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No more need to lug around heavy and outdated product catalogs.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/

Bar Code Scanning Can Be A Royal Pain

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Implementing bar code scanning can be a royal pain. It doesn’t have to be, though.

With iSales 100 Enterprise Edition, we made the process of implementing bar code scanning easy as pie.

  1. Purchase Linea Pro scanners by Infinite Peripherals. These devices can be purchased from a multitude of different sources on the web, including an active used market. At the time of purchase, please consult with us to confirm current recommended devices.
  2. Charge the device and attach it to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
  3. Start an order in iSales 100.
  4. Scan merchandise.

Is it really that simple? Yes! Here’s a brief video where I show you how to do this:

How did xkzero make this so simple? We partnered with the finest quality maker of point-of-sale (POS) and point-of-presence (POP) devices in the world to integrate a bulletproof solution into iSales 100 designed to work correctly every time from the first plug-in.

By only working with the best partners, we’re able to keep our commitment to deliver applications that are not only flexible and powerful, but provide the reliability you need for peace of mind.

xkzero believes that people perform best when they are confident, informed, and have a high level of trust in the tools they use. Our solutions are designed for the best possible user experience, engineered in a flexible way to accommodate the needs of each individual. They are also adaptable to the precise business rules that can vary industry by industry, company by company.

If you would like to see how xkzero can help you discover a whole new dimension of selling, operations and business intelligence, we’d love to hear from you.

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

The Real Mobile ERP Opportunity

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Your ERP system is a beast. A snarling, sometimes messy collection of data held together by software applications and databases, its job is to house, catalog and categorize—then only later shout, whisper and echo back everything that happens in your business. This powerful creature needs to handle processing demands, be a reliable repository, have the organizational prowess to classify information, and communicate about this data.

Impressive, right? Yes, except for the minor fact that your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system doesn’t quite tell you everything. Even the finest implemented ERP systems come up short because they simply don’t possess all of the knowledge you need.

The box score from my first ever Major League Baseball game courtesy Baseball Almanac.

The box score from the first Major League Baseball game I ever witnessed.  Courtesy Baseball Almanac.

We can liken it to a Major League Baseball game box score. It sort of tells the fan what happened during the game, and does so honestly. It just leaves out key details. While a traditional box score will accurately present the total number of hits a player had throughout the game, it reveals very little about the situation–the other forces at work while on the field. Too much of the context of the game is missing.

To analyze the player’s performance, we need to know what happened, and when. What were the conditions?

Sure the box score can tell me that my leadoff hitter had 2 hits in 4 at-bats, but it doesn’t say that he collected both hits after the game was out of reach.

Seriously—how can we smartly boast about our favorite player’s talent without an arsenal of factors that made their plays impressive? And to talk convincing smack, we need to present proper evidence that our buddy’s guy “ain’t all that.” Otherwise, it becomes an empty, witless battle.

The same goes for your ERP system. It possesses much of the data we need for strategic planning. We just want more of it. We like the reports, dashboards and lookups, but the ERP could tell us so much more.

Think of all the missing context that could be captured with your ERP.  The play-by-play detail of our business story will help us properly identify factors contributing to our success as well as alert us to the adjustments we should consider.

My hometown baseball broadcaster with the Chicago White Sox, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson likes to say, “Don’t tell me what you hit. Tell me when you hit it.” Exactly.

Next at batmobile technology.

My 12-year-old son, Owen, follows White Sox games from his iPhone. His experience is a world apart from mine at his age.  For starters, he can look at a live box score as the game is being played. As a kid, I had to wait to read stats in the next morning’s newspaper.

Now, a tap of a finger gives Owen complete play-by-play details, including data not formerly available, like how far the home run ball traveled, how fast a strikeout pitch was thrown, and defensive positioning. The smart phone-enabled box score (game cast) now includes features such as social media links to communicate with other fans, access to photos and replay videos. In every respect, the game cast completely trumps the old school box score in newsprint.

Mobile technology is real-time, interactive, and can tell a more complete story than ever before.

Look at last week’s sales report, yesterday’s receiving numbers, or last month’s financials. When you think of all the missing info, it now kind of looks like an old box score, right?

The opportunity to add new context—and value—to your ERP system is mind blowing.  

Despite the phenomenal technology that we all carry in our pockets, the movement to adapt ERP systems to mobile devices has been somewhat slow. One reason is the new technology is not yet understood enough. In other cases, businesses are simply not sure where to start.

We can learn from the early 1990s, when Business Process Re-engineering was all the rage.  

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) was hugely popular in the 1990s. It was an important and valuable form of business consulting primarily because of the rapid and pervasive spread of PC-based accounting and ERP software systems.

Companies who invested in BPR benefited the most from their new systems. It required companies to document every step of their job tasks. Using the context of new business tools available, it mapped out expected new behaviors, processes and benefits available, thanks to the the latest technology.

Business people who understand ERP, are comfortable using mobile devices, and who have an eye for creating new value are potentially qualified to at least begin re-defining business processes to capitalize on this transformative technology. This needs to be done first—from sales, to warehouse, manufacturing, purchasing, accounting, customer service and all areas throughout the organization.

The question becomes, how do we identify which processes, and it which ways, we can add new value to our business by incorporating the very unique qualities of our mobile devices;  qualities such as camera and video, push notifications and alerts, geo-awareness, calendar, email, phone and other direct app integrations.

Mobile ERP presents the opportunity to bring all new context to your legacy systems.  Once the market discovers the value of mobilizing ERP systems, and how to tap into it, we will see a new era marked by better informed, more responsive, more confident, better-connected, working people.

Business Process Re-engineering can provide the creative energy and the structured framework to define a new reality.

That is the opportunity with mobile ERP

Apple Offers Work Around for iOS 8.01 Snafu

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Normally a .01 release is intended to provide bug fix relief discovered by early adopters. Apple is in big scramble mode as iOS version 8.01 appears to torpedo not only cellular service, but touch ID and the new health app as well. While Apple expects to have this fixed with 8.02 in the coming days, the good news is that a work around exists to restore iOS 8 via iTunes. Instructrions can be found on Apple’s web site. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6487?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

iOS 8 restore workaround from Apple

iOS 8 restore workaround from Apple

Is iSales 100 Version 3 the Most Flexible Mobile Sales App? — You Decide

iSales 100: Meeting Unique and Individual Mobile Sales Needs

iSales 100: Meeting Unique and Individual Mobile Sales Needs

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As xkzero rolls out iSales 100 version 3, we continue to be true to our commitment to build the most flexible and powerful platform to automate mobile ERP, allowing you to realize your mobile vision of better customer collaboration, better empowered sales reps and a newly heightened reality of customer satisfaction.

iSales 100 is anchored by a native integration. We built our own high performance web services specifically for Sage 100 ERP, the business software that after 30 years is still the most widely used and best known system for companies who’ve outgrown Quickbooks or other starter systems.

iSales 100′s flexibility is managed directly in Sage 100 ERP. What that means for you is that it looks and behaves like all of the other Sage 100 ERP modules you already own. No fancy terminology. No complicated installations. You won’t need an IT department or technical consultants to set up or manage iSales 100. Within that module you can create almost any rule imaginable to provide each user with the best, most personalized mobile experience possible.

Here are some of the new controls you can create for each user with iSales 100 version 3:

  • What types of transactions does the user have permission to create? Orders, quotes, invoices, credit memos? You decide.
  • Should that user’s orders be automatically placed on hold in Sage 100 ERP? You decide.
  • How about signatures? Do you want that person to be able to obtain signatures? You decide.
  • Should that user be able to add a new customer on-the-fly from their mobile device? You decide.
  • Modify the ship to address, or override the salesperson getting credit for the sale? You decide.
  • Display only Customer Memos for this user, or allow them to also add a Sales Order memo (into the very same memo function you already maintain in Sage 100 ERP)? You decide.
  • What if the user…is one of your customers? Should this customer use iSales 100 as a mobile B2B sales app?
  • Have you set up enough protection over sensitive data in order to feel comfortable trusting the useror trust yourselvesto risk giving them all the information accessible on an app (instead of more limited data access on a website or via phone call)? You decide.
  • What about customer purchase history? How many months back will you be able to access, or will you always have to wade through15 years of data? You decide.

There are many more decision points built into iSales 100 and each one of those options is designed to ensure that your user—whether he or she is a salesperson, executive, customer service rep, or even your distribution customer—gets the best possible experience from their mobile app.

Now, just two short years after xkzero first pioneered native iOS sales apps for the Sage North American market, an increasing number of choices are available. This is a good thing. It means you have the opportunity as consumers to evaluate who has the most powerful, easiest to use, and flexible sales app that a distributor, manufacturer, or other type of business could hope for. You get to decide.

A free download of the app is available on our website.  Login is Demo and the password is password.

For even more information about xkzero and iSales 100, or to schedule a personalized demonstration please contact your Sage business partner, email us at info@xkzero.com or call us at 847-416-2009.

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Less selling, more buying! 

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How a mobile sales application can positively change the dynamic of the account manager-client relationship

Amanda Lubert, xkzero

Blog author Amanda Lubert of xkzero, radiating cheerful energy as usual! ~Julie Downey

A tricky part about building a symbiotic provider-client relationship is that fundamentally it’s one-directional and based on the profit-generating needs of the client. It brings to mind the old cliché, customers love to buy but hate to be sold.

A mobile sales app can help tip the balance a bit and take the hater out of the buyer. Once enabled with an application that enables them to make purchases on their own time and terms, a client can begin to feel more in control of the buying process, thus relieving the aggravation of being sold to every time they need to increase inventory. A mobile sales app is also freeing for clients, as with this tool, they are no longer beholden to their account team’s schedule to inquiry inventory or place orders.

That is not to say that the account manager is no longer needed, rather, that he or she is now unburdened from harder sales tactics and can serve as more of a consultant, focusing on stewarding clients and building and expanding the relationship. This makes for a more productive, profitable, and even pleasant business experience for everyone.

xkzero  847-416-2009  info@xkzero.com

xkzero Mobile Commerce–Automated Sales and Direct Store Delivery

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 11, 2014

xkzero, a Chicago-based software developer, today released the general availability of its new mobile sales and delivery application, xkzero Mobile Commerce. Mobile Commerce is designed for companies with direct store delivery (DSD) type requirements, and automates vehicle loading and scheduling, route and driver/sales rep assignments, pre-sales, delivery, product exchanges, returns, truck transfers and payments.

Equip your drivers for success

Equip your drivers for success

Paul Ziliak, co-founder of xkzero made the announcement from the floor of the FMI Connect/Interbev 2014 tradeshow in Chicago, attended by approximately 15,000 food and beverage-related industry professionals, many of whom rely on the DSD that xkzero Mobile Commerce serves. DSD is especially relevant to manufacturers and distributors of bread and baked goods, fresh produce, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, milk, dairy and ice cream, salty snacks, beer, wine and spirits, and prepared foods.

“Other industries will need this technology, too. We expect to serve any company with a dispersed sales force—and especially those that deliver their own products. xkzero Mobile Commerce has the tools for best-in-class sales, delivery and customer service, and is instrumental to building brand loyalty. As a product that is already live with a large distribution and delivery company, we are already seeing the results–xkzero Mobile Commerce is a sales and profit generating machine,” said Ziliak.

xkzero Mobile Commerce is a native iOS (Apple iPhone and iPad) application which allows for offline processing. Technology highlights include signature capture, geo-coded transactions and the ability to print documents such as invoices and proof of delivery forms. Custom survey functionality is another standout feature built into xkzero Mobile Commerce. It enables companies to create their own forms to automate vehicle inspections, gather retail and competitive intelligence, and survey customers. Also, any survey question can include a photo with tags. Reports can then be run on survey data–including photo tags–to target any customer, competitor, or operational information desired.

xkzero Mobile Commerce was engineered to integrate with Sage ERP X3 and will support other Sage ERPs such as Sage 100 ERP and Sage 500 ERP. Ziliak said, “Everything about the design was built with the manufacturer and distributor in mind, including the ability to plug it in to any ERP or accounting system. Although xkzero is a certified Sage developer, our company can create solutions for other ERP markets, too.”

About xkzero
xkzero provides Mobile ERP leadership and supply chain optimization for small and mid-sized distribution and manufacturing companies. Specializing in Sage ERP X3, Sage 100 ERP and Sage 500 ERP, xkzero’s published apps include iSales 100, GetX Universal Search for Sage 100 ERP and now xkzero Mobile Commerce. http://www.xkzero.com/MobileCommerce

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Sage ERP X3 Version 7—Any Browser, Any Device

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We know that you know that xkzero loves mobile technology and the transformative nature it can have for small and mid-sized businesses. You can imagine our excitement when we saw the latest from Sage at the Sage ERP X3 Mobile Conference in Lisbon, Portugal this past May (11-15).

Sage ERP X3 version 7 allows users to access their ERP from any browser, using any device. The keys to this flexibility are the (new) native HTML5 and responsive design. Many functions, dashboards and KPIs will be available out of the box, and Sage promises that customers can render virtually any kind of functionality for their iPhone, iPad, or Android or Windows Mobile device in under an hour. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.

Go where your business takes you

Go where your business takes you.

In Lisbon, at the conclusion of the inaugural demonstration of version 7, the end user customer audience bursted in a spontaneous and sustained standing ovation. We don’t see that kind of enthusiasm at a business conference every day!

Are you looking to grow your manufacturing or distribution business by improving your customer reach and improving the quality of your service?  (Of course you are! Otherwise, you wouldn’t still be reading!)

Contact us at info@xkzero.com or visit us at www.xkzero.com.  

 

 

 

xkzero to Exhibit at Interbev 2014

xkzero To Exhibit At Interbev 2014 – Booth 5415

xkzero is excited to announce its participation once again at the Interbev tradeshow at McCormick Place in Chicago (our home town!) June 10-13, 2014. InterBev 2014 will co-locate with FMI Connect, United Fresh, PMMI-Pack EXPO Possibilities in Packaging Innovations and U.S. Food Showcase. 15,000 innovators from every channel of food and beverage retail and wholesale distribution are expected, making this event the center of the this industry’s universe for that week.

xkzero will be previewing xkzero Mobile Commerce, the new solution geared to meet the mobile sales, delivery, route selling, load management, intelligence gathering and other key operational functions for growing distributors. The target industries for the new mobile platform, which is built to integrate with major ERP and accounting software packages include bakery, wine and spirits, dairy, ethnic foods, snack foods and more.

Here is a two-minute preview video showing some of the capabilities for xkzero Mobile Commerce:

xkzero Mobile Commerce

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For more information about xkzero and xkzero Mobile Commerce, please contact us at info@xkzero.com.

Keep In Touch With Customers Easily With Your Mobile ERP Sales App

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Have you ever attended a large trade show or conference that will also be attended by any number of your existing customers? How frustrating can it be to have no way of reaching a customer or client while at the exciting exhibition?

With iSales 100, the original native iPhone and iPad app for Sage 100 ERP, you have the ability to create unlimited groups of customers, contacts and items for easy access when you need it most. We call them “Hot Lists,” but you may think of them as “favorites.” Here is a quick little video to show you how you can set up your own Hot List:

Whether you’re interested in using mobile for sales, commerce, or transportation management, contact xkzero at info@xkzero.com or call 847-416-2009 for a fresh approach to your distribution business.