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19 Years of development and field testing lie behind the stability, performance and flexibility of the Vigilant Distribution (Order Entry) and POS (Point of Sale) products. These are not just general accounting packages with a couple extra modules added, they were designed from the ground up for Sales Productivity and Inventory Control.

All the features of a full accounting package are, of course, included (General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Advanced Sales Analysis) plus some specialty packages are available as add-ons.

SalesOrderSales Order (Distribution)

The Sales Order package is ideal for distributors, mail order firms, and others who take orders, fill them and invoice them. Order Entry and Inventory are the core modules, and link seamlessly to the standard accounting modules. It can also be linked directly to your e-Commerce system.

Light Manufacturing is also accommodated by adding BOM (Bill of Materials) which integrates cleanly with inventory.

Contractors and Job Shops will find the Job Cost module makes billing and accounting for separate jobs and contracts much easier.

Do some "over the counter" too? The Point of Sale module can be added to Sales Order to enable both types of selling, all completely integrated with the same inventory and accounting.

Sales Order is available for DOS, Linux and Windows, and comes in Single User, Network and Multi-site versions. All versions support multiple warehouses, profit centers and product lines. More information can be found in Vigilant's Brochure
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PointOfSaleRetail Point of Sale

The Point of Sale package is ideal for those who sell "over the counter" in all kinds of establishments. Layaway, Size/Color matrix multiple forms of payment, store credit, credit card clearing, register tapes or invoice, poll displays, cash drawer, bar scanning, and all the amenities expected at the counter are supported.

Extensive customer contact facilities allow you to keep track of customers in various ways, do targeted mailings, and other activities that will give your business an advantage over it's competitors.

Do order taking too? The Sales Order module can be added to Point of Sale to enable both types of selling, all completely integrated with the same inventory and accounting.

Franchisers can benefit from Vigilant Multi-Site as a tool for providing value to their franchisees. Complete, ready to go management and accounting systems are easy and economical to roll out. Further, the remote management features of Linux make it easy for the franchiser to assist a franchisee when there are problems - without the expense of sending someone on-site.

Point of Sale is available for DOS, Linux and Windows, and comes in Single User, Network and Multi-site versions. All versions support multiple warehouses, profit centers and product lines. More information can be found in Vigilant's Brochure and on our Point of Sale page.
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e-Commerce

A business that sells on the Internet still needs all the customer service, back office record keeping, accounting and fulfillment features a mail order or storefront seller needs. Not realizing this brought on the demise of many a "Dot.Com" venture. Vigilant is an ideal back office tool to support e-Commerce efforts.

Not only can Vigilant do the record keeping, it can also be a "real time" customer support tool. If a Web customer has questions or has difficulty completing an order, s/he can call the order desk for assistance. While on the phone, the sales person can see the transaction in progress on his or her Vigilant screen, and even finish it up for the customer. This integration is largely independent of the tools used to create the Web site.

The Government of Ontario is using Vigilant for its on-line stores. Vigilant has also established an alliance with a major eCommerce site developer, The Internet Commerce Company, which includes the Vigilant product as back-end support for sites they develop.
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Which Operating System?

Since Vigilant supports three completely different operating environments, It's natural to ask which one is right for your business.

DOS: Most small business Point of Sale still runs on DOS. Why? Because it works, it's stable, and because it's already there. Staying with DOS doesn't require spending money on a whole new set of equipment.

Vigilant is one of the few Point of Sale publishers, and almost unique among Sales Order publishers in not assigning an "end of life" to the DOS product. The product will be sold and supported as long as there is demand. A few high end features are not available for DOS due to memory limitations, but most are. Multi-Site Polling is available, but the Linux Hosted Multi-Site version would be much more appropriate for a multople store business.

The DOS version is also the least expensive - Ideal if you need to upgrade an older installation. If you are doing an all new installation, consider the Linux version.

Windows: Seven years in development, the just released Microsoft Windows version of Vigilant is an outstanding Windows application. Unlike many Windows Point of Sale systems, it can be operated quickly and efficiently without a troublesome mouse or other pointing device.

The Windows version has enhanced features over the DOS version because it is less restricted in memory usage. A great deal of attention has been given to data integrity, crash resistance and performance, not always strong points for Windows applications.

The main advantages of the Windows version are that it provides the attractive, colorful and familiar Windows desktop environment, and other Windows applications can be run on the same computer. Keep in mind that a Windows workstation can also act as a network terminal for the Linux version of Vigilant.

Windows is most at home in a single store environment. While Multi-Site Polling (similar to the DOS version) is available, the Microsoft operating systems do not support the advanced "real time" Hosted Multi-Site features of the Linux version.

Windows cautions do apply: Windows is currently the most costly computing environment, the slowest, the least stable and the most subject to interruption of business by virus or invasion. Microsoft has well publicized plans to make it more costly, to transition Windows software to a "lease" model, and to force participation in their .NET Initiative. Confirm that these trends are compatible with your business plan before proceeding.

Linux: If you have more than one location (or even contemplate having more than one), or franchising, or wish to integrate with e-Commerce, this is the one you want. Vigilant's Real-Time Hosted Multi-Site system for Linux eats other small business oriented multi-site system for lunch.

Originally investigated as a fix for multi-store problems encountered with the DOS version, the Linux Multi-Site version has proven so successful it has displaced the Windows version as Vigilant's flagship product.

All stores are connected to the central office through the Internet or a leased line or whatever is available. All work is done against data on the home office server. The whole chain is always completely up-to-date and coordinated with the central office at all times. This is very fast because only text screen and keyboard data are being transmitted.

"What if the link goes down?" you ask. "Aren't we out of business?" Even if you are in the middle of a sale, work continues. The system shifts to local mode and is still fully functional. As soon as the link is back up, local transactions are synchronized with the central server and work is shifted back to the server. Invoice numbering and credit card clearing are always local so there will be no confusion.

All customer information is available at all stores, so a customer needn't go back to the same store for service. If permitted, stores can see each others stock, and, if permitted, can even sell off each others shelves.

Managers have full access to all stores at any time of day or night. They can even make store transactions and adjustments from a remote location. Support people can access accounting data remotely, at the central office or at stores, so problems can be resolved without sending skilled personnel to the location.

Some of the "Big Guys" have this sort of capability, but they paid hundreds of thousands for it. You can have it for peanuts. Read more about it in the Round Table Discussion.

"This is all great, but I have some Windows applications I want to run in my store." Not a problem. A Windows PC can run a Vigilant terminal session in a Window so you have both worlds at the same time.

e-Commerce integration: Vigilant for Linux can be integrated with e-Commerce Web sites to the extent that order desk personnel can actually see an e-Commerce transaction in process and assist the person placing that order should the person call for assistance or information.

A GUI (graphic user interface) environment is available for the Linux version to make it more "Windows like", but we don't recommend it. Employees prefer the text interface because the job gets done faster.

Linux is an enterprise class operating system scalable from single PC to IBM z360 mainframe. IBM, and Hewlett Packard are companies with major commitments to supporting Linux.
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Who uses Vigilant?

Vigilant is suitable for a wide variety of businesses in Retail, Wholesale, Light Manufacturing, Rental, Services, or any combination of these. Selected from thousands of installations, Vigilant has posted over 40 Case Studies on their Web site.

Pricing

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©Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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