What are AMS Friends?
Friends are members of your organization who have signed up for non-administrative AMS accounts. Friends receive the member benefits of AMS, without access to the reporting and other back end features.
Friends can only access their own account. Friends are able to:
- See their own contact info
- View their account history and invoices
- Make payments
- Make booking requests
- Register in programs
- Create projects
- Upload media
Almost everything that happens in the system is related to a Friend—from asset rentals to account payments, and program registrations, to logging volunteer hours!
The Friend could be considered the centre of the AMS Universe.
Under the ‘Friends’ tab in the Menu, you’ll find three subsections:
- Add new
How do I search for Friends profiles?
1. Navigate to the ‘Search’ subsection of the Friends tab, located in the left-hand bar.
2. Type keywords into the Search Bar.
The ‘Search’ subsection allows you to pull up profiles of any Friend in the system. You can use any part of a Friend’s identifying information as search criteria, including first name, last name, telephone numbers, email addresses and mailing address. Multiple pieces of information can be used to narrow a search (e.g. “Joel Edmonton”), and will return results that match both criteria.
You can choose to include Inactive friends by clicking the checkbox next to “Include Inactive Friends in search?”
3. If there is only one result for a search you will be automatically redirected to that Friend’s Summary Page.
4. But, if there are multiple results for a search, a brief summary of each result will display. Clicking the Friend’s name will redirect you to their Summary Page.
What is the Friend Summary View?
The Friend Summary view appears when a Friend’s name is clicked, or a Friend search result is selected. This view provides all information about the Friend that is current stored in AMS.
You can perform most Friend related actions from this view including:
- Renewing memberships
- Booking equipment and facilities
- Enrolling in programs
- Managing volunteer hours
- Managing the Friend’s financial account.
The left-hand side of the Summary View shows the Friend’s key information such as:
- Contact information
- Membership status
- How long they’ve been a Friend
The right-hand side has five additional sections, each with their own functions
The ‘Summary’ section provides an overview of recent checkouts, logins, Flags, Tickets, and Programs.
‘Bookings’ allows a Friend to book Assets (both Facilities & Equipment and from the Library).
‘Projects’ shows a list of all the Friend’s past and present projects. Friends can add new Projects by clicking the ‘Add Project’ button.
The ‘Programs’ section displays all of a Friend’s current and past Program Registrations, as well as a list of all currently available Programs.
‘Volunteer’ allows the Friend or an AMS administrator to submit volunteer hours.
‘Account’ provides a full list of all the Friend’s invoices and payments. It also displays their current account balance (money owing), and their AMSbuck balance.
How do I create a new Friend?
There are two ways to create a new Friend.
1. Click the ‘Search’ subsection underneath the Friends tab.
2. Click the ‘Add New Friend’ button. This is located in the top right-hand corner.
OR, click the ‘Add New’ subsection underneath the Friends tab.
Both options will take you the Friend building screen. Here you are prompted to fill out:
Name & Organization
The top row lets you fill out basic information such as first and last name, email, and an optional organization or production company they are associated with.
Member Type: A member type should be chosen. Your organization can customize different member types from the System Settings.
But, you are able to customize member types to your organization’s needs.
Membership Dues: Membership dues should be entered according to your current pricing for the Member Type chosen. This amount is charged on a General Invoice when memberships are renewed, and the ‘Create an Invoice’ option is selected.
This field can be left blank for Partner Members, or any other scenario where Membership Dues should not be charged.
Volunteer Hours: Volunteer Hours should be entered according to your organization’s current volunteer hour expectations for the Member Type chosen. This value is used in reporting to determine whether a Member has fulfilled their volunteer obligations for a period.
This field can be left blank for scenarios where Volunteer Hours are not required.
Active: The Active tickbox indicates whether a Friend is currently considered Active or not. Friends cannot be permanently deleted once added to the system. If a Friend is longer an active part of the system, their account should be deactivated by unticking this option. Inactive Friends do not show up in Search results or relevant reports, unless specifically indicated.
Rent Equipment, Book Facilities, Register in Programs: These tickboxes should be checked to define which service offerings the Member is permitted to use.
Note: There are currently no system-enforced restrictions based on these values; they are for information purposes only, but should be maintained properly nevertheless, as future versions of the system may implement automated restrictions.
Preferred Rates: This tickbox indicates whether the Member should be charged the preferred rate for Asset bookings and Program enrollments. Automatically generated Invoices will base their pricing calculations on this value.
Mailing List: This tickbox indicates whether the Member wishes to be on the mailing list. A mailing list report can generate a list of Members who want to receive mail-outs, based on this value.
Permission to Contact: Checking this signifies that the Friend is comfortable with being contacted directly by your organization.
Insurance Coverage: This value is currently for information purposes only. It indicates whether your organization has extended its’ in-house insurance coverage to the Member, and would be consulted in the event of equipment damage.
Primary Equipment Operator (only for Non Members)
If a Non-Member is created for an organization, additional information should be recorded about who will actually be using the equipment on behalf of that organization.
Fields for the equipment operator’s first and last name, and contact information of any type are provided.
This is the expected contact information for the Friend. This information appears in Friend searches and the Friend Summary view, as well as on Invoices for the Friend.
The Friend Since date indicates when the Friend was added to the system. It’s automatically populated with the current date, but can be backdated if the Friend is added later than when they actually became a Friend.
You can optionally add details such as social media handles and brief descriptions of their work.
Unique/Quickbook Name: A users identifier between AMS and QuickBooks, if your organization links accounting to QuickBooks Online. It is usually automatically generated by the system.
Photo: A photo of the Friend can be uploaded. The photo will automatically crop and resize appropriately, so ensure the main content of the photo is either near the middle of the frame, or fills the frame entirely. Friend photos are visible from searches and the Friend Summary view.
Notes: This is a free-form notes field that allows Staff to enter notes of any kind about a Friend. These notes are visible from Friend searches and the Friend Summary view.
Education & Associations
Education & Associations allows you to specify which Educational Institutions or Associations a Friend attended or currently belongs to. You can also add new Institutions and Associations and remove existing ones.
Note: Be careful—it’s possible to remove an institution that existing Friends are currently associated with.
When Assets are added to the system there is an option to specify certain accreditations that are required in order to use the equipment. The Accreditations is where you can specify which Accreditations Friends currently have.
The accreditations are divided into three parts: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Beginner Accreditations are given to all Friends by default, and must be manually unticked if desired.
All other Accreditations must be manually given to Friends.
Custom Fields provides space to input any additional important information about the friend.
Areas of Expertise
Areas of Expertise is where you can specify on a scale of 0 (least) to 5 (most), the Areas that a Friend has some level of expertise in. This is useful for generating lists of Friends that have expertise required for certain projects.
There is also a free form notes field for entering information regarding a friends expertise that doesn’t fit within any of the existing Areas.
How did you hear about your organization?
This question is only displayed when creating a new Friend, and is collected to report on where your marketing efforts are particularly successful.
How do Friends book Equipment & Facilities?
Friends of your organization are able to book Equipment & Facilities through AMS. This helps you keep track of who rents what, and streamlines the reporting process.
The ‘Bookings‘ link in the top section of Friend’s View opens the Ticket Builder.
The Ticket Builder is divided into two parts:
- The Ticket Information window on the left
- The Inventory List window on the right.
The Ticket Information window displays all the information about the Ticket being built or edited, including:
- The creation date
- A subtotal for the bookings
- A project name
- Ticket notes
- A drop down box to select whether the Ticket is specifically for a Program that the Friend is registered in.
Note: The drop-down list will only display Programs the Friend is registered in. If a Program is selected from this list, the Friend will not be charged for the rental, and an Invoice will not be created on their Account.
The Inventory List lets Friends search or browse for Assets to book.
When you click the name of an asset, a pop-up will display:
- Status (whether the asset is active or inactive)
- A description of the asset
To add an item to the Ticket..
1. Click the ‘book’ button next to the desired item.
2. This brings up a calendar that allows you to select a period of days to book the Asset for.
3. Click once on the first desired booking day, and once more on the last desired booking day.
4. Click the ‘Book’ button at the top of the window to confirm the booking.
5. Repeat with other desired assets.
6. Click Save to confirm the booking, or Destroy to go back.
There are several important points to keep in mind regarding Tickets:
- Building a Ticket is an interactive process, and the system saves the state of the Ticket’s bookings as you go.
- If you add a Booking to a new (or existing) Ticket in the Builder, and navigate to another page in the system without saving, the Booking you just added will still be in the ticket builder.
- If you remove a Booking and navigate away without saving, the booking will still be gone when you go back to the Ticket Builder.
- The system does not automatically save the other information in the Ticket Information window, such as project name and ticket notes.
- A Friend can only have one Ticket in the builder at a time
- Destroying a Ticket also removes the Invoice associated with that Ticket.
- Are partially completed tickets that have not been saved, but have Bookings on them. They do not appear in the Friend’s Summary view, and do not have an Invoice
- Cause a notice to appear at the top of a Friends view if the Pending Ticket has an associated Asset
How do Friends enroll in Programs?
The Programs Section allows Friends to see list of all available Program.
Click ‘Current Registrations’ and ‘Past Registrations’ buttons in the top right-hand corner to view lists of current and past Programs the friend has registered in.
Current Registrations have a ‘remove’ link beside them to drop the Friend from the Program.
Each Program listing displays the basic information about the Program. The ‘View Program’ link provides access to the remaining information about the Program.
There is also either a ‘Register’ link, which can be clicked to register the Friend in that Program, or a ‘Registered’ label indicating that the Friend is already registered in the program.
How do I log a Friends Volunteer hours? How do Friends submit their volunteer hours?
The Volunteer Hours subsection allows you to log and manage Volunteer Hours for a Friend.
The main form is the same as the one provided from the main system login page for use directly by Friends. It allows you to enter:
- The number of hours worked
- The date completed
- A description of the work completed
- Staff member that assigned the work.
Below the Volunteer Hours input form is a listing of all Volunteer Work that is tracked for the Friend. Each entry in the list displays a summary of the information recorded. If the item is still pending approval, there are two links provided:
- A green checkmark to approve the hours
- A red x to reject the hours
When Volunteer Hours are approved, a corresponding amount of AMSBucks are added to the Friend’s AMSBuck balance.
All items, whether approved or rejected, are tracked in the list, and can be permanently removed using the ‘delete’ link.
Note: Approved Volunteer Hours that are deleted cause the Friend’s AMSBuck balance to decrease by a corresponding amount.
What is the account section? What do I use it for?
The ‘Account’ section provides a summary related to the Friend’s financial Account, including:
- Invoices (of all types)
- Adjustments, and Payments
- Overall Account Balance and AMSBuck Balance
- Account Activity
Account activity is listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent item at the top of the list.
What is the ‘Experts’ subsection? How do I search for Experts?
You can generate a list of users that have specific expertise within the Experts subsection.
1. Click the ‘Experts’ subsection underneath the ‘Friends’ tab.
2. Select the area of expertise you’d like to view from the dropdown menu.
3. A list of all members of your organization with the selected area of expertise will appear on the right-hand side.