Your Mobile ERP Strategy – Focus On Business Goals First

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Everyone is telling you that your business should be going mobile. But should it? And if so, where do you start?

Last month we began a series exploring ways to develop mobile strategies to leverage your ERP system. Let’s look at how you can move forward to get started.

When making a decision about introducing any new tool that hooks into your ERP system, you should be reasonably sure of a few things first: Will the solution being automated be reliable? Will it be flexible? Will it be useable?

Reliable
Because no one can afford to be in a customer facing situation and not have their application perform as designed. If that happens to you, you might as well hand them the phone numbers of your competitors.

Flexible
Because not every company has the same needs; not every user in a company has the same needs; and needs change over time.

Usable
Because ERP automation needs to be intuitive and inviting to the user for a successful roll-out.

Reliable, flexible, usable. Keep these characteristics in mind as requirements for any ERP app–especially when moving to mobile processing.

ESTABLISH YOUR BUSINESS GOALS.

With this trio of key characteristics in mind, your first big step is to establish your business goals.

I recommend starting by asking the big questions first, such as these:

  • How can we accelerate growth?
  • How can we create a competitive advantage?
  • What are all of the processes that lend themselves to mobile?
  • What is unique to our industry that can allow us to stand out?
  • Are there new ways to sell and market our offerings?

Engage with the more creative members of your team to brainstorm with these kinds of questions as a jumping point to produce ideas. Garnering feedback from those with various viewpoints can likely generate solutions worthy of further exploration and discovery.

MEASURABLE GOALS

Next, do your best to articulate measurable goals, such as these:

  • Drive revenue growth.
  • Eliminate redundant tasks.
  • Accelerate the entire sales process.
  • Improve accuracy.
  • Streamline processes.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Improve decision making.

Drive revenue growth. Consider how you might be perceived by your customers and prospects if you could offer a mobile app to allow customers to check order or inventory status, or even place an order with you directly on their smart phone or tablet.

Eliminate redundant tasks. We’ve all dealt with handwritten orders faxed or hand-delivered to the office only to be manually keyed in by a person. Do away with unnecessary work.

Accelerate sales process. If you can place an order faster it only holds that you may be able to pick, deliver and collect on those orders too.

Improve accuracy. No one is as familiar with the deal details as you and the customer. If you can book the order when you are in front of them, especially if you can provide an email or print confirmation, you are likely one step ahead in terms of accuracy.

Streamline processes. This means fewer hands in the kitchen. ‘Nuff said.

Improve customer service. Why not consider a mobile app for all of your customer facing staff that provides them any time, anywhere access to critical customer information? If you can answer a customer’s question now as opposed to the next time you’re in the office, you probably just made that customer happy.

Improve decision making. Imagine you’re closing a deal and you are able to show the customer what the product looks like and when you can deliver it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

We’re just scratching the surface here and could go on about payment acceptance, automating sales at trade shows or special events and so on. For today, though, our hope is that we’ve sparked your imagination with ways to define business goals to ignite a mobile ERP process.

Look for our next post in our mobile ERP apps strategy series focusing on functional needs by user.

See you out there.

By Paul Ziliak, co-founder, xkzero

 

If you would like to learn more about xkzero Mobility, Sage Mobile Sales, or would like to share your mobile ideas with us, please contact us at info@xkzero.com.

Residential LTL Shipments Using xkzero Transportation Management for LTL

When shipping to a residential address, you may encounter accessorial charges. One advantage of managing your less-than-truckload (LTL) processes using xkzero Transportation Management with Echo Logistics is all the variables can be maintained right within Sage 100 ERP. 

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Accessorial Charges
Your shipment may be subject to 
accessorial charges, which are additional requirements such as residential or inside delivery, or entry via lift gate. If you’re aware of any accessorial needs in advance, include them on your shipment order to ensure your quoted carrier price matches the invoice amount

How to Indicate a Residential Delivery
Most accessorial charges are set up in Sage 100 ERP within “Miscellaneous Item Maintenance.” To indicate “Residential Delivery” within Sales Order entry, all you need to do is go to the Address tab, and under “Stop Type,” select “Residential,” as shown below:

That’s it!

If you have any questions about the set-up of accessorials or any other part of xkzero Transportation Management powered by Echo, please contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009.

Maintain Accessorial Charges for LTL Shipping with Echo

One of the advantages of managing your less-than truckload (LTL) processes using xkzero Transportation Management with Echo Logistics is all the variables can be maintained right within Sage 100 ERP.  

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Your shipment may be subject “accessorial charges,” which are additional requirements such as residential or inside delivery, or entry via lift gate. If you’re aware of any accessorial needs in advance, include them on your shipment order to ensure your quoted carrier price matches the invoice amount.

Here is how you set up an accessorial charge in Sage 100 ERP using xkzero Transportation Management (with image below):

  1. In Sage 100 ERP, select: “Common Information / Main / Miscellaneous Item Maintenance.”
  2. Select or create a new /C comment code.
  3. On the Main tab of the comment code, assign the appropriate Echo Accessorial from the “Accessorial ID” look-up field.

That’s it!

If you have any questions about the set-up of accessorials or any other part of xkzero Transportation Management powered by Echo, please contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009.

 

How to Hide Price and/or Quantity Info with iSales 100

There are a lot of reasons you may wish to disable inventory item pricing or quantity information on your iSales 100 mobile sales app for Sage 100 ERP. One example– you may want to provide your distribution business customers with an app (instead of a web portal) to inquire about their account. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you wish to share pricing or available quantities, because (unfortunately) that information can be used against you.

Here are the steps to disable inventory information:

  1. On your computer
    Go to: Sage 100 ERP> xkzero Web Services> Set-up> Remote User Maintenance
    Select: User (User is “DEMO” in the illustration below).
    On the [1. User] tab, in the bottom right panel, check either or both of the appropriate boxes.
  2. On your mobile device
    Open iSales 100.
    Synchronize all data.

You’re all set.

 

items no price

 

At xkzero, we believe that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. Maybe it’s time for your wholesale distribution business to start gearing up with mobile apps. If your ERP data tells the story of your customers and your inventory, shouldn’t you equip your team to have that information in their pockets?

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009, we can help you create a mobile plan that works for you.

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Optimizing Sage 100 ERP with xkzero Technical Services

by Alnoor Cassim

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Some of you may only think of xkzero as the people behind the cool iSales mobile app or the creators of GetX, the mind blowing search application for Sage 100 ERP. Actually, our capabilities and talents extend way beyond these better known areas of expertise. Yes, we have a core focus of getting customers mobile, but that’s only one of the many ways xkzero helps Sage partners and customers translate their business visions into Sage 100 ERP solutions.  xkzero

As the new director of xkzero Technical Services, it is my goal to make sure you are aware of our capabilities. I’ll be using the xkzero Digest and blog over time as a forum to illustrate how we can help you. To start, here’s a list of our offerings:

  • Sage 100 ERP enhancements (ProvideX custom modifications)
  • Custom Office scripting to enhance and extend Sage 100 ERP capabilities
  • Training: Custom Office scripting (2-day intensive class)
  • Training: Connecting external apps and scripts to Sage 100 ERP using the Business Object Interface (BOI)
  • Instruction: Sage 100 ERP Premium (SQL) (classes)
  • SQL projects and services:
    • Stored procedures and views
    • SSIS/DTS packages
    • Replication and mirroring
    • Reporting through SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • iOS (Apple mobile) custom apps for Sage 100 ERP
  • Advanced Crystal Reports
  • Perform Logic to enhance and extend Visual Integrator capabilities
  • Troubleshooting and debugging services:
    • Advanced technical support: Sage 100 ERP errors and issues
    • Advanced technical support: Sage 100 ERP Premium (SQL)
    • Troubleshooting and diagnostics: network and operating system issues, working with IT teams
  • Sage 100 ERP custom integrations with WMS systems, CRM systems, HRMS systems, and other applications:
    • BOI
    • SData
    • ProvideX
    • xkzero Web Services
  • eBusiness Manager expanded services
  • LTL integration with Echo Global Logistics
  • .NET applications and ASP web development

Please keep an eye out for invitations to upcoming events that will showcase our capabilities. We welcome your partnership, and we hope you’ll consider making xkzero Technical Services part of your solutions arsenal for Sage 100 ERP.

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009.

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4 Things Distributors Can Do with Mobile Sales Apps

Distributors benefit from mobile sales automation

Great value awaits for distributors with mobile sales apps

Here are some things to look for in your mobile apps along with some practical ways a wholesale distributor might use them.

How Can Distributors Use Mobile Sales Apps?

  • Address book. You need to start somewhere. Think about the amount of time one single sales person spends adding customer contacts to their smart phone. With a mobile sales app, accessing a complete–and accurate–address book is just a login and password away. Let your competitors have their sales reps tediously entering account address, phone and email information, spending dozens, perhaps hundreds of hours manually keying the stuff in. Your mobile app should automatically work with the device’s calendar, email and phone–and because it’s integrated with your ERP system, sales reps will never have to worry about keeping the data current.
  • Price catalog. Better yet, an illustrated price catalog. If your ERP system already contains an image associated with an item then your mobile app should be able to display that along with pricing – and even warehouse quantities available. Historically distributors published a catalog once, maybe twice per year. With your new ERP-driven price and product catalog your sales reps will be able to keep themselves and your customers up-to-the-minute current.
  • Order and history inquiry. Now we’re getting into the good stuff. If you are an outside sales rep or executive, how cool would it be to prepare for your next meeting by looking at all of the open activity and past history for a customer right before you meet with them? Knowledge is power, and the informed sales rep is a confident sales rep. A confident sales rep closes deals.
  • Place Orders. Or at least produce price quotes. The well equipped mobile salesperson can enter all of the details of a quote or an order and close the deal right on the spot. You may even wish to capture the signature of the customer or accept their payment. Why is this important? By getting the order now you can 1) accelerate delivery 2) establish yourself as a modern company that others want to do business with 3) ensure accuracy 4) beat the competition to the punch.

At xkzero, we believe that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. Maybe it’s time for your wholesale distribution business to start gearing up with mobile apps. If your ERP data tells the story of your customers and your inventory, shouldn’t you equip your team to have that information in their pockets?

Resources to learn more about the most powerful, flexible, easy to use mobile sales app for distributors with growing needs- iSales 100.

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009, we can help you create a mobile plan that works for you.

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Setting Up & Accessing Inventory from Sage 100 ERP with Mobile Sales

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[Updated from original post of December 2013 to include new features.]

No more need to lug around heavy and outdated product catalogs. With Sage 100 ERP and iSales 100 by xkzero, confidently identify and make commitments about inventory from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

The video below shows how to quickly assign only the inventory items or groups of items to access from out of the officeall managed natively in Sage 100 ERP, and
accessed from iSales 100. iSales 100 is native for the Apple mobile devices, meaning the data can be accessed any place, even without Internet connectivity. Beware, however, that quantity, pricing and other information are only as current as the most recent data synchronization.

In the latest version of iSales 100, we’ve expanded even further the ability to filter the inventory information visible on the mobile device. As shown in the image below, there are now options to filter by item type (Internet items only, regular items, miscellaneous charges, miscellaneous items and comments) and warehouse code, and to exclude “zero on-hand” and/or “zero available” items.

For more information about how you can grow your business by going mobile with Sage ERP, contact us at info@xkzero.com, or call 847-416-2009. And don’t forget to download iSales 100 from the Apple app store or off our website at http://www.xkzero.com/mobility/

Steps to Uninstall GetX

Quote

At the conclusion of your trial period, if you choose to proceed without GetX for Sage 100 ERP, you can uninstall the application by following the steps below.

Looking for instructions to install GetX?  Click here.

After the basic steps, we have added some helpful notes, so please read all the way down.

To uninstall GetX, the steps are as follows:

1. First, you need to ensure that the Scheduled Task for indexing is removed.

NOTE: If you have never set up GetX for indexing, you can skip this step.

You can remove indexing as a Scheduled Task either through the Sage 100 server, or via Windows.

Sage 100 Server Option:
Log onto the Sage 100 server.
- Navigate to the GX folder where MAS90 is installed: …\MAS90\GX\Service\
- Right-click ‘GetXIndexingService.exe’ and ‘Run As Administrator’
- Under ‘Windows Service’ set the Schedule to ‘Never’ and hit ‘OK’

Windows Option:
- From Windows ‘START’ go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Tasks Scheduler
- Delete ‘GetXIndexingService’

2. Once the service is removed, you can remove the module like any other Sage 100 module.

To remove the GetX module from Sage 100, follow these steps:

a) From Sage Desktop go to Library Master > Company Maintenance

b) Select a company where GetX is Activated and hit ‘Remove.’ Check the box for GetX and then hit ‘Proceed.’ Repeat for all companies for which GetX is activated.

NOTE: The ‘Remove’ button is disabled for the company for which you are currently logged in. You may need to switch your user to another company.

c) Go to Library Master > Setup > System Configuration. Hit the ‘Uninstall’ button on upper right. Select ‘G/X’ and hit ‘Delete.’

To clean up any remaining files, remove the …\MAS90\GX folder.

——

***NOTE: On occasion, for reasons we don’t understand, Sage will not allow you to delete the company data for GetX even though you are not in that particular company.

At that point, the only thing to do is to manually delete the data. We recommend renaming the folder …\MAS90\MAS_ZZZ\GXZZZ (where ZZZ is the 3 letter company code). Then, if everything goes well you can delete it. This is simply a precaution.

Once this is done you should be able to Uninstall the module from System Configuration.

Please let us know if you have any further difficulties!

At xkzero, we believe that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. xkzero builds solutions designed for the best possible user experience, engineered in a flexible way to accommodate the needs of each individual and adaptable to the precise business rules that can vary industry by industry, company by company. If you ever find us failing to deliver on that, please let us know!

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009 with any questions!

Introducing xkzero Digest

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Today, we launch the xkzero Digest, a periodic electronic publication designed to keep you informed of industry topics, technical updates and product and event announcements related to mobile technology for Sage ERP systems. In addition, we’ll write about custom development-related subjects, and provide information that helps inspire you to apply the best technology, at the right time, for you and your clients.

Focus: What You Want to Know

While we already have many topics and articles we’re excited to share with you, we also invite you to let us know about subjects of interest to ensure that we continue to focus on things that matter most to you.

We’re at a Technology Crossroads

As we embark on 2015, the world of ERP and accounting software systems is without a doubt at a crossroads. The world of business management systems into which many of us

Team xkzero is focused and ready!

Team xkzero is focused and ready!

entered 20 or 30 years ago—where a single consultant would sell and install the system, perhaps even set up the server as well as conduct the set-up and training—becomes more of a faint memory with each passing year.

Conversely, in today’s specialized business world, those who create the most value concentrate on a particular specialty. At xkzero, we have that kind of clear focus—it’s all about mobile ERP—and it’s our wish that this dedication benefits each and every one of you.

Pushing Boundaries and Yielding Rewards

These days, the businesses that push boundaries with technology reap the greatest rewards. Whether your clients use Sage ERP X3, Sage 100 ERP and/or Sage 500 ERP, we think xkzero can help you create new revenue streams, not to mention customer satisfaction and loyalty.

xkzero Digest Content

Our first issue of xkzero Digest introduces our new director of technical services, Alnoor Cassim, and also includes a guide to help you install and set up GetX Search so you can win more new customers and delight existing ones.

All the best for a great 2015!

Paul

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3 Situations When Android Is Better for Mobile ERP Apps

For business, in particular the B2B world, there are definitely situations when it makes sense to choose Android over Apple for business.

1) Budget.  This could be, of course, simply because you are skeptical about whether there is value in the investment in the first place.

2) Printing, scanning, swiping, signature capture are not important to your business.  Businesses who need these things have voted overwhelmingly with their dollars on Apple.  The reason is supportability and reliability.

 3) You have a BYOD device policy and a strict connect-to-your-network policy assuring you that the integrity of your network and the safeguarding of your data is well in hand.

If however, you’re biggest need is just enabling your address book to the smart phone automatically from your ERP system, doing some inquiries on customers, orders, items, history, stuff like that, Android could be great.

Regarding #3 above, whether you utilize Apple or Android for mobile, it’s really important to engage with a qualified network engineer to confirm your security concerns as it concerns connecting mobile devices to your system.

And please be aware that whatever B2B app you might develop for Android you may very well find yourself having to support about 6 different operating system versions simultaneously.

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