Consistent User Experience

A streamlined user experience means that the system is easy to learn and easy to use. Once part of the system is mastered, the rest comes easy.

Streamlined features:

  • Moving from screen to screen in the system.
  • Hot keys work and grids sort as.
  • Hyperlinks take you where you want to go.
  • Incremental searches and looks are easy to use.

Entry Form Navigation

Most entry forms are multiple page forms while some of the setup entry forms are single page forms. A single page entry form has a subset of the functional of multiple page entry form – as described below. 

Hyperlinks and “Jump To”

Hyperlinks and “Jump To” buttons exist throughout the system. You can click on a hyperlink or “jump to” button for a referenced item and it will take you directly to that entry screen for the reference item or transaction. This makes looking up items and navigating quick and easy.

Form Caption

Each form caption (the top of the form used to drag the form around) will show what record you are working on and if the current record is being added or edited.

List Grid

Every entry form has a list grid and a “Look For” field. These work in conjunction with one another.

The list grid is sorted with the sorted column having an up or down arrow next to the column header. This is circled in red below. 

This means the data is sorted by that column in ascending order (up arrow) or descending order (down arrow). Clicking on the column header will change the sorted column (the one with the arrow) or the direction of the arrow if that is already the sorted column.
In the above image you see that most of the column headers are bold – these are the columns that can be sorted and once sorted will interact with the “Look For”.
If you double-click on a row on the List Grid you will be taken to the “Details” page – on a multiple-page form.

“Look For…”

The “Look For” allows you to enter a partial number, name or date to quickly locate or “look for” or search for a specific record. As you type into the “look for” field the selected record in the search list will advance to the record best matching the characters typed.
Important Note: if you have sorted the grid by a date field you must type the “look for” in as year, then month, and then day. For example, 20101123 should be entered to search for Nov. 23, 2010. However, the date in the column is typically displayed as MM/DD/YYYY.

List Filters

Most of the entry forms have some filter options to limit the records that are accessible in the list grid. This varies from one entry form to another but the following concepts apply. 

Refresh List Button

RIMS is multi-user so other users will be entering data at the same time you are. Therefore the list of records you are looking at may not be entirely current. Simply click the button and the entire list will be displayed with current data keeping any “List Filter” you applied to the data. 

Recent and All Records Buttons

Some of the entry forms have an button. When this is present the list only displays recent records (based on a system setting this will vary from 30 to 90 days back).
When you click this button all records will be displayed and the button will change to this . Clicking the button again restores just the recent records to display and the button will revert back to  

VCR BUTTONS

The VCR Buttons are the four buttons at the bottom left section of the form.
These interact with the List Grid and navigate to the first record, previous record, next record and last record on the list, respectively. Additionally, these buttons can be used while you are on any page of the form and the currently displayed record will change to another record (depending on the VCR button clicked). This is most useful when you want to scan data on a specific page that isn’t on the List Grid.

BACKWARD/FORWARD BUTTONS

The Work Order form has these additional buttons. These buttons work similar to the backward and forward button on an internet browser.
These will take you backward and forward based on the work orders you have been working on during the time the Work Order form is open. This will enable you to stop what you are doing to handle another work order and easily navigate back to that work order.

Note: if you apply a filter and go back to a work order you were previously working, and the work order is not in the current filtered list, the form will not navigate back to that work order.

SUBSEQUENT PAGES

Most entry forms have multiple pages, pages 2 through the last page are the subsequent pages and display all the particulars of the for the select record or transaction.
While one of the subsequent pages is displayed you can use the VCR Buttons or the Backward/Forward Buttons to move from record to record.

IMMUTABLE AUDIT TRAILS

All transaction screens and most setup screens include immutable audit trails and track changes to the data. Who made what change when can be invaluable for auditing purposes and for staff correction and training. This can be a real-life saver when investing and auditing. You won’t find this type of information in easily if at all in other systems, Excel or Google Sheets.

CROSS-REFERENCE GRIDS

Many of the forms have cross-reference grids – on subsequent pages. A cross-reference grid is a list of related data. For example, the Company Entry form has a page called “Products”. If you click on a row on this grid the program will take you to that product on the Products Entry form. 

In this example, the Company Entry form has several subsequent pages with cross-reference grids. The “Invent.”, “Orders” and “Invoices” pages all have cross-reference grids. 

PICK LIST FIELDS

There are two types of pick list fields. 

1. SINGLE ELEMENT PICK LIST FIELD

The single element pick list field allows you to do an incremental search on one field, one data element – like the carrier’s name or loader’s name.
The “Pick List Form” for the pick list field can be called up using the F2 key or by clicking the ellipsis button to the right of the field, or by selecting the menu item . 

2. MULTIPLE DATA ELEMENT PICK LIST FIELD

The multiple element pick list field allows you to do an incremental search on one field – like the company’s name and the company’s ID. The system will try to find the closest match on both data elements. Both elements are displayed separated by a dash (-) with the element that most closely matches being displayed first.
The “Pick List Form” for the pick list field can be called up using the F2 key or by selecting the menu item .  

PICK LIST FORMS

A “Pick List” is accessible from any place in the system that you need to select one or more records.
A “Pick List” behaves the same as the “List” page on a data entry form by:
The selected item will high-lighted in a blue.
Clicking returns the high-lighted item to the calling program.
Clicking will not select a record.
Some “Pick List” screens allow the selection of multiple items. To do this, simply use the and keys in conjunction with mouse clicks to select multiple records. This works very similar to selecting multiple files or folders in Windows Explorer.

COLOR CODING

GENERAL COLORS

Here are the common colors throughout the system.
On a “List” or “Pick List” the selected item(s) are in blue.
Required fields have a background of turquoise.
Fields that are disabled are displayed with a background of light grey.
Field labels that look like a web page link – blue label underlined – are “hot links”. Clicking on one of these labels or “hot links” will take you to the entry form that corresponds to the label (if you have security access to that form). For example, in Railcar Entry there is a link called Terminal that will take you to Terminal Entry screen for the selected Terminal.

COLORS DEFINING INVENTORY AVAILABILITY

When adding an inventory item to a work order the pick list used is color coded. Each color has specific meaning. Those not high-lighted are available for use without issue. 

COLORS TIED TO TERMINALS IN LOADER DISPATCH

You can assign colors to the terminal yards in Terminal Entry via the button labeled “Dispatch Color”. These are used in the Loader Dispatch screen to high-light the different loads by terminal and yard. The colors used here are completely at the discretion of the person setting up the terminals and yards. 

CALENDAR, DATE AND DATE + TIME FIELDS

There are many places in the system that require a date.
Every date entry field has a calendar button to allow selecting a date from the calendar. The date field is forgiving on incomplete date entry – only the month and day need be entered and the system will set the year to the current year. There is no need to type in the slash (/) separator to distinguish the different parts of the date. There are many other key strokes (besides the numbers for the date) available to facilitate date entry. These are listed in the table below.
Time is entered and stored in military format throughout the system. The time field is forgiving on incomplete data entry – only the hour is required and the minutes will default to 00.

CALENDAR, DATE AND DATE + TIME FIELDS

ActionKey Stroke
Bring up the CalendarC, Alt+UpArrow, SpaceBar
TodayD, T, Double-Click (mouse)
Next Day+ {plus or equal key}
Previous Day– {minus or underscore key}
Next MonthPgDn
Previous MonthPgUp
Next YearCtrl+PgDn
Previous YearCtrl+PgUp
First Day of WeekW
Last Day of WeekK
First Day of MonthM, Home Key
Last Day of MonthH, End Key
First Day of QuarterQ
Last Day of QuarterU
First Day of YearY
Last Day of YearR
Note: All shortcut keys are case-insensitive.
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