Archive for April, 2012


With the price of stamps increasing today (First Class from 46P to 60p, and Second Class from 36p to 50p) it is as good a time as ever to think about how you are distributing documents to your customers, suppliers and may be even between colleagues who are at different sites.

Sage 200 has the facility to cut down on postage already built-in. All documents and reports can be configured to email contacts either automatically or manually. The automatic configuration can utilise the Roles and Contacts within the Sales and/or Purchase Ledger to send documents to the required email address.

Click here to see my previous post about emailing documents out of Sage 200.

As well as the standard Sage 200 functionality, there is also the add-on option. Spindle Professional is an add-on for Sage 200 that aids in the distribution of documents.

Spindle is capable of much more than just emailing documents as you can configure a document to be Emailled, Faxed or Printed based on the contact details available in Sage. As well as the Distribution options you also have the ability to add backdrops to documents (these are basically electronic stationary layouts), you can attach other documents as part of distribution (for example attach the relevent Despatch Note when sending an Invoice), there is also the ability to Archive documents that have been sent out.

Spindle Professional can also be used with other software, so you could create a Word document and distribute it as necessary.

Click here to see my previous post about Spindle Professional

Both of the above options that you have with your Sage 200 software will save you money in relation to Postage as well as Paper, Envelopes, Stationary and Time.

Imagine my horror, when doing a Sage 200 upgrade recently, when faced with a report used by the customer, which used Sage 200 Excel Integration. The report was quoted as being their ‘Bible’ report.

In the 8 years of implementing Sage 200/MMS I have tended to steer clear of using Excel Integration. To my knowledge all colleagues of mine have done the same.

As much as anything this is probably because I have never taken the time to look at it, play with it and learn what it was capable of. It was never an element of the system that Sage focused on during their accreditation course(s) (Appendix B I think of the manual I received back then!!).

Generally speaking there has always seemed to be a better way of getting data out of Sage 200, whether it was using a good old EXCEL QUERY, a tool such as CRYSTAL REPORTS or more recently BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, so I have never really seen the reason to use Excel Integration.

I do not think Sage have ever really extended the Functions that Excel integration offers so it never really became that powerful a reporting tool.

However this report I was faced with recently was very impressive. Excel Integration had been used to bring Budget and Actual values in to, basically, a Profit and Loss report structure.

There was the flexibility of being able to create the P & L based on the Nominal accounts, as opposed to the Report Categories and being in excel other required calculations were made from the data using standard excel formulae and functions. Also it was able to link to other reports that the customer had in Excel.

The report needed a slight tweaking following the upgrade as I had moved Sage 200 onto a new server, and the functions had a path to the MMS_Excel.xla file in front of them. A quick find and Replace and the report was running perfectly…pheeew!

It got me thinking though; about weather I had missed a trick with this tool over the years. Does anyone else use it? Or did anyone else use it?

For me, ok, I think Business Intelligence supersedes Excel Integration now. But maybe I should have given it a chance in the early days!

 

Ctayts

Service Pack 3 has now been released for Sage 200 2011. The main focus is on CRM fixes but there are also a few Manufacturing and Core module fixes/updates.

This service pack rolls up service packs 1 and 2 as well as any hot fixes that proceeded them. SP3 also includes documentation updates for Deployment and Integration Guide, System Requirements, CRM Implementation Guide and Upgrading Sage 200 CRM.

A full list of included fixes is available in the attached document: –

Issues fixed in Service Pack 3 for Sage 200 2011

Fixes/Updates of note include the following:

Core Modules

  • There is a now a setting to stop the ability to enter NL Payments/Receipts with different dates for each side of the posting i.e. current functionality allows the bank side to have one date and the transaction side to have another date.
  • Validation option for second reference on Invoices and Credit Notes.
  • The ‘Posting order line’ message does not clear when the POP order entry form is closed without saving. This has now been fixed.
  • The nominal accounts assigned to project items are not retained when a project is amended. This has now been fixed.

Manufacturing

  • New workspaces have been created for the Manufacturing modules.
  • Graphical Planner 11.2 is included.

BOM

  • Where BOM allocations include multiple BOMs, the ‘Undo Allocation’ option incorrectly removes the whole allocation. This has now been fixed

CRM

  • Cannot print a prospect quote entered via form launching for a prospect company in CRM.
  • The ‘Company Type’ must be re-selected when changes are made to the company summary screen if the ‘Company Type’ has been made a mandatory field.
  •  A ‘Progress’ tab has been added to the integration: ‘Administration > Integration > Integration Name | Progress’. The progress tab displays the number of records remaining to be synchronised.