Latest features in Procision+

New advanced Xero mappings for Material Purchases

Now you can set up category-specific GL account overrides for Material Purchases.

To do so, please check that ‘Enable Advanced Mappings’ is ticked under ‘Global Settings > Xero Setup’ and then set the appropriate overrides under ‘Global Settings > Materials > Material Categories (tab)’.

* For those of you who have inventory (TidyStock) enabled in your Procision+ environment, now you can set an override for Cost of Goods Sold and Stock on Hand.

Xero Tracking Category Support

Using Tracking Categories in Xero is a great way to enhance your financial reporting capabilities and allow for a comparison of revenue and expenses by department, office or some other dimension of your business:

Procision+ now lets you make use of Tracking Categories on both Purchases and Project Invoices. To do this, you must first configure the Tracking Categories in Xero, then update them in Procision+ (under ‘Global Settings > Xero Setup > Tracking’). You will then be presented with the appropriate options when creating Purchase Orders and can also configure your Project Groups to map to specific Tracking options.

For more information on what can be achieved with Tracking Categories, see http://help.xero.com/Help/Settings_Tracking.htm

Set the ‘From:’ address on system-generated emails

When you want to email Purchase Orders directly out of Procision+, now you can specify the ‘from’ address on the system-generated email:

New Invoice Detail Level

There is now a new Invoice Detail Level called ‘Activity Name Only’ which omits the name of the staff member who performed the corresponding labour.

If you had multiple staff members performing the same activity on a given project, so long as their charge rate for that work is the same, the labour charge will be consolidated onto a single invoice line.

Ability to put tasks ‘on hold’

If you wish to prevent any further time from being written against a specific task, you can now place that task ‘on hold’.

To do so, while you are editing/creating a project, open the appropriate task’s menu, click ‘Advanced’ then tick the ‘On Hold’ checkbox.

World’s most important software houses restructure for the Cloud

Reuter is not only the oldest and one of the best-known international news agencies in the world, it is also probably the most respected.  Everyone, from journalists to traders, knows that Reuter gets its facts straight, and that, when Reuter runs a story, the news is significant.

So when Reuter in the USA reported that some of the world’s most important software houses are restructuring their management to take account of the world impact of cloud software, it was clear that the recent decisions and actions of Oracle, SAP, IBM and others are about to have a major impact on the financial and strategic decisions of boardrooms throughout the developed world (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/24/us-sap-cloud-idUSBRE94N0FW20130524).

The impact on the less developed world could be even greater.  For industry leaders and decision makers in emerging economies, the cloud provides major opportunities to gain competitive advantage at limited cost.  Adopting the best cloud resources enables growing businesses to have, almost instantly, computing resources that international companies would have struggled to afford only a decade ago.

All SMEs can benefit massively from the era of cloud computing. Their access to significant computing power and quality applications is no longer financially out of reach. They can tap into the same quality solutions that used to give the largest firms a competitive edge.

Attitudes to the importance of cloud-based software have changed dramatically in just a few months.  Staff of IT departments in financial organisations, large public companies and government bodies are becoming justifiably nervous about the future of their jobs as cloud software providers relieve their customers of responsibility for the integrity and maintenance of data storage and security.  Financial directors are seeing the improvement in the bottom line of businesses that have significantly reduced IT depreciation costs, and can see even greater reductions to come.

As CEO of Silicon Avenue, I firmly believe that the economics of computing power centralisation and the staff mobility and efficiency that it provides are driving the future of computing.  We have entered a new, long, innovative era of software application delivery and consumption called cloud computing, and it is both unstoppable and irreversible. On-premise computing as we have known it for over three decades will progressively be totally replaced with cloud computing and a new breed of personal and specialist devices and interfaces that will support only this new model.

Reuter reports that SAP and rivals such as IBM and Oracle are dashing to meet surging demand for cloud computing, which allows clients to ditch costly internal servers and support infrastructure for externally managed cloud data centers. The company said it was now grouping all of its development activities and had put executive board member Vishal Sikka in charge of them from June 1 2013. It had also named board member Gerhard Oswald to oversee its new HANA Enterprise Cloud product.

“In record time, we went from being a startup in the cloud to being one of the largest companies in the cloud,” SAP Co-Chief Executive Jim Hagemann Snabe said during a conference call.’

Microsoft’s Steve Bulmer and Oracle’s Larry Ellison have already banked their respective companies’ entire future on the cloud.  We have too and only work with cloud technology and SME customers making the move to the cloud to enhance their business productivity.  Silicon Avenue is independent and growing fast, working closely with Xero, a cloud provider since day one and now one of the world’s fastest growing accounting software firms valued on the NZX at circa $2Bn and with over 200,000 paying customers.

Every day, fewer can doubt that the cloud is the future for computing. Each day, more firms abandon on-premise and step into that future to benefit now from the critical advantage that the cloud future provides.

Silicon Avenue White Paper

UK government endorses Cloud

News that the Cabinet Office, the United Kingdom government’s organisational centre, has confirmed that government departments will have to pursue a ‘public cloud-first’ strategy has boosted media interest in cloud-based software systems.  Departments will have to prove that they have investigated all cloud options before looking elsewhere.

A Cabinet Office statement said that, when procuring new or existing services, public sector organisations “should consider and fully evaluate potential cloud solutions first – before they consider any other option”.

This approach is mandated to central government and strongly recommended to the wider public sector, it added.

Francis Maud, Minister for the Cabinet Office, which oversees the G-Cloud programme, said: “G-Cloud rings a step change in the way government buys IT. It’s quicker, cheaper and more competitive, open to a wider range of companies, including a majority of SMEs, and offers more choice and innovation. Many government departments already use G-Cloud, but IT costs are still too high. One way we can reduce them is to accelerate the adoption of Cloud across the public sector to maximise its benefits.

Off-the-shelf products from the Cloud can cost as little as 30 per cent of the cost of bespoke solutions.  And then there are the environmental benefits, not mentioned in the government’s announcement.  Large IT installations use considerable amounts of electricity, not only for powering the servers, but also for cooling them.  Cost savings from cloud use extend not only to the costs of hardware and the energy used by it, but also to the costs of hardware and software maintenance.

Maybe the UK government has actually got something right in its cost-saving policies.  When all government departments have their heads in the cloud, they will really have cut costs.

Case study: how FNE engineering use Procision+ to improve efficiency

FNE Engineering are an industrial maintenance and stainless steel fabrication firm based in Hawera, New Zealand. With 50 staff and thousands of projects each year, they’re a great example of how engineering firms can improve efficiency using Procision+ job tracking software.

FNE Engineering Case StudyAbout FNE Engineering:
Servicing major dairy, food and beverage, petrochemical and pharmaceutical operators, FNE have service level agreements with many of their customers.  This means project planning and job tracking are absolutely crucial to the success and transparency of their business.

Three benefits of using Procision+ for FNE:
  1. transparency: management have greater visibility over project health from start to finish.
  2. invoicing: since adopting Procision+, FNE can now enter costs on a daily basis and invoice within 24 hours of job completion (read more about Procision+ and Xero Accounting in Partnership).
  3. staffing: FNE have 3 less admin staff since implementing Procision+ (although they now have twelve more in the workshop!).
We’re excited about helping other engineering firms revolutionise the way that they work. Check out the full FNE Engineering case study or contact us, we’d love to help!

Behind the scenes at Procision+

Times, they are a changing – Bob Dylan

Do you remember when you needed a disc (CD, DVD or even a floppy disk!) to install or update the software on your computer?

Thanks to cloud-computing, those days are long gone. No more disc shipping, installing or upgrade planning.

The reality is that software updates have never been easier, in fact, they’re so easy that we update Procision+ around every month or so (and if we’ve done our job well then our customers don’t even notice, except for the new features!).

Procision+ 'Narwhal' Software Update

The narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic.

Being the quirky characters we are, we currently name each Procision+ software update after an animal (starting A to Z and we are now up to N).

Today we’re proud to release our ‘Narwhal’ update which has a couple of improvements for existing Procision+ users.

1. Project planning

In the past, allowing one of your team to setup a project in Procision+ meant providing them with access to project financial information.

Now you can keep financial information private if you choose, making it easier to delegate project admin responsibilities to your team.

2. Purchase orders on the fly

Good news, now you can create a purchase order without having to assign the materials to a specific project in Procision+. This is perfect for ordering materials on the fly.

For full details of our latest ‘Narwhal’ release, please view our release notes or contact us.

Keeping customers in the loop

It’s no secret that communication is key when it comes to managing projects…

But keeping in regular contact with clients can be challenging at the best of times, especially when it pulls those completing the actual work off task.

Today we’re pleased to announce a solution to this problem. By requesting the new customer portal, as an optional feature -  your customers will be able to access their projects in Procision+ and see:

  • completed and upcoming project milestones relating to their project;
  • the number of hours completed on their project;
  • a breakdown of project tasks (completed and upcoming); and
  • the dollar amount billed and the amount yet to be billed.
But don’t worry. You’ll be pleased to know that your customers won’t see profit, discounts or margins associated with their project.

Customer Portal Screenshot

How it works:
  1. You send an email invitation to your customer (from within Procision+);
  2. They click the email link to view their projects (no username or password is required);
  3. They use the same link to keep up to speed throughout the lifetime of the projects.

Other Procision+ enhancements:

  • Record stock level and desired re-order quantity against materials (also available on request);
  • Quotes or estimates now include more levels of detail and the ability to display/hide sections;
  • A project or a job now contains a URL (useful to link to a portal or SharePoint).

To learn more, please see our release notes or contact us.

We will be closing our offices 5pm Friday 21 December, re-opening Monday 7 January 2013.

For any support requests during this time email help@procisionplus.com and we’ll be in touch within at least 24 hours (and probably a lot sooner).

The team at Procision+ thank you for your support in 2012 and wish you and your family a safe and fun holiday.

Manage your business from the bach

Work from the BachWith the end of 2012 nearly upon us, many of us are ready to take a well deserved break.

 
However the reality is that many businesses continue to operate during the holiday period, and sometimes managers are stuck at the office rather than relaxing at the beach.

Surely there must be a better way…

And there is. With cloud computing and Procision+ job tracking software, you can easily keep one eye on the surf and the other on work in progress back at the office or factory.

With Procision+ job tracking software you can see:

  • which jobs are ahead, on track or behind schedule;
  • which tasks have been completed or remain outstanding;
  • which jobs have been the most profitable; and
  • which jobs have been or are awaiting invoicing.

And the best part is that you’ll only need a mobile phone and an internet connection.

If you’d like to manage your business from the bach then talk to us.

The cloud de-mystified

Everyone’s talking about ‘the cloud’ – but what is the cloud and how is it relevant to business?

Silicon Avenue White Paper

Let’s start with a definition:

Cloud computing refers to the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over the internet. (Wikipedia)

In simple terms, using the cloud means that you’re no longer using software that’s installed on your computer – you’re probably using software via your internet browser instead.

3 reasons why cloud software is taking over the business world:

  1. There’s no software to install (forget setup CD’s)
  2. You can use any device from any location (e.g. PC, laptop, tablet or phone)
  3. It’s scalable and affordable, growing with your business.

But there’s no such thing as a free lunch…

As Kevin Mann explains in the white paper, cloud offerings can be free or subscription based, but the rules of common sense still apply. Generally nothing is supplied for free, so providers of ‘free’ cloud software need to look elsewhere to re-coup their investment…

Get the full story

Read Silicon Avenue’s free, 3-page white paper: How cloud technology is having a positive impact on businesses.

Kevin Mann is the CEO of Silicon Avenue Limited whose cloud-based job tracking and project planning software – Procision+, is used by firms within in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, USA and Canada.

Case study: How manufacturers use Procision+

ABNCAluminium Balustrades North Coast (ABnc) design, manufacture and install custom made aluminium products in Australia.

With up to 40 jobs on the go at any one time, keeping track from start to finish is important stuff – especially when it comes to identifying and tracking the different types of tasks and activities that are required to complete a project.

ABnc use Procision+ for the following:

  1. Sales: delivering fast, accurate quotes.
  2. Manufacturing: tracking the labour and material cost for each project.
  3. Installation: ensuring all work is complete and invoiced at set project milestones.
With Procision+, ABnc can check how their estimated vs actual figures are tracking and management can view the overall performance and profitability with just a few clicks.
Read the full case study to learn more about how ABnc implemented Procision+ into their business.

Interested in Procision+? Try it free for 14 days or Watch a pre-recorded Procision+ webinar