Crate Pro 5 allows for a great deal of customization. To get the most out of your investment please take the time to review which modules should be adjusted based on your needs for Crate Pro 5. Tweaking as you use the program is simple so don’t worry if it’s not exact when you first start.
When you first begin using CP5 you’ll find a great deal of information pre-filled in. It’s not unusual if very little of the information matches exactly your companies’ information. The materials in the Material Groups are based on common industry usage. Labor pricing and costs are based on averages when the program was first developed and should be changed to match your company.
Here are the main steps, in order, that many crating companies have reported to make the set-up process easiest. Within each module there are fields that can be adjusted and instructions are located in the manual and through the other documentation on the website. We recommend that you continue to tweak Crate Pro 5 as you use it to make it the most accurate for your company’s policies and pricing. Detailed information is in the Hints & Manuals
- Select Your Preferred Crate Construction Styles in the Set-Up module
- In the Diagrams module there are over 260 of the most common construction styles. A Style does NOT determine the materials used in that design, only how the crate is constructed. For simplicity the styles are divided between light duty, medium duty and heavy duty. This division is based on Mil-Spec and ASTM standards* but please keep in mind you could select a light duty construction style but change the materials, such as swapping out 2x4 to 6x6 lumber and the crate is essentially able to handle much greater loads even though the style is still using light-duty construction methods. Please utilize the styles to determine what your company is most comfortable building. These are templates which allow for additional modification. (*Heavy duty styles in Crate Pro 5 use the legacy Mil-C-104 standard)
- Setting your preferred styles is done in the Set-Up module. Hint #1 provides simple instructions to view and/or print all the styles and to also see which are used most commonly. Your goal is to de-activate all styles that you won’t usually build. Styles will not be deleted so should you need to use an de-activated style, it’s only a matter of a few clicks to re-activate that style. This makes it much faster to select the correct style when you create a new design and less likely to select a construction style that’s very similar but not quite the same.
- Common Base modification, such as choosing a lumber base over a ply base or wanting 4-way entry instead of 2-way entry will result in a different style number. If you build the same crate but do these type of modifications, make sure you select the appropriate style so your design process is more automated. Read the hint to better understand the style numbering process.
2. Update the Inventory Module
The Inventory module is not an “on-hand” inventory but instead consider it a material list of items you would use to build your crates. There are about 300 of the most common items already in the inventory. depending on the option you selected during your installation, the materials will be Imperial or Metric. If you call out a material by a different name, now is the time to rename the materials. This is especially helpful if English is not your primary language.
- The first step in the Inventory module is to ensure that the materials you use are marked as Active and the materials you don't use are marked as In-Active. This should be done before you add materials or services into the Inventory.
- Click on Fast Edit for a spreadsheet format for the entire inventory. You're able to sort by any of the column headers if it makes it easier. If an item is grayed, it’s an inactive item and will not appear as an available when you create your crate designs. Using the checkboxes under the 'Active' column check items that are used by your company and uncheck items not used by your company so they become in-active.
- Hint #2 has more detail on this module and how to add materials and/or services that aren’t already in Crate Pro. This allows you to add any item or service you use as part of your crate design process.
- Now that your list is much shorter, enter your costs for the active items. You can do this in the Fast Edit window by clicking on the column header 'Active' (This puts all your active items at the top of the list). You must know the Unit of Measure for each item.
- If you don't know the Unit of Measure, close the Fast Edit and click on each category tab to access your active materias in that category. By clicking on View next to a material, you'll get the materials detail screen.
- Industry common ‘waste factors’ are pre-entered in each items detail section but this percent should be changed to match your company so your pricing is accurate.
- Set-Up module: Set up your Default Material Groups
Based on the Styles you selected in Step 1, you can now specify the default materials you want Crate Pro 5 to use when you select those styles in the design process. Materials used in a crate design can be changed after you create the design but by specifying the materials you most commonly expect to use reduces the need to make a greater number of changes after creating the design
- In Set-up > Construction - for each Style group you can set up two different sets of materials that will be used when you design crates that fall under that category. These sets are called Material Groups. Note that materials for caps and base are on different tabs to give you greater flexibility to use different materials.
- Material Groups are your most common materials. You should be able to 'set it and forget it'. However, if you find that when you create designs that you constantly swapping out materials, you may want to revist this section to see if you should modify these default settings.
- Affordable and Durable are the default names given the material groups. This also can be changed in Set-up.
Crate Pro 5 offers many other fields that you’ll want to tweak to meet your company needs but these will get you started quickly. It’s recommended that you enter your customers in the Customer module so you can manage customer history, duplicate designs and have any special pricing you set for that customer automatically calculated for you. You can also select from any of the default customers names such as Walk-In or Preferred if you design a crate for a one time customer. The Crate Pro website provides Hints for importing your existing customers.
If you need more help, please contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. LiveSupport tickets via email are free for 90 days from purchase date or 60 days from installation date. All phone support is fee based, however we may deem it more expiditious to call you for installation assistance if this is your initial install. You will not be charged if we initiate the call.
Solutions for most issues can be found through the documentation on the Crate Pro website.
Please take advantage of a free live training during your first 60 days. Call ahead for an appointment which lasts about one hour. You only need a computer connected to the internet and either a phone or Skype to teleconference. We’re currently in UTC -5 so please plan accordingly.