Issue labels update

What it does

The main purpose of the 'Issue labels' update is to produce the labels you'll use to mail issues to subscribers. This update also produces labels for premiums, bills if you send bills with the first issue of a new order, and renewal notices and renewal labels if you use "by issues" renewal series. You also have the option of renewing subscriptions automatically and either sending the subscriber a bill for the renewal, or automatically charging the renewal to the credit card number stored for the subscription. If you want to send renewal notices more frequently than you send issues, you must use the "by days" renewal series and the 'Renewal notices' update. For example, if your publication is a quarterly and you want to send renewal notices with 30 days between each notice, then you must use the "by days" renewal series.

Running the 'Issue labels' update may also

The "Current" pointer, which is set in the issue table in 'Definitions', governs what happens when you run the 'Issue labels' update. (You set this pointer for each publication.) The "Current" pointer lets QuickFill know the most recent issue available for mailing to subscribers. QuickFill produces labels for all issues up to and including the current issue.

You also set the "New orders" pointer in 'Definitions'. QuickFill uses this pointer to determine the first issue for new orders. QuickFill automatically enters the "New orders" issue in the 'Starting issue' field when you enter a new order. If you want to start with back or future issues, you can override this default during order entry.

QuickFill places this starting issue for new orders in the 'Next issue' field of the order record. When you run the 'Issue labels' update, QuickFill supplies labels based on the value in this 'Next issue' field. All orders get labels for all issues, beginning with the issue in the 'Next issue' field and ending with the current issue.

Example: Say you last ran the 'Issue labels' update with both the "Current" and the "New orders" pointers set to the January 2016 issue. Now you change the "Current" pointer to the February 2016 issue. The next time you run the 'Issue labels' update, QuickFill will produce labels for every subscriber who is slated to receive the February 2016 issue. If you run this update again—but don't change the "Current" pointer—QuickFill won't produce any labels. The reason: All customers have been served the February 2016 issue.

Now, say you enter a batch of new orders and run the 'Issue labels' update. Since the "New orders" pointer is still set to January 2016, QuickFill produces labels for these new orders for both the January 2016 and the February 2016 issues.

When to run it

You can choose one of two main strategies for deciding when to run this update. If you prefer to mail all the copies for a particular issue at one time—and you're not concerned with making smaller mailings to new subscribers between issues—run the update once for each issue.

For example, say you want to serve the January 2016 issue on January 1. You do this by setting the "Current" issue pointer to January 2016 and running the 'Issue labels' update on January 1. Now, you set the "New orders" pointer to the February 2016 issue. All new orders you enter during January will be started with the February 2016 issue and will receive their first issue when you run the 'Issue labels' update for February.

If you'd rather serve the first issue for new orders immediately and not wait for the next regular issue to come out, you can run the 'Issue labels' update as frequently as you want.

Here's the advantage of having separate pointers for the current issue and for new orders: Suppose you have a monthly publication but like to mail the first issue to new subscribers on a daily basis. You'll probably run the update that produces most of the labels for the next issue (March, say) before you actually have the issue in hand. (You need some time to get the labels to the mail house.) Now, you want to send the issue you have on hand (that is, February) to new subscribers, but your "Current" pointer is set to March. If there were only one issue pointer, you couldn't send the February issue. However, with two issue pointers you simply leave the "New order" pointer set to February and the "Current" pointer set to March. New subscribers will receive both issues.

How to run it

Follow these steps when you run the 'Issue labels' update.

Step 1— Make a backup.

If the 'Issue labels' update fails to run to completion, you cannot restart it. You must restore your database and start the update again. So it's extremely important that you make a backup before running the update.

Step 2— Check the issue table

Check the issue table for each publication you are going to serve. The "Current" pointer should be set to the issue that you are going to serve.

If you are printing expiration dates on the labels, check to see that you've defined enough issues in the issue table to cover your longest subscription. (You can tell by running the 'Expire inventory' report. Subscriptions that expire with an issue that has not yet been defined will be reported as expiring with an "unknown issue" number.) QuickFill will print a row of "X's" instead of the expiration issue date for customers whose subscriptions expire with an issue that has not yet been defined. In addition, you'll see error messages in the 'Issue labels' update report.

Step 3— Check your definitions

If you're using label split tables, check to make sure that the correct table is linked to your publication (on the 'Issue labels' tab of the publication definition) and that it has been defined correctly. Click here for more information on label split tables.

If you're sending new subscribers bills with their first issue, you should also verify that you've set up the billing series and messages just the way you want them. The most important items to check are that the days between efforts are correct and that the messages are the ones you want to use.

If you're sending subscribers renewal notices with their issue, you should also verify that you've set up the renewal series and messages just the way you want them. The most important items to check are the prices and the timing for each effort and that the messages are the ones you want to use.

QuickFill won't produce bills with the 'Issue labels' update unless you choose to send a bill with the first issue. You make this choice on the publication definition screen, but you can override it when you define an offer or a billing series.

In order for QuickFill to produce renewals with the 'Issue labels' update, you must be using at least one "by issues" renewal series. Click here for more details on "by issues" renewal series.

Step 4— Check that your disk is not full

Make sure that you have enough disk space available to produce all the labels, bills, renewal notices, and renewal labels. Select 'About QuickFill' under 'Other' to see how much space you have available on your disk. You'll probably need about 0.3k for each label and renewal label and 2k for each bill and renewal notice. If you run out of disk space in the middle of the update run, QuickFill aborts the run, and you'll have to restore your database from your backup. Then you can free up some disk space and rerun the update. However, we strongly recommend that you make sure you have enough disk space before you begin.

Step 5—Specify which publications are to be processed

Select 'Issue labels' under 'Updates' on the main menu and check the following fields.

Company name

QuickFill uses the name you enter in this field on the "header" label that identifies the labels for your mail house and on the label update report. If you are producing bills with the first issues of new orders and/or renewal notices for "by issues" renewal series, this name is also used on the "header" bill and/or renewal notice and the update reports. This name will not be printed on the bills and/or renewal notices themselves. QuickFill prints on the bills and/or renewal notices the name of the company you entered on the publication definition screen (click here for details ).

Phone number

QuickFill uses the phone number you enter in this field on the header sheet that identifies the labels, bills, and renewal notices for your mail house and on the 'Issue labels' update report. This number will not be printed on the bills and renewal notices themselves. QuickFill prints on the bill and renewal notice the phone number of the company you entered on the publication definition screen.

Date the bills and renewals ____ days after the current date

QuickFill calculates the date to be printed on the bills and renewal notices created by the 'Issue labels' update based on the entry in this field. For example, if you are going to run the update on July 15, but would like July 17 to be printed on your bills and renewal notices, enter "2" in this field. You can also specify past dates by entering negative numbers. For example, if you are going to run the update on July 15, but would like July 12 to be printed on your bills and renewal notices, enter "-3" in this field.

If you leave this field blank, QuickFill automatically prints the system date on your bills and renewal notices. This field is used for no other purpose. That is, this field has no effect on the date that QuickFill uses to calculate when it should generate a bill or renewal notice for an order. Nor does it affect the date that appears in the customer's order record. QuickFill always uses the system date for these purposes.

Advance the current issue pointer after the update is completed

Advance the new order issue pointer after the update is completed

Check these boxes and QuickFill will automatically change the "Current" and/or "New orders" issue pointers to the next issue after the update is complete. This feature should be used with caution. Here's why: if you inadvertently run the issue label update twice and advance the "Current" issue pointer after each update you will end up serving two consecutive issues and earning the income from both. This could be disastrous if you do not discover your mistake until a few days later after much work has been done. There is no way to "undo" the serving of an issue, short of restoring the database.

On there other hand, here are two good reasons for using this feature:

  1. You want to schedule a "clean up" issue label update (to separate out labels for back issues) and the main run back to back. You should choose to advance the "Current" issue pointer on the first run, but not on the second run. The first update will produce issue labels for any new subscribers and late renewers that have not received the current issue. After the first run is complete the "Current" issue pointer will be advanced so that the second issue label update will produce a complete set of labels for all active subscribers.

  2. You want to schedule an issue label update followed by an export of the database to the QFIE server. Choose to advance the "New orders" issue pointer after the issue label update is complete. This is necessary so that the QFIE server will be aware that the issue label update has been run and that new subscriptions should start with the next issue.

Override the current issue validation

QuickFill tries to protect you from serving an issue with a date that is too far in the future. For example, publishers commonly run the issue labels update for the February issue in January so that they can get the labels to the mail shop in time, but it is unusual to run the March issue in January. In some situations you may find that you actually need to run the issue labels for an issue unusually early. By checking this box you can bypass QuickFill's built-in issue date check and run issues with dates that are far into the future.

Publications to be processed

Choose the publications for which you want to run the issue labels update by double clicking on the publication name or clicking in the checkbox for the publication(s) you want to include. An "x" will appear in the box in front of the publication name. Click on "Select All" to select all publications. The current issue, the issue that the label update will create labels for, is listed to the right of each publication. (Click here for information on setting the current issue pointer.)

When you're done, click the OK button and a message box will appear with the following options:

Run it now exclusively, only lookup allowed
Run it now shared, all transactions allowed, much slower
Run it with tonight's jobs
Save to an existing job list
Create a new job list

Click here for details on options for running updates

Step 6—Run the update

Before the update begins to run, you'll see a warning message. This message lets you know that you must restore your database from a backup if the update fails to run to completion. It then asks if you have an up-to-date backup of your database. Choose "No," and QuickFill returns you to the 'Updates' menu. Choose "Yes," and the update will begin to run. Clearly, we want to emphasize that it's extremely important to make backups of your database regularly. Please take the time to make them.

You can follow the update's progress with the box that pops up on the screen while the update is running. QuickFill executes the 'Issue labels' update in three steps:

  1. It examines all the subscriptions to the publication(s) you selected to see which orders need labels, bills, or renewals.

  2. It sorts the orders into the proper sequence (we tell you what that sequence is below).

  3. It creates files from which you print the actual labels, bills, renewals, and reports.

Once the update is through running, you can select 'Print…' under 'Reports' on the main menu to print (or view on the screen) the labels, bills, renewal notices, renewal labels, and reports. If you're using a mail-merge bill or renewal format, you must use your word processor's mail-merge facility to print the bills and/or renewal notices (click here for information on mail-merge bills and mail-merge renewals ).

You should print the bills and renewals on the form sets you specified when you defined your billing and renewal packages. (QuickFill groups together all bills requiring a specific form set. The same is done for renewal notices.)

What it produces

The 'Issue labels' update can produce the following:

Issue labels

QuickFill produces the labels in up to 11 different files. Labels for premiums that are to be shipped separately from the issues are placed in a premium-only file. The issue labels themselves are placed in a single "standard" file and up to 99 "split" files. You specify which labels go in the split files on the issue label split table. (Click here for details on label split tables.)

Within each of these files QuickFill sorts the labels into groups according to these criteria:

  1. Publication. If you run the 'Issue labels' update for more than one publication at a time, the labels for each publication are grouped together.

  2. Billing form and package. If you're sending a bill with the first issue, then the labels that need to have a bill enclosed are grouped together.

  3. Renewal form and package. If you're sending renewal notices and renewal labels with issues (that is, you're using a "by issues" renewal series and have selected the 'Withiss' field), then the labels that need to have a renewal enclosed are grouped together.

  4. Issue date. All of the labels for a given issue are grouped together. Even when you are running the main issue label update for a new issue you may get a handful of labels for back issues. These are for subscribers that renewed late or paid late or that specifically requested that their subscription start with a back issue. You control the production of back issue labels by setting the backstart policies on the publication definition screen and by setting the "Current" and "New order" issue pointers.

  5. Premium. Issues that are to be mailed with a premium are grouped together by the premium code.

  6. Split code. If you have split your labels out into special groups by using the issue label split table, then the labels for each split group are placed together. You might use split groups to place wrappers on the final few issues of expiring subscriptions, or to enclose acknowledgments with the first issue of new subscriptions, or for complimentary and gift orders or for specialized regional editions.

  7. Service code. If you have subscriptions with different service codes (such as for CDs that accompany the issue, or for different levels of service such as fax or courier delivery), then the labels for each service code are placed together. If you do NOT want the labels to be sorted by service code, then you can specify so on a label split table. (Click here for information on label split tables.)

  8. Shipping class. All labels that are to be shipped by a given shipping method are grouped together.

  9. Number of copies. If you elected to print a single label for multi-copy subscriptions, then the labels are grouped together according to the number of copies to be mailed.

Within each group the labels are sorted into country code and Zip+4 order. If you need to sort your labels using the periodical class or standard class presort methods then this can be accomplished in conjunction with postal presort software from third-party vendors. Contact Technical Support at CWC Software for more information regarding postal presort packages that are compatible with QuickFill.

Renewal notices and labels produced by the 'Issue labels' update are separated into those that are to be sent with issue and those that are to be sent separately. Renewals to be sent with issue are sorted to match the appropriate issue labels while renewals to be sent separately are sorted the same way as those produced for "by days" renewal series. (Click here for more information on the sort order for renewals produced for "by days" renewal series.)

To create a postal presort data file instead of QuickFill labels, specify the smallest label group size that you wish to presort on the publication definition screen. Then, if any of the label groups is larger than the specified minimum, QuickFill will produce a postal presort file instead of a QuickFill printable label file. Postal presort files are placed in the mail-merge directory. For the exact location of your report files, go to the "About QuickFill" screen.

All of the criteria for these label groups can occur in any combination, so each group of labels is preceded by a header label that identifies the publication, premium, split code, run date (date the update was run), and so forth. At the end of the group QuickFill places a trailer label that shows the number of labels in the group. If you print the labels in the Cheshire format, each group is preceded by a blank page. In the pressure-sensitive label format each group starts on a new row of labels.

You can print the labels by selecting 'Print…' under 'Reports' on the main menu. When you print, you can specify whether you want to use pressure-sensitive or Cheshire labels. You can also click on "Label Groups" to use the 'QuickFill Label Splitter' to create comma-delimited or dBASE files for any of your label groups.

The premium-only labels are placed into a separate file so that you can, if you wish, print those labels on pressure-sensitive stock separately from the main bulk of the issue labels.

If you need to print any other group of labels separately, then you should use the issue label split table to place that group of labels into a separate file.

Update report

QuickFill produces an update report for each publication for which the update is run. The update report will have the following sections:

  1. Error messages. QuickFill produces this first section only if there are, in fact, errors to report. Click here for a list of the possible error messages.

  2. Shipping report. This section reports the number of labels for each shipping class. The types of labels are broken out into "issue only", "premium with issue" and "premium only".

  3. Status breakdown of the current issue only. This section shows the number of labels produced for each order status (active, active but cancel at expiration, or graced), broken down into complimentary, free, paid and unpaid. A complimentary subscription is a free subscription with an indefinite term—it continues until the publisher cancels it. A free subscription expires on a definite date. A paid subscription is a regular subscription that has been paid for. An unpaid subscription was requested but has not yet been paid for.

  4. Service code breakdown (for all issues, including back issues). This section shows the number of labels produced for each type of service.

  5. Label counts broken down by U.S., Canadian and foreign; by state; by Canadian province; by foreign country; and by U.S. sectional center. You choose which of these counts you want on the report by selecting 'Preferences' on the 'Definitions' menu (click here for details ).

  6. Summary of label groups. QuickFill prints at the end of the 'Issue labels' update report a summary of all the label groups.

If you mail your publication at periodical class postage rates and need to produce periodical class zone and county and intra-SCF reports, use the 'QuickFill label splitter' on the issue label files produced by the 'Issue labels' update.

Label update batch report

This is a batch report for all accounting transactions generated by the 'Issue labels' update. It will contain entries for:

  1. amount due written off;

  2. orders canceled at expiration;

  3. rolling forward of credit balances or issues served to a future order;

  4. single summary transaction for all issues served for the publication. This entry recognizes the income earned by serving the issue. Typically, it consists of a debit to deferred income and a credit to earned income;

  5. auto-renewal information.

Click here for information about renewal related output.


See Also