Preparing to raise a new curtain

Welcome or welcome back readers.

In the spring when we are so busy, I think back on January as a blissfully relaxed. The truth is that it could be. Sales are slow this time of year and road conditions often require more time spent at home.

But this is January and we are very busy preparing for a great new year. We are working on new products, collating materials and filling shelves as well and getting current orders out. Just this week the new virtue placemats have arrived and they are much more beautiful than they looked on paper. This is so exciting!

Most of our orders are still coming in by either phone or an old web site that requires us to retype each order. Our original system was designed primarily to allow us to take orders by phone, and type them into our master database. In many ways this was great. We got to know so many people and could make notes of special events or information they told us as we talked. The in-house database system was something I wrote in access so I could make changes as we grew. After taking each order, three pages are printed out, one for us to save as a payment copy (that is later shredded), one to go in the basket to move to shipping (which we keep forever(thank you IRS)) and one that goes in your order. The shipping computer can pick up order information from access so at least we aren’t typing in each address twice.

That was great, but the system has become old fashioned and time consuming. So this winter we are doing a massive effort to update at least two of our websites. Virtues 101 for parents and teachers is up and running. While you may not see this for weeks, I’m spending many hours a day on getting a new site ready for Interfaith Resources.

The new system is so much newer than the old that updating is more work than you might guess. It isn’t really updating so much as starting anew. New design, new pictures, new texts. So back to the grindstone to me.

Stay warm, -K

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