Welcome to the Exact Product Blog

On this blog we will cover stories from all around the Exact ecosystem.

Posts Tagged ‘happy customer’

Hello, I am the Synergy User!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Let me introduce myself. As of 244 every user that can use Exact Synergy Enterprise will be a Synergy User. I am the most basic of users in Exact Synergy Enterprise; intended for employees that don’t rely in their daily work on the use of Exact Synergy but do need to have access to ask for a day off and view their calendar. Maybe they need me to find contact information of colleagues or allow them to communicate with colleagues in a structured way. On top of me you can stack multiple roles to expand my functionality. I can make use of the following functionality:

View Intranet news page

This allows me to be informed on what is going on within my company, access links to start pages, read the most important news that gets broadcasted within my company. This makes sure I am always involved and informed!

Create tasks for myself and other users

Maintain a to-do list and request jobs to be done from others. It also allows me to keep track of the progress of these tasks.

Receive tasks

Receive tasks from others.

Request a vacation

Ask my manager for approval on days off.

View my calendar

Check my calendar for upcoming events and jobs to do.

Maintain favorites

Allow to store shortcuts to documents and other resources for quick access.

Synchronize my Calendar with Microsoft Outlook

Make sure Microsoft Outlook represents the Exact Synergy Enterprise calendar.

View my resource card

View if my personal data is correct, correct and add information to it.

Setup my Exact Synergy Enterprise preferences

Adjust the language and language settings for me personally.

Find colleagues

Search for colleagues and look at their contact information.

View Microsoft Reporting Services reports

View MS Reporting reports if the reports rights allow me to.

Synergy User Interface

Extending my functionality can be done by assigning me one of the roles below:

Extending the functionality which is available to me as a Synergy user can easily be done by assigning additional roles. The Synergy User can be extended by the following roles:

  1. Professional Role.
  2. Employee Self Service Role.
  3. CRM Role.
  4. Incoming Invoice Register Role.
  5. Report Manager Role.
  6. Hour Entry Role.
  7. Project Controller Role.

And the best thing, I am free to use and only require a small annual fee to support me.

Want to know more about Exact new license model?

In our vision every employee can benefit from the use of Exact Synergy Enterprise in your organization by using workflow, documents, CRM, HRM and the many other features. Our answer is a very affordable basic user; the Synergy User.

Watch this video to know why and how we changed it. Also for more detailed information on each role; take a look at this page.

Do you get the most out of Exact Online?

Written by Lucie van Velze on . Posted in Exact Online

After talking with some of our customers, it became apparent that of all the people who ‘use’ Exact Online, there are certainly some who do not fully ‘make use’ of it. While the product still suits the original purpose for which it was purchased – namely online book keeping – some users are not taking full advantage of its wide range of functionality. So, in an effort to try and help our users get the most possible from their investment, here’s a short reminder of what else Exact Online can do for you!

More than financial administration, Exact Online;

  • Offers insight into your company, creating overviews and summaries to help analyze not only your financial, but your sales activities as well.
  • Becomes the information storage hub for your customer base, giving you easy access to all your contact’s phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • Allows you to create invoices and send them to your customers quickly and easily.
  • Offers detailed historical reporting for important information like customer activity or item sales.
  • And will soon be the place where it really all comes together! The functionality will be extending even further this year, offering integration with Payroll, Logistics management and Time entry.

Just think of all the potentially useful data stored in Exact Online ready for you to use. If you’re one of our users who feels they might not be making the most of it, why do you think that is? Do you miss something that would help you to use it more effectively? If you have any suggestions or comments, please do let us know. It’s our aim to continue developing and improving wherever possible, input from our users is essential in making that happen. So please do get in touch!

In the meantime, just to give you some extra things to think about, here are a few little tips and tricks that might help you to experience something more from Exact Online:

  • Remember that you can directly e-mail from within Exact Online. In the account card, clicking on the e-mail address will create an e-mail in your mail program.
  • When printing an Invoice ‘Final’, you can specify the output – how you want the invoice to be created. It’s possible to select e-mail, the invoice being sent by e-mail as an attachment, in turn saving postage costs. A document version of each invoice will still be created in your administration and can be found in the account card.
  • Remember that the search functionality within EOL is both powerful and flexible – making it easy to dive into your information precisely where you need to. Use the customize link in the upper right corner of the screen to adjust the filters in the search pages.
  • Once you’ve collected the overview that’s most useful, you can also easily export it to excel for further analysis, again using one of the buttons in the upper right corner.

Good luck! Perhaps there’s something you particularly like in EOL that makes a real difference to how you use it? If so, let us know and we’ll spread the word!

User Experience – It’s all about the user

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Online, Exact Synergy

In earlier articles on Features and Functions versus User Experience, Is simplicity the new gold and the Survival of the Sexiest I already referred to changing end user expectations. At Exact we take this very seriously and we do not only want to deliver useful products, but also want to create usable and desirable products. Creating excellent user experiences requires in depth knowledge about the user, their context, their needs and emotions. Therefor it’s essential to get the end users involved in the overall product design process in the form of creative workshops, feedback sessions, user research, surveys and many other involvements.

Going from a transactional towards an emotional relationship: A.D. time

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Globe

Today Marcel van de Sandt and myself visited A.D. time, a customer of Exact’s subsidiary in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After having spent 5 days at Exact’s development centre in KL, we planned the morning to visit this customer and get feedback from their users.

Incorporated in 1989, A.D. Time is in the business of distributing timepieces, writing instruments and jewellery. We made an appointment with the managing Director, mr. Y.Y. Kwan and its Group Finance Manager, mrs. Franscine Low. She explained to us that they’d been using a local ERP system for almost 20 years, starting with a DOS interface and updated to Windows at a later stage. For A.D. Time, the main reasons to switch to Exact Globe were a) after making a financial entry, the entry can still be modified before it’s final processed and b) the flexible reporting using pivots, Excel Add-In or the Crystal Reports module.

A happy user of Exact Globe's cashflow functionality

A happy user of Exact Globe's cashflow functionality

What mrs. Low was especially proud of was the record-low implementation time. From signing of the sales contract to a fully operational ERP system took them less then 3 months. This included analysis of the customer’s requirements and business situation, training of all their users, conversion from the legacy system to Exact Globe, trial runs and final acceptance. When asked what was the main reason for the success of the implementation, she mentioned solid project management from the start (with one owner on both customer as well as vendor side) and a good buy-in/involvement of all users. This rapid implementation time and the positive experiences after going live, made A.D. time decide, almost without any sales process involved, to purchase Exact Globe also for their new office in Thailand. KF Chong, General manager of Exact Malaysia, told us that software is almost never ‘shipped’ to a customer but personally handed over. In fact, we ‘handed-over’ the DVD’s with the Exact Globe software and SQL2005 during our visit. I never realized this, but a simple thing like handing over ‘our’ software means so much more to the customer then receiving it in a nice box. No matter the size of the company, it’s always a considerable expenditure they’re doing so such a personal touch is highly appreciated.

Getting the conversation going

After some time, we asked to have some chats with the users of the system. Initially the staff, mostly accounting clerks, were somewhat shy and told us that the system runs fine and not much issues to mention…but after one of them asked a question and got a satisfying answer the rest got into the mood as well and we were busy for the rest of the morning answering their questions. When you talk to these users you’re of course considered ‘the expert’ and something you’ll notice almost without fail, is that it’s the simple things (tips&tricks) that can make the users put a big smile on their face.

Just as an example, we spoke to a lady who does sales order entry. I was already astonished by the speed at which she can enter a sales order, I mean seriously fast. But we did notice that she would quickly switch from her keyboard to her mouse every now and then. So we advised her to try Shift-Tab and arrow up/down in the entry grid to move between fields and lines. She tried and cheerfully alarmed a few other colleagues to come to her desk to see it for themselves.

Another example: the user in charge of bank statements didn’t know where to store the digital scans of the bank statements. Now Exact Globe has a very powerful documents functionality built in, allowing users to attach such digital files in every entry application. So after showing this to her, she now finally could get rid of all her local and network folders that store these files until today. Lesson learned for me from a product management point of view: the little icon in cash flow entry that marks ‘attachments’ is too far hidden away and apparently not intuitive enough for some users.

Final example: the users printed their cheques manually because they wanted a self-defined sequential number at the top when printing the cheque. Not something unusual, Thailand for example has pre-defined ranges for sales invoices as well. To address this, we’ve developed ‘external numbering’ for Exact Globe since update 380. Honestly speaking, this is probably one of the best known secrets (or least know jewel?) within our software…but it does just what this customer needs.

Just users? No way!

Another thing that really surprised me was the level of knowledge these users had about Exact Globe. They’ve been using the system for 2.5 months now and the functional depth at which they’ve implemented and are using it, is impressive:

  • cash flow management: prepayments in local or foreign currency, refunds, internal cash transfers, cheque remittance, TT transfers, receipts for grouped or multiple invoices etc
  • full logistic/distribution process including advanced price management, discount policies, sales commissions with multiple sales reps per debtor (and per order)
  • warehouse management including interbranch transfers
  • A long list of customized Crystal Reports either used by 1 user personal or reports shared within the team (nice to see, since this was one the new features of Exact Globe last year)

What’s in it for you, product managers?

But such a visit isn’t just useful for the customer’s users for receiving answers to their questions. For me the visit was also insightful, it really contributed to the relationship the users felt with Exact, it was fun and as a ‘bonus’ it gave direct input on some areas where I see we can make improvements to Exact Globe:

  • Prepayments in foreign currency, in situations with highly fluctuating exchange rates, can be done but are too cumbersome
  • Removing a line in an already entered Interbranch transfer

The picture at the top shows exactly why we’re in this lines of business and why I like my job: the smile of a happy customer.

Feedback results: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

After publication of the blog “Saving time: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!” I got a lot of feedback on the article and functionality which could be divided into two groups. The ones that where extremely positive about the provided functionality and the ones that had some doubts and presented me with a more critical view on the feature. After examining the feedback and contacting some of you to discuss your views it was clear we missed out on the advanced user of Exact Synergy Enterprise with this feature. These users for example remember accounts by number, location and all sorts of other properties but never seem to view the card itself. Meaning it wouldn’t show up in the recently used view nor in the “my” view since they are not the manager of the account. This principle also applied to the other browsers we adjusted.

After the feedback round we concluded that we needed to react to these findings fast and update the functionality so we can support these advanced users in their daily work. In cooperation with you, our users, we decided to upgrade the functionality the following way:

  • Setting the default value of the find-in box to the “all” view.
  • Performing an immediate search after the find-in box is changed by the user; this will eliminate the need for an extra button click to get the documents in the selected view.
  • Retaining the last selected find-in value for every individual search browser and individual user.

We are confident that the made changes are satisfactory for all our types of users. The changes will be available upon general availability of product update 244.

Happy finding!

Thank you for the feedback! We highly appreciate it! 

Photographer: healingdream

Saving time: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Ever been in the situation where you wanted to create a task or something else in Synergy Enterprise which requires, for example, a mandatory account. You just viewed this account, document, project or person and want to setup a meeting with them but when you enter the meeting request can’t seem to find it? Who created it? Who is the manager? What was it exactly called again? The Synergy Enterprise search dialogs don’t have the same possibilities as, for example, the document, project or account search function. And there you go, opening a new window in your browser to start a new session in Synergy to get to the account search function and find that required account, copy the account id number, paste it again in the first browser window in the mandatory account field. Boy, that can be pretty time consuming, especially when in a hurry it looks like it takes ages, lets submit it, What? Why did they made the project mandatory to…..  

Exact Synergy Enterprise 244 find in demo

To address this limitation we upgraded the search dialogs with a ‘find in’ option in Exact Synergy Enterprise release 244. This option allows us to quickly filter on “Recently viewed”, “My” and “All” Documents, Accounts, Projects and Persons (resources). Making everybody’s life easier, hopefully you enjoy it to!  

This topic and demo covers the search for existing document, Accounts, Projects and Persons, wondering how you can easily work with new documents in these cases? See ‘Nothing Gonna Break My Stride’  

Feedback is highly appreciated.

Dashboard Insight interview about Exact Business Analytics

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Exact Business Analytics (EBA) and the Exact Graphical Performance Series (GPS) are two business analytics solutions offered by Exact Software. EBA is the business analytics solution that we integrated with, amongst others, Exact Globe and Exact Synergy. With EBA you can combine and compare data and have it shown in a wide range of different graphs, reports and information views. Dashboard Insight, an online community designed to promote the business intelligence (BI) industry and its active players, interviewed our colleague Paul Challinor, as Senior Product Manager responsible for EBA.

In the interview Paul explains how Exact helps businesses during these challenging and uncertain times of economic downturn.

Dashboard Insight: You recently announced the development of a program geared toward helping businesses proactively address the economic downturn. Can you tell us more about the program?

Paul Challinor: Exact provides real-life solutions to pressing business problems for companies working their way through the challenging economic environment. From business-process assessments – which help optimize the efficient use of Exact applications – to point solutions that help businesses focus on deliverables that increase the satisfaction of their customers, Exact is committed to helping customers prepare for the eventual upturn of the economy.

Paul also shares two interesting real-life examples of businesses that have inproved their efficiency with Exact’s business analytics solutions: both Liberty Hardware Manufacturing and Parker Hannifin use business analytics solutions from Exact to combine information from different sources and to turn those data into valuable information.

Dashboard Insight: Can you tell us about some of your key clients?

Paul Challinor: EBA has been particularly successful in the manufacturing and CPG industries. Two key clients come to mind quickly: Liberty Hardware Manufacturing and Parker Hannifin.

Liberty realized that to maximize the value of their ERP application and provide a solid foundation for business decisions, they needed to improve the frequency, accuracy and accessibility of their business reporting. Specifically, business users needed the ability to perform their own analysis, without routing information requests through the IT department. Their existing reporting tool did not allow users to select data fields using business terminology, which leads to frequent questions of reporting accuracy. Also, Liberty needed a solution that could integrate vitally important point-of-sale (POS) data from their major clients, which was stored in a Microsoft Access database.

With our help, sales, inventory, purchasing, and POS data is now accessed and applied on a daily basis, greatly increasing the overall value of Liberty’s ERP solution. Integrating the POS data with other business information has also proven to be highly valuable. Sales teams conduct in-depth analysis of products and programs to measure the success of specific items or sales strategies. The integrated information also enables much tighter control of inventory levels and production planning.

As for Parker, they had a 12-year investment in their JD Edwards World ERP system and recognized an opportunity to leverage that asset to support specific business objectives, including sales analysis and strategic pricing initiatives. The company also sought to provide a standardized reporting structure for all departments and locations that would eliminate duplicate and repetitive report generation. Their goal was to ease the reporting burden on the IT department, while providing a single information resource with accurate data for all locations across their very large organization.

Exact’s ability to dynamically combine data from multiple sources was uniquely suited to Parker’s complex data environment, which includes 46 distinct JDE databases in multiple locations. GPS enables business users to access the specific information they need to see without being concerned where the data is stored.

Please read the complete interview of Dashboard Insight with Paul Challinor.


Photo credit: Unhindered by Talent