Category: Workspaces


Sage 200 has often lacked in its detail of Sales Order status, previously only offering ‘Live’, ‘On Hold’ or ‘Completed’. The status of ‘Live’ never gave enough detail for a user to easily identify where the order was within the Sales Order Process (was it Entered, Allocated, Despatched, Invoiced etc.) or what else was required to progress an order.

There is the Pipeline within the Sales Document Status Workspace enquiry, however this is limited as there is no ability to filter the information.

SalesOrderStatus_PipelineWorkspace

Sage 200c introduces the much-requested detail presented within the Sales Order List view.

The following new columns have been added to the Sales Order alongside the original ‘Document Status’ column:

SalesOrderStatus_SalesOrderListView

The table below lists the new column names along with the various statuses that may appear as the values…

Document Status This column presents an overall Order status as per previous versions.

Live: Some invoices or credit notes still need to be posted for the order.

Complete: Invoices and credit notes have been posted for the sales order, and the customer and nominal account balances have been updated.

On Hold: The order is on hold and so cannot currently be processed.

Ready for allocation Yes: Some items in the sales order have not yet been allocated.
Allocated Part: Only some of the items are allocated, but some items still need to be allocated. The items have not yet been despatched.

If you have chosen allocate stock automatically when items are entered on an order (set in SOP Settings), then it is useful to check for Part allocation to see when items were out of stock when the order was entered.

Full: All items in the order have been allocated. The items have not yet been despatched.

Once an item is partly or fully allocated, it will also be set as ready for despatch. The Allocated status returns to being blank once all the allocated items have been despatched.

Acknowledgement Note: This status only applies if you use have chosen to Print order acknowledgements for orders in SOP Settings.

Not printed: The order acknowledgement has not been printed. If you don’t use order acknowledgement, all orders will have this status.

Printed: The order acknowledgement has been printed.

Amended since last printed: The order acknowledgement has been printed, but the order has since been amended. The item can still be despatched.

Ready for despatch Yes: Some items in the sales order have been allocated and are ready to be despatched.

If none of the items in the order require despatch, this will be blank.

Despatched Part: Only some of the items have been despatched, but some items still need to be despatched.

Full: All items in the order have been despatched.

If none of the items in the order require despatch, this value will be blank.

Once an order is partly or fully despatched, you can print invoices for the items that have been despatched.

Ready for invoice printing Yes: Some items on the sales order have been despatched (or do not require despatch) and are ready to have invoices printed.
Invoiced Part: Only some of the items have been included in a printed invoice, but some items have not yet been invoiced.

Full: All items in the order have printed invoices.

Once an item is partly or fully invoiced, it can be posted. If an order is not fully posted, its Status will still be Live.

Cancelled Part: Only some of the items in the order have been cancelled, but not all the items. For example, an order may only be Part cancelled if some items have already been despatched, or if you have deleted items (and record cancelled order lines) but haven’t yet cancelled the order.

Full: All items in the order have been cancelled.

The standard list view functions remain for users to be able to choose which columns to display or hide by right-clicking on any column header, selecting Columns and then selecting or de-selecting the relevant column name.

SalesOrderStatus_ListViewColumnMenu

It is also possible to use the Filter option on the List view which now includes the new Columns.

SalesOrderStatus_ListViewFilter

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Yesterday finally saw the release of the much-anticipated Service Pack 2 for Sage 200 Extra 2015.

One of the key items as part of this is the support of Windows 10 operating system.

There are lots of fixes and some additions as detailed in this document released with the update –

Reports

There are some New Reports to be aware of which are not installed automatically as well as Layout updates too. Check these out with your BP. The introduction of the SOP Profitability reports which include Returns and Credit Notes will be music to some people’s ears, although if you needed this previously you have probably had the report written already.

There also some nice Stock reports, offering different views of Sales by Customer, Product Group and Monthly Sales etc.

Summary Screens

My particular favourite addition in this service pack is the added drill down functionality to the Summary screens. Previously a great visual aid (and Sage Sales Persons dream!) they were not altogether complete from a ‘day to day’ point of view. However we are now able to drill all the way down to the transactional items which makes them much more beneficial as an analysis tool.

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Totals)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Totals)

 

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Customers)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Customers)

 

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Transactions)

Sales Summary Outstanding Debt (Drill down to Transactions)

Installation

Service Pack 2 can be applied to sites running either the Base version of Sage 200 Extra 2015 (all SP1 updates are included) or sites with Sage 200 Extra 2015 Service Pack 1.

As with Service Pack 1 there are two installation files:

  • Sage200v2015SP2ClientPrerequisites.exe
  • Sage200v2015SP2.msp

On client machines, both files must be run in the order listed above.

Sage200v2015SP2ClientPrerequisites.exe checks the client files to ensure the correct registry keys are present on the machine.

Sage 200v2015SP2.msp updates Sage 200 Extra.

NB. On a server, you only need to install the Sage 200v2015SP2.msp file.

As ever this Sage 200 Extra 2015 SP2 Installation and Release Notes document gives all the information needed to install the service pack.

 

Its been billed as the most important update in years and I have to say, I do not think users will be disappointed. Here are some details of the new features within Sage 200 2015 which was officially released at the end of February.

Look and Feel
Whilst the basis is familiar to current Sage 200 users, the screens and menus have changed in appearance giving a more modern design. Many of the changes are designed to make it easier for users to navigate Sage 200 and find/access what they want.

Look 1

Homepage

List View

List View

Look 3

Redesigned Process Maps

The 2015 design is much more intuitive.  A really nice feature is the frequently accessed page where the system remembers the functions you have used the most, so there is a quick way of getting back to them. What’s even more impressive is it remembers by day. So if you access something on a Friday, the next Friday it will be in your recently accessed.

Frequently used

Frequently used

It is now possible to use a search function on the menu allowing you to search for a menu item and the menu is filtered by items containing the word searched.

Menu Search

Menu Search

Custom colour settings can be applied and you are able to make each dataset/company you work in a different colour to make it more obvious which one you are working in.

Homepage and Favourites still exist whilst being more easily managed. Favourites can be added with one click, and can be arranged in folders, easily renamed and re-ordered.

Fixed Assets
After years without one  a simple Fixed Asset register is now included within the Financials modules for Sage 200. This is a welcomed introduction allowing you to set up, depreciate, dispose and delete assets.

Excel Reporting
Excel Reporting gives you more choice over how you can produce the reports you want. The important thing to note here, and I am not sure how I feel about it, is that some Excel reports are provided free while others are available if you subscribe to Excel Reporting. You are able to preview reports within the program to see what you would get in subscription packages.

Excel reports

Excel reports

Excel Reporting 2

Summery Screens
New Graphical Workspaces give a great visual representation of certain KPI’s. The Graphs also allow a drill down function to gain more specific answers.

Summaries 1 Summaries 2

Summaries 3

Other Improvements/changes

  • The Logon speed has significantly increased and you will struggle to find time to make a coffee before it has opened. Joking aside this is a major improvement.
  • There is a completely new ‘list view’ that does away with the older-style list views of the previous Sage 200 versions. These new list views include improved searching and filtering methods, and mixes the function of workspaces with the easier to read layout of the old list view.
    • List views can be opened up in a separate form/window. With a scroll bar!
    • Totals have been added to quickly show the cumulative values of selected records.
  • Workspaces also run more quickly, and also make better use of screen space.
  • Enquiry Screens have returned (I know they could be added to the menu manually in 2013) so the normal forms can be accessed of the menus as per 2011.
  • Project Accounting now includes the much requested Work in Progress (WIP) function which accrues for part-delivered project work. This is automatically posted to and reversed from the balance sheet as projects complete. This means costs can be posted to the same period as revenue to ensure true project profitability is shown in financial reports.
  • Increased narrative length
  • Ability to edit manual nominal journals so that you can amend references or narrative.
  • Functionality to properly account for the VAT legislation changes for early settlement discount. If you deal with a lot of settlement discounts you must upgrade for this alone.
  • Support for SQL 2014 is now included.
  • Ideas Hub this gives an easier route to offering Sage ideas of what changes you would like to see. It also gives you the opportunity to join a Sage 200 community, and hopefully this will offer an increased source of information and communication for users of Sage 200 (hopefully not turning people away from Talking Sage 200!!!!).

I am nothing but positive about Sage 200 2015. A number of the key issues have been rectified and it is definitely the most updated and improved release since the move to a SQL database.

I realised that my posts and responses to comments have slowed dramatically over the last few months or so.

This is due in part to a new job role keeping me busy (which isn’t a complaint) and also a touch of writers block.

I hope to be inspired over the next few weeks by the imminent release of Sage 200 2013.

We have been waiting in anticipation for the release of Sage 200 2013 for what seems like an age now and we are not far way.

2013 will be the first Sage 200 release for two years and there will be lots of things to get our heads around with the new features and differing deployment options such as cloud-based subscription.

Some features you should look out for are :-

Two choices of deployment – on premise or in the cloud

Fully integrated Cashflow facility and Reporting (I cheered too!)

New ‘web’ user allowing access to key information from any device

All new web workspaces for all modules allowing dashboard views inside and outside the system!

Integration with the latest Microsoft developments such as Office 365, Server 2012, and the cloud solution will run on Microsoft’s Azure platform.

Although Sage have not ‘officially’ announced a release date for Sage 200 2013, it is expected to be available by the beginning of June. There will be 3 types of licensing available including the Cloud offering (Sage 200 Online):

Sage 200 2013 (On premise perpetual)
Sage 200 2013 (On premise subscription)
Sage 200 Online

I am excited to share some of the new features that Sage have advised we can expect. I am yet to see the product but am itching to get my hands on it.

Sage 200 Workspaces
One of the major changes for Sage 200 2013 is the way that you will be able to view and manipulate data. As predicted when workspaces were first introduced, new workspaces will replace the existing enquiry screens and list views that you will currently be familiar with.

New Workspaces:

  • Will be available via the desktop or through the web client which gives you access to your data at anytime, anywhere, using devices running a web browser (including tablets and mobile).
  • Will allow you to configure the default views and enquiry screens to show the information that you require.
  • Can be launched from a menu item.
  • Allow you to navigate from workspace to workspace, using a selected item. E.g. select a customer account on one workspace and navigate to another workspace that shows the transactions for the selected customer.
  • Can be configured by the user to meet their individual needs. Users can:
    • Add and remove data fields
    • Find the required records using quick filters for each column of displayed data.
    • Filter and sort information using advanced filters that can be saved and shared with other users.
    • Print the data displayed on the workspace.
    • Export the data displayed to an Excel spreadsheet.
    • Launch related forms to perform tasks (desktop only).
    • Print related reports.

Importing nominal cost centres and departments

Import routines for Cost centres and Departments will be available alongside your other Financials data. The new Import Cost Centres option, allows you to create new cost centres in the Nominal Ledger. Likewise, the Import Department Codes allows you to create new departments into the Nominal Ledger. This is going to be a huge benefit when setting up new systems.

Using the same conventions as previous imports, you can set up an XML or CSV file with your new import details. A report is also generated to show you which records have been imported successfully and which have failed.

Free Text Credit Notes

In Sage 200 2013 will be the ability to raise Free Text Credit Notes within the Sales Ledger.

Entered in the same way as you would enter a free text invoice, you can use this new feature to enter free text credit notes directly onto a customer’s account.

Short Term Cash Projection

A new Short Term Cash Projection enquiry will help you forecast the amount of cash you will have in your bank accounts after your outstanding transactions have been paid.

This will allow you to view the forecast balance, and the list of outstanding transactions, within a date range that you can specify. You can create accurate forecasts by choosing specific bank accounts and transactions to be included in the forecast totals. You can even add transactions that you know are coming but have not been entered into your Sage 200 system.

You can then print a Cash Projection report, or export the information to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Future Years Budgets and Cash Flow Reports

These new features will allow you to enter budget values for your nominal accounts for up to five future years, as well as design your own financial statement layouts, based on this budget data.

For the Future Years Budgets feature, a new tab has been added to the Nominal Accounts records so that you can enter your budget values for up to five years in the future. The Maintain Accounting Periods screen has also been amended to display the end dates and status of each period for up to five years in the future.

The import of nominal accounts has also been changed to allow you to import new future budget values.

In addition, the Cash Flow Report allows you to project your cash flow from the present year, to five years in the future, based on your Sage 200 budgets. Values are displayed, per accounting period, and allow you to see:

  • opening balances
  • values for each income heading
  • total cash receipts value
  • the value for each expenditure heading
  • total cash paid out
  • the closing balance

The new report uses the actual balances for those nominal accounts that have been nominated as bank accounts in the cash flow layout.

All the above information was received from Sage.

The above new features are just a taste of what to expect. If the above is anything to go by then Sage 200 2013 is going to be a massive improvement and will prove to be a great asset to businesses!

I have finally managed to look through the 2011 new features for BOM/Manufacturing.

The 2010 release saw some functionality lost that allowed users to update Operation details on mass. This was due to the changes made to the new BOM module. With all due respect this was an error, and in some cases became an upgrade stopper.

The GOOD NEWS is that 2011 (as promised) sees the return of this functionality.

Resources

Labour, Machine and Tools registers each have an update function that will allow you to update Resources to be based on their group settings. E.g. Labour items can be updated to reflect the settings attributed to the Labour Resource Group that they are assigned to.

The properties that can be updated in each register are:

  • Cost Heading
  • Cost Nominal Account
  • Allow Cost Rate Override
  • Overhead Nominal Account
  • Efficiency %
  • Overhead Recovery %
  • Time Units

 Operations

Operations have two separate options. 

Operation Update Details allows users to update the BOM Operation details (i.e. operations settings assigned to BOM records) to reflect the default settings assigned within the Operations register.

I.e. if you amend the default settings of an Operation(s) in the register, this routine will update these changes to the BOM’s with these operations.

You are able to update the following details:

  • Resources
  • Sub-contractor details
  • Overlap (Manufacturing only)
  • Run Time
  • Delay (Manufacturing only)
  • Shrinkage (Manufacturing only)
  • Notes

A useful option is whether you update BOM Operations that were manually amended to be specific to an individual BOM.

There is a lot of flexibility with this function as you are able to decide the BOM records that are updated.

E.g. If the Operation selected to update is assigned to 10 BOMs, the system will show the 10 BOM’s it is on, and you are then able to remove the BOMs that you do not want updated.

The system has an important validation process that lists Exclusions and Warnings, for those BOM’s that can’t be updated. May be they are on Hold, do not have an active version etc.

Update Operation Rates allows you to update Cost rates on Resources/Operations that are already on a BOM Operation.

Firstly you select a Source Type from:

                Resource Record (Labour/Machine/Tools)

                Resource Group (Labour/Machine/Tool)

                Operation Records

Then select the specific source:

                I.e. if you selected the type Resource record, now select Labour/Machine or Tools Register.

Then select the Target record:

                Resource

                Operations

                BOM Operations

I.e. what is it that you want to update?

If BOM Operations are being updated then a validation process is done. You then have the option to select specific BOM records that you wish to update. Where BOM records are being updated, you are given the option to re-cost the BOMs.

Bill of Materials

Add Component

This is utility allows you to add a component to Multiple BOMs. Simple and effective!

BOM Costing Analysis

There is now a Graphical analysis to allow better visualisation of the costing effects.

New settings allow you to determine the default behaviour for the cost analysis screen.

  • Select what data the charts display
    • Date range used
    • How to show sub-assembly costs
    • Whether multiple versions are shown
  • Select what values to show
    • Unit Cost including overheads
    • Suggest selling price
    • Profit
  • How the Chart is displayed, such as colours and labelled axis.

When the costing screen is viewed you are able to select two graphical views of the data. Analysis shows you a costing analysis with Unit Cost, Profit and Suggested Selling Price.

Actual Comparison shows the difference between planned costs and Actual costs. Planned costs are costing sessions done from within the BOM record. Actual costs are from the BOM Build/Confirm Build process.

For manufacturing sites, Works order Planned and Actual comparisons are also shown.

The first question end users will ask is – Can the Graph be printed? The answer is really, No; although there is a button to copy it to the clipboard!

BOM Reverse Build

The long-awaited BOM reverse build is introduced in 2011. This allows users to reverse the build of a BOM, previously completed within BOM. Effectively the function is a dismantle function to correct user error.

The feature is only for BOM builds, and not Manufacturing builds.

A new list view shows a list of BOM build records, and the whole reversal process can be managed from this list.

There a number of restrictions and outcomes to be aware of with this function, in particular:

  • You cannot partially reverse
  • The system checks that the stock of the finished item CREATED BY THE BUILD is still available.
  • An AVERAGE cost re-calculation is performed on finished items reversed from stock.
  • Nominal postings use the same Transaction Date & URN as the original build entry.
  • FIFO rules are NOT applied when items are returned to stock.
  • If the original build was created from a BOM allocation, then a New BOM allocation is created by the reversal.

BOM Workspace

A new BOM workspace in 2011 gives users an improved view of BOM records.

Conclusion… 

For me these new features are all improvements to what was already available. It seems that it has all been about making long jobs simpler for users.

Each feature will be a benefit to the user in the function that they are designed to perform.

The BOM reversal function may not go far enough for some people; who would have hoped to have been able to reverse BOMs for salvage type operations. However in the main I think that it will work for most and will be a worthwhile reason to upgrade.

Since Workspaces became available in version 2009, I have found it quite hard to convince users to use and make the most of them.

What is preventing users from utilising workspaces?

 • The Speed it takes to load them up.

 • They are hidden away, and so often forgotten about.

 • They do not know how extendable they are.

 • Often seen as another way of being able to do the same things.

Do You Know How Powerful Workspaces Are?

Workspaces are interactive enquiry screens. They are laid out to allow you to view up to date information, on a number of panels, which interact with each other. You are also able to access the standard processing actions and reports.

A number of workspaces are available out of the box and these can be amended to suit your own requirements. The layout of each panel can be amended in a similar way to the standard list views available in each module. Columns can be added from a predefined list, filters can be made on the columns and columns can be re-sorted etc.

The most POWERFUL part of Workspaces is the Workspace designer, which gives users and Business partners the ability and flexibility to create new Workspaces. In some respects it means an enquiry screen can be created in the same way a report can! The designer also allows you to extend the out of the box workspaces, for example you may want to add a column to the workspace that isn’t available. Using the Designer you can make it available.

What are the Positives?

• You are able to view data in an easy and readable format.

• You are able to view data from multiple modules or even data sources, in one enquiry. N.B. Using the Designer you can add information from other data sources such as excel or CRM.

• You can easily view information and process transactions with limited clicks.

• You can view related data within the one screen, where you normally would need to run multiple reports or open different enquiry screens. For example the Credit Control Workspace allows you to get Customer account detail and then outstanding transaction details in the one view.

Credit Control Workspace

• You can create your own, new Workspaces.

What are the Negatives?

• The workspaces are in a separate area of the desktop, rather than within their related modules.

• They can be slow to load when the Workspaces option is selected on the module.

Go on, have a look….

1. To use the default workspaces, select Workspaces from the Tool Bar or Navigation Bar.

2. To create or edit workspaces, select Tools > Workspace Designer. (Your user properties will need to have access enabled via System Administration)

Look out for future posts with tips about amending Workspace!!!