercises in the Teach Yourself Management System/Service Writer Guide included with your software package.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT enter real shop/customer information into this version of the program. This version is for practice purposes only and has limitations in the number of customers and vehicles you can enter. You will NOT be able to transfer this information to the "live" program.

3. Once you are comfortable working with the Management System, install your licensed version of Management/Service Writer. When you install the "live" software, you will need to use the CD and your Key Diskette, which "activates" the software and "unlocks" all program features.

4. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the Putting Management to Work guide to setup your shop information, rates, etc.

5. Begin writing Orders and running your shop with your Management System. Refer to the User Guide (included on this CD), the Online Help (F1), and the Video Training (accessible through Help) for detailed step-by-step instruction on all program features.

Follow these five steps to success and you are practically guaranteed a successful implementation. Congratulations on your purchase of the best automotive shop management software available: ShopKey5 Management System/Service Writer.

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I have a suggestion to improve Management System/Service Writer

If you have a suggestion for improving our management system, we want to hear about it. This allows us to continue to provide the best shop management programs possible. Please complete our online Product Suggestion form as completely and accurately as possible.

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Can I get a printed copy of the Management System/ Service Writer user guide?

As with many software companies, the Management System User Guide has not been printed for several years. Our research indicates that the benefit of including a printed user guide with every new software release does not justify the added expense, which would have to be passed along to the end user in the form of higher subscription cost.

You can however access the current User's Guide online via this link: ShopKey Management User Guide. A copy of the User's Guide is also included on your CD. The electronic user guide, in Adobe Acrobat Reader format, is easy to use, searchable, and you can make printouts of any pages you wish to keep for further reference.

While open, many users are clicking File, Save As (or Save a Copy) and copying it to the desktop of their PC. This way you can view or print w/o ever having to download from the Internet again.

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My HP LaserJet 1000 Printer prints a black square block in place of a wiring diagram

This is a known problem with the HP printer software, not the ShopKey program. To correct this problem, you must download the current printer driver from the driver downloads, updates, and software packages page on the Hewlett Packard website.

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Why does my Cash Receipts Report 'Paid On' column list some items as Deposit, Account or Invoice?

The 'Paid On' column lists how each item was paid.

For example if you apply a payment in full and then post the order, the Cash Receipts Report will list the item as 'Paid On' Invoice. Review the items listed below for the remaining 'Paid On' options.

Account is a payment made to a posted order.
Deposit is a payment made on an unposted order.

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A.) Why does an invoice# appear on my Posted Orders Report, but it does not appear on my Cash Reciepts Report?

B.) Why are the totals on my Posted Order Report higher than the totals on the Cash Receipts Reports?

Posting orders and applying payments to an order are two completely separate functions. An invoice can be posted without applying a payment, and a payment can be made to an invoice that has not been posted. For convenience, an invoice can be 'Paid' and 'Posted' in a single step using the 'Pay/Post Invoice' button.

When you post an invoice with a current balance, the invoice will be posted as a Charge, and will appear on the Posted Order Report. Since you have not collected any form of payment for that invoice, it will not appear on the Cash Reciepts Report. That is why the totals on the Posted Order Report may be higher than the totals on the Cash Receipts Report.

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Why is my Posted Orders 'Grand Total' different than my 'Sales Receipts Summary' total?

The 'Sales Receipts Summary Report' summarizes the totals of two different reports, the 'Cash Receipts Report' and the 'Posted Orders Report.' The totals of the top section (Receipts Summary) should match the totals on the 'Cash Receipts Report,' as long as both reports are using the same date range and are printed at the same time. The totals of the bottom section (Posted Order Sales) should match the totals on the 'Posted Order Report,' as long as both reports are using the same date range and are printed at the same time. See MSFAQ2 for an explanation on the difference between paying and posting an order.

 

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I have a 'Parts Kit' available made up of 5 quarts of oil, and several different types of oil filters for that particular kit. Is there a way for me to assign this 'parts kit' to an order, and have the system prompt me to select 1 of 5 different types of filters?

Once the parts have been added to the 'parts kit', select each of the filters from the kit and select Edit. Place a check mark in the 'Prompt on Use' check box. When the parts kit is transferred to an order, an optional parts dialog box will appear. Place a check mark next to the filter(s) you wish to add to the order.

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When I setup the 'Price Markup Matrix', it does not reflect on the inventory.

  1. Before applying the matrix, make sure you have created at least one inventory item that does NOT have a check mark in the box for "User Entered List $.".
  2. Since new users would not normally have an Average Cost (the average cost of all inventory item purchases) for parts just yet, select Last Cost (the cost of the most recently purchased inventory items) from the Inventory Costing section at the bottom of the 'Price Markup Matrix' tab.

Note: The option for 'Average Cost' or 'Last Cost' is only available in Management System, not Service Writer.

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How do I add all of my customers to the View List to print labels or follow-up reports for everyone?

  1. Go to the Report Selections\Follow Up tab.
  2. Double click any of the follow up letters.
  3. Set both the 'Service Date From' and "Service Date To' to tomorrow's date.
  4. For the 'Selection Method', select the 'Select by Customer not found in selected date range.'
  5. Click on the Search button.

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When I print postcards on my dot matrix printer, the first two print fine but skip some space, setting the other postcards off. How do I print all of my postcards correctly without wasting my postcard stock?

You have to specify 4x6 postcards in the Printer Driver Properties window. The steps below are generalized since the settings for printer drivers are often configured differently based on the manufacturer, printer model, driver version or operating system.

  1. Go to the Properties window for your printer driver.
  2. Go to the Paper Tab, double click on the Custom Paper.
  3. Make sure inches is selected for measurement.
  4. Set Width to 600 and Height to 400.

Note: ShopKey recommends 24-Pin Graphic Compatible printers for labels and postcards. Please see the hardware requirements document.

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I am a brand new user. How do I put my existing charge accounts into the management program?

You can manually put a 'Charged Balance' for each customer on the Customer Screen. Both the 'charged balance' and 'credit balance' can be modified by clicking on the 'Update Customer' button. However, there are no reports that track manually entered changes made to either the charged or credit balances.

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How do I make a single payment to multiple invoices on the same Charged Account?

You can apply a single payment to multiple invoices on the same Charged Account through the 'Batch Payments' screen.

  1. Click on Utilities then Batch Payments.
  2. Search for the customer by Cust ID, Company or Name.
  3. Put the dollar amount received in the 'Amount' field.
  4. Click on the 'Auto Distribute' button to automatically apply payments from the oldest to the newest invoice.
  5. Click on Done. Say 'Yes' to "Ok to save the amounts applied?"

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Why does the cost field says zero or have asterisks (*****) on the 'Incomplete Inventory Items Report,' especially since I already have a cost on that particular part?

The 'Incomplete Inventory Items Report' performs a query on the "Average Cost" field not the "Last Cost $" field, which may read zero for newly added parts. (This field is not readily modified)

  1. After you have added a part with a cost, change the "On Hand" field to 0, and hit OK.

  2. Go back to that part and reinsert the "On Hand" quantity. This will force the program to perform the average cost calculation.

Note: This procedure can only be completed in Management System, not Service Writer.

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How do I print a Vendor List of parts?

This report is not found in the reports option. It can be performed from the Inventory List dialog box.

  1. Go to the Inventory List dialog box.
  2. Search for requested items from a particular vendor.
  3. Select Print.

Note: This procedure can only be completed in Management System, not Service Writer.

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How is the Labor Cost $ calculated?

The Labor Cost $ amount includes the technician's wage (Pay Hours multiplied by the technician's hourly wage), technician's commission, and the service writer's commission.

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I made an error when making a payment to an invoice. How do I properly correct this payment even though the order is now posted?

There are multiple steps to delete a payment. Please review the steps listed below for help deleting an incorrect payment.

If the order has already been posted, click on 'Utilities' located at the top of the screen.

  1. Click on 'Batch Payments'.
  2. Now click on either 'Company' or 'Name' to find the customer. After selecting the customer from the roledex, click on the 'History' button.
  3. Click on the payment in question (the payment line should be grey). Finally click on 'Delete Payment.
  4. You should receive a message that states "A payment deletion is an irreversible action. Are you sure you want to delete this payment?".
  5. Click 'Yes' and the payment will be removed from the customer's payment history.

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I made an error when making a payment to an invoice. How do I properly correct this payment?

There are two steps to this process. The first step requires the creation of three new "payment correction" types (These three types should already exist in the database for new Series customers). The second step is to perform the actual "payment correction".

Create Payment Correction Types

  1. Go to Setup\Standard Tables\Income-Cash Accounts.
  2. Click on Cash Accounts.
  3. Click on Add, select Cash selection then type in "PC-Cash" for description (PC is short for Payment Correction). Type in your appropriate GL Code then click on OK to finish.
  4. Click on Add again, select Check then type in "PC-Check" for description. Type in your appropriate GL Code then click on OK to finish.
  5. Click on Add a third time, select Credit Card then type in "PC-Credit Card " for description. Type in your appropriate GL Code then click on OK to finish.

Perform Payment Correction

Before attempting the payment correction, make sure you know the 1) invoice #, 2) date of payment, 3) payment amount and 4) payment type of the payment that is being corrected. In the steps below, we will use the following example: the totals for invoice #10100 equal $100; the correct balance should be $100 but a cash payment of $100 was mistakenly applied to the invoice on January 1, 2001; thus, the invoice balance is currently $0.

  1. Pull up the customer, go to the history tab, and select the invoice that needs the payment correction (If you already know the invoice number, click on the Utilities menu, select find History Record, type the invoice number (EX. 10100) then click on the 'View Record' button.
  2. Click on the 'Detail' button followed by the 'Payments' button.
  3. Enter the same date of the payment you are correcting. (EX. 01/01/2001)
  4. Select the down arrow on 'Payment Type' and select the appropriate 'payment correction' type. (EX. PC-Cash)
  5. For the Payment Amount, put a negative dollar amount which is equal to the payment amount you wish to correct then click on OK (EX. -$100.00). One way to do this is to calculate the difference between the current Invoice Balance and the correct Invoice Balance.
  6. Click on the 'Pay' button then answer 'Yes' to the 'Post Additional Payments Now?' dialog box. You will notice that the current Invoice Balance should be back to its original state. You can now enter the correct payment information if you desire. If you pay off the invoice in full, you will be taken back to the History Detail screen.
  7. If you are finished making payments or performing payment corrections, click on Cancel (If you click on the Pay button at this point, you will have incorrectly applied another payment, which will require you to perform an additional payment correction).
  8. Finally, click Done then Exit.

Note: The payment correction steps listed in this document are for older versions of ShopKey Management Solution Series I/II that do not have the delete payments feature.

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How can I charge Hazmat per part instead of per invoice or attach a fee to a part in inventory?

Series already supports this feature by allowing you to create a fee. The "fee" will work the same way as the Hazmat charge but will only apply the charge to one part instead of to the entire order.

  1. In the Inventory Edit screen, create a part.
  2. Click on the "Fee" button, create the fee then click on the check box for 'Prompt for Fee.' When this part is added to an order, you will be prompted to add the Hazmat fee.

Note: To charge a fee using the feature described above, the part must be an inventory part.

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How do I use the NSF (Insufficient funds) function after receiving a returned check?
  1. Press F5 on the keyboard to display the batch payments screen.
  2. Choose the customer or company name then click the 'NSF' button.
  3. Highlight the line item. (Please verify the date and amount) then click the 'NSF' button .
  4. Choose OK then click on 'Done.'
  5. The customer's balance should display the correct amount.
  6. Print an NSF report to display all reported NSF checks.

Note: If this check is reversing more than one invoice, then it will only display the dollar amount for the last invoice.

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I received an error that said 'list of parts exceeded maximum allowed' while attempting to perform a search on my inventory. Why am I receiving this error?

The Part List (Series I) or Inventory List (Series II) search function can only list a maximum of 500 items. If the list exceeds this amount, you will receive the message that says 'list of parts exceeded maximum allowed'. Generally, you will get this error when you use a search criteria of 'All.' If you narrow down your search by specifying a vendor, category, part number and/or description, you should not receive the error message.

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How do I create a backup of my current database?
  1. In all 4.x or higher versions of Series management, making a backup is very simple. Follow the steps below to set the backup path. Also, please use an external Iomega Zip drive as requested in the hardware requirements document.
  2. Launch Series 1 or 2 by clicking on the icon.
  3. After Series opens, click on 'Setup' then 'Shop Data Setup.'
  4. Click on the tab that is marked 'Default Settings.'
  5. On the right, look for the heading 'Perform backups on:' then select when you would like the program to perform the backup.
    • Program Startup-This selection will ask if you would like to backup the database when the Series program is launched.
    • Program Exit-This selection will ask if you would like to backup the database when the Series program is closed.
    • End of Day-This selection will ask if you would like to backup the database after running the 'End of Day' reports.

Finally, select where you would like the backup created by specifying the 'Location' (Example D:\Series).If D:\ is your Zipdrive, then it will create a backup of your database in the folder D:\Series\backup\In the folder you will have a D#.zip file. The backup counts the day it was created. Sunday is seen as D1.zip, Monday as D2.zip and so on up to D7.zip on Satuday, then returns back to D1.zip on Sunday.

  • Note: The hardware requirements recommend an Iomega Zip drive. The Zip drive is recommended due to its reliability and widespread use. At this time ShopKey does not recommend using CDR or CDRW's. Unfortunately, the various programs used with CDR and CDRW drives may have varying effects and can be unreliable when creating backups. Management backups have not been tested with CDR and CDRW technology, so the automatic backup may not work properly when used to backup to a CDR or CDRW.

I have created mutiple orders but the labor time and parts commissions are not carrying over to the technician. How can I make the program carry the labor hours or parts commission to the technician automatically?

In order for the labor hours and parts commission to transfer automatically to the technician you must have a default 'Labor Technician and default Parts Technician' setup. Some shops do not want to set one tech as the default because any number of technicians may do the work. To setup a default tech to accomplish this task we suggest creating a tech called 'Please, Select'. The 'Please Select' technician will automatically fill the categories in question but will also remind the service writer to choose a technician. Follow the steps below to create the 'Please, Select' technician and your default 'Labor and Parts technician.

Setup a Please Select Technician

    1. Launch Series 1 or 2. After Series is open click on 'Setup'.
    2. Click on 'Technician Setup.' After the Technician Setup screen opens, click on 'Add'.
    3. In the column for the Last name type 'Please,' for the First name type 'Select'.
    4. Type in a 'Technician ID' for this technician.
    5. Set the hourly or salary rate to match your lowest paid technician then set the 'Parts Commission and Labor Commission' to match your lowest paid technician.
    6. Click on 'OK' and 'Please, Select' will be added to your list of technicians. Finally, click 'Ok' again and the Technician Setup screen will close.
Setup a Default Technician
    1. Click on 'Setup' then choose 'Shop Data Setup.'
    2. Now click on the tab that is marked 'Default Settings.'
    3. On the left hand side of the menu look for 'Labor Technician and Parts Technician'.
    4. Click the down arrow on the 'Labor Technician' and 'Parts Technician' and choose ' Please, Select' for both.
    5. Click on 'Done' to save the changes. The Default technician will now be set automatically for any new orders.
    • Note: The above steps will only affect orders created after the settings have been changed. Orders that were created prior to the changes will not be affected.

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I have created a tire package but when I increase the number of tires the total number of wheel alignments increase. How can I fix this problem?

The problem you are having is created when "Ignore Package Quanity" is not selected while building a tire package with a wheel alignment. Please follow the steps below to set the item correctly.

  1. If the Management program is not open please click on the icon. If Series is open then please go to step 2.
  2. Click on "Setup" and then click on "Tire Packages".
  3. Select a tire package to edit. Choose a package that has a wheel alignment that may be increasing to a qaunity of 4 if you select to replace all 4 tires.
  4. After you have selected the tire package double click on wheel alignment.
  5. Click on the box to ignore package qaunity.
  6. Click done then exit.
  7. Now create an order or open an existing order and add a new tire package. When you change the quanity of tires the package will not increase the number of wheel alignments for this package.

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When I print an Invoice from Series 4.4 on my Epson LQ 570E printer information that should print on the right hand side of the document is cut off. How can I correct this problem?

The problem you are seeing can be corrected by altering the printer driver settings. To resolve this issue please complete the steps listed below.

  1. Close the Series program if it is open. If the program is already closed goto step 2.
  2. Click on start. After choosing start select settings and click on printers.
  3. When the printers window opens look for your printer. It should be listed as "Epson LQ-570".
  4. Put your mouse on top of the printer icon and then right click on the icon once. A box should appear with an option for properties. Properties should be located at the end of the list. Click on the properties tab.
  5. When the printer properties window opens you should see multiple tabs with different headings. Click on the "Paper" tab.
  6. After selecting this tab you should have an option to specify the "Unprintable Area".
  7. Click the button for "unprintable Area" and modify the left and right margin settings. The settings should be marked at the default of "250" for left and right.If the tabs are set to another number then click the button to restore defaults or manually change the settings to "250" for the left and right margin boxes.
  8. Click on apply and then ok. Open Series and try to print an invoice. The invoice should print normally.

Note: The steps listed above worked successfully at resolving this printing problem on a Windows 95/98/ME operating systems. Whenever possible load the default printer driver from the operating system.

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How can I add a core to a inventoried part? How are cores transfered to an order?

Please click on the link to the cores document. This document provides the steps needed to add a core to an inventoried part. The document also explains how to add a core to an order. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat please download a copy by clicking on the word Adobe.

 

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