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Here at CodaBears, we hold regular internal sessions to educate ourselves on new technology, software updates, and other industry information.  Sometimes though, our education is for fun.  Recently the team learned the basics of belly dancing!  A great break from our normal routine and a fun way to spend time together.  We all agreed, our teacher made us work harder than any gym workout we’ve done.  So remember, when working hard, sometimes it’s good to take break and clear your mind and enjoy LIFE.
CodaBears develops utilities and customizations based on customer feedback.  One area addressed time and again is the lack of clarity for inventory transactions when the posting engine runs in Epicor 9 or 10.  The Description of “Periodic Posting Process” fails to generate the detail needed, creating the necessity for further drill-down to get to useful information.
 
Custom posting rules can be created to give your financial team a snapshot of inventory transactions.  Below is an example of the posting before and after the customization has been applied.
Installation of this enhancement takes only a few hours.  To learn more about the program or to request a quote for the program and installation, call or email a CodaBears Project Manager today (630) 672-7688 or pm@codabears.com
Much ado is made over versions 10 and 10.1 of the Epicor software, and CodaBears fully supports uplifts and re-implementations.  But if your organization isn’t ready for the move to the latest version of Epicor that may leave you wondering where you stand.  Often, organizations maintain a version level due to budgetary constraints; it’s also not unheard of to find companies that are enjoying a stable software environment with a version that is meeting all the ERP needs.  
 
CodaBears staff maintains a stance of continuing to assist customers no matter which version or database platform is installed.  In fact, we have consultants with experience from version 5.1 through version 10.  Consulting requests for companies choosing to hold the line for ERP software version basically fall into two categories: Improve Performance or (re)Educate the team to make the most of the base system.
 
Improve Performance
Even though your organization may be enjoying the stability of an older version of Vantage, databases grow and operating systems expire.  Do you have routine maintenance scheduled to keep the system operating optimally?  There are tools available for checking the database health such as running a table analysis to identify if the scatter factor is within reasonable limits.  In some instances a dump and reload of the database may be warranted, or even necessary.  If it’s been over two years since the uplift to the version you’re operating on and you’re not looking at an uplift in the next 12 months, put the dump and reload on your list of items to consider.
 
Whether your database is Progress or SQL, the prior versions of Vantage and Epicor (pre 10) were still handled via a Progress layer of programming.  CodaBears has professionals experienced in eking every performance enhancement possible from the system.  Additionally, we have worked with multiple customers to reinstall the software on an updated operating system; removing the risk of expiring operating systems affecting the organization.
 
Improve Utilization of Base Installation
While the version of Vantage or Epicor your team is utilizing may be stable, there are always other factors that impact the utilization of ERP.  Employee turnover, changes in production, unexpected growth in sales are just a few examples.  Even if these factors aren’t issues for your organization, the original education the team had recedes with each passing year.  Projects that were set aside in the flurry of implementation may have fallen off the radar due to lack of time or understanding of the software.
 
CodaBears will work with your team to put together a plan for improved utilization of the software you already own.  As we support all versions, we’re familiar with functionality that your team may either have lost sight of, or may never have been introduced to.  We offer solutions for incorporating procedures into base functionality.  In working with customers, our focus is always on education as a first line of defense for improving the functionality of the software.
 
Even without taking advantage of newer versions of the ERP, there are tools and utilities that can enhance the software.  A frequently requested customization is for automated email notifications for customer facing documents.  This is an especially popular option as it saves time (and money) as well as improving customer relations. An example is an automated email for Packing Slips.  When shipping completes the transaction for shipping, the packing slip is generated as a pdf, attached to an email created with the email address from the ShipTo table.  Standard text is incorporated, such as customer name, ship date, tracking # and hyperlink to the shipping company’s webpage.  Shipping personnel can add in any specific text before hitting send.  Quite a few organizations include an automatic cc to customer service or sales to further assist in the chain of communication.  Calls from customers seeking shipping confirmation are significantly reduced and staff time researching shipments is saved as well.  This simple customization is readily available in versions 6.1 and up.
 
You are Not Alone
CodaBears keeps at least two consultants in office every workday so that customers have access to on the spot assistance in the event of an emergency or when you’re at a sticking point working with the software.  We are available to work your team to make the most of whatever version of Vantage or Epicor you have installed.  Help is only a phone call away.
If you’ve found yourself in the thick of an uplift to Epicor 10 and still needi to transition BAQ’s and BPM’s to the new environment, CodaBears has classes to get you and your team up to speed efficiently, cost effectively and at your convenience.  The course is taught to your organization, with multiple members of your team welcome to participate, and the class scheduled when your team needs.  Optionally we’ll review the skills on your Epicor 10 Test installation. Here are the new classes available:
 
Converting BAQ Reports to SSRS
Converting BAQ Reports to SSRS will walk through using subqueries, using first, last, and each in Epicor 10.  Additionally, you’ll cover the basics of converting BAQ Reports to SSRS Reports.  SSRS Reports section will include review of a typical report server layout, the folders and locations of standard reports, a view of security for reports and an overview of other options on your report server.  The Report Builder overview of this training will review data sources, datasets, tables and expressions.  Finally, you’ll walk through changing a standard SSRS and saving a new report style.
 
Business Process Management
The Business Process Management (BPM) course reviews the types of BPMs, business objects and methods, using traces for BPMs, using the BPM designer, availability of workflow elements in the BPM designer, multiple dirty rows, using a BPM to call Service Connect workflows and more. 
 
Scheduling and Customizing Examples
These two courses are taught specific to your team on an appointment basis, CodaBears will consider requests for further customization of the material such as incorporating BAQs or BPMs specific to your installation.  Not only will your team walk away with enhanced knowledge and skillset, but the first couple of items on your uplift checklist will be crossed off.  To schedule the training sessions or learn more about customizing the training, call or email a CodaBears Project Manager today (630) 672-7688 or pm@codabears.com
CodaBears is in the midst of the second round of a series of SQL, SSRS and C# courses.  Due to demand, we have set up a third series of these courses.  Full course outlines and dates are available through the links below.   Discounts are available when taking advantage of the full series of classes.  If you have four or more people in your organization we can set up a special session just for your team.  Training is also available onsite if you desire.  Sign up today.
Norman Hutchins at Howell Labs said “Without the classes from CodaBears (SQL, SSRS & C#), there is no way we would be able to upgrade from Epicor 9.05 on Progress to Epicor 10, this fall.  Fred was a great teacher, knowledgeable and patient, great at explaining things and answering questions as they came up.  Being able to do classes remotely was the icing on the cake.  I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to get up to speed quickly.”
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