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Best Practices

Vehicles Tips & Tricks

Vehicles staff can increase efficiency by using inherent shortcuts in navigation and taking advantage of the tools available within Excede DMS. Navigation with the keyboard is much faster than the mouse, and just a few navigation-focused shortcuts incorporated in the workflow will increase productivity. Your team is likely familiar with “Drilling In” and hopefully utilizes Tab to move between fields; the following are the most helpful lesser-known navigation commands Procede recommends for Vehicles users:

  • F6: Toggle from the list view to the workspace to easily change the active folder.
  • <Any Key>: Press “V” to jump down the workspace to the next folder that starts with a “V.” Press it again and you’ll move to the next “V.” This works with any letter and is even more effective when combined with other shortcuts like F6.
  • Alt+Tab: Switches between open application windows on workstations. This is extremely useful for switching back and forth between multiple sessions of Excede, Internet browsers, or email applications.
  • Ctrl+Tab: Flip between the tabs on any dialog box like the Vehicle Header Properties. Adding the Shift key will reverse the direction.
  • Alt+<Any Key>: Automatically navigates to the field with the underlined letter. For example, in the Smart Filter in the Vehicles folder, the word FleetUntId has the letter “F” underlined. Alt+F will take you directly to that field without moving a mouse or using multiple tabs.
  • Ctrl+D: Insert today’s date and time into a date field. Ctrl+F or double-clicking within a date field will launch a calendar, allowing a user to select a date and time.

Vehicle staff also have many other tools available to keep them informed, efficient, and productive. Procede recommends that your Vehicles team utilize these tools, tips and tricks:

  • The Vehicles Toolbar provides quick access to vehicle record information and historical data without needing to leave the current folder.
  • The Balance Forward Schedule report can be run for a Vehicle directly from the Vehicles Toolbar. This is the quickest way to review accounting info related to that vehicle such as cost logged from purchases or internal repair work. Access to this feature is controlled by workspace permissions.
  • The Vehicle Merge provides a powerful tool to move historical documents from one vehicle record to another. It’s easy to merge vehicle records when needed, allowing designated staff to then delete the unwanted record.
  • Using advanced filters allows the user to search for data for which there is not an available field in the Smart Filter. This also provides the ability to search based on fields from another folder, such as searching for Vehicle Purchase / Order documents based on fields from the Vehicle record.
  • Different options can be utilized within form properties to streamline printing. These options include, but are not limited to, grouping multiple forms to print together, specifying forms to print multiple copies, printing forms to a specific printer, and setting up dynamic archiving paths to group and save copies of PDF forms when printed or posted.
  • Converting line-printed DMV forms to laser printing will streamline your printing process and reduce the need for pre-printed form stock. These forms can commonly be found as PDFs on your DMV’s web page, which can then be used to create new Crystal forms.

All of the above recommendations and more are reviewed in detail with examples and Procede’s Best Practice recommendations in the presentation which is available in
the User Form (Login Required).

Excede Barcode Scanning

Excede Barcode Scanning allows for wireless parts receiving and inventory counting. The Receiving and Inventory applications run on powerful Motorola scanners with advanced real-time integration to your Excede DMS. When receiving, parts can be scanned and information will automatically sync to the appropriate purchase order. During inventory, barcode scanning limits manual data entry, eliminates the need to print thousands of pages of count sheets, saves time and minimizes opportunity for errors. Utilizing Excede Barcode Scanning will reduce data entry and errors, save time, streamline processes, and allow you to scan wirelessly.

Some Best Practices and Bright Ideas discussed in the webinar include:

  • Ensure all bins are labeled. Barcodes can contain bins for easy scanning.
  • Print labels for parts that list the part number and contain the part number in the barcode. You can also include the part description, bin information, and any other fields related to the part.
  • Labels can be printed using a label printer, recommended for individual labels, or label sheet, recommended when printing multiple labels at once.
  • Use the Translation Tool to create rules that will clean up barcodes and return a part number that Excede recognizes.
  • Utilize a barcode sheet, a laminated sheet containing all parts in a bin, for small part bins.
  • Include pricing on labels for show room parts using an Excede Estimate.
  • Use USB scanners to scan parts into the Parts Quote and insert onto Front or Back Counter tickets.

If you are interested in Excede Barcode Scanning, put in a support request and we will reach out to you to begin the process. For more detailed information on Excede Barcode Scanning and other related Best Practices and Bright Ideas, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Excede Data Insight v2.0

Data Insight features a user friendly interface designed to streamline the report writing process. Logical work flows and consistent navigation allow users to create, modify and schedule reports with ease. A Report List displays reports grouped by department category as well as a list of recent reports and search functionality. And with the Report Viewer, users can modify reports by changing filters or fields and preview the results along the way for true ad-hoc reporting.

This webinar walked through the many new features, reports and resources available within Data Insight v2.0.

A few new key features include:

  • Updated Interface
    • New Home Page for accessing reports and dashboards.
    • Quickly find reports and dashboards with powerful new Search feature.
    • Access to all administrative functions is built into the GUI, with icons replacing legacy context menus, making it easier to access files and features.
  • Scheduler
    • Updated Scheduler, allowing for the automated delivery of report or alerts.
    • Scheduler page to access all existing report schedules.
  • Rapid Reports
    • Guides users through streamlined reporting which allows for even faster report creation.
    • Preview Pane to view and modify the report output as you create it.
  • Data Sources
    • Categorized Department grouping and user friendly data source naming convention.
    • New Views and Stored Procedure data source categories.

There are also 36 new reports and 3 new dashboards packaged with the release of Data Insight v2.0.

Numerous resources are available and can be downloaded from our User Forum. These include:

  • NEW Data Insight v2.0 Product Guide – This Product Guide outlines topics such as new features, enhancements, and release notes.
  • NEW User Guide for Report Viewers – This User Guide outlines topics such as basic features and how to use the report viewer. 
  • NEW User Guide for Report Designers – This User Guide has over 200 pages that outline topics such as report design concepts, how to (common tasks) and the scheduler.
  • NEW eLearning Videos – Short snippets to access the information you are looking for faster! These videos are coming soon and will be available for viewers, designers and administrators on our eLearning site.

For detailed information on Data Insight v2.0 and other Best Practices related to Excede, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Greatest Hits

Since 2013, our Best Practices webinars have equipped hundreds of users with the tools and expertise needed to implement technology-focused solutions in every department of their dealership. Covering topics like Workspace Security and Parts Pricing Concepts, employees from every level are able to take advantage of these valuable training sessions and harness the full potential of Excede DMS. Each hour-long webinar will cover a specific topic and participants leave with a set of skills they can put to use right away, helping them work more efficiently and effectively than ever before. So, as we continue to develop and expand our training offerings, we thought it would be a good idea to recap Procede’s top-rated webinars:

  1. Service Tips & Tricks: Service users get an inside look at some of the more helpful, lesser-known navigation commands and tools within Excede.
  2. Core Management: With numerous core reports, advanced smart filtering and multiple core banks available in Excede, discover the built-in tools designed to help you manage the process.
  3. Technician Time & Warranty Audits: While preparing for audits can be stressful and time-consuming, making use of functionality within Excede, including properly setting up your system and employing small, daily processes, will ultimately boost productivity and reduce time spent on last-minute tasks.
  4. Physical Inventory Part 1 & 2: In this two-part series, we shared a few Best Practices for handling bin locations and counting parts in Excede that could be implemented in preparation for physical inventory, as well as during the actual inventory process.
  5. Accounting Tips & Tricks: By using inherent shortcuts in navigation and taking advantage of the tools available within Excede, Accounting staff will learn how to improve workflow in their dealerships. 

Didn’t get a chance to attend any of these? Have no fear! Webinars are recorded after each session and posted to the User Forum so you never have to miss out on all the latest tips, tricks and techniques. If you aren’t already registered, just click “Register” on the home page and login information will be emailed to you.

With our monthly training emails, you not only get to see which webinars will be offered in the future, but we also provide you with a training tip of the month. A list of upcoming webinars can be accessed on our Events page.

Contact operations@procedesoftware.com to sign up for our training emails!

Service Tips & Tricks

Service staff can increase efficiency by using inherent shortcuts in navigation and taking advantage of the tools available within Excede DMS. Navigation with the keyboard is much faster than the mouse, and just a few navigation-focused shortcuts incorporated in the workflow will increase productivity. Your team is likely familiar with “Drilling In” and hopefully utilizes Tab to move around; the following are the most helpful lesser-known navigation commands Procede recommends for Service users:

  • F6: Toggle from the list view to the workspace to easily change the active folder.
  • <Any Key>: Press “S” to jump down the workspace to the next folder that starts with an “S.” Press it again and you’ll move to the next “S.” This works with any letter and is even more effective when combined with other shortcuts like F6.
  • Ctrl+Tab: Flip between the tabs on any dialog box like the Service Order Header Properties. Adding the Shift key will reverse the direction.
  • Alt+<Any Key>: Automatically navigates to the field with the underlined letter. For example, on a Service Order, the word Phone has the letter “H” underlined. Alt+H will take you directly to that field without lifting a mouse or using multiple tabs. This shortcut is extremely powerful when using the smart filter.
  • Ctrl+D: Insert today’s date and time into a date field. Ctrl+F or double-clicking within a date field will launch a calendar, allowing a user to select a date and time.

Service staff also have many other tools available to keep them informed, efficient and productive. Procede recommends that your service team utilize these tools, tips and tricks:

  • Use the Backorders folder to obtain a real-time view to the detail on customer special parts orders.
  • Rapid RO is a valuable tool that allows service writers to greet customers at their vehicle, begin the write-up process and even add jobs and assign technicians. Using Rapid RO can increase efficiency, decrease double entry and provide solutions for mobile techs.
  • Utilize the hierarchical search feature for labor guides to assist users in selecting the most relevant labor guide for the job.
  • The Vehicle Merge provides a powerful tool to move historical documents from one vehicle record to another. It’s easy to merge vehicle records when needed, allowing designated staff to then delete the unwanted record.
  • The Vehicle Toolbar provides quick access to the vehicle record, information and history without leaving the Service Department folder.
  • Creating custom search criteria allows users to search by additional fields, such as Fleet Unit ID.
  • Using advanced filters allows the user to search for data for which there is not an available field on the Smart Filter. Advanced filters used in conjunction with custom folders allows for quick and easy access to specific data.

All of the above recommendations and more are reviewed in detail with examples and Procede’s Best Practice recommendations in the presentation which is available in the User Forum (Login required).

Parts Tips & Tricks

Parts staff can increase efficiency by using inherent shortcuts in navigation and taking advantage of the tools available within Excede DMS. Navigation with the keyboard is much faster than the mouse, and just a few navigation focused shortcuts incorporated in the workflow will increase productivity. Your team is likely familiar with “Drilling In” and hopefully utilizes Tab to move around; the following are the most helpful lesser-known navigation commands Procede recommends for Parts users:

  • F6: Toggle from the list view to the workspace to easily change the active folder.
  • <Any Key>: Press “P” to jump down the workspace to the next folder that starts with a “P.” Press it again and you’ll move to the next “P.” This works with any letter and is even more effective when combined with other shortcuts like F6.
  • Ctrl+Tab: Flip between the tabs on any dialog box like the Stock Control Properties. Adding the Shift key will reverse the direction.
  • Alt+<Any Key>: Automatically navigates to the field with the underlined letter. For example, on a Front Counter Order, the word Phone has the “H” underlined. Alt+H will take you directly to that field without lifting a mouse or using multiple tabs. This shortcut is extremely powerful when using the smart filter.

Parts staff also have many other tools available to keep them informed, efficient, and productive. Procede recommends that your parts’ team utilize these tools, tips, and tricks:

  • Use the Backorders folder to obtain a real time view to the detail on customer’s special parts orders.
  • The Auto Min/Max feature on Managed Parts records should be checked so that Excede will automatically suggest the minimum and maximum quantities of parts you should be stocking in inventory.
  • To mark a sale as an “exception” from the items level of a parts sale document, right-click the part line item and select “Exception”. When this is done, Excede will exclude the item from the average sales per day calculation, and could also exclude it from a manufacturer’s interface calculation.
  • While in Parts Quote, use the keyboard command Ctrl+E to launch the Customer Wizard and create a new customer record.
  • You can utilize the Pick List Wizard in Parts Quote to import a list of parts from an Excel spreadsheet right into Parts Quote and then add them to a parts sale document.
  • Use the features of the Parts Department Controls to either show or hide parts cost in the Parts Quote, allow the filling of a special part order from an unposted PO, and to automatically fill a special part order when a PO is posted.
  • By modifying the Service Order folder in a user’s workspace you can modify the Back Counter Orders folder to the previous view that resembles the view of the Service Orders folder.

All of the above recommendations and more are reviewed in detail with examples and Procede’s Best Practice recommendations in the presentation which is available in the User Forum (Login required.)

Accounting Tips & Tricks

Accounting staff can increase efficiency by using inherent shortcuts in navigation and taking advantage of the tools available within Excede DMS. Navigation with the keyboard is much faster than the mouse. And just a few navigation focused shortcuts incorporated in the workflow will increase productivity. Your team is likely familiar with “Drilling In” and hopefully utilizes Tab to move around; the following are the most helpful lesser-known navigation commands Procede recommends for accounting users:

  • F6: Toggle from the list view to the workspace to easily change the active folder.
  • <Any Key>: Press “A” to jump down the workspace to the next folder that starts with an “A.” Press it again and you’ll move to the next “A.” This works with any letter and is even more effective when combined with other shortcuts like F6.
  • Ctrl+Tab: Flip between the tabs on any dialog box like the customer record. Adding the Shift key will reverse the direction.
  • Alt+<Any Key>: Automatically navigates to the field with the underlined letter. On a Debit/Credit Memo, the word Reference has the “R” underlined. Alt+R will take you directly to that field without lifting a mouse or using multiple tabs. This shortcut is extremely powerful when using the smart filter.

Accounting staff also have many other tools available to keep them informed, efficient, and productive. Procede recommends that your accounting team uses these tools, tips, and tricks:

  • Use Dextor, Excede’s Data Entry Editor, to complete lengthy journal entries. Import from Excel, look up controls, re-use templates, or just breeze through data entry using the built-in functionality.
  • The Unauthorized Credit folder provides a real-time view of open transactions that exceed a customer’s credit limit. In one spot the appropriate user can quickly survey the customer’s current credit situation, change a credit limit, authorize a one-time override, and even more.
  • Utilizing the Unpaid Vendor Invoices report is the most efficient way to create a check-run and produce disbursements to vendors with payments due. Instead of manually creating each disbursement, the report will create memo-posted disbursements based on due dates.
  • The Output Pane displays messages related to why a transaction cannot post (“Distributions Do Not Balance”, “Account Is Inactive”, “Date to Post Is in a Closed Period”). Many users unknowingly hide this tool which defaults at the bottom of your screen when using Excede. Accounting staff responsible for postings should always keep this visible and can even shrink it down to take up less space.
  • The Customer Merge provides a powerful tool to move historical documents from one customer to another. It’s easy to merge duplicate customers when needed, allowing designated staff to then delete the unwanted duplicates.
  • When using Split Accounts, Procede recommends that you inactivate the “parent” accounts. This ensures you don’t accidently post to the “parent” account if that is not your intent.
  • Understand the basics of wild cards to more effectively use reports. Every user is familiar with the percent (%) wild card, but accounting users should also take advantage of the underscore (_) to effectively represent a single character – this provides easy visibility to departmental expenses or profitability.

All of the above recommendations and more are reviewed in detail with examples and Procede’s Best Practice recommendations in the presentation which is available in the User Forum (Login required.)

Table Naming Conventions

Excede DMS contains numerous data tables to store your valuable data. These table names are seldom seen and often unknown until you attempt to write a report or a Smart Filter. Understanding what the table names are, and how to visually connect the Excede DMS application layout to a specific table name will greatly enhance your ability to write Smart Filters, as well as use Data Insight and other database reporting tools to effectively extract and report on your data.

Important Principals:

1. Department Names

  • Each department provides the prefix (first two characters) to any table name.
    • Example: Service Department tables begin with “SV”
  • Use your Workspace view to verify the different departments within Excede DMS.

2. Document Folders

  • The “Documents” folder under each department contains a common nomenclature.
    • “Orders” are an SLS table
    • “Purchases” or “Sublets” are a PUR table
  • Each one of these Documents folders contain different drill down levels. Some are very unique to that department, and others are common amongst most departments.
    • Each Document folder contains “Items” that you sell/purchase referred to as ITM
    • This makes up the suffix of the table name
  • Combining the “Department,” “Document,” and drill down levels creates a table name.
    • Example 1: Front Counter Orders = PTSLS
      • PT = Parts, SLS = Orders
    • Example 2: Service Sublet Items = SVPURITM
      • SV = Service, PUR = Purchases, ITM = Items

3. Items Folders

  • The Items folder under each department follows the consistent nomenclature the Documents folders follow. You can navigate to the exact Items table you are looking for, using process of elimination and common abbreviation methods.
    • Example: Company > Items > Customers = COCUS
      • CO = Company, CUS = Customers

4. Other Data Sources

  • The Excede DMS database does a great job of following a consistent nomenclatural. This nomenclatural can also transcend to other data sources that you could use in report writing including “Views,” “Stored Procedures” and other tables.
    • A “View” contains rows and columns like a table, but is usually comprised of one or more real tables. They are very useful for report writing, and usually begin with “EDI” in Data Insight
    • A “Stored Procedure” requires parameters to run, and tend to be utilized for report writing

5. Reference Documentation

  • The Excede DMS help files contain a direct link from the Excede DMS application to table names. When you open the Help Files from a document or “Items Properties” window, it launches directly to that relevant item, providing the exact table name, along with a definition for each field.
  • The User Forum has several table naming, linking, and reference documents available for immediate download. These are highly recommended for report writers or advanced Data Insight users.

For additional details with examples and Procede’s Best Practice recommendations, download the presentation which is available in the
User Forum (Login required.)

Price Tapes

Importing a price tape into Excede is an efficient method of loading a potentially massive list of parts—along with their description, cost, pricing levels, etc.—in a matter of a few minutes or even seconds. Procede offers services relating to price tapes and obtains, converts, and distributes price tapes for several OEMs and vendors. Alternatively, you are able to create your own tapes and leverage Excede’s built-in tape import feature. If you have a list of basic parts and costs that are not typically included from your OEM tapes, these are the steps to create your own tape:

  • Obtain the list of parts – This list can be in multiple formats, but you want to be able to get the list into Excel. This is important as it allows you to easily modify the list into a format that is compatible with the Price Tape Import Wizard.
  • Utilize the layout spreadsheet – There are two versions of this spreadsheet: one for Excede versions older than 9.18 and one for Excede versions 9.18 and above. After obtaining the correct version, copy any relevant data from the raw file into the appropriate layout spreadsheet.
  • Fill in remaining fields – Not every field in the layout spreadsheet is required, but you do need to make sure that every required field has correct data in it. 
  • Save your progress – After the entire sheet is filled in, you’ll need to save the file as a tab-delimited text file.
  • Import into Excede – Use the import wizard as designed.

If you are new to creating your own tapes, we recommend testing your import in a test database before doing so in your production database to make sure everything is correct.

You can also import a supersession list into Excede. Some vendors provide supersession data that you can import, and even if vendors do not provide this data, you have the option to build the import yourself. You can also utilize this feature if you want to move a list of parts from one source to another. It is an efficient way to include supersessions across multiple branches. There are two types of supersession import methods:

  • Standard – This type is utilized when superseding one part number to another within the same source. When creating the supersession tape, you should only use the VenPrtId for both the “from” and “to” part numbers and the entire list of parts must be on the same source. All supersessions will be created in all branches.
  • Full – This type is primarily used when moving a list of parts from one source to another, or when including parts from multiple sources. When creating this type of supersession, you’ll need to be sure to also include the source for both the “from” and “to” part numbers. All supersessions will be created in all branches.

For detailed information on creating Price Tapes and how to implement these and other Best Practices related to Excede, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Tips for Training Staff

Procede offers many tools to help you implement successful training practices at your dealership for both new and existing employees. As a result of training, mistakes are reduced in the workplace, and employees are more productive and efficient. Employees who feel invested in have higher job satisfaction, which in turn reduces turnover and increases longevity. Training also decreases the need for supervision, as undertrained staff may drain management resources.

Procede training tools and resources include:

  • Best Practice Webinars – Monthly Best Practice webinars are offered and aimed at helping Excede DMS users polish their skills. Some examples of topics covered in these webinars are: Core Management, Warranty, Excede Smart Filters & Advanced Where Statements, and Automatic Accounting. There are relevant webinars for all departments and levels of employee, and all prior Best Practice webinars are posted to the User Forum. The schedule for upcoming webinars can be viewed on our Events Page.
  • eLearning – A self-service site that contains courses for new and existing employees to build their Excede and Procede product knowledge. Dealership admins have the ability to create new users, assign courses, email credentials, monitor progress, and request credits on the eLearning site.
  • Help Files – Searchable files that can be launched from within Excede and provide how-to guides, concept explanations, setup information, and much more. The latest Help Files can be downloaded from the User Forum.
  • New Employee Training Guides – Guides aimed to assist dealerships with internal training, as they suggest topics to cover with new employees as well as links to relevant educational resources. These guides are located in the User Forum.
  • Procede Communications – Sign up for our communications to remain informed and keep up with the latest training opportunities. Our training emails are sent to a separate distribution list than our newsletter, to sign up email operations@procedesoftware.com.
  • Additional Procede Education Resources – Leverage a Procede expert to assist with training needs. This can include on-site training for new employees or existing employees in need of a refresher/advanced training, remote training, or assistance in developing customized training materials.
  • Shortcut & Toolbar Cheat Sheets – These reference guides are located in the User Forum and provide users with assistance to learn Excede toolbars and common keyboard shortcuts.
  • User Forum – All of your employees can register for the User Forum. Many great education resources are found in the forum, and it can also be used as an outlet for discussion with other dealers.

Providing employees with documentation on dealer processes and workflow is also an important part of training employees and keeping them efficient and satisfied. For recommendations on documenting processes and further details on these and other Best Practices related to training staff, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Stocking Concepts

Having a good understanding of Excede’s stocking concepts will save time and dictate ideal inventory levels for all parts. Excede’s recommended stock orders are based on daily sales (not weekly nor monthly) giving extremely precise recommendations that remove all the guesswork. The many intertwined options may seem daunting at first, so it is important to understand each concept independently. Once you have a good understanding of the stocking options, put them together to eliminate or greatly reduce manual ordering of parts and assist in the accurate prediction of parts that should be stocked.

Important configurations:

  • Sales Window – For each category of parts, determine what history should be reviewed to predict future need. Should the sales history of the last 6 months be compared? The last 12 months? Maybe for a certain group of parts, the same time last year is a better predictor of future sales.
  • Order Cycle & Reserve – Determine your comfort level of “days worth of inventory” that you would like on your shelves. Excede will calculate the minimum and maximum quantities by comparing average sales per day in the appropriate Sales Window to your designated Order Cycle & Reserve.
  • Minimum Sales/Year – Often a part isn’t sold very frequently and standard calculations would not recommend having any on-hand.  Use this feature to force a minimum quantity and ensure on-hand inventory of slow moving parts that you will eventually need.
  • Including & Excluding Sale Types – Not all sales are created equal and especially not when dealing with different markets and unique dealerships. Even between your different locations, you might determine that one location should exclude warranty sales or internals, while another location would benefit greatly from using these sales as a predictor of parts you will want in stock for future sales.
  • Exceptions & Lost Sales – For Excede to properly predict future sales, it is very important to indicate certain sales that should be excluded from future calculations as well as designating sales that could have happened but did not due to unavailable parts.
  • Stocked vs. Watched vs. Obsolete – Excede manages the status of a part separate from the recommended quantities, and when combined the settings are extremely powerful. It’s important to indicate how many sales a part needs to have (or lack) in a given time period to accurately manage your inventory.

For detailed information on Stocking Concepts and how to implement these and other Best Practices related to Excede, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

 

 

DOC Reporting & Budgets

The Daily Operating Control (DOC) report provides financial data in real-time for a daily, monthly, or annual view of sales, gross profit and expenses. Data can also be aggregated to show historical trends of up to 13 prior months. The DOC offers the flexibility of displaying financial data in a way that makes sense for your business, and eliminates the need for users to have advanced accounting department access within Excede DMS. DOC reporting can also incorporate Excede’s budget features to provide real-time comparisons of actual vs. budget and progress towards forecasted goals.

1. Budgets.

  • Budget data (both forecasted counts and dollar amounts) are found in Excede DMS by drilling into Period Summary from either an accounting period or an individual general ledger account number (with appropriate workspace permissions).
  • Utilize Excede’s built-in “Fill Up/Down” feature to quickly copy budget data across multiple accounting periods.
  • Procede also offers an external, re-usable Budget Import Tool which streamlines the budget entry process through a familiar Excel interface, eliminating the need for Excede accounting access and allowing dealers to selectively import budget data for specific accounts. Contact Support Services (login required) for more information.

2. DOC Report.

  • A template DOC report is delivered with the Excede installation files and comes with built-in connection capabilities to Excede DMS (valid connection credentials required).
  • The Excel worksheet is completely customizable, or Procede can get you started with one of several templates.
  • Separate versions can be created with restricted permissions to display relevant data to individual department managers, without the need to grant them accounting access within Excede.
  • Users identify the date range and easily refresh the data for a sales, gross profit and expense analysis. As well as a real-time comparison of actual vs. budget data.
  • Reports can include breakdowns for departments, profit centers, regions and branches, and can include a corporate level summary roll-up for easy executive level detail and dashboards.
  • The DOC template includes nearly 150 built-in functions to quickly extract real-time data straight from Excede DMS, without the need for advanced Excel formulas.

3. Help and Reference.

  • Excede DMS Help Files include definitions for all available DOC formulas and instructions for entering budget data.
  • A Quick Reference Guide to the DOC formulas is also available for download in the User Forum.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to DOC reporting or Budgets, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Core Management

Staying on top of your core inventory management process is not always easy, as there are many transactions a single core can be involved in from the time the reman is purchased, to the return of the dirty core to the vendor. Understanding core records in Excede and the processes that revolve around them is key. With multiple core reports, advanced smart filtering, and multiple core banks, Excede has built-in tools to help you manage the process. Using and understanding these tools are critical to managing your core process.


1. Understanding Managed Part Types

  • Excede only provides a type for Reman and Core (dirty). 
  • For every reman, you have an automatically inherited clean core with the same quantity on-hand. 
  • Your clean core cost comes from purchase (and adjustment) history. 
  • Clean cores are not physical parts, you cannot count them, or find them sitting on the shelf.

2. Correct Core Setup

  • Type must match on Managed Part & Tape Record.
  • Clean cores must be associated to reman record.
  • Clean core on-hand quantity = reman on-hand quantity.

3. An incorrect core setup can be difficult to find, and can also contribute to clean core variance. Below are tools that can help you find potential issues:

  • Managed Parts Smart Filter: Search for remans without cores, or cores without remans.
  • Managed Parts Smart Filter: Clean Qty <> Reman Qty.
  • NOTE: If you are a Data Insight user, these filters exist as “Alerts” and are available to download from the User Forum.

4. Excede has the ability to distribute transactions to separate parts inventory GL’s by normal parts, clean cores, and dirty cores. Take advantage of this feature if you would like the ability to easily track down clean core variance. The formula for clean core variance is:

  • (Clean Core Inventory + Clean Core WIP) - Clean Core GL Value = Variance.

5. Excede will track the life cycle of cores with the customer core bank (for sales) and the vendor core bank (for purchases). In order for these to be populated correctly, the proper core process must be used. This process is outlined with an easy to interpret graphic within the webinar, which can be downloaded from the Forum. You can also search the Help Files for “Core Bank Concepts.” Core banks can be accessed in the following ways:

  • From the customer/vendor record – (Right click | Cores).
  • Run the “Vendor (Cores) Returnable” report.
  • Run the “(Customer) Core Collections” report.
  • From the managed part (Right click | Forward | Vendor/Customer Cores).

6. If you are looking to reinvent your core process or clean up your processes, start with these general items:

  • Verify your reman records are setup correctly.
  • Verify clean cores are in “sync.” 
  • Review your core life cycle process, including vendor return process.
  • Purge core banks of old non-returnable or non-collectable items.
  • Train your staff on proper core handling processes.

For detailed information on Core Management and how to implement these and other Best Practices related to Excede, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Maximizing Service Board Usability

Utilizing the five applications included within the Service Board package can greatly increase employee efficiency and workflow visibility. Service Board provides a quick glance of what’s going on in the shop and offers an easy way to manage repair orders and technicians. To get the most out of Service Board, it is important to have the proper setup within Excede and to know each application’s functions and key indicators.

1. Setup within Excede.

  • Employee Record: Certain fields on the employee record must be utilized to include and label the technician in the Service Board applications. These fields are: Nickname, Role, Type, and activating the “Include on Shop Floor” checkbox.
  • Workspace: Technicians must have a workspace for at least one home branch, as well as any other branches where they perform work.
  • Shifts: Each technician should only be assigned to one shift, as the shift reflects the available booking hours. The Dispatcher application matches “TEAMS” and “SHIFTS” to display technicians according to their availability.
  • Date Fields: Utilize date fields on the Service Order Header, such as Date Scheduled and Promised fields, which are used for tracking in the Dispatcher, Scheduler, and Work Room applications.
  • Flat Hours: On a labor guide, the “Flat Hours” field represents the “Suggested Time” it takes to complete a job and is used for scheduling and dispatching tech time.

2. Scheduler Application.

  • Calendar view of upcoming reservations, including estimates, RO’s, carry-over from previous days, and available and booked hours per day.
  • Create new estimates or orders, or promote existing estimates to orders with the easy-to-use Quick Add Wizard.
  • Enhanced “browser-like” searching to easily re-assign scheduled dates.

3. Dispatcher Application.

  • View all work scheduled per day, including carry-over from previous days.
  • Visual representations of technician load and availability.
  • Visual status indicators, with ability to drill-into further details as needed.
  • Re-assign labor, add snotes, and view technician efficiency per job. 

4. Inspector Application.

  • Quickly identify current status of any open repair order.
  • Drill-down into the status of individual line items, such as parts on-order and technician progress.
  • Enhanced “browser-like” searching to easily provide customer updates or proactively bill work when completed. 

5. Work Room and Wait Room Applications.

  • Big-screen visibility to repair progress, best located centrally for easy viewing.

For detailed information on Service Board usability and how to implement these and other Best Practices related to Excede, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Excede Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks

Users can greatly improve efficiency while creating and processing Excede documents and transactions by utilizing the keyboard shortcuts, commands, and tools available in Excede. Don’t shy away from the cliché ‘Practice makes Perfect!’, as it absolutely applies when learning keyboard shortcuts and other tricks. There are so many different shortcuts to use, it can be overwhelming, but by focusing on a few and urging yourself to use them, they will soon become second nature.

  • Pick a few that you think will be relevant to your workflow, learn them, and use them. Once you have become comfortable with them add a few more.
  • Many of the recommended shortcuts also apply outside of Excede, in other Windows based environments, so by learning them you can also improve your overall efficiency while using the computer.  Repetition will help, as the more you use them, the easier it will be!

In addition to Excede keyboard shortcuts that you are familiar with, like drilling in and out, launching the Smart Filter, and inserting documents or items, some recommended top shortcuts that can be helpful throughout Excede and across departments are:

  • < CTRL+F >: Search/Find – This launches a search window from any field with a magnifying glass, or a calendar from any date field
  • < CTRL+T >: Posts the document(s) that are selected
  • < CTRL+P >: Prints the document(s) that are selected
  •  < CTRL+D >: Enters today’s date into the current field (for date specific fields)
  •  < F6 >: Toggle – This Toggles your selection between the Workspace and List View, or the search field & items in a search window or Parts Quote
  • < CTRL+A >: Highlights all items in the current window

Excede also offers tools to help with everyday workflow, which provide straightforward and easy access to information. By implementing these tools at your dealership, you can reduce time searching for information, as it will be at your fingertips. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Auto-Archiving Documents: Save an electronic copy to a specified path every time a form is printed.
  • Archiving Documents: Store electronic documents, both internal and external, with the ability to recall them within Excede. You can use virtual paths to organize your documents and create folders as needed.
  • Printing to a Specific Printer: Send forms to certain printers so that specific individuals receive the information.
  • Personalizing a User’s Workspace: The use of the Field Chooser and Toolbars provide quick and easy access to information.
  • Change Log: Quickly see changes made to a specific item via the log within Excede or the report. Please note, not all records have a Change Log, and the level of detail varies per record.
  • Customized Folders: Create folders with specific filters to easily find information.

For detailed information on keyboard shortcuts and other tricks and how to implement these and other Best Practices related to Excede tools, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Database Backups and Disaster Recovery

A database backup is like insurance for your datayou hope to never need it, but when you doyou’ll find that having a current, reliable, and accessible backup can save time, money, and frustration. The disaster recovery processes you put in place today will be the determining factor in the extent and severity of downtime your business will face in the event of a data disaster.

1. Local Disk Backup.

  • Sending your data to cloud storage is great, but don’t underestimate the value of a local backup. The local backup provides the first line of defense against a data disaster, and is most useful in the event of a single point of (hardware) failure.

  • Consolidated access point to capture backups from all critical systems, including SQL Server and Excede DMS, Microsoft Exchange Server, file servers, etc.

  • Provides quick access to the most current data snapshot, which can easily be restored to new hardware. Retrieval time is minimal because data is transferred across the LAN.

  • Data is secure because it resides locally on premise.

Local Disk Backup Considerations.

    • Determine a backup frequency that you can live with. Long before a data disaster occurs, you must decide your acceptable window for potential data loss. For example, if a disaster occurs, are you comfortable recreating five hours’ worth of transactions, two hours, 30 minutes? Your answer will determine the frequency in which to capture a data snapshot.

    • Data snapshots come in various sizes. You may choose to perform a complete database backup on a frequent interval, or you may opt for a single full database backup each day, followed by frequent transaction log snapshots (transaction logs represent the changes since the last full backup). Keep in mind that there are advantages to eachfull database backups take up more space on your disk drive but provide for faster recovery, while transaction logs take up less space but require more effort to restore.

    • Compress full database backups, purge backups, and transaction logs on a regular basis. We typically recommend retaining 7 days’ worth of backup activity, unless a longer retention period is necessary.

    • Establish alerts. Most major components, like SQL Server and Exchange, offer built-in tools for creating alerts based on success/failure criteria. Being informed of failures as they happen allows you to quickly make changes to setup or process before a data disaster strikes.

2. Cloud Backup.

  • In addition to a local backup process, sending your data to a cloud storage device or service can safeguard you against more severe disasters, such as fire or physical damages that may render your local backup unusable.

  • Many different cloud backup solutions exist, with varying features and price points. There is likely one to fit your business needs.

  • Added redundancy beyond the local backups.

Cloud Backup Considerations.

    • Understand bandwidth restrictions or limitations, and research options for scheduling the most efficient time of day for the backup to be sent to the cloud.

    • Ensure your cloud solution can support the various backup file types. For example, not all cloud storage is suitable for Microsoft SQL Server database backups.

3. Test Your Plan.

  • Don’t wait for the disaster to occur before testing your recovery process. Schedule routine run-throughs of your entire process and work out the kinks in advance, much like a fire drill.

  • Document the process, including file paths, links, logins/passwords, etc.

  • Understand how long the recovery process takes. Having your data available in the cloud is great, but if your cloud backup takes a full day to download from the internet, then the downtime may lead you to seek out a different provider/solution, or re-evaluate bandwidth restrictions.

  • If Excede DMS is impacted, ensure you have a documented and tested process for handling business without Excede, such as hand-writes, and a structured process for re-entering that data when you’re back up and running. 

  • Develop a plan to communicate what is happening to all users throughout your organization and talking points for them to relay to customers.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to disaster recovery, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Parts Pricing Concepts

Establishing special pricing for new customers or troubleshooting pricing inaccuracies can be difficult, not to mention error-prone, without a solid understanding of parts pricing fundamentals. Vendor price tapes, stock control rules, customer price codes, and pricing escalation hierarchy all play an important role in pricing concepts.

1. Vendor Price Tape (i.e. Source).

  • The part Source is the unaltered master price file data direct from the manufacturer or vendor.
  • Each Source can support up to two cost fields (as of Excede version 9.18) and up to five pricing levels per each individual part number.
  • A valid Source record must exist before the part can be purchased or sold.

2. Stock Controls.

  • Stock Controls are rules based on a combination of Branch, Source, Class and Vendor Part Number applied to Source part records.
  • All cost and price fields from the Source are available for use in Stock Control rules.
  • These rules represent the first pricing escalation opportunity; however, many dealers opt for a one-to-one pricing relationship between the Source and the Stock Control, thereby setting the Managed Part pricing equal to the Source pricing.
  • The application of the Stock Control to the Source part results in the Managed Part (i.e. Source part record + Stock Control = Managed Part record).

3. Managed Parts.

  • Managed Parts represent a smaller subset of the master price file, which is made up of recently purchased or sold parts.
  • Average Cost is introduced at the Managed Part level.
  • All cost and price fields from the Managed Part are available for use in customer Price Code rules.

4. Price Codes.

  • Price Codes are rules based on a combination of Branch, Source, Class and Vendor Part Number applied to Managed Part records in order to determine customer pricing.
  • During the sale of each part, up to four distinct Price Codes are evaluated to determine the final invoice pricing.
    • Price Code evaluation hierarchy is as follows:

Customers eligible for special pricing:

      • The current Special Price Code (from branch Parts Controls) and the customer Override Price Code (from the customer record) are evaluated together and the lower price is chosen.
      • If no rule is found for the specified part, then the customer Base Price Code (from the customer record) is evaluated.
      • If no rule is found for the specified part, then the branch Default Price Code is applied (from branch Parts Controls).

Customers not eligible for special pricing:

      • The customer Override Price Code (from the customer record) is evaluated.
      • If no rule is found for the specified part, then the customer Base Price Code (from the customer record) is evaluated.
      • If no rule is found for the specified part, then the branch Default Price Code is applied (from branch Parts Controls).
  • The application of the Price Code to the Managed Part results in the final invoice pricing (i.e. Managed Part record + Price Code = customer invoice pricing).
  • More advanced case statements or function calls can be incorporated into Price Code rules for even greater flexibility. Reference the Help Files or contact Support Services for more information.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to parts pricing concepts, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Service Packaged Pricing & Use Allocation Concepts

The use of Packaged Jobs in Excede can save time and improve efficiencies when opening repair orders. Using a pre-built menu of labor, parts, miscellaneous charges, sublets and comments provides the ability to set specific prices for a job’s menu items, as well as the ability to set a specific job price, which can be utilized when offering service “specials.”  Service managers should know the various configurations and uses for packaged jobs, as well as the important factors to consider with the ‘Use Allocation’ option to ensure that all packaged jobs will price correctly.

1. Packaged Jobs - Uses and Options

  • Packaged Jobs can be setup to use regular customer pricing. When using this option, there will not be any pre-set price for the job or the individual menu items. The job will simply contain a pre-built menu of labor, parts, miscellaneous charges, etc. to save time when opening the service order. When the job is added to the service order it will append all of the menu items automatically, but will associate the customer’s normal pricing for each item.
    • “Uses Packaged Price” – off
    • “Calculate Total” – on (default)
    • “Use Allocations” – on (default)
    • Leave prices for individual line items at $0
  • Packaged Jobs can also be setup using “menu item” pricing. The price of the job will be calculated from the pricing of the individual menu items.
    • “Uses Packaged Price” – on
    • “Calculate Total” – on
    • “Use Allocations” – off
    • Enter prices for individual line items within the job setup
  • Another setup option for Packaged Jobs is using a set price, such as for service “specials”, and allowing Excede to determine the individual item price based on an allocation schedule.  
    • “Uses Packaged Price” – on
    • “Calculate Total” – off; enter a total job price
    • “Use Allocations” – on; set allocation percentages as desired
    • Leave prices for individual line items at $0

 2. “Use Allocations” Reminders

  • At the time of completing the job, all items intended to be included in the packaged price must have an associated cost.
  • The job must be marked complete (i.e., all parts billed, labor completed, sublets received).
  • Any additional items that need to be added which are not part of the package (i.e., labor guides, additional parts) must be added on a separate job.
  • Any credit line items must be added on a separate job.
  • All clean and dirty core amounts included on the job must match in dollar value.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.) Note that various Best Practices are Excede DMS version-specific.

Automatic Accounting Refresher & Account Schedule Style Review

Having a good understanding of how automatic accounting works can save time. Excede’s automatic accounting is a set of pre-defined rules that dictate how each department transaction should be recorded without manual intervention. Once users have a good understanding of how the automatic accounting rules work together, manual transactions will be reduced or eliminated because the rules do the heavy lifting. It’s also important to make sure accounts have the proper style; this will ensure that Excede is capturing the right details and provide the required reporting.

1. Get Detailed

  • Instead of posting internals, warranty, and other specific items to your standard Accounts Receivable and moving them manually later, setup specific rules for certain “internal” customers in the receipts folder to direct certain types of transactions to specific receivable or expense accounts.
  • Create rules that cater to your specific workflow needs. Instead of requiring a receipt and a deposit for one EFT transaction from a customer, create a receipt type that allows bypassing your Cash On Hand account through a single receipt.
  • Instead of manually moving warranty or other credits from a receivable to a payable, create vendor specific debit/credit memo rules to accelerate the process. Vendor, Customer, Bank, and Employee specific rules can be created in the debit/credit memo rules.

2. Keep it Clean

  • Remove rules that are not used. Often a rule is created specifically for vendors or customers but typically not necessary for both. Log into branch 000 and delete rules that are not used; typically these rules can be identified because they only have your suspense account (typically 999) assigned.
  • Remove types that are not used. Often a sales type is created which automatically creates receipt and deposit types. If that sales type will never be a cash transaction (warranty or internal sales, for example), then you can remove the deposit type to de-clutter the available deposit type options.

3. Create “Clean” Types

  • Make a generic clean up debit/credit memo type and regularly modify the accounts referenced. When it’s time to clean up any accounts (write off small balances on warranty, for example), update the rules for this type and use it for cleanup. Reusing this type will keep your rules clean and allow flexibility as needed.

4. Review Account Schedule Style Options

  • Balance Forward accounts are single controlled, while Individual Item accounts also require the cross reference to match for the schedule to clear.
  • Choose the schedule style that is right for each use. Schedules can be controlled by customer, employee, vehicle, vendor, date or other. Determine how an item will get on and off a schedule. Select a control that is common to both the initial transaction and subsequent transactions.
  • Schedule styles should not be changed once they are assigned and the account is in use.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to automatic accounting and account schedule styles, including some specific smart filters to find accounting types not in use, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Workspace Security, Maintenance and Customization

Excede Workspaces provide the backbone of user permissions and security in Excede DMS. Each individual user is assigned a workspace, and can have different access rights across branches, across departments, or even across different documents within the same department. Department managers should understand the granularity of workspace options in order to fully understand the impacts of granting permissions. Workspace assignments should be reviewed regularly, and workspace defaults should be reviewed and potentially updated with each new Excede DMS version.


1. Review the Help Files

  • Workspace Permission Concepts will define the functionality of each permission option available for each Excede folder.
  • Use the Workspace Worksheet to check functionality and create workspaces.
  • The standard permissions (insert, update, delete, post direct) perform the function implied by its name.
  • The special permissions (import/export, non-standard, pay period) perform specialized functions as defined in the Help Files.

2. Limit access to modify workspaces

  • Only key operational dealership staff (e.g. IT, Controller, Operations Manager, GM) should have access to the “Workspace” folder in Excede. These users must be properly trained in creating workspaces and should utilize the Workspace Worksheet as a guide.

3. Perform regular workspace maintenance

  • Create generic workspaces which are job specific (e.g. service manager, parts director, accounts payable). These workspaces will be sufficient for the majority of users, and reduce the time needed for maintenance.
  • Create individualized workspaces which are user specific (e.g. John Smith, Mary Jones) only if necessary. Individualized workspaces typically contain more specific permissions. However, they can be useful for key individuals who perform unique tasks across multiple departments.
  • Access to the P9 (Excede default) workspace should be limited. Run a smart filter to locate all employees with P9, and update their access immediately.

          EMPID IN (SELECT EMPID FROM COEMPBRN WHERE NAME = 'P9')

  • Configure the WspId 1 (i.e. first workspace) to include limited permissions, as this becomes the default workspace for new employees.
  • Configure a “master” workspace with full permissions and all reports. This “master” workspace is different from the P9 workspace in that P9 can be “Reset to Defaults” at any time without losing any workspace customizations found in “master.”
  • Utilize the Procede provided Crystal Report or Data Insight Workspace Report to quickly learn the permissions assigned to each workspace, and the users assigned to each workspace. The Report is available for download within the User Forum.

4. Create custom folders and increase user productivity

  • Customized folders can be used to create a subset of data from a primary Excede folder. For example, a custom folder based on the Service Orders primary folder can be pre-set with an advanced smart filter for “Warranty – Not Yet Submitted.” Custom folders eliminate the need for users to manually set frequently used filters.
  • Customized folders can be created to provide direct access to work-related websites, allowing for common websites to launch directly within the embedded web browser.
  • Customized folders can be created to provide direct access to network files, such as spreadsheets, eliminating the need for the user to browse outside of Excede for frequently used files. Access to these network files from within Excede can also aid with document management security, as the workspace permissions will dictate which users can access these linked network files.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices, download the presentations from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Reconciling Labor Work-In-Progress (WIP)

Labor WIP is defined as labor (time) worked but not yet invoiced to a customer, or labor invoiced to a customer but not yet paid to the technician. Variances between the systematic calculations of hours worked versus dollars paid occur for a variety of reasons. Understanding how variances can occur, and better yet, implementing processes to eliminate variance, can lead to a more streamlined payroll process and reduced write-offs.  Following are recommendations for analyzing WIP.

1. Find and fix variance factors

  • Ensure that hourly technicians clock into hourly labor guides (i.e. labor without the “Use Flat Rate Hours” option checked).
  • Ensure that flat rate technicians clock into flat rate jobs (i.e. labor with the “Use Flat Rate Hours” option checked).
  • Allow only one technician to clock into a single labor guide, and insert additional labor guides for all subsequent technicians.
  • Verify proper pay rates in the employee record for all technicians, and ensure that pay rate adjustments are entered immediately.
  • Ensure that flat rate labor guides capture a valid time punch in order to calculate cost (WIP).
  • Properly flag pay periods and restrict workspace access, as needed.

2. Compare apples-to-apples

  • Audit payroll and employee time entry reports to ensure that both are run for the same pay period timeframe.
  • Create a new shop (unapplied) time repair ticket for each pay period.
  • Compare payroll processes across all branches, and standardize the tools (reports) and procedures.
  • Create adjusting entries to the general ledger per pay period. Don’t wait until month end.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to labor work-in-progress, including a suggested checklist to aid in auditing your own processes, download the presentation from the User Forum. (Login required.)

Minimizing Parts Variance

Parts variance is the difference between your current general ledger value and the physical asset value recorded by the system. It’s important to minimize parts variance so that your inventory value, gross profits, and audits and financial statements are all accurate. Following are some things you can do to identify and prevent parts variance and maintain a more accurate inventory year-round.

1. Identifying Parts Variance
Excede features a number of canned reports that will help you identify parts variance, including Trial Balance (General Ledger), Inventory Status (Pad), Parts Inventory Work-In-Progress (WIP), Clean Core Inventory Status Report (Pad), and Clean Core Inventory Work-In-Progress (WIP) Reports. These should be run after hours, and the results should be plugged into the following formula: Variance = General Ledger – sum of (Pad + WIP).

If you’re looking for a way to streamline this process, our Parts Variance Report may be the solution for you. It’s is single, refreshable Excel report that can be used in place of the process above. If you’re interested in purchasing or learning more about this report, contact Support Services.

2. Preventing Parts Variance
Preventing parts variance is primarily a matter of establishing and adhering to healthy procedures and practices. By upgrading to the latest version of Excede, using the system as designed, and running reports consistently, you should see significant improvement in parts variance. Some specific tactics you can implement include:

  • Perform an inventory count and know your starting point. Then, incorporate perpetual counts performed by knowledgeable parts staff.
  • Run reports regularly and know when variances occur.
  • Review and correct automatic accounting rules.
  • Avoid and eliminate non-parts transactions from posting to the GLs.

Lastly, everyone benefits from a culture of accountability and accuracy—identifying process deficiencies, training, and distributing information will foster a positive environment and commitment to excellence.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to parts variance, download the presentation from Customer Resources. (Login required.)

Technician Time and Warranty Audits

Preparing for audits can be stressful and time-consuming, but by making use of functionality and tools within Excede, including properly setting up your system and implementing small, daily practices, you will be better prepared in advance of an audit and will have fewer last-minute tasks to complete.

1. Make sure your system is set up correctly

  • Run the Workspace Report to get a clear understanding of what permissions have been granted to each user. Note: this report is available in both Crystal Reports and Data Insight.

  • Modify Workspaces for users who can update a time punch. When you update a time punch, you override the original information. In order to maintain the integrity of audit trail, limit update abilities to select users.

  • Enable the Time Clock Audit Stamp to create un-editable, time-stamped remarks with the EMPID of the technician who wrote them.

  • Create codes to classify time punches. Work with the payroll department to create time punch codes that can be used company-wide. This will streamline data entry and make for more consistent, accurate reporting.

2. Put new processes in place

  • Insert remarks within the Shop Clock instead of using hard cards (if your manufacturer permits this.) Maintaining historical records within the system minimizes filing efforts and maintains the integrity of the technician’s words.

  • To edit time punches, use INSERT, MOVE or SPLIT. Do not delete or modify time punches by overriding them. Note: these changes should be made from within the Service Order, not the Employee Record.

    • Insert a time punch if one is missing because an employee did not clock in.
    • Insert a reverse time punch because an employee did not clock out.
    • Move a time punch if the punch exists in the wrong place, for instance, if a tech clocked into the incorrect labor guide.
    • Split a time punch if a tech worked on multiple jobs but clocked into only one of them.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these and other Best Practices related to technician time and warranty audits, including using Excede’s existing audit tools, download the presentation from Customer Resources. (Login required.)

Year-round Inventory Management

The key to maintaining an accurate parts inventory year-round is implementing small process changes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Following is a list of tasks you can do on a regular basis that will help keep your inventory clean all year long.

  1. Managed Parts—Maintain an accurate managed parts master file.
    Excede features a number of built-in tools to help you maintain an accurate accounting of managed parts, including several Smart Filters and Stock Control settings.

    • Smart Filters
      To correct common data entry oversights, use the following smart filters every day: “Clean Qty <> Reman Qty”, “Excess On-Hand”, “Multiple Bin Locations”, “No Bin (default) Location”, “No Cost (Zero)”, as well as combining filters, such as “In-Stock” + “No Bin (default) Location” for “%-CORE” part records.

    • Customized Workspace Folders
      Create workspace folders with intuitive names and pre-set filters to eliminate the guesswork of the daily review process. Your dealership’s Excede administrator can provide access.

    • Stock Control Settings
      Make sure that the Stock Control settings are turned on (through the nightly SQL job) and you are using them correctly. Procede recommends that you set the Phase Out setting for a limited number of days, for example 30 days, so that obsolete parts do not accumulate.


  2. Work-in-Progress (WIP)—Keep track of WIP.
    WIP reflects items that have been committed—any items on front and back counter tickets that have shipped—but have not yet been invoiced. Two tools that will help you maintain an accurate accounting of WIP are the “Backorders” folder and the “Parts Inventory Work-in-Progress&rdquo report.

    • Backorders Folder
      With permissions, anyone at your dealership can view the Backorders folder to learn the status of backordered parts. If you do not currenty have Backorders in your workspace, your dealership’s Excede administrator can provide access.

    • Parts Inventory Work-in-Progress (Canned Report)
      This report is critical to managing your work in process. With detailed information about originating documents, cost, quantities, age, extended values and more, you can rely this tool daily to track your WIP.


  3. Variance—Make sure both parts and accounting are in sync.
    Variance is the difference between book (general ledger) and pad (on-hand), and it can be caused by both inaccurate data entry and faulty accounting rules. Fortunately, there are tools to help identify and prevent variance.

    • Parts Variance Report
      Run the Parts Variance Report on a daily basis. The variance report provides a summary of clean core, dirty core and non-core inventory for the entire dealership. Once you’ve identified discrepancies, you can make the appropriate adjustments.

    • Excede System (Canned Reports)
      Combine the results from the “Parts Inventory Status” + “Parts Inventory Work-In-Progress” – Value of the inventory account(s) general ledger for an accurate view of your inventory value.


Additional resources to assist you in managing inventory are located in the Excede Help Files, Procede Software Resources (login required), or Support Services (login required.) 

Proactively Monitoring and Maintaining Your Inventory

Excede DMS provides a number of tools to help you proactively monitor and maintain an accurate record of your dealership’s parts inventory. Following are a list of reports and smart filters you can run on a regular or as-needed basis to ensure your inventory is always in tip-top shape.

  1. Core Bank Reports
    Maintaining an accurate record of your outstanding core liability is a key part of your overall inventory health. To identify and purge expired core credits, Parts Managers should run both the Customer and Vendor Core Bank reports on a regular basis.

  2. NoLoc Qty On Hand Smart Filter
    It’s important to update the default Bin location when new parts are entered into the system so you can easily locate them later. By running the NoLoc QtyOH Smart Filter every day, you’ll be able to identify parts with a NoLoc Bin number and assign the appropriate one.

  3. Managed Parts Smart Filter
    For every reman in your inventory, there’s a presumed associated clean core, and to maintain an accurate clean core inventory, these two numbers must be in sync. To sync the clean core quantity, run the Managed Parts Smart Filter. Here’s how:

    • Locate suspect parts using the following Managed Parts Smart Filter setting:

      • Clean Qty <> Reman Qty
      • Type = Core

    • Highlight each part and access the Adjust/Clean Core/Quantity context menu option.
    • Navigate to Parts Adjustments and find the adjustment(s) created.
    • Drill into the adjustment(s). Be sure that the qtynew matches the qtyoh of the parent reman(s).
    • Drill out, mark adjustment(s) as Counted, and post.

As always, additional information is available in the Help Files. If you’re working in Excede, Help Files are accessible by pressing F1.

Closing the Fiscal Year

At Procede, we use Excede DMS to manage our own accounting department. Since we’re already preparing for our fiscal year-end, we thought you might be, too. Following are some best practices to ensure your year-end closing goes smoothly.

  1. There can be NO memo-posted transactions for the year.
    Run the Transaction Posting Report to verify that there are no memo-posted transactions before moving forward with all other year-end tasks.

  2. The fiscal year being closed should be the only year marked “Current.”
    The fiscal year being closed should be marked “Current,” “Closed,” and “Closing to Retained Earnings.” This is the only fiscal year that should be marked “Current.” All other fiscal years should be marked “Closed.”

  3. The final period for the fiscal year being closed should be the only period marked “Current.”
    The final period for the fiscal year being closed should be marked “Current,” “Closed,” and “Inactive.” This is the only period that should be marked “Current,” including future periods. All other periods in the fiscal year being closed should be marked “Closed,” and “Inactive.”

Detailed instructions for closing out your fiscal year-end are available in the Excede Help Files.

Procede Support Services

In the past year, we’ve made significant improvements to Support Services response time. In fact, we’ve reduced it by more than 50 percent! In our most recent customer survey, all 70 respondents rated their Support Services experience as excellent or good—not a single respondent ranked it average or below average.

That doesn’t mean we’re resting easy—if you need assistance with Excede, here are some resources for problem-solving, and some tips for how and when to contact Support Services.

1. Help Files—always a great place to start.
If you have a How-to question, the Excede Help Files are your go-to resource. Excede features comprehensive Help Files that can be launched from anywhere in the application, simply by pressing F1.

2. Check with your dealership’s technical expert.
If you can’t find a solution in the Help Files, check with your dealership’s IT or technical staff. In many cases, they can assist you—and if a software bug is at the root of the problem, we may already be working with them to correct the issue. In all cases, your technical point person will know how and when to escalate the issue to Procede.

3. Enter your support request online.
If you’ve identified a bug, need to notify of us of an issue, or want to suggest an enhancement, enter your support request online via our Support Services (login required) site. This places your issue in the work queue, where we can track and address it most efficiently. It also helps us identify any consistent themes in requests, so we can prioritize enhancements and correct systemic issues that may arise.

4. Not sure if your support request is covered? Not a problem.
We’re happy to diagnose your problem and recommend steps to address the underlying cause. If it falls outside the scope of Support Services, we’ll suggest steps you or your IT department can take. If you need outside help, our Professional Services team is always available to lend a hand.

Learn more about Support Services.
Enter a request for Support Services.

Taking Parts physical Inventory (Part 2)

In last month’s newsletter, we shared a few Best Practices for handling bin locations in Excede that could be implemented in preparation for physical inventory. This month, we have a few more tips for you, this time to help during the actual inventory process.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your inventory goes smoothly is to have enough qualified data entry support on hand. You’re inventory is only as good as the data entered, so it’s important that it’s correct.

1. Adjustment Form: To speed up the posting process, remove the Rank 1 adjustment form so that the adjustments do not print when they are posted. (This is also recommended for year-round operations, as it is generally unnecessary to print adjustment forms.)

2. Write-ins: Manually insert an adjustment called write-ins. As write-ins come in, consolidate them and have an employee or two insert them into this adjustment. Be sure that they update the BIN field to the location where the part was actually found. While this will not update the managed parts bin assignment, it will make finding the parts much easier later.

A Parts Inventory Cheat Sheet with these and many other tips to help your inventory run smoothly is available in the Customer Resources section of our website. (Login required.)

Another useful resource—the Excede Help Files. They contain a topic called Physical Parts Inventory Database Readiness which has a ton of great information to help you prepare. As always, the latest version of the Help Files can also be found in Customer Resources.

If you’re interested in working with our Professional Services team to streamline your dealership’s next physical inventory, please submit a request through Support Services.

Preparing for Parts Physical Inventory (Part 1)

There’s a lot more to physical inventory than counting parts. Fortunately, there are some things you can do in advance of the actual count that will help streamline the process. Here are a few best practices for handling bin locations in Excede.

1. Default bin location (NoLoc*): Locate all managed parts assigned to the default bin location. Verify that all these managed parts have both Bin 1 and Bin 2 set to NoLoc.* Many dealers identify their default bin location as NoLoc. Your dealership may use a different term.

2. Multiple bin locations: Locate all managed parts with multiple bin locations. It is helpful to determine if parts with multiple bin locations can be consolidated, although not necessary. All managed parts with a single physical location should have Bin 1= Bin 2. No parts that have a valid Bin 1 should have an invalid Bin 2 (such as NoLoc).

3. NoLoc on hand: Locate all managed parts assigned to the default bin location showing an on hand quantity. These items should either be removed from inventory or assigned a valid bin location, as they will be impossible to locate during inventory.

A Parts Inventory Cheat Sheet with these and several additional tips to help your inventory run smoothly is available in the Customer Resources section of our website. (Login required.)

Do you have a physical inventory best practice or tip to share? Email us!

Using the Excede DMS Help Files

Excede includes comprehensive Help Files that provide everything from high-level overviews by topic to step-by-step instructions for accomplishing tasks. By familiarizing yourself with the Help Files, you’ll have a better understanding of Excede’s capabilities and be able to access the information you need more efficiently.

1. Information in the Excede Help files
• Setup provides information on how to set up the system prior to use
• Concepts provides in-depth information about a given topic
• How To provides step-by-step instructions on accomplishing tasks
• Document and Item provide information about fields in Document headers and Item property dialogs
• The Glossary provides definitions to terms that are core to Excede and dealership operations
• Search and Index provide ways of finding content by searching keywords and viewing topics in which those words appear
• See Also provides links to related content

2. Launching and using Excede Help
• Any time you are in Excede, you can launch the Help Files by pressing F1
• When you click any Help button from within Excede, you are taken directly to the most relevant topic
• Help Files contain expandable text that can be clicked for definitions
• Help Files can be printed by pressing the print key in the application
• The best way to search is by using the Index--enter a keyword or words and the Index will pull up related Help topics

3. Troubleshooting Excede Help Files
If you are unable to open the Excede Help Files or see an error after opening them, a download is available with solutions to common problems in the password-protected Resources page. This information sheet provides tips on solving the following problems:
• The [Start In] field is blank on the shortcut
• You’re having trouble accessing Help and a Windows® update was recently installed
• The ActiveX controls are not working properly
• The System Environment Variables settings are incorrect

We update the Help Files regularly based on your input. If you have any suggestions or comments, please open a Work Order via Support Services.

  • "A couple of years ago, we brought all our dealerships under one corporate structure in Excede. I was the last one to believe that we could use the software to manage the accounting more efficiently, but I am a believer now."

    Gail Shea
    Regional Controller
    Lonestar Truck Group

  • "With Procede, our information flows seamlessly from one area to the next, and whether we’re drilling down or looking for a wide view, the search function makes it so easy to get whatever data we need."

    Greg Jack
    Operations Coordinator
    Flag City Truck & Equipment


Get in Touch

Speak with a Procede Specialist today!

Main: 858.450.4800
Sales: 858.450.4820

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