Q. How do I start using the trafficking features?
Start with status codes. Status codes categorize and track
a job based upon its progress; they give an overview of where
the job is in its development. It's a "herding" feature that
groups jobs together that are at the same stage in their
development. Status codes are also used in selecting what
jobs appear on many reports. For both of these reasons, status
codes are the place to start.
There are two status codes, production and billing, available for
each job ticket. Each has their own place on the job ticket. This
way, production and accounting departments can track jobs in ways
meaningful to each of them, and not interfere with each other.
Q. How do I set up status codes?
Production and billing status codes share the same status
code table. But because production and billing status codes
have their own place on the job ticket, you don't have
to group them in any special way on the Status Table. The
Settings chapter in your Clients & Profits user guide
describes how to add status codes.
The status table is completely customizable. Reserve status code
numbers 800 and over for non-billable, agency, and closed jobs. This
way you can easily leave these jobs out of the range for which you
usually print reports. A general rule to follow is make New Job status
code 1, Closed status code 999, and Reopened less than status code
800. As the job progresses, its status should be updated. Start with
a few key status codes. You can always add more later if you need
them. It's also a good idea to leave spaces between status codes
in the Status Table to make adding new statuses simpler.
Q. Once the status table is set up, what's
The three main status codes, i.e., New, Closed, and Reopened
should be set up as system defaults. After this is done,
you are assured that all jobs will have a production status
code designation at all times. As you print various reports
using a status code range, no job is left out because it's
missing a status code. Choose Setup > Preferences, then
select Status Codes. Type in the three default status codes.
There are two additional defaults which pertain to the
billing status code. They are: Billed jobs get status and
Jobs with paid A/R get status. These defaults when set
up will affect only the job's billing status code.
Q. How do I update status codes for one
To update status for one or two jobs, choose Production > Job
Tickets. Find the job whose status you wish to edit. Select
the Traffic icon. Here you can edit both the production
and billing status codes for this job ticket. Click Save
when finished updating.
Q. Is there a quick way to update status
for many jobs?
To update status for many jobs at one time, choose Production > Job
Status. Make your selections, click Find, and the Job Status
window will appear listing jobs. Here you'll be able to
tab from job to job easily editing the status code and
status note. Select the Update Traffic button to edit even
more of a job's traffic information. Print the Daily Job
Status report by selecting the Print button. Click Save
when finished updating.
Q. How do I use the status note?
The status note is a brief, user-defined description that
supplements the job's status codes. It's entered in the
job's Traffic window as well as the Update Traffic window
(choose Production> Daily Job Status Report) and the
time card and time sheet (by clicking on the Show Traffic
button). It appears on some traffic reports and job lists,
as well as on Traffic windows and at the bottom of the
Job Ticket window.
Q. What are traffic assignments?
Traffic assignments are the initials of the creative/production
people most responsible for getting work done. Each job
can have up to six traffic assignments. These traffic assignments
can then be used when printing traffic reports. This feature
allows traffic reports to be personalized to a great degree.
As a key staffer in the agency, you can quickly review
many jobs with which, in some capacity, you are involved.
Q. After implementing status codes and
traffic assignments, what's next?
Where you go from here depends upon the individual situation
at your agency. Some agencies use milestones instead of
job scheduling (a separate Job Scheduling FAQ is available
on the C&P web site). Whether you choose milestones
or task scheduling, or both, start with new jobs. Don't
spend time on jobs already in progress. Let work already
in progress move through the agency as it always did.
Q. How do I use client status notes/next
This area is a user-defined description that supplements
the job's status codes and/or milestones. An automatic
status code entry is made if the Note status changes
checkbox is selected in the job's Traffic window. If the
checkbox isn't selected, these notes can be used to describe
client meetings and the job's milestones more fully. They
let production staffers track information about the job
in one shared, easy-to-access location. To print this job's
client status notes/next steps report, click the Print
Reports icon, select Job Production Reports, then select
the Job Traffic report. Next steps also appear on some traffic
and job reports.
Q. Do I have to use every trafficking
No! Clients & Profits provides many different ways
to track production -- and some features even overlap.
The goal was to be flexible enough to handle shops of different
sizes with varied kinds of jobs. Each function of the
traffic system is typically independent of the others,
so you can essentially pick-and-choose the traffic features
you want to use. Some agencies use only a handful of
status codes, while larger shops use dozens. Some agencies don't
use milestones, while others use it in place of task scheduling.
It's important to try everything to see if it makes the
production process more efficient, accurate, and less stressful.
With a little experience, you'll discover what combination
works best for your traffic department.
Q. I don't want certain users to edit
the status codes outside of the usual active "in production" statuses.
How can I ensure they don't?
You can assign each status code a status category. The
categories are standardized: Pending, Work in Progress,
Finished, or Closed. You can restrict users to using only
status codes that belong to one of these categories, preventing
an account executive, for example, from closing a job.
Choose Setup > Users, Access, & Passwords. Highlight
the user you wish to edit. Click on the Jobs button. There.
you can limit status changes to category. You can choose
one category, all categories, or no categories.
Q. What are milestones?
They are key events in a job's progress that a traffic
manager (or other responsible person) needs to keep track
of so that work on a job continues to progress in a timely
fashion. There are twelve milestone headings available
for each job type, so they could be a combination of task-related
activities that are critical to a job's development (like
the date when the copy is due) and non-task related activities
(like whether or not the client has approved the estimate
or the date of a client meeting.) All milestone reports
are like big checklists. Used in conjunction with status
codes and traffic assignments, they provide a comprehensive
overview of many jobs.
Q. I can't find anywhere on the job
ticket to set up milestone names?
That's because milestone names (called headings) apply
only to certain types of jobs. They are part of the job
type/spec sheet. For example: the milestone headings for
the job type "brochure" apply to every brochure job you've
opened. The actual milestones for each job will vary, but
the headings -- the key phases of a brochure job -- won't
change from job to job.
Space is limited, so milestone headings must be concise or abbreviated.
For example, "client presentation" can be abbreviated as CL PRES.
An "internal creative meeting" could be shown as CRE MTG. After saving,
every job ticket that has this job type will display these milestone
headings. Milestone headings are always interactive with job tickets.
Any change to the headings is immediately reflected on all job tickets
with this Job Type. Milestone headings are edited only through Job
To have milestones on a job, two things must happen: the Job Type
must have milestone headings and the job ticket must be associated
with a Job Type. When opening a new job ticket, you'll be prompted
to choose a Job Type. You can choose one or not. If not, you'll have
to manually add tasks to the job ticket and it won't have any milestones.
Q. How do I update milestone dates on
To update milestone information (text fields, not headings)
for one or two jobs, choose Production > Job Tickets.
Find the job you wish to edit. Click on the Traffic link.
Here you'll be able to edit this job's milestone information.
Click Save when finished updating.
Q. Is there a quick way to update milestone
information for many jobs?
To update milestone information for many jobs at one time,
choose Production > Weekly Traffic Report. Make your
selections, click Find, and the Weekly Traffic Report window
will appear listing the jobs. Here you'll be able to edit many
jobs that are grouped by Job Type. Click the Traffic icon to
edit even more traffic information about the job. Print a traffic
report by selecting the Printer button. Click Save when finished
Q. Can I add milestones to a job after
it's been started?
Yes. If a job wasn't opened using a job type, you can
add milestones later if appropriate for a job. Use the
Job Type lookup list while in a job ticket's Job Type field,
and double-click on the job type whose milestones you want
for this job. You'll be asked if you wish to replace this
job's settings; select Yes. Click on the Traffic button
to begin using milestones.
Q. Why can't each job have its own milestones?
Because the events that milestones represent are the same
or similar based upon the work being done; so milestone
headings are tied to Job Type/Spec sheets.
Q. What are some examples of milestones?
Here are some commonly-used milestone headings: 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); File Art (FILE ART).
Q. Is there a quick way to set up milestones?
Yes. Choose Setup > Job Types/Spec Sheets, then click the
Milestones icon. Type in milestone headings for one job type that
would apply to the most job types. Then select the tool
bar button to copy the currently selected job type's milestones
to all job types. That feature will save you some time.
Then just edit the headings as needed.