We have some exciting news to share. Our team at Endeavour has won a spot on the
2019 Best Workplaces™ for Professional Services firms. As an Endeavour employee I had to fill out a
long and detailed online survey, the results of which were compared to some
stiff competition including Deloitte, EY Canada and Grant Thornton who each
play in our space.
The award had me thinking.
One of Endeavour’s slogans, which I take to heart is “Our team doesn’t
just implement software. We help you make your business better.” So from a Microsoft ERP, CRM and Cloud
perspective, how can we help you move the needle for your efforts to have a
great place to work.
The following are some ideas based on parts of the survey
that I recall.
Visibility – Do you share financial results with your team to help improve communications and confidence in your executive team? We do, key reports from Dynamics GP, or your CRM system can be published as KPI (key performance indicators) and shared with others within your organization. This may be a simple report or two in MR or SSRS, or may be a more flashy interactive dashboard using Power BI (See website)
Collaboration – You can leverage the skills and knowledge of our consultants to assist with fostering collaboration within your team. Microsoft has great tools and we have a number of clients doing exciting things with Dynamics 365 CRM, Office 365 for email, Teams for instant message and screen sharing and collaboration using Microsoft Word and OneDrive for co-development of documents. Internally we also have a SharePoint site for shared documents and HR stuff. If you are not yet using Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration, I can setup a discussion with one of our Cloud experts. https://www.endeavour365.ca/office365/
Summer is often also a time for collaborating during budget season. Again we have tools to help facilitate the workflow and acceleration of these collaborative processes. https://www.endeavoursolutions.ca/prophix
Job Satisfaction and Pride – Personally I’m proud to be part of the Endeavour team and enjoy my job and working with each of you. Job satisfaction also involves reducing the number of frustrations related to day to day work. Ever been frustrated with GP or CRM? Yup I have, and many of the emails/ calls-in are from those who have hit a wall, either technical or functional. Training and awareness on how Dynamics GP and CRM are meant to work, tips & tricks, time saving processes, and cool ISV apps, are each key to building your teams knowledge and productivity in working with your business systems. If your team could use some refresher training, or want to automate a key process, feel free to give us a call. I’m sure most would welcome the opportunity and thank you for it.
April 2019 – Endeavour is aware of an issue caused by a recent update to Adobe Writer / Adobe Professional. This issue is impacting all versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP when creating PDF documents. The issue relates to a new security message that appears when GP attempts to create a PDF document.
The Adobe security message appears BEHIND the main GP interface.
This Adobe security warning affecting Microsoft Dynamics GP is preventing users from interacting with the message. GP may appear to be frozen.
If your organization uses Adobe Professional / Adobe Writer along with Dynamics GP, you will need to make the changes outlined in the Adobe technical article linked below.
Common uses of Adobe Writer and Dynamics GP include the Paystub Emailer add-on from Encore and the Emailer add-on from Binary Stream – to name a few. This issue does not apply to emailing PDF documents via the Dynamics GP Word Template functionality.
If you need additional assistance, or would like to jointly test to see if this issue applies to your Dynamics GP environment, please contact the Endeavour Solutions Support desk by emailing email@example.com .
KPI’s, Business Intelligence, Custom Reports and Datamarts are nothing new to Microsoft Dynamics GP, but the potential for user adoption and ease of access has improved significantly with the release and recent updates to Microsoft Power BI – Microsoft’s new cloud based dashboard and reporting tool. As a testament to Microsoft’s backing of this great tool, we’ve been told that Power BI will be embedded across the entire 2018 Microsoft Dynamics portfolio including Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions.
Embedding Power BI Dashboards and KPIs in your organization
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used as a defined measure to gauge the performance of how your business operations and strategies are being implemented and executed. Microsoft Dynamics GP can obviously give you the answers, but typically only if you are looking for them, and periodically additional outside information is needed to form a more complete story. Additionally, there are users that may be outside of your core GP team, who would love to gain access to AR, Sales and other KPI. PowerBI can be a good means to help expose such valuable insights. For example, Endeavour’s GP Bistro product connects GP with Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) and used Power BI within CRM to provide dashboards for sales by custom, AR aging by customer, and popular products sold. www.endeavour365.ca/gpbistro
Telling a story with KPIs and dashboards via Microsoft Power BI can serve to “keep a pulse” on such metrics, supporting an aggregation of information and a more frequent review of metrics by business users. This higher frequency (weekly, daily, even multiple times a day) of reviewing and taking action based on specific metrics relevant to each department is what is referred to as “embedding KPIs” within your organization. Before we look at user adoption in relation to your efforts to embed dashboards and KPIs, let’s take a quick look into what makes a great dashboard and set of KPIs in the first place.
What makes a great Power BI dashboard and set of KPIs?
Most KPI’s and related visualizations seen on a dashboard (graphics, numbers, pie charts, maps, bar graphs) represent specific metrics. Each metric can tell its own story and together with other related metrics on the same dashboard, can tell a broader and more complete story, including storytelling elements such as a timelines, cause and effect relationships, and a shared context.
Each KPI on your dashboard should follow the M-C-A method for KPIs; an acronym representing: Measurable, Common understanding and Actionable.
Great KPIs require all three (M-C-A) and typically start with a Measure represented by a $, # or %. The measures should be supported by a Common understanding around the source of the data, the timeline represented, the method of calculation, and the desired targets. Periodically our consultants will host a cross-functional team meeting to assist clients in reaching an internal agreement on specific measures such as % Available Inventory. Finally, great KPIs should be Actionable. Actionable refers to the underlying business commitment to keep a pulse on business performance and to hold specific people accountable for the results. Actionable also refers to the documented set of future actions that will be used to adjust the ‘people, processes or technology’ if the KPI targets are missed.
Supporting User Adoption of Embedded KPIs
Once the dashboards and KPIs are designed and published using Microsoft Power BI, there is a need to ensure that the business users are able to embrace and accept these dashboards within their daily practices. Without adoption, your team will be hard pressed to achieve any positive action and performance improvements if the dashboards are not used.
Borrowing from our Project Managers at Endeavour Solutions, user adoption is best supported by facilitating three key inputs: Knowledge, Attitude and Practice, or what has also been referred to as reaching the user’s head, heart and hands. Our lead Consultants and Project Managers often include a change management plan (communications and training) that strives to anticipate and address potential user gaps such as the following:
• Knowledge of what the change is, including the difference between the old and the new.
• Attitude towards the change, sometimes boiling down to either: WIIFM – “what’s in it for me”, or addressing any issues of ‘trust’ related to the questionable success of past changes.
• Ability to Practice, test, trial, and live through the change. From a Dashboard and Power BI perspective, this would involve a short training session and clear set of communications on what the KPI’s mean, how they are calculated, desired thresholds, future targets and the actions that can be taken to improve results.
Dashboards and KPIs serve to keep a view of specific tactics, keeping a scorecard on the actions and programs that are implemented to support your organization’s efforts and strategic goals. We’ve found that the ease of deployment, when using Microsoft Power BI, has been greatly increased, and thus reducing the cost of deploying Dashboards and KPIs within your organization.
As a next step, we recommend watching our Power BI Demo video (39min) accessed on-demand via our website at www.endeavoursolutions.ca/businessintelligence , then talking with your peers and broader business community around the types of KPIs (that are M-C-A) and dashboards that can help to improve your organization’s performance. In the video, we outline a project methodology as well as additional recommendations and next steps for you and your team.
Our consultants at Endeavour Solutions have a number of pre-defined KPIs, sample dashboards and a defined project methodology, that can help to accelerate the adoption and embedding of dashboards and KPIs as part of your next Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Intelligence project. www.endeavoursolutions.ca/about-us
We’re all excited for the Microsoft Business Applications release of Dynamics GP 2018 R2 in Canada. Originally the release was set for later in the year (December), but has been pulled forward to align with the new October 1 2018 release of Dynamics 365 Business Central (Formerly Dynamics NAV 2018).
Some of the new features that GP 2018 R2 include is mention of the new “Inteligent Edge” by Microsoft as a means to syncronize key information from Dynamics GP into the Microsoft Cloud for gaining access to Power BI reports and other Microsoft Power Apps. Microsoft will be using its new Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP, as the front end for these new PowerBI reports as we expect as part of the security of the SQL Server repository of information that is synced.
Some of the new User Requested feature and fixes announced by Microsoft (Thanks Terry Heley)
Exclude items in HITB with zero quantities
Transaction level post to GL
Payroll Pay code start and end dates
Payroll shared maximums for deductions and benefits (federal requirement for 401K)
Monthly and Bimonthly recurring batches
Don’t display inactive checkbooks in Look ups
Payroll check register FICA totals
Don’t allow duplicate check numbers for Bank trx entry, Misc checks and payroll manual checks
-Purchasing Usability Mass update inactive from Navigation List – Inactivate Reactivate Temporary
Add Vendor doc number to Purchase all in one
Checkbook ID defaults on computer check batch
Allow partial purchase on a purchase requisition from a PO
Email PO other template from PO Entry
Display Vendor Hold Status
Print Invoice in Functional from SOP Navigation List
Sales Transaction Workflow
New SmartList for Deposits on Unposted Sales Transactions
Print and email SOP document at the same time
Customer /Combiner retain ship to address
Additional sort options on SOP Item Inquiry
Email customer statements
-Top Feature Requests
Hide Business Analyzer for all users
Increase Dynamics GP password maximum length to 21 characters
Password expiration notification
SmartList Designer Favorites display in Nav List
Web Client with workflow Org Accounts (Mid Year)
Regional Date format in web client (Mid Year)
TWAIN for scanning, doc attach (Mid Year)
Office 365 Enterprise is more than just the latest in Microsoft Office 2019. It also includes:
= Advanced security, profiles, and cloud management
= Microsoft Exchange Online for e-mails
= Microsoft Azure Active Directory
= OneDrive for Business and SharePoint online
= Strong collaboration tools and integration with Dynamics 365 embedded within Outlook