Whether its aiding an aging workforce or assisting a disabled employee, there are a wide variety of cost effective products in the market today that can help employees become more efficient in the workplace. Many of these technologies will also allow employers to take advantage of resource pools they once were unable to profit from.
Our analysis of assistive technologies focuses on two of the leading impairments faced by workers today, visual difficulties & dexterity impairments. Those with either of these impairments can take advantage of many technologies discussed. For example, Speech Recognition Software is a great tool for those living with either difficulty. Furthermore, many of these technologies can be used to aid those with learning difficulties or simply assist those not living with any impairment.
Aides for Visual Impairments
Among adult computer users in the United States, more than 1 in 4 (27%) have a vision difficulty. This large percentage of the population can take advantage numerous technologies to aid in everyday tasks.
- ·Screen Enlargers – Working like a magnifying glass, these enlarge a portion of the screen as the user moves their focus. Many allow the user to further zoom in & out on a specific area of the screen as well.
- ·Screen Readers – These programs used to verbalize, or "speak," everything on the screen including names & descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
- ·Braille Displays - Provide a tactile output of Braille letters such that users can read with their fingers.
- ·Speech Recognition Systems - Allow users to enter data & give commands using their voice rather than a mouse or keyboard.
Aides for Dexterity Impairments
Among adult computer users in the United States, 1 in 4 (26%) have a dexterity impairment. Technologies used to assist this portion of the population can also aid those with other disabilities, such as the Speech Recognition software mentioned above.
- ·On-Screen Keyboard Programs – Displays an image of a keyboard on the computer screen allowing the user to select keys with a mouse, touch screen or electronic pointing device.
- ·Keyboard Filters - These products reduce the required number of keystrokes enabling users to avoid inadvertently selecting keys they don't want. Examples are word prediction utilities & add-on spell checkers.
- ·Alternative Input Devices – Modified keyboards, touch screens & electronic pointing devices allow data entry through unconventional means. Electronic pointing devices in particular are extremely useful as they can be utilized by a variety of individuals facing dexterity problems. Devices utilize ultrasound, infrared beams, eye or head movements, nerve signals and even brain waves.
Many of these technologies are not only for the impaired. Any employee can take advantage these as well as many other means in order to minimize time & errors when performing everyday tasks. For example, most programs allow for the use of macros for repetitive entries or allow the saving of favourites for quick access to certain screens. Keyboard shortcuts can also be employed to reduce time during entry. Even the settings on a standard mouse can be modified to adjust the double-click options or the left & right click settings.
Many employers are surprised to find most devices designed for the impaired require minimal investment or setup. One or two of these systems in the workplace can go a long way to improving employee productivity & expanding ones workforce. The disabled community is closely knit & presenting your company as one with an inclusive environment can also go a long way in improving corporate image.
Want to access Microsoft Dynamics GP data on your mobile device? Upgrade to Business Portal!
Through Business Portal, users can access data from Microsoft Dynamics GP without logging into the system. Instead, the data lives on-line, making it accessible through mobile devices such as a Blackberry. Simply configure your mobile device to access your company VPN & your off! You don't have to be chained to that desk anymore!
Next time you are printing Sales invoices, try this time-saving alternative:
Select Options > Quick Print, or simply CTRL + Q on your keyboard
This will print your invoices according to the settings in the Quick Print Setup screen (also under the Options menu). Default can be created for:
· Packing slips
· Picking tickets
Select a print Destination & number of copies to be printed. Print options available for documents are:
· Include Kit Components - Prints the component items of the kit in the kit item
· Print Customer Item - Prints the customer's item numbers on the order or invoice
· Include Tax Details - Prints Line Item and Summary Taxes, or Summary Taxes Only
· Keep Current Document Displayed - Prints the order or invoice remains in the Sales Transaction Entry window
After setup is complete, documents can be printed much more efficiently.
In any window, users can select Help > About Microsoft Dynamics GP to determine what version they are using. This is extremely useful when installing patches or making upgrades. This information cen even be critical when submitting a support request.
Hint: From this window, one can select Options to determine what modules are regitered.
Do you often find yourself canceling reports that automatically print after you have posted a document? Or even changing the default destination of these reports? Well, one can set the default destination of these reports or even stop them from printing all together.
Try entering the Posting Setup screen (Microsfot Dynamics GP > Tools > Setup > Posting > Posting). In this screen, you can select whether or not a specific report will print by selecting or de-selecting the checkbox in the Print column. Also, one can specify destination for a report by making the appropriate selection in the Send To column.
See the attached screenshot below & save yourself all that extra clicking when you next post a transaction.
Year-End can be a hectic time for all & it is fast approaching. In many instances, we are tired from or preparing for the holidays. Everyone is out of their routine & sometimes, performing tasks they only think about once a year. Here is a brief summary of performing year-end in any ERP system.
Prior to performing year-end tasks:
1 - Post all receivables, payables & financial transactions. Future dated transactions should be held off if possible until after the year has closed.
2 - Perform a stock count, send out customer statements & complete all reconciliations
3 - Make any adjusting entries needed.
4 - Print necessary reports to maintain in the companies permanent records for audit trail purposes
5 - Make a backup of company database before starting the year-end processes.
Ensure all users are out of the system when performing year-end processes. Additionally, users are often given the opportunity to purge obsolete records during the year-end processing. One should consult company policy & ensure local law reporting laws are followed prior to deleting any records. Once complete, it is good practice to close old fiscal periods from posting to prevent any accidental postings.
For more advanced FRx users, I thought I would cover some calculation formulas that are available for use in FRx. Much of FRx is fairly self explainable & easily learned with a little exploration. One topic I had a little trouble with when first learning the system was Calculation Formulas on Row Formats.
Simple adding & subtracting are fairly self-explanatory. Simple take the columns to add & place a plus sign between them. For example, B + C.
However, did you know FRx can perform complex calculations such as adding & multiplying all at once. The formula (A+((B+C/2)+(C*.8)/2))+(F TO H) is a valid entry.
IF/THEN/ELSE Statements are another handy tool. These allow one to build logic into the column. For example, the formula "IF B>1000 THEN B ELSE C*2" translates to:
If the amount in column B is greater than 1000, place the value from column B in the CALC column. If the value is not greater than 1000, multiply the value in column C by 2 & place the result in the CALC column.
FRx is the standard financial reporting tool utilized by most Microsoft Dynamics GP users for financial reporting. FRx links directly into the general ledger to allow the creation of endless types of reports. These report are then viewed in the FRx DrillDown Viewer. Users I have spoken to in the past have expressed that they are more comfortable viewing reports in Excel.
To take your FRx financial report & export to excel:
1 - Generate the report
2 - In the DrillDown Viewer, select File > Export > Worksheet File > Formatted Excel
3 - Save the report to its desired location
This quick & easy trick should save you time & energy in attempting to convert your reports.