This article will define what custom fields are and where you can use them.
Custom fields are places that you can use to customize your program. The custom fields we will look at are in the customer list screen and in the customer's job detail screen. There are four different types of custom fields:
Character Type fields can accept any character, number, or symbol. The advantage to these type of fields is that they can hold any type of codes you can imagine. You should not use these for numeric information that you want to do math on.
Numeric Type fields only hold numbers and are right-justified. Most of the numeric custom fields have space available for 9 digits and two decimal places. Since they are numeric in nature, these fields are good for holding dollar amounts that you will want to do math on later. When you include a numeric field in a user-defined report, CLIP will give you a total at the bottom of the page.
Data Type fields only accept valid date information. These fields can be used to get reports where you want to query your data based on the date being greater than a date or less than another.
Combo Type fields are basically character fields but they allow you to create a list of valid values that will keep your data consistent.
Above are two examples of custom fields in CLIP from the customer list screen and the job detail screen. Once you double click on a custom field in CLIP, it will open a window for you to change the field name or click system, custom field names.
You can also double click on any custom field in CLIP.
This way you can change the customer-pager field to say "mobile."
What goes in a custom field?
Anything you want! A lot of times people feel compelled to put something in an empty field. You don't have to put anything in the custom fields until you know what you want in them. This will probably take some time before you start thinking of what could be useful for your company. As an example of something you might place in the custom fields on the customer's screen, you might ask, "If I were to divide my customers up into four groups, what would they be?"
Some companies might divide their customers into geographic zones, North, South, East, West, etc. Others might divide their customers into "A" service, "B" service, and "C" service clients. As you answer this question, the answer for your company might be completely different than any other company.
Try to make sure that you do not use a custom field to hold information that is already stored in CLIP in some other place. For example, dividing your customers into four zones would be best done through the zone function on the "property info" screen.
Be consistent. If the information you place in the custom fields varies from customer to customer, you will lose most of the functionality of the custom fields. If you use "mow" to designate a mowing customer, don't use "cut" somewhere else to designate the same.
Custom fields are essential for creating user defined lists and reports. The name you give the field will show up in the list of fields in user defined lists and in replace information.
For more information on user defined lists - click the button below for those steps.
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