Does your company have a comprehensive backup system in place? Do you know when your last backup was? If you can’t answer these questions, you could find yourself in trouble. The last thing your business wants is to face a system crash or some form of data corruption without a validated and verified backup system in place. A solid disaster recovery plan will ensure that the risk of losing any business critical data, such as financial information, can be alleviated.
If you want to be confident in knowing you can recover your Dynamics GP data successfully from a systems error or environmental event, make sure that:
You have a clear and concise definition of when backups occur, what redundant backups are in place and who is responsible for maintaining the required routines
You review your environment and systems to make sure you are taking regular Database and File backups of all the correct data and software, modified files and settings – and these backups are correctly configured.
These files are in turn being backed up to an additional device and stored off-site.
Testing the access to and obtaining of these off-site backups in a timely fashion is a critical step. When your business is down and you need access to data, time is of the essence.
You have scheduled times to check to see that the backup systems are actively running and successful.
You periodically try a Test Restore.
You have access to all source media and software builds if a re-install is required.
Your Dynamics GP system backup must be a priority. Only then can you be assured that in the event of a systems mishap, you can recover your data in a timely fashion and restore functionality with the least amount of cost, stress, and downtime. Scheduling, restore testing, physical locations, and off-site backups are all things that you should consider when constructing your backup plan.
Contact FIELDBOSS if you have any questions about the quality of your current backup plan or if you would like to discuss developing a backup plan.
Some of the prospects we come across are still apprehensive about moving their business systems entirely to the cloud. They feel more comfortable and in control, knowing their data is close by in a server room they can hear and see. For us, it is just the opposite. We take a lot of comfort knowing that client data is safely in the Microsoft Cloud. Here are some of the main reasons why:
With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t need to worry about things that could unexpectedly go wrong such as power problems, physical security of the servers, hard drive or other hardware failures, IT staff who fail to keep things patched and upgraded.
With systems today, multiple server and software products are used and connected together to keep users productive. With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t have to think about keeping things going when one of these products needs to get upgraded. Microsoft handles that for us. They also handle backups, and guarantee your up-time.
Microsoft’s current policy is to ship new features into their cloud version before they ship to their premise versions.
On top of all that, Microsoft is charging a premium now for premise-based licenses.
When you combine that with the cost of having IT people responsible for patches and upgrades, you get a pretty compelling business case to move things to the cloud.
Microsoft recently changed the positioning of Dynamics 365 Financials, their new accounting software solution. Launched in November 2016, Microsoft originally positioned D365 Financials as a more robust and low cost alternative to QuickBooks. Six months later, Microsoft has done a complete positioning pivot. Microsoft has announced that Dynamics 365 Financials will be a cloud-based derivative of Dynamics NAV, which is a very strong mid-market accounting solution. Dynamics 365 Financials will target companies with 10-500 employees, with very fast configuration features at a low monthly user subscription cost. Microsoft is targeting Q4 2017 for feature parity with Dynamics NAV, which will include strong capabilities in the areas of distribution, manufacturing, and numerous features for multi-location and multi-entity accounting and business intelligence.
The next full release of Dynamics GP, GP2018, is targeted to be released in December of 2017. Microsoft has not released too much information about the product features, but here is what we can tell you:
There will be optimized Financials and HR/Payroll with even more features
Comprehensive document attachment functionality
Power “suite” evolution
A new and optimized user experience
Workflow updates that will be referred to as “Workflow 4.0”
Microsoft’s most recent release, Dynamics GP 2016 R2, meanwhile, is fully cloud enabled with the HTML5 Web Client and offers seamless connections to PowerBI using OData services, along with other improvements over the previous version. We can’t wait to see all the cool new features and functions GP 2018 will bring.
Checkback for more information as we learn just how awesome Dynamics GP 2018 will be!
Last November, Microsoft Dynamics CRM was rebranded becoming Dynamics 365. As part of the rebranding, Dynamics 365 was divided into two editions: Enterprise for companies above 350 employees, and Business for companies under 350 employees. When Microsoft launched Dynamics 365, licensing and pricing information were not available for the Business Edition. The pricing is now available and the news is looking good for FIELDBOSS® customers and prospects. As a result, FIELDBOSS® prospects with quotes issued prior to March 1, 2017, should contact our account services team to find out about price reductions.
FIELDBOSS®’s most complex and valued feature for field service organizations is the integration of their accounting and service systems. FIELDBOSS® has hundreds of awesome features but the one we had to get right first was connecting a strong accounting system to a strong service system. With an integrated system, management, office staff and field tech’s will increase productivity and do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. If you run disconnected business systems, it can result in additional effort to re-enter information such as customer information or job data. This wastes time and resources, and leads to data discrepancies and lost revenue.
Our approach when developing FIELDBOSS® was to leverage the best technology and functionality platform available so we could focus on solving industry problems and staying ahead of industry trends. The key to the system is our ability to update a work order in real time with accounting information so users have a constant view of revenue, costs, margins and markups. With 42 integration points, the work order and other objects, such as projects and dashboards, are updated continuously. Currently integrated with Microsoft GP, we plan to expand our accounting system integration to other commonly used accounting systems in the near future.
So what happens when you use an integrated system like FIELDBOSS®? You get an optimized system that helps you: invoice faster, increase your revenue, grow your business and leave a trail of happy customers.
A flexible, connected scheduling software is critical for field service organizations that are looking for ways to provide superior customer service while reducing operating costs. Customers increasingly want faster service resolution at a lower cost; improving scheduling and field technician efficiency is one of the ways to effectively achieve that goal.
When searching for a field service management software solution for your business, it is important to look for one that integrates the mobile field service with the back office, allowing data from the technicians, the scheduling engine, and the business systems to be seamlessly integrated. This not only improves scheduling efficiency, it also provides enhanced visibility into the service operation so that managers can better measure performance and create an auditable data trail to establish a service baseline, improve processes, and reduce costs. A comprehensive solution will give field service organizations the opportunity to improve management of costs associated with the schedule/dispatch operation and return service visits that can be avoided via improved scheduling.
Automated dispatching, scheduling, and routing can have a direct impact on service costs by:
Improving Technician Productivity
Rather than managing their schedules and dealing with dispatchers, technicians can spend more time working with customers and completing service activities. Having access to a map allows technicians to not only efficiently complete their routes but also quickly and easily locate the nearest parts depot. Improved scheduling makes technicians more efficient and productive, enabling them to complete more service calls per day. Even adding one work order per technician per day can increase revenues without adding staff. And by helping them work more efficiently, service companies can reduce or eliminate costly overtime.
Improving Scheduling of Preventive Maintenance
Scheduling preventive maintenance (PM) work between break/fix calls can be a challenge. By automating and incorporating PM calls into the scheduling system, they can automatically be assigned based on technician location and other factors. If technicians have some free time between jobs, they can easily see what maintenance activities are coming up, what the closest location is and take advantage of what otherwise would have been wasted time. Technician proficiency helps improve customer loyalty and can generate add-on business.
Reducing Non-Value-Added Time
In a manual dispatch environment, technicians and dispatchers spend an enormous amount of time on the phone, leaving and responding to messages. An automated solution can eliminate phone calls and reduce reliance on direct contact between the dispatcher and the field saving hours per day allowing schedulers and technicians to be focusing their time on satisfying customers.
Improving First Time Fix Rate
One of the most aggravating incidents for any customer is when a return trip needs to be made because the technician couldn’t resolve the issue on the first visit. First-time fix rate is one of the most vital metrics in measuring field service performance. For companies burdened by low first-time fix rates, the extra expenses required to resolve jobs not fixed the first time add up quickly: multiple extra truck rolls, extra labor, increased dispatch energy and attention, and lost service opportunities elsewhere. The higher your first-time fix rate is, the greater capacity your team will have to make more service calls in a day and service new customers at the lowest possible operational cost. An intelligent dispatch/scheduling solution plays a key role in making that possible.
Reducing Drive Time
Automated scheduling only solves part of the problem relative to getting the right techs to a given location. Routing those technicians is equally important. Routing systems can guide technicians efficiently from one job to the next. Better routing can reduce the amount of drive time between jobs helping technicians arrive on time, complete more work orders per day and even reduce fuel consumption. With the cost of fuel continuing to rise, reducing unnecessary drive time can be a major contributor to reducing operational costs.
Reducing Dispatcher-to-Technician Ratios
Manual dispatching requires a high number of dispatch personnel to manage a given group of technicians, primarily because of the amount of time spent on the phone and dealing with a daily barrage of scheduled and emergency service visits for multiple customers. By automating these processes, the total number of dispatchers can be significantly reduced.
Optimal field service automation is more than just electronically managing work orders. A fully integrated field service solution is required in order to increase productivity while lowering costs. A key component of this solution is a highly automated scheduling, dispatch, and routing system that will ensure that qualified technicians arrive at the job site on time, with the right tools and parts while taking into account technician availability, location, travel time, SLA requirements, and many other factors. The result is improved technician productivity and customer service, and a reduction in operational costs.
Contact FIELDBOSS and see how we can help you get your technicians where they need to be while reducing your operational costs to increase revenue.
Dynamics 365 Financials – Business Edition is a business management solution for small and mid-sized organizations that automates and streamlines business processes and helps you manage your business. It is a cloud offering targeted at organizations that have 1 to 250 employees who are looking for typical system features for the SMB market. It allows users to start small by only using apps that they need and expanding as their business requirements change. The main business functions include:
Financial dimensions capability
Project or job costing
Inventory; stock and non-stock
Fixed asset accounting
Basic relationship management
If your field service business is thriving and you are currently using Quickbooks or another entry-level accounting software, be on the look-out for some tell-tale signs that it’s time to move on to a new accounting system. Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Business Edition is one you should consider if you find that your business is struggling with:
Monthly reporting nightmares: QuickBooks designed its reporting capabilities for very small businesses. In order to get more complex, meaningful financial reports, all of the data must be exported to Excel, summarized, formatted and printed manually each month. Change a single amount and you need to repeat the entire process again.
Disconnected systems: QuickBooks was designed to stand alone, creating disconnected sets of information that are very difficult to manage as you grow. Your field service company may have groups of data locked into different systems. As a result, there is a lot of duplication of data, making the company inefficient and increasing the chances for errors.
Limited users: Your accounting department has grown, yet you have a limited amount of user access.
Data and record size limitations: QuickBooks does have data and record size limitations that may become a problem for fast-growing field service companies. As a company begins to reach the limitations there is also the potential for the data to become corrupted. This may make it more difficult and costly to move the data to another system.
Too many outside spreadsheets: If your field service company is using spreadsheets for tracking and reporting much of your accounting related data, you have outgrown QuickBooks. Many fast growing service companies find the limited functionality inhibits data tracking, and therefore turn to spreadsheets. The separate information on various spreadsheets create extra work and increase the potential for errors, slowing everyone down.
Contact FIELDBOSS to answer your questions about Dynamics 365 Financials Business Edition or to upgrade your field service company from Quickbooks or other startup accounting software.
It’s hard to believe the end of the year is upon us! If you’re in payroll or payables processing, this means closing the year in Dynamics GP. Whether you love the holiday season or hate it, one cannot deny the fact that it’s time to start planning for the end of the year. As your trusted GP partner, Rimrock is here to ease the anxiety of the year-end close process for all of our clients. If you need professional support from Rimrock Corporation, please visit Dynamics GP Support.
Before you begin your year-end close, it will be helpful to keep these few points in mind:
Don’t forget about all the helpful resources you have at your fingertips: CustomerSource, Microsoft Dynamics GP Solutions Support, and your team at Rimrock Corporation
Be sure to complete all of your daily activities before anything else.
Take your time and do not rush anything.
Remember to always make backups before and after every module closing.
Start a year-end discussion with other members of the Microsoft customer community. This database provides you with the opportunity to exchange information with other customers, which is perfect for providing tips and answers to year-end questions.
Over the past 2 months, Dynamics GP Partners have had the opportunity to attend the reIMAGINE 2016 conference and the GPUG Summit. On most peoples’ mind was the lingering question “Does the release of Dynamics 365 mean the end for Dynamics GP?” The answer was a definitive NO. In fact, to ease everyone’s mind, Errol Schoenfish, Microsoft Dynamics GP product manager, shouted “Dynamics GP goes forward” before offering a sneak peek at the upcoming GP 2016 R2 release and a product roadmap through 2017 for GP and the rest of the Dynamics product line.
GP 2016 R2 is scheduled to be released late November or early December. Going forward, Microsoft will be moving from a semi-annual to an annual GP release schedule after hearing from partners that neither they nor their customers could keep up with the quick pace of semiannual updates and therefore weren’t able to take advantage of the offering. GP “Next” as it is called today, will be released in the second half of 2017.
Some other key notes:
– Upgrading customers to GP 2016 was a key theme of reIMAGINE 2016. The new web client and other modernizing enhancements like web services with OData and Power BI integration improve the product’s image and new Azure-based hosting options add flexibility and improve interaction with other modern Microsoft offerings.
– At both events, Microsoft executives assured GP partners that Dynamics 365 Business Financials does not replace GP, and VARs don’t even need to add it to their businesses if they don’t feel it is a good fit. It is, as Microsoft described it, one more option for partners to consider selling.
– Microsoft announced plans for a GP to Dynamics 365 Business Financials data migration tool and related incentives as there will be GP customers who will want to migrate to 365.
After hearing from Microsoft, it is safe to assume that Dynamics GP will be around for a long, long time. According to Pam Misialek, a Microsoft executive, “Microsoft will keep developing Dynamics GP as long as Partners keep selling it.”