Welcome to the Exact Product Blog

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

Author Archive

Professional Services Automation product update 251

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

As you might know Exact is further developing its project management solution (Exact professional Services Automation) and since we are nearing the start of controlled release for product update 251, I would like to inform you on the improvements and additions that are made for the Exact Synergy Enterprise Professional Services Automation solution (Exact PSA).

Deliverables and WBS

We have introduced statuses on deliverables indicating they are new, in progress or completed. This gives you the possibility to open and close the deliverable for the project. A gauge has been added to the WBS lines, indicating the completion of the line and the estimated to complete which you can now enter to the line.

Project Planning

We added a bucket list which displays the WBS lines which can be planned. The bucket allows an easy drag and drop way of planning from WBS by just dropping it on a date and person.

PlanningBucket

Activities

PSA hour items have extra item attributes now to help out on reporting; billable / non-billable and productive / non-productive can be used to indicate if the activity (item) is billable or not and productive or not.

Hour & Expense

Significant improvement of the loading and submitting of the hour entry screen; this will help you specially when working with large number of different projects and hours.

Timesheet

You can now control via a setting if it’s allowed to enter the current week while older week timesheets are still open. Furthermore travel and expenses are linked to the timesheet entry.

Approval

The approval screen has been greatly improved. Approval now follows the request logic and it is possible to use both the person and project view, with additional filter options.

Invoicing

Progress has been made in the loading of the invoice proposal screen with a high volume of billable lines. You can now remove lines realised that you do not want to invoice. These will be process with a non-billable proposal request giving a full traceability.

Work in progress

Expenses are now handled the same way financially as hour request for the work in progress method ’to be invoiced’ for Exact PSA.

Search

In the workflow search you can now filter on deliverables and find the requests attached to the deliverables easily.

Enjoy!

Service Management: Time to assist the service engineer on the road!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

 Exact is currently developing a new Service Management solution. More and more customers are working daily with the new service management solution and we are nearing the end of controlled release phase for integrated scenario.

We are about to launch the controlled release phase of the iPad tablet application for service engineers.

Our research showed that most of you want to provide the field service engineer with a tablet device so they can do their job easier, faster and be more efficient. Tablets are an excellent choice for this goal, they are affordable, easy and fun to use triggering engineers to do the realization and administration on time and correctly.

The iPad tablet application has all information your service engineer needs:

  • Addresses and contacts information
  • The ability to navigate to the service address
  • The machine, the machine’s history and technical manuals
  • Problem & solutions for the machine involved
  • Remarks on the service job from planner and service desk.
  • Planned hours and materials which can be predefined by the planner and adjusted by the service engineer.
  • Have their work signed off by the customer and directly email the service slip.

Although we are still finalizing the development and improving the apps design and look and feel here are already some screenshots to get a quick idea. 

Working with us to improve the app even further is highly appreciated. As controlled release customer of the service management solution you can immediately apply for the controlled release program of the tablet application with your Exact representative.

For our Dutch customers: I will be at Exact Live ’12 with my iPad!

Think an iPad is fragile? image source NOTE: Actual product may differ from from the screenshots above.

Service Management: We are in Controlled Release!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

On behalf of the whole solution team and the development teams we are happy and proud to announce the next phase of Exact’s Service Management solution!

It all started out on June 4th last year with the first sneak preview blog post and a video. Then we showed you a simple example how the solution integrates both Exact Synergy Enterprise and Exact Globe processes. We shared our ideas on the dispatch board and combined everything in a full concept video. We also showed you how we will use SQL Server Reporting Service reports with the solution and how we register the agreements you made in contracts with your customers and finally you could see how the functionality comes together.

And now we have reached the stage of controlled release! The first customers have started implementing the new service management solution. Many more customers are scheduled to be implemented shortly.

In case you would also like to participate in this controlled release please contact your local Exact representative or Exact Partner.

Who can join controlled release?

Exact’s product development process involves five main phases: verification, design, implementation, acceptance and launch. During the final “launch” stage, selected customers have the opportunity to take part in the controlled release of new product updates.

Please note that there are numerous pre-conditions for participation, thus taking part in a controlled release may not be for everyone. In addition to the use of Exact software, the requirements include:

  • An infrastructure that permits testing in a real-life environment
  • The creation of a database backup which is sent to Exact before the controlled release starts
  • Provision of remote access to help identify and evaluate any issues
  • A capacity to test documentation in detail
  • The preparedness to share results and opinions in periodic evaluations

Benefits of our controlled release program

  1. Gain privileged access to pre-release software
  2. Be the first to benefit from enhancements
  3. Become part of the development process
  4. Receive personal coaching on new functionalities
  5. Enjoy dedicated support throughout the controlled release
  6. Know that any issues will be resolved quickly
  7. Have a say in the development of a specific product update

 

Service Management: Closer look at contracts

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Exact is currently developing a new Service Management solution. The team has created this video to give you a global preview about what you can expect from the solution which will be available soon. However we would like to take you a little bit more in depth for Service Contracts at this stage.

The service contract is optional but can be used to register the agreements made with the customer. For an easy and uniform contract entry, it is possible to create agreement sets containing different agreements, which can be added to a contract as a set. Templates can be created with pre-filled contract information. This means you only have to select the configuration; it is optional to select which agreement applies to which configuration item or part. To make sure the right prices are used when creating agreements for an item, you can define default contract rates. These can be invoiced periodically, or the agreements can influence the service activity process. You can also define when and how often preventive maintenance will be done, and which service activities can be created in a batch.

Please take a look at the video!

 

Feedback is highly appreciated!

Incoming Invoice Register: Improvements 247

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

As of product update 247 we made some changes that are specially targeted at the incoming invoice register for Exact Synergy Enterprise users. For example you can now have the project assigned in the incoming invoice register in Exact Globe which then will also be referenced in the incoming invoice request in Exact Synergy Enterprise. In order to use this feature you must make sure the project code exists in both Exact Synergy Enterprise and Exact Globe. This is handy to specify for which project the incoming purchase invoice applies. You can find the specific release note on this topic here.

Also, when you report VAT in Exact Globe for a specific period, if there are unauthorized pending invoices for that period, the request in Exact Synergy Enterprise will get an automatic remark. The remark will tell the financial controller that in case the incoming purchase invoice is rejected a credit note for that invoice should be filed in order to balance the reported VAT. More information can be found here.

Feedback from you, our customers and partners, also indicated that many incoming invoice users would like to be able to delegate their work when on vacation. This was in the past only possible for users that had the Professional role next to the Incoming Invoice Role. As of product update 247 we also made the delegation functionality available for IIR role users so no need for the Professional role anymore. Read about it here.

And last but not least, many Incoming Invoice Register role users indicated that, although they could see the account name, there wasn’t a quick way to get to the account contact information if the Incoming Invoice Register role user didn’t have any other role than the incoming invoice one, like CRM or Professional role. In order to solve this issue we made a basic account card which contains the basic contact information and the contact persons which is available to all Exact Synergy Enterprise users. This specially benefits the Incoming Invoice Register users since they now can click on the account name in the request and get contact information like phone numbers, immediately. More information on this can be found here.

As you can see, as of product update 247 we have made the life of the Incoming Invoice Register user just a little bit easier. Hope you all like it!

Service Management: 1:1 scenario General Available

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

As of today our new Service Management solution is generally available for 1:1 scenarios. This solution enables manufacturers and wholesale companies to streamline their complete service management process.

After many days of interviewing, visiting, developing, testing we reached a phase were we release the first part of functionality from the service management solution.

The solution supports the handling of:

  • corrective service activities
  • preventive service activities
  • contract management
  • dispatching / planning
  • material requirement planning
  • field service
  • registration of time and materials
  • contract and activity invoicing
  • 1 Exact Synergy Enterprise with one Exact Globe Next service administration

Benefits

  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Achieve rapid response times
  • Enjoy profitable service contracts
  • Assign the right engineer for the job
  • Have all spare parts and materials on hand
  • Enable service engineers to do a great job, the first time
  • Become proactive instead of reactive

Thanks to all our customers and partners that have participated in establishing the functionality for this version!

Service Management: Index and prolong your agreements and service contracts!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Exact currently has a new Service Management solution in controlled release. We are steadily moving forwards in the controlled release phase while more and more customers are deciding to go “live” with the solution.

In product update 249 we added support for contract prolongation and indexation so you are now able to prolong and index contracts while retaining the history and original conditions in time of the contract and agreements with your customer. The functionality has been developed in cooperation with many of the controlled release customers.

How does it work?

As you might know, a contract in Exact’s service management solution is a combination of agreements and configurations and can have agreements applying specifically to parts of the configuration. The agreements have a start and end date range that indicates for which period of time a response time, preventive maintenance or for example a discount applies. Our new prolongation and indexation engine terminates the existing agreements and creates new ones starting from the prolongation or indexation date. The new agreements date range will last until the end of the prolongation time or while indexing until the end of the contract. This way for every moment in time you always have the exact state of agreements and their invoice rates with your customers so invoicing of existing older agreements with different conditions are not affected. Off course it’s also possible to prolong or index a specific selection of agreements or contracts.

Click the picture below for a video on the how it works:

 

Feedback is highly appreciated.

Source: http://www.northwestmilitary.com/news/fort-lewis-blog/2011/06/How-about-a-customer-service-job/

Service Management: Service Activities explained

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Service Activities explained

The service activity is used to register the whole process from entering the request until the invoicing. The service activity is an Exact Synergy Enterprise request with extra options. You can view the configurations of a customer, and choose the service that is required. In addition, you can create one service activity or multiple service activities.

In the service activity, you can register what needs to be done, including linking standard problems and standard solutions to help in the process. The service activity can be created automatically from the Exact Globe sales order screen, or by the preventive maintenance generator. It can also be created manually.

You have the option to select one engineer or more who will do the job, and when they will do it. However, it is more efficient to leave this blank, and use the dispatch board for the planning. On the dispatch board, you will have a bucket with all the to-be-planned service activities, and you can use the drag-and-drop feature to plan which engineer(s) will be working on that date. You will be able to view the relevant information, which you can customize, so planning for the right engineer at the right time will be faster and easier.

You can also plan for the items that are required for the service activity, which can be pre-filled from the contract. Discounts can be used for the contracts. When planning the items required, stock information from Exact Globe is visible, and the stock is automatically planned in Exact Globe so the purchase orders can be generated or available stock can be allocated.

The engineer can realize the hours and used items based on the planned activities. After authorization, the invoice can be created. When the invoice is sent from Exact Globe, the detailed documents from Exact Synergy Enterprise will be automatically printed or emailed. This will all be in the Exact Synergy Enterprise software, and integrated in all the relevant master data and menu paths.

Okay, enough talk, you can watch the video and see for yourself by clicking the image below:

Source: http://www.northwestmilitary.com/news/fort-lewis-blog/2011/06/How-about-a-customer-service-job/

 

Feedback is highly appreciated!

Using tabs in your workflow request

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

As of product update 247 Exact Synergy Enterprise supports tab sheets in workflow requests. Although you should always carefully consider when it’s better to have all information one screen or when tabs are more useful, you now have that option. In general, using tabs could be nice when the information that needs to be shown belongs to a specific workflow state, but off course it’s totally up to you when to use this functionality.

How to enable tabbed request sections?

In order to adjust an existing request type to use tabs you need the appropriate function right (Function Right 232: Function: Viewing and Modifying Workflow Requests) to adjust the request definition. For the sake of simplicity, I will assume you are a system administrator which has the appropriate function rights. To adjust existing request types go to the request type definition (open any request of the type you want to change and press I in the upper right corner).

You are now in the request type definition page. If you go to the fields tab sheet, you will find a checkbox on top (Show sections as tabs). If you check it, all sections that you have defined in the request will be automatically turned into tab pages. The process is reversible so you can play around with it. After you saved the request type, go back again to a request of that type, you will see it has changed the sections into tab pages. 

 Have fun!

Service Management: Service slips and more

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Exact is currently developing a new Service Management solution. The development team has created this video to give you a preview about what you can expect from the solution which will be available soon.

 

For reporting, alerting and monitoring MS Reporting Services based reports and a set of predefined events will be offered. From service slips and contract layouts to reports on invoicing details and much more. Alerts will be offered via Exact Event Manager. It is possible to implement different scenarios such as automatic confirmations to customers of activities that have been done to avoid discussions after invoicing, creating workflow for sales to offer contracts when warranty expires, etc.

 While invoicing you can add attachments from the service process such as photos, invoicing details or signed service slips. Invoice details are reporting services based reports that can be adjusted to your company’s needs and wishes. But also service contracts are customizable and can be visualized the way your company likes to present them.

 

Need to supply the service slips or planning to your service engineer? Using reporting services a service slip, compressed or detailed planning report can easily be printed or emailed.

Service management is still under development and the shown solution can differ from the final product. Feedback is highly appreciated!