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Did you know that Work Order Emails can attach either a Work Order or a Sales Order?


When using your Ideal software to send customers a notification regarding their work order, you can choose what documents you want to attach.

For instance, if your customer is expecting the total due for your service, attach a Sales Order. However, if instead they are merely waiting for a confirmation on when the item in service will be ready for pickup, then attach a Work Order.

Sales Order is the default choice, but you can change that by following these steps:

  1. Click the Orders icon to open the Orders screen.
  2. Use the Options menu at the top, and select Set Defaults.
  3. Click on the Work Order tab to select the Email Report.
  4. Select the Work Order report, if you do not want the email to disclose pricing to your customers.
  5. Remember to check the Save Defaults box to keep this configuration!


TIP: You may also need to revise the fields you wish to print on the selected report. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Applications -> Work Order -> Work Order Setup.
  2. Click on the Print Options tab.
  3. Click on the Sales Order tab. You may want to check Request Codes/Comments and Symptom Codes/Comments.
  4. Click on the Work Order tab. You may want to add more fields such as Labor Codes, Extras, and Parts.

NOTE: These changes are immediate and affect all work orders or sales orders, so be careful when making these adjustments.

Meet the Newest Members of Ideal’s Research and Development Team


Ideal is pleased to welcome Bob Murphy and Randy McKay to its Research and Development team. Both started working at Ideal this fall and are already making an impact on the development of the product.

Bob Murphy
Bob Murphy
Bob is no stranger to Ideal having worked here in the early 2000s when the company was first developing the Windows product. He then pursued software development opportunities in the healthcare and ground transportation industries. Bob has worked with and managed small to large teams developing stand-alone Windows applications, multi-tier web applications and some mainframe and mid-range applications. He’s excited to bring his experience back to Ideal.

“It’s great to have the opportunity again to work on a project so focused on the needs of a large user community,” said Bob. “It’s difficult to comprehend and appreciate the effort and the vision needed by the team to develop such a successful product, and I’m grateful to be a small part of it.”

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and English from Iowa State University. In his spare time, he enjoys distance running, film photography, working on his 100+ year old house, and is part of the community arts council and the historical preservation committee. He and his wife also spend a lot of time supporting their two sons who are both in high school and participate in a variety of activities.


Randy McKay
Randy McKay
Randy brings a wealth of experience to Ideal. He worked in development at Gensoft Systems Inc. for over 18 years, and also held positions at Iowa Compass and EBE technologies. He’s done extensive work with Delphi and SQL processing raw data and setting up interfaces. Randy holds an AAS in Applied Science of Electronic Engineering from Hamilton Technical College, an Associate’s degree in Computer Science from Scott Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Teikyo Marycrest University.

“I appreciate the fact that my current position challenges me with new development and learning opportunities,” said Randy. “My co-workers are great to work with.”

When Randy is at home, he trades in the computer for his guitar. He’s a music enthusiast who has played instruments since he was nine years old. Randy plays in a contemporary Christian band and he and his wife started a community band that includes 12 members including his son who plays guitar, and his daughter who plays the drums and ukulele. They play oldies, folk, 70’s, Christmas music and take a wide range of requests.

Did you know you can set the default order entry screen to begin as an estimate?


We had a question come up the other day about the ability to set the default order entry screen to an estimate. This is possible in Ideal. Here’s how:

  1. Use the Orders screen to begin this setup. Note that this setting will only apply to the active user/login.
  2. Use the Options menu and select Set Defaults.
  3. Change the first field labeled Order Type to use Estimate.
  4. Select a Counter Person and/or Sales Rep as appropriate.
  5. Check the box labeled Save Defaults (otherwise this is a temporary change for the current session).
  6. This user will now start any Order Entry or WO Entry screen as an Estimate.
  7. Repeat this step for every user who works primarily with Estimates.














Also note that Estimates have the option to include Symptoms, Requests, and Extras.
Go to the Applications menu, Work Order, Work Order Setup. Click on the tab labeled Print Options.
Click on the tab labeled Estimate and check the boxes for codes and comments as desired.


Meet the Newest Member of Ideal Support – Larry Clay


Larry ClayYou may have noticed a new voice when you’ve called into Ideal support in the last couple of months. That person is Larry Clay.

Larry joined the Ideal team in May as a Customer Support Representative and specializes in troubleshooting hardware issues. Prior to his tenure at Ideal, he worked at ACT in Iowa City for five years providing desk-side support, and has over 15 years of experience in customer service. He received his degree in Computer Support from Kirkwood Community College in 2010.

When asked what he likes best about his current position, Larry said, “I like the challenge of learning something new, and the people are the best.”

In his spare time, Larry enjoys spending time with his family, walking, basketball and drawing. He calls himself a jack of all trades. Currently he’s working on a home improvement project laying hardwood floors at his home.

Ideal’s Data Backup Options Serve as Added Insurance for Your Business


Picture this… a natural disaster happens in your town and your business is severely damaged. Some things are salvageable but your computers are destroyed. What happens to your business data?

If you call into Ideal Support, the first question they will ask is if you have a backup. All too often, customers think that Ideal backs up on its own, which isn’t the case. If you don’t have an offsite backup system in place and a fire or natural disaster happen at your business, your data is ruined.

Much like any insurance policy, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Ideal offers two effective options that will back up your data.

Option #1:
Full Image Backup of the server’s hard drives.

This option is a focused solution with all the features you need including a solid backup system, in-depth status reporting and fast restore times. The solution creates sector-level backups of Windows’ data volumes. These backups are point-in-time representations of the entire volume and therefore include all data such as operating system, applications, services, and configuration settings.

Ideal’s Full Image Backup includes:

- On-premise full image backup software

- Offsite image replication to enterprise grade, RAID-6 storage arrays

- Email reports describing the health and status of your backup

- Offsite point in time backups include 10 daily images, four weekly images, and two monthly images

You’ll get best-in-class, full image backup software from global leader StorageCraft Technology that allows you to protect your data and quickly restore it in the event of data loss:

- Individual file restores and full volume restores are both available

- Data can be restored most quickly and easily from the local backup

- In case of local backup failure or disaster situation, restore from the

offsite cloud image backup.

- Annual Subscription

Option #2:

Nightly file based backup of Ideal and 3rd party accounting programs.

When determining which solution is best for you, keep in mind that Option 1 is a total and complete backup of the server and all of its files. It backs it up to a local device (provided by Ideal) and to the cloud. Option 2 is essentially a file based backup of only ideal data and 3rd party accounting to the cloud.

If you’re interested in learning more how these backup solutions can benefit your business, please contact your account manager.

Did You Know You Can Add Custom Fields to Customers, Suppliers, and Products in Ideal?


Recently a dealer asked how they could track which customers have opted to receive Text notifications. One way is to add a Custom Field to your Customers list with a Yes/No type of response.

Click on the Customers icon to open your customer list.








From the menu, go to Options -> Custom Fields. A popup window will appear.
In the Field1 Name type Wants Texts?:

1. Check the box to Use List
2. In the popup window, type Yes
3. Click Add
4. Now type No
5. Click Add










Click Close to close the dialog window. Close the Customers list, and reopen your Customers list.

Next, scroll to the far right end of the available columns. You will find a column labeled ‘Wants Texts?’

To populate this column, click the Properties button or use F7 to edit a Customer record. Custom fields appear on the 2nd tab (Additional).











Inform your employees to always set this response, when a customer provides their cell phone number and the box is checked to Allow Texts (which appears on the first tab).

TIP: Consider incorporating a rule that a blank response would indicate the customer has not been asked. A response of No indicates they were asked and declined.

Now that you have data, remember that you can arrange the Customers list to show the Cell Phone and Wants Texts columns by dragging the headings (click on the column heading and hold down the mouse button while you move to a new column location) until they display near the Name column. You can also resize the columns.









To save the position and width, use the menu to go to File -> User Settings.

Check the box for Remember Grid Column WidthsSuppliers and Products screens also have the Custom Fields feature.

If you do not choose to check the box to Use List, then the fields can store any type of comment, phrase, or value. The option for Use List is handy if you want to limit the acceptable values.

Once custom fields are defined, many reports can be set up to use them.


Attention Mobile Users: Important Information About Updating Your App


We strongly advise you to hold off on updating your Android and iOS devices to Android 7 – Nougat and iOS 10 respectively. Both Android 7 and iOS 10 are currently available as a Beta version and are not supported by the Ideal Mobile App.

We plan to update the Ideal Mobile App to support the new Android and iOS platforms soon and we will send out a communication an announcement when the release is available.

Please pass this information along to all of your Ideal Mobile App users, to ensure that they are informed of this important message.

New Rotary Cross Reference Available!


Windows 10
The Ideal Price List Department would like to let you know that there is a new Rotary Cross Reference available. This file includes all of the latest cross references.

If you’d like to receive this new cross reference, please email or contact Rita at 319-261-1224 or Sheila at 319-261-1223.

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Ideal Training Seminar


Sign up for the Ideal Training SeminarIf you haven’t signed up yet for the 2016 Ideal Fall Training Seminar, here’s 5 reasons why you should consider attending:

#1 – You will learn something new about Ideal

Whether you’re a new customer, a new employee, or a long-time veteran, you will come away from this seminar with new knowledge on the system. Every year attendees are amazed at what they learned about the system and are excited to bring their new found knowledge back to the dealership.

“I’ve attended several seminars already and I plan on attending every year from here on out. It is important to attend because there is so much to the software that you either forget, or you may not even know about. I’ve adapted to using the software at pretty good rate, but I know that we are not using it to its full potential. I do know now, however, that we are on the right track.”
Jerod Ames – The Family Center Farm & Home (multi-location)

#2 – You’ll gain best practice knowledge from dealership experts
We’ve been fortunate the last several years to have Dealership Expert Bob Clements present at the Ideal Seminar. Bob brings a wealth of dealership experience into his discussions and attendees rave about how valuable his presentations are. Bob’s best practices combined with Ideal Lead Trainer Dave Baumgarten’s product knowledge provides you with over 50 years of real-world dealership experience and expert advice.

“Bob Clements presented with lots of energy and got everyone involved. Setting up some of his processes with be the most important starting out and it will trickle down from there.” 
Roger Vogler – MAG Small Engine in Boise, ID

“Dave is just awesome! The amount of knowledge he has and the way he presents it is first class.”
Jeff Shoemaker – Schultz Power Equipment in Beloit, WI 

#3 – You’ll have an exclusive preview as to what’s on the horizon for Ideal product development
Our product development team will be on-hand to discuss the Ideal roadmap and where the product is headed. Their presentation allows you to see what plans are on the horizon, before any other customers, and provide feedback directly to the development team.

I just love meeting the employees and knowing the future plans and direction of the company. It gives us positive feelings that we have made the right choice in Ideal.”
Tanya Kistner – Eau Claire Lawn & Garden in Eau Claire, WI

#4 – You will have the opportunity to meet most of the Ideal employees face-to-face
One of the things attendees like most about attending the seminar is the fact that they get to match Ideal employee’s voices to their faces. Since the seminar takes place at our home base of Cedar Rapids, IA, we make it a point to have everyone who is in town attend the seminar in some fashion, whether it’s to be on hand answering questions, or to chat with you at lunch.

“Every Ideal user should attend this seminar. I learned a lot and I loved it. It was great to interact with other Ideal customers, see Bob Clements, stay at The Hotel at Kirkwood, and meet the Ideal team members.”
Larry DeLong – Triple D Equipment, Inc. in DeLand, FL

#5 – You will discover new tips and tricks from other dealers who use the system
Attendees also enjoy the fact they can network with Ideal users from all over North America and exchange best practices. We provide several opportunities for you to interact with other attendees.

“The best thing is that the seminar gives me an opportunity to know that we’re not alone as business owners who use Ideal on a daily basis. When we get to know other dealers on a personal and business level, it allows us to interact and maybe change some ways of doing business that we’ve never thought of doing before.” 
Lori Sobetski – Sobetski Enterprises in Beausejour, MB

Seats are available, but filling up fast!

Click here to register before August 19th and take advantage of our early bird pricing >

We look forward to seeing you there!

Erin Scott-Burnham
Marketing Coordinator


Important Information About the Midwest Engine Warehouse and Power Distributors Transition


If you purchase from Midwest Engines, you are aware that their systems will be unavailable from July 1 – July 4, 2016. This affects systems including CODIS, Persona, and Interfaces will not work.

Midwest Engine Warehouse account numbers need to be updated to a new Power Distributors account number. They’ve sent letters out with your new Account Number (beginning with PD).

Between July 1 and July 5, 2016 you should update the Ideal program with your new account. Click on the Suppliers button, select the MEW/Power Distributors record. Click on the Properties button, then click on the Additional tab. Type in the new PD account number in the Account # field.

Windows 10












If you have questions, contact your Midwest Engine Warehouse Territory Manager or call 800-683-8484.

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