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.
There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a failed Enterprise Resource Planning project. It can be quite a hassle without the correct software putting things right, there are always issues like:
It doesn’t have to be this way. With ERP software, your organisation will be able to run more smoothly.
When you embark on any type of Enterprise Resource Planning project there tend to be obstacles to overcome. Every company is different with its own special requirements and key processes. Professional ERP consultancy specialists have the necessary experience in helping organisations to build up the best ERP solutions. Their aim is to provide:
Professional ERP consultants’ task is to break down any challenges you face so your project reaches its goal without any hitches. Let the experts save you time and money by providing the relevant advice on your full context and requirements. This can be achieved by installing and implementing an ERP system that lasts.
Inertia is a powerful force. It’s easier to keep doing what you’ve always done than it is to make an improvement. Change can be time consuming, scary, or require significant investment. When it comes to ERP solutions, though, the cost of doing nothing may be higher than you realise.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the ways that an old ERP system might be limiting your potential, or even putting your business at risk.
It can be hard to attract and retain the right talent, especially if you need everyone to be in the office. Enabling your people to work from home helps them to maintain a good balance between work and family responsibilities and gives them a chance to optimize their work environment too. Remote working is also important for those who travel on business or work from customer sites. If your ERP solution does not provide remote access using the cloud, it’s time to upgrade.
We’re so dependent on our mobile devices now, it’s hard to remember a time before them. Yet, mobile computing is a relatively recent trend. Android came out ten years ago; the first iPhone was in 2007 and the iPad’s launch in 2010 invented the consumer tablet market. If you’re using an old ERP system, it may not have been designed to take advantage of mobile devices.
That really matters: if you can’t access or update information on the move, your team may be forced to use paper workarounds. It’s time consuming and error prone. There might be discrepancies in your data because someone hasn’t had time to do the updates or rekey the paperwork yet, or worse still because they can’t read someone’s wiggly handwriting. If your team don’t have current information, it could affect your sales processes, because they don’t know something is in stock, or because two people sell the exact same item. You could carry extra inventory to cope, but it’s tying up your capital.
Modern ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enable you to work wherever you are, using a wide range of devices. It enhances productivity and helps you to ensure your team are always up to date.
Old solutions may no longer be supported by the software vendor, and so won’t be updated for compatibility with new devices and other applications. Your ERP solution might have been running successfully for some time, but software is hugely complex and new bugs are often discovered late in an application’s lifetime. If the software is unsupported, these bugs won’t be squashed, which could put your data or uptime at risk.
What happens if something goes wrong with your ERP solution? You need to know that you can get it fixed, and fast. That’s unlikely to be the case if you’re working with a legacy solution. You might struggle to find IT consultants with the expertise in outdated software, and the willingness to work on it. When you do find someone, it might prove time consuming and expensive for them to find the problem and fix it.
By migrating to a modern ERP solution, you can ensure you’re benefiting from software that is currently supported, continuously updated, and easier to maintain. You not only reduce your risk of downtime (with the huge opportunity costs that entails), but may also be able to cut the cost of a support contract or any ad-hoc maintenance.
IT systems are constantly under attack today, so it’s important your ERP solution is resilient. Hackers often try to exploit any bugs that become public knowledge to see if they can use them to infiltrate the system. An older ERP solution that is no longer receiving bug fixes and security patches is particularly vulnerable, so it’s important to have a current solution that still benefits from updates.
Your company doesn’t operate in a vacuum: there are changes in the market and in regulatory requirements. These all need to be reflected in your business processes. We’ve recently seen the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and HMRC is now rolling out Making Tax Digital, an initiative that will require businesses to file financial returns electronically.
If you’re relying on an outdated ERP solution, you might not be meeting all the regulatory requirements that apply to your business. Compliance might involve using multiple applications and manual workarounds. It’s a productivity killer, and puts stress on your team.
By using a legacy ERP solution, you’re not benefiting from the latest innovations and productivity improvements. Researchers are working out how to make software easier to use all the time, and customer feedback is often incorporated into later software releases. People use software at home and have expectations about how it will work. Older ERP solutions might be harder for them to navigate, and require more deliberate thinking to switch context from the applications they routinely use to the unfamiliar ERP environment.
The best software enables your people to work seamlessly and intuitively so they can focus on adding value to your business, not spend time puzzling over an interface. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, your team can use smooth integrations with the Office applications they know, and a familiar Microsoft Office look and feel throughout.
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.
Cash flow: a definition.
Cash flow, the ability to generate enough cash at the right time to meet liabilities, is one of the most common inhibitors of business growth and the key reason for insolvency, affecting profitable and unprofitable companies alike.
According to research, small and medium-sized companies are owed nearly £40 billion as a result of late payments. The findings highlight that 60% of SMEs are now experiencing late payments, with the average overdue payment figure totalling £38,186.
Pegasus Software have put together a list of 10 tips for improved cash flow for SMEs:
Pegasus have Credit Control Software called the ‘Credit Management Centre’ which provides credit controllers and those involved in debt management with a centralised, easy-to-use tool which consolidates all of the information needed for effective credit control.
Easy to understand, real-time graphs display your overall financial status so you can quickly see what is owed, who owes it and how much money has been promised by customers. This gives you all the information you need to improve cash flow, reduce bad debts and improve the overall financial position of your business.
Contact one of our Business Software Consultants to see how upgrading to Opera 3 can benefit your business. Either call 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected]
A recent survey by Strategy Analytics predicted that the total global mobile workforce will rise to a staggering 1.87 billion by 2022, a figure which equates to 42.5% of the total workforce. The spread of good Wi-Fi access and increasing levels of 4G coverage, combined with rapid advances in mobile technology, have resulted in mobile working becoming a reality for more and more businesses out there. In fact, a 2014 survey by Office Angels found that one third of workers think that commuting to work will be unheard of by 2036, suggesting that mobile working is very much the way forward.
With ‘mobile working’ once restricted to email and phone calls, the rise of enterprise applications especially over the last 12 months has led to more businesses embracing mobile working in its true form, changing the way they operate, increasing efficiencies and enabling employees to work remotely without any compromise to performance.
One area where new solutions are doing away with unnecessary complexities is payroll. With the right solution in place, organisations can provide employees with remote access to their payroll-related information such as personal data, pension information, holiday entitlement, payslips and P60s. Not only can employees access this data on the go via a mobile device or web browser, but the capability is there to edit their own information too. This remote, ‘self-service’ access for employees takes the pressure off busy payroll teams by eliminating payslip printing and postage and the extra admin involved, as well as the time it takes to respond to employee enquiries. With employees responsible for their own data entry, there’s also less margin for error as no re-keying of data is required, which is often where mistakes occur. What results is a faster, more efficient service provided to all employees, and a payroll team which has to spend less time on admin, leaving them more time to focus on value-add activities.
A different area of the business that can benefit from mobile solutions is sales. The time lapse that occurs between taking an order while visiting a customer and the actual placement of the order with head office can lead to delays in fulfilment and even cancelled orders if the required items are not in stock. But the capability now exists to place orders instantly via a mobile device while with the customer.
Mobile apps are available with a live link to the back-office order processing system so that sales orders can be placed instantly, including taking the customer’s signature, without the usual delays in orders being submitted to HQ. The sales person can check stock levels and the customer’s account status, including customer-specific pricing; they can also suggest alternatives for out-of-stock items and showcase additional products. This minimises the possibility of orders being cancelled due to stock unavailability and can add extra value to a sale. Working in this way also reduces admin time for sales people, allowing them to spend more time on the road pursuing further orders. The sales cycle is shortened, with order updates readily available every step of the way, increasing efficiencies for the business and improving the overall experience for the customer too.
Another area that can be significantly enhanced by remote access is employee timesheets. Regardless of their location, employees can use an online application that creates a smooth workflow for the completion, submission and authorisation of timesheets and automates their inclusion into the payroll run. This means there’s no need for the payroll team to import numerous spreadsheet-based timesheets for every payroll run, again greatly reducing the time spent on admin and the margin for error.
The business world is playing catch-up to the increasingly powerful, intuitive and useful consumer mobile apps that are part of our everyday lives, developing enterprise solutions which create much-needed business efficiencies. As more and more businesses recognise the many and varied benefits that true mobile working can bring, these enterprise solutions will only improve further still. Exciting times ahead, so watch this space.
So you’ve heard that there is a system that can improve your business processes, help manage cash flow and allow you to make better informed decision in order to grow your company. That’s great news but with so many systems how do you know which one to choose?
As a Sage Business Partner, here at Monpellier we offer a range of Sage Software Packages, including accounting software, payroll software, HR solutions, business management systems, CRM software and payment services. Within the realm of accounting software alone we offer over 5 different solutions, including Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 200 Standard Online, Sage 200 Extra (on –prem) and Sage 200 Extra Online. These accounting packages are then made up of modules such as Financials, Commercials, Project Accounting, Bill of Material and more. The larger programs then give you the option to choose from a range of modules such as Manufacturing. There are then third party add-ons available which enhance the performance of the system. If choosing software is new to you, this process can become overwhelming and leave you baffled.
Sage have designed and developed software for every business, whatever the size and requirements. From simple accounting and finance software to more robust ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems to manage your entire business. Because every business is unique and no one is the same, there is no out-of-the-box solution and we cannot recommend a package without getting to know a little bit more about your organisation.
Here’s a quick overview of the types of packages Sage offer which will help you narrow down your search for the perfect solution:
Accounting Software – Simple invoicing and accounting for start-ups, sole traders and small businesses.
Payroll Software – Software to pay your employees, automate calculations and submit online to HMRC.
HR Solutions – Software and services to help manage your HR department, stay compliant and reduce admin.
Business Management – Financial and business management solutions for managing complex business processes.
Supply Chain Management – Inventory management, purchase order, sales order, etc. which can be integrated with E-Commerce.
Payment Services – Accept payments online, by phone or using chip & pin with Sage Pay secure payment services.
CRM Software – Manage your contacts and track opportunities from initial proposal to converted sales.
If you’re interested in more information about the Sage packages we offer or would like an accurate quote, we recommend you book a software requirements meeting with a member of our team. In the meantime, please supply us with as much information as you can, including:
We’ll help you find the right software for your business!
Sage 200 is a modular based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution that enables you to manage all of your key business processes and functions in one place. This allows business owners and key decision makers to make important, strategic decisions based on robust, up to date information from across the business.
Selecting the right partner is therefore a hugely important step in ensuring your solution provides the functionality and information you require.
So, if you’re in the market for a Sage Business Partner, here are four key questions to consider.
Has your Business Partner got a longstanding history of successful integrations?
With more than a decade’s solid foundation in accounts software, business IT services and EPOS systems, Monpellier Ltd is one of the largest providers of computerised business solutions in the UK.
We are proud to have been working with clients across the UK for over 20 years, expertly installing Sage Software into multi-million pound companies across a huge range of sectors.
When in discussions with your potential Business Partner, it’s important to ask about successful installations and review stories, videos and testimonials of past and current clients.
Does your Business Partner understand your specific business requirements?
From financial management through to customer relationship management, stock control and online sales add ons, Sage 200 has everything you need to systemise, co-ordinate and drive efficiency across your operations. It is not, by any means, a ‘one-size fits all’ solution and for this reason, it’s really important that your business provider sits with you to understand your needs before they begin outlining the options available.
At Monpellier, we work with you to define a clear specification of requirements before running through a clear demo of Sage 200 with you. This gives you the opportunity to view the Sage 200 software firsthand, and test the various elements of functionality.
What ongoing technical and training support is your business partner able to provide following the installation?
We are proud to be a leading Sage Strategic Business Partner and we provide our clients with software and hardware support, consultancy, account management and customer services teams.
We can offer you the flexibility of support face-to-face, online or over the phone – giving you the confidence of knowing there’s always someone nearby who understands your business.
Within the Monpellier group, we also have a longstanding IT Business, which has over 15 years experience in providing technical support services with Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) and Novell Netware Engineers.
When you work with us, you can be really assured you’re in good hands!
Is your Business Partner commercially savvy and able to help you maximize the commercial benefits of Sage 200?
The flexibility of Sage 200 means it’s ideal for companies with a turnover of £1 million to £50 million or typically 10 to 200 employees, across all business sectors and delivers scope to grow and it’s important that your business partner can work with you to deliver the functionality and commercial benefit needed for your scale and requirements.
If you’d like to find out more, call us on 0191 5008150 and we’ll arrange to visit you to find out more about your specific business requirements and challenges.
Friday 8th January 2016 marks the second, global, annual #MicroBizMattersDay – a campaign which encourages people to do something to make life better for micro enterprises (0-9 employees).
Statistics from The Federation of Small Business (FBS), which is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interest of the self-employed and small business owners, show that in 2015 small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses. As a result, the total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million and the combined annual turnover was £1.8 trillion!
It’s evident that SMEs and micro businesses create most new jobs, most innovation and most support to their communities. The aim of the second #MicroBizMattersDay therefore is to enable more micro enterprises to survive and thrive in 2016.
The three main areas of focus this year are customers, cash flow and confidence. In this blog we’ve addresses these key areas in relation to accounting software (our speciality) and highlighted how your small business will benefit from an accounts system.
Improve your cash flow
Accounting systems, such as Sage 50 and Sage 200 Standard Online, are ideal for sole traders, start-ups and small businesses. Amongst the many benefits, they give you greater control of your business as it becomes more complex. They allow you to keep track of sales, expenses and profit, and quickly analyse business performance with a range of reports.
Sage 200 Standard Online gives you the ability to understand the financial position of your company quickly and easily with a three-tiered nominal structure. It gives you greater flexibility and control with the ability to operate open and closed period accounting. Furthermore, it allows you to analyse by cost centre and departments to produce profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow reporting.
Manage your customers
Small business accounting software gives you everything you need to manage customers, suppliers, products and services and create customisable quotes and invoices.
Sage 200 Standard Online comes with the Commercials module as standard, which allows you to respond efficiently to customer demands by having a complete view of the stock held in your business.
Depending on the size of your business and your requirements, Sage also offer a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module which gives you ultimate control over managing your customers. Sage CRM gives everyone in your business access to customer information, including financial, commercial and communications, in order to maintain consistency when it comes to effective customer service. This allows employees to quickly and effectively respond to customer enquiries and ensures nothing gets lost or goes amiss.
Have more confidence
Running a business involves the management of many systems, people and processes and it can be difficult to monitor everything. Sage 200 is a business wide software solution that manages your finances, customers and business insight in one single solution. By providing rigor, control and accountability in one system, Sage 200 dramatically reduces the risk of something falling between the cracks, thus giving you peace of mind and confidence in your business.
Another benefit of Sage 200 is that it comes with powerful reporting tools which give you instant insight into the performance of your business, so you’re always informed and can have confidence in your decisions.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how accounting software can benefit your business, contact us on 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected]. One of our friendly Business Software Consultants will be able to answer any of your questions or book you on to a free demo.