Yes, We Do That

The Allied Group is New England's leading provider of Printing, Kitting, Mailing and Fulfillment services. Our blog authors have backgrounds in Sales, Marketing, IT, Production and Operations and post useful tips, trends, news and opinions in our industry and beyond. We know you'll find something you enjoy. Most of all, be sure to jump into the conversation!

Relevant News and information regarding The Allied Group's Virtual Office Portal

Am I a Problem?

Am I a Problem?
"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." ~ Sam Walton Funny. I thought that at least if the customer wasn't always right, then at least they would not be an annoyance to the customer service person taking their money! I walked into a "con...
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Ironman Marketing

Ironman Marketing
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other" ~ Walter Elliot An Ironman Triathlon is widely recognized as one of the most demanding one-day sporting events in the world. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. Just to finish the race takes tremendous planning, training, stamina and co...
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My 3 "Simple" New Year's Resolutions

My 3 "Simple" New Year's Resolutions
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" Albert Einstein Who am I to argue with Einstein? I reread my last 3 year's posts regarding my thoughts about the New Year and my resolutions for each one. Still all good advice about goal setting, how to use time better and focusing on priorities. Here's the rub though. While I c...
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Santa's Customer Service Secrets

Santa's Customer Service Secrets
"This is the ultimate in feel-good projects. To make money and make people happy, it's a Santa Claus project" ~ Craig Belser Santa Claus may just preside over the most successful customer service organization in the world. This is amazing, given the fact that he has many logistical and operational disadvantages. The ordering system is antiquated. I...
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Release 12.3 of the Virtual Office

Release 12.3 of the Virtual Office
Again this month the VO update is just a maintenance release, which was published the evening of 3/30/16.
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Release 12.2 of the Virtual Office

Release 12.2 of the Virtual Office

On Tuesday night, 2/23/16, a maintenance release was done on the Virtual Office that changes the version to 12.2.

Items addressed in this release are:

  • Demand kit orders not updating sequencing when exploded
  • Thumbnails in tile view not showing when there is a "#" in the item number
  • Print Shop Manager loses history when an item is moved to a stock item
  • Exact duplicate failure on custom images when production type is changed
  • Cost Centers not sorting alphabetically at checkout
  • Typographic errors in registration process
  • Users allowed to checkout without completing personalization on custom imaging orders
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Virtual Office 12.1

Virtual Office 12.1

The Virtual Office was updated to version 12.1 on Tuesday night.

This upgrade corrected a few bugs as well as introducing the following upgrades:

Clear address
Users now have the ability to clear the address fields with one click when checking out. The new button is beneath the ship and reset address buttons. Whereas reset address will load your default address, clear address simply removes everything except your email from the address fields.

Report export
If you have reporting available to you this feature allows the exporting of the report to a .csv file that can be opened in Excel. This is a convenient way to get the data in to a format you can do further analysis on.

Bug Corrections
Issue with account name override not showing during checkout.
Corrected search function in order history to use first 7 digits on Allied reference number
Added phone number to user maintenance screen

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May Virtual Office Updates

May Virtual Office Updates

This past weekend we did an update to the Virtual Office. Here's some of the changes we made:

Several changes have been made to the shipping address selection during checkout.

    • First, if you load a saved address, the address will appear exactly as saved. In the past if the company name or name field were left blank your information would populate the screen. Now if it's blank in the saved address it will be blank on the screen.
    • Second, we're going to bypass the recommended address options if the only change from your original address was the addition of the zip+4 component.
    • Third, we're extending the length of a saved address name from 20 to 50 characters so you can enter a more descriptive name.
    • And last, if you use a saved address you'll have the option of updating it to the recommended address to prevent the question from coming up on future orders.

Some changes have been made when using the saved address to ship an order also. If you select the personal or group radio button, the drop down list populates with those addresses. If you select the Account or All radio buttons you'll be taken to the search page to complete your address selection.

We've added the expected delivery date to the final checkout page. Once you select a shipping method the information will appear below it.

Last change is for the Admins out there. You can now edit saved addresses from the User Maintenance page.

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What is the Virtual Office?

What is the Virtual Office?

It is very likely you have come across this blog entry while locating the new Virtual Office login screen. For you, the Virtual Office is a familiar place where you go to order items, check inventory, and review order history. Even being familiar with the VO, you will soon find blog entries with tips, and common situations you may encounter.

For those of you who landed from curiosity or by mistake, The Allied Group's Virtual Office is our online management portal. Thousands of people use their Virtual Office account daily to order from their company's online inventory of items, access customized variable web-to-print, manage re-orders, and track shipments.

If this sounds interesting to you - please use the contact form at the top of the page to get in touch. A person from our sales team will be happy to discuss your needs!

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Good Marketing Solves the Customer's Needs First - Your Needs Second

angry-customer

“The key is, no matter what story you tell, make the buyer the hero.” Chris Brogan

I had two experiences the other day that left me shaking my head in disbelief. Both were solicitations for my business, one a radio commercial, the other, a direct telemarketer.

First, the auto dealership. If it seems like I’ve been picking on them, having just bought two cars, I now remember why it takes me so long in-between purchases. The ad came blaring over the radio on my drive home. “We’ve had a great month at XYZ Auto, we’ve sold lots of cars and we want to keep our momentum going.”

Whoa! When did my potentially buying a car turn into me caring about you keeping your momentum going? Sure, while I and probably most people prefer to do business with an organization that is doing well, I don’t want to be either beaten over the head with it nor have it made the first “feature and benefit” in your selling proposition. I have my own reasons for considering any purchase and trust me; it has nothing to do with what’s important to you. Not to say that I’m not a win-win kind of guy, I sure hope I am. But talk to me about what you can do for me first, not what I can do to help you.

Second, the business development professional services company. A telemarketer selling training services essentially teaching us how to get more business. The voice mail started with “Hi Brian, this is Donna, give me (no please) a call back, I’d like (why would I care what you’d like at this point?) to talk to you (not with) a little bit and tell you (not share with) what we have to offer.”

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