The default settings and values included with Crate Pro are commonly used industry values which need to be adjusted to your own companies values.  Crate Pro 6's hundreds of preference settings are designed to quickly determine not only your crate design and construction, but your costs, profit levels, labor time estimates, materials used and much more. By modifying the default settings and entering your companies baseline settings, your design process is faster and more accurate . You can expect to tweak values as you use the program and gain a better understanding of what and how different values affect your results.

 


 To give you the greatest benefit you typically will share your screen. The session software used is Join.Me and the presenter will send you an invitation to share your screen once connected to your live session. By sharing your screen you'll set your values and policies during the session directly in your installation instead of having to write everything down and go back later.  Join.Me has a desktop application which allows you to very quickly enter a session versus downloading an applet each time. Click Here to download





CONFIGURATION  The configuration sessions build on each other. Users will often schedule multiple sessions for each topic to review your settings and clarify results.




Session 1: Review selecting your companies preferred crate style templates. Crate Pro includes over 400 crate, skid and pallet style templates which can be filtered for easier locating. Narrowing down that list to your companies preferred style templates you will use as starting points is critical for success.  We will set common construction values that will apply to your design policies and review Pricing screens: hourly labor rates and general material markups. Short overview of USER and CUSTOMER modules .


Session 2: Inventory module. Crate Pro includes over 350 inventory items commonly used to build crates, pallets and skids. We will go over how to 'clean' this list so only items used appear as an option.  Items that you use not already in the Inventory will be added. We will review changing the Item ID to reflect the name you prefer for an item if the existing item name is not preferred.  You will determine what your Tracking/ Purchasing units of measure for each category of materials.  A review of entering material costs, purchasing units of measure, waste factor and other settings affecting inventory.

  • If you will use Crate Pro to Cost/Quote your jobs the following information will help you set up this module:
    • List of all materials you use in your crate/skid/pallet designs: including wood fasteners, wrapping, padding, etc..
    • Know what is the purchasing unit of measure for the items. Example: Plywood purchased 'By Sheet', Nails purchased 'By Box', Wrapping purchased 'By Roll'. 
    • Know your costs based on the purchasing unit of measure
    • Know the waste factor you use to get your totals (Crate Pro comes with a waste factor value for each material averaged from all beta testing)
    • Know what items you sell directly from inventory outside of whats used in a crate/skid/pallet
  • If you will only use Crate Pro to design your crates/skids/pallets and you are not using it for costing/quoting you only need to have a list of all the materials you use for your designs
  • Often another session, either 30 or 60 minutes, to ensure Inventory is properly set is not unusual since all information regarding your materials is usually not available at the time of this session. If you have a purchasing agent, they could benefit the speed of getting this module configured and maintained.


Session 3: Set up Material Groups. Based on your preferred style templates and your active materials, common material groupings will be set and named for easy locating when designing a crate. We will review the Rules for the style template families you have selected. 

  • For customers designing pallets or adding internal packaging such as wrapping, padding, or floater decks, we will review those material groups
  • For customers that add joists, collars or gussets, we will review these items 


Session 4: Projects and Home module.  Projects generate all reports in the Reports module and include a highly requested feature: Ability to print a cut list combining same size materials from multiple designs.  Projects allow users to follow the progress of the designs on the order. Projects  combine totals for costs, selling prices, weights, times and allow you to add overtime and onsite charges. Projects generate quotes, invoices and work orders.


The Home screens are based on a User role within the company and allows them to focus on their work and easily provide information through Crate Pro to foreman and managers. Home screens allow managers to generate new Projects, designs add customers and more directly from their Home screen(s). Foreman and Sawyers can indicate what PO (or other indicator used) that ISPM materials are being tracked on. Review of the Home screens will cover Users but based on time, its suggested reviewing these topics in more detail in another session.




USER / MANAGER / ADMINISTRATOR SESSIONS


Here are common suggestions for user training and additional configuration. You decide on any topics that are important and more time sensitive to you. The more sessions you and your staff attend, the easier you'll find it to use Crate Pro and personalize it for your unique needs. Crating companies offer custom services, therefore have unique needs that are to be focused upon. You can select below or discuss your goals with our support team at Support@CratePro.com for advice on how to proceed.


Session subjects may overlap based on time and your comfort level. Our goal is to help you maximize your use of the program.

  • Basic User training:  This assumes multiple sessions. Configuration of Crate Pro with your companies baseline settings should be done prior to user training. This help ensure that users are seeing results based on your information. 
    • How to create designs and print cut lists
    • Adjusting design results in the design if needed (unless an administrator is in the session we will not make changes in any of the configuration modules.)
    • Using Home screens assigned to see an overview of your work. (ISPM training for Foreman and Sawyer roles is a separate session)
    • Adding designs to Projects, printing cut lists and other reports. 
    • Printing and/or emailing customer quotes, invoices and work orders


  • Admin / Manager Training:  This assumes multiple sessions. Basic configuration of Crate Pro with your companies baseline settings should already be completed. These topics will also help tweak those settings
    • Users and user permissions  Will review any questions you may still have from the configuration sessions. Creating, deleting user accounts. Setting permission levels and Roles. Changing passwords . You do not have a limit on user accounts. Users must connect from a computer/device that has a CAL license. There are no fees for user accounts and every person that will use Crate Pro should have a user account in Crate Pro AND an online portal account (also free)
    • Customers:  Creating customer accounts. Understanding customer special settings. Adding Ship To, Pickup From and Final Destination addresses. 
      • Special customer pricing: How to handle when a customer has a special pricing. Or a customer has different markups or discounts,
    • Projects: Practice using the stages and status' in Projects is used to manage your order. We can discuss what your current process is and help you decide in what manner using the stage/status feature
    • Costs - Labor: Your labor costs are not as close as you expect. Schedule this to determine what settings affect this result
      • Labor time settings : Labor times for different processes vary widely among custom crating companies. Crate Pro offers many fields to set your baselines to most accurately help you estimate labor costs. Due to the number of settings Crate Pro offers  that  allow you to configure your specific times, you may need to set more than a single session. Please have existing information for comparison so we can identify what changes need to be made
    • Costs - Materials: Your material costs are not as close as you expect. Schedule this to determine what settings affect this result
    • Selling Price:  Your selling prices are not what you expect. This session will help determine if the issue is due to materials, labor or both.   Before scheduling this session you will need to ensure the calculated costs for both materials and labor are accurate. If not please schedule one of the Costs - Labor or Materials first. 
    • Forms: quotes, emails, etc.. Set up the forms to allow for immediate communication with customers. Forms are available in both the Designs and Projects module and can be configured based on a company policy as well as an individual customer.
    • Importing Customer Lists: In advance of this session please request the format  that your CSV  file must be in for customer importing. You will need a CSV or Excel file to import your customer information.
    • Backups: Customers with FileMaker Server must have admin console login credentials. Stand-alone and peer-to-peer must have Admin permission into Crate Pro AND the permission to save the backup files to a separate location on your network or on an external drive
    • Project flow: Looking at your process and staff and working toward a flow that allows for speed and accuracy. This session should be done once you have a comfort level that the calculated costs/pricing and designs meet you expectations



More training topics for Users, Managers and Administrators


  • Advanced Design modifications:  Assumes user understands how to create designs. This session is to review ways that designs can be modified. More specifically to review questions on designs that have been created.
  • Project  Stages and Status: Review of Design and Project Status fields for better staff communication. The Projects module provides all the information for the Reports module. This includes ISPM reports, Material Usage reports, status reports for Projects. Using Projects gives you better control over the entire crating process and helps your staff stay on task. Setting up Projects to manage your individual designs will reduce the time needed to manage your crating processes. (Does not cover ISPM training)
  • Templates and Duplicate designs: How do they work and what works better for your company. This is a key session and recommended for everyone. Understanding that  a new design does not need to recreated if already done will save you hours every week. This will help clarify when its better to duplicate a design, create a template or start with a new design works best for the situation.
  • ISPM and Material tracking. Setting it up and using this feature. Its important to know in advance how your company tracks/identifies the material for your reporting. By PO, by lot number, by invoice, by a flag color? What staff is involved with ensuring the materials are identified correctly? Having this information for this session will make the setup faster and more accurate
  • Selecting style templates (this is the most important step for fast and accurate crate design) This is step 1 in the configuration but you may find you need more help for a new style template. We can review selecting style templates again and/or discuss the need for a custom style (note: less than 4% of customers need a custom style template. A custom style generally does not follow ANY international published crating standard so doesn't use common construction rules as set by internationally published crating standards. All custom styles will incur a fee and are only available to customers with an active maintenance plan)
  • Inventory: more detail on inventory including fast updating of material costs, setting buying levels
  • Inventory: making changes to Tracking or buying levels for different materials
  • Understanding cut lists: various modules cut lists can be printed from
  • Cut Lists: Selected design doesn't seem accurate. Review of specific design
  • Pallet and/or Skid creation


We offer free live session installation and update support for all customers with active maintenance. To be eligible for free updating, your version must be able to update directly into the newest version and not require multiple step-ups to be brought current.  Current and legacy installation/update documentation is available on the support portal.  Support portal accounts are FREE. 


Use this LINK to bookmark the live session scheduler. You must have a support portal account or the session will be canceled.




More to read if interested!  

Why does this version have multiple steps for installation and update when older versions had a simple run the executable?


 Crate Pro is a bundled solution with FileMaker database software and your order includes both Crate Pro and FileMaker software. Prior to the development of Crate Pro 6, current customers were surveyed to determine if they preferred a single step installation process or an 'open'  FileMaker license which would allow them to create their own databases. independent of Crate Pro. Overwhelmingly the response was that companies wanted the option to be able to use the FileMaker to develop their own databases which could then be hosted alongside Crate Pro.  


. FILEMAKER CUSTOM ACADEMY