Struggling to keep track of promotions or rebates?

Simple management of pricing & promotions – from admin through to sales in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry.

Having the right pricing mechanism to drive sales can always be a dilemma in the workplace. How can you make this a simple enough process for your admin staff to execute, whilst at the same time giving your sales team the flexibility to be able to respond to market demand?

Using Dynamics CPG, with its pricing designed for dealing with independents through to major retailers, allows you to do just this. It means depending on individual customers, you can tailor-make their pricing to suit them best. It doesn’t have to be just one way and one way only.

Flexibility to handle any type of promotion – be it customer specific or across the board

Dynamics CPG pricing functionality delivers a fast solution for all your pricing needs. This can help with all the promotional mechanics that you can normally think of e.g. buy one get one free, discounted items and even rebates. This functionality enables you to create single or multiple-use promotion codes with value or time-based expiry to suit the needs of an individual customer.

Your staff can understand what it means for margin and execute orders right there in front of the customer. It doesn’t matter how the customer chooses to order, straight away they can tell how much they are going to get charged and also what the price would be if they ordered a higher quantity to drive them up to that next price break.

Opening new accounts with tempting offers – accessing new markets

Alternatively, you can use Dynamics CPG to open those precious new accounts, to exploit your competition or get new products into existing accounts by using a purchase discount; enabling the customer to try out your product(s) at minimal cost. It’s about making your company stand out from the crowd with a quick and simple solution.

Company-wide visibility & automatic promotions & pricing – saving time & admin

Using Dynamics CPG it means that all the pricing updates are automatic, your staff won’t need to remember, which means no time is wasted. Your staff don’t have to look up Excel spreadsheets or refer to notebooks to pull out that information. All you need to do is put the order on Dynamics CPG as normal, and if the rules for that promotion are there it will automatically apply it.

This will help keep your customers happy, your staff will have done no more work, and you’ve got the flexibility to be able to drive the market as you need to.

Seems too good to be true? Why don’t you take a look for yourself…?

For more information on pricing designed for supplying through the retail sector watch our video

How to harness the power of Outlook for stronger financial control – in the manufacturing & distribution industry

According to a recent Aberdeen Report “What do Manufacturers look in an ERP solution, March 2017, 50% of the manufacturers surveyed citied “Ease of Use” as the top criteria for selecting an ERP solution – maybe somewhat surprisingly ahead of functionality (48%), total cost of ownership (43%) and time to value (27%).

But what is the software solution that business users are most familiar with, and therefore find the easiest to use? Well, Outlook of course!

With the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics business software, namely Dynamics 365 soon to be available here in the UK, you will be able to go from “quote to cash” without leaving your inbox.  You can create customers, suppliers and quotes as well as process orders and submit invoices without ever switching applications. All of which makes it easy for everyone in your organisation to execute ERP transactions in a more familiar and productive manner. As a result, all your business activities are quickly and easily recorded, so you have up-to-minute visibility of all business operations.

Another interesting statistic I noticed recently is that 55% of all emails1 are now opened on a mobile device (plus another 19% via webmail) illustrating how important it is for people to be able to access information on the move or somewhere other than their usual office environment.

So if you are looking at new business software how do you best respond to these end users’ demands i.e. ease of use and access anywhere?

With Dynamics 365 available on your mobile device of choice, no longer is your mobile working confined to answering emails and phone calls. Now you can also sign off quotes and purchase orders, review the latest reports or dashboards or catch up on the latest visit report with a key client at a time and location to suit.

Only Microsoft Dynamics business solutions can bring the ease of use of Outlook to the perceived (and sometimes real) complexities of ERP to deliver the financial and operational control needed by growing manufacturing and distribution businesses.

Download our eBook The Director’s guide for replacing accounting software to see how easy it is to simplify your business processes and improve financial control.

1 https://litmus.com/blog/webmail-increases-to-29-for-november-email-client-market-share

Hitting the limits of your accounting software? The risks of doing nothing.

Whilst your existing accounting solution has served you well to-date, as your business grows, it may not be able to keep up. There are normally tell-tale signs you’ve hit your limits with your current systems and when those signs start to show up, it’s likely your future growth is at risk.

Growth means change and not many of us are keen on change, especially when it comes to changing business software. So what are the real costs of doing nothing and continuing to operate as is?

In a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why You Can’t Afford to Sit on an ERP Software Decision”, there is tangible evidence that delaying the implementation, or upgrade, of a new solution can cause an organisation to perform less effectively across a variety of metrics:

Aberdeen Group  Cost of Doing Nothing Feb 17

strongly suggesting that inaction is not an option.

Even stronger evidence for implementing a modern ERP solution comes from another analyst report this time by IDC and entitled “Gaining the ERP Edge”. This research looks at quantifying the productivity benefits of a new ERP solution when compared to companies not using any or an ineffective ERP system:

Gaining ERP Edge IDC 2015

Starting to think you might need to make the move to a new business software solution?

To discover the tell-tale signs that you are outgrowing your accounting software and how Microsoft Dynamics 365 could can help deliver a smooth transition to greater productivity and success in your organisation, download our infographic “Is Your Business Outgrowing your accounting software?

Discover why Office 365 could hold benefits for your business

Believe it or not, Office 365 has been around since 2011, but only now is really getting in to the conscience of the Microsoft user…

For those of you who already use Microsoft Dynamics NAV and/or Dynamics CRM – find out from James why Office 365 could hold benefits for your business.

http://bit.ly/1hI5YmF

Why you need to backup your data – don’t gamble with your data security

'Best Practice' for any area of any business is an ever-evolving creature, but when it comes to your company’s data it really is a concept you need to be familiar with. In this latest blog post, James talks through the importance of data backup:

http://bit.ly/1LyeEpm

Aldi is now set to take over from Waitrose as the UK’s 6th biggest supermarket

According to figures by Kantar WorldPanel, in the 12 weeks to 29 March, Aldi had a 5.3% share of the grocery market, knocking Waitrose off sixth position…. Ouch. http://bit.do/3jH6  

If you are a Food or Beverage supplier to supermarket chains, big or small, Dynamics Food is here to help. In addition to the core manufacturing, distribution and financial ERP functionality of Dynamics NAV, this specific software can streamline your multi-channel EDI capabilities and vastly speed up order entry http://bit.do/3jHA   

Our EDI solution already helps our food producing and distributing clients to trade easily and cost effectively with 95% of the grocery market.

 

EDI Chart Innit

Designing Word Report Layouts for Microsoft Dynamics Nav 2015

Using Microsoft Word for report layouts in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 is a very useful addition to the reporting stack in Dynamics NAV 2015.  Unlike RDLC it offers a simple layout design, is not visually complex and does not require specialized knowledge for even the most simple of changes. It should be remembered though due to limitations such as Trans Headers and Trans Footers not being possible, the word report should not be used to replace RDLC as a reporting tool but to offer a different layout option for creating documents.

Rather than starting a report from scratch, or using an online template, simply exporting a standard report such as report 1304 out to word and then using this as a template is a good basis for the start of your report. Word layouts can be imported into a report and once part of the report we can edit them and import them back into Dynamics NAV.

Rw_dynamics_nav_2015_-_Word_Report_Blog_(Edit_Custom_Report_Layouts)

By installing Jet Express for Word, we have quick access to the dataset of the report and can quickly and easily drop content controls that map to the fields of the dataset.

Rw_dynamics_nav_2015_-_Word_Report_Blog_(Jet_Express)

All data in your report should sit in a table. We can create as many tables as we want for different parts of the report. This technique makes it easy to line up the report information and also makes it easier should you be required later to add more information into the report. The gridlines for the table can be viewed by going to layout tab then "View Gridlines". Below is a customised remittance report with the gridlines showing. We can see here how easy it would be to add header information or another column in the details of the report simply by creating a new row or column in the table.

Rw_dynamics_nav_2015_-_Word_Report_Blog_(Remittance_To)

Using this as a template we could also to create a different document such as a custom specific invoice. The invoice header details could be placed in the top table and columns could be added or removed as appropriate in the second table.

Once you are happy with the report the gridlines can simply be hidden giving the report the look the customer wants.

Rw_dynamics_nav_2015_-_Word_Report_Blog_(Remittance_To_2)

In most reports we need to have a line that repeats what is in the dataset to provide line details.  To get a line to repeat in a word layout we need to specify the data item that we will be repeating. We do this by finding the data item in the dataset for the report, right clicking and choosing Insert Repeating. Any controls added from this data item will now repeat.

Rw_dynamics_nav_2015_-_Word_Report_Blog_(Insert_Repeater)

With these quick tips hopefully you can see that creating simple, easily customised reports in Dynamics NAV is actually possible.

 

This post was written by Richard Lavin, a Dynamics NAV Developer at Technology Management.

 

 

Using the Small Business Profile in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

The continuing attention to make the User Interface and subsequent data entry as easy and uncluttered as possible for the User, where sales and business business requirements are more basic, is heavily reflected in the simplified business functionality added in Dynamics NAV 2015. Aimed at smaller businesses as the name suggests, through adopting the Small Business Profile ID a range of amended pages is available to the User. In a previous blog in this category we explored the sub pages that have been added to master data. (October 2014). We now look at three further areas of simplification.

Templates for Master Data

New master records can easily be created from a Template which can be pre-defined with the required field values. For example, the following shows setup details of an Item Template.

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015_item_template

On setting up a New Item, the screen will first display the available Item Templates.

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015_select-template-for-a-new-item

Once a Template is selected the new Item will be automatically created with the field entries from the Template, avoiding the need to key in every new detail. Similar Template entry and selection for new master records, applies to Customers and Vendors. Once created, a new Item can also be saved as a new Template.

Cancel or Correct Posted Invoices

The Posted Sales Invoice page is another example of the “Mini” pages that comprise the basis of the simplified User interface. This also hosts new functionality to quickly cancel and correct previously posted Invoices. This relates to direct Sales Invoices (not Orders) and Item entries.

From the Posted Invoice document list (Sales and Purchase) 3 options are available to cancel, correct or create a corrective entry. Using the example of the Posted Sales Invoice:

  • The correct option automatically reverses the posted Sales Invoice and creates a new Invoice with the same details that can then be adjusted before posting.
  • The cancel option automatically creates a new Sales Credit Memo to reverse the posted Invoice.
  • The Create Corrective Memo option creates a Sales Credit Memo but leaves it to be manually posted.

The same options to Cancel / Correct are available on the individual Posted Invoice cards and apply to posted Purchase Invoices as well.

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015-posted-sales-invoices

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015-view_posted_sales_invoice

Adjust Inventory

In straightforward  Inventory business processes where Locations, Bins, Lot Tracking and Advanced Warehouse functions for example, are not required, with the simplified screens available it is possible to increase or decrease the Item’s inventory quantity manually and easily from either the Item list page or the individual Item Card. The example below shows the Adjust Inventory option on an individual Item card.

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015-edit-item-card

Selecting the Adjust Inventory option from the ribbon opens the adjustment page from where it is easy to insert the new Inventory value and subsequently post the adjustment.

Gf_dynamics_nav_2015-edit-adjust-inventory

 

This post was written by Geoff Turtle, a Dynamics NAV Consultant at Technology Management.

 

Document Capture and Approvals in Dynamics NAV

For companies that process a lot of Invoice documents there is often a requirement to speed up the process of getting the information into the system. Added to this, where companies have implemented an approval structure, to be completed prior to posting the Invoice, you often end up customising Dynamics NAV in some way.

Here at Technology Management we have started to implement a vertical solution called Continia Document Capture which aids both the process of getting physical invoices (be it via paper or E-Mail) into Dynamics NAV and getting the Invoice approved with optimum speed.

Key features of Continia Document include:

  • Automatic Data Capture
  • Digital Approval Workflow
  • Automatic matching to Purchase Orders
  • Approvals from Dynamics NAV or Web Browser

Whilst we will focus on Purchase Invoices for this walkthrough, it should also be noted that Continia Document Capture can be used for other types of documents, such as Journals or Sales Order Imports.

Capture, OCR and Purchase Invoice Matching

Documents can be scanned into the system from within Dynamics NAV, processed from a Directory location or alternatively downloaded from an E-Mail account.

The document can be viewed from within Dynamics NAV and a template will be setup for each Supplier. The template stores the mapping between system fields (e.g. Item No.) and the physical document and is configured through a mapping exercise, using your mouse to indicate where on the physical document layout specific information can be found by the OCR software.

Doc_cap_01

Continia Document Capture also allows for matching of the Invoice document against Purchase Order and Receipt Lines, and this is done through the Invoice Matching screen. Automatic matching can be performed where the solution will look to match Item, Quantity and Price information and any differences can be seen.

Doc_cap_02

When the user is happy with the document it can be registered, at which point the Dynamics NAV Invoice will be created. It is also possible to setup Continia Document Capture to automatically match and register Invoices as part of the import process, which should be activated only after the initial template setup has been performed, to ensure that correct fields are being used for validation.

Purchase Approvals

Continia Document Capture uses Dynamics NAV Approval functionality, but builds on this to provide additional functionality.

Additional features include:

  • Force Approval – to bypass the Approval process and Release the Invoice
  • Forward Approval – to delegate approval to another user
    • With the ability to use the original approver’s authorisation limits
    • Ability to specify dates when this should be performed automatically
    • Ability to set an alternative Approval Flow on the Invoice for special circumstances
    • Files can be associated to an Invoice
    • Approval Comments can be added and seen within the Invoice document
    • Web based approval system for users that don’t have access to the Dynamics NAV client

From the Invoice within Dynamics NAV the physical Invoice document can be viewed and approval actions processed.

Doc_cap_03

With Continia Document Capture users can be setup to either access their Approval Requests from within the system or alternatively through a Web Portal. The added advantage of the Web Portal is that it can be accessed from anywhere, is focused solely on showing the Invoices for Approval and for licensing you only require a Limited NAV User Licence, therefore saving costs.

Doc_cap_04

From either the Web Portal or within Dynamics NAV changes can be made to the document (if allowed), the Approval Flow can be seen (showing who needs to Approve the Document and current position in the hierarchy) and comments can be added.

In accordance with standard Dynamics NAV approval functionality the user can Approve or Reject the document, but additionally with Continia Document Capture there are new options for the following:

  • Forward
  • On Hold

If the user chooses to Forward the Invoice they can choose the user that they believe needs to Approve, add a comment to be associated to the document and select the reason why. The reasons available are:

  • Approve & Forward – process Approval and send to another user to approve also
  • Forward without approval – where you cannot approve but you know who should approve
  • Forward and return to me for approval – where you need somebody else to approve first and then you would like the invoice approval sent back to you

The “On Hold” option simply identifies that the Approval Entry has been placed on hold and the Invoice cannot be released.

When the Invoice is approved, standard Dynamics NAV functionality will be processed, which may lead to further approval being required or the Invoice being released for processing.

Interested?

If you're interested Dynamics NAV, or Continia Document Capture, get in touch with Technology Management today.

Contact Us

Capespan select SI Foodware & Technology Management

 Dynamics%20Food_jpg

Capespan markets fruit throughout the year in more than 60 countries on 4 continents. The company provides service solutions to international fruit trading partners and develops strategic partnerships in order to offer the right product portfolios at the right price. With marketing offices and operations all over the world, it is a challenge for Capespan to obtain an integrated view of sales, inventory and financial positions. To gain more control over these processes, Capespan in Europe has chosen the Microsoft Dynamics NAV based ERP application SI Foodware Fresh Produce from Schouw Informatisering.

Capespan has devised a clear IT strategy in order to successfully take up this challenge. Replacing several separate non-integrated software systems is part of this, according to Tom Quets, CIO of Capespan’s Fruit Marketing division: "In the field of ​​logistics automation with service providers, we have made great strides in our development, but our ERP systems are still lagging behind. They no longer meet our business needs, their management functions are complex and lack a long-term vision for further development that aligns with the Capespan story. In order to lift service for our customers and partners to a higher level, it is important to roll out a uniform ERP system in different locations."

Achieving Strategic and Operational Objectives

With the implementation of SI Foodware Fresh Produce, Capespan wants to achieve a number of strategic and operational objectives, says Tom Quets: "Firstly, financial and operations integration. We want to be able to apply the cost for each activity, such as transportation and production drives, to consignments and have immediate insight into this. You therefore gain more control over your business. Furthermore, it is a lot cheaper and easier to maintain one standard ERP package at multiple locations. It also gives you a tool to standardise procedures and processes.

Implementation at 8 Locations

To this end, Capespan has opted to work with SI Foodware Fresh Produce at eight locations in the UK and mainland Europe. This involves a fresh produce-specific ERP package based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The software was developed for fruit and vegetable traders who place high demands on the optimal matching of supply and demand. Consignment Administration forms the heart of the package.

International project with the help of iFACTO & Technology Management

Tom Quets is looking forward to the implementation which will start soon: "A team of key Capespan users, together with Schouw Informatisering, will design the implementation. We have completed a detailed study with Schouw Informatisering and its international partners iFacto and Technology Management and I have every confidence in a successful project with this team."

In the UK, Technology Management’s market SI Foodware together with Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP under the brand name Dynamics Food to provide a complete end-to-end business software solution for food & beverage distributors and processors.