Hello from the 2016 Microsoft Dynamics Summit! There’s nothing better than meeting with motivated finance, operations and IT folks from some of the best Microsoft Dynamics user groups in the country — AXUG, NAVUG, GPUG, and CRMUG. Thousands of people have been immersed in learning and networking with their peers in Tampa this week. What a great opportunity to chat about 2017 goals and leveraging current Microsoft investments by adding document process automation. Read more
When you’re a customer service manager you’re responsible for a lot — the loyalty and happiness of your customers and the success and satisfaction of the people on your team. But not everyone makes it easy. The service industry is among the most stressful of all occupations. Even on the best days, customer service managers face unreasonable customers, long hours and cumbersome, inefficient internal processes. Read more
The terms “big business” and “small business” are often used in business conversations. You hear about how mom and pop businesses and large corporations are gaining big advantages with business process automation, rarely though do you hear much about the value of automation to the mid-size business. There seems to be a fairly logical reason for that — the government doesn’t define what companies do and don’t qualify to be mid-market. It’s generally described as ‘companies larger than small businesses but smaller than big businesses’. Well, that makes it as clear as mud. Read more
Do you get a lot of emails or phone calls from your customers requesting that you send another copy of their invoice? Do you use a lot of Excel spreadsheets to track payment follow-up tasks? Do you know there are bottlenecks, but don’t have the data to prove where they are? Do you wish you could change your accounts receivable (AR) and collections management process quickly, but are buried in hierarchy? You’re experiencing the stress of a manual workflow. Read more
Do you get a lot of emails or phone calls from your customers requesting that you send another copy of their invoice? Do you use a lot of Excel spreadsheets to track payment follow-up tasks? Do you know there are bottlenecks, but don’t have the data to prove where they are? Do you wish you could change your accounts receivable (AR) and collections management process quickly, but are buried in hierarchy? You’re experiencing the stress of a manual workflow.
Automating accounts receivable and collections process workflow is simply a more efficient sequence of activities that provides benefits from end to end. Here’s how:
- Customers can access a web portal to view and pay invoices
- Seamlessly transition customer invoices from being sent by postal mail to email
- Analyze AR business processes and provide management with Key Process Indicators (KPIs) that highlight the team’s progress as well as areas that need improvement
Have you ever had such a great customer service experience that you thought, “Wow, that support rep has mad skills.” Nobody? OK, maybe just me then.
The reality is customers rarely (if ever) notice individual skills in customer service. What they remember is how they felt about the interaction.
Over the years working in sales, I’ve been on the receiving end of feedback from thousands of customers regarding service, especially new customers whose service level expectations fall short of reality. In my opinion, there are only a handful of customer service skills that really make the difference between an average customer support professional, and one who makes customers feel amazing about the help they received.
A Better Way to Improve Cash Flow with MS Dynamics GP & Accounts Receivable (AR) Automation
Improving working capital seems to be a motivator for so many of the folks we talk to who investigate automation software. Improving working capital essentially means impacting the number of day’s difference between when you pay for things and when you get paid. For example, cash goes out to pay for parts and labor to build your products. After 10 days, your product is ready to be sold. It takes another 20 days to sell your product to a customer (Net 30 terms), but the customer pays you early in 25 days. The total working capital cycle is 55 days. Check out the diagram below for a visual on how this process of total working capital works. The business needs enough working capital to fund this process until it gets paid. For a financial professional, there are lots of measurements that comprise working capital – days sales outstanding (DSO), inventory days, payables days, and more. Many of such measurements and procedures are manual and time-consuming. Those who work with MS Dynamics Great Plains (GP) continue to identify a handful of key pain points:
- Manually keying in data.
- Inefficient paper posting.
- Sending invoices one way when the customer is them expecting another.
- No remittance information received with the payment.
- And, believe me the list continues…
Simply, Accounts Receivable (AR) Specialists and collectors want to spend less time preparing for calls and searching for invoice information and more time actually talking with customers to collect payments.
Accounts Receivable Challenges
Learn more about Diana Eagen.
Providing the best customer service experience is a key factor in attracting and retaining business. If you’re experiencing difficulties with manual case handling and problems such as:
- long response times
- administrative burdens due to inefficient document handling
- lost customer information
- excessive costs from manual case-management
…then it’s time to leverage your Microsoft Dynamics investment to its fullest potential.
If you are still entering customer order data by hand from paper documents, you’re missing out on the full power of your MS Dynamics solution. Automating your sales order process with document management integration can alleviate the time spent entering data twice and freeing up your Customer Service staff to focus on more important tasks.
To best leverage your MS Dynamics investment, there are 5 high impact areas an Order Processing partner should focus on to improve your efficiency and productivity:
Seamless reception of your orders
Received customer orders should be automatically routed to the correct Customer Service Representative (CSR) based on key order information, including: company name, distribution channel, product line, geography and more. The technology should combine multi-source processes into a single process. Regardless of order format (email, fax, EDI or paper) your automation integration partner should have ability to receive and instantly capture customer documents and immediately route them for processing. Read more
Learn more about Diana Eagen.
After returning from a sales training conference, I spent time reflecting on how fortunate I am to work in the business of document automation and assisting companies to build better business processes. When many companies struggle to keep their doors open, I feel humbled and grateful to work for a financially solid organization with a growing customer base that can invest in additional employees and expansion. Thankfully, I’ve also heard the same from many of Esker’s customers.
Optimism towards the Economy
Some time ago, the now former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made some optimistic judgments about where the economy was heading:
- Fed raised projection for annual growth in 2014, up from 3-percent to 3.5-percent
- Predicted that unemployment would likely drop down to 6.5-percent
Now, that doesn’t mean all the Esker account managers get a new Cadillac, but the atmosphere is certainly “cautiously optimistic,” especially when I’m hearing wonderful success stories within great US companies we work with, such as Albemarle, Applied Medical, Moen, and many others. Read more
Learn more about Diana Eagen.
Spring is inevitably a time for most to partake in some spring cleaning – de-cluttering and cleaning up everything that weighs you down and provides unnecessary stress in your home, work, and mind. Whether your home or work needs a minor makeover or a disaster recovery effort, a good start in tackling your mess is determining all the areas that need attention.
For most of us in our work environment, it’s all those stacks of papers and envelopes shoved into file cabinets or accumulating on shelves that need to be purged. The most overwhelming items on our desks are usually in the form of paper. We’ve been told by countless experts to go through each sheet of paper and discard what’s old and unnecessary. However, for many (myself included) these sheets of paper comprise of:
- employee documents
- expense reports
- vendor applications, etc…
…and it’s simply not an easy task to purge these documents without feeling the repercussions later when you need to be able to access them.
Purge the Paper
Getting rid of paper is tough – trust me, I know. I work for a company whose corporate tag line is “Quit Paper,” so the expectation is high. It’s taken me years to clear the clutter and develop habits that have positively impacted my professional life and improved my efficiency. These are my simple suggestions to get you on your way to de-cluttering your office so you can start the spring cleaning: Read more