5 Corporate New Year’s Resolutions

Written by: Hanna Kounov

It is that time of the year and possibly you are making personal new year’s resolutions but have you ever considered making New Year’s Resolutions for your company or your department. Interesting thought right? This is the perfect time, in most cases year ends have just been completed and you have the big picture right at your fingertips. The point is to not just focus on the bottom line but on a broader spectrum.

So where do you start? Logically, with a review of the previous year. Word of caution, do not call it a post mortem. Post mortem by definition imply that something has died of unknown causes. Avoid this term when looking at the year or at anything else going forward for that matter. The idea for this review is to determine where you have been succeeding and where things can be strengthened. The fact that you are still in business means you are doing something right. The question is how do you make it better? These are the areas where you should focus your New Years Resolution’s.

With this in mind I did some research and found some of the key areas that companies are looking at for 2016:

1. Get to know your customer better.
You may be under the impression that you know your customers needs but things change constantly and what may have been important might not be now. Do you know their pain points and their needs? Find new and innovative ways to engage with your customers. Does your marketing strategy speak to their needs? If not how is that corrected and devise a plan of action. Marketing is important and there are many inexpensive ways to engage with customers in this day and age. Look for ways that work not just for you but also for your customer.

2. Time management.
Why do we fail at time management? Because everything we know about it is geared towards managing “clock time” and what we should really be managing is “real time”. Real time happens in our heads; we create it and anything we create can be managed. The first thing you have to know is how effective your company is at managing time. You could send your key people on time management courses but that would probably be a waste of time (pardon the pun) because they will be working with “clock time”. Perhaps a better way is to ask those same key people to jot down every thought, conversation, task or action they take for one week. At the end of that week look for the places where time is wasted on unproductive things that don’t produce results . Now you have the information to Organize, Prioritize and Schedule. Make sure that 50% of your teams scheduled time is spent on activities that generate results and schedule time for interruptions. Remind your team that it is impossible to get everything done in a day and be okay with that, tomorrow is another day and that is why you are prioritizing. The good news is that 20% of your teams actions will generate 80% of the results so if everyone is concentrating on the things that matter, you are way ahead of the game!

3. Maximize employee contributions.
Forget everything you know about this because there is no “secret”. Simply treat people the way you wish to be treated. Nothing makes up for compassion, mutual respect, kindness, open communication and flexibility. Adhering to this very simple rule will produce happier employees and happy employees engage with customers and each other in a positive way. Let your employees know that they are valued. Communicate the companies goals and values and allow for the people to have a say if they want to. Strengthen your teams skill sets with targeted training. When you invest in your people they feel valued, important and secure in their future with the company.

4. Understand your data.
Your company has a ton of data but other than the financials the rest may be shrouded in mystery. Find out what your key performance indicators are. Once you know what they are find ways to extract, massage and delve into it. Do you really know what is going on? Do you have enough historical information to make informed decisions in regard to budgets and sales targets? If the answer is no put it on your resolutions list and work with the data the whole year. Build a comprehensive Business Intelligence Strategy for the year. You will be tapping into a gold mine.

5. Set your goals for the year.
You do this every year and this one should be no different. The question would be, do you understand the information that is driving the goals? If you didn’t reach the previous year’s goals special care should be given as to why. Were you pushing the right products? Is your customer demographic in a strong position but you still missed out on sales or are you feeling the pinch because of an economic slowdown? Asking the tough questions will help you determine a valid sales target for the year ahead. Break down those lofty goals into milestones to be reached throughout the year. This will allow the team to feel that they are reaching their objective and motivate them. The final word I found in my research is; be realistic. If you are asking your sales force to reach unattainable goals it could have the opposite effect and make them feel defeated before they have started. Realistic goals make them strive and often exceed expectations.


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SYSPRO 7 Upgrade Methodology – Thorough Testing is Key to a Successful Go Live

Written by Sandra Stone:

SYSPRO V7 has a new Database structure, improved SRS printing capabilities, changes to how Custom Form Fields are managed within the system, and many new features and functionality.

These changes make it imperative that a test system and extensive testing of all programs, forms, reports , custom programs, integrations and 3rd party applications be a critical component of the upgrade.

Thorough testing, issue resolution and sign off is the best way to minimize the Go Live risk, and to enable a smooth go live, with minimal disruption to your users and your business.

Phoenix Systems has successfully used this methodology to assist many of our customers in upgrading to SYSPRO V7.

Thorough audit of your infrastructure, applications, documents and reports to ensure all key components are identified and addressed during upgrade. Experienced PM will assist in developing detailed upgrade plan.

  1. Assistance installing TEST SYSRO 7 system and converting your data
  2. Assistance in understanding new structure features and actions required to implement (addresses, Custom Form Fields, Server Side Printing)
  3. Assistance with 3rd Party applications that access SYSPRO database, to ensure version compatible with SYSPRO V7 is installed and tested
  4. Assistance modifying any documents and reports that will be effected by changes in the SYSPRO 7 database structure
  5. Training on new features in SYSPRO V7, and review processes to take advantage of new features, and automation and personalisation capabilities
  6. In depth training available on SYSPRO V7 Securities, System Administration, Power Tailoring
  7. Assistance in complete cycle testing of SYSPRO V7, to ensure all working correctly in preparation for go-live
  8. Assistance in all go live activities, including final database conversion to SYSPRO 7, and end user support
  9. Final review to confirm all is working correctly

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Installing the U/SQL Client Server License for ODBC (SYSPRO ISAM sites)

Written by Jenny Fong:

The ODBC license has a server and a client workstation component. The expiry date for your ODBC license is December 15.

To install the server license, go to the Syspro server.

Start Programs à USQL Client-Server àUSQL Server Manager


Go to the License Manager Tab and click the Create button


Enter the information under the heading U/SQL Server Connection(s) License of your License Form provided by Phoenix Systems. This is case-sensitive. Click Create license when completed.



Click I Agree


Click Yes to overwrite your existing license



Go to the Server Control tab and click Start Server. This will restart the ODBC services on the server.


The traffic light will turn green. Click Save and Exit


The server has now been updated. In order for the workstations to connect to the Syspro database, the ODBC client license must also be updated. Note that each workstation must use a different client license number. It is good practice to record which workstation has been allocated to each ODBC client license.

On the workstation, go to Start Programs à USQL-Client à License Tool


Remove the existing license


Click License Form to enter your new license number



Retrieve your client license from the License Form provided by Phoenix Systems


Enter the information and click Install when completed.   Click I Agree and close the final screen.


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Installing Licenses

Yes, it is that time of the year and once again you have to import your new SYSPRO License.  Occasionally people receive error’s when importing their license.  We would like to offer a few Tips & Tricks if you should run into problems.

Written by Heather MacLaren:

While importing your new license , you receive the warning message:

“One or more of the system level parameter in the license file are different from your current system settings message “

import warning message

You are receiving this message because there has been a change in your license seats.

In the example below, the current system setting has only one license seat for POS users where the new license now has two license seats.

Current and new settings

Prior to importing your new license, review the new license to identify any changes . If there are any changes , you can edit the license configuration by navigating to System Set up >General Tab> Edit License Information

  1. Navigate to System set up > General Tab
  2. Select Edit License information


SYSPRO 7 SYSTEM SET UPSelect OK to the Edit License Information

The number of license seats are now available to edit.

3.  Edit the seats that require changing


4.  Edit seats that require changing.


5.  Select Save and then select Yes in order for the change to take effect.


6. Log into Syspro > Select Company Browse> Highlight company > Select Change


7.  Select Registration Tab and import new license.


If you receive the message when logging into Syspro and cannot access System Set up within Syspro, the IMPACT.ini file can be changed. This file contains the various settings including the System set up settings.

NOTE: Care must be taken when modifying this file and should only be done by an administrator.

  1. Navigate to …:\SYSPRO61\WORK\IMPACT.INI or …\SYSPRO7\WORK
  2. Open in notepad
  3. Change the system settings to match the new license.


4.  Save the change


5.  Log into Syspro > Select Company Browse> Highlight company > Select Change

LOG INTO SYSPRO    6.  Select the Registration Tab and import new license.


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Tip’s & Tricks for SYSPRO Year End including 1099 Taxes

Written by Michelle Cunefare:

As the end of the year approaches, many of you may be reviewing the year end closing procedures for SYSPRO.  Phoenix Systems would like to remind you of some key settings while running the year end in the Accounts Payable and General Ledger Modules.  If your fiscal year is not based upon the calendar year, the information in number 1 below still applies for your December month end close in Accounts Payable if you issue 1099’s.

There are two key settings to remember when processing year end in SYSPRO:

  1.  In Accounts Payable Period End check “Set 1099 accumulated payments to zero” and select start processing. Then process your yearend or December month end if your fiscal year is not based upon the calendar year.  This function takes the accumulated net payments and updates the prior year before resetting to zero for the current year.  This ensures 1099’s can be printed with the correct years’ accumulation.  If your fiscal year is not calendar year end based, then this process should be still be run during the month end processing for December.   The set 1099 function is run as a separate process from the month or year end.  PLEASE NOTEThis function does not create a report and does not give you any message that it was run successfully.  Do not run more than once!   To validate that it was run go into Supplier set-up for a supplier that had payments during the year and validate that the accumulated net pay field is now set to zero. When you subsequently run the 1099 label print then you would select previous year in the 1099 Tax Year Section of the label print options.

Version 6.0:


Versions 6.1 and 7.0:


2.  When you are ready to process the General Ledger year end, make sure you check “Set expense and revenue accounts to zero”.  This ensures that revenue and expense accounts are correctly rolled into retained earnings for the next year.  If you do not check this you will have to roll these accounts manually! 

Version 6.0:


Versions 6.1 and 7.0:


We hope you find this useful.


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Check out this article about Phoenix Systems by Business Elite Canada



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by | January 2, 2014 · 11:37 pm

Integrated Systems-The Way To Go For SMEs

As SME businesses grow, they often realize that certain internal processes fail to keep up with demand. The ability to scale the business effectively and efficiently while maintaining customer service and support is paramount to the success of the business.

Unfortunately, most companies try to solve these problems in the quickest, least expensive ways possible – procuring software that address these individual pain processes.

However, this typically leads to one of the biggest challenges facing growing organizations – a network full of disparate standalone databases or data centres, each running data that does not communicate with each other, and is also not integrated with the company’s ERP.

As the business continues to grow, these un-integrated systems create operational inefficiencies that can hinder the customer relationship and, ultimately, negatively impact the bottom line.

This invariably leads to:

• Wasted Employee Productivity
• Lack of Real-time Visibility
• Integration Cost Centres
• Customer Experience issues

On the other hand, here are some of the key areas in which growing companies can benefit from operating in an integrated environment:

• Process efficiency across the entire organization
• Real-Time Visibility and access to all data
• Significant IT time and cost savings

Using an enabling technology like e.Net to integrate bolt-on software or custom programs with your ERP solution quickly and easily enables companies to operate more seamlessly using one trusted single source of truth.

Sophisticated business software packages help you manage your data and operations. e.Net helps you manage and streamline your sophisticated business software packages.

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Integration Starts With e.Net

We at Phoenix Systems have come to realize that many companies, especially those in supply chain and manufacturing, use at least two business software applications that need to exchange information.

And given the e.Net framework on which SYSPRO is now built, customers are starting to want to connect external devices, such as tablets, smartphones and scanners, to their business software more and more.

Integration facilitates information sharing, reduces duplicate data entry and enables data to be stored in one place for consolidated reporting and analysis.

In other words, integration enables you to establish your Single Source of Truth.

So if you want to:

  •  Allow customers to email you orders, or place orders over the Internet, without having to recapture the information manually…
  • Let trusted suppliers update the status of an order on your system…
  • Perform a stock-take with a handheld device…
  • Enable web access so that your mobile workforce can query stock and place orders while on the road…
  • Integrate an industry-specific application with SYSPRO…

Check out some of the Benefits of SYSPRO e.Net.

In our opinion, e.Net is the absolute BEST value of any SYSPRO module, as it is a one-time purchase whose value can be easily amortized across virtually limitless applications.

Drop us a line or talk to your sales rep if you want examples of some real world applications that our customers are already using through the power of e.Net!

You’ll be glad you did…


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Syspro Gives You Access to Valuable Hidden Data

The ability to access “hidden data” is a must for organizations to execute efficient and rapid product recalls, notes SYSPRO USA President Joey Benadretti.

“While the utilization of ‘big data’ helps a company identify trends and chart future courses, the importance for numerous companies to have access to ‘hidden data’ cannot be overstated,” he says.

“One of the underlying principles of basing business decisions on ‘big data’ is that the ability to access the volume, variety, and velocity of data tends to compensate for data errors”


Manufacturers and distributors in a wide variety of industries (i.e. food, aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical and others) must be able to
connect and correlate relationships, hierarchies and multiple data linkages to facilitate the recall of products that may contain tainted ingredients or faulty parts that could cause harm or even death.

SYSPRO lot traceability and serial tracking data affords extensive and precise visibility up or down the supply chain, as well as providing specific component to parent tracking, thereby providing the means to expedite recalls, should the need arise.

SYSPRO optionally allows specific traceable components to be reserved for specific work-orders, as well as providing the flexibility of specifying the parent traceable numbers at the beginning, during or the end of the manufacturing process.

While the cost of a recall can be devastating on its own, this number excludes the extensive human expense involved in the recalls.

The ability and speed to collect the required data can cut recall time to hours rather than days or weeks and significantly reduce the costs of the recall.

Manufacturers and distributors using SYSPRO also have the option of running a variety of reports that use “hidden data”‘ to provide management with effective decision making tools.

SYSPRO helps many manufacturers and distributors access both ‘big data’ as well as the ‘hidden data’ needed to streamline their supply chains, make effective management decisions and employ extensive ‘backwards and forwards’ component and product traceability for speedy recalls.

For more information on how Phoenix Systems and SYSPRO can help you better manage your hidden data contact us today.

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The Paperless Office

People have been talking up paperless offices ever since the dawn of the digital age.

It’s easy to see why: there are a lot of benefits to going paper-free. Doing so can seriously cut the costs of your firm’s consumables. It can also enable easier collaboration, especially if you maintain an easy-to-access repository for all digital files.



As cloud-storage options become more sophisticated and secure, you’d think every firm would be keen to virtualize their paper trails. However, paper consumption has increased more than 20% over the past two decades, even as new and better tools become available to reduce it. Seems companies just can’t get enough of paper, and many of these are firms that are trying to be paper-free.

Why Do Some Paperless Offices Fail?

Despite good intentions, most firms are still buried in hard copies. So why the disconnect? Phoenix Systems knows the answer:

Because most companies simply don’t think through how they’ll actually go paperless.

Phoenix Systems has helped customers successfully go paperless, but many others make one or more of the following missteps. Avoid them and you’ll have much better odds of finally quashing your firm’s paper addiction.

1. Waiting For the Perfect Moment

As with all changes that are difficult, people tend to put off doing it until conditions are just so. As a result, you find many entrepreneurs vowing to go paperless…just as soon as they have more time, maybe next fall, or when this major project is done. The trouble is, that time never comes.

  2. Becoming Overwhelmed by the Backlog

When a firm decides to go paperless, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the endeavor. Does “paperless” mean no paper on hand at all? What does that mean for those cabinets full of old invoices and purchase orders? Do you have to scan them all?

It’s easy to get daunted by this proposition, but the best way to ease in a paperless mandate is to do it gradually. Scan all new documents, and tackle old documents on an ongoing basis.

If you really do want all your archives digitized, there are some pretty inexpensive ways to do it. Desktop scanners are cheaper and faster than ever and some models can process up to 40 pages per minute. Armed with this equipment, an intern or part-timer can digitize the contents of an entire filing cabinet in a few hours.

3. Failing To Set Document-Management Rules

If you’re going to go paperless, it’s in your best interest to set some rules about what your organization needs to keep, and for how long.

A good document-management policy will define all these factors, and will factor in legal considerations (e.g., define how long you must hold on to receipts for tax purposes), as well as company preferences (e.g. determining whether certain types of files aren’t worth keeping).

4. Clinging On To Paper Copies

Nothing quite defeats the purpose of virtualizing all documents like keeping hard copies around, too. Blame discomfort with reading on a screen, blame the standard “we’ve always done it this way” attitudes, but far too many paperless initiatives are sidelined when staffers insist on clinging on to paper copies.

For more information on how to go paperless, contact your Phoenix Systems sales rep.



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