The air is definitely a little colder these days, making it the perfect time to fly south for a little R&R. In an effort to reduce workload, allowing for a little extra R&R, a number of our clients have chosen to implement Electronic Reconciliation. Through this module, one can download their bank statement & process into Dynamics GP, eliminating much of the manual work associated with the bank reconciliation process. Setup is a simple process & is completed in one simple screen. Downloading files is a standard process through most banks. By implementing this simple module, companies can save a considerable time each month in the administrative process.
Adam MacIntosh is a Senior Project Manager with WebSan Solutions Inc.
In 1983, Quaker Oats purchased Gatorade, transforming it from a multi-million dollar business into a multi-billion dollar business. Fast forward a decade & Quaker decided that another drink manufacturer was primed for the same growth. This time, Quaker eyed a takeover of Snapple, a popular fruit beverage. After paying a large ransom for the Snapple business, Quaker did not see the returns it had forecast. The Snapple brand fizzled as Quaker resources were washed down the drain. Eventually, the Snapple brand was sold at a $1.4 billion loss to Quaker.
What went right with Gatorade that went so wrong with Snapple?
The measurement tools that Quaker used to evaluate Gatorade were both accurate & appropriate. However, in the decade that past, these same evaluation tools were not updated. Quaker applied the same methods & metrics to the Snapple brand that they did to the Gatorade brand. However, in the decade that had passed, these tools were no longer the most appropriate.
Evaluation mechanisms are constantly being updated. What works today might leave you behind tomorrow. Quaker found this out first hand. If companies want to continue to thrive, they must be constantly tweaking & evaluating the tools they use to evaluate their business.
Microsoft Dynamics GP leverages ever evolving Microsoft technologies in order to provide the best reporting options possible. Users can access reports in many different formats. Business Alerts can send automated emails to any staf member when exception criteria are met or at specific intervals. Emails can be configured to include attachments, including lists of applicable information. Users can have similar automated Reminders open on their screens when specified criteria have been met. This allows for fast & automated management by exception.
To Do lists & Check List force users to complete tasks periodically in a structured way. Meaning, no longer are workflows undocumented or dependent on a single employee. If an employee leaves the organization, those same tasks must still be completed.
Standard reporting is available in paper format as would be expected. Users can further use inquiries to research linked transactions if auditing information. The same information can be exported to Excel or Word at the click of a button through a Smartlist. These can all have filters applied to them to restrict the information that is displayed. However, where Dynamics GP takes things a step further is SRS Reporting. Smartlists can live on the server in the form of an Excel Report. These can contain, charts, graphs, lists or whatever one's heart desires. These reports are linked to the server & the Dynamics GP database through Excel, meaning information is constantly changing on them automatically as data is entered into Dynamics. And the best feature is that those who wish to view these reports do no require a Dynamics GP user license as they are not actually logging into GP. The same premise applies to SRS (or SQL Reporting Services) Reports. These are built through regular SQL statements & can include filters, etc, just like any SQL query would have. Data can be displayed in many different formats & again, do not require a license to view.
The evaluation tools offered by Microsoft are beyond comparison & constantly evolving. those utilizing Dynamics GP are always in the know & won't be left behind.
With the weather getting a little colder, we all know the Holidays are fast approaching. It is around the Holidays that many, like myself, begin to travel to see loved ones. This year in particular, I have a lot of travel lined up. This got me thinking about how popular Dynamics is around the world. So with that said, here are some quick facts about Dynamics GP's worldwide popularity …
- Dynamics is most popular in North America, the Middle East, Singapore, UK, Australia & Ireland.
- Dynamics GP, originally called Great Plains, was developed in Fargo, North Dakota by Great Plain Software.
- There are currently over 300 000 Dynamics customers around the world, spanning 41 languages
Last week I met with a new client, we began with our normal introductions, etc. They were curious as to my expertise with the Dynamics product line. After discussing the seven different certifications I personally have from Microsoft, the conversation quickly moved onto other topics. However, this reminded me of the rigorous screening process Microsoft employs for its partner network.
Any partner wishing to sell Microsoft Dynamics GP must have employees certified in its core financial management system. Further certifications are required in database management among others. Recently all Microsoft Partners were asked to complete formal training & certification in Sure Step, the Microsoft Project Management System. I am glad to say all WebSan staff that were tested passed with flying colours!
Congratulations Team WebSan!
The truth that most consultants won’t tell you is that the majority of technology projects fail. The reasons for these failures can vary dramatically. In order to minimizes & mitigates these varied risks, Microsoft has developed a proven methodology for Microsoft Dynamics implementations based on industry best practices.
This project management methodology is systematic & phase based as well as scalable to the size of projects. It applies to project big & small, enterprise to standard, complex to standard upgrades. Further, it encompasses all phases of any implementation. This repeatable process helps consultants better meet customer expectations by properly managing organizational change. Customer decision making is further streamlined through decision accelerators. This leads to low-risk, successful implementations.
All Microsoft Dynamics Partners are required to have staff certified in Sure Step.
Tele-working or working from home is very common in today’s business world. Staff at many companies have the ability to work from anywhere. In fact, IBM has half its staff working from home, saving them valuable real estate, overhead & all that goes with having an office. As a consultant, I am constantly traveling, but I am still able to stay in touch with the office through my Blackberry. VPN’s allow many users to log into networks to access systems, emails, files, etc.
With cloud computing, the ability to work from anywhere is made even easier. Through hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP, all staff need to access their ERP is an internet connection. A CFO can easily review financial statements, in real time, from a Starbucks. Imagine living out your days on a beach in the Caribbean, still able to complete necessary tasks. With the invention of internet sticks that can plug into any USB, Operations Managers can carry a net-book or laptops with them & have the ability to complete sensitive tasks in an instant. Sales staff no longer need a reserved desk at the office. They can stay mobile, reaching more clients. Even administrative staff could work remotely should the need arise as it did for many last summer with the G8 summit shutting down the core of Toronto.
WebSan Solutions is a Microsoft Partner offering Hosted Dynamics GP
Adam MacIntosh, Senior Project Manager
Cloud computing is the latest & greatest innovation in the technology industry & for good reason. I previously discussed how cloud computing takes the worry out of disaster recovery. Another way cloud computer helps take strain off executive shoulders is that it helps your company avoid service disruptions often associated with service updates. Imagine never worrying about having to upgrade your software. Imagine it was just done for you, with no downtime, disruptions or worry. That is what the cloud offers. At WebSan, we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP for a number of client, taking care of necessary service packs, system updates & necessary maintenance that comes along with owning an ERP system. By taking advantage of Saas Dynamics GP (or software as a service), customers can stay focused on their core competencies. Hosted solutions allow clients to scale up or down as the market dictates without & overhead burden often associated with on-premise solutions. Lastly, they don’t have to worry about having a full-time IT resource to help with issues where one might not be required.
WebSan is a Microsoft Partner offering hosted Dynamics GP to clients big & small.
Adam MacIntosh, Senior Project Manager
Disaster recovery is often neglected until an actual disaster occurs. A number of people assume it will never happen to them. We don’t drive cars without insurance, so why compute without a disaster recovery plan?
Well enter the cloud with hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP …
Access to files & reports when you want them. Take the worry out of disaster recovery. Accessing your ERP over the net has never been more secure, convenient or faster. When you enter the cloud with WebSan, we ensure the highest level of disaster recovery. We have redundancy upon redundancy to protect your data. From protection against power failures to floods to fire.
Never worry again about a service disruption.
Adam MacIntosh, Senior Project Manager
Service calls can now be escalated to additional managerial levels. The Service Type Escalation window has been modified to include a new Manager Level field. When a call is escalated, an e-mail to the technician's manager is sent. This can now be sent to two additional levels of management directly above the technician's manager. One can specify the number of levels to e-mail, including:
- The manager of the technician on the service call
- The manager's manager
- The manager of the manager's manager
The Service Call Escalation window also now supports multiple technicians for each call.
Users of US Payroll in Dynamics GP will love the new integration points from other modules within Dynamics GP.
One such integration point is with the Field Services module. Direct & indirect labour postings that create Payroll transactions can be made in Service Call Management & Depot Management. This integration allows for Payroll to captures the cost from the employee's pay code into the labor record in Field Service.
A Post to Payroll check box has been added to the Work Type Maintenance & Depot Station Maintenance windows that when selected, enters the value from the window's corresponding Pay Code field, representing an hourly pay code.