10 Sep 2018

Why is business continuity so important to SMEs

BusinessTALK spoke to John Robinson, Managing Director of Inoni about the importance of Business Continuity Planning.

Inoni offers business continuity planning for organisations of every shape and size. Since 2005, Inoni has helped clients develop their capability across a wide range of sectors and industries and are therefore well-placed to confidently share and apply their experience with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

“You need to appoint the most suitable members for each task – the movers, the doers and the thinkers all have a different role to play”

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John Robinson from Inoni answers your questions on Business Continuity Planning

Discover where to start, what to include and why you need a Business Continuity Plan for your business.

In this interview John covers some of the popular questions and answers based on why an SME should prepare a Business Continuity Plan including;

  • What makes a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) so important for an SME?
  • What are the five main reasons an SME needs BCP?
  • What areas of the business should the planning process involve?
  • So where does an SME start with a plan?
  • What risks need a continuity plan?
  • Why should the rest of the business be interested?
  • Why do you think SMEs are complacent and do not address this?
  • Where do most SMEs fail with their plans?

 

To discuss your business planning and management of your business applications, contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050.

With thanks to John Robinson, FBCI, Managing Director, Inoni.
www.inoni.co.uk

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05 Sep 2018

Maximising your Microsoft Dynamics NAV system with bespoke development

Microsoft Dynamics NAV “out of the box” provides a system that you can then develop to perfectly fit your business’s needs. Our talented development team at Synergy Technology talk about how additional bespoke development work ensures you maximise the functionality and effectiveness of your ERP system.

What is the reason for requiring bespoke development?

“Bespoke development for Microsoft Dynamics NAV can cover almost any requirement that any business using Dynamics NAV may need.

It’s derived from the 80/20 rule. Basically Microsoft Dynamics NAV “out of the box” delivers about 80% of the framework to meet any clients’ needs, and bespoke work fills in the gaps. It tailors the Dynamics NAV system to encompass all the business’s processes and functionality that is specific to their market.

Every industry, every business and every process has different requirements. It would be impossible for a generic version of Dynamics NAV to meet all these complex requirements. If it did, it would be exorbitantly expensive, impossible to keep up-to-date and end up including modules and functionality that would not be utilised by the majority of Dynamics NAV users.

That’s how bespoke development starts – making the system a perfect 100% fit to the client’s specific needs.”

Dynamics NAV has been designed to support client specific enhancements that work alongside its standard functionality and can be tailored by developers to suit a wide range of requirements. Development work can cover anything from integration between Dynamics NAV and third party add-ons or modules, developing sophisticated reporting systems that combines data from several systems linked to Dynamics NAV. Development work can eliminate repetitive time consuming manual data processes with automated functions that equally reduces the risk of duplication of data and improves data accuracy.

Some examples of Dynamics NAV development includes:

  • Integration with website systems
  • Courier system integration
  • Integration with credit card systems such as SagePay
  • Integration with hand held devices used in warehouse management systems
  • Tailoring reports and documentation to reflect the company standards
  • Even something as specific as integrating ticket management and seat allocation for a sports arena with data used in the Dynamics NAV system.

 

Basically bespoke development ensures that systems work seamlessly and effectively between stock, logistics, client, supplier and payment programs and functions that all share the same data. Other bespoke work is adding functionality to the existing Dynamics NAV system, or maximising the value of the data within in the system by creating informative, up-to-date reporting.

Developing bespoke work usually involves incorporating Dynamics NAV into existing third party systems or a new system that the client wants to start using.

The key is understanding what the client is looking to achieve from the system

“We don’t look to reinvent the wheel. Listening to our clients, understanding their needs, and determining the best most cost effective solution is our priority. To find the best solution we always offer the most effective and perfect fit.

When we look at the bespoke development, we aim to find the best solution for the client, and focus on ensuring that the development work can also be adapted for future requirements. By considering the client’s long term plans for their systems we can make sure that any bespoke work is not isolated but forms part of their future needs.

Often development work it is not as complicated as a client may first think. The requirements may be simply fulfilled by introducing functionality that already exists within Dynamics NAV that is not being utilised by their team. Training and technical support may be all that is required to improve the system. Additionally, development work to improve a client’s system to meet their requirements can be resolved by integrating into Dynamics NAV third party add-ons that already exist.

A further example of improving the system is when coding functionality exists outside the Dynamics NAV system, e.g. an Excel spreadsheet or an Access database, created by a single user that may be very complicated and difficult to maintain, and if the user is away or leaves the organisation, cannot be updated. In this case, a few day’s development work brings the functionality back into Dynamics NAV and it can then be utilised by all the team and not dictated by a single user.

We once identified a user that updated a very complex spreadsheet by copying and pasting data from Dynamics NAV into spreadsheets to provide a weekly report. The user would take up to half a day every week to update the information, with no guarantee to the accuracy.

By explaining that with just two days’ development work to automate the process directly from Dynamics NAV, the same process could be achieved with a click of a button and maintaining 100% accuracy in data, providing also an immediate time saving process and the outlay of the development work was covered within the first four weeks’ usage.”

The benefits of bespoke development

The main benefit of bespoke development work is to streamline processes within the client’s business that also results in increased productivity, and offering major time saving benefits.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Save time – bespoke work in Dynamics NAV often creates time saving benefits to the users.
  • Better control of data – using the same data source across systems.
  • Reduce errors – by automating repetitive processes.
  • Simplify processes – thus saving time and releasing employees to focus on other tasks.

 

Synergy Technology has the technical resources to develop your Dynamics NAV system

Synergy Technology is a highly skilled accredited partner of Dynamics NAV. We have a dedicated Dynamics NAV technical team with extensive working knowledge of the software who are able to apply practical and customisable business solutions using the application.

Our technical team can also offer your business ongoing guidance, advice and support to ensure Dynamics NAV is scalable and adaptable to the changing needs of your business, including the implementation of additional applications such as mobile warehouse, advanced business reporting, document management and e-commerce systems. To discuss your development needs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, please contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050 or send us an email today.

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10 Aug 2018

The rise of the virtual payslip

Gone are the days when payroll was concerned only with pay, tax and National Insurance contributions. Now payroll departments are expected to manage pension contributions, Save as You Earn share option schemes, Give As You Earn charitable giving schemes; salary sacrifice and flexible benefits plans. Not to mention the complex compliance and HMRC demands placed upon them.

Did you know? 1 in 20 employees in the UK is paid using a Pegasus payroll system

Payslips in particular have always been a necessary evil. Not only do they take a significant amount of time to produce and issue to employees, they amass considerable print and postage costs. Not to mention the added worry of employee queries when payslips are not received, mislaid or a include discrepancies.

In an effort to address this administrative burden, e-payslips – whereby the printing, sorting and posting processes are all removed literally at the click of a button – have been the source of much discussion in the industry for the last few years. However, the concept of online payslips has remained a point of discussion rather than a reality. A number of organisations are reluctant to take on this new method due to security concerns, cultural barriers and a lack of robust solutions on the market.

A considerable number of Payroll Administrators have significantly changed the way payslips are managed within their business. Many have adopted a Payroll self-service, whereby employees can access personal information, including payslips, via a dedicated online portal.

Employees can have the peace of mind that they no longer need to worry about losing their payslip under a pile of work, accidently throwing it in the recycling bin or spending a whole afternoon routing through the loft and copious amounts of paperwork to dig out last years P60 to assist with a tax return. The process becomes quite simple. They can simply log on and download. While security concerns around e-payslips were once voiced, when evaluating the scenario of a payslip being left on a desk versus one being held in a file behind a password, it is easy to see why organisations are now embracing this new way of working.

As payroll professionals realise the cost and time advantages to converting, payroll administrators will see the continued rise of payroll self-service, e-payslips and e-P60s, highlighting that the ‘virtual’ payslip model is very much here to stay. Employees get convenience, choice and predictability and payroll departments get to cut their costs, reduce hassle and save time.

If you are currently running Opera 3 and would like more information on Pegasus e-mail payslips and P60s, or simply have a few questions, please contact us on 0345 456 0050.

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08 Aug 2018

Five tips for businesses preparing for a digital tax system

The HMRC has indicated that by 2020 there will be a digital tax system.

Making Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs – meaning the end of the annual tax return for millions. Digital record keeping software will be linked directly to HMRC systems, allowing customers to send and receive information directly from their software.

Eventually paper records will no longer be sufficient and it will become mandatory for almost all businesses (self-employed, partnerships and limited companies) and landlords to use accounting software or an electronic spreadsheet to keep accounting records. The day will come when paper accounting records will cease to meet the requirements of tax law. It is important that SMEs are ready to meet the requirements set out by HMRC along the way.

Here are our five tips for making sure you and your accounting system is ready:

TIP 1: For SMEs is it imperative that your operating system and accounting software is set up to create records and store data in a digital form.

TIP 2: Check your accounting software is set up to function over the cloud and has the capacity to be accessed and updated using mobile devices.

TIP 3: Make sure you have a secure internet service and your team are trained to use data over the internet safely and securely.

TIP 4: To meet the first deadline ensure your system can create a VAT return from digital records and provide HMRC with VAT data on a voluntary basis.

TIP 5: Make sure your software partners have a product road map for updating your software to comply with a digital tax system and ensuring it will include necessary adjustments to keep up with developments from HMRC. Your software needs to be able to receive information from HMRC via the API (application programme interfaces) platform. This will allow HMRC to send ‘nudges’ to the business/agent.

Read our BLOG >> Getting ready for Digital Tax for business

For further information contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050.

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04 Aug 2018

All systems go for the summer with mobile solutions for your business applications

Are you taking time off this summer? But do you still need to make sure to have access to vital business information?

All the business applications and solutions that Synergy Technology delivers can be adapted to ensure you have functionality out of the office, using web-based systems, WiFi and familiar BYO devices.

So this summer, take some time off, relax, but knowing that you can tap into your business information if necessary.

Universal APP for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Designed to help your business and your employees that work on the go, you can experience the power and simplicity of Microsoft Dynamics NAV using the Universal App on your preferred iOS, Android or Windows device – be it phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop – it’s all up to you.

Using the Universal App is a great solution as it puts business in the hands of remote workers (and people on leave or working from home) – Your field teams including salespeople and account managers, service engineers, executives, consultants and bookkeepers can access Dynamics NAV offsite and stay up-to-date. It also helps to improve the accuracy and timeliness of your data – with access to Dynamics NAV from all locations, the user can capture information as it arises keeping the business system and communications up-to-date.

READ OUR BLOG | Empower your workers with the Microsoft Universal App

Pocket CRM for SuperOffice

Mobile CRM or mobile customer relationship management is a CRM tool for SuperOffice designed for mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.

By connecting through mobile CRM, you, your sales team and employees on the move, have access to customer data through the CRM mobile app or through a web-based browser with cloud CRM. If your Account Manager visits a prospect and the visit subsequently requires changes regarding an in-progress deal or quote, or needs to update information whilst away from the office, this can be updated on the mobile CRM without the need to wait until the Account Manager arrives back at work, keeping your entire CRM always up to date – for everyone.

READ OUR BLOG | Work on your business and your suntan with pocket CRM!

Pegasus Mobile Sales

Now you can provide your field sales team with a great tool to use on the road or away from the office.

Mobile Sales via Pegasus Web Xchange is a dedicated sales app that will change the way your orders are taken and processed. If you have a sales team on the road, Pegasus Mobile Sales will be an invaluable tool for them to take sales orders on their mobile devices. The sales person can showcase products to the customer, take the order and send it securely back to the office to be authorised and uploaded into Opera 3 Sales Order Processing

READ OUR BLOG | Improve the way your sales team interact : Pegasus Mobile Sales

The Virtual workforce

If some of your workforce need to work from home during the summer whilst their children are off school, then the ability to work virtually presents significant benefits for your business – from reduced staff turnover to higher productivity and less stress.  Read our blog to explore why in more detail as well as looking at some of the practicalities of creating your own virtual workforce – it’s easier than you might think.

READ OUR BLOG | Engage, inspire and empower your employees

For further information on mobile solutions contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050.

And enjoy your summer holidays!

 

 

 

 

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03 Jul 2018

Improving your SuperOffice CRM system with bespoke development

SuperOffice is a powerful scalable CRM database system designed for organisations that operate in the business to business market sectors. Our professional development team at Synergy Technology provides additional bespoke development work to ensure that SuperOffice users maximise the functionality and effectiveness of their CRM system. Trevor and Richard two of our talented team of developers, outline the features and benefits of bespoke development.

What is the reason for requiring bespoke development?

“Bespoke development for SuperOffice can cover almost any operational enhancement that a business requires to really make the most of their customer relationship management system. We help our clients extend and customise SuperOffice so that they can achieve the maximum efficiency from the system in their daily routine, which then becomes richer with information and delivers better results.

“We can practically program anything necessary into SuperOffice to enhance the sales, marketing and customer service functionalities of a business.”
Trevor, Head of Development, Synergy Technology.

Every industry, every business and every process has different and sometimes very specific requirements. SuperOffice out of the box can not to meet all these complex requirements. If it did, it would be very expensive, difficult to update and deliver across a wide range of platforms, and would end up including modules and functionality that would not be utilised by the majority of SuperOffice users.

SuperOffice consolidates the key contact functionality of a business based on its Sales, Service Delivery, Marketing and Customer Processes. Bespoke development is designed to make SuperOffice a perfect 100% fit to each and every client’s specific needs.

It has been designed to support client specific business functions and can be tailored by developers to suit a wide range of requirements. Development work can cover anything from integration between CRM operations and third party add-ons or modules, as well as developing sophisticated reporting systems that combines data from several systems linked to SuperOffice.”

What sort of development work do you do?

We can create a wide range of processes and functions that enhances the effectiveness of SuperOffice and its application, this includes:

  • Create web pages that can carry out functions connected to SuperOffice.
  • Converting documents within SuperOffice to PDF.
  • Additional telesales processes.
  • Creating sophisticated sales operations.
  • Call scripts, call logging and related reporting.
  • Additional marketing activities.
  • Automating repetitive tasks, consolidating information.
  • Integrating systems or data from other systems to streamline internal processes.
  • Full end to end marketing integration.

 

Synergy Technology can devise a bespoke solution for almost any requirement for additional functionality in SuperOffice.

Development work can eliminate repetitive time consuming manual data processes with automated functions that equally reduces the risk of duplication of data and improves data accuracy. Richard, SuperOffice Developer, Synergy Technology

Examples of SuperOffice development that Synergy Technology has produced for clients include:

  • Package integration with financial packages including SAGE50, Pegasus Opera, Dynamics NAV, Access Dimensions, SAP integration and Xero.
  • Integration with email marketing systems including eMarketeer and CommuniGator.
  • Integration with systems such as INKWRX to convert existing business forms and documents allowing paperwork to be completed using a mobile phone, tablet or digital pen.
  • Tailoring functionality.
  • Developing modules to quickly lookup postcodes and business information online.
  • Tailoring reports and documentation to reflect the company standards.
  • Even something as specific as adopting the system to work with deep sea exploration and offshore windfarms for monitoring profit cost control and access control.

 

What are the real benefits of bespoke work for SuperOffice users?

Basically bespoke development within SuperOffice ensures that it works seamlessly and effectively across financial, sales, marketing and customer service activities and consolidates any system functions that share the same data or reporting.

Other bespoke work is adding functionality to the existing system, or maximising the value of the data within in the system by creating informative, up-to-date reporting. Developing bespoke work usually involves incorporating SuperOffice into existing third party systems or with a new system that the client wants to start using. The key is understanding what the client is looking to achieve from their CRM system.

“Listening to our clients, understanding their needs, and determining the best most cost effective solution is our priority. To find the best solution we always seek to offer the most effective and perfect fit.

We also aim to find the best solution for the client, and focus on ensuring that the development work can also be adapted for future requirements. By considering the client’s long term plans for their CRM system we can make sure that any bespoke work is not isolated but forms part of their future needs.

Often development work it is not always as complicated as a client may first think. Often we can resolve a requirement for the client by identifying functionality that already exists within SuperOffice that is not being utilised by their team. Training and technical support may be all that is required to improve the system. Additionally, development work to improve a client’s system to meet their requirements can be resolved by integrating third party add-ons that already exist such as eMarketeer or Business Analyze with SuperOffice.

It is also becoming increasingly popular is to develop functionality using web pages (also called web panels). Basically we create a page you can access using a browser like Internet Explorer or Chrome. The web page is developed and designed completely by us but the functionality is dictated by the client and we also try to keep the look and feel consistent with the look and feel of SuperOffice for ease of use”.

Reducing the work to create a monthly management report down to just 0.12% of the original time!

“A specific example of bespoke work for SuperOffice for a client was some very simple development work to automate a rather time consuming Management Reports that required updating and printing every month.

The original process adopted by our client was a laborious task to prepare the report by reviewing statistics, sales figures and other information from SuperOffice and subsequently updating data within an external report. Our development work took two days to complete using (something about in Sequel etc.) and turned the onerous task into a “click refresh report” button reducing this process to well under a minute, a tiny fraction of the original effort. The invested development time was making a saving for the business within its second month of implementation.

Improving internal telesales procedures and increasing sales, customer and team satisfaction and profit.

“Over our 20 year history we have been approached with many special requirements and market specific requirements. In 2015 we were engaged by a dynamic organisation with a team of 40 internal telesales people making high volume call outs to businesses in the UK.

They were experiencing poor data management, lack of data sharing, the need to remove duplicate tasks and no clear method for follow up, to name but a few of their problems. Our brief was to create a process within SuperOffice to bring together the data management whilst also providing an easy to use telesales tool to allow the business to increase customer touch, manage information via a single data source, clean and manage the data for the business and remove work duplication.

As a result of the bespoke development, the organisation saw an improved performance within the telesales team, an increase in appointments and in turn an increase in business and sales. The SuperOffice functionality that we developed is a module called eTelesales and is now available as a commercial add on for SuperOffice.”

Improve the efficiency and sales and marketing processes in your business

The main benefit of bespoke development work is to streamline processes within the client’s business that also results in increased productivity and offering major time saving benefits. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Save time – bespoke development creates time saving benefits to the users.
  • Better control of information – by using the same data sources across your business systems.
  • Reduce errors – by automating repetitive processes.
  • Simplify processes – saving time and releasing employees to focus on other tasks.
  • Better monitoring of sales performance – ensuring your team have real time results.
  • More unified sales and marketing processes – immediate alerts to sales leads via campaigns.
  • Improved customer services – providing a consistent, proactive and monitored service.

 

Synergy Technology has the technical resources to develop your SuperOffice system

Synergy Technology is a highly skilled accredited partner of SuperOffice. We have a dedicated technical team with extensive working knowledge of the software who are able to apply practical and customisable business solutions using the application.

Synergy Technology also provides a range of existing development work available to all SuperOffice users. Our eSuite modules including eTelesales, ePostcode, ePDF are designed and developed by technical experts in business programming and are designed to complement SuperOffice functionality. eSuite modules are created using a unique process of analysis and then applying a design and development solution to deliver a timely, cost effective solution that meets the needs of the small to medium business.

Our technical team can also offer your business ongoing guidance, advice and support to ensure SuperOffice is scaleable and adaptable to the changing needs of your business, including the implementation of additional applications such as digital marketing, mobile applications, advanced reporting and quote management. To discuss your development needs for SuperOffice, please contact Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050 or send us an email today.

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