The experts are moving away from Software Answers to a new home

After several years of relaying advice to manufacturers and distributors from the Microsoft Dynamics NAV & Dynamics 365/CRM experts at Technology Management… the end is here.

Usually, the definitive end of a platform represents some form of closure, disaster or lack of content. However, we’re delighted to announce that we are transitioning the Software Answers blog to our brand-new Technology Management website.

What will you do with the content here?

We will be moving some of our very best content onto our new website. We have selected a two-part series, that detail ‘the challenges of Zoning and Cross-docking’ and ‘the demands for Traceability & Shelf-life’ in the Food and Beverage Industry.

For those of you with a vested interest in the Consumer Goods Industry, we are transferring a handful of our ‘8 reasons to change your business systems in the Consumer Goods sector’ across.

You may know that we’ve developed a range of Dynamics Additions to enhance your Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP business solution without the need for costly ground-up development. You will be able to read all about our newest Dynamics Addition: Sales Documents, which will help you to ‘streamline your sales process by managing Cases in one system.’

What can I expect on the new blog?

We will be relaying to you the latest updates on the benefits that new Dynamics Additions can provide your business. You can anticipate content specifically targeted to address software issues commonly faced in the: Building Materials, Consumer Goods, Distribution, Food & Beverage and Manufacturing industries.

Additionally, we will be producing content from a range of Dynamics NAV & Dynamics 365/CRM experts from Technology Management. Within the company, there are a host of people that specialise in different industries and areas. Each person will be able to add a varied perspective of how Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365/CRM impacts their role.

Although these are the last words ever to be written on this platform, they represent an exciting new chapter that we hope you will form a vital part of. We aim to cater our blog to your preference, so we will hopefully see you on the other side!

Technology Management named as one of UK’s Best Workplaces 2017

TM March 2017

We’ve been named by Great Place to Work® as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ in the medium business category for 2017, – and I couldn’t be prouder of our team!

This is the first time we’ve submitted an entry to Great Place to Work® and to have achieved a place in the Medium Business Category an honour, and reflects the great team we have in place at Tecman!

We originally entered this year as a benchmarking exercise, to see how we ranked against other like-sized companies and to better understand how our staff felt about working with us. I was thrilled with the positivity of our survey replies, but have also taken the feedback practically and since the results we have implemented three major changes:

  • purchasing a second car park so our staff no longer have to park on the road
  • a modified career development plan and skills matrix to reflect the many different internal departments
  • now offering soft skills training for those who are more technically orientated

The award, to us, recognises the strength of our leadership and the range of innovative and effective HR strategies we have in place, which has created our successful culture that our team thrives in.

We have always believed that the best way to ensure staff understand the values and ethics we live by is through the way we expect all staff, and especially management, to act. No politics and prima donnas welcome: we are one team and we all do what it takes to succeed on our client projects. Anyone will help anyone.

Employee recognition is high on our company list of priorities; we endeavour to make sure our whole company knows when any employee achieves results above and beyond their expected roles – this goes a long way to our employees feeling valued and safe in our organisation – and most importantly this keeps productivity high for our customers!

We couldn’t be happier at becoming a ‘great place to work’ and know that we owe this achievement to our dedicated and hardworking team.

Onwards and upwards!

A new approach to business applications with Dynamics 365 for accountancy practices

Accountex

Now more than ever, your clients need today’s accountants to become tomorrow’s business advisors. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a totally new approach to business applications, giving you the opportunity to work, retain and grow with your clients.

The annual Accountex Exhibition & Conference is just around the corner; being held at the Excel in London from 10th – 11th May 2017. Accountex is the leading exhibition and conference dedicated to the UK Accounting Industry and is the place to get up to speed with the latest business application offerings and best practice tips.

Visit us at Accountex on Stand 143, where we will be in support of Microsoft, to help demonstrate why Microsoft Dynamics 365 will become the new revenue stream for your accountancy practice.

Accountex will be your first opportunity to preview Microsoft Dynamics 365 before its UK release, expected this summer.

Come and talk to us to discover how Dynamics 365 can help you retain clients throughout their business lifecycles, regardless of size and functionality requirements with business applications to support everything from Financials to Operations.

You can find more information on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 will benefit your accountancy practice, at http://www.d365foraccountants.co.uk/ 

And if you haven’t already registered for Accountex, you can click the link below for your FREE pass https://registration.n200.com/survey/01tyd1rdcvlg1

We look forward to meeting you at the show!

Increase First Contact Resolution and Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365

Customer expectations are rising and will continue to do so at a rapid rate.  The result of this is that more and more pressure is being placed on organisations to meet these rising expectations. Customers are no longer influenced on price and product alone, they are also highly influenced by the emotional experience they have with an organisation. 

One of the significant contributors to the customer experience is ease of doing business.  Today’s customers are often time poor so they want us to acknowledge that their time is important by making interactions with our organisations as effortless and seamless as possible.

First contact resolution involves resolving a customer’s need on first contact.  If a customer has an issue or question, they want to contact you once and only once.  If they have to contact you again, chase for an answer or repeat themselves then this can quickly become a source of irritation and frustration leading to a negative service experience. 

First contact resolution is therefore linked to customer effort and can be a powerful way to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Harness Your Organisational Knowledge with Dynamics 365

Knowledge sharing and knowledge management are important factors in increasing First Contact Resolution.  By giving employees access to the right information at the right time it will empower them to deliver fast, informed and effective solutions for customers. 

Dynamics 365 allows you to capture and share knowledge via Knowledge Base.  Knowledge Base is a library of information that can be set up and accessed by users.  It might contain things such as installation instructions, frequently asked questions, policies & procedures, product datasheets, terms and conditions etc.  You can also embed videos and images in the Knowledge Base.

First Contact resolution 1

First Contact resolution 2

Each piece of knowledge can be created as an individual Article which can categorised into different subjects and given keywords to make searching nice and easy. When you create an Article you can:

  • Review and approved it before it is published and made available to everyone
  • Give it a version number
  • Give it an expiration dates

All of this functionality helps to minimise the danger of out of date information being given to customers. 

In addition to the above, when a new query or issue (Case) is logged in Dynamics 365 users can search the Knowledge Base for Articles that may help them to resolve it first time (as illustrated below).

Dynamics 365 also encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration by giving users the ability to link the knowledge article to Cases to help anyone else that may encounter similar Cases in future.

First Contact Resoltion 3

Using the combination of Cases and Knowledge Base can act as a key driver for continuous service improvement.  It allows you to analyse and understand which types of queries or issues you can resolve first time and which you can’t.  You can then work on bridging the gaps in knowledge by adding more articles to your Knowledge Base.

Benefits of Harnessing Your Knowledge

Knowledge is one of the most valuable resource in today’s competitive environment.  Dynamics 365 offers you the ability to quickly and effectively build a central Knowledge Base which can be used to empower your staff to provide fast, informed and effective solutions that will ultimately delight customers.

The benefits that this can bring to your organisation are huge and include:

  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Cost savings
  • Reduced training needs
  • Consistency
  • Better decision making
  • Competitive advantage
  • Preserve existing knowledge to prevent any single point of failure
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Stimulates creativity and innovation
  • Increased customer loyalty leading to increased growth and profitability

If you’d like to know more about how Dynamics 365 can help transform the customer experience in your organisation please visit our website www.tecman.co.uk 

 

Connected – driving advantage through a connected business with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Connected

On Tuesday 18th October 2016 we will be hosting our annual Customer Day at the Jaguar Experience Centre, Birmingham. 

Our CONNECTED – Driving advantage through a connected business customer briefing is your opportunity to explore how your core business systems can work closer together to help your business work smarter and faster.

We know your customers and suppliers want a consistent service and they need you to be easy to interact with. That means getting things right first time. This year our Directors, James Crowter and Matthew Woodhouse will guide you through an extended session on Dynamics NAV and how it can be optimised to deliver the world class service your organisation needs.

Want to join in? Sign up at: www.tecman.co.uk/connected

NAV Learning… keep going and growing with Dynamics NAV

Classroom training that’s focused, fun and fair.

Kicking off in September 2016, we are launching our brand new training centre, NAV Learning.

It’s our mission to make sure every user gets the most out of NAV to help their organisations to grow and adapt – so make sure you get the most out of it too by staying NAV happy.

We have courses ranging from an Introduction to NAV, through to Understanding the General ledger, Stock Control and Sales Order Management and more…

Our classroom based training is not only cost effective but gives a focused environment in which you can not only learn NAV, but also hear about how other companies similar to you use NAV for even more for useful hints and tips!

Have a look through our new schedule to see what might tickle your fancy and keep you and you and your staff NAV Happy!

New research underlines the power of the pen in learning

Picture a university; rows of classmates in lecture theatres, each with their own laptop, frantically taking notes as lecturers offer up their wisdom. Gone are the days of frayed notebooks and cheap, chewed-up pens. But before the humble pen is bid goodbye, it’s important to pause and consider if it still has a role to play in today’s technology based learning environment?

Since its inception, the pen has allowed some of human kind’s most creative minds – from William Shakespeare to Leonardo da Vinci – to contribute their best, to spread their brilliance and to leave a legacy. We must not forget that the pen itself was once a technological marvel to Ancient Egyptians writing on papyrus and, even over thousands of years, it has endured. And it continues to play a role today, albeit increasingly in a digital context.

Understanding how technology and learning intersect is a fascinating area for many, including cognitive neuropsychologists Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel from the renowned Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU). Experts in their field, the researchers have dedicated years to studying the differences between using a pen and using a keyboard and how it impacts learning.

Inspired by previous studies that suggested long-hand note taking using a pen deepens the mind’s ability to retain and process information, van der Meer and van der Weel carried out a two-month research project with students in a university. Their project aimed to find out whether note taking by typing versus note taking with a pen would bring about differences in brain activity, thereby affecting a student’s ability to learn.

Looking like something from a science-fiction movie, the researchers hooked students up to more than 250 sensors that monitored their brain signals, as the students completed tasks involving typing and note-taking by hand.

We do learn differently when using a pen and keyboard

The results found that when writing or drawing by hand, different parts of the brain were active and in different ways. This pioneering research provided the first electrophysiological evidence that the brain behaves differently when writing or drawing using a pen compared with typing on a keyboard.

The researchers conclude that rich sensory-motor experiences seem to facilitate learning, or put simply, it is the physical movement of the pen that makes the difference. The movement is picked up by the senses and, due to their involvement, results in different neural activity that governs all higher levels of cognitive processing and learning.

Explaining the importance of the results, van der Meer says that,

“This difference in activity is really significant, it tells us that using a pen to take notes means that the brain is able to process learning in a much more effective way.”

Traditional note-taking with 21st century technology

At a time when so many students are using laptops exclusively for their work, the research underlines the power of the pen in learning. This has implications for students looking to get the most out of their education, with van der Meer adding, “I really hope this research will help bring note taking with a pen back into classrooms.”

As the research findings outline, the pen has significant potential to enrich our learning and therefore has a place in education today, but not necessarily at the expense of our digital devices. Van der Meer suggests there are many tablet and hybrid devices currently available that allow the use of a pen or stylus, helping students to get the most out of ancient and modern technology.

“Stylus technology – like the Surface Pen – provides a means to have an electronic record of one’s notes all in one place, while also having the benefit of integrating sensorimotor information as it comes in via the senses and is subsequently processed in the various parts of the brain through hand movement,” noted van der Meer.

While we may have been forgiven for believing the pen would soon be retired in our increasingly digital world, it is in fact as important and relevant now as it has been throughout the ages. Instead of seeing the pen as part of an analogue world, it can be embraced as a component of our digital learning experiences.

  Surface-pro-4

Research carried out by Audrey van der Meer & F.R. (Ruud) van der Weel, Department of Psychology, Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

PlannerOne Production Scheduler: Simplifying your daily production planning tasks

Frustrated with manipulating production plans in Excel spreadsheets?

Looking to improve the reliability of customer lead-times and increase production productivity?

Need more detailed visibility of production plans to respond to changes in demand and capacity?

PlannerOne Production Scheduler is the easy to use, graphically-based, finite capacity scheduling solution that enhances the manufacturing module of Microsoft Dynamic NAV. It’s both fully certified for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and entirely integrated with it. Designed specifically for the manufacturing sector, PlannerOne Production Scheduler gives you visibility on production flows and potential delays to make decision-making easier.

Attend our webinar, PlannerOne Production Scheduler: Simplifying your daily production planning tasks, at 2.00pm on 21st June 2016, where we will guide you through how to get the most out of Planner One and explore how it helps with:

• Scheduling the new production orders from MRP

• Dealing with overloaded resources

• Machine breakdowns

• Bottlenecks

• Urgent orders

• And much more…

 

Sound good? Sign up!

Enhance your performance with an end-to-end business software solution…

20160628-enhance-performance

On Tuesday 28th June 2016, we will be hosting a free Microsoft Dynamics NAV event to help you enhance your performance with an end-to-end business software solution.

Want to join?

Sign up here for our seminar, which will be held at our offices.

Improving traceability, insight & control with a single business software solution for the food industry at Marcantonio Foods & Caterlink

The need for a single, comprehensive ERP solution for both Caterlink and Marcantonio Foods came as a result of their merger under the international ORKLA group.

Multi-site cooperation was now vital for the two companies and their existing disparate systems were causing a major headache for both parties – traceability and forecasting tasks were virtually impossible.

To work together to grow and expand their operations, more insight and control over processes and reporting possibilities were essential.

Caterlink and Marcantonio Foods turned to Technology Management and subsequently implemented Dynamics Food (Microsoft Dynamics NAV tailored specifically for food industry) – successfully joining up their sites and systems, giving the flexibility they needed to grow.

Working with Technology Management was very easy. They helped us all the way”, Falak Waheed, IT Manager at Marcantonio & Caterlink

Caterlink and Marcantnio Foods are now able to:

  • produce management reports very quickly
  • identify trends and improve customer service
  • increase flexibility between companies in the group to support and manufacture products almost on a just-in-time principle
  • streamline traceability across the organisation

Watch the full story at here…