Yes… Protect Yourself and Others During COVID-19 Upon reflection of my last post, I wondered out loud what our “new normal” might look like after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. However, it occurred to me this week that I was getting way ahead of myself. We currently have a different “new normal” to adjust to first! Let’s call it Coronanormal. COVID-19 will take at least a few months to slowly spread through our communities and businesses. In fact, we want it to spread slowly – so that it follows that flatter curve chart model we have seen on all the news reports, allowing our Health Care Systems to handle the load. So, what does living with COVID-19 look like? For some of us, COVID-19 means layoffs and self-isolation. For others, it means working from home. For all of us, it means keeping our distance. We are community-centric creatures of habit and we hate change! Coronanormal is not going to be easy. Over the past week or so, we have seen all our meetings moved to online, most of our clients move to working remotely, and all the T.P. disappearing from the supermarket shelves. (Don’t get me started on that!). At Dominic Systems, we were (conveniently) already used to most of that (except the T.P. bit), and I think that gives us a responsibility to help out those who are struggling. I admit that I do not have a mountain of goods ideas on how to do so, but I am hoping others out there can share some suggestions. Best ideas to manage life with COVID-19 So far, the best ideas I have come across (not my own) to keep up with COVID-19 include: Calling a friend or family member who might be going a little stir-crazy If you know someone who is in forced quarantine, they should be first on the list Help an elderly or at-risk neighbour with groceries or other purchases so they do not have to venture out to public places like a supermarket Make sure to sanitize your hands before you do their shopping and before you deliver anything to them You might even want to leave the supplies on the doorstep and call to let them know they are there, just in case Go on your Community web/Facebook/Instagram/Reddit/whatever page and see if there are any worthy causes you can support Keep COVID-19’s good habits I know we have heard it before, but it bears repeating …. the most important thing we can do right now is try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, so: • Keep your distance. • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. • Stay at home if you are sick. Please add a Comment if you have another good idea or have heard of one somewhere! Stay safe everyone.
What are My Mapping Options in Dynamics 365?There are 3 general map options in Dynamics 365: Bing Map, Google Maps Standard, and Google Maps Premium. In this blog post, we will look at all pros and cons of each feature. Mapping Address 1, Address 2 or Custom Address Locations Dynamics 365 comes with Bing Map. You will find this on the Account form. Clients using Dynamics 365 on-line have immediate access to Bing Map functionality. On-premise clients will see Bing Map but will require a license key to enable mapping functionality. For those who prefer Google Maps the option is available and we can help! As of last year Google requires clients using their Map API have an API key. This key is included in the web resource created in CRM to view the map. Google has 2 options for API license keys which we can also assist with: • Standard – Free – 25,000 views per day per license key • Premium – Fee’s – 25,000+ views per day For many of our users the Standard version is adequate. For corporations with a large number of users who are opening Accounts and Contacts frequently on many devices, the usage will increase. Suggestions to decrease usage include: • Have the Map on the Account form only, not on the Contact form • Turn off the map feature for mobile devices Learn More about Mapping Options in Dynamics 365 To learn more about the fees involved with a Google Premium account visit Google Premium. Contact us today to learn more about all map options in Dynamics 365 and many other features of the system. At Dominic Systems our focus is CRM Success, helping our clients design & implement best solutions to maximize their business processes and increase profitability.
Manage Holiday Schedule In Dynamics 365 with Functional CRM Consulting • Admin Level Needed: System Administrator • Pre-Requisites: Setup Holiday Calendar Seeking a functional CRM Consulting expert? We can help. In this blog, we will cover how to use Customer Service Schedules & Holiday Schedules with the Service Level Agreement. Avoid having your service level agreements affected during the busy holiday season when your organization is closed by creating the customer service schedule ahead of time and adding it to your service calendar. Before creating an SLA it is necessary to set up the Customer Service Schedule & Holiday Schedule. You need to know what hours the employees will be available to solve the incoming cases. Depending on the Business Hours & Holiday closures on SLA, the SLA timer starts. The holiday is created and associated with your customer service calendar. Then, if a customer submits a case on that holiday, your SLA is clear and is not affected by the holiday closure. Create and manage holiday schedule In Dynamics 365 Section To create Customer Service Schedule: 1. Click on Setting and go to Service Calendar. Select ‘New’, enter the Name & Description for the Service Schedule and click Create. • For Weekly Schedule, under the ‘Set the recurring weekly schedule’ you can set Work Hours, Work Days& Holiday Schedule. • For Work Hours, you select ‘same each day’, or you can select ‘Set Work Hours’. Then set the Start and End times of work hours. To create Holiday Schedule: 1. Go to Settings, and click on Service Management and select Holiday Schedule. 2. Select New and in the Create Holiday Schedule dialog box, enter a name and description for the holiday, and then select Create. 3. When the holiday opens, select New in the Holidays grid to add the holiday to your customer service calendar. 4. In the Add a Holiday dialog box, specify the Name, Start Date, End Date, and Duration of the holiday, and then select OK. By using these scheduled holidays, the SLA timer will be more accurate, and you can manage customer expectations more effectively. If you need help managing Holiday Schedule in Dynamics 365 Section, our functional CRM consulting company can help you. We wish you lots of happy customers and Happy Holidays!
Best Uses of Activities & Notes in CRM Activities & Notes – Flexibility Comes at a Price Dynamics 365 is an incredibly flexible solution providing users with many options but flexibility can come at a price. Sometimes less is more… Best Practices for Tracking Activities & Notes in Dynamics 365 Users have the ability to create Activities (emails, appointments, phone calls, etc ) and Notes in Dynamics 365 but beware of the differences before you decide what is best for your business process. Where do I Create or Track my Activity? Whether you are creating an Activity or a Note we recommend it be created at the most specific record. For example, if you had an Opportunity for an Account, this would be the most specific record but if you only had a Contact for an Account, this would be the record to use. Activities vs Notes Two powerful features of Dynamics 365 are the search capabilities and the “roll-up”functionality. When an Activity is created or tracked against a Contact or Opportunity, the system automatically “rolls up” the Activity to the associated Account allowing users to see all communication at the Account level. This is not the case with Notes.It is often recommended not to use Notes in Dynamics 365 for the following reasons:1. They are not “searchable”2. They do not roll-up ( ie. from a Contact to Account )For those that use Activities and Notes in CRM users enjoy the ease of creation, the date/time stamp that is captured at the time of creation as well as the ability to attach files. Have the Best of Both Worlds– Our Recommendation At Dominic Systems we recommend adding a new Activity Type called “Note Activity” that works much like a Phone Call activity but give the users a “Note” option that is searchable and rolls up. We can hide the standard Note functionality so that there is less confusion and more consistency.Less is more… We can explain further. Get in touch.
Dynamics 365 in 2017 – What’s New? As of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises), Dynamics CRM functionality is now included as a part of Dynamics 365, a suite of intelligent business applications. Now included are the new Dynamics apps for Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation 1. Suite of Business Apps You can now pick from the following role-based apps to do your daily work with Dynamics 365 in 2017: Sales Customer Service Field Service Project Service Automation These apps come with simplified navigation in Dynamics 365 CRM. For example, in the Customer Service app site map, you’ll only see service entities. The apps you see are based on your organization’s licensing options and your security role. The administrator or customizer can also design custom business apps to create a simplified work experience tailored just to the tasks you need to do. 2. Mobile App Enhancements Dynamics 365 in 2017 made the following enhancements to the mobile app: Meet the mobile workspace: The all-new mobile workspace is a personalized action hub in the mobile app to help you get to common tasks more quickly. A pane that appears when the app is launched, the workspace includes a list of suggested priorities (“action cards”) in the left column that could include upcoming meetings, info relevant to that day’s activities, and other things that need your attention. New colors and layouts: The mobile app has new colors and a new look and feel. Layouts are more compact to give essential info at a glance with minimal scrolling. The dashboard now stacks related elements, exposing more info at once. Forms are organized so you can see more at once, and get the info you need faster. The process bar is now more prominent in forms that use it, so it’s clear where you are in any given process. Enhanced notes: Now you can create a note in-line when you’re in a form, so you can view relevant details while writing your note. Notes now also include a preview of attached images so you can see them at a glance without opening them individually. Device integration: You can now access your device’s camera and other functions from within the app. Open a new or existing note, and tap the icons under the text box to add multimedia content. Mobile offline: The mobile app will now synchronize data when it’s operating in the background, so you can get updated data even while you do other things on your device 3. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Enhancements Microsoft improved Dynamics 365 App for Outlook in many ways. With the latest enhancements, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook paired with server-side sync is the preferred way to integrate Outlook email with Dynamics 365. When you start Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, the app is pinned to the right side of screen. The information displayed in the app shows the recipient list and related info for the selected email message. With the updated Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, you can: See info about all email recipients (including distribution lists). Email recipients are automatically mapped to Dynamics 365 contacts, leads, or users, so you can see the recipient’s picture (if available), name, job title, company name, business phone, and mobile phone. If a recipient is unknown, you can quickly add the recipient as a contact or lead. You can also set the regarding record with a single click, call the recipient, or add an activity (appointment, phone call, or task). 4. Custom Learning Path Content In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1, Learning Path was introduced, which provided contextually rich training, walkthroughs, videos, and articles right in the app at just the right time. With the December 2016 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online), you can now create your own Learning Path experience for your Dynamics 365 (online) users. For example, create a custom Learning Path experience to train your sales team. Learning Path allows you to deliver custom content specific to the security role assigned to a user. This means, for example, that salespeople see Learning Path sidebars and guided tasks specific to their role, and service reps see a different set of content. You can also display different content for the same security role in different organizations. You can even localize your content in different languages for different users and organizations. Learning Path provides a great way to help people discover new features and become familiar with new forms or business processes at their own pace right from the app. This can help reduce training time and costs and enable team members to quickly become productive using Dynamics 365 (online). Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service Enhancements Connected field service: Connected field service, new in this release, helps service organizations move from a costly break-fix model to a proactive and predictive service model by combining monitoring and predictive maintenance with Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning Key benefits include: Reduce downtime with proactive alerts from connected devices. Address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices and keeping customers in the loop. Reduce maintenance costs by dispatching a technician with the right expertise, availability, and location to do the job. Resource scheduling optimization: With resource scheduling optimization, you can set up the system to automatically schedule multiple items on a recurring basis to minimize overall travel time and make efficient use of all schedulable resources. Common Scheduling Solution: With the new Common Scheduling Solution, you can schedule anything. You can enable it for any entity, including custom entities. For example, you can turn it on to schedule marketing visits for an opportunity. 6. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation Add-in for Microsoft Project: With the new project service add-in you’ll be able to do all of your project planning in Microsoft Project, and then publish the project plan into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation. You can also bring a project that you started in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation into Microsoft Project to finish planning work, and then publish it back to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation. Relevance Search enhancements With new facet and filter support, you can drill into and explore search results without having to repeatedly refine the search terms. Four global facets for Relevance Search are shown by default on the left side of the Relevance Search results page. They represent Record type, Owner, Modified On, and Created On fields that are common to most Dynamics 365 entities, as shown below: If you select a specific entity in the Record type face, you will see a list of entity-specific facets that you can choose from. For example, if you select the Account entity, you may see additional information about the account’s annual revenue, the industry they are in, and the primary contact information. The facet list is configured by an administrator. If you want to see different information, you can ask your administrator to provide that for you. Other new capabilities: You can now search in documents attached to emails and appointments, as well as documents attached to a note. The Option Set and Lookup fields are searchable fields in this release. We also added support for showing results for records that are shared with you. More information: Use Relevance Search for faster comprehensive search results Introducing editable grids With the new editable grids provide many versatile capabilities, such as inline editing, grouping, filtering, and sorting on columns. Editable grids are available at the entity level, in sub-grids inside a form, or in a dashboard. Editable grids are supported on forms in the Dynamics 365 Web client, Dynamics 365 for tablets, and Dynamics 365 for phones. For dashboards, editable grids are available in Dynamics 365 for tablets and Dynamics 365 for phones. Editable grid capabilities include: Edit a row with most Dynamics 365 field types. Group and filter on any column in the current view. Sort on any column in the grid Paginate and move or adjust columns in the grid. Show Lookup values based on the value of the field of the related entity. Show Calculated and Rollup fields as read-only with the associated last updated date. Enable and disable fields based on security role You can also: Export editable grids to Excel. Integrate with the chart panel. Toggle between a read-only grid and an editable grid. Save the user state (filters, sorting, adjusted columns) within the session. Use business rules and complex grid logic based on events, such as saving or updating a record. Use command bar actions and buttons Lots of new and existing features have been added to Dynamics 365 in 2017 to help manufacturing business improve their business processes and increase profitability. If you are looking for a team of Dynamics 365 CRM experts, we are here to help! Get in touch
Capture Relationships that Matter: Importance and Benefits of Customer Relationship Management It’s a New Year and time for a new spin on CRM Capture Relationships that matter – Customer relationship management or CRM is a term used to discuss a company’s strategies to help understand and address client’s needs. It is a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your customers. Solutions are designed to manage and maintain customer relationships, track engagements and sales while delivering actionable data-all in one place. Your CRM solution can help track key Account/Customer information including but not limited to: Contacts Communications Sales Capturing this data on a daily basis provides powerful data that can be analyzed to: List your Top 5 or 10 Customers Stay on top of and win Opportunities Analyze trends Build Relationships How a CRM Captures Relationships? A strong CRM solution will streamline processes and increase productivity & profitability in your sales, marketing, and service divisions. It is a platform where everything crucial to develop, improve and retain your customer relationships is stored . Don’t miss growth opportunities and lose revenue because you’re not maximizing your business Main benefits of CRM tools: Centralized customer information Automate marketing interactions Provide business intelligence Facilitate communications Track sales opportunities Analyze data Enable responsive customer service Build relationships with potential and existing clients Running a successful business is not a simple task. You need a powerful CRM solution to bring data analysis and capture relationships, meetings, customer care and more simultaneously functions together in one place. Get in touch with our CRM experts. We are here to help!
Dynamics 365 Unified Interface – Where did my Arrows Go? Many of you by now will be aware that Dynamics 365 Unified Interface (UI) is not only here, it will be everywhere by October 2020. At that time, all Dynamics 365 CE (Customer Engagement) subscribers will be automatically upgraded to the Unified Interface and the Classic (or old or whatever you want to call it) interface will be retired. Also, like many of you, I sometimes fear change and can occasionally be heard yelling at my (inanimate) computer screen “Why did they change that!!??”. But I am also a bit techie and I like the ability to do new things, so when I first tried UI on our own Dynamics 365 system, I thought … Looks cool! Love the Cross-device compatibility Like the tabs that are like tabs (again) The menus work better back on the left (again) Cursor Changes in New Microsoft Dynamics 365 Naturally, however, there were things that I used to use/like in the old interface. For example, take my love for the 2 little navigation arrows – for an embarrassingly long time after the update, I could not figure out how to scroll through the related records in a list once I opened one. Previously, when I opened a Contact from within an Account, I could scroll through all the contacts. But now, I was left wondering how to do that without my little up and down arrows… where did they go!? Cursor Changed from Arrow to Circle in Dynamics 365 Unified Interface Eventually I spotted a new little icon in the new Dynamics 365 Unified Interface that gave me something even better than little arrows. In the top left corner of the form when you open a child record from a parent record form there is a new sort-of-an-arrow-in-a-circle icon. Click this new icon and you get a list of the child records and can go up and down that list or jump to any record in the list instantly. Even better than little arrows! What other little gems have you discovered in the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface? Let us know – you could become our first guest blogger.
Manufacturing companies have their own unique perspective on the best value that a CRM system can provide. Even (or especially) in these days of COVID-19, accurately predicting demand for each product takes on a different importance for manufacturers. Many manufacturers are managing a complex supply chain with critical paths that involve expensive raw materials and components or perhaps items that have a long lead time. So how should your company choose the best CRM for Manufacturing? This is the first in a series of blog posts identifying and analyzing different facets of CRM for Manufacturing. Throughout the series, we will be using our Dynamics 365 Connector for SYSPRO as an illustrative example, but the principles hold for any CRM solution. Make sure there is a package or toolset that can cost-effectively provide you with the real-time information you need right in the CRM system. For this post, we are going to concentrate on visibility. Although globalization seems to be under threat, we still live in a world of ‘Just in Time’ supply chains. The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalisation – Michael O’Sullivan Has covid-19 killed globalisation? – The Economist, May 14th 2020 Your manufacturing company is likely to be part of a critical path for many of your customers. How does that impact your CRM and how can your CRM impact your business? In various ways including, but not limited to: Quickly and Accurately informing your customers when you can supply their critical purchase Identifying your best customers so you can allocate scarce inventory and attention to those most deserving and profitable for you Proactively notifying your customers in the event of a Supply Chain disruption When can we provide it? Most likely your salespeople are often asked “Do you have that in stock?”. Let’s take that a level higher and ask “When can we supply that?” Your salespeople can sell more efficiently and effectively if they can give their prospects and customers immediate and concrete information on current and future availability. Can CRM provide that information? By itself, no, it cannot. In many cases, CRM for Manufacturing means making key information visible in CRM by integrating information from other systems such as ERP and Supply Chain Management. When a prospective customer asks “When can I have it?”, how confidently can your salespeople respond “I can get you x units today and the rest in y days”? You must select a CRM system that. Can gather and display very specific information regarding your products Has access to up to date information from the system that controls it In other words, your CRM must be highly configurable so that it can store and display whatever information is relevant to your products AND it must have the capability of integrating with your ERP and/or Supply Chain Management system to retrieve the most accurate and timely data. Should you sell the last one to this customer!? The other side of the first question is whether you should be focusing on this particular customer or prospect at all. Are they in good standing with us? Are they an “A” customer or a “C” customer? What items do they normally buy? How quickly do they pay? Again, CRM solution alone is not the source of the best information on each customer’s creditworthiness or current balance. CRM for Manufacturing must have the ability to retrieve that information from the accounting or ERP system and present it clearly for the sales team and other CRM users. Please note that we are not just talking about whether a customer is “On Hold” or not. Effective Sales involves looking for customers that have bought a particular product before, that have a high sales volume with your company, that have a good payment history, and more. Example We are most familiar with the SYSPRO ERP system, which is designed primarily for manufacturing companies and has received numerous awards for excellence as an ERP solution for manufacturers. Since many SYSPRO companies also use Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM), we have developed a CRM for Manufacturing package that includes a suite of integration points between SYSPRO and CRM. It is important to note that. The integration points (and therefore your CRM itself) MUST be configurable to your specific needs and The Dynamics 365 Connector for SYSPRO is only an example of how your CRM should work with other systems. When CRM is integrated using the Dynamics 365 Connector for SYSPRO, CRM users can see all the relevant product information, inventory availability data, and customer details from SYSPRO. Using the standard CRM clients (browser, tablet, phone) they gain access to whatever SYSPRO data they need – a prime example of CRM for Manufacturing. Next Steps Now there is some homework for you to do. Find out what your CRM users actually want and need to see in CRM (whether you are looking to implement CRM for sales, customer service, order fulfilment, or whatever). Make a list. Next, determine if the CRM systems you are considering have the flexibility to store and display that data. Third, determine which system is the “Master” system for the information your CRM users need (often this is obvious simply by asking the users where they currently go to find it). Also, determine how up to date the information needs to be. Inventory availability is usually something that has to be as close as possible to real time. Customer credit details, however, might be acceptable if they are a few minutes or even an hour old. Last but not least, find out if the data can be extracted from the existing system and updated in the proposed CRM quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively. Dominic Systems Limited specializes in CRM for Manufacturing – please Contact Us for a no obligation Discovery Consultation. Please come back and check our blog regularly. Our next post in the Choosing a CRM for Manufacturing series will look at Order Processing.
Microsoft to Rebrand Some Office to Microsoft 365 Business Plans They say, “what’s in a name”? Well, a lot actually! If you are a parent, you will know how agonizing it can be to give your new baby the right name. You can’t give them something they’ll be made fun of… or will offend anyone… or has initials that spell something embarrassing… or reminds you of a mean kid you used to know at school. Then you also have to be clairvoyant and predict how your child may look in 30 years and consider if that name will still suit them. You have no idea if they are going to become a computer programmer or a lawyer or a performer with Cirque du Soleil! How can you pick a name to suit every eventuality?! The same is true of business and software names. Programmers and marketing departments can spend hours… no, days…no, months(!) thinking of the perfect name for their hard work. And then, time moves on and their program changes… it evolves… and the original name just doesn’t work as well anymore. Well, for that (kind-of) reason, Microsoft have decided to do a few name changes for their 365 offerings. Office 365 has evolved and gone a long way beyond the original suite of traditional office programs. The name no longer did justice to the range of apps and services that now fall under the subscriptions’ vast umbrella. Plus, Microsoft recently introduced a brand new set of offerings aimed at the consumer market, in their Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions. New Microsoft Dynamics 356 Offering for Businesses Here are the changes: Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic. Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard. Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both become Microsoft 365 Apps. Where necessary we will use the “for business” and “for enterprise” labels to distinguish between the two. Microsoft 365 F1 will become Microsoft 365 F3. Office 365 F1 will become Office 365 F3. Some plans not changing, though. Those are: Office 365 for Enterprise Office 365 E1 Office 365 E3 Office 365 E5 Office 365 for Firstline Workers Office 365 F1 Office 365 for Education Office 365 A1 Office 365 A3 Office 365 A5 Office 365 for Government Office 365 G1 Office 365 G3 Office 365 G5 So… as a 365 business user, what does that mean for you? Not a lot really! There are no pricing or feature changes. The changes will happen automatically, so you will just see what you are using referred to by a different name: Microsoft 365 Business Plan. When is this happening? The new Microsoft 365 Business Plans names will take effect on April 21, 2020.