Order & Job Management - Orders
One of the principal advantages of tFLOW is the ability to monitor Orders and Jobs throughout the creative and prepress processes. In tFLOW, Orders are the equivalent of a customer Purchase Order, and can contain one or many items which are labelled as Jobs - in tFLOW, each artwork constitutes a Job, regardless of the number of copies. The Order and Jobs windows provide many tools for filtering, viewing activity in addition to order and jobs statuses, messaging, and searching. These views also provide a great level of customizability in order to allow users to view the information they need with respect to their particular role in the production process.
Orders Page Organization and Options
To access orders, click on the Orders button in the left menu.
On the Orders page you will see the total number of orders in the current view in parentheses in the upper left. All order controls with the exception of Select All are located in the upper right.
Search – to search for a particular Order, click on the search button (Magnifying glass icon), type in the order number and hit Return. The list will be filtered to only show orders with the string you have entered in the search field.
Order information fields – you can define which information will be present for each order by clicking the Order Information button and selecting any fields you want to have listed on each order panel. The panels will auto expand/contract to make room for your selection:
Sorting – Click the Sort button to choose a sorting parameter from the list, then select the up or down arrow to define if you want to list to ascend or descend according to that item.
Filtering – Click the Filter button to access all of the filtering options. As there are a large number of available filters, this button opens a new window where you may make multiple selections and configure several filtering parameters.
Once you have chosen your filtering options, click Apply to apply the filter, and your order list will update accordingly. To remove the filter, open click the filter button to open the filter window again, click Reset, and then Close. Note: when a filter is applied, an orange dot will appear on the filter button. If you are not seeing the orders you are expecting to see, this is the first place you should check to make sure that a forgotten filter is not being applied.
Order Options – When you have selected at least one order, the order options button will appear in the upper right (three dots). Depending on your permissions, and the number of orders you have selected, the contents of this menu will change.
The options Low Resolution PDFs and Proof PDFs will only appear in this menu. Low Resolution PDFs will extract the low-resolution file from each job in the order, zip them into one file and download. Proof PDFs will extract the proof file from each job in the order, zip then into one file and download. You may also do this for multiple orders, in which case each order’s files will be put into folders labelled with the same order number before zipping.
Order panel – the order list is made up of individual order panels. On the left is the order icon (blue for active and grey for archived). If there is an orange badge, it displays the number of jobs that the order contains. To the right of the order icon is the order number and order information that you have selected to be displayed via the Order Information Fields button. On the right side of the panel is the production-ready status bar. When all jobs have reached Approved (tFLOW Professional) or Sent to Production (tFLOW Enterprise), this value will reach 100%. If the number is 50%, for example, then half of the jobs in the order are approved or sent to production while the other half are still in preliminary states such as awaiting approval, awaiting revision, on hold, etc. On the far right is the order options button (3 dots) which displays all available options for that order according to your permissions.
Order Options – User permissions define the options which will be available to each user, but your list will contain most of the following options:
- Add new job: opens the new job window for defining job parameters and adding artwork. If you do not need to change the parameters from the default defined in the order, you can bypass this button and drag artwork directly on the order panel to add new jobs as well.
- Duplicate the Order: creates a new order with the same parameters. This does not duplicate the jobs or artwork from the original order.
- Open the Order: displays the jobs inside of the order
- Archive the Order: moves all hi-res data from the jobs within the order to the archive. See System Settings: Archiving for more information on setting up archiving
- Assign Users: opens the user select dialog box to add other users to the order. Use Select Users to search for users which are already in the system, and “New User” to add a new user to both the Order and to tFLOW. You can also type a message below which the user will receive via email.
- Delete the Order – deletes the order and all jobs that are in it. Deleted orders cannot be recovered so use this option carefully.
- Send Order Review – see section Order Review for more information
Adding an Order
Orders may be created automatically via the API, but they can also be added to tFLOW manually by using the Add Order button in the bottom left of the window. Since all jobs are contained within orders, you must have at least one order created in order to create a job.
The Add Order button will open the order creation/configuration window where you will have the ability to define all of the parameters of the order. The new order window is divided into 5 tabs.
- Company – select for which company this order will be created. Choosing the company also defines which users will be assigned. See the section Companies for more information on adding companies to tFLOW.
- Order – enter the desired order number. If you leave this blank, tFLOW will automatically create an order number.
- Planned number of jobs – defines when the Automatic Order Review email will be sent out. See the section Order Review for more information.
- Creation date – uses current date to define when the order was created
- Ship date – defines when the order should be shipped. You can define the default for this field in the system settings.
- Open Order after creation – Opens the recently created order window after clicking the Save button. If unchecked, the Order list will be displayed after saving the new order.
- Description – free text field to include any additional information about the order
- Splitting Scheme – in the event that a multi-page PDF is uploaded, you can use different splitting schemes to manage the behavior. Examples: 1. None selected – a 10 page PDF is uploaded and one job is created with a 10 page proof and production file. 2. One job per page – a 10 page PDF is uploaded and the PDF is split into 10, one page jobs. 3. First/Last; Others – the first and last pages are extracted and placed into one 2 page job, and the remaining pages are placed into a second multi-page job.
- Customer users – lists all users who pertain to the currently selected company. Whether they are selected or unselected depends on the user preferences. See the section Users for more information.
- REP Name/PM Name – fields where you may store names of representatives and project managers that you want to appear on proofs.
- Workflow – defines which workflow will be used for the current order. See the section Workflow for more information
- Products – defines which product will be used to process the artwork. The choice here will affect the other tabs: Proof Settings, Preflight Settings, and Finishing Settings. See the section Products for more information.
- [Site Owner] Users (owner) – lists all site owner users who have visibility to the orders and jobs of the company selected for this order. If a site owner user’s name does not appear here, and they are created in the system, make sure that they are assigned to the company in their user profile. See the section Users for more information.
- Select Production queues – Displays available tBOT production queues (tFLOW Enterprise only). You may select the queues during order creation (necessary if you are using the no approval workflow or any auto-release workflows), or later when using the Send to Production option for other workflows (tFLOW Enterprise only).
Proof, Preflight and Finishing Settings
Selecting the Product in the advanced tab defines which parameters will be used for each of these three sections. For more information on setting up Products and defining defaults, see the section Products for more information. During order creation, you may enter any of these tabs to change scripts or modify the values for any of the options. Selections made here will affect the default settings for the order and all jobs which are subsequently created. Other orders will not be affected as they will continue to use the original defaults of the Product.
Once you have defined all of your settings for the order, click Save to create the order. Jobs may now be created and artwork uploaded.
Note: The Import Order button will only be visible if you are working with tFLOW in specific integrated environments.
There are several other tools related to orders which are accessed via the Order Toolbar. The toolbar is only visible when one order is selected because the options and information displayed is very specific to the particular order. To see the toolbar, select one order:
tFLOW provides real-time messaging capabilities at both the order and job levels. You may use the messaging function to chat in real-time with other users, as well as send them email notifications. To access Messaging, click on the Messaging icon and the messaging window will open.
You may add comments to either the order, or to any job that is within that order. To switch between the order and the jobs, click on the circular icons in the left bar. Any items which have comments will display an orange badge with the number of comments displayed. To add a comment, type your message below in the message box and hit return, or click the send button.
Replies – in addition to adding new comments, you can also reply to previous comments by placing your mouse over the comment and clicking the “reply” button when it appears. This will nest your comment under the other comment as a reply. You may also delete and edit your previous comments by using this same floating toolbar.
Public vs Private - By default, all comments are public, meaning that they are visible to both site owners as well as customers. For site owners, if you click on the “Public comment” button it will toggle to private. Your message will turn orange, meaning that this comment is visible to site owners only. Replies to private comments will also be private.
Email notifications – there are alert settings in the user profile to manage message alerts (see the section Users for more information), but you can also force an email to be sent for a comment by clicking the email icon (envelope) and then selecting any users you want to receive an email. Note that the email button only becomes active after you have typed in a message.
You may view all of the order settings by clicking on the “i” button which is the second item in the toolbar. All order properties are displayed here, divided into the Order Settings (general) and Advanced tabs. If your user role permits, you can also edit order properties by clicking on the Edit Order button below.
Assign users enables you to add additional users to the order – either already existing tFLOW users which are not assigned to the order already, or to create new users.
Actions and state changes are constantly being recorded by tFLOW and can be viewed in the Activity tab. Click on the third button in the toolbar (clock with arrow) to access Activity. You will see a timeline listing all actions, comments, changes, etc. ordered by date and time, and by the users that performed them. In the event that the activity listing is very long, you may apply filters by clicking on the filter button in the upper right.
Although opening the order provides access to the jobs contained inside, you may also preview as well as perform actions on them in the toolbar. Click on the Jobs button to see the jobs panel.
All jobs for the order are listed, and depending on your permissions, you will see options for each job on the right. You can also access each job’s options by clicking on the button with three dots for any job.
Support files provides a place to upload and store any files which are associated with the order, but that are not artwork. Artwork is uploaded into each job contained in the order, but often there are additional files such as Excel sheets for distribution lists, CAD drawings, etc. which need to be kept together with the order. Drag and drop any such file to this window to upload and store it there. Users can later download files from here, and for supported file types (PDF, JPG), click to view them from within the tFLOW interface.
Provides access to the product settings for the order. You may view and edit the Proof, Preflight, and Finishing settings for the order here. For more information on Product settings, see the section Product.