To get to the help page you want ...

  • Open the screen you want help with, click the Help icon in the main menu then the help page for that screen.
  • Or enter the words you're looking for in the search field in the upper right corner of any help page and press Enter on your keyboard.
  • Or click the Help icon in the main menu from any Tracker 8 screen and select Help - Overview. The overview contains links to most help pages (especially the Main Menu and Grids sections). Topics in the overview are presented in the order most users will want to explore them: 'Find items' first, 'Order items' second, etc.

Help pages contain panels that can be toggled open or closed. Click a panel's title, for example, Using Tracker 8 help or Find items in this screen, to toggle that panel open or closed. Click Toggle all in the upper right corner of the top-most panel to open all the panels that are closed and close all the panels that are open.

Help pages open in a new tab in your browser. To return to Tracker 8, click on its tab or close the help tab.

You may not see some of the screens, menus, buttons, etc. described in this help system. What you see depends on the rights assigned to you by your organization's Tracker manager and the options your organization has selected.

With Tracker 8, you can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to find the items you need. The instructions in this panel are for a smart phone or tablet running the Tracker's find and add to cart screen (click here if you're using a computer).

If you're an experienced Tracker 7 user or are familiar with your organization's item numbers and descriptions, we recommend using the Tracker's fast add to cart screen to find and order items.

  • Touch the Find and add to cart icon in the main menu (at the top of the screen) to open the find and add to cart screen.

  • Mobile find order screen

  • You may not see all the icons in this picture. What you see depends on the rights assigned to you by your organization's Tracker manager.

  • The number to the right of each description is the total number of items your organization has with that description.

  • Data are spread across pages: 3/7 (near the top, to the right of 'Find and add to cart') means that page 3 of 7 is displayed. Touch the icons at the bottom to navigate between pages: takes you to the first page, the previous page, the next page and the last page.

  • Search for descriptions by typing in the Search descriptions field. The search looks for descriptions that contain the characters you type, for example, descriptions that contain the letters 'ge'.

  • Mobile find order search

  • Drill down to the next level by touching to the right of a description. In the example below, drilling down shows us that all 3 of our generators are assigned to our default storage site. Note that the search field changes, in this case to Search assignments, to match the level we're on.

  • Mobile find order screen

  • Touch at the top to return to the previous screen, to drill down further and see specific items.

  • Our examples so far have been grouped by description then assignment. This grouping is ideal if you want to know where all the items with the same description are (if, for example, you want to know where all your generators are). But if you want to see what's at an assignment (for example, a job), touch the tool icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen then Group by assignment then description.

  • Mobile find order screen

  • Now assignments are at the top level.

  • Mobile find order screen

  • Drill down to see the descriptions at an assignment. Below, for example, is a list of everything assigned to truck 26.

  • Mobile find order screen

For additional options and more detail, check out the help pages for the Find and add to cart, Fast add to cart and Items screens.

Ordering items in Tracker 8 is like ordering from an online store: you find the items you want, add them to your cart then place your order.

The instructions in this panel are for a smart phone or tablet. Instructions for a computer are in the help pages for the Find and add to cart, Fast add to cart, Cart and Orders screens.

  • Find the description you want and touch the cart icon to its right to add it your cart.

  • Mobile find order search

  • After adding items to your cart, touch the cart icon in the main menu to open the Cart screen.

  • Mobile cart task

  • Touch Cart task and pick a task, for example, Assign to job if you want to assign items you have in stock to a job (the options in the task list are described in Orders).

  • Another button will appear, prompting you to enter the assignment you're ordering for.

  • Mobile cart choose job

  • Touch Place Order at the bottom to record your order.

  • Mobile cart place order

  • If you see Actions instead of Place Order, touch Actions and a menu will appear with 2 choices: Place Order or Ship. Place Order means someone else (often a warehouse manager) will fulfill the order. Ship means you're fulfilling the order yourself, for example, you're a warehouseman pulling items for a job or a foreman sending items from one job to another.

  • After you place or ship an order, the Orders screen opens. You can return to the Orders screen later (to check, for example, your order's status) by clicking the Data icon in the main menu then Orders.

  • Mobile cart place order

For additional options and more detail, check out the help pages for the find and add to cart, fast add to cart, cart and orders screens.

Click the Data or Utilities icon in the main menu then the screen you want.

To add a record, click the Add icon in the grid menu in the upper right corner of the grid.

Grid menu

To edit, click the Edit icon. If you click in the record or the field in the record you want to edit first, the cursor will appear in that record or field.

After you click the Add or Edit icon, the grid menu changes.

Grid menu when editing

Click the Add icon to add another record, the Save icon to save, the Cancel icon to undo any changes you've made since your last save.

Clicking the Add or the Edit icon puts you in editing mode. Once in editing mode, you can add or edit as many records as you like but can't change your search or move to a different page until you save or cancel (pages are explained in the Grids section of this help overview).

To delete, select the record(s) you want to delete by clicking checkbox(es) in the left-hand margin of the grid (you can select more than one) then click the Delete icon in the grid menu.

New tools, equipment and supplies ("items" in Tracker 8) are a special case.

While you can add new items with the Add icon, it's generally easier and faster to duplicate an existing item. This copies the original item's description, model number, model name, rate type, etc. but doesn't copy its serial number or cost.

  • Click the Data icon in the main menu then Items.
  • Select the item you want to duplicate.
  • Click the Tools icon in the grid menu, Macros then Duplicate item.
  • Edit the duplicated item (you'll need to enter its item number, at least) then click the Save icon to save it.

However they're added, new items must be assigned or purchased before they appear in Item assignments or history. There are several ways to do this, but if you're in the Items screen, the quickest is the Add to cart macro.

  • Click the Tools icon in the grid menu, Macros then Add to cart.
  • Click the Cart icon in the main menu.
  • Click Cart task, an assignment task like 'assign to job' then an assignment (if you'd rather purchase the item, see items).
  • Click the Actions button in the lower right then Ship (if you see a Place order button in the lower right, your organization's Tracker manager hasn't given you the right to ship items).

New items must be shipped or received before their cost can be entered. Once again, there's more than one way to do this. The easiest is to return to the Items screen.

  • Click the Data icon in the main menu then Items.
  • If the system view isn't displayed, switch to it (see views).
  • In the upper Items grid, select the new item. The assignment you just added will appear in the Details sub-grid. Enter the item's cost in that record.

See items for more detail and additional options.

With the exception of a few frequently-used smart phone and tablet screens (like those pictured in the Find items and Order items panels of this help page), Tracker data are displayed in grids like those shown below.

Grid with subgrid

The current view is displayed above each grid on the right. If a complex search or sort are active, they're also displayed.

Grid view search sort

Searches and sorts don't need to be complex. Quick searches are described in search. To sort quickly, click on a column heading: the first click gives you an ascending sort, the second, a descending sort.

A view is a customizable selection of columns or fields. You can have several views of the same table, each with different columns.

If you have the required user rights, you can add and edit your own user views, sorts, searches and reports. You can also specify the default view, sort and search used the first time you open a screen.

The grid menu is in the upper right corner.

Grid menu

Data are usually broken into pages of 50 rows (you can change that number in user preferences). This improves system performance by retrieving just a page of data at a time. Page controls are in the lower left corner.

Grid page controls

  • If a grid contains more than one page, click one of the icons in the lower left to display the first, previous, next or last page.
  • The numbers (2/9 in this example) tell you which page you're on and how many pages there are.

You can temporarily modify most grids by manipulating column headings. Temporary modifications last only as long as the grid is open. For permanent changes, create or edit a view.

  • Change a column's width by dragging its heading's right border.
  • Change a column's sequence by dragging its heading to the left or right.
  • Remove a column from the grid by right clicking on any heading and unchecking the column you want to remove.

  • Grid header

Tracker 8 works on any device that runs a modern browser. No installation is required (unless you want to read barcodes with a smart phone).


TRAINING AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Tracker 8 fees (Tracker 8 Lite excepted) include technical support by email or, when we're available, phone (we're normally available during California business hours) and over-the-web training and simple data imports. Technical support does not include complex data imports or custom coding (for which we charge $50 per quarter-hour) or on-site training (for which we charge $150 per hour plus travel expenses).

Tracker 8 Lite fees do not include technical support or over-the-web training. We reserve the right to charge Tracker 8 Lite customers $50 per quarter-hour for either.


SUGGESTED DATA ENTRY SEQUENCE

If you're a Tracker 8 organization manager ...

  • Select your organization's Tasks, Secondary assignments, Billing preferences, Notifications, Organization preferences and Organization info in the Preferences screen.
  • Check out our suggested data entry sequence below then enter or import your data.
  • Take a brief look at the system-level views, sorts, searches and reports and add any organization-level customizations that seem important. Don't spend a lot of time with this. You'll have a better idea what you need after you've used the application.
  • Add your users, assign them to user groups then click the Tools icon in the grid menu, Macros then Email temporary password to send them sign in instructions and temporary passwords.

Then enter or import your data in this order:

  • descriptions, manufacturers and codes
  • rate schedules, rate types, maintenance schedules and maintenance types
  • items
  • order points, cross-references, lists and list items
  • sub-locations
  • jobs, storage sites, employees and vendors
  • holidays

TOOL TRACKING PROCEDURES

You need tool-tracking procedures that insure your data is captured consistently and reliably. This is true whether your system is computerized or not: white board, log book, and spreadsheet-based tool tracking systems will fail if updated inconsistently.

Many companies using the Trackere put a computer in the warehouse and let their warehousemen enter tool transfers. Some have their warehousemen fill out tool 'chits' that are entered by office personnel. With Tracker 8, field users can order and (if given the right) record shipments and purchases. Some companies use barcoding, some enter everything with a keyboard. Some have locked tool cages, others have warehouses with open doors. Some have long-time employees, others see new workers every day. Your situation will dictate the procedures you need.

Do you need to assign an employee to track tools? Normally, yes. That person will generally be motivated to keep the data current. Even long-time, trusted employees can forget to record a tool transfer. If you're trying to implement a tool-tracking sytem on top of an honor system (where people just take what they need), you'll need to make a special effort to get people to change their habits and record the data. If you're using a logbook or whiteboard, they can be shown pretty easily. But if you're using a computer, some training will be required. It can be done, just be prepared for some inconsistency, keep your eye on the system and re-train anyone who's getting it wrong. Can barcoding address this issue? Yes, but don't assume that your employees will pick a barcode reader up and know what to do with it.

Is tool-tracking a full-time job? In most companies, no.

What about job-to-job transfers? With Tracker 8, job-to-job transfers can be recorded by field personnel if they've been given the right to do so. Alternatively, many companies print inventory reports every week or month and tell their foremen to report discrepancies. Others have employees fill out job-to-job transfer forms. Others wait until jobs are finished then print a report of everything that hasn't been returned. A carrot or stick may help, e.g., you might charge jobs for 'missing' tools.