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Effective Use of Project Management Software for Allocating Employee Hours

AXUG Conference Key Takeaways

Once again, the annual AXUG conference for Microsoft Dynamic users proved to be quite educational, from the instructional seminars our team attended to the conversations with visitors to our booth. This year’s conference, held in Nashville, attracted thousands of users – IT professionals, business analysts, end-users, and more.

CEM Business Solutions Microsoft Dynamics experts Michelle Giambatista and Zeina Rivas (shown in pic) participated in seminars focusing on AX software usage, in particular the payroll Project Management portion. This feature-rich software offers many functions that users can customize and leverage to increase efficiency in their company. However, proper training on the many nuances is crucial to productive use of the software. Our team-members left with some new knowledge of how to handle advanced functions. One key issue that many businesses struggle with is how to allocate a salaried employee’s time to a specific project. “We learned that you can cost salaried employees to projects using effective labor rates,” said Michelle Giambatista. “Their cost will fluctuate depending on how many hours they spend on the project vs their expected week.”

AX Project Management Payroll Best Practices

When using AX Project Management software to allocate salaried employee time to a specific project, payroll administrators should include these steps:
  1. Assign a calendar to an employee
  2. Turn on labor rates on the employee
  3. Setup a cost price in project for the employee
This will companies fine-tune cost allocations. Since each company’s payroll system needs vary, here is an overview of options and benefits available.

Industry-Specific Payroll Issues

Efficient use of payroll systems dominated the conversations at the CEM Business Solutions booth. Public sector representatives, in particular those from construction-engineering firms and grocery stores, sought guidance on payroll systems for their business category. Our team shared insights on challenges payroll users face and strategies to overcome them.

AXUG 2017 Recap

This year’s AXUG conference focused on educating users about updated and advanced features of the software, in a collaborative way. Users provided lessons to other users, enabling sharing of experiences, knowledge, challenges and best practices – which helped everyone increase proficiency. After 3 days of seminars and many conversations with users, our team can answer any questions you may have about AX updates and what’s coming down the pike.

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Choosing the Right Payroll Automation Solution for Your Business

People who work in human resources, payroll or finance departments know the advantages, along with the pitfalls, of having an automated payroll processing system. As businesses grow, needs and system capabilities evolve, and what did work well may not suit current technology and future growth plans. While choosing the right solution can be daunting due to the many complex options available, focusing on a few key areas will simplify the process and facilitate the right long-term solution.

Key Considerations When Choosing Payroll Automation Software

For businesses with annual revenue over $1,000,000, these factors are critical when selecting automated payroll software, in order to get the most from the system:

1. Ability to increase accuracy while saving time:

If there are multiple ways an employee can accrue and use time, i.e., sick, vacation, PTO, and over-time, using an automated payroll system will be quicker and more accurate for administrators and those receiving paychecks. Whether pay periods are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly; whether employees work at one location or across multiple states; whether employees are salaried or hourly – the right software will enable all payroll processing to take place in-house.

2. Getting strong ROI by using reports effectively:

There will always be plenty of reports available to analyze, but getting good value from them hinges upon pinpointing and using the most relevant data for each company. Automated payroll system reports provide specific data that can be used to increase efficiency throughout a company. For example, having a clear, precise summary of employee hours worked and over-time usage can be used to identify areas where processes and work-flow can be streamlined.

3. Staying compliant:

A real-time, automated payroll system can manage all compliance and payroll management issues, keeping the company current with ever-changing legal and tax regulations pertaining to equal opportunity employment, veterans, Affordable Care Act, and other policies.

By opting for a solution that provides the best accuracy, reporting and compliance tools for payroll and human resources functions, a company can have a system that handles payroll while helping the business grow. Learn about more features capabilities available with an updated payroll automation system.

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7 Advantages of using Microsoft ERP System for business solutions

Today, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP System) like Microsoft ERP are in place in almost every organization to manage and assist its growth and maintain easy operation. Although the count of ERP implementation and usage increases, some minds still have a question like what can an ERP system bring in for a business? The benefits of implementing an ERP are innumerable. Every ERP package comes with a countless customizable modules and features to improve the process of your business and to assist you overcome the problems faced. Organizations that are not using an ERP solution will definitely end up using a number of software packages for their business solutions that do not merge well with each other and thus leading to lots of work and rework. The time and resources wasted in this process can very well be utilized for other operations of the company and thus the production and standard of business can be improved. A number of software packages in place will create muddles and decrease the efficiency of the organization as a whole. The ERP system integrates and consolidates all the data in your organization in a single, real-time, accurate database so that it is available throughout the company for all departments and sectors of operation. This increases the confidence about the accuracy of data and makes sure all the operations in the organization are up-to-date. Few key advantages of ERP system are explained below.

1.Turns day-to-day processes easier to manage by providing complete visibility:

The Microsoft ERP system provides complete visibility of all processes accomplished in your organization, whether it is sales related, purchase related or inventory related. It integrates all the data available for easier processing and decision making, thus handling the day-to-day activities of your business becomes easier and manageable.

2. Provides coherent workflow within the organization:

Every business runs on different but interrelated departmental activities. There always exists a workflow between these departments which should be maintained properly for smooth operation of the business. The ERP system ensures smooth transfer of information and work between various departments of the organization assisting in quicker and efficient completion of processes. The solution also tracks various interdepartmental activities, making it easier for analysis of statistics and thus decision making.

3. Increases efficiency of processes:

Since the data are stored in a single location instead of distinct databases, it avoids repetitive work and manual entries and thus turning the information highly reliable and accurate for better business solutions. This boosts the efficiency of processes providing consistent data for your work.

4. Optimizes the use of money and resources:

Due to the use of a single database, retrieval and processing of data involve less time and resources. And since all the processes of the organization are integrated to that single system, the use numerous software programs, machines, servers and human resources for each department, and processes are reduced and hence the operating cost of business is reduced. The available excess resources can then be used for other processes of the business.

5. Enhances productivity:

By optimizing the use of resources, the process time for each project handled are reduced. Since the resources are allocated according to a proper and well-designed strategy in an ERP system, the use of resources becomes high and hence it results in high productivity, quicker completion time and enhanced customer satisfaction, meeting the demand.

6. Better communication for globally dispersed organization:

Most of the companies today are multinational or global in nature. Since they are dispersed all around the world a better communication is definitely required for superior business results. Implementing an ERP system for your business ensures better communication and thus enhanced collaboration between different zones of operation.

7. Security of data:

ERP system enables a centralized, precise storage of all the data. The processes executed through the ERP system can be tracked and information can be retrieved easily. In case, any information is lost, the centralized, secured database offers superior back-up of data for smooth operation of your business.

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8 Reasons to invest in the unique Construction Management Software

One of the most challenging industrial sectors, the construction industry, is complicated with numerous minute agitations leading to both time and budget overruns. The construction management has never been a simple task even for giants in the industry. Each new construction project has to be designed, planned and executed appropriately to meet the time and budget goals, overcoming hindrances of seasonal labor force, natural calamities, employees’ accommodation and so on.

Only construction management software can make it easy for this industry to achieve their goals with well-planned strategies and processes. Almost all construction management software programs deliver certain modules and features for better performance of the construction industry.

To add flavor to it, CEM AX Construct, comes with rich functionality, flexible application platforms, and superior customization facility, generating a prominent rise in revenue and bottom line of the companies. This unique construction ERP software is built on top of the most powerful and robust platform of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, assuring a sure step for gaining competitive advantage and thus success.

This construction ERP software, CEM AX Construct focuses on every nook and corner of the construction industry operations and makes the construction management tranquil. The noteworthy modules and features of CEM AX Construct:

Sub-Contracting:

Maintaining purchase orders, invoices, progress and settlement, demand lots of resources and time. In spite of investing your valuable time and resources, the process is illustrious for cost overruns and security issues.

CEM AX Construct handles the situation effortlessly by managing the change orders, tracking payments and certifying the same, and tracking security documents.

Workforce Augmentation:

Staff augmentation is very much necessary for the construction industry. The need for the workforce alters as processes and plans alter. Managing the hired workforce and making payment on time for them are arduous for any company.

The exceptional construction ERP software manages the hired employees and maintains the wages, purchase orders, certifies the payment to be made, integrates it with the existing payroll and molds the process of workforce management.

Advanced Project Management:

Construction companies are disposed to multiple projects all over the year. Maintaining various projects, tracking their payments, progress and completion have never been an easy task. But wasting numerous human resources’ power to handle these issues and spending money on them is not advisable.

CEM AX Construct comes with an advanced project management module to overcome this concern. The module offers applications for better project planning and budget planning. Project document numbering, using productivity codes and contract trend notice, and producing extensive reporting are few of the advanced features offered here.

Advanced Inventory Management:

Handling multiple projects at the same time and preventing cost overruns is an onerous task for any construction company. Proper planning and utilization of inventories can be a great boon for your success.

This is possible with the construction ERP software. The software offers applications to categorize items according to their types and use, declare surplus availability, transfer goods to the required destination, budget validation and so on. This assists you to preclude the project’s time and cost overruns.

Staff Accommodation:

As the construction industry has to handle a lot of alteration in the employee count from project to project, arrangements have to be made for the accommodation for these employees. There are separate accommodation management software programs available, but investing in these for just one issue will not be a wise option.

CEM AX Construct incorporates the benefits of accommodation management software with construction management software, providing double benefits for clients. The features of this module include maintaining the camps and food, camp daily register, tracking food and check-in/checkout transactions, and cost allocation for various projects.

Plant, Machinery and Vehicles (PMV) Management:

Plant, Machinery and vehicles form the major part of the construction budget. If the utilization and cost of these are planned correctly, it almost lays the path for your project’s success.

The construction ERP software, assures the exact utilization and maintenance of PMV. This is possible through the various features available such as PMV request management, surplus declaration, stoppage request for rented properties in case of damage of the product, daily log maintenance and certifying the payments.

Scaffolding:

Scaffolding is an important activity in the construction project. Effective handling of human resources and scaffolding items are significant.

The construction management software provides assistance to maintain the scaffolding items, raise purchase orders, compare purchase orders with actual invoices, declare surplus availability of materials, and dispose scraps as and when needed. With these features, it’s simple to handle the scaffolding process of the construction firm.

Ready-Mix Concrete (RMV) Purchase:

The purchased ready-mix concrete has to be maintained and utilized as per need to avoid wastage of resource. Ready mix concrete ERP can take care of this through the features of threshold declaration, purchase and transportation tracking and payment certifications.

CEM AX Construct delivers the benefits of ready mix-concrete ERP along with the other modules explained.

Other than these modules, the construction ERP software can also be customized according to the intricacy of your business. The above modules and features, evidently justifies the investment in this exceptional construction management software. With the user-friendly interface, efficient project management and improved quality of work the construction business can shine with this construction ERP Software!

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Success factors for ERP Implementation (Microsoft Dynamics AX)

ERP Implementation

Do you know selecting an adept software vendor alone does not assure an efficient and successful ERP implementation? For many organizations, the ERP implementation stage is more tedious and daunting than the selection process. This is evident from the numerous industry press releases explaining massive ERP implementation failures faced by even prominent global organizations, resulting in huge loss to the investment made and alteration in the bottom line as well. With these corroborations, it is no wonder that the organizations are frantic to move forward and implement an ERP. Researches have been made to analyze the core causes of these failures and certain success factors are formed to ensure success in every ERP implementation. The fact is that, the organization where the ERP solution is getting implemented is equally important as that of the software vendor that is implementing the ERP like Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP Implementation Systems. Below are few of the tested Success Factors for your ERP implementation to be successful.

Clear Definition of the Scope of Project and Top Management Support:

Make the top management people of your organization aware of the implementation process and engage them in activities throughout the implementation. Explain the scope, budget and outcome of the project, so that they actively involve themselves in approving necessary resources, motivating the project management people and in making decisions during tough situation especially when the employees do not cooperate in the implementation. The scope of the project should be well defined before the implementation begins. Modifications made to the scope or additional customizations of the software during implementation will lead to confusions for both the software vendor and the employees in your organization. This will result in changes in the budget, cost overruns and thus influencing the success of the project.

Perfect Management of Organizational Changes:

Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning solution is liable to make changes in the organization. Researches have shown that the success of an ERP implementation is directly proportional to the organization’s persistence to undergo changes. Numerous changes ensue during the implementation process and most of the ERP implementation failures are the results of ignorance of these changes happening in the organizational environment. A report can be maintained to track the changes happening in the organizational habits and processes, so that it will be easier for future references. The issues associated with these changes should be properly addressed time to time to avoid confusions or interruptions in the process flow.

Reorganization of Processes and Operations:

No ERP solution will be perfect and universally applicable for all the organizational needs. Almost in every ERP implementation project, there will be a case where you have to decide whether to modify the organizational processes according to the logistics of ERP or to modify the ERP to be compatible with the Organizational processes. It is better to modify the organizational processes according to the logistics of ERP so that the whole benefits of the ERP implementation can be obtained.

Co-operation of Employees:

Since an ERP implementation is sure to bring about numerous changes in the business processes and methods followed, it is must have the cooperation of all employees involved in every business segment of the organization. Cooperation of employees and communication between them are the significant success factors for an ERP implementation.

Timely Training to the Employees and Knowledge Transfer:

Absence of training employees with the new system being implemented will result in a massive failure of the ERP solution. The employees who are accountable to work and whose work are associated with the new system should be trained and explained about the changes in the pattern of their work. The knowledge transfer happening between the software vendor and the employees play a key role in not only making the implementation of ERP successful, but also in extracting benefits of the ERP solution.

User Procedure Documentation:

The employees will be in need of some information and procedures on how to deal with the new system when they start working with it. Respected managers are liable to coordinate with technical consultants and prepare user procedure documents, so that it serves the need of the employees who are learning the system. Without proper resources to gain knowledge about the system, the implemented ERP will be a failure.

System Testing:

The system testing procedure should not only deal with finding if the software works fine, but the actual testing should have a keen eye for analyzing if the software meets the needs and requirements of the business. Many organizations will tend to cut down cost in the testing phase of the implementation cycle due to cost overrun during the initial stages of implementation. But this is not the right practice. Analyzing the system with 4 popular cycles of testing, including pilot test, iterative test, performance series, and mock-go-live will be perfect to gain a successful ERP implementation.

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