Consignment Software Year-End Planning

Data management at year end can speed things up for the new year while maintaining a historical data reference. These recommendations are for those shops who don't need or want a long transaction history, would like to have a speedier computer response to commands, and who have the skills to perform the necessary steps in reducing data file size. (Support and training are available at current nominal rates. Send an email request.)

Slow Computers

As the size of the FoxPro database increases, the computer (not the software) will slow because the computer has to look through a growing number of records to process commands and requests.

If your computer isn't crunching numbers as fast as you would like, reducing the number of records in the FoxPro database may help, especially if the current database holds multi-year records.

There are other causes of slow processing. Take a look at https://www.bestconsignmentshopsoftware.com/maintain.htm

Each computer chip has a processing 'speed limit' (clock rate or clock speed). See how your processor compares to others: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/common_cpus.html

If your processor chip is in the lower half of the processors listed, eliminating old records may help but that won't turn a 1968 Volkswagen into a 2015 Porsche. Time for a new computer.


Go Faster

Turnover in the typical store is relatively rapid. Inventory is usually gone and consignors are paid (sales are settled) within 90 days so why bloat a database with old records?

A reason for keeping one database for all time is to have the ability to generate detailed reports about account history, but again, is that really necessary? Most clients just want to turn a few possessions into cash and forget about it. Some people forget about their consignments and don't come back, or they've moved away. Lastly, there may be a handful of career consignors (and accountants) who want to be able to trace back to the last time the Cubs won the World Series and for all these folks, a master database could be preserved for historical reference, but for the majority, start the new year with essential records only (current clients, inventory, account balances)... Here's how:

At the end of the year:

  1. Close out all unsettled sales by paying consignors or settling for store credit.
  2. Make a backup of the current data.
  3. Save the current database for historical reference, preferably in 3-4 different places, including free storage online like Google's Gmail. (Just remember that responsibility for placing your customers information online rests with you.)
  4. Use the Batch-Delete function in the Inventory Area to delete old records. This will remove old records but will not reduce the size of the database. (Sold but unsettled items, account balances and unsettled items will not be affected.)
  5. Export inventory records.The export will not contain deleted records.
  6. Copy 3 files (inventory.dbf, inventory.cdx and inventory.fpt) from 'C:\BCSS\blank db' to 'C:\BCSS'.
  7. Import inventory records. The import will only include inventory records that weren't deleted.

Old client records could also be deleted:

  1. Make a backup of the current data.
  2. Use the export function in BCSS to export all client records.
  3. Copy the client files (consignor.dbf, consignor.cdx, consignor.fpt) from the blank database (C:\BCSS\blank db) to the BCSS folder (C:\BCSS).
  4. Open the consignors.csv file in a spreadsheet program (like Excel).
  5. Sort the Last-Sale column by date.
  6. Delete the rows corresponding to the records to be deleted and save as a .csv file.
  7. Use the import function in BCSS to restore the records of the remaining active clients.

Caveats

Keeping multi-year records preserves 'audit trails' so the current balance could be explained in the Account History.

If your consignors aren't concerned about what has transpired in the past, keeping a database burgeoned with old data may not be necessary.

Need something historic? Restore it, find what's needed, then restore the current working database.

Keep in mind that it will not be possible to combine separate databases from year to year. In most cases that will also be unnecessary.

It is also possible to export information for consignors, inventory and sales to spreadsheets for historical reference.


Comments

My computer isn't slow when I'm checking email, browsing the Internet or using other programs.

  • Checking a few lines of text in an email and using other programs is very light duty compared to looking through several database records and compiling reports. Browsing the Internet is quick because Google and others have massive computing power to handle the job while loading a webpage is quick because like emails, only a few kilobytes of data are accessed.

My computer is slower than it once was.

  • Computers are machines and their components deteriorate. Most of them are ladened with unnecessary programs and files and are infected with viruses, spyware, trojans and toolbars. Removing them and increasing RAM memory may help. Reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows, BCSS and only other needed programs is a sure way of restoring the computer to its best possible state.

I can't afford a new computer.

  • Dell (and others) have financing and lease programs. A very suitable computer with plenty of power is available for $20 per month or so.


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