Q. What is a status alert?
A status alert is a warning that notifies a user if they
try to add a cost or billing to a job that is on-hold, closed,
or otherwise shouldn't be touched. They prevent staff members
from working on these jobs. Each status code can have its own
status alert. The alert itself can include both the warning
text and a picture, both of which are customizable. Status
alerts are configured in the Status Table. They can be set
to alert users for production status, billing status, or both
or neither. You also have a choice of just showing the alert
to users or stopping them from continuing with their course
of action when adding entries. For more information, see the Status Table section of your Clients & Profits X user guide.
Q. Can I
print traffic reports for only the jobs for which I am
Yes. Traffic reports, just
as the Daily Job Status report, can be printed for key
creative and production staffers. These people are the "traffic
assignments" assigned to each job. As a key creative staffer,
your initials can be entered into a job's traffic assignments.
Once that's done, you can print many traffic and production
reports showing the jobs for which you're responsible. For more information, see the Jobs section of the Clients & Profits X user guide
Q. Is there
any way to know when a job has moved from one stage to
the next as it happens?
Clients & Profits can notify you by e-mail immediately
when someone changes a job's status. Each production
and billing status code can be configured to automatically
broadcast a message when it is used on a job. This status
e-mail tells you instantly when a job's estimate has
been approved, ready to bill, etc. even if you're
not using Clients & Profits (it sends e-mail to any
mail program, including pagers than read e-mail). Status
e-mail is configured in the Status Table. For more information, see the Status Table section of your Clients & Profits user guide.
Q. What are
Milestones represent a job's
key phases or steps. Each milestone defines a step in the
job's work flow. Milestone-based traffic reports help balance
work flow by showing the upcoming work for jobs in progress
in a spreadsheet-like view. Up to 12 milestones can be
tracked for each job. Milestone names are completely user-defined.
Some example milestones include: Client Presentation (CL
PRES), Internal Creative Meeting (INT MTG), Estimate
Approval Due (EST OK), Copy Approval Due (COPY
OK), Photoshoot (SHOOT), Press Check (PRESS
C), Tearsheet (TEAR), Follow Up Calls (F
CALL), and File Art (FILE ART). You can then assign milestones
a due date, then check them off (by typing in an "Ã" or "X")
when they're reached. Different types of jobs will have
different milestones, based on the production process.
The names of the milestones are edited in Job Types/Spec
Sheets for each job type. The milestone dates for each
job are updated in the job's Traffic window. Milestones
for all open jobs can be updated together in the Update
Q. Are milestones
and job tasks linked?
Yes. If a milestone and a
task have the same name (e.g., PRNT for Printing)
the date entered into the job schedule will update the
traffic milestone automatically. Use this feature if certain
tasks are critical to a job's progress (like copywriting,
the difference between "production status" and "billing
Production status is used
to track jobs from the production and traffic point-of-view,
while billing status is used to track jobs from an accounting
perspective. The production department will print their
traffic reports by production status; only jobs that have
the selected production status will be printed. They'll
use production status to track jobs by estimate pending,
in production, waiting for final approval, or finished
- ready to bill. The accounting department can use billing
status to note when a job's estimate has been approved,
when the job has been pre-billed, and when the job has
been billed, paid, and closed. The production status doesn't
interfere with billing status, so each department gets
job reports their way. Both status codes are user-defined
the difference between traffic milestones and job status?
Milestones mark key phases
or steps in a job's lifetime, while status codes show the
status of the job today. Traffic milestones are used for
planning and balancing all of the shop's resources in order
to meet all of the client's deadlines. Status codes are
used to track the up-to-the-minute progress of jobs from
day-to-day. Milestones are forward-looking, while status
codes only focus on what's happening today. They're both
useful when used together because they let production people
see what they need to keep the work moving.
should we start using first: job status, traffic assignments,
milestones, job scheduling, task status? Do we have to
use all of them?
No, all of the job tracking
features work independently. You can pick-and-choose which
features to use based on the kind of work your shop does,
its volume, and how many people can manage the information.
The larger your production/traffic department, the more
automated your job tracking is likely to be. Small shops
typically use only job status reports and maybe milestone
traffic reports. Tracking jobs by production status is
the best place to start, because it'll replace the manual
job log you've probably been keeping. If you keep up with
job status as they change throughout the week, you're daily
job hot sheets will be timely and accurate. Next, track
a job's milestones for the weekly traffic report. If deadlines
are constantly being missed, consider using the job scheduling
and the Weekly Task Planner (which lets individual staffers
see the week's deadlines each day in a Daytimer-like format).
Tracking the task's production status is a lot of work,
so it's only practical for long, complicated jobs where details
are likely to be forgotten or mistaken.
Q. How do
we handle fast-turnaround jobs that only last a day or
Quick jobs don't need a lot
of scheduling, since there are very few deadlines to plan
and manage. It's important to add the job ticket as soon
as possible so that it appears on the day's job lists and
traffic reports. There's no need to enter its milestones
or task schedules, since it'll be completed so fast. Instead,
create a status code for "quick job" that identifies these
kinds of jobs as quick-turnaround. They'll be easily seen
on job reports this way. You can even set up the status
e-mail to notify people when these jobs are added.
Q. Why can't
I sometimes print job schedules from Snapshots? I enter
my selections, but no job tasks are printed.
You might be confusing the
job's production status with the task status. Task status
is used to track the progress of job tasks. When you enter
a range of status codes in the Snapshots window to print
job schedules, you're selecting for job tasks that have
a task status -- you're not selecting tasks by job status.
Enter the status range as 0-999 then reprint the job schedule.
This will ensure that all job tasks are selected for the
Q. How can
I be sure that all open (i.e., active) jobs appear on
Be sure that the range of
status codes you've entered selects the right jobs. For
example, entering status codes 1 - 999 will select every
job that has a status. But any job that doesn't have a
status (i.e., it appears blank or as zero) won't be printed.
Sometimes jobs have a different status than you expect,
so they end up being left off the report. If so, you'll need
to print reports using a broader range of status codes
(e.g., 1 - 999) or by making sure all of the jobs have
the correct status codes.