Category: Add Ons


Do you need to email documents from a 3rd party system but want to use an email address from Sage 200? Alternatively you may want to email a Sage document using an email address from a 3rd party database.

Recently we had a customer looking to email Invoices out of a 3rd party system, but they wanted to use a specific email address set up in Sage 200.

We got around this using Spindle Professional.

See how we did it here:

Talking Sage 200 – Using Spindle Data Sources to Email from a 3rd Party Database

 

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After upgrading a Sage 200 site to Sage 200 2015, an error message may be displayed when accessing System Administration for the first time. The message advises of an error in XML document (9, 3).

 

This is caused by not removing any Add-Ons before commencing the upgrade to Sage 200 2015.

Previously, the Add-Ons could be uninstalled in System Administration but when you try to remove the Add-Ons , the below error is displayed.

Exception has been thrown by target of an invocation

This is because in Sage 200 2015, the schema version number has changed so the Add-On trying to be removed does not have the expected schema number assigned to it and so can’t be removed.

In order to complete the upgrade:

Note: You must take a backup of the Sage 200 Configuration Database before proceeding.

  1. Close any errors and select the Add-Ons option in the left pane.
  2. Make a note of the name of each Add-On installed on the site.
  1. Backup the Sage 200 Configuration Database before proceeding.
  1. Open the configuration database in Microsoft SQL Management Studio and open the tblAddon table.
  2. Look for the Add-Ons that were noted in Step 2 in this table. For each add-on, make a note of the AddOnID in the first column.
  3. Remove the entries from the table for each of these add-ons. This should leave only the standard Sage 200 entries in the table, for example, Sage 200 Accounts, Sage 200 Bill of Materials, Sage 200 Accounts Compiled Model.
  4. Close Microsoft SQL Management Studio and re-open Sage 200 System Administrator.
  5. The core components should now install successfully. You will then need to reinstall any applicable Add-Ons, ensuring first that they have been re-compiled for use with Sage 200 2015.

I have recently started looking into and working with a number of the great Sage 200 add-ons available from Eureka Solutions.

Eureka Solutions have created a large portfolio of add-on’s which make Sage 200 even better than it is.

What can often happen during a Sage 200 implementation is the need to fulfil a GAP in customer requirements, which Sage 200 doesn’t do itself. This is then fulfilled with bespoke development which can have huge knock on effects to the project in terms of time frames and costs.

What Eureka Solutions have done is identified and filled a lot of the more common (and often basic/obvious) gaps. In particular differences between Sage 50 and Sage 200, speed of order entry, ease of creating new records such as Stock items, and customers.

As well as this they have identified industry specific requirements to suit Retail, Telecommunications and Wholesale (to name a few).

So the question that I ask is why would you recreate something that already exists as an ‘Out of the box’ solution? My recommendation is that you shouldn’t. Especially considering there are no additional costs when it comes around to upgrading as recompiles are done as part of support.

A free ‘Starter Pack’ of Sage 200 add-ons is available. This can be installed and used at no cost and gives access to 10 functions such as creating a New Stock Item during order entry, creating a New Customer during order entry, the ability to save and despatch a sales order and create a Return from a Sales order.

Most recently I have been working with the Stock Alias, Stock Kitting and Data Exchange products.

Stock Alias (part of the plus pack for Sage 200) allows you to set up additional codes to identify stock items. Ideal if your Sage 200 Stock Code is different from say your Website code, the SKU in EBay or some other form of identification.

Stock Kitting is much more like the Sage 50 BOM. It is Ideal for kit type products as opposed to items that are assembled or manufactured. For example you sell individual items such as Dinner Plates, Side Plates, Dessert Bowls and Mugs but you also sell these together as part of a Dinner Service of 6 of each individual item.

The Standard Sage 200 Stock record has an extra tick box to identify an item as a kit. Selecting this enables a Kitting tab where the individual parts and their quantity in the ‘Kit’ can be specified.

Finally I have been using Data Exchange, something which I have had experience of using before. This allows for an automated Export and/or Upload functionality for exchanging data between Sage 200 and other systems such as Websites. With my current project we are using plugins that link Data Exchange to EBay and Amazon accounts and extract orders from these to then import into Sage 200.

As I say, more to come on the specific functions available, but what I enjoy about these products is they are simple to use, quick and easy to set up and they are not over complicated in any way.

Ctayts

The new versions of Spindle Professional have been released and are now available to download.

Spindle Professional 5.87 includes
support for Sage 200 2013 R2 On Premise and Online.

The most important part of any business is getting paid. It’s important for any business to make sales, however this is all a waste of time if it does not then collect payment. Having good Credit Control functionality that allows you to collect more debts, more quickly, will vastly improve cashflow.

Sage 200 has its own basic functions to help with Credit Control: Debtors Reports, Statements, Letters and the Credit Control workspace (which is often missed). For a lot of companies these functions are too basic and time-consuming.

Credit Hound, by Draycir, is a Sage 200 add-on that makes debt chasing easier, faster, and therefore more efficient.

It has a separate user interface from Sage 200, but links directly to it, synchronizing your Debtors information.

Dashboards give Credit controllers better debtor visibility, with graphical views of ‘who owes the most money over the longest period’, visibility of ‘who they are scheduled to chase’ as well as ‘who has paid recently’ or ‘promised to pay’.

There is an interactive Debtors Listing, easily filtered as required.

Chasing can be automated, or manual. The chase screen is easy to use with visibility of contacts, transactions etc. There is an area to enter notes. You can also create prompts which will allow the chaser to ask the correct questions based on the Debtors answers or excuses.

i.e. Prompt: Your Invoice X for £Y is outstanding, when will you be sending payment?

Debtor Answers: We did a payment run this morning, I am waiting for the cheque to be signed.

Prompt: What is the Cheque number and Value?

Debtor Answers: 000001111, £Y

Prompt: When will the cheque be posted?

You can flag transactions when a commitment to payment has been made, or if a dispute has been made. Then as part of completing a chase, internal/external letters can be created and sent as required.

e.g. Send a letter to the customer about the agreed expected payment.

or

Send a Dispute report to the required internal contact, to advise them payment is being withheld until they resolve the detailed issue.

Any follow ups that are required after a chase are automatically entered into the Credit Hound calendar so the Credit Controller knows what they need to follow-up and when. The calendar is fully linked to Sage 200, which means if a payment is made before the scheduled follow-up, Credit Hound will automatically complete it.

Rules & Actions can be created so you can tell Credit Hound, if a Customer or Transaction meets a certain Rule then perform a particular Action.

Credit Hound also has its own built-in Report Designer that allows the ability for Creating and or Amending reports and Letters as required. An added advantage is that as a Draycir product, Credit Hound also integrates with Spindle allowing you to distribute documents as required.

Sage 200 Fixed Assets module

I have had a couple of queries recently in relation to a Fixed Assets module for Sage 200.

Sage have not developed a specific module as part of the standard Sage 200 suite and this is due, in part, to there being various add ons available that are more than adequate for the purpose. Non more so prehaps than Sicon Fixed Assets.

Sicon Fixed Assets is an add on that works from within the standard menu and importantly it “Looks and Feels” like any of the other modules, with its own list view.

It integrates with the standard Financial modules as well as Project Accounting and even has Workspaces available.

It is a fairly simple module to start using, and with the ability to import assets from excel it makes it quite easy to set up.

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.

I recently blogged about how Sage 200 is capable of distributing batches of documents via email. This has prompted the questions from a number of followers regarding the need for Spindle.

For some people the Sage 200 functionality will be enough, at least to start with. However, my personal opinion is that Spindle Professional is a must for any Sage 200 site. It offers so much more than the ability to email a batch of documents and anyone using Sage 200 would benefit from adding Spindle Professional to their system.

During implementations of Sage 200 I nearly always find a reason for talking about Spindle Professional and simply talking about what it does and how it can benefit the customer is often enough for them to purchase it.

The Benefits and Cost Savings that companies gain from using Spindle Professional with Sage 200 are massive.

Here are just 8 of the benefits:

Multiple Distribution methods in one click – Email, Fax or Print documents – You could have a batch of documents (invoices for example), and by printing the batch through Spindle each individual document will be sent out as required.

Send Multiple Copies to Multiple Destinations in One Click – For example, you may have a batch of invoices. You want to send each invoice to its customer as they require (Email, Fax or Print).  At the same time you may want to send a copy to the relevant Sales Rep and/or generate a copy for the accounts department. A Spindle Automation can be set up to do all of this in just one click.

You could even save a copy (Archive) to your Network/CRM/SharePoint at the same time.

Backdrops – Documents can look professional with the use of backdrops replacing pre-printed stationary.

Cost Savings – This really can be huge. Consider this: If you currently send 500 Invoices a month by post and begin to send 60 % of these via Email or fax, you could see savings of around £300 a month.

Now consider all of the other documents that you send out!!!  

Money will be saved on postage, paper, envelopes, pre-printed stationary, printer cartridges….. etc.

Calculate your potential savings yourself: http://www.draycir.com/en/calculator/SpindleProfessional/

Time – No more or at least reduced time sorting print outs, stuffing envelopes, franking everything etc.

Use data from Sage 200 – Subjects, attachments and Messages sent with the documents can include information from the Sage 200 database with the use of commands. This allows you to make messages more personal to each company, rather than having a generic message.

Easy to use – For most users all they will need to learn is to select a printer called Spindle, and consider that this can be defaulted on the Sage document templates!

Use with multiple systems – Send Microsoft Office documents for example a letter, or a Mail Merge.

So is Spindle Professional a benefit to Sage 200 users?………….YES!!!