SAP Business One 9.3 Now in General Availability

We are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of SAP Business One 9.3, both on MS SQL and SAP HANA databases.

The 5 most wanted features that drove customers to adopt the new 9.3 release were:

  • Import from Excel
  • Return merchandise authorization management (RMA)
  • Streamlined CRM processes
  • Approved procedures enhancements
  • Project Management enhancements


What Can You Expect in SAP Business One 9.3?

  1. With core expansion, release 9.3 supports new business processes and rounds out key areas such as:
    • Simple production routing
    • Return merchandise authorization management (RMA)
    • Project management updates
    • Simplifying and streamlining CRM processes
    • Authorization management
    • Price list enhancement
  1. Leveraging our SAP HANA platform and building on the semantic layer, we offer new cockpit templates. With a new analytics portal, end users can schedule and consume reports without the need to log into SAP Business One.
  2. With add-on solutions playing a key role in shaping our comprehensive business solution, we make it easier for partners to develop add-ons with the support of XML methods for user defined tables and the latest visual studio 2015 suite.
  3. Deployment and management of SAP Business One is simplified with a centralized approach. Single Sign On (SSO) is utilized for apps for SAP Business One, version for SAP HANA making partner add-ons easier to manage and consume.
  4. Optimal performance, higher stability and better supportability.

Check the SAP Business One 9.3 Highlights presentation for a solid overview of newly developed functional highlights.

Sage 300 (2018 Update)

General improvements

The following new features and enhancements are available in both Sage 300c web screens and Sage 300 classic screens:

  • Export Declaration Number field. On the Taxes tab of the A/R Invoice Entry and O/E Invoice Entry screens, an Export Declaration Number field allows you to enter export declaration numbers for exported goods. This information is required for tax purposes in some jurisdictions (such as Malaysia and Singapore).

Sage 300C Web Screens

This release includes the option to install Sage 300c web screens: modernized versions of Sage 300 screens that you can use in a web browser.

Web screens run in parallel with the classic Sage 300 desktop screens, so there’s no need to choose between desktop or web. Everyone in your organization can use the interface that best suits their needs, while working seamlessly with a single shared set of company data.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Sage 300c 2018 web screens:

  • Find and open recently used windows. On the web toolbar, a new Recently Used Windows list displays windows you’ve opened recently, making it easy to quickly find and open those windows again.
  • Improved performance in the Finder. The Finder displays results faster than in previous versions of Sage 300, particularly when using a large database.
  • Improved import/export process in I/C Physical Inventory Quantities screen. When importing and exporting data on the I/C Physical Inventory Quantities screen, you can now choose to import/export data from the detail table (select Inventory Worksheet Header) or the fields above the detail table (select Inventory Worksheet).

Sage 300 2016 is Released!

Upgrade to Sage 300 2016 today and enjoy streamlined workflows, improved usability, Affordable Care Act compliance, and more. Take advantage of all the new customer-driven enhancements that are included in Sage 300 2016 so you can be even more productive.

Ensure compliance with Affordable Care Act requirements

With Sage 300 2016, you can ensure your company meets the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To address the legislative requirements, a tool called My Workforce Analyzer1 in Sage Payroll 7.2 will help you stay compliant with government regulations.

Assistance with ACA reporting includes:
• Establishing employee work hours.
• Verifying full or part time status.
• Showing health care coverage costs to determine affordability.
• Tracking self-insured employee coverage.
• Reporting employer-sponsored health care coverage on W2 forms.
• Printing forms1094-Cand1095-C.

To learn more about Sage 300 and ACA, please visit the Affordable Care Act center on Sage City.

 

Connect your entire business

Sage 300 is integrated with the latest versions of Sage Payroll (7.2), Sage Intelligence (7.6), and Sage CRM (7.3), allowing you to improve effectiveness and make better decisions across your business.

Enjoy easier posting, reporting, and bank reconciliation

You can now post invoices, receipts, adjustments, refunds, and more directly from the entry screens for GL, AP, AR, and Bank Reconciliation. A significant time saver, you no longer have to run an entire batch to post an individual invoice or receipt.

Add clarity with improved tax tracking reports

When printing the Tax Tracking report by fiscal period, you can now specify a range of fiscal year/periods to include. This allows you to run tax reporting on periods other than the fiscal year to increase flexibility in tax tracking and planning.

Get more from an enhanced Business Care plan

Sage now offers three new Sage Business Care plans, which feature more support options and discounts on services, events, and more as well as access to add-on solutions such as Sage Intelligence, Sage Payroll, and Sage CRM.
Depending upon the plan you choose, you’ll receive enhanced support from our customer support team, which includes:
• Customer support when and how you need it.
• Discounts on Sage training classes for individual and team solution education.
• Discount registration to the Sage Summit annual solution conference.

Along with the enhanced support and discounts, some new plans include additional Sage solutions to help you gain better business insight, forecast demand, and win new business.

Save time when designing reports

When designing custom financial reports using the Sage Intelligence Report Designer with Sage 300, you now can:
• Automatically detect missing accounts from reports.
• Exclude zero value rows from reports to make them easier to read.
• Select dynamic ranges that detect any changes to the General Ledger.

You will also be able to distribute reports with calculated values or with embedded formulas, to see how calculations were made. Plus, additional reports were added to the online library and will automatically be uploaded into Report Manager.

Do contact us regarding the new SAGE 300!

Sage 300 ERP 2016 SQL Server Only

The next major release of Sage 300 ERP (named 2016 but released in 2015) will be dropping support for Pervasive.SQL and Oracle as database servers. This means the only supported database will be Microsoft SQL Server.

The database world is changing and Sage 300 ERP needs to change with it. That’s why they are making these changes.

Define your Success When ERP Is Implemented to Business

It is always harder to define how successful an IT project such as ERP implementation has been in comparison to a financial procedure or even the aims of a manufacturing entity. This is why it is always better to have a written-down set of expectations that you have from a project after it goes live. If you do not have this, then anything regarded to the success of your ERP implementation endeavors just becomes an opinion. In worst cases, the number of opinions becomes more than you would care to count. In case your organization does not have the best work ethic and people are more interested in negative discussions about the aftereffects of the said implementation then you can be jolly well sure that it will be deemed a universal failure.

It is always better to have a group of criteria that can be measured properly. This is helpful for the team that is dealing with implementing the processes and also for the organizational health in the long term. This is also comes in handy in resources being allotted in the proper way. Overall, there is a sense of focus among people who dedicate themselves to the cause of implementing ERP solutions.

This needs to be done before your project goes live. Remember that this is the biggest determinant of whether you have succeeded or not. Unlike popular conception it need not be too tough to measure the success of ERP implementation. The first indicator is your self-satisfaction regarding how the implementation was carried out. You can always come up with catchy statements to motivate people into adapting this procedure and it can contribute to your success in the end. You can also set time limits for achieving the goals that you have set yourself. With every sequence, you can take the bar higher.

It also needs to be kept in mind that as a business organization you should be able to reach a common ground as to what should be regarded successful and what not. It is important that your peers or workers do not end up criticizing the guys responsible for implementing the ERP processes in a random manner just because they have been unable to achieve some aim. With random – and unwarranted – criticism they will not be in the right frame of mind to do their work properly or look for answers in case of failures.

They need to be given the leeway to express themselves properly and come up with ways to avoid failings. After all, success is built on a pillar of failures. Instead, they need to be encouraged and congratulated when they are finally successful in their endeavors. After all, water, and not sand, is needed to grow flowers.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

3 Ways to Spend Wisely for ERP Implementation

It is often said that when you are trying to implement ERP the costs can go up to double of what you had expected originally. Once stumbles upon this realization after the entire process has been completed. There is no shadow of a doubt that you are bound to spend much more than what you had planned initially with ERP implementation especially with top-class software such as Sage 300 and SAP Business One.

However, this does not mean that you cannot stay within limits and also use the funds to implement the project successfully. There are a few things that need to be done in this regard.

For starters, you need to work closely with the various stakeholders such as the information technology department in your office as well as your software vendor. This list is also inclusive of the implementation experts. The only time you can be sure that there is no looking back is when you the scope of your project increases suddenly. You need to know how to keep the working relationship going even while saying no to requests for more money. The second thing that you can do is have a training plan that has been defined properly for the perusal of one and all.

This will come in handy for the different teams dealing with various stages of development, implementation, etc. If you lack a written plan that does not have proper objectives as such, you will obviously spend much more than what you had intended to. A majority of the sum will be spent in educating people. Without proper details people will always ask for more classes and there is very little chance that you will be able to deny them in a justifiable manner. You can also deal with this issue by regarding your budget as a financial flow that lasts for a certain period of time.

This process should cover the period from when you start the project till a couple of months after you have gone live. You should be able to set up things in such a way that you do not need to spend more than 75% of the budget even when factoring in all the known expenses. There will be plenty of work to be done – you can divide it into needs and wants. If you can cover all this in just 75% of the specified budget then it is a fabulous situation to be in. You will not need to make any hard choice as such.

In case you can use the 75% of your budget to cover all your needs but not all the wants then you may need to trim that least so as to arrive at a profitable situation. If the said amount is insufficient to cover even your needs then the scope needs to be re-evaluated and downsized and you have to make good choices regarding areas where the risk exposure can be increased. You can easily get the most-efficient and talented workers from different parts of your organization and thus make the necessary adjustments.

You can always do away with the consultants and pay more to the talented people in your company to implement ERP. The remaining 25% needs to be used in final phase – in the six weeks that immediately precede the project becoming live and then the immediately-next 6 weeks. You can always be sure of problems you had not accounted for in such situations. Then, you need to be assertive so that money can be spent as you see fit. This will help the rumors die down and make people more confident as they realize that the problems are getting solved. This is when your implementation will be successful as well.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

Find your Best User Testing to Successful ERP Implementation

A process for training end users, which also happens to be effective enough, is one of the surefire ways in which one can make the process of implementing software tools such as SAP Business One and Sage 300successful. If you are able to execute the program for training end users properly then there can be several levels – ascending ones at that – of contribution to the ERP implementation process. There are certain things that you need to ensure from the first day itself:

  • Everyone should be able to log on to the new system
  • They should get access to the dealings that are required to do their job
  • They should know how to perform the transactions by themselves

These are the most-basic ingredients of success. If this much competency cannot be achieved then there is no denying that the efforts will fail. One thing is also sure. Only when the end users have been provided the necessary instructions then the basic level of competency can be achieved. It is also imperative that they are asked to practice what they have learned as part of the basic instructions. There is another tier of training the end users.

You can train some end users in such a way that they are able to take part in volume training when the process goes live. Thus, their contribution is much beyond the amount of participation in the said task since they are able to provide a different and realistic perspective to things. These may be problems, which the team responsible for implementation may not have been aware of. They can actually understand the areas of training that will become problematic later on. They are also able to take just about one look at data output and get the errors that happen because of the lack of common sense. It needs to be remembered that a team that is not acquainted with the ways data works on a daily basis might jolly well overlook these.

The biggest benefit of training users is that the team, which is supposed to solve problems, will have more people to work with. They are helpful in any effort since they come with a lot of positive energy to the whole process. The ones that we see commonly are only good at identifying problems. They will just find the issues and let the implementation team take the brunt of the same.

The best way in which you can create more problem solvers in your company is to find out people who are able to understand the training material in a short span of time as well as ones who are more curious than usual. It is important that these people are mentored properly and given more training. It also needs to be understood that at all these levels the process of education needs to be logical and consistent. It is important that every individual who is related to ERP has a proper job function and an identity.

All the transactions needed for the process should be identified and there should be a proper security role in order to assemble them. The training material should also be created in such a way that there are enough practice problems. This will make sure that everyone is able to take part properly in the practice sessions. There are various kinds of deals where the amount of master data and preparation is different from others. With sufficient amount of valid customers and materials it is possible to create a wealth of sales orders. However, production cannot be reported till there is enough inventory and a work order of all the constituent parts.

It is also important that the instructors come with a certain amount of enthusiasm as well as patience and knowledge. The training should be timed in such a way that it is not too far before training. If the time gap is too long, then obviously people will retain less. If you are able to train the most-possible number of people trained properly before your ERP goes live then it would be good enough for the success of your company. It is important to have focused people and training is a key component of the same.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

Data Cleansing in ERP Implementation: What You Need To Know

As any experienced person would say one of the most integral factors in successful ERP implementation is data cleansing. The funny thing is that this also happens to be one of the most often-underestimated tasks as far as ERP implementation is concerned. This is especially applicable with regards to factors such as complexity as well as scope. What does this tell you about data cleansing with regards to EPR implementation – it is one of the most important components, yet it is also highly simple as well. There are several reasons as to why this process is so important and there are some tips, which if followed, will guarantee success.

The main reason behind the importance of data cleansing in the context of ERP is the fact that it is used in every part of ERP implementation. If the ERP implementation is successful in the stage of testing then it is well nigh guaranteed to succeed finally as well. The only issues in the testing execution stage are accuracy and completeness of master data. These factors also come in handy during the training stage, which needs to be successful as well if you want to implement ERP successfully. If business data is properly synchronized at the go-live stage then it means that ERP will be implemented successfully.

Data cleansing is important in this stage as well because without accurate and complete master data, business data cannot be synchronized at the stage being talked about. Thus, one thing should be clear by now – for ERP to be implemented well at every stage, it is important to have master data, which is accurate and complete as well. There are also several reasons for underestimating data cleansing. If one can avoid falling into this trap, it can make for an improved ERP implementation.

Master data is normally distributed among various systems that are part of a legacy system. People do not really understand how much master data may be there in their disposal. At times, parts of data cleansing can become processes that keep on iterating. This can be a bit of Catch-22 situation. You will definitely not be able to test if you do not have the master data with you. The reason why you are testing is that you wish to evaluate the master data that you have. When we judge the situation in the context of the second situation it becomes a bit hard to measure how much progress you may have achieved with your data cleansing in an objective manner.

In such situations you might find that the data, which you thought had been cleansed and, thus, complete is not responding well to tests. Now, all of a sudden it is uncleansed data. However, there are a few steps that you need to take in order to avoid these situations and make your data cleansing process successful. You should start by making progress in any and every area where it is possible to do so. For example, you can fix the different variations of your address.

You can also look at areas such as mismatches in zip code and city. Always arrange meetings where you review the data cleansing that you perform on a routine basis. In these meetings, find out the areas where there are problems and ones where bottlenecks have been created. Your completion plan should also be as aggressive as possible. There is every possibility that you may not achieve the same. At least, put some time in that and find out why you may not be achieving the same. Always get the appropriate people to do your job. They should be hardworking, smart and attentive to detail. It is important to get the right match of skills and job profile.

The lessons that you learn and the processes for data cleansing that you create thereby will always be important parts of your company’s operations. This is where it is different from other processes related to ERP implementation. Master data, which is accurate and complete, is very important for a company – you would realize it the most after a couple of years.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

What is Change Management in Business ERP Implementation

When you are implementing enterprise resource planning it can have a significant effect on how your employees receive the same, on how they perform, on how productive they are, and all these factors will have some effect on how much you earn as a company as well. A lot depends on how well you are able to manage the change your organization is passing through owing to implementation of ERP systems. Quite often your employees might not want any change in any aspect of their work. They could be apprehensive to start with and even resist attempts to install a new ERP system or even upgrading to one.

However, there are a few things that you can always try to make the process smoother than before. The first such effort would be to train your employees. This will help them to get adjusted to the new system on hand and this in turn will make sure that your company does not face any problem related to operation. With proper training their skill sets will increase significantly and they will be in a better place to deal with the new systems. They also become confident as a result and in fact welcome the change when they realize how systems like SAP Business One or Sage 300 ERP can help them in various areas of their work.

Good training enables them to understand how the newly-implemented or upgraded system will help them work better. They also get an idea as to how their roles and job profiles in the company will be affected as a result of the change being brought about by their employers. As a business owner you can also arrange counseling sessions for your employees so as to soothe their worries. When you are implementing these systems there is a distinct possibility that certain positions are no longer needed.

As a result, it may be that the people in question might feel less secure about being able to hold on to their jobs. However, they may have other skills as well as choices. However, this may entail them to work in an absolutely-new environment, with new people and in a new team. This could create problems as well. This is where a counseling session or two can be of so much help. They can actually get a new outlook and their career can thus head in the right direction.

When you are implementing a new ERP system, there could be a significant change in the way you approach your work. No longer will your various divisions be working in seclusion with little connection to others. There would be a greater degree of cohesion and process becomes more important than anything else. It is also important to take into consideration local needs when the ERP systems are being implemented. Any ERP system will standardize your operations. This is why it is important to be aware of specific requirements within your company and cater to them in the best way possible.

You need to keep in mind that one size will not be good for all and your necessities will keep changing even as you think of the different locations where you have offices. It will always be very good if your ERP systems can be adapted as per the local needs of your company’s specific office. You can also hire change agents to manage the system. This will help in making the transition a smooth process. However, it is important that this individual or company should be able to understand the local needs of your company. They should be able to bridge the gap between the employees and higher management by relaying important information.

You should be able to quantify the results so as to be able to set new standards. This is basically the profits that you are looking to earn by implementing the ERP system. Your statistics, facts, and figures should be represented in such a way that all the stakeholders are able to understand the same and are able to work likewise in order to be able to attend the same. There should be no issues in the representation such as language barriers. As soon as the system becomes operational, predicting performance becomes easier than before.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

How to Select Right Vendor for your Business ERP Implementation

These days, when you are looking to get the right vendor that can implement your business ERP without any problem whatsoever there are always a few things that need to be taken into careful consideration. It is important that the vendor you are selecting is capable of providing the solutions to all your problems. They should be able to provide goal and customer-orientation sessions and thus make the experience more important for you all. It is well-nigh important that you are always constantly updated by the vendor you are working with so that proper value addition takes place in the transaction between you both.

It is very important that the company you are working with values your satisfaction more than anything else. After all, you are putting your hard-earned money over there and it is just right that you ask for the requisite rewards in terms of performance and quality. Good companies are ones who always look to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. The prices are an important indicator of their quality. They should not be more than what you can afford at the present stage and they should not be too less than what you are looking to pay. The price needs to be right.

It is also important that the company you are dealing with is able to deliver your product or service at the right time. Quality is an issue of conjecture and one can always make things better with proper discussion. However, if it is delivered on the right time then it is helpful in more ways than one can imagine. To start with, you do not need to waste time waiting for the service to arrive and as they say! If you have planned your project properly, with timely delivery you are able to take a good look and suggest improvement or just give the green signal for it to be implemented.

You need to remember that a good company never compromises on the standard of product/service being delivered. So, before you avail a vendor as such you should be careful in checking how well the unit works. You can crosscheck with others of your ilk that have worked with the same vendor before and get a proper idea before you sign on the dotted line. Yet another way to identify a good vendor is to see how intent it is on building a long-term working relationship with you.

Companies, which are worth the while, will always look to create a situation where it would prefer a long and fruitful association and its level of service will match such aims. It will never do bad work lest its deal with you is cancelled.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.