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Chris Firra

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How to Re-Name Your Sage CRM Screen Fields in No Time!

Posted by Chris Firra on Wed, Dec 18, 2013

A customer relationship management system should be adaptable to the unique needs of any organization. For a basic out-of-the-box configuration, Sage CRM accommodates a great deal of customer and business partner information. Also, Sage CRM excels in the area of rapid modification of user screens and workflows, which enables companies to fully manage important data and business processes. This usually entails unique and proprietary information, such as product information, customer demographics and stratification, contract details, etc.

Using terminology already intrinsic to your business practices and organizational culture is essential for your users in adopting new systems. In this blog, I will focus on how Sage CRM allows administrators to quickly change the way field names are displayed on screens, so your company’s terminology stays intact. You will see this task is very easy, using the Inline Translation method in Sage CRM.

  • To begin, click the Customization icon, then Translations within the Sage CRM Administration area.
  • Next, select the box, "Inline Translation Mode”, to enable this field. Once enabled, the text objects appear with an asterisk beside it.

Sage CRM

  • Now, navigate to the screen with the field you wish to re-name. In this example, I am opening the Company Screen. Let's assume I want to re-name the field labeled "Segment" to "Market."

Language Translation

  • As you see, all of the fields are showing an asterisk (*) beside the caption while in Inline Translation Mode. Click on the asterisk beside the word, “Segment”, to open the Field Inline Translation screen.

Sage CRM

As shown below, there are multiple translation fields depending upon the number of languages previously defined in Sage CRM. The screen field is "captioned" or labeled using the translation corresponding with the language defined in user’s set-up.

Sage CRM

Sage CRM

  • Once completed, click Save, and then return to Administration>Customization>Translations and remove the check next to Inline Translation Mode.

After this simple step, you are finished! You now see the field labeled per your company's internal language. This task took less than one minute to complete!

Thank you for taking time to read my blog. We will discuss how you can add your own fields to Sage CRM screens in my next blog.

 

Tags: Sage CRM

How Automating Inventory Re-Ordering in Sage 300 ERP Saves You Time!

Posted by Chris Firra on Wed, Nov 13, 2013

To remain competitive, running thin margins is a fact of life for most distributors. The difference between profitability and loss is the ability to manage low inventory levels. The key is always placing the right inventory order at the right time.

Sage 300 ERP provides three “Create PO” functions, which allows the purchasing manager to maintain the lowest inventory levels possible. These include:

• Create POs from Requisitions
• Create POs from I/C
• Create POs from Order Entry

Sage 300 ERP Create PO Functions

A prerequisite for each of these functions is defining the suppliers for each item established in the Inventory Control Vendor Details section.  Sage 300 ERP allows the set-up of up to 9 vendors with 9 different priority levels and definitions for each item number. 

Sage 300 ERP Inventory Control Vendor Details

Then, purchasing managers can generate POs based directly on sales orders when purchase order to delivery time is relatively short.  This is completed on either a sales order by sales order basis or for all sales orders within a specified delivery window.  Recently, Sage enhanced this function by adding a new Create PO button to the Order Entry user interface, enabling the creation of an inventory replacement PO. This is based on either the sales order or by creating a drop-shipment from the supplier directly to the customer. 

Sage 300 ERP Create PO

However, for many businesses, longer lead times requires purchasing to be completed well in advance of the customer’s order.  In these situations, the purchasing manager relies on the sales forecast and plan inventory balances in advance.  Sage 300 ERP Inventory Control facilitates the building of the inventory requirements forecast via the Inventory Control Re-order Quantities user interface.  This defines each re-order period, a minimum/maximum inventory quantity, projected sales, and the re-order quantity, which is ordered when either the minimum quantity is violated or projected sales are exceeded.

Sage 300 ERP Inventory Control Reorder Quantities

 

Sage 300 ERP Create Purchase Orders from Inventory Control

The Sage 300 ERP purchasing automations cover a range of distribution models, however the system does not create the sales projections automatically.  The Sage Inventory Advisor, an integrated cloud-based solution, expedites the task of creating forecasts and monitors inventory levels according to the plan.  On average, Sage estimates the Inventory Advisor reduces time invested in inventory planning by 10-15%.

Sage Inventory Advisor

Getting started with Sage’s inventory re-ordering tools not only saves time and effort, it helps prevent lost sales due to stock-outs, while also minimizing your inventory investment.  

Let us know how we can help you get started with these terrific Sage 300 ERP purchasing features today with a free consultation!

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Tags: Sage 300 ERP, inventory, Sage

A Key Takeaway from Intacct Advantage 2013

Posted by Chris Firra on Thu, Nov 07, 2013

During Intacct Advantage 2013, I experienced many excellent break-out sessions which deepened my appreciation even further for the Intacct platform. One session, in particular, really pushed me to think about how to take the knowledge I gained and put it to immediate use. The title was, "Technology Session: Platform", and was co-presented by, Aaron Harris, Intacct's Chief Technology Officer.describe the image

First, Aaron set the stage by demonstrating how Intacct is easily tailored to track unique business activities without deploying a single bit of program code or additional software.

Next, Aaron discussed trigger events, such as email notifications. Once you enter certain transactions or values, you can add Smart Rules and Smart Events to the standard data entry screens. These two tools do not require engaging Intacct's development teams.

An example of a Smart Rule and Smart Event:

A controller becomes frustrated when an employee inadvertently selects a seldomly used receivable reserve account number instead of the commonly used account number.  To prevent the re-occurence of selecting the incorrect account number, she creates a Smart Rule to warn the user and ask them to ensure they are selecting the correct account.  Then, she creates a Smart Event, which automatically notifies Intacct to send her an email whenever the reserve account is changed.  

Then, while staying outside Intacct's Platform, Aaron demonstrated the ease of adding custom fields, complete with valid selection codes. Intacct supports 30 different field formats, covering almost every possibility. Once created, these custom fields automatically appear where indicated within the entry screens, report design screens and report run-time screens. Then you can easily sort and filter specific information.

In wrapping up, Aaron further demonstrated the form designer, which resides inside the Platform. This application enables non-programmers (like me), to create screen forms to utilize Intacct objects and user defined fields. Furthermore, custom forms extend the transaction flows which are built-in to Intacct through new data entry points of origin and data flows. From here, you can add custom triggers and logic to the form which creates the basis for a native application user to utilize in their daily interactions with Intacct.

The best part; a Computer Science degree is not required to use these powerful tools! I personally look forward to using these tools in my everyday workflows.

I hope you find this blog helpful as you navigate Intacct. If you require a complex system build, our Intacct Platform Developers and Consultants stand by ready to build powerful integrations with your system. When such needs arise, look to BTerrell Group for creative solution designs.

I will see you in Orlando at Intacct Advantage 2014!

 

Tags: ERP, Intacct, cloud, cloud erp, cloud accounting software

Sage 300 ERP: Inventory Costing Automation and Day End Processing

Posted by Chris Firra on Tue, Oct 15, 2013

Businesses that use Sage 300 ERP for managing their inventory and sales orders face a question of how and when to process the costing aspects of their inventory transactions.  In Sage 300 ERP, inventory quantities (on-hand, on P/O, on S/O, and committed) are updated as soon as a transaction is posted, however, costing has typically been aggregated into a once-a-day batch process. The application has always had a user interface called DAY END PROCESSING residing within the Inventory Control Periodic Processing collection that is used to perform a large number of processing functions.  Those functions include:

  • Calculating costing data for all inventory-related transactions that have occurred since the last Day End Processing.
  • Producing G/L journal entries from the transactions processed.
  • Updating Inventory Control Posting Journal.
  • Updating Inventory Control Statistics
  • Activating and posting future sales and purchase orders that have reached their order date.
  • Removing quotes and purchase requisitions with expiration dates that have been reached.
  • Updating sales commissions
  • Creating Accounts Receivable invoice batches from posted Order Entry transactions.
  • Updating statistics and history in Order Entry and Purchase Orders.

Sage 300 ERP Day End Processing

As the name implies, Day End Processing was designed to be run at the end of a business day.  However, many companies require access to inventory values on a more frequent basis, and consequently run Day End Processing two or more times a day.  This is particularly true for companies with 24-hour operations.  In response, Sage introduced the option of performing the costing function upon posting each inventory transaction.  They managed to do this without locking up or negatively impacting other users that were entering and posting inventory transactions. The option is configured within the Inventory Control Options Costing Tab, which also allows for the option of concurrently creating the related subledger transactions.

Sage 300 ERP: Day End Processing with each inventory transaction

When costing during posting is enabled and the G/L Integration configurations are configured to create G/L Transactions by “Creating and Posting a New Batch”, the General Ledger inventory balances are effectively maintained in real time.

Sage cautions that if you cost inventory during posting, sales order and purchase order posting will naturally take longer.  On the flip side, Sage development guru, Stephen Smith, argued in a 2011 blog article that the delay during posting is minor.  Nevertheless, for many users whose primary function is to enter or process sales orders, the additional delay is not acceptable. 

The impact of the “Cost on Posting” performance penalty is a function of the number of order entry users and the number of inventory transactions processed.  I believe that companies should at least try out the “Cost on Posting” option to determine whether posting times are acceptable.  If the option is found to be inefficient, companies can revert to costing during day end processing.  There are other alternatives to obtaining frequent inventory value updates.

One such excellent alternative is to utilize Process Scheduler, an application from 3rd party developer, Orchid Systems.  Process Scheduler can be configured to automatically run Day End Processing at pre-set intervals, multiple times per day. 

Orchid Systems Process Scheduler with Sage 300 ERP

Additionally, Process Scheduler can automate other system processes, such as posting all subledger and General Ledger batches, so that G/L balances are completely up-to-date upon completion.  Even further, after Day End Processing and posting of all batches is completed, Process Scheduler can kick-off daily reports.  The amount of labor and frustration saved each day can be enormous.

If you would like to learn more, let us know.  We’d be happy to help you decide what’s best for your company.

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Tags: day end processing, Sage 300 ERP, inventory costing, Orchid Systems, process scheduler

A Brief Sage 300 ERP Retrospective

Posted by Chris Firra on Wed, Oct 02, 2013

Sage 300 ERP, formerly known as Sage Accpac ERP, has a long history that is older than even Sage Software (which was founded in 1981).  The software's origin can be traced back to 1976, when Don Thompson, Ted Comfoltey, Keith Wales, and Norm Francis formed the Basic Software Group.  The original product, marketed as Easy Business Systems, was first designed for the CP/M operating system, the original dominant operating system for microcomputers.  Here's a short recap of what happened afterward:

1983

Easy Business Systems ported to MS-DOS following the introduction of the IBM PC in 1981

1985

Computer Associates acquires Easy Business Systems and allows it to operate as an independent business unit.

1987

CA/Accpac International rebrands the accounting software product as Accpac Plus, and it becomes the dominant small business accounting software in Canada and one of InfoWorld's 100 top-rated products.

AccPac Plus Accounting 1987      AccPac Plus Account 1987 Screenshot

1994

The first Windows version is released as CA-Accpac/2000, designed to utilize a client-server deployment.  The early versions  are developed in COBOL and proprietary Computer Associates development tools, and feature a macro creation tool.

Computer Associates Accpac/2000 1994

2001

CA/Accpac International releases version 5.0 rebranded as Accpac Advantage Series.   The release introduces a multi-tiered architecture with a core business layer developed in C and a user interface layer developed in Visual Basic.  This hastens the development of 3rd party applications and custom interfaces.

Accpac Advantage Series 2001    Accpac Advantage Series Logo 2001

2002

CA/Accpac International announces Accpac Online, a pioneer in “cloud” and subscription based accounting software.

Accpac Online Logo 2002

2003

CA/Accpac International introduces Accpac CRM, which later becomes Sage CRM, a fully-integrated CRM solution that runs completely in a browser.

2004

Sage Software acquires Accpac subsidiary from Computer Associates

Accpac box by Sage Software

2006

Sage releases the rebranded Sage Accpac ERP  Version 5.4 with over 267 new features and enhancements.

Sage Accpac ERP 2006

2008

Sage releases Sage Accpac ERP version 5.5 with performance advancements and new IFRS compliance.

2009

Sage releases the slightly renamed product, Sage ERP Accpac Version 5.6 is released as a bundled Suite that includes Sage Intelligence Report Manager.

Sage ERP Accpac Version 5.6 2009

2010

Sage introduces Sage ERP Accpac version 6.0 and the development of new user interfaces based on the Google Web Toolkit and SDATA.

Sage ERP Accpac v6.0 2010

2012

Sage releases the rebranded Sage 300 ERP 2012 release that builds upon Sage’s web initiatives and responds to customer requested functionality.

2013

Sage 300 ERP 2012 Product Update 1 includes new features like Company Colors and enhancements in both Payroll and Inventory Control modules.  Additionally, Sage introduces a new Sage Intelligence Designer Add-In.

Coming Soon

Sage 300 ERP 2014 is anticipated to be released by the end of October, 2013.  Sage 300 ERP continues to evolve to meet the challenges faced by SMBs, with emphasis on deployment flexibility, connectivity, and fast access to critical information.

 

BTerrell Group has been helping customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico implement Sage 300 ERP/Accpac for over 20 years. We've got a team of experienced ERP professionals who love to help customers solve business issues with technology. Let us know how we can help you!

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Tags: Accpac, Sage 300 ERP