BMI Microsoft Dynamics NAV Blog

Attention Distributors: Let’s Play Does Your ERP Software Do This?

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Mar 2, 2018 5:14:50 PM

Silly Photos-11.jpg


You’ve probably heard that many traditional brick and mortar stores are closing their doors due to the changing way that shoppers choose to do business. One by one they are disappearing. Retailers have announced plans to shutter more than 6,700 stores across the U.S. this year, CNN cited retail think-tank Fung Global Retail & Technology as saying.

Studies show that placing orders online from the comfort of home is the new normal. Businesses who do not modernize their systems and operations to make it easy for customers to engage with them are finding they cannot compete with the “big box” (big-budget) companies.

Technology is leveling the playing field for small businesses to be able to compete. With eCommerce integrated with ERP accounting and operations, you can access all the tools needed to get your products into the shopping carts of your customers. Many distributors realize that the path to profitability means modernizing technology to keep and grow their customers.

Here are some questions to ask when evaluating a comprehensive solution for your online distribution business.

  1. Can we easily control what products are displayed first to our customers to encourage the selection of higher profit products?
  2. Do you have an automated way to track leaking margins? Will your system identify pricing and contracts that are outside of our margin threshold? Are you able to adjust those prices easily with a click of a button?
  3. How does your system handle purchasing decisions? Can I identify the vendor pricing and make sure the first call vendor is the least cost option? Will the system take into consideration rebates to help in the purchasing decisions? Will it easily adjust who the first call vendor should be?
  4. Does your system deal with exception-based purchasing such as wholesaler stock-outs, special orders, and inventory replenishment? Does it allow for routine purchases that do not need attention, so you don’t waste time?
  5. Are you able to minimize resources to process orders in the warehouse? Is there configurable pick/pack/ship functionality to maximize warehouse efficiency?
  6. Can you run Financial Statements at any time during the month to view your financial position?
  7. Are your Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) able to view all customer activity in one spot to answer questions quickly?
  8. Do you have EDI functionality that is embedded in the software or do you use third party vendors?
  9. Are Returns easy to process and do they reflect the correct costs to return to inventory?
  10. Can Users access the software from any device?

With fierce competition all around you, doing nothing is not an option. Please feel free to use these questions to make sure you are getting technology that will pay off with more orders, more customers and streamlined workflows.

Join the conversation by commenting below.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We're not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real-world business problems. 



Topics: BMI, microsoft ERP, Dynamics NAV, Distribution Software

What to Do with a Hopping Mad Customer?  Listen....

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 4, 2017 9:58:43 AM


Think back to an experience you had with a vendor that frustrated, angered and made you shake your head in dismay. I admit it, unexpected surprises drive me bananas. I don’t mean to pick on the cable company, but this particular experience is top-of-mind.

One of my co-workers recently told me about an infuriating experience she had with an install order at the cable company. She emphasized during the sales process that she was moving and HAD to be connected to the internet on the date scheduled, so remote working was possible. She made an appointment three weeks in advance to be sure the work would get done in time. The cable technician came two hours early, while she was doing a run to the old house. He left a note on the door saying “Sorry I missed you. Call the office to reschedule.” HUH? She had an appointment! The office let her know the next appointment would be two weeks away. Unacceptable!

She was angry and kept calling up the chain, retelling her story, getting rejected until she got a supervisor to listen to her and do something about it. The supervisor empathized with her problem, asked clarifying questions, and determined that she had done everything right to try and get service when she needed it. Then he did something that made her happy. The Supervisor said he would come out HIMSELF the next day on Sunday and install her internet and cable. That kind of demonstration of personal responsibility changed her anger into admiration.

No one likes to deal with unhappy customers. Customers, happy or not, have the power of social media to make or break your business. Here are some tips on handling unhappy customers.

  1. Let them Rant - It is important for customers who perceive that they have been treated unjustly to talk about their issue. Ask clarifying questions to let them know your are listening to them, and want to get details. Say things like; I hear your frustration. Let's find out what we can do to fix this.
  2. Tell them what you can do, not what you can’t do. For example, I can schedule you for the very next available technician. Not, I don’t have any techs available for a week.
  3. Look past the anger - find out what caused the issue. Was it unclear copy? Did we drop the ball? It is common to dismiss customers as unreasonable, or cranky, but you may be dismissing genuine feedback.
  4. Don’t defer blame - Nothing infuriates a customer more than being told what they did wrong when they have a complaint. Your tone, if dismissive can start a firestorm right where you don’t want it - on social media. Just apologize without any caveats. Even if the customer is off-the-wall unreasonable, just say you are sorry and ask how you might help resolve the issue.
  5. How you ask questions either feeds the anger or diffuses it. If you ask a customer a negative question, you’re asking for a negative response.

For example,

Is there anything else wrong? (Negative)

Is there anything else I can help you with? (Positive)

  1. Complaints need a speedy response. Don’t think you can wait a day or two until they “settle down.” They won’t. Don’t let them feel powerless and drive them to feel social media is the only way to get your attention.

No one enjoys dealing with angry customers. Better communication can create opportunities to earn respect and turn them into fans. The key is the customer is not always right, but you have the power to make your response right.

How do you handle angry customers? Please join the conversation and comment below.

Business Management International (BMI) sells, implements and supports Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP solutions for growing businesses. We specialize in keeping customers happy and productive with modern technology.

Topics: Dynamics NAV, Business Software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, microsoft ERP, BMI Software

Electronic Document Management In Dynamics NAV 2016

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 23, 2016 9:52:34 AM

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 has been released with many new features in Enterprise Functionality for Wholesale Distribution and Manufacturing companies.  One of the most exciting new functions is Electronic Document Management.

Electronic Documents

This new enterprise feature allows you to capture and store invoices and credit memos as incoming documents in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, use them to create corresponding purchase documents or journal lines, take advantage of new workflow for approvals, and allow auditors direct access to source documents.

As an alternative to e-mailing as file attachments, you can send and receive documents electronically. By electronic document is meant a standard-compliant file representing a business document, such as an invoice from a vendor that you can receive and convert to a purchase invoice in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The exchange of electronic documents between two trading partners is performed by an external provider of document exchange services.

The generic version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports sending and receiving electronic invoices and credit memos in the PEPPOL format, which is supported by the largest providers of document exchange services. A major provider of document exchange services is preconfigured and ready to be set up for your company. To provide support for other electronic document formats, you must create new data exchange definitions using the Data Exchange Framework.

From PDF or image files representing incoming documents, you can have an external OCR service (Optical Character Recognition) create electronic documents that you can then convert to document records in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, like for electronic PEPPOL documents. For example, when you receive an invoice in PDF format from your vendor, you can send it to the OCR service from the Incoming Documents window. After a few seconds, you receive the file back as an electronic invoice that can be converted to a purchase invoice for the vendor. If you send the file to the OCR service by e-mail, then a new incoming document record is automatically created when you receive the electronic document back.

To send, for example, a sales invoice as an electronic PEPPOL document, you select the Electronic Document option in the Post and Send dialog box. From here, you can also set up the customer’s default document sending profile. First, you must set up various master data, such as company information, customers, items, and units of measure. These are used to identify the business partners and items when you convert data in fields in Microsoft Dynamics NAV to elements in the outgoing document file. The data conversion and sending of the PEPPOL sales invoice are performed by dedicated code units and XMLports, represented by the PEPPOL electronic document format.

To receive, for example, an invoice from a vendor as an electronic PEPPOL document, you process the document in the Incoming Documents window to convert it to a purchase invoice in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. You can either set up the Job Queue feature to process such files regularly or you can start the process manually. First, you must set up various master data, such as company information, vendors, items, and units of measure. These are used to identify the business partners and items when you convert data in elements in the incoming document file to fields in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The receiving and data conversion of PEPPOL invoices are performed by the Data Exchange Framework, represented by the PEPPOL - Invoice data exchange definition.

To receive, for example, an invoice as an electronic OCR document, you process it as when you receive an electronic PEPPOL document. The receiving and conversion of electronic documents from OCR are performed by the Data Exchange Framework, represented by the OCR – Invoice data exchange definition.


Topics: Navision, dynamics nav 2016, Microsoft Dynamcs NAV 2016, microsoft ERP