Thursday, April 9, 2009

SAS, the bane of your existence

I think SPS is the only business that requires two registers to complete a transaction thanks to SAS. From the mid nineties, SAS is a system that CPI is not willing to abandon. I know because I myself submitted it as an idea to save money as did one of my associates (only to be told that their IT people had better things to do with their time).

SAS is one of the hardest things to get a handle on for new associates and as a result it takes up a huge part of the training process. It is the least intuitive computer system that I've used and I've been computing since the 80's. Looking for customer information? Well you won't find it under the customer tab; it's under Sales. Looking for a transaction? this time it's under Customer. Plus they couldn't think of a way to make all your options visible at once (hint: smaller buttons), so you have to hunt around a bunch of different menus. In the end, it's all memorization as to where you need to go.

But once you've got it memorized, it still loves to screw up. "Oh look," you say "it accidentally added on a second collage when I used this coupon, let me go back and fix it" only to find that when you do that, it adds on a third collage. Try something else and you've got a fourth. You can't delete out any of these items. Your choice:

1) Make the customer wait while you wait in a 30 person queue to talk to tech support, also making your next appointment late
2) Modify the prices down to the correct total price and later be asked/accused about giving away 4 collages for free

Check out should be a quick painless process for the customer: click on the things they got, click on the coupons they used, and ring them out. Done. Or better yet, have the photo ordering software also seamlessly integrate with the register so that it automatically charges them. Just type in the session number and everything pops up.

Now that you don't have to pay me out of Watt's the Big Idea funds anymore, SPS, just do it for your employees and save yourself some training dollars.

It's been a while since I've been on SAS (thank goodness), so leave your experiences in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I love how when we modify something down (or even UP) they take the difference out of our studio profit... ugh.

Or how theyve recently moved some of the options and since im used to the old way, by the time i get to the 2nd screen and remember, i have to click "Cancel" to go back..... which in turn makes it look like i just gave a refund. Just Stupid!

Anonymous said...

I was talking to the wal-mart studio manager and he said that they were getting a new program that will transfer the order from express to sas so they don't have to enter anything at the register. And if u look in the picture me studios they don't have two registers! Just one. They make it so easy for them, with easy processes, low prices, low goals, and allowing balance dues! I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I can sort of understand how this legacy software has morphed into the cumbersome and confusing mess that it is. What I can't get is how bugs can exist for years and not be fixed. Our system crashes when you scan a credit card without first selecting the card type. Every other point-of-sale system I've seen can determine the card type from the scanned data. But to crash and require a SAS restart for such a common function seems simply unbelievable. How about the BOGO features? At least with the codes we've been using, the bogo code only halves the sheet price. It does nothing for other products, all of which have to be manually modified down by fifty percent. How can you roll out BOGO to much fanfare and not make the appropriate adjustments to SAS? CPI should certify not only sales and photography skills, but mathematical skill as well. If you're not good with math, you'll be hurting when SAS decides to ignore or miscalculate a discount, and that's not an uncommon thing.

Anonymous said...

SAS is the most complicated system I have ever worked with. I was able to master it, but it was so associates would never remember the process even though I posted a list with all the relevant codes in the register area. It was horrible!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if they started to certify us in math with all the formulas we have to do now!

Anonymous said...

Sas used to autopopulate when we had the freeze frame system. Talk about going backwards!

Anonymous said...

You people don't realize what is involved in changing out the software across the board. Sas is in fact a piece of shit. Portrait Suite will replace it in time, it is also a piece of crap. Right now they are workign on getting PS and sas to work together. All of this they have it easier than us crap is just whining. Picture Me is not the flagship, SPS is and always will be. When you call tech support about an issue realize that they hate the company just as much as you do.