United Engineering & Software’s U-Weigh weighbridge software operates under the Microsoft SQL environment, a reliable database system that ensures fast data retrieval.
With some modifications you can make use of alternative database systems such as Oracle and MySQL (for server-based database engine) or Access and Paradox (for standalone systems).
The U-Weigh weighbridge software provides databases accommodating the storage of data on customers, products, contractors, vehicles, prices, jobs and cartage rates.
The intuitive, mouse and keyboard driven interface allows easy editing and retrieval of data. Multiple levels of searching (i.e. Auto-completion of typing, list previews and even wild card searches) allow for the easy exploration of the data.
Database records are able to be imported directly from accounting packages such as MYOB and Quickbooks or even higher end systems like SQL, Oracle, JDE and SAP). Data can also be imported and export in Excel and XML formats.
As well as allowing the customary storage of contact details such as names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, the customer database can be used to store linked account numbers (for exporting/linking data directly to an accounting package), credit information (with customers able to be set up with a level of authorised credit and/or have their account put on hold), salesperson details and region or class classifications (useful for reporting).
Customers in the database are able to be flagged as active, inactive and prospective. Inactive customers remain accessible in the databases but do not display for the purposes of producing transactions. Reclassifying them to active status is as easy as pressing a button press.
Similarly, details of prospective customer can be recorded and converted to active status when required.
The addition of the follow-up module allows internal sales people to chase up prospective customers by transmitting emails directly from the software package. Customers in the database can be flagged to receive emails messages on certain dates (notifying them of price changes, modifications to terms).
Product details are stored within a centralised product database. A product-by-site database however allows site specific information to be documented for these products. This information includes unique pricing for each site, categorisation and stock totals.
This level of filtering allows U-Weigh weighbridge software to apply the appropriate price for a product depending on the site it was purchased from and maintain individual stock levels for a product (on a site by site basis). Product categorisation also enables category specific reporting.
Prices in the system are able to be set at three levels: list prices, special prices for customers and special prices for individual jobs. Prices for all sites can be set up and maintained from a centralised location and then replicated down to the appropriate sites by their prefixes.
Individual sites need only ever see their site-specific pricing. The system automatically determines which price to apply at the time of the transaction based on the data stored within these databases.
Facilities exist to set expiration dates on prices and even set prices to be rolled in at a future date. No longer do you need to wait to set new prices on the day. Set them up in advance and have them automatically applied for you.
The categorisation of products allows distinct customer and product lists to be provided when transactions are being recorded. A condensed selection list reduces both search times by operators and errors.
The jobs database allows job specific information (i.e. customer, contractor and delivery and product details) to be recorded against a job number. Recalling the job number at transaction time retrieves and sets that information.
A job specific price can also be applied. Using a job number also allows an initial ordered amount to be recorded and a progressive total (both load size and dollars) to be tracked with each printed docket.
Cartage calculations are configurable within the software. The database is flexible enough to allow different systems of cartage calculation to be utilised and is configurable to allow both the application of cartage to customer’s transaction and calculating cartage payable to contractors (a module allowing the creation and printing of recipient created tax invoices is also available).
Cartage can consist of a fixed amount, a variable rate (charged on either kilometres or tonnage dependant on setup) or a combination of the two. A common method implemented is the application of a fixed rate for delivering to a particular zone or suburb. The example here shows how a combination of the two rates can be applied.
A vehicle database allows for truck data to be stored. A customer and contactor can be linked to a vehicle and automatically applied during transactions. Truck and trailer tare weights are stored individually; the database allows each vehicle registration to store two distinct (truck and the trailer if applicable) weights.
Utilising stored tares in a single weighing makes for quick efficient completion of transactions. On-screen tick boxes allow individual weights to be applied based on the vehicle configuration.
The system also adheres to chain of responsibility legislation in facilitating the storage of legal weigh limits (for multiple configurations) and signalling to operators when these legal limits have been exceeded.
Multi-site databases are provided for customers with more than one site. The server/client model utilised by the software allows a centralised database to be created with the organisation-wide data.
Unique, individualised views of that data can then replicated down to each of the sites displaying specific information on customers and products. A single product can have multiple site-specific prices (where the rate is determined by the site) and exclusive stock levels for each of these sites are also maintained.
Multiple reports are provided by the software. Reporting is date based (filtered via a start and end date) and displayable transactions are able to be further filtered by site, customer, product, contractor, vehicle, job, order no, location, salesperson and/or category (or any combination of those fields).
Filters also exist to differentiate between sales and purchases enabling two distinct sets of reporting.
Filtered summary and detailed reports are producible on each of the database categories (reports are available for cartages, contractors, customers, products, product categories and vehicles).
Summary reports encapsulate transactional data by displaying only the totals for each category code within the subset of the data being displayed (for instance the customer summary report shows a list of all the customer codes and displays tonnage and dollar amounts for each those codes).
A detailed report on the other hand lists each of the individual transactions for each of the category codes (with totals for each group).
Special analysis reports are also included for a more advanced breakdown of data.
Available reports include an aged pricing report (showing customer usage of products as well as the last date of purchase), an invoice summary (displaying a list of invoices generated by the software), a product analysis report (that breaks down sale tonnage and dollar amounts on a month by month basis) and a customer/product breakdown report (displaying total tonnage, average period, year-to-date and last year-to-date figures for each product grouped by customer).
Additional reports can be programmed upon request.
A transaction editing screen allows operators to modify pre-existing transactions and correct mistakes made at the time of the original transaction.
Authorised users (with privileges set locally or from head office) can modify vehicle and customer details as well as update product and pricing information (should it not have been available at the time of transaction or changed in the interim).
A reprint facility is provided to print modified or unedited dockets.
Authorised users also have the ability to delete dockets. Deleted dockets persist in the system for an indefinite period (in a recycle bin form) until they are either restored (in the case of an incorrect deletion) or fully purged from the system.
An event log records details of all edits made to transactions and of any deletions performed. A rollback feature allows edited transactions to be returned back to their original state.
Invoicing is an optional module that can be activated in the UENS weighbridge package.
An onscreen interface displays all the un-invoiced transactions for a selectable period. Filters (e.g. customer, date and site prefix) can be used to limit the data to be invoiced.
Transactions can then be individually or globally tagged and automatically invoiced by a single button press. The U-Weigh weighbridge software can be configured to allow one invoice per customer or multiple invoices per customer depending on their job or order numbers.
The flexibility of the tagging and filtering system allows invoices to be generated whenever they are required, for whoever requires them. Terms linked to customers in the database can also be used as an additional means of filtering and limiting available transactions.
A software configuration item can be enabled to lock out transactions already invoiced and prevent them from further editing (or alternatively the software can be set up to allow changes made to dockets to seamlessly flow through onto invoices that can then be reprinted).
Invoices generated by the package can be printed onto pre-printed stationary in a laser printed or dot-matrix format; or alternatively U-Weigh weighbridge software can be programmed to print a pre-generated invoice format (similar to the one displayed here) onto plain white paper.
The generated invoices can then also be replicated into an accounting package (such as MYOB, Quickbooks, Sage, Attaché, Pronto and SAP) for the purposes of financial reporting. The default implementation utilises the importing facilities of these packages but a direct-to-database interface can be implemented if supported by the third-party package.
The weighbridge front-end is available in two strands – attended and unattended.
The attended version is designed for operation by a user through standard means of input (keyboard and mouse). All data is input either via selection from an auto-complete pull down menu (the software auto-searching and completing a match in the data as keystrokes are input) or via text data-capture fields.
The weight data can be captured directly from a weighbridge indicator or scale (where a serial option is available) and displayed on screen together with the costing and pricing information calculated directly from the captured weights. Multiple transactions can be commenced or in progress at the one time and completed in or out of sequence.
The unattended version offers an abridged version of the data capturing facilities of the attended version and is intended to be used entirely by the truck drivers themselves. The simple-to-use interface has been designed around a touch-screen and/or card reader.
The screen interface is tailored to the meet the exact data capture requirements of the application - transactions are either completed by a simple swipe of the pre-programmed card or via data input on the virtual keyboard displayed on the touch screen (or even a combination of the two if required).
Easily accessible virtual push buttons make navigating through the screens uncomplicated and clear and unambiguous warning messages ensure operator errors are minimised.
Both the attended and unattended systems are capable of three different types of weighing: double weighing (where the truck’s gross and tare weights are captured via the weighbridge indicator and used to calculate the net product through two separate weighings), stored tare (where a single weighing via the bridge is used together with a stored tare weight from the database to calculate the net product) and no weighing (where a single volume, metered or manually entered weight is used to calculate net product rather than a bridge weight).
Split weighing is available in both systems (where the length of the vehicle exceeds the length of the bridge). The attended version also allows manual weights to be entered and the software has the ability to capture gross and tare weights from independent sources (where multiple weighbridges exist).
Dockets are automatically printed at the completion of a transaction onto either pre-printed stationary (including dot matrix multiple-copy carbonated paper or pre-printed laser printer stationary), thermal paper, laser printer or any combination therein.