As in previous years, our PCG user meeting will take place at the beginning of the year. We expect even more registrations, because you can go online from your home or office to the topic of your choice. A certain number of users will be able to join us in the meeting centre (if all goes well).
As usual, you may register with Andrea! The topics and fees for the meeting, which will take place from 03-05 February 2021, will be published soon. According to tradition, on Wednesday evening there will be a preview of the software development in the future and we’ll introduce the planned activities.
Please make use of this future oriented way of exchange and training. This time there won’t be limits because hotel capacities. That’s one positive aspect of this special year 2020!
I was born in Neuwied am Rhein in Rhineland-Palatinate, where I also completed an artisan’s apprenticeship. However, I moved to Hessen after internships in Reutlingen during my textile technology studies, as well as to Bavaria and Thuringia. There I started a family with my husband and after my family time I arrived in Ökokiste Boßhammersch Hof.
Having taken a year’s break, I have been working there since 2010. In the beginning, I was part of packaging and the farm’s shop, then customer service and purchasing.
Since 2015, I have been working in the marketing department, where I provide my knowledge as a PC Garden user mainly in the management of articles and mailings as well as in the support of serial mail via the Neos template.
In the shop, a help feature is now available – first of all there are six categories that show the most important differences from our application to “ordinary” shops. The texts are customizable, can be displayed automatically only for new visitors or can be integrated into the design by the web designer.
Searches now also show customers about their own discounts and give information about filter options, if for example “vegan” is entered in the search field.
After a while it has been possible to block some tours for new customers. From now on, however, you can also enter capacity limits directly, so that you no longer have to constantly check it.
Minimum order amounts can also be set separately for individual tours and set delivery costs according to the delivery address.
With the cooperation of the website designer, labels can be defined more easily, for example to tag special products (“Delivered in a cooler” or “in a returnable jar”). As the available space is usually limited, this has to be done individually according to the layout.
The seasonal indicator, which indicates that the product may no longer be available in the future, especially for subscriptions, is a new and standard feature. If desired, it can also indicate price changes of products in the shopping cart.
A note will automatically appear in the shopping cart if the item has an earlier order deadline that differs from that of the order.
Important changes have also been made to the display of EU origin indications. In the administration area you will find an overview of the articles concerned, and you can now search for terms directly in the EU database.
In the administration area, on the geographical section, there are new presentations of the tours, including a review of past tours. This makes it easier to plan, for example, adjustments. For this purpose, the data are now also kept longer.
In this context, functions for a more efficient control of tours have been added, which seem useful even beyond the current crisis. For example, new potential customers might end up on a built-in waiting list (based on the newsletter registration, which has also been revised for this purpose).
Also, it is possible to declare specific tours as “full” – if a newsletter subscription is set up, the visitor will then be added to the waiting list. But also when planning the expansion into a new area, such a tour – initially blocked from the beginning – can help!
The order deadlines can be set separately per tour.
Inactive customers can be blocked in the shop, this was a request to limit the customer traffic.
In order to minimize payment defaults in these times of pandemic, Paypal can be mandatory for new customers.
A major conversion was necessary to allow the selection of delivery points in the shop. This logic, which was already present in the PCG, is now also available in the shop, e.g. in the display of (delivery) addresses.
Initially, the selection of an actual delivery point is only intended for new customers, but more flexibility for existing customers is in progress. The selection is made conveniently by clicking on a map.
The delivery conditions (e.g. prices or minimum order value) of the delivery points can also differ from the tour.
We’ll mention here some minor changes and corrections:
The article attributes sometimes require longer training and updating times. Therefore this feature (for the shops>2016) can be hidden centrally from visitors’ eyes.
When a customer is doing a second order for the same day, there is a text asking if he really needs a new order or just modify the first one.
The concept of “hidden tour” and “blocked order” have been reviewed.
When alcohol is sold, a note regarding the protection of minors will be added to the order.
Tours’ settings have their own place in the Admin area of the shop.
Minor changes are constantly implemented and all those who use the Shop 2016 as standard or in an individually designed form can check the Trello board at any time to see the status of the DInge (info offered in German). Do you still need an invitation?
“I was a paleontologist originally but I mutated through my passion for cooking, photography, design, writing and ecological gardening. First the Boßhammersch Hof was my new home, where I was able to participate in the implementation of the then new online shop and later in the design of the current website. In addition, I developed cooking boxes, took fruit and vegetables in front of the lens and took a look at the area of social media.
Since November 2018, I have been working for 360ff UG, where I share my accumulated know-how in the areas of social media content, online shop design, marketing and recipe boxes.
The genuine values of the organic business and above all really valuable organic products are a matter close to my heart. Therefore, I am looking forward to work with our team to develop the “Best” of the organic industry with our respective interests and focuses”.
On 15 March when we became aware of the problem, we were supposed to be able to handle 3 or 4 times the peak load, so we took a reasonably relaxed view of Sunday.
But this was a mistake. Requests to your stores exploded up to 20 times!
That weekend we were able to successfully process many transactions.
Fortunately, the “internet” has slowed down access to our servers a bit due to a general overload.
However, more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more transactions (i.e. actions that you and we benefit from). On average, doubling the number of transactions increases system load by about 3.5 times.
As machinists in the engine room, we rebooted servers 24h/24, renewed and reinforced them, and we were surprised by the bottlenecks that were constantly appearing (line too small, exhausted RAM memory, full hard disks, too many connections to this or that service, mail server blockages due to heavy traffic, exhausted budget at this or that service provider…), interesting errors that only occur under heavy load.
In the following days, we wanted to make the whole system “flexible”, i.e. to be able to switch on sufficient safe resources (computing power, memory, network capacity) as required. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved simply by “more computers”, incoming requests must be coordinated, sessions must be managed and shared caches (intermediate storage) must be efficient and fast. Your management systems (PCG) must also have fast access to data.
This purpose has now been achieved. Although we (and our colleagues in the data processing centre) were able to monitor the load just after the weekend, we made a few mistakes here and there due to the large number of connections, resulting in sporadic order cancellations, PCG bugs or missing images. Thank you for your patience! Currently, the system has been running very stably for a few weeks now, regardless of the total load. We have seen almost 2000 transactions per hour with very fast shops.
We are now in the process of organizing the new ideas that have emerged during this intensive period – not only ideas from the machine room, but especially requests from your users for better management of new customers and tours. The first functionalities, such as tour-specific waiting lists, are in progress and were put online after Easter.
I am pleased to introduce myself as a new member of the PC Garden team. My name is Florian, I am 28 years old and I work as a programmer in close collaboration with Erhard and Simon.
I had my first experiences with computers very early on and I am still fascinated by technology. My first programming experience was at school, and I earned my first salary as a programmer at Krones AG in Freising as a VBA developer.
I’ve known PCG and the Schönegge family for many years, and the development of this project in Meilendorf is remarkable to me. Cordial greetings from Bavaria!
Already twenty companies use the Neos system with an integrated template of Shop2016 as their website. They appreciate above all the quick usability, the CMS components adapted to a delivery company, and the simple and easy autonomous maintenance of the contents.
Now it is possible to add and activate parallel website instances very quickly and easily, which are customized to the individual needs of a prospective customer/customer group. This could be used for:
Corporate clients, schools, kindergardens
Farm shop, farm areas
Offers of cooking seminars
and in general, for everything that goes beyond the offer of a delivery company.
The Boßhammersch Hof, for example, has been offering an alternative website for office boxes since January. On www.bosshammersch-buero.de corporate customers will find an adapted menu, just the contents relevant for companies. Customers can thus concentrate on the articles and information they need and feel that their individual needs are taken care of, for example with a fixed, personal contact person in customer service.
The new instance can be implemented quickly, as it is created parallel to the existing website and maintained easily in the same Neos. The already existing media pool can be used. Contents can be copied and pasted within the websites. The possibility to change the logo, the menu and the page layout offers room for customization of the website. At the same time, by adopting the main design concept and already known functions of the content elements, the customer is provided with a familiar reference to the main site.
A PCG article can be set up as a voucher. With this function, the article remains hidden in the shop and will not be searchable, but it will be displayed if it is, for example, in an order.
Or, in the case of the coupon: it becomes visible as soon as the customer enters its code (secret or not so secret). If coupons are available in the article data, the shop will display a corresponding field in the shopping cart.
A voucher will have a value, which is registered in the Merchandise Management module of the PCG, and also other useful properties of the articles, for example a description or a specific order deadline.
Examples of vouchers :
Welcome offer: 5€ discount on your first order!
For companies: a weekly voucher to reward your best team
Thank you voucher: 10€ for being our customer for one year!
Marketing offer: 5 € discount when you come to pick up your box from us!
Delayed voucher: Use this 5 € voucher if you order up to 12 hours!
Or: This voucher will be cancelled if it is not used before Friday.
A voucher can only be used once per customer.
To advertise certain items, you can combine them with vouchers:
Encouraging subscriptions : Special summer pack: 5 € voucher for each Veg/Fruit box ordered in August!
Cross promotion : your code for a smoothie pack : fitness - < here the name of the fitness center>
One feature of the Customer Manager module should be highlighted: the possibility to import the CSV file from an accounting software into PCG.
To do so, a dialog is started in the Customer Manager module under “Import Transfers”, which defines the structure of the file in terms of headers, separators and masks. The CSV file can then be checked, linked semi-automatically and assigned to the corresponding customer and invoice numbers. Several filters such as “already paid” can also be applied, allowing a quick overview to be obtained.
The steps can be found in the text “Import bank transfers” in the internal Wiki („Überweisungen importieren“ in German).