27 Jun 2019

Reasons to Upgrade to Business Central

At Synergy Technology, we understand how hard it can be to manage a company and to make smart business decisions, especially when there is a lack of communication between departments, consistency and time management.

That is where Synergy Technology can help to make your business shine, with an all-in-one business management solution that is easy to use and adapt: Business Central.

Here are some of the reasons why you should upgrade to Business Central.

Business Central On-Premises Perpetual

If your business already uses Dynamics 365, then you will receive 2 named users for every 1 concurrent Dynamics 365 user which was purchased before 1st October 2018. Therefore, if you have the minimum requirements which is the Starter Pack, your business will end up with 6 essential users.

This is a great way for you and your business to try out Business Central whilst saving money, in which you will gain an end-to-end view of your business to help you manage your finances easier, keep projects on time and under budget and improve your customer service.

On-Premise/Cloud

Since Dynamics NAV became a part of Business Central, it has been available as both an on the cloud and an on-premise solution for businesses. What this means is that you can choose which solution would be faster and more appropriate for your business.

For example, if you choose a cloud solution and later find out that an on-premise solution would be a better choice for your business, then it is possible to move from the cloud to on-premise.

Business Central SaaS

Another great reason you will want to upgrade to Business Central for is because of Business Central SaaS, which is enabling you to save 40% on licenses until June 30th, 2021.

If you want to find out more about how Business Central can help your business grow, then get in touch today on 0345 456 0050.  

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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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27 May 2018

Creating a virtual office that’s open for business from anywhere!

It is common to think of cutting edge technology as reserved for enormous multinationals. However, as our interview with Michael Gibbs, Director at Synergy Technology demonstrates, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can equally reap the rewards of a well-designed secure workspace.

“For a recent project, we were approached by a local business that essentially offers a wholesale service. They have a team of drivers delivering products to customers, as well as a number of back office staff in charge of processing orders and managing the accounts. The company is growing fast, with plans to expand. However, the growth was hampered by a heavy reliance on paper-based records which took up a large portion of their time to process, as well as causing issues with stock levels and missed deliveries”.

Synergy Technology met with the company’s directors to understand how the business worked, and to discuss these problems as well as their growth plans and subsequently recommended the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV hosted on Synergy Technology’s Citadel platform. Dynamics NAV is designed for SMEs to manage their supply chains, operations, finance and logistics. Citadel is a cloud-based service designed to provide a virtual workspace. Previously, the company had a huge order book and delivery schedule and Synergy Technology’s solution was to develop and enhance this existing paper-based process with the additional ability to work remotely, including drivers amending documents.

“This solution has proven really useful for both the drivers and their office-based team. For the drivers, they are now able to file orders whilst with customers, immediately updating the database from a tablet or phone. Using the virtual workspace, drivers can also update future orders with additional products there and then, as well as updating delivery information and reporting non-deliveries.”

The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is only the beginning of the journey for this company. In addition to the ability to work virtually, Dynamics NAV has helped the company advance in other areas of the business.

“Dynamics NAV offers a clearer visibility of which products they are selling, up-to-date warehouse stock levels, what items are selling most, what items are slow moving and therefore helps the company to manage their stocks levels more effectively. Adopting Dynamics NAV also speeds up the process of receiving orders – a delivery driver can send the latest order directly from the customer’s location without returning to the office to hand over the paperwork. This, in turn, frees up the office-based team and directors to focus more effectively on strategy and business growth”.

“Adopting the virtual workspace also provides flexibility for the office-based team to potentially work from home. This can be beneficial to work away from the comings and goings of the main office and to focus on their work without typical workplace distractions”.

Of course, when setting up a virtual workforce, businesses may have some concerns around what employees are doing when working offsite. Michael explains that Dynamics NAV actually provides a business more visibility.

“The system is easy-to-use. With the metrics in place there is a range of indicators to identify whether an employee is working. For example, Dynamics NAV allows you to see when and who has raised orders as well as what time users log in and out of the system. As a result, you can see directly how out-of-office workers are performing”.

A final issue is how the users adapted to the new technology. For this company in particular, by hosting their line of business software on Citadel, the virtual workforce has been an effective solution.

“Overall, adoption of the new system has been very positive. It did require some changes in behaviour from working with a paper-based system to working directly online, but most employees were quick to appreciate the benefits of this new approach. Drivers save time, and can cross-sell and upsell onsite and benefit from less travelling between customers and the office.

“Office-based workers are pleased they can reduce the time taken to carry out mundane tasks and resources are freed up to focus on company strategy. Perhaps most importantly, the more responsive service is well received by customers particularly the instant electronic delivery of provision notes, receipts and invoices.”

If you think that you and your employees will benefit from a flexible workspace and you would like to consider adopting a virtual office for your business, we can advise you and provide the technology to make it happen! Call Synergy Technology on 0345 456 0050

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05 Apr 2018

Sell online? Start with data integration from your ERP system

As a retail outlet, you may already sell online to increase the distribution of your products and services to a wider network of customers and to keep ahead of competitors. But does it work effectively with your internal systems. Is it integrated with your ERP system?

Setting up an effective order processing and distribution system in-house that can then integrate with your web store is the most necessary first step before setting up business online or, if you are looking to reimplement your systems. This ensures your ERP system is the foundation for your online store.

This integrated link between the two systems ensures the pricing structure and order calculations modelled specifically to your business can be automatically transferred to your web store environment. Likewise, all relevant ERP integration means that your web store software uses your ERP data as the foundation for your web store information. Likewise, all relevant data entered within your web store environment will automatically appear in you ERP system.

By setting up your web store in this manner it uses your ERP system to execute the required calculations, pricing and orders — all from one source.

The result is streamlined sales processes, an optimised customer experience and a wider access to a global client base.

So before you set up your retail web store, read our ten reasons why you should establish your ERP system first!

1. Get your data from a single source

Operating with a single source of data ensures all areas of your business uses the same information. This ensures accuracy across your entire organisation, as fewer errors can be made in mapping and interpreting information.

Not only does integrated e-commerce use your ERP’s master database, it also actively ensures that newly created records, such as orders, are instantly available at the source. What’s more, it does so without replicating, synchronising or mapping any data. This validation is performed by the same system, which ensures data accuracy.

You can create your web store to sell online with classifications and categorisations defined in your ERP system. This gives you a much more efficient way to build the navigation structure for your online store.

2. Accurate online order processing and improved efficiency

An integrated e-commerce platform minimises mistakes by only processing orders from within the ERP system. Because information from your ERP is available to share online with clients — including their past and recurring orders — you can also expect more repeat sales and increased efficiency.

3. A better customer experience

One of the biggest advantages of deploying the right integrated e-commerce is that your ERP processes the online orders immediately. This is opposed to the delay that would come with scheduled synchronisation in an interfaced system.

Using this synchronisation, your employees will always see what is actually available when they take orders by phone or email. Your customers benefit too: they see real-time inventory availability in the web store and can access the information around the clock without having to call or email.

This is because all your inventory information is stored in your ERP system. This data contains a lot of important business logic that relies on current inventory availability, inventory location, and projection of future inventory levels based on planned production and/or purchase orders.

4. Quickly launch multiple web stores

In our global society, many businesses are keen to sell internationally. An integrated e-commerce and ERP solution makes it possible to roll out multiple web stores based on multiple companies.

For businesses with multiple web stores, whether it’s for localisation purposes or to divide product offerings among multiple storefronts it’s important to be able to easily assign your products to the correct store(s). And, you only need to define your product assignments once, in your ERP system!

5. Add faceted search functionality for even more details filtering

An integrated e-commerce solution makes it possible to retrieve details related to faceted searches and browsing directly from your ERP system.
By setting up your ERP system first, you can select the attributes of the item you’d like to use in your web store, and your clients can search, filter and refine their product results in detail.

6. Tracking and recording Bill of Materials (BOM) / kitting and assembly

Industrial and technical wholesale and manufacturing companies know all about the complexity of composite product structures. These are products that are built from a Bill of Materials (BOM), or through kitting and assembly. These complex products can then be easily broken down into their respective parts in the web store. This lets your clients order individual parts and have them listed as separate line items on their invoice. Make sure your e-commerce software and ERP system can do this TOGETHER!

7. Share product images and information from your ERP in your web store

The biggest advantage of setting up your ERP system first is the ability to fully leverage the data already present in your ERP system and then integrate it into your web store, rather than the other way round.

By setting up your system this way, and then choosing the right web store system, you can display the product images already stored in your ERP in your online catalogue. There’s no need to upload photos to multiple systems, and your web store will always feature the most recent versions of your product images as they appear in your ERP.

Many distribution businesses and wholesalers are starting to look at not just promoting their business online but actually selling their products online too. With an ERP back end system already in place, many e-commerce systems are designed to bolt onto the ERP system and integrate directly into existing processes to quickly provide a front end online store ready to go. Read our blog: Six Benefits of Setting up a B2B e-commerce Store

 

8. Always display inventory availability in real time

It’s essential that you can sell the products offered in your web store as promised. However, keeping your inventory availability current across systems can be complex. With an integrated e-commerce platform, mistakes such as selling out-of-stock items just don’t happen. Inventory levels can then be checked directly from your ERP system during the order process, and inventory levels are updated instantly in your ERP when a client submits an order online.

9. Product export to marketplaces (add-on)

Another benefit of integration is the option to export detailed product information to marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Google. By deploying the right web store solution this will allow product sets to be defined and exported using extensive ERP filtering. Combining product master data from your ERP system with semantic enrichment for improved web descriptions and images results in a powerful combination that helps you publish professional catalogues in large marketplaces.

So set up your ERP system first, and make it easier to sell online, in more than one place!

10. Display product customisations directly in the web store

ERP systems are designed to suit a wide range of businesses and industries. Sometimes, however, it is still necessary to create custom product attributes or user-defined fields to store and process the catalogues for a specific business or industry. Integrated web stores can easily process these custom product characteristics because they share the same product database as your ERP system.

Choosing Dynamics NAV as your ERP system “The Microsoft functionality makes it more straight forward for our website developers working behind the scenes between the website and NAV. It’s like we are all singing from the same hymn sheet!” Mike Hendon, Leisuretec Distribution. Read the full case study

Working with Dynamics NAV ERP system

ERP systems are designed to suit a wide range of business and industries. Dynamics NAV has been specifically 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 and is ideal as the ERP system behind your web store. Development work can cover integration between Dynamics NAV and third party add-ons or modules including e-commerce, and creating sophisticated reporting systems that combines data from several systems linked to Dynamics NAV.

Read our blog on ERP bespoke development for further information.

Your Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system lets you bring together all your product information and business logic. This is an invaluable resource for your sales department – so why not use Dynamics NAV as the driving force behind your online store? Synergy Technology is an accredited Microsoft partner with specialist Dynamics NAV consultants that can develop your ERP system, and advise you of the most suitable e-Commerce solution for your business.

Coupled with Sana e-commerce you will be ready to sell online.

Getting started and sell online

There are many more reasons why you should consider setting up your ERP system first. For further information on Dynamics NAV and Sana e-commerce systems or to receive a detailed whitepaper on e-commerce please contact Synergy Technology

Information provided to help compile this article is kindly supported by our partners Sana Commerce specialists in e-Commerce systems.

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19 Dec 2017

What we love about Dynamics NAV 2018

With the release of Dynamics NAV 2018, Microsoft has focused on the development of the Web client and ease of use as well as smoother back-end work to help benefit developers and programmers.
Synergy Technology’s Dynamics NAV specialist Michael Gibbs identifies some of the highlights of NAV 2018, the latest release from Microsoft, released in December 2018.

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24 Nov 2017

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