Managing remote employees can be difficult, but with the addition of a global pandemic, this task has become a lot harder. Although many organisations have been geared up for remote working for a while, many businesses have been thrown into the transition leaving teams disjointed in these uncertain times.
Understandably having the right IT solution is essential to remote-working but having those tools is just the beginning. A large proportion of the population is now in lock-down within their homes with their family’s meaning that distractions are abnormally high. If you also consider that many have heightened emotions due to health and economic concerns, as an employer it’s now more important than ever to take a moment to be mindful and factor these aspects into expected productivity levels.
To help employers through this difficult time we have pulled together our top 5 tips for keeping engagement high amongst home-workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
While we navigate through these testing times technology can help with engagement, collaboration, productivity and most importantly keeping us connected.
If you would like more information on remote working or solutions that could help your business during this time please get in contact with our experts on 0191 500 8150 or drop us an email at [email protected].
One of the most talked about trends for the next decade is digital integration. As accessibility to digital manufacturing tools, such as cloud storage, artificial intelligence and IoT sensors grows the concept of a ‘smart factory’ is becoming a reality. Manufacturers of all types can benefit from digitally integrating their operations.
Integration has been on Microsoft’s radar for a long time and they now have a vast, robust selection of solutions that all work together in perfect harmony. One such solution, which is priced for the SME market, is Dynamics 365 Business Central.
This all-in-one solution includes modules for; Financials, Purchasing, Inventory, Operations, Warehousing and Projects.
Let’s take a look at some of our favourite tools and functionality within Dynamics 365 Business Central…
Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
To avoid ending up in that all too familiar situation of having too much of one item and not enough of another the MRP functionality within Dynamics 365 Business Central focuses on making tracking bills of materials (BOMs) flawless. It automatically generates order suggestions based on demand and sales, giving you accurate order suggestions at a glance.
Our manufacturing clients often find the scheduling process the most stressful part of their business. Incorrect data or the slightest supply error and your whole schedule could suffer. Dynamics 365 Business Central slims down and simplifies the scheduling process with automatic production orders and purchase orders, action messages linked to balancing of supply and the option to set-up some items with individual reordering policies.
Many businesses have the goal to grow in 2020 but with growth comes increased capacity. Dynamics 365 Business Central tracking capacity alongside materials and projects to ensure you never overbook or oversell – or lets you know you need to add to your facility, materials and team.
Keeping track of raw materials, component parts and sub-assemblies can be exhausting. Dynamics 365 Business Central can quickly track these items and ensure you have what you need at all times. Keeping on top of your inventory like this can dramatically increase productivity and reduce time wastage during the production cycle.
Machine centers are designed to help you manage the capacity of a single machine or resource. Within Dynamics 365 Business Central, Machine Centers lets you plan and manage capacity on multiple levels and had the capability to allow users to store more default information about manufacturing processes, such as setup time or default scrap percentage.
Dynamics 365 Business Central and Monpellier
Monpellier are experts in providing custom, integrated solutions and delivering first-class support across a wide range of areas. We lead with your business objective and take the time and care needed to plan, customise, implement, train and support the solution that will achieve your goals. Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] for a free onsite consultation.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s February Issue.
Many accountants have relied solely or partially on Microsoft Excel to assist in their role for decades, leading many firms to ask when the next legacy solution will arrive.
Enter Microsoft Dynamics.
Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has shifted their focus to collaboration and have invested in new ways of working through Office 365. D365 Business Central is part of a wider product line of enterprise applications that all work together including applications focusing on sales, marketing, service, operations and CRM. D365 Business Central is the successor product for Microsoft NAV.
As D365 Business Central is still a relatively new offering in terms of ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions Monpellier are here to clear up a few common misconceptions and equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision for your business.
Myth 1: ‘ERP solutions from Microsoft are far too expensive!’
A D365 Business Central licence is £52.80/user/month. A company with a financial director, controller, and management accountant would pay a little over £150/month for its ERP software.
Myth 2: ‘I will have to do a lot of work outside of D365 Business Central’
There’s a huge amount of connectivity with reporting tools like Power BI, which can be built directly into your ledgers. You can easily create bespoke reporting dashboards and have all of your valuable information at your fingertips.
Myth 3: ‘Extensive training to learn the new software will be needed’
D365 Business Central is a cloud ERP solution, meaning that delivery and installation is seamless giving users the ability to get up and going quickly. Furthermore, all applications are designed to work together and integrate with Office 365 creating a familiar layout for users.
Myth 4: ‘It won’t communicate with my emails’
If you get an email in Office 365 and use Business Central, there’s a direct interface that will recognise any email address affiliated with a customer or supplier. From there you can raise a sales quote or purchase order or invoice without having to leave your Outlook email inbox
Myth 5: ‘It’s just another accountancy package’
Like your Office 365 subscription, D365 Business Central runs on the Microsoft Common Data Service meaning that all your information is securely stored in the same place. This cloud-based storage option gives you the ability to supercharge your data by working seamlessly with Power Apps and Power Automate (previously known as Microsoft Flow).
D365 Business Central and Monpellier
Monpellier are experts in providing custom, integrated solutions and delivering first-class support across a wide range of areas. Grounded in technical expertise, the team is made up of professional financial accounting advisors and technology experts, who work together to advise, install and support the best business software on the market Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] for a free onsite consultation.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s January Issue, 2020.
Food and drink companies are rapidly embracing new technology in order to optimise their processes and supply chain operations, and Microsoft is leading the pack in terms of supply chain reporting with applications such as Power BI.
Power BI is fully compatible with Microsoft’s other applications such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Business Central as well as being able to integrate with other supply chain systems you may have in place. The application is designed to create intelligent visualisations based on your business data to better support your decision-making processes. These engaging reports can easily be shared with one or more employees to create a business intelligence environment that can empower whole workforces. After all, knowledge is power!
Food and drink manufacturers often have multiple delivery vehicles but information such as delivery times, mileage, damage reports and down-time if often not recorded or lost entirely due to paper forms that are filled away. Power BI takes all this information crunches it and creates valuable reports that can improve delivery performance and overall operational efficiency.
Manually tracking items available in the warehouse is not only time consuming but also open to all kinds of error. Microsoft Power BI provides a consolidated view of data collected from the warehouse, from multiple sources, and displays it in the form of interactive dashboards.
Do you have multiple sites or employees that work in the field? The Power BI application can run remotely through a variety of internet-enabled platforms and devices. Desktop reports can be adjusted to fit into reduced screen sizes making them both user-friendly and succinct.
Sometimes it can feel like there is a device for everything, one to record stock, one to monitor machinery health, one to manage customer data, one for financials, it really can be an endless list. Power BI taps into the Microsoft Azure Cloud and other third-party data sources to bring all your data into one place. This gives your business the freedom to create new compelling datasets with a 360-degree view of your supply chain.
In conclusion, a business intelligence solution such as Power BI can unlock critical insights into your supply chain operations, therefore minimising the time associated with manual data analysis. Our Power BI customers see real change across their entire business as the added understanding the application brings leads to the more effective management of their operations and the ability to pinpoint and act on disruptions before they become issues.
Monpellier are experts in providing custom, integrated solutions and delivering first-class support across a wide range of areas. Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] for a free onsite consultation and to start your business intelligence project today.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s December Issue, 2019.
A strong IT infrastructure is essential in supporting your business’s overall goals. You need to trust that no matter what is thrown your way that you have a strong foundation to keep your operations running smoothly.
But what falls under the term IT infrastructure? IT infrastructure consists of all elements that support the management and usability of data and is usually split into four categories, software, hardware, network and servers.
Since 2001 Monpellier have worked with SMEs in Cumbria and across the North East to help advise, implement and support elements of IT infrastructure. When it comes to building a strong foundation Microsoft Dynamics 365 has you more than covered. Dynamics 365 is a budget-friendly Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that can adapt and grow with your business. Perfect for businesses that don’t want to fork out large amounts for their own hardware and onsite server, Dynamics 365 is neatly and securely hosted on the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Dynamics 365 is a unified suite, making it a valuable base to your IT infrastructure. Unlike other full-suite software solutions, Dynamics 365 is modular so you only pay for what you need. This gives businesses options to scale up (or down) as their organisation changes.
Finance – Monitor performance in real-time, predict future outcomes, and make data-driven decisions to drive growth.
Operations – Use predictive insights and intelligence across planning, production, stock, warehouse, and transportation.
Marketing – Increase customer demand for your products and services and improve marketing results.
Sales – Go beyond sales force automation to better understand customer needs, engage more effectively, and win more deals.
Field Service – Optimise your field operations with built-in intelligence, remote monitoring, and tools that enable your technicians to deliver quality work
Customer Service – Differentiate your brand, Built-in intelligence delivers faster, more personalised service and adds value to every interaction.
These six applications are just a snapshot of what Dynamics 365 has to offer with other applications such as HR, Talent and Retail also available.
From a user’s point of view, Dynamics 365 keeps all your systems unified and can ultimately reduce training and on-boarding, meaning a much shorter ‘learning curve’ for you and your team. Integration between systems becomes seamless and the size and complexity of your infrastructure stays firmly in your control.
Monpellier are experts in providing custom, integrated solutions and delivering first-class support across a wide range of areas. Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] for a free onsite consultation.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s November Issue, 2019.
Originally designed for the Microsoft Surface Pro the Whiteboard app became widely available earlier this year for web and within Microsoft Teams. You can now easily collaborate with people using Microsoft Whiteboard regardless of what device they’re using or if they have an app installed.
But what is the Microsoft Whiteboard App? Whiteboard is an interactive canvas jam-packed with intuitive features to help you visually communicate with others. It’s a fantastic tool for meetings and has the added ability to include remote team members, as it now works seamlessly with Microsoft Teams.
Save automatically – Your whiteboards are stored safely in the cloud until you’re ready to use them again. Gone are the days of taking pictures of whiteboards and flip charts following meetings, with the Whiteboard it’s all there ready without you even having to click save.
Share seamlessly – Microsoft has created several pre-designed templates for Whiteboard to help you mimic workplace scenarios such as brainstorms, project planning, sprint planning etc. More templates are being added each month so keep your eyes peeled for your new favourite.
Limit-free creation – Restrictions can block creativity. Whiteboard can transform your work into editable images, charts, flows, sticky notes and shapes on an interface designed for mouse, pen, touch or keyboard.
For more information on the Whiteboard and other applications within Office 365 give our team a call and make the most of your Office 365 subscription.
When it comes to communication within the workplace, technology continues to reshape the way we collaborate. But with an app for almost everything these days some businesses are suffering from communication fatigue. Make no mistake, technology is an amazing addition to any workplace but only when it’s the right solution.
With a market flooded with communication and collaboration tools, many businesses are resorting to sticking with outdated methods and processes.
Microsoft SharePoint has over 100 million users worldwide and is used by a whopping 78% of the Fortune 500.
Developed by Microsoft, SharePoint launched in 2001 and is a web-based document management and collaboration tool. SharePoint works with Office 365 to create a server type environment designed for sharing.
If you choose to implement SharePoint into your business it is typically deployed onto your company’s network as a selection of intranet sites. Each site is designed specifically for each department with its own security, functionality and data.
Improve efficiency – The most common way businesses use SharePoint is as an intranet portal. SharePoint gives its users a powerful, fully-searchable centralised location from which to run operations. By dividing your SharePoint into separate team sites you can organise information and documents by department, ensuring data is but a click away. Unlike other intranet systems, SharePoint follows the same Office 365 style you are acclimatised to but adds additional intuitive features such as; highlighting upcoming deadlines and team scheduling data.
Cultivate positive collaboration – SharePoint is a content management system (CMS) and is used to store and share information. Its’ features include version management, business workflows and social aspects, which can all be accessed remotely. You can use SharePoint to accelerate productivity by transforming everything from a simple task to complex operational workflows.
Increase business intelligence – Your business collects so much valuable information, wouldn’t it be amazing to view all this data at a single glance and in one location? Through SharePoint’s integration capabilities, users can connect the platform with just about any existing information output from different applications. SharePoint is your one-stop-shop for custom-made business intelligence reporting.
Monpellier (based in Cumbria and the North East) are experts in providing custom, integrated solutions, delivering first-class support and solutions across a wide range of areas from accounting & payroll to intranet and CRM solutions. Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] for a free onsite consultation.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s October’s 2019 issue.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an application suite of ERP and CRM modules. This October saw the greatly anticipated Dynamics 365 Wave 2 release. The update gave users 400 new features and capabilities across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. This is one of Microsoft’s largest release waves to date and we wanted to highlight our favourite aspects that produce proactive insight and drive intelligent action.
Microsoft recorded their entire virtual launch event which you can watch by clicking the LINK.
If you’re interested in what Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 can do for your business, Monpellier can help. We are offering free, personalised onsite consultations designed to showcase the areas that would work for your individual business. Call our experts today on 0191 500 8150 or drop us an email [email protected]
OneDrive is Microsoft’s storage service facility for hosting files in the cloud. Although you can sign up for OneDrive for free, you gain more as an Office 365 customer. OneDrive has been designed to provide a simple solution to store and share various types of documents and files.
If you need to share a file with confidential data for a fixed period of time you can create a shareable link that is constrained by a set expiry date and time that you’ve pre-set.
Want to share very sensitive data? Microsoft has added password functionality so that the data you share has another layer of security.
By using the OneDrive app you can scan, save and share documents that you can snap straight from your camera phone. It also lets you save these images as PDFs or directly into other applications such as OneNote.
OneDrive gives you the option to make folders offline so that you can work on the go without an internet connection and back-up to the cloud once you’re back in the office.
Whilst it’s important to make sure you are always working on the most up-to-date version of any document it’s also beneficial to refer back to older versions. OneDrive lets you look back at previous versions of each document to make sure no vital information is lost.
We are all guilty of clogging up our inboxes with emails that on their own are useless but they have an attachment we want to keep. OneDrive lets you save these attachments straight to your chosen folder on OneDrive so that your Inbox stays clean and you don’t misplace important documents.
Are you interested in what Microsoft’s Office 365 Apps can do for your business? OneDrive is but a drop in the ocean when it comes to the capabilities provided by the Office 365 suite. If you are interested in finding out more and how they can integrate into your business give us a call today to arrange your free onsite consultation.
Imagine climbing out of bed before dawn but instead of pulling on your boots and heading into the cold you simply check your PC for any urgent updates on your livestock or crops? This vision is a reality for many working in agriculture thanks to the power of AI the IoT.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolves around the simulation of intelligent behaviours in machines of all kinds. For example, a drone using a robotic lens examining the yellow flower of a tomato seedling to estimate the time it will take to become ripe, picked, packed and distributed. In comparison, the Internet of Things (IoT) is all about helping farmers reduce waste and enhance productivity by using connecting machines to gather data.
Technology is constantly evolving and changing the agricultural industry in many ways from driverless tractors, drones, automated irrigation systems and crop health monitoring. Companies such as Microsoft have invested millions into partnerships and sustainable AI and IoT projects to help farmers maximise their profits. And they are not the only ones focusing on smart technology; many companies have developed solutions that work in harmony with Microsoft to combat the coming demand for increased production. The UN predicts the world’s population will reach 10 billion by 2050 which is a massive 2.5billion increase from 1970.
As useful as it is to read about the coming technological advances businesses in the North West can often feel forgotten and wondering how and what is available right now. The Azure solution from Microsoft gives you the perfect future-proof foundation to get started with AI and IoT. Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services with over 100 services and end-to-end tools that are designed to meet your exacting needs. Here are some examples of revolutionary solutions that work seamlessly with Microsoft.
SCR Dairy: Cow-monitoring system that gives farmers insight into milk production, the calving process and ensures healthier cows
GrassSat: Subscription service that gives online daily updates on grass cover and clear and actionable visualised maps and charts
Whether you’re ready to dive headfirst into AI or just need a knowledgeable partner to help you maximise your existing solution Monpellier can help. Based in Cumbria and the North East Monpellier provide support and solutions across a wide range of areas from accounting & payroll to CRM and EPOS. Give us a call on 01228 550 167 or email [email protected] to start farming for the future, today.
First published: In Cumbria Magazine’s August’s 2019 issue.
Another tool within Office 365’s robust suite of services is the popular Microsoft Teams. Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool released by Microsoft in 2017. Although the tool is still somewhat ‘new’ to the market it has flattened the competitors and is now leading the space with the highest number of raw-user.
Microsoft Teams gives you and your team the space to collaborate, creating a shared work-space where you can chat, meet, share files and work with business apps.
The question is how does Teams help your business and which of its features would you find useful? We have pulled together our favourite features that our clients love for you to better understand if Teams is the right choice for your organisation.
Microsoft Teams really shines when it comes to meeting functionality. Teams gives you the ability to host audio, video and web conferences with anyone inside your company or an external third party.
Features like scheduling assistance, note-taking, desktop sharing, uploading files, and chat messaging really highlights that Microsoft are focusing on making Teams the best-in-class tool for collaboration. Microsoft have announced Skype’s end-of-life date for July 2021 so for those that predominantly use this for their business conferencing needs it may be worth looking at making the switch to Teams.
In addition to its regular meeting features Microsoft Teams also has the capability to host live large meetings and events. For example, if you needed, with Teams’ help you could give a virtual presentation to up to 10,000 attendees!
The phone system within Microsoft Teams has PBX (Private Branch Exchange) capabilities and can even replace your on-premise PBX. Specialist calling features allows you to create call groups so that a specific colleague can answer your calls and gives you the ability to create and configure shared numbers.
First-line employees are often mobile, Microsoft Teams gives you access to training materials, handbooks, policies and on-demand video content via a mobile device. Compatibility with apps such as ‘Shifts’ creates seamless integration with your workforce management system.
Microsoft Teams was designed with your organisation’s advanced security needs in mind. Admin functionality grants you the ability to make granular changes and includes capabilities such as; data loss prevention, information barriers, retention policies, eDiscovery, legal hold, and more.
If your business is ready to make the switch to Microsoft Teams, Monpellier are here to help. Monpellier are a trusted Microsoft partner specialising in providing an end-to-end solution and support. If you would like more information on Teams or any of Microsoft’s products, give our team a call on 0191 500 8150.
It’s hard to avoid a mention of SharePoint these days with many productivity experts hailing it as a must-have collaboration tool. But what exactly is SharePoint and how can it be used to help your business?
In very simple terms SharePoint is a web-based document management and collaboration tool. It works with Office 365 and has a core set of functionalities including; document storage, intranet capabilities, and organisation sharing.
Monpellier are a trusted Microsoft partner specialising in providing an end-to-end solution and support. If you would like more information on SharePoint or any other Microsoft products give our team a call on 0191 500 8150.
Microsoft is galloping ahead with their business software solutions and are constantly adding to their plethora of products and add-ons. But in this minefield of new offerings, it’s hard to make sense of what each product is, what functionality they include and how it can be applied to your business.
Our Jargon Buster Series has been created to cut through the noise, explain each solution in real terms and give you the information you need to make the right decision for your business.
Microsoft 365 and Office 365 seemingly the same thing right? Unfortunately not…
Office 365 is Outlook plus the usual Office suite sold as a Cloud-based service through a subscription model. There are lots of different Office 365 plans (Business Essentials and Business Premium) that cover your different needs as a business. Subscriptions are calculated per number of users and have the benefit of always providing you with the most recent version making compatibility and upgrades a thing of the past.
In comparison, Microsoft 365 includes everything you get with Office 365 plus Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security. This bundle gives you Microsoft’s latest operating system paired with a suite of mobility and security tools that gives your data extra protection.
Realistically, the best option is to speak with a Microsoft Partner to ensure your chosen solution is the right fit for your needs. We recommend this because of the amount of options that can be added to your subscription is so vast a consultation with an expert ins simply invaluable.
However, in basic terms both solutions give you the full Office 365 package, but Microsoft 365 gives you even more (Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security). Apart from the additional features the only differences appear when it comes to device management. Unlike Office 365, Microsoft 365 comes with a single console to manage users and devices. This added feature lets you manage Windows 10 PC’s with an easy-to-use setup wizard.
Monpellier are a trusted Microsoft partner specialising in providing an end-to-end solution and support. If you would like more information on Microsoft 365, Office 365 or other Microsoft products give our team a call on 0191 500 8150.
The Microsoft power platform offers the opportunity to digitally transform your operations with a combination of:
These easy to use functions can improve the way you access and automate your data. In terms of your organisation, these functions will allow you to see where you’re at and how to implement them in order to enhance business operations.
To get the best leverage out of the Microsoft power platform, ask yourself the following questions. How can the Microsoft power platform:
Do you have users who require access to data from multiple systems in order to complete their daily workload? As your employees service your prospects and customers they will probably be accessing and updating data in multiple locations. This could include:
Microsoft’s Power Platform, Flow, Power Apps and Power BI will enable you to improve staff effectiveness whatever data they require access to.
Do you spend a lot of time on repetitive tasks, moving data between systems, sending notifications and transactions? Microsoft’s Flow can perform these tasks automatically for you and free up time so you can do other things. Notifications and transactions can be automated with the power of Flow.
Flow and Power BI also work well together. If one of your repetitive tasks is to alert people on particular data, then Flow and Power BI can do that for you.
Do you have business processes which lack oversight and approval? During different stages in a customer lifecycle, key decisions need to be made. This can occur where customer-facing employees don’t possess the know-how in making the right decision at the time in question. For instance, let’s say an employee is trying to close a sales deal. He or she might heavily discount one area to get the deal without understanding the impact of that discount to your business. With the Microsoft power platform, you can build review and approval into your business process. This will allow a manager to receive notification of a quote and approval or reject the quote before it actually gets to the customer.
Do you or your employees spend hours compiling data from multiple sources to obtain operational reporting? Do the reports differ from your colleagues in other departments due to different data sources? It can be very time consuming to compile operational reports. This time could be used to focus on other areas of your organisation like:-
With Microsoft’s Power BI you will be able to build a dashboard and transform your data to create visuals. These can be used to optimise operational reporting while combining data from multiple sources. If your data is in unrelated systems, you can leverage Flow and CDS to compile any relevant data automatically before reporting through Power BI.
So there we have it. Microsoft’s power platform can transform your operations to save you time while improving the effectiveness of your staff.
Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence technology. It’s part of the Office 365 suite – a cloud-based suite of productivity applications. This particular Microsoft feature is a suite of business analytics tools which analyse data and share insights. The Power BI dashboard also provides a 360-degree view for business users helping to highlight metrics in one place.
Whether in cloud or on-premise, Power BI can be used to unify all of your organisation’s data. It will connect you to a wealth of Microsoft Azure services which you can use to power up your apps and data analysis beyond visualisation services like:
The power tools within this particular Microsoft application include:
Power BI can enable you to explore data in vivid new ways. From reports to graphs and charts, your data takes on an entirely new perspective. This will help you and your organisation make informed decisions, while at the same time monitoring your company’s growth.
Whether your data lives in a cloud service or on-premises, Power BI can connect, clean, shape, model and visualise live reports as well as dashboards. You can get started in minutes with Content Packs, reports for popular services including pre-built dashboards.
At the heart of Power BI, is data. This Microsoft cloud-based business intelligence technology brings all of your business intelligence together. It allows users to interact and visualise data in one place. What could be better than to analyse and share insights in real time? You’ll also have the ability to access your data at anytime and anywhere.
Your business has the ability to access data across all devices with:
With Power BI mobile apps, you can streamline your data and reports from anywhere in the world. Expect update changes to your dashboard to be processed automatically. By integrating Power BI into your organisation’s office tools, your data will be transformed to enable greater insights for quicker, more focused, informed decisions.
Cut down on operational time
It doesn’t matter whether your data comes from Excel spreadsheets, big data, the cloud or on-premises. Power BI will allow you to connect with all of your current data sources in one centralised location. As Power BI is shifted to a cloud-base and stand-alone framework, it’s easily integrated with existing data such as that found in SQL Server cubes.
Businesses can now access and gain insights from existing data without the need to have to move this data. This concept cuts down on operational time while helping to make the actual analytic process much more streamlined.
Why not get in touch with one of our consultants about the prospect of implementing Power BI into your organisation? Training can be provided where needed such as teaching you how to use Power Queries and charts. It pays to get the best out of Microsoft’s Power BI software.
If you’re still using Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it’s time to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. It’s the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s ERP suite, covering financials, purchasing, inventory, operations, warehousing, and projects.
You can extend Business Central with pre-built apps covering functions such as payroll, scheduling, and materials planning. If you can’t find what you need in the app store, you can add your own customisations.
We commonly hear four misunderstandings about upgrades. So, let’s bust some myths!
Many organisations have customised their ERP solution so it perfectly fits their business. That’s to be expected: no two companies are identical and off-the-shelf solutions can’t cater for every niche process.
There are three approaches you can consider for upgrading any given customisation:
Our team of business software consultants can help you to identify the right approach for your business. If you require customisation, our team can help you to specify your requirements clearly so our team of developers can implement them effectively. We can carry out your customisations using the Extensions feature in Business Central, to help make future upgrades much smoother.
Risk is relative: using an outdated ERP solution also carries risks. Old solutions may no longer be supported, which means any security flaws and bugs are not being patched. Without an ERP solution, many businesses are paralysed, so it is reckless to use a solution that could become vulnerable to attack. Unsupported solutions won’t be updated for the latest business, tax and regulatory changes, either, forcing you to use workarounds and risk falling out of compliance. If you’re using Dynamics NAV 2013, for example, you don’t have built-in support for GDPR or Making Tax Digital.
Obviously, there is a risk inherent in any change, but you can minimise it by choosing an expert team to implement your upgrade. We use robust project management methodologies that are designed to deliver upgrades on budget and on time. Because we focus on serving businesses in the North East, Cumbria, and surrounding areas, we have a presence near our customers. We can meet you as often as necessary, and we’re on hand to quickly address any queries or concerns you have. After your new ERP launches, we can continue to support it for you, and implement any new customisations you require as your business evolves. We have a dedicated in-house support team, comprised of fully qualified IT technicians, so we can provide first class technical support to help you avoid downtime.
We offer a fixed price upgrade package to insulate you from the cost of any unforeseen issues, reducing the financial risk of an upgrade project.
Actually, if you have a Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) for Dynamics NAV, you don’t have to pay any additional licence fees. It’s already covered. So, after implementation, you get the peace of mind and enhancements of Business Central at no additional cost. Your upgrade costs are limited to the cost of implementation.
In our experience, users want to be using the most effective software. They don’t want to be using workarounds or software that’s outlived its useful purpose, which is a feeling often evoked by legacy ERP solutions.
Business Central has an interface similar to Microsoft Office, so it immediately feels intuitive, and users can quickly find their way around it. The software helps by automating and streamlining processes, so your team can be liberated from some of the administration that might be required in your existing ERP solution. With ready access to the information they need, they can make smarter decisions to drive your business forwards.
We’ll help you by training your team too, so they can quickly get up to speed and start taking advantage of the new features that are available to them.
What’s holding you back? Contact us, and we’ll be pleased to talk over your concerns.
A fairly harmless expression by itself, but if you stop for a moment to consider, it highlights a vital point, not so much a flaw but definitely a shortcoming.
Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, conversational bots, Digital Twins, Blockchain and Machine Learning are practically redefining the way businesses are getting more structured, accurate, definite and efficient, eliminating more scopes of uncertainty and mitigating risks of errors. Besides, the use of spreadsheets, instead of an enterprise-level resource planning software, underlines a major drawback in management as it highlights the lack of foresightedness that is required to equip the organisation to battle challenges that inevitably come with gradual expression over time.
When it comes to spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel is inarguably the most popular one. Numbers don’t lie: over 750 million people are using it worldwide to record, track and calculate. And not for no reason. It is easy to use, flexible and largely reduces dependency on the IT department, especially for storing, calculating, tracking and accessing data. Think about a world without Excel. It seems impossible. That’s because Excel has enabled the masses to make sense of the numbers.
However, while spreadsheets might be phenomenal for personal productivity tracking and arguably for small businesses, they are not designed to manage enterprises. Expanding enterprises eventually arrive at a juncture where they, albeit begrudgingly, have to admit that their dependence on Excel is not serving their business purpose adequately. There are limitations on Excel, and nobody should be doing anything 100% in Excel.
It has been reiterated that the fundamental requirements of a business changes as the company grows. It’s obvious. However, businesses don’t do it. They continue to use spreadsheets, increasing complexities of business operations which can impact tasks as vital as revenue recognition.
This is how:
Thus, most back office personnel managing departments like HR, Finance, Marketing and IT struggle to track the progress of each process, clear backlogs and identify opportunities leading to a mammoth bottleneck for the decision making. The challenges of errors in data entry are a grave concern as well. Additionally, in a competitive environment of today, businesses are relying on data analytics to arrive at accurate insightful decisions which is practically non-existent in spreadsheets, thereby hampering business growth.
Why spreadsheet users are so intensely attached to their files is quite understandable. After having spent weeks, maybe even months to prepare and keep them updated, it is not easy to consider not using them anymore. That’s why, the first response to a proposal to use an enterprise resource planning software or ERP, is often, “what’s wrong with spreadsheets?”
It is important to understand that enterprise software doesn’t entirely do away with spreadsheets. Instead, it actually helps to ensure that the data has been carefully entered and updated, managed well, made more secure, maintained consistently and rendered accessible across the organisation. ERP ensures that the spreadsheets of yesterday can successfully be converted into databases for tomorrow.
Executives can still export data into spreadsheets when they want to take a quick look at information or run ad-hoc analyses. Alternately, they can use the software’s built-in business analytics and reporting features to generate the same information in half the time.
Besides reducing data entry errors, ERP also helps to eliminate repetitive data entry between users, which is a real possibility in Excel. If no one recognises these errors, there may be a risk of the company making less than favourable decisions, based on conclusions drawn from inaccurate information.
ERP helps to resolve collaboration challenges. Since all users draw data from a centralised source, chances of confusion are less. Moreover, computing protocols prevent the possibility for users to duplicate efforts or confuse updates to product information.
It improves visibility and communication between departments, divisions and suppliers, which in turn, can integrate various business processes and reduce time to market, thereby improving return on investment.
ERP solutions can not only benefit those who are implementing it for the first time, but also can be beneficial for those organisations that are updating and adding incremental operations like HR management or CRM. In fact, some ERP softwares have built-in HR or CRM modules that can be activated or used only when a company grows and reaches a certain level and the need for enhanced coordination and collaboration becomes prominent.
Digital transformation is only effective when it is seamless and company-wide and such ERP solutions ensure that this seamlessness can be achieved by enabling capabilities to be added when the time is right. Back office has always played an instrumental role in aiding the front office achieve business goals.
It’s only now that ERP is integrating the two and encouraging digitally-transformed businesses to focus on the front-office and the customer experience by ensuring that back-office tasks are being conducted smoothly with enhanced efficiency and heightened accuracy.
Making the move from spreadsheets to ERP is not as much about technology as it is about strategising for future growth. And as businesses grow they need to assess the need for fewer systems. If spreadsheets are still holding your business back, now is the right time to consider implementing new age ERP software. It can be the major component of a sustainable, scalable IT strategy that evolves with your business and strengthens the foundation for future growth.
Ready to take the next step? Get in touch with us today to set up a meeting so we can help you help yourself. Call us on 0191 500 8150 to speak to one of our friendly Business Software Consultants.
From the first point of contact, you can manage prospects, convert prospects to customers, manage the customer relationship, report on their profitability and increase your business potential with them, all from one solution.
By streamlining your marketing activity and sales cycle, Opera 3 gives you the power to manage progression from prospect to customer. It helps make sure you never miss an opportunity or lose sight of a customer, and gives the sales team vital access to all prospect and customer information, even when on the road.
Once a prospect becomes a customer, you can continue to log activities such as mailings, conversations, tasks and promotion. Opera 3 CRM integrates with Outlook, Excel and Word so that you can manage your communications.
Seamless integration with Supply Chain Management and Financials eliminates rekeying and ensures account information is always close at hand.
Opera3 CRM makes it easy for you to generate specific quotations for a customer or prospect. You can also create tailored mailshots using contacts filtered by criteria or pre-defined groups,for more intelligent marketing. It analyses opportunities by referral method, type and competitor.
Features of Pegasus Opera 3 CRM include:
The ability to win new customers and successfully manage existing ones is an essential part of the business growth. Opera 3 CRM is an integrated end-to-end solution which can help your business develop more profitability and increase customer satisfaction by promoting long-term relationships.
The sales cycle can be a long and complicated process and it’s easy to lose prospects in the sheer volume of activity your sales and marketing people are generating. With Opera 3 CRM you can capture prospect and contact information, identify the opportunity and closure profitability and increase your business potential with them, all from one complete solution. Opera 3 CRM will help to streamline your procedures and manage the progression from prospect to customer, quote to order, so that you will never lose sight of an opportunity of customer again.
The ability to track opportunities and accurately forecast against them is essential to business growth. Opera 3 CRM builds a full, clear picture of your sales pipeline and the value of those opportunities broken down by owner, contact, referral method, sales type and area.
Plus, the powerful reporting ability of Pegasus XRL allows you to report on all aspects of the sales cycle and analyse any other area of the business using Microsoft Excel.
Once a prospect becomes a customer, Opera 3 can convert the record into a Sales Ledger account so you can immediately invoice or convert quotes to orders in Sales Order Processing.
The cycle is completes with the ability to continue to log activity such as mailings, conversations, tasks and promotions to existing customers in order to manage these more effectively.
When your sales team is out on the road, it is essential to be able to manage CRM data on the move. With CRM Remote, users can download prospect and customer data onto their laptop; they can process, edit and amend contact details and histories, then synchronise the changes back to the central office via the Internet.
If the above isn’t enough to persuade you to utilise all the features of Pegasus Opera 3 CRM, then keep on reading to discover the key benefits that Opera 3 CRM can offer its users:
If you would like to discuss Pegasus Opera 3 CRM in more detail, or would like to book a free demo, get in contact with us here, or give us a call on 0191 500 8150 to have a chat with one of our Business Software Consultants.
Fully integrated into the Sales, Purchase and Nominal Ledgers, Cashbook and Payroll, Pegasus CIS conforms to the requirements and regulations of HMRC’s Construction Industry Scheme.
When you consider that the average construction project suffers 150% cost overruns and completes more than 175% late, there’s clearly a great need for software that can help you deliver projects on time and within budget – and transform your business.
Pegasus CIS recognises the complex business requirements of the construction sector, offering an unparalleled level of management control over contracts and subcontractors. It integrates with Opera 3, Opera II, Sage 50 and Sage 200.
Effective cash management can make a serious difference to the profit on a job. Pegasus CIS Job Costing captures all contract information across every stage of a job and makes it immediately available for analysis.
Each job can be divided into an unlimited number of Job Heads, each of which can be linked to nominal accounts for automated journals. Each Job Head will hold separate information on budgets, revenue and costs to date, allowing actual-to-budget variance analysis and reporting.
You can set up original and revised budgets, and budgets can be split across periods. You can also set up revenue budgets that can also be split across periods, allowing cashflow forecasting. All cost transactions are posted to a Job and a Job Head. Job Heads can represent cost categories such as labour or materials, each with an unlimited number of subheads.
If more detailed analysis on a job by job basis is required, you can make use of Job Phases (both for costs and sales) to represent the stages, variations or subsequent orders for a job. In addition, jobs can also be linked to a Project to give a further level of grouping and analysis.
This flexibility allows costs to be tailored in a way that best suits the analysis needs of your business.
A detailed audit file is held for all revenue transactions on a job, whether this is from direct invoices or from invoices generated via the payment applications and certification routines. You can also view and re-print any of the historic contract applications. If retention is held against an invoice or a contract, you can report on this and apply for the retention to be released on the correct date.
The system caters for:
A detailed audit file is held for all costs posted to each job. This information can be displayed per Job, Phase, or Job Head, which can be stored, filtered and grouped, giving instant on-screen analysis of all costs; this in turn can be linked to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.
The system caters for:
Costs are posted to a job as a detailed transaction with summary totals maintained at Job, Phase and Job Head levels. Flexible on-screen enquiries are available for all transactions.
Costs can be posted from the following sources:
Purchasing requirements for each contract can be controlled and monitored by raising purchase orders to a supplier. Purchase orders can be raised as a call-off against a pre-defined Bill of Requirements for a Job, from stock or generic material group, or as a free text descriptive item.
Purchase orders can also be raised to replenish stock, order external Plant or as a nominal posting for overhead expense. Purchase orders can require authorisation prior to being printed or emailed.
Purchase orders items can be sorted by criteria such as due date, supplier and job, making it easy to monitor what is outstanding against a job and when it is due to be delivered.
Purchase orders are updated as goods are received and invoiced, maintaining an accurate picture of committed costs against the job. The Purchase Invoice Register also allows you to allocate costs directly to the Nominal Ledger, as well as to jobs. Approved purchase invoices are posted seamlessly to the Purchase Ledger.
The system caters for:
The Contract Sales Ledger seamlessly links to the accounts Sales Ledger to access trading terms and to post sales invoices. Contract Sales maintains details of the current Applications (through valuation, application and certified values) as well as a history of all previous Applications.
For added flexibility, a Job can be set up in a particular currency and that currency will be used for all contract sales.
Each Payment Application controls current and cumulative Revenue Values, Retention and Main Contractor Discount. Applications can be classed as Interim, Final and Agreed Final Measure.
Cash received can be entered into batches and allocated to one or more Certificates. For Certificates, VAT can be taken into account at the time of a payment. For standard invoicing, VAT is recorded at the date of the invoice.
A complete audit trail of each Application and Payment is maintained, providing detailed aged debt analysis and reporting against jobs. Knowing when payments are due is critical to managing cashflow, whether these are from certificates, invoices or retentions that become due.
The system caters for:
The Subcontractors module can be used as an integral part of the cost-capturing functionality of the full Pegasus CIS solution. It can also be used as a standalone solution by contractors who only need to control their subcontractors more efficiently and ensure that they adhere to HMRC rules for the Construction Industry Scheme.
The Subcontractors Ledger combines the functionality of a Purchase Ledger with the regulatory requirements of HMRC Construction Industry Scheme. Pegasus CIS stores full information on the CIS-approved subcontractors, including details of their Unique Taxpayer Reference, National Insurance or Company Registration Numbers, Verification Status, and default Labour Rates to be used for Timesheet only subcontractors.
When engaging new subcontractors it is necessary to verify their tax status with HMRC to ascertain whether they are to be paid gross or net of tax, and of net, whether this is at the standard rate or higher rate. With Pegasus CIS, you can verify these subcontractors online with a simple click. Pegasus CIS will connect to the HMRC website and retrieve a subcontractor’s tax status and verification code quickly and easily. If you don’t intend to use the online service, this information can also be entered directly into the system.
Applications from subcontractors are processed in a register, so that incomplete applications can be included in management reports. Each application records current and cumulative values of net, gross, pre-VAT Contra, discounts and retentions, together with details of tax that is being retained against ‘Net’ paid subcontractors, Labour and material content is recorded separately, conforming to HMRC regulations.
A separate posting routine is provided for subcontractor invoices and timesheets. If the subcontractor issues timesheets for work carried out, these can be entered; the system holds details of labour rates for the subcontractor/job and applies these at the entry stage. This allows for rapid entry of timesheets, especially if these are split over a number of jobs.
Employees and their pay rates are entered in your Payroll solution and are accessible to Pegasus CIS so that timesheets can be processed. Timesheets are posted to the individual jobs and to the Payroll, so that payslips can be produced. These costs can be posted to the job as a net, gross or charge-out rate all with an optional overhead recovery percentage.
Linked to the Contract Purchasing module, Pegasus CIS Stock Control provides a powerful way to monitor stock levels and to allocate or issue stock to jobs. Stock movements are recorded in an audit trail, and costs are posted against each of the jobs. The stock system is multi-warehouse, multi-location and can be broken down into multiple categories and groups. You can assign multiple suppliers to a stock record, define alternative stock codes, maintain supplier price lists, and link Bill of Quantity call-offs to the Job record.
Pegasus CIS is a powerful, user-friendly data analysis tool, designed to retrieve information held anywhere in the system easily and quickly. List Views are provided throughout the system so that you can look at any data: your job costs, subcontractor payments, purchase order receipts, or any other area. This data can be stored, filtered, grouped and totalled to be displayed in the format you require.These Views can be linked to Microsoft Excel for further manipulation and saved for future use.
Pegasus XRL is one of the most powerful and flexible reporting tools you can find in the market today: it will transform the way you analyse your data.
Launched from within Excel, Pegasus XRL allows you to access directly the live data stored within Pegasus CIS. Any data stored in Pegasus CIS can be dynamically interrogated in Excel. This includes use of headers, details, subtotals and footer sections, so you can quickly apply Excel’s data manipulation techniques and diverse range of report styles, formats and printing options to your entire contract costing data.
Pegasus CIS has been specifically designed to give instant access to up-to-date information that allows you to manage your contracts. Knowing what is owed and when it is due and who needs to be paid when are critical issues. Pegasus CIS addresses these and many others as part of its effective management of your contracts.
For more information regarding Pegasus CIS, or to organise a free demo, contact us here, or give us a call on 0191 500 8150 to speak to one of our friendly Business Software Consultants.
Everyday activities feed unstructured data into the Sage 200c Business Intelligence module, whereby it can then be transformed into dynamic and actionable data insights. From this, opportunities can be identified and developed.
Business Intelligence can be defined, as per business and economic theorist, Gartner:
In the economic downturn there is a heightened need to make better, fact-based decisions – BI is a vital competitive tool of increased importance in an environment where doing business more smartly, in order to maximise share of the reduced revenue in circulation, is a necessity.
In essence, this module uses pre-determined data cubes to offer up full perspective, multidimensional views of your business information. These data cubes provide the facility for you to analyse your business by:
Additionally, Sage 200c BI is accessible by everyone as it requires no prior technical knowledge and uses non-jargon based terminology. Furthermore, Sage 200c BI exports data to Microsoft Excel for easy manipulation of data.
Business Intelligence for Commercials is the latest addition to Sage 200c BI. This new release considers a greater range of data whilst making the analysis available from Sage 200c BI more comprehensive. As an upgrade to the five existing data cubes, Sage 200c BI for Commercials includes eight commercial data cubes, comprising:
There are a number of features and benefits that exist within this module that can aid your business in the long term:
Analyse your data quickly and effectively on a familiar platform. Sage 200c BI exports data into Microsoft Excel, allowing you to augment the reports by using standard Excel formatting, such as calculations and macros, for an end result that is usable for you. This functionality minimises the training required as the majority of users will already be adept at using Excel, so is complementary to an enhanced reporting method.
Pre-defined reports come as standard with Sage 200c BI, allowing the administrator to quickly determine and understand financial information within their Sage 200cloud solution, e.g through profit and loss, worst paying customers and average sales benchmarks. These reports are time saving in that they remove the need to create reports from scratch and does away with redesigning of reports for different occasions.
With the Report Wizard you can adeptly change the layout of a report to meet your requirements, providing flexibility in the way in which you need to view certain information and by enabling you to extract the information required, whilst being displayed in the way you like. The report is therefore usable for your purposes and takes into account the necessary information.
From each report in Sage 200c BI you can drill down through increasing levels of detail. An example may be if you are looking at an overview for a specific year, you can drill down through increasing levels of details. An example may be if you are looking at an overview for a specific year, you can drill down by a particular month and further at a daily level. View your data within the exact parameters you need to be in.
Anomalies in your data can be highlighted by colour and based on your specific criteria, enabling you to spot exceptions within a report quickly. Make efficient use of your time by identifying extraordinary details for easy reference.
The multi-view analysis tools within Sage 200c BI is an added extra to the software in that it allows you to view data from many angles, e.g, by sales by region, customer and month. The report fields can be changed in seconds providing quick and easy reporting analysis, and this functionality is unlike any other module within the Sage 200c Suite.
SQL Server Analysis Services is a market leading OLAP technology. Therefore, Sage 200c BI is built to operate on a reliable and robust platform, so delivering a high specification module that won’t let you down.
As you can see from the above, the Sage 200c Business Intelligence modules is one that comes in very handy when you want to drill down into the analytics and insights you need to run your business efficiently.
Here are some more reasons why you should utilise Sage 200c BI:
Use powerful analytical tools to inform your decision making and share business data widely across your organisation.
Change report fields in seconds to give you key information such as Profit & Loss by cost centre and department; sales by customer by month; stock valuation for the last three months; trend in overdue orders; stock movements by product group; and much more. Bring your business data to life using charts and graphs.
Offer the highest quality service and support and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns with advanced customer relationship management tools.
Sage 200c BI can help you identify customer and product trends and understand any variations. You can measure performance against different benchmarks and analyse data and connections between different parts of your business.
With Sage 200c BI, you can plan strategically for growth and change with tools that help you identify key trends and patterns. Spot opportunities for innovation and identify improvements in productivity and growth in every area of your company.
If you are interested in finding out more information about Sage 200c, or want to discuss integration of accounting software within your company, reach out to us here, or call us on 0191 500 8150 to discuss it with one of our Business Software Consultants.