Document Management Made Easy In Microsoft Dynamics AX

Many business management systems provide the ability to create and manage quotations, sales orders, purchase orders, service orders, and more. But often times there is a disconnect between the documents saved outside of a system and the orders created within the system.

Let’s take a Building Materials company for example. BuildingMaterialsX sells lumber, windows, doors, trim, cabinets, kitchen accessories, bathroom products, and deck materials. They have multiple projects going on at once (building, remodeling, additions, replacements, etc.) and order similar materials from the same vendor for each project. BuildingMaterialsX now has order numbers, item numbers, delivery schedules, and more for each project within their ERP system, but the blueprints, item images, budgets, and notes for each project are saved outside of their system – creating a disconnect. Employees must toggle between both places to ensure the right products for the right projects are ordered and sent to the right location, allowing opportunity for error.

Microsoft Dynamics AX eliminates this room for error by enabling the attachment of outside documents to orders within the system. These files can be images, emails, Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel data, and more. Supported file types are pictured below.

To attach documents, simply drag and drop right to the quotation or order. Yes, it really is just one step! Documents can be attached this way from file explorer, desktop, emails, and more. They can also be attached manually directly from the quote as well. After attachment, employees can utilize the built in Adobe Tools to zoom in on images, edit documents, and more.

With Microsoft Dynamics AX, it only takes BuildingMaterialsX seconds to attach all files regarding a project to a sales quotation. Now all of their information is in one place, and can be viewed throughout the entire system. See how easy it is in this video:

To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us at System Solutions for more information, or call us at 860-781-6470.

How Does Microsoft Dynamics 365 Stack Up Against Other Systems?

The short answer is: It leads the pack.

The long answer is a bit more in depth. Nucleus Research’s ERP Technology Value Matrix 2016 compares ERP systems based on their usability and functionality for 2016, speaks to the shifting competitive landscape of ERP systems in 2016, and outlines why each system is placed into its respective category.

Let’s start with changes in the ERP market. Some big players have been in the market for a while (Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, etc.) and are adopting new strategies to keep up with consumer interests. The increasing use of cloud-based ERP systems has produced the biggest shift in ERP product offerings, exciting consumers and driving vendors to perfect their cloud-based solutions (especially since many vendors are currently phasing out their earlier solutions). What consumers expect from their ERP system is shifting as well. According to Nucleus Research, some features have become “standard” for ERP systems in this modern landscape, including “native mobile applications, web-based user interfaces, configurable dashboards and landing pages”. Consumers are more informed than ever, and expect technology innovation and improved capabilities in current ERP system offerings.

Nucleus Research’s ERP Technology Value Matrix 2016 analyzes 31 ERP systems, and places each system into one of four categories: Core Providers indicate low usability and low functionality. Facilitators signify high usability and low functionality. Experts represent low usability and high functionality. Leaders refer to both high usability and high functionality. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (the evolution of Microsoft Dynamics AX) is positioned as a Leader.

Nucleus ERP Value Matrix 2016

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations is firmly in the middle of the Leader portion of this matrix, while the systems closer to the dividing lines signify lower usability and functionality within the Leader category. This position “highlights Microsoft’s ability to deliver an end-to-end cloud product suite” according to Nucleus Research’s analysis. When discussing Microsoft’s improvement in 2016 for the areas of usability and functionality, the research company adds, “Microsoft delivers additional functionality through its extensive partner and independent software vendor (ISV) network”. This calls attention to Microsoft’s comprehensive ecosystem of partners, all of which add to the high functionality score of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.

While there are a multitude of other ERP solutions in Nucleus Research’s ERP Technology Value Matrix 2016, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations seems  to be leading the pack with a strong position in the Leader category.

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, please email us or call 860-781-6470.

Spring 2017 Tradeshow Schedule

In 2017, System Solutions is not only excited to continue attending some familiar tradeshows, but also to attend some new shows. Check out our Spring 2017 Tradeshow Schedule below to see if we are coming to a city near you:

At each location, we will be showcasing Microsoft Dynamics AX, a business management system for retail, wholesale, and distribution. Some key features of the system include: Point of Sale, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, History-Based Forecasting and Ordering, Direct Connection to Suppliers, Loyalty Management, Automatic Unit of Measure Conversion, Special Orders, Advanced Reporting, and a Cloud-Based Option.

We will also be doing a raffle at each show, offering a grand prize of a Windows 10 Laptop!

If you would like to learn more about this system before the shows, or would like to set up an appointment with one of our sales representatives at a show, please email us or call 860-781-6472.

Make Ordering Easier With Net Requirements and History

System Solutions has developed a new Add On for Microsoft Dynamics AX, which automatically populates important decision-making information in purchase orders. The Microsoft Dynamics AX Purchase Order Lines with Net Requirements and History Add On enhances every purchase order by adding Net Requirements and History by month.

With the ability to view this additional information on each purchase order, businesses can make better informed purchasing decisions. The Net Requirements calculate the Gross Requirements (the quantity of the item that needs to be purchased based on demand forecasting) less the on-hand stock (how many of the item you already have), letting you know how many of that item you need to order. Next to this, business are able to view their purchase history by month. This shows the quantity of the item you have purchased in each previous month, allowing you to keep track of your inventory cost changes quickly and easily.

Having this additional information populate automatically in each purchase order allows retailers to refine and review their purchases before submitting a purchase order to a vendor. It provides a quick, easy way of seeing how many items need to be ordered, if demand has increased or decreased, and to track inventory costs.

If you would like to learn more about the Microsoft Dynamics AX Purchase Order Lines with Net Requirements and History Add On from System Solutions, please read the brochure, watch it in action, or reach out by emailing us or calling 860-781-6470.

How To Choose A POS System In 6 Steps

So you’ve decided you need a new POS or business management system – now what? Well, now you have to decide which system works the best for you. Here are some tips on how to choose a new business system:

  1. Identify your business needs. If your business has one location with three registers, you may have different business needs than a multi-store operation with a few warehouses. Your POS choice should reflect your business’ activities (retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing, etc.) and industry. Some POS systems are customized for certain industries, providing capabilities that make running your business easy. Choosing a system with industry-specific functions, whether it be supplier, regulation, or distribution related, ensures not only that your system will perform the functions you need, but that the provider understands your industry as well.
  2. Ask yourself: What are the pros and cons of your current system? If you are switching systems, there is probably a reason. It may just be because your current system is due for an upgrade, or because it does not meet some new process needs such as easily sending email notifications when an order comes in. Try to write down some things that you wish your current system had the ability to do, or some things you wish it didn’t do. After this, it is also helpful to jot down a few things you do like about your current system, so you can be sure to keep those features in mind when looking for a new one.
  3. Take note of any other software you use. If you have a POS system, then you may be using some sort of accounting software as well for back office management. You may also have more software that keeps track of your deliveries, marketing, inventory ordering, or other processes. Decide if you are looking to replace only your POS system, upgrade to a full ERP or business management system, or if you fall somewhere in between. Many retailers fall into the in between category, so it helps to look into finding a system that can integrate with your current software as well.
  4. Check references and reviews. In a world with Yelp, we are accustomed to having access to reviews at our fingertips. When choosing a POS or business management system, a natural step is to look at reviews, rankings, and reports, such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. These reports can be helpful in determining whether or not the system you are considering is widely used or proprietary, and how it compares to others. Additionally, before committing to a system, I suggest asking for references (don’t be shy!) Speaking to people who use the system daily or have experience working with the company will provide insight, and can help you make the right choice for your business.
  5. Don’t forget about future development. Yes, absolutely make sure that the POS or business management system you purchase works perfectly for your company at the time of purchase. However, you never know what the future holds, especially for a growing business. Make sure that the system you choose is compatible with add-ons and customizations, just in case your processes change in the future. To do this, research if there are any add-ons currently available, and make sure that your POS provider has a development team for customizations.
  6. Consider the POS provider. Not only are you selecting a software, you are also choosing a POS provider. This company will be installing your system, transferring your current data, training your employees, and providing technical support. Find out what their support entails (Can you get support on the weekends? Will you have a dedicated account manager? What does training entail?) Make sure that the maintenance and support with the system work for you in addition to the system itself.

If you would like  to learn more about what POS or business management system is right for your company, please contact us at System Solutions.
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System Solutions Is Now A Proud Member Of The NRLA

System Solutions is proud to announce our new membership with the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association. The NRLA represents independent lumber and building materials suppliers and businesses in the northeast region of the US, having members in the six New England states as well as New York and New Jersey.

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The NRLA also runs the Lumber and Building Material Expo, or LBM Expo. This is the industry’s largest regional tradeshow, featuring new products, exciting seminars, networking events, awards, and more. The LBM Expo will be held:

Where: Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence RI
When: February 15-17, 2017
Booth: System Solutions will be at Booth 1230
Our Featured Product: Microsoft Dynamics AX

If you would like to learn more about our Business Management and Point of Sale solutions for lumber, hardware, and building materials retailers, or would like to connect with us before the event, please don’t hesitate to email us, visit our website, or call 860-781-6470.

Retail Trends For Thanksgiving And Black Friday Weekend 2016

With Black Friday weekend quickly approaching, retailers are looking to know what to expect. While there are predictions about which department stores will attract the most traffic and lists of upcoming promotions already shared, there are also overall consumer trends and buying behaviors to consider. Here are some forecasts and trend predictions for the upcoming weekend:

Increased mobile usage
Our phones have become essential to us in our everyday lives, and this is no different when shopping. In 2016, 48% of shoppers believe it is easier to make mobile purchases than an in-store purchase. Even those who do shop in store are using their phones– 70% look for deals and promotions on their phones while they shop.

Shopping all weekend, not only on Black Friday
Black Friday is a big day in retail, and over the years has become not only a day but a whole weekend. It even prompted Cyber Monday as online sales increased. This year, Black Friday is starting even earlier, with 21% of Americans planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

Coupons from social media
Many retailers promote their holiday sales in-store, through email, and on social media. This year it is expected we will see an increase in consumers using coupons from social media, with 43% of Twitter users more likely to visit a store after seeing a coupon or deal on Twitter. Another interesting conclusion from Twitter’s research into mobile usage indicates that 73% of users are more likely to purchase from a small business if they see a coupon or deal on Twitter during the holiday season.

Increased gift card purchasing
Total gift card sales are expected to increase $1.5 billion in the 2016 holiday shopping season, reaching $27.5 billion in total. Shoppers purchasing gift cards will likely purchase an average of 3 of them to give as gifts this holiday season. So, if you see a customer stressing about the perfect gift for their loved one, the answer may be more simple than they think.

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What does this mean for retailers?

Most retailers start preparing for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in early fall, but if you did not consider these forecasts and trends, here are some tips for the season:

  • Optimize your website for mobile, and keep the content updated
  • Be sure your POS system or ecommerce site can process online transactions on mobile
  • Plan to be busy Thursday evening through Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend
  • Post promotions and deals on all social media sites, especially Twitter
  • Stock up on gift cards, and suggest gift card purchases to customers

Throughout the holiday season, one thing that most retailers see an increase in is sales. Without a reliable POS or business management system, you may not be maximizing your sales opportunities. If you need a system or are considering upgrading your current system, contact System Solutions.

5 POS Features Every Retailer Needs On Black Friday

To prepare for the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers make sure to schedule enough staff, order enough inventory, and offer the best deals. While all of this is essential, many retailers neglect to prepare one more thing – their POS system. Here are 5 POS features every retailer should familiarize themselves with before Black Friday:

Special Orders
Throughout the holiday season, and especially on Black Friday, many stores run out of popular items. While this is a good sign for sales, it is not always easy to manage logistically. Some POS systems have the option to create and track special orders, allowing customers to purchase some items in store that day, ship some items directly to their house or to loved ones, and purchase items to pick up in any store location at a later date all within the same POS transaction.  This not only makes holiday shopping easy for your customers, it makes it easy for your employees as well.

Modern POS
Generate more sales and expedite the checkout process with POS on tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices. Eliminate long lines with this functionality, as employees can tender payments with attached credit card processing, and answer questions about product availability without needing to go to the cash register area. Additionally, with more advanced systems, employees can even compare products for customers, look up items the customer has in their shopping cart online, and view the most popular products report for recommendations.

Price Changes
Anyone who has worked in retail knows the pain of items that do not ring up correctly, and needing to find a manager to correct the pricing while a customer waits. On days like Black Friday, this becomes an extra pain because not only is there more customer traffic than usual, but managers are also busier than normal. With price changing functions, such as data import, retailers can upload an Excel file listing items and their updated pricing easily and quickly before Black Friday. Then, after promotions end, then can easily change the prices back by importing another file.

Reporting
A great way to capitalize on Black Friday and holiday sales is suggesting items. With reporting, you can equip your sales team with knowledge of the best-selling products. If you are giving any bonuses or prizes to sales staff members who achieve the highest sales, reporting enables them to track their sales by the hour as well.

Email Marketing
Marketing isn’t typically something individual stores are responsible for – but if your system makes it easy, why not take advantage of that? Some POS and Business Management systems enable users to email customers right from the database. You can send Black Friday emails specific to your store, featuring products you carry and deals you are running. This feature is also great for retailers in malls or shopping centers, as you can email the other stores in your area about your promotions as well.

If retailers utilize these POS functions, their Black Friday will provide a better experience for their customers, will be less stressful for their employees, and will be more profitable for their business.

If your POS doesn’t have these features, contact System Solutions to learn about our POS and Business Management solutions that do have these capabilities.

4 Reasons Why Retailers Should Embrace Cloud POS

Many retailers either haven’t considered using Cloud POS to manage their business or are skeptical about it – but why? Our lives are managed through our phones, tablets, and other devices, which almost certainly all use the Cloud. In fact, most of us access the Cloud every day, whether we realize it or not. So why not utilize something so easy, familiar, and reliable for your business needs as well as your personal activities? Cloud POS offers many benefits to retailers:

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Mobile Friendly So much business is conducted on the go, even for brick and mortar retail stores. With the Cloud, managers can check sales data from anywhere with internet connection. Buyers can log in from tradeshows and view sales forecasts and budgets. Marketing and sales teams can attend events with any device, and tender payments on the spot within the POS instead of manually writing orders and then inputting them into the system at a later date and time.

Quick, Easy Implementation For retailers looking for a new POS system quickly, Cloud POS is the best bet. Finding the right system to fit your business needs can be time consuming, and the implementation process to install it on all of your devices may take longer than you planned for. This is not the case with Cloud POS, as it does not have to be installed on every individual device, making the implementation process is faster and easier.

Easy to Use Yes, learning the ins and outs of a new POS system can seem daunting. However, Cloud POS is hosted on the internet, which we are all familiar with. This makes it easy to use from all devices, as it is the same process regardless of what device is being used or what location it is being accessed from. Also, your retail business’ information will be stored on the Cloud, making it easy to pull multi-store reports or view data from any time frame.

Reliable Access If there is internet connection, retailers can do business. It really is that simple with Cloud POS. Every day, owners and managers can be confident that they can access their system, which means they can make sales, keeping customers happy.

System Solutions LLC Offers a Microsoft Dynamics AX Cloud Based POS Solution with all of the above benefits, and more. For more information, please email us or call 860-781-6045.

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Press Release: Microsoft Dynamics EMV Chip and Pin Integration and House Account Signature on ISC250 Released for Microsoft RMS

Glastonbury, CT, October 11, 2016 –(PR.com)– System Solutions has released software for the Microsoft RMS EMV Chip and Pin Integration. This software enables retailers with Microsoft RMS to process EMV transactions using Verifone VX805 and Ingenico ISC250, including House Account signature capture. EMV Processing is available for the following processors: Chase Paymentech, First Data, Heartland, Mercury Payments, Sterling, TSYS, Worldpay, and Vantiv. The integration now also supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and more.

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How It Works
The integration works directly with Datacap NETePay software which has been adopted by all major processors. The Datacap software communicates with the Chip and Pin device and sends the combined credit card transaction information to the credit card processor for authorization. House Account signatures can also be captured and printed on an Ingenico ISC250. The integration makes the fastest, lowest cost solution for Microsoft RMS point of sale users to immediately process EMV transactions.

Benefits
Microsoft RMS is widely used across the United States and many other countries around the world. The EMV liability transfer effective October 1, 2015 requires merchants to be able to process EMV transactions or take financial responsibility for fraudulent in-store card purchases. System Solutions is well known for Microsoft RMS implementations and integrations supporting many Ingenico and Verifone devices past and present. “The RMS EMV Chip and Pin Integration makes the fastest, lowest cost solution to become EMV compliant now, and maintain future flexibility in choosing credit card processors and devices as more processors become certified on Datacap,” says Dave Durrenberger of System Solutions, a Microsoft RMS Certified Partner.

For more information, watch the video or email us at System Solutions.

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