Creating and Managing Subscriptions

by admin, January 5, 2011

Introduction

The subscription feature in Channergy allows you to create recurring orders for products or services on a Yearly, Monthly, Weekly and Daily basis.  It uses the Channergy scripting tools to generate new orders for products on a periodic basis and updates the number of issues left for each customer.  The subscription module requires some set up by Core Technologies.  The following is a description on how to set up subscription products and how to use the scripts.

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Creating Subscription Products

  1. Create the Products-These are the products that you will be sending out with each recurring order.  For these instructions, we will be using the subscription tools for magazines.
    1. For help on creating products click here
  2. Create Subscription Products– These are non-inventory products that you will set up for each subscription that you have.  You will need to create subscription products for each type of subscription that you have.  For instance, if you offer a yearly and a monthly subscription for the same physical magazine you will need to create two subscription products.
    1. Open the Inventory screen by clicking on 132
    2. Click on the New Button button.  This is will create a new record in the Products table.

      133

    3. Enter in the following information
      1. Product #-We are going to set up a monthly magazine description so we will create one that identifies it we will call it WIRED MONTHLY
      2. Name- Wired Magazine Monthly Description
      3. Description- Wired Magazine Monthly Description
      4. Retail-Enter the price you will charge the user for the whole year.
    4. Click on the Stock Levels Tab tab and enter the following information.
      1. Check the Non-Inventory Item check box
      2. Check the Subscription check box
      3. Click on the Subscription Settings button this will open up the Subscription Settings screen. Subscription SettingsEnter the following information.
        1. Select Monthly from the Frequency drop down.
        2. Enter 12 for the duration for 12-months
        3. Select the product that you will be sending out every month from the Ship Product No drop down
        4. Select 1 for the quantity.
    5. Repeat the process for each subscription combination that you have.

Processing Subscriptions

Channergy employs the use of two scripts to process subscription orders.  The first, called CreateAndUpdateSubscriptions checks the Channergy orders table for any subscriptions that were ordered and adds/updates the records in the subscription table.  The second, called CreateSubscriptionOrders is the script that creates orders for the subscription products when they are due.  They are both run from the Tools menu.

  1. Run CreateAndUpdateSubscriptions-Click on the CreateAndUpdateSubscriptions option from the Tools menu

    Create And Update Subscriptions

    1. You will get the following confirmation dialog box

      Confirmation Dialog

    2. Click on the OK button
    3. You will get another confirmation dialog box

      Create and update confirmation

    4. Click on the OK button.
    5. When the script is complete you will get the following dialog box Subscriptions have been updatedNOTE: If you do not get this message the script failed for some reason.
  2. Run CreateSubscriptionOrders-This script should be run near the time that subscriptions are supposed to be sent out.
    1. Click on the CreateSubscriptionOrders option from the Tools menu

      Create Subscription Orders

    2. You will get the following confirmation dialog box

      Confirmation Dialog

    3. Click on the OK button
    4. You will get another confirmation dialog box

      Create Subscription Orders

    5. Click on the OK button.
    6. When the script is complete you will get the following dialog box Subscription orders have been created.NOTE: If you do not get this message the script failed for some reason.

Managing Subscriptions – no longer included in 2015 version.

When the subscription option is set up another tab is added to the Customer screen to track the status of subscriptions.

  1. To view the status of a customers subscription click on  Customer Icon
  2. Search for your customer using the Search Icon icon.
  3. Click on the Subscriptions Tab tab
  4. The following screen will show

    Subscriptions Screen The fields shown are as follows.

    1. Product No– This is the subscription product number that the customer ordered.
    2. Start Dt- This is the date that the subscription starts.  For an initial subscription this is the same as the date the subscription was ordered.  For renewals it is the date that the new subscription period starts.
    3. Expiration Dt- This is the date that the selected subscription will expire.
    4. Auto Renewal-If this option is checked, the system will automatically renew the subscription when the existing one expires.
    5. Order No- This is the order number for the subscription order.
    6. OrderDt-This is the date that the subscription was ordered.
    7. Last Order No- This is the last time an order was issued for the subscription.  This is the last order number associated with the product shipped.
    8. Last Order Dt-This is the last date an order was created for the subscription.
    9. Remaining Orders-This is the number of times that a new order will be created for this subscription.  The number depends on the type of subscription.
    10. Next Order Dt- This is the next time an order will be generated for this subscription.  Note: This value is not updated until the following day after the last order is issued.
    11. On Hold-Checking this box will prevent new subscriptions orders from being created.
    12. Hold Reason-This is a text field that allows you to enter a Hold reason.
    13. Canceled-Checking this box will permanently prevent new subscription orders from being generated for this subscription.
  5. Clicking the Show Expired Button button will also show all of the expired subscriptions for the selected customer.

UNDER THE HOOD: The subscription feature uses the following tables, Subscription, Product, Customer and Items.  When a subscription product is created the subscription information is added to the Products table.  In addition to the standard product information the following fields are updated, IsSubscription is set to True,SubscriptionFrequency, SubscriptionStartDay (only used for weekly subscriptions), SubscriptionDuration,SubscriptionShipProductNo and SubscriptionQuantity.

The CreateAndUpdateSubscriptions script queries the Items table and searches for any orders that contain Products that are flagged as subscription products and puts the order and payment information into a temporary table.  This table is compared with the existing Subscription table and any duplicates are removed from the temporary table and any new ones are added from the temporary table.

The CreateSubscriptionOrders script checks the Subscription table for any subscriptions that are due for generating orders and creates orders for the products.  The script pulls the payment information from the subscription table and adds it to the orders.  It also decrements the Remaining Orders, updates the LastOrderDt, LastOrderNo fields in the Subscription table.

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