What was the Designer Thinking?
Just like when you change oil on a car where you have to remove the front tire to get at the oil filter, sometimes in software, you wonder, “What was, [whoever designed this], thinking”. Well, as a designer, I’d like to share some of our thoughts on various design features of Levridge Commodity accounting.
We recently added a feature to Levridge to help calculate, invoice and bill freight. So, what were we thinking as we designed the feature? First of all, we always want ease of use and a great user experience. But what good is a great user experience if the feature doesn’t do what you need it to do. So, capability is also a very important concern. The primary reason for the Freight functionality is to make it easy to pay our freight carrier(s) the correct amount, and pay them once, that is, make sure we don’t double pay them. In our Levridge freight system, we needed to handle both rail and truck freight billing. Bill by the trip or bill by the bushel. Also, we wanted to specify which weights to use when calculating the per bushel charge, origin weights or destination weights. We wanted to be able to both, pay the freight carrier and automatically pass those freight charges on to the customer if the contract so dictates. And, we want to do all of this, automatically, with no daily user interaction. To accomplish the ease-of-use goal, we have setup and configurations where you can setup the freight carriers. Carrier services are used to differentiate different rate structures for the same carrier for different products. We even added a freight rate grid that is used to calculate the rate per bushel (i.e. unit of measure) or amount for the trip. With this setup, all the user does is enter (or more likely, import) scale tickets (Inbound, Outbound or transfer) and the Levridge system will calculate the amount of freight owed the carrier automatically. Then, when it’s time to pay the carrier, we built a screen that recalls all the unpaid freight bills, check off the bills you want to pay, and add or adjust bills as necessary. When complete, the Levridge system can create a check on the fly or send an Accounts Payable invoice over to D365 for payment later. And of course, you have the option to print a detail listing of the freight bills you are paying.