Categories
Website Update

The New Steel Cod

Why Splitting Up Is Easy to Do

We’ve got exciting news: we’re splitting up… but in a good way!

Starting on Sunday, January 31st, the Steel Cod site that launched four years ago to serve the needs of independent appliance retailers is now officially called Steel Cod Enterprise. All existing links to spec packages and public hub pages still work, so there’s no need for you to update those bookmarks or send out new URLs. Just be aware that all that traffic will now be automatically redirected to enterprise.steelcod.com, our new home for Steel Cod Enterprise going forward.

Moving into the old web space is our new Steel Cod site, home of all the exciting content we’ve produced over the past few months for our Steel Cod Expert Series. This site is organized by manufacturer and features all the video content created by the best network of top-notch appliance experts in the biz (that’s you!). The new Steel Cod also lists the models associated with the feature that’s spotlighted in each video, which is pretty neat-o if we do say so ourselves!

The aim of the new steelcod.com is to serve not only as a resource for our appliance salespeople but also to inform the general public about the latest features and product lines available.

So to review, here’s a quick snapshot of what’s happening:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I log into Steel Cod Enterprise?
You log in at enterprise.steelcod.com/Account/Login
You can also click on the “Log In” buttons on the enterprise.steelcod.com or steelcod.com home pages.

Do I have to update my bookmarks?
You can, but you don’t have to. We’re automatically redirecting all the traffic that would’ve gone to the old site to the new Steel Cod Enterprise.

Do I send my quotes and specs to a different email address?
Nope, keep sending our documents to the same email address you’ve always used.

Do I need to re-register on the new site?
No, your current login credentials will work just fine on the new Steel Cod Enterprise site.

What else has changed in Steel Cod Enterprise?
Honestly, not that much! We’ve updated our graphics to use our snappy new logo, and we’ve updated our links to use the new enterprise.steelcod.com web address. We are, however, already working on the next major batch of updates for Version 2.10, which will be released later this spring.

The new Steel Cod website is so cool! Can I participate in the Steel Cod Expert Series?
Absolutely! Please email us at info@steelcod.com and we’ll be happy to go over the details with you.

When is this “split” taking place?
If you’re reading this on or after Sunday, January 31st, then it’s already happened!


Categories
Website Update

SC Enterprise v2.9

This weekend we are releasing Version 2.9. Let’s get into it!

Add a Model

One of the most requested features we’ve been asked for over the past few years is the ability to add a model without having to rescan your original document. Before v2.9 we had enabled this functionality for spec packages created from the search page, and now we’re enabling it for all spec packages. From the spec package edit page:

Model numbers that are added in this manner can only be removed from the package by using the “Remove models” button.

You cannot add a brand new model number that is not already in the database using this function.

We strongly suggest you use this function sparingly, as your original document should continue to be treated as the master document that defines your order. Also note that this feature can be enabled or disabled for your entire company.

Images and Additional Resources

We’ve been working directly with manufacturers to acquire images and additional resources (such as energy guides, manuals, CAD files, etc.). We now display these items on the spec package public hub page when they are available for a given model:

You can view which resources are attached to your package by visiting the spec package hub page. Resources lock in whenever you rescan/refresh your spec package and increase its version number.

We are actively to working with more manufacturers to get more images and resources loaded into the database, so please bear with us as we get this feature off the ground.

Coming up in v2.10

We’ll have one more major release before the end of this year… Stay tuned!

If you have any questions please contact us at help@steelcod.com.

Be well!

— Tom

Categories
Website Update

SC Enterprise v2.8

Hello, SteelCod.com users!

This past weekend we released a new version of SteelCod.com (aka “Steel Cod Enterprise”): Version 2.8. This is the eighth major update since we introduced Version 2.0 back in May 2019. The last two updates have been designed to support administrative functions and build the groundwork to accommodate our long-term plans (more on that in a future post!).

But this update has a number of new features that are focused on you, the salesperson! Let’s get started…

Ask a Salesperson

We’ve placed a new button on the public-facing spec package page that allows any person visiting the page to ask a question of the salesperson. See the annotated screenshot below:

The new "Ask a Question" button on the spec package public hub page

Clicking that button will bring the user to the “Ask a Question” form:

The new "Ask a Question" form

The form asks for the user’s name, email address, and the question they are asking. They also have to prove they are not a robot by clicking on the “I’m not a robot” checkbox. Once all those fields are filled out and the form is submitted, an email is sent to the salesperson’s email address.

NOTE: as you can see, the form does not validate the person’s identity or email address. Keep this in mind when responding to questions and comments submitted through this form.

As a salesperson there will be several ways you’ll know you have a new question:

  • You’ll receive an email with the question. That email will include a button back to the spec package.
  • An alert will appear at the top of the spec package’s edit page.
  • The question will be listed on the new “Questions” tab on your personalized home page after you log in.

Once a question is received, it’s up to the salesperson to decide how best to respond. Right now you can’t respond through Steel Cod, but you can mark the question as read so you can track when you responded.

The URL for the “Ask a Question” form is the URL of your spec package public page + ‘/Ask‘. Example:

steelcod.com/sp/iron/6YT273II/ask

We’re very excited about this new feature and hope that it will help facilitate communication between you and your customers! If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve it, we’d love to hear from you at help@steelcod.com. You can also choose to opt out of this feature on a company-wide basis.

Model Number Formatting

Another feature that should jump out at you right away when using Version 2.8 is that we now have model number formatting! Check out the results when we upload a new quote:

From the upload page: some model numbers that are found still have their formatting intact.

Are those spaces and lowercase letters I see? (Yes, they are!) We’ll also honor dashes, slashes and other similar non-alphanumeric characters.

We can have this functionality because more and more manufacturers are giving us their models numbers directly in their native formats, so we’re now going to honor those formats that they give us. If a manufacturer hasn’t provided a format, then we’ll fall back to the format provided in your scanned document or search list.

You’ll see new model number formatting in places like the upload page, the search page, and within the spec package PDFs themselves in the table of contents.

Search page: a formatted model number is not found, but the formatting is still intact.

Public Spec Package API

(BETA RELEASE)

For those companies looking to further integrate with Steel Cod but are not quite ready for the full API, we’ve added a new public API method directly on SteelCod.com that returns a data-only representation of a single spec package.

Developers can use this method to integrate existing spec package information into your POS or ERP systems.

The URL for the method is the URL of your spec package public page + ‘/Json‘. Example:

steelcod.com/sp/iron/6YT273II/json

We’re still finalizing the structure of the JSON object that’s returned, so we consider this release to be a BETA version as we may change or remove some elements on the next version. We will have some documentation around the returned data object at that time, but in the meantime you’re invited to start poking around at it.

Looking ahead to v2.9

The next major release for SteelCod.com is currently scheduled for the end of October / beginning of November, and includes even more features that we hope will make generating, editing and sharing your spec packages even easier.

As always if you have any questions please let us know at help@steelcod.com.

Be well!

— Tom

Categories
Website Update

Steel Cod 2.3 – Daily Digests

Today we’re releasing Steel Cod 2.3, which will now give you the ability to receive automated daily updates via email about the spec packages you’ve already created. If we’ve recently updated an existing spec or added a new spec that was missing, you’ll be notified every day at 12pm noon (ET).

All users are enrolled in this feature to receive the email Monday through Friday. If you would like to change the days you receive this email (or to opt out), please log into Steel Cod and go to update your preferences under the “Automatic updates email” section.

Along with some assorted bug fixes and performance enhancements, we’re also including a few more changes in this release:

  • Full spec packages now use the Table of Contents formatting as the slim spec packages
  • Support for models/specs across different regions
  • Users can now delete spec packages via the spec package edit page
  • New Cookie Policy and cookie consent

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback at help[at]steelcod.com .

Categories
Website Update

Steel Cod 2.1 – Slim Specs

We are excited to roll out a new feature: “Slim Specs”!

What are Slim Specs?

A package with only the first (or first and second) page per each model number’s spec sheet. Not every customer, especially when only in the quoting phase, needs the dimensions, diagrams, and cut-outs. They only need the picture and information presented on the first page. For these customers, a “Slim Spec” package is preferred.

Check out the videos below for more information!

Categories
Website Update

Steel Cod 2.0 Videos

Below are all the videos you’ll need to get you up-to-speed on Steel Cod 2.0!

Salespeople

Advanced Users

Read this article to learn more about all the new features coming with Steel Cod 2.0 in greater detail:

https://blog.steelcod.com/2019/05/21/announcing-steel-cod-2-0/

Categories
Website Update

Announcing Steel Cod 2.0

Steel Cod has grown tremendously since we launched two years ago, and we’re now ready for the next step. This weekend we are launching Steel Cod 2.0 – a set of features and improvements based on your incredible feedback over the past nine months.

Our aim while working on this release is to preserve all the features you love about Steel Cod – ease of use, clarity and responsiveness – while building a solid base for the future.

Planned partial outage May 24-25

We will be taking an extended planned partial outage during this upgrade. Starting at 9pm ET on Friday, May 24th and lasting approximately 15 hours, the web site will be in read-only mode. All your existing spec packages will be downloadable and all the model specs will be searchable, but you will not be able to save your spec packages to the database. Email and scanning functionality will be completely offline. Any documents sent to the Specs inbox during the outage will be processed once version 2.0 is online.

We’ve decided to do this upgrade during Memorial Day weekend because Steel Cod usage is usually lightest over long holiday weekends. So we’re releasing 2.0 this weekend to have as little impact on you as possible.

Videos are available for some of the features below. To browse all the videos go to:
http://blog.steelcod.com/2019/05/21/steel-cod-2-0-videos/

New features for Salespeople

Most of the new features for salespeople are designed to make spec packages faster to create, easier to share, and more flexible to modify. Note that these are the features scheduled to be released and may be modified before the deployment of 2.0.

  • New home page
    • Search for spec package based on title, file name or document number
    • New tab for specs uploaded by user
      • User can deactivate and remove uploaded spec
    • New tab to review recent messages sent through Steel Cod
  • “Recent Scans” menu item renamed -> “Spec Packages”
    • Optimized for large organizations, resulting in faster load times for everyone
    • Added search feature to find spec packages across the company
    • Displays a longer recent history – three months instead of three weeks
  • Search page
    • Navigation redesigned to no longer bounce between tabs
    • Search results can now be saved as spec packages
      • These spec packages are treated just as if they had been emailed or scanned into the system
  • Spec package features
    • Title and subtitle are new fields based on your current cover page settings
      • These fields are now editable without having to rescan the original document
    • Version number is now “x.y” format, where x is a major version and y is a minor revision
      • The major version number changes when you add a spec, rescan the document, etc.
      • The minor revision number changes when you change the title, exclude a document, etc.
      • The version number is now printed on the second cover page.
    • Improvements to detecting when a spec sheet is out-of-date and alerting the user that a newer spec is available
  • Public hub page
    • Every spec package now has a public hub page that provides links to the spec package, salesperson info, company logo, and other valuable info
  • Email upgrade
    • Emails are no longer simple text format
    • Messages sent to customers / partners / tradespeople now include your company logo

New features for Advanced Users

Most of the new features built for Advanced Users are intended to increase security and move the administration of Steel Cod of to a self-serve model which will require less intervention from Steel Cod administrators to correct issues or mistakes.

  • Advanced users can now manage other users
    • Can update most user details
    • Can deactivate/reactivate existing users
    • Can promote other users to Advanced User
  • Advanced Users will be notified whenever a new user registers at the company
    • For companies with multiple locations, only Advanced Users in the new user’s location will be notified.
    • If there are no Advanced Users in the new user’s location, all Advanced Users will be notified.
  • Advanced Users can reset the registration link used by new users to register.
    • If you believe your registration link has been compromised, you can reset the link on the “Manage” tab.
    • Resetting the registration link invalidates any older registration links for your company.

Reporting an issue

We’ve spent many months building and testing these new features, but if you see anything you think we may have missed please email us at help@steelcod.com and we’ll look into it as soon as we can.