Thursday, March 30, 2017

Business Intelligence - Dashboards.

We have designed Business Intelligence dashboard to help managers and CEOs to monitor their company well. However I noticed that many entrepreneurs are still not using the dashboard as much as I thought. I believe this indicate probably that the dashboard is not very helpful or entrepreneurs are still struggling with daily survival and dashboard is still too far ahead to see.
Anyway, we are going to look again into the design:
1. It must be fast - display in a few seconds. Convenient. Fast.
2. It must help the managers and CEOs to understand things. It must help CEOs to know that they are below certain target. They also indicate what to do in order to  improve the situation.
3. It must have action items or suggestions that CEOs could do. The KPI is central to a good BI since we must know what is our target and where is the lacking.

Let us look at the definition of business intelligence:
The term Business Intelligence refers to the systems and processes that help to simplify and use information in an organization to enable faster and easier decision making by providing key information to the decision makers in a timely and efficient manner. Often, business intelligence is confused with the tools that simplify the process. It is necessary to understand that business intelligence goes beyond these tools, which are only the technology that streamline the process of business intelligence. In recent times, the concept of business intelligence has gained huge significance in every organization. To understand this significance, we first need to understand the benefits of business intelligence.

What are the benefits of Business Intelligence:
1. Helps align the organization towards its key objectives
In the first place we must have KPI in our company. The KPI should be part of business intelligence data so that the BI can be part of things that the management monitor so that it will help the company achieve the objective.
2. Enable faster decision making, have facts.
Data must be available fast and decision can be made based on facts. The company must have a system such that data are available immediately.
3. Combines multiple sources of data for decision making.
Data must be available from different sources - sales, hr, marketing, financial ratios such that decision making will be efficient and accurate.
4. Efficient collection of data
Data must be collected efficiently and real time or close to real time. The efficient collection of data will give the CEO/managers the correct data in timely manner so that their decision is efficient and effective. A small aadvantage against competitors will translate into big gains in  business.
 
We designed OfficeCentral so that data can be collected efficiently, almost instantly from various angles of business. The various modules are collection data all the time:
CRM -collection sales data, customer data, trend, sales activity
Accounting - sales, profit, cost, debtors, creditors, financial ratios
HR/Payroll  - staff data, salary, claims, ratios
POS - transactions, trend
By combining the various data we can build Business Intelligence that an give the advantage to the CEOs and managers so that this small advantage will translate in much bigger business growth.

This is some of the things that we will do to improve the BI:
1. Accounting data - will be processed monthly and summary data will be kept in another table. This will speed up the various dashboards and financial ratios data.
2. KPI module will be added. The BI will be closely monitored as compared to KPI data. The KPI data iteslf is available and updated instantly.
3.  Data from CRM, Accounting and HR and Payroll will be combined to generate certain indications such that CEOs have better insight. Obviously the KPI target will be central to what is important to monitor.

Wait for this new version of BI from OfficeCentral.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Growing your business" series. Online experience sharing on webinars

We have been using the traditional method of lectures, seminars and workshop on the theme of "ICT For Growth" for he last five years and we have reached thousands of entrepreneurs, managers and staff.  This method is very effective since you have the face to face meeting with your audience. This is the behaviour of Asian. Relationship type. Knowing who you are. However this method have its drawbacks:
1. You can only talk to 20-50 people in one time. It will take 100 seminars to meet 2,000 people ( assuming the number of 20 per seminar).
2. It is expensive to run - venue rental, cost per head is high, food, drink
3. It takes a lot of time - travel, not convenience, half a day, one day seminar.
4. Most seminar will be in KL area. Other areas are very costly - we did seminar all over Malaysia. JB, BP, Muar, Melaka, Seremban, Senawang, Kuala Pilah, Bangi,  Shah Alam, Sentul, Wangsa Maju, Klang, Ipoh, Alor Star, Kangar, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Jengka. We even do seminar in Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and other major towns.  Due to cost, the seminar outside Kuala Lumpur is not that frequent.
This is where we will move in the next stage.
We will use the webinar concept, where thousands of people can benefit. The advantages are:
1. Many people can join at tye same time.Thousands can join.
2. It is low cost. Seminar can be free. Many topics.
3. No need to travel. You can log in from home, office, anywhere.
4. Very convenient. Save cost.
5. Seminar can be short, say 1 hour sessions. You can do our work after that. It do not interrupt your daily work.
6. You can ask via chat. Your questions wil be answered during the webinar.

The following are some of the "Growing Your business" lecture and knowledge and experience sharing series:
1. How to use CRM to grow your business
2. How cloud and mobile technology can help you grow you business.
3. Entrepreneurs - building up million dollar business.


We also have country specific lectures for India GST:
1. GST in India - how to implement in your company.
2. How to do GST transactions - issue invoice, credit note, GSTR2
3. How to do GST transactions - receive invoice, credit note, GSTR1, GSTR1A
4. How to do GST transactions - issue invoice, receive invoice, government feedback - GSTR1, GSTR2, GSTR3.
5. How to do GST transactions - upload debtors, upload creditors

We will also have technical series:
1. How to use Accounting system
2. How to use HR system
3. How to use Payroll System
4. How to use CRM System
5. How to use POS system
6. How to use Distribution Management System
7. How to use mobile Apps - Staff
8. How to use mobile Apps -Sales Management
9. How to use mobile Apps -Outsourcing
10. How to use mobile Apps - Point of Sales

We will also have some specific technical series:
1. How to do automatic bank reconciliation
2. How to do mapping between CRM and Accounting
3. How to do mapping between payroll and Accounting
4. How to do mapping between POS and Accounting
 
We will inform you on the various dates of the webinars.


How wizards will help your users to start using the system without having to come to training classes?

Wizards is supposed to be very clever guy that will help you solve any problems. This is what we call our online intelligent help module.
The problem when you start using the OfficeCentral is the complexity of the software. The same software can be used by user in Malaysia, Indonesia, India or other countries. Obviously setting is very important to tell the system what country you are located, what currency, your accounting period, your working hours etc. Most users need to come for training to do the setting.
I notice that probably more than one hour will be used to do global setting, module setting, user setting, format setting etc.
The wizard wll solve this problem:
When you log into OfficeCentral, you will see "wizard". Click the wizard.
The you will be guided by the document,. Just follow the instruction.
The instruction is live.
For example:
1. Select your country
The system will show the current setting,
and if no setting, will show not set yet.
Then you seect your country,
example select "INDIA"

2. Select your currency.
The system will show the current setting,
and if no setting, will show not set yet.
Then you seect your currency,
example select "Rs"

3. Sect your accounting period:
The system will show the current setting,
and if no setting, will show not set yet.
Then you set your accounting period,
example set Start "January" " 2017", End "December", "2017"

And so on.
The difference between wizard and user manual is in user manual you will be told what to do,
and you log in into the system and do the setting your self. It will work. But most users rarely read the manual. They just log in and try to figure out what to do on the go.
In wizard, you do it within the wizard document and follow the live guide.
The wizard will even tell you what is the current setting.

Wait when we launch the wizard soon.

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Managing Inventory is important to save time and prevent losses. Inventory management system is a complex software.

We have been tinkering with our Inventory Management system for a while now. However I a still not satisfied with what we achieved. Probably the task is quite complicated.
This is what we need to take care of:
Pricebook:
1. This is where we keep the list of products that we sell.
There is also a challenge here:
Example:
Product description: T-Shirt Selangor 2017
Variant1: Colour - red, blue, green
Variant2: Size - Small, medium, large, XL
Variant3: Style  - Cotton,
You can see that for one product item, we have to handle three variants.

We we should do is to register every variant as a separate SKU and separate barcode.
This is the method of inventory management and SKU management.
So you will have every product and variants have different barcode and SKU number.

After this you need to handle the packages:
1. Individual unit
2. Package 1 - 1 dozen
3. Package 2- 4 units
How do we handle this?

First we need to know what is the content of the package:
So we need to register the package:
For example the  package 1: 1 dozen
We register the Package 1 as another SKU with own barcode.
We go to package setting:
Now we register the items in this package:
The system will list all the items,
and we need to select the items and variants and the quantity for this variant.
For example:
Package 1 - 1 dozen
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: S   Style: Cottton  Qty: 2
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: M   Style: Cottton  Qty: 2
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: L  Style: Cottton  Qty: 2
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red    Size: S   Style: Cottton  Qty: 2
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red   Size: M   Style: Cottton  Qty: 2
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red   Size: L  Style: Cottton  Qty: 2

From this we would be able to know what is the content of the package.
You notice that all individual content of the package is also registered in Pricebook as a unique SKU.

When we run the inventory report we can dig deeper:
For example:
We have:
 Package 1   Qty: 3

But we can also get detailed quantity based on individual content,
Which is:
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: S   Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: M   Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Blue   Size: L  Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red    Size: S   Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red   Size: M   Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Selangor T-Shirt 2017 - Color: Red   Size: L  Style: Cottton  Qty:6
Once your Pricebook design is able to handle variant and packages,
then we can start looking into Inventory Tracking:

For example in Point of Sales:
We can display product item
 Example: T-Shirt Selangor 2017
Then select the variant:
Colour:
Size:
Style:
Then select quantity:

By doing this the POS display will show only one image called T-Shirt Selangor 2017
You select the variant to fix the actual order.

We can also sell package:
Package 1:
Which contains 1 dozen items,
which we can give the list from pricebook.

We can see the inventory transactions and inventory balance:
 For example:
Package 1 - Inventory Out - Qty 1, Balance: Package 1 - 6

The SKU is the unique code for every package or item.
Go to the SKU and deduct or add as required.
For package, the SKU contanins other SKUs as defined in pricebook.
You can have the report for individual SKU from this method.

We will let you know when this version is launched.
 This will improve the way we show things in our POS.

Monday, March 13, 2017

How to handle 10,000 new users of OfficeCentral in India within three months? We will be using webinar to do this. All online lectures and workshop will rely on this technology. Wait for the webinar schedule.

We have been having intense discussion on how to handle 10,000 new users within the next three months in India. Could the number goes to 100,000? Or reaching 1,000,000? You will see  later.
This is what we wll do:
1. We will deliver webinar to all our new users. They will learn about GST, how to start up OfficeCentral, how to do transactions and how to generate the GSTR3 report from the webinar.
2. The webinar will be available every day monday to friday.
3. Time is from 9:00am to 10:00am online lecture, plus 30 minutes Q&A.
4. If they miss the day lecture they can look at the reorded webinar ad search the titles that they missed.
5. Using this method, we can have thousands of users log in into the webinar every day. The target 10,000 numbers trained will be achieved. Probably 100,000 or 1 million can be trained using this method without straining our resources.

These are the webinar titles:
1. Understanding GST India - Introduction
2. Using OfficeCentral - start up, using start up wizard. Setting Chart of Account, default PERS compliance, Intro to various modules, Upload data to Debtors, Creditors, Input data to CoA.
3. Revenue - cash sales, issuing invoice, credit note, within state transactions - generate GSTR3 report, generate P&L report, Cash Flow
4. Expenses - cash purchase, receiving invoice, receive credit note, within state transactions - Generate GSTR3 report, generate P&L, cash flow
5. Combined transaction - revenue, expenses, interstate transactions - generate GSTR3, GSTR2, GSTR1 reports, P&L, Balance Sheet. cash flow.
6. Receiving government feedback - input tax approval, output tax, interest, fines - generate GSTR3 report after receiving government report.

We will also give webinar on other modules related to GST:
7. Using CRM - from quotation to invoice to receipt. Import to Accounting
8. Using Point of Sales - from sales and GST. Import to Accounting
9. Using Purchasing - from purchase, Input Tax - import to accounting

We also have webinar on other OfficeCentral modules:
10. Using OfficeCentral CRM - Pricebook, Inventory, Leads, Account Management
11. Using OfficeCentral CRM - Setting KPI and monitoring it. Meeting, Quotation to invoice
12. Using OfficeCentral CRM - Using CRM Leads Intelligence, KPI Dashboards
13. Using OfficeCentral HR - setting and configuration, staff profile
14. Using OfficeCentral HR - leave, movement, claims, org chart, attendance interface to devices, interface to payroll.

15. Using OfficeCentral Payroll - setting and configuration
16. Using OfficeCentral Payroll - process payroll, addition, deduction, interface to accounting
17. Using OfficeCentral Finance - claims, advance, payment vouchers

The titles 2-6 will be repeated every week s that users that missed the webinar can join the next week webinar. They can also listen again to recorded webinar.
The followings are the repeated titles every week:
The lecturers may change on different week. The content will be the same.
2. Using OfficeCentral - start up, using start up wizard. Setting Chart of Account, default PERS compliance, Intro to various modules, Upload data to Debtors, Creditors, Input data to CoA.
3. Revenue - cash sales, issuing invoice, credit note, within state transactions - generate GSTR3 report, generate P&L report, Cash Flow
4. Expenses - cash purchase, receiving invoice, receive credit note, within state transactions - Generate GSTR3 report, generate P&L, cash flow
5. Combined transaction - revenue, expenses, interstate transactions - generate GSTR3, GSTR2, GSTR1 reports, P&L, Balance Sheet. cash flow.
6. Receiving government feedback - input tax approval, output tax, interest, fines - generate GSTR3 report after receiving government report.

We wil start this in April 2017.
You may look into this method when you find that your traditional strategy in training your users are not working due to the volume.
We have been using our traditional method for the last 4 years. Almost every week we have the OfficeCentral training. We have trained thousands of users during the last four years.
The question is can we do the training of 10,000 users in 3 months using the traditional method?

360 degrees Performance Appraisal. Many organisation still use this method including my own company. However I believe we should move on to more responsive approach..

360 degrees Performance Appraisal.
I have been using this method for many years. Probably it is easy to use, but is it really working? We will discuss about it in the later part.
You know that I am always proposing KPI that you should see every day and get updated instantly, rather than doing it once a year.
However since many people are still using this I will write about it. In fact we will add that into one of the standard OfficeCentral module -KPI module- Personal Assessment 360.

Introduction:
The 360 degrees Performance Appraisal method was first used in the 1940s. Analogous to the multiple points on a compass, the 360 method provides each employee the opportunity to receive performance feedback from his or her supervisor, peers, staff members, co-workers and customers.

Which category of staff use Performance 360?
Normally for Managers, senior levels. The work is complex and he interact with many group of people.

Who do the assessment
The following person do the 360 assessment.
  1. Self appraisal -
    gives a chance to the employee to look at his/her strengths and weaknesses, his achievements, and judge his own performance
  2. Superior’s appraisal-
    Superior’s appraisal forms the traditional part of the 360 degree appraisal where the employees’ responsibilities and actual performance is rated by the superior.
  3.  Subordinate’s appraisal -
    gives a chance to judge the employee on the parameters like communication and motivating abilities, superior’s ability to delegate the work, leadership qualities etc
  4. Peer appraisal -
    the correct feedback given by peers can help to find employees’ abilities to work in a team, co-operation and sensitivity towards others.
The advantages of 360 appraisal:
  • Offer a more comprehensive view towards the performance of employees.
  • Improve credibility of performance appraisal.
  • Such colleague’s feedback will help strengthen self-development.
  • Increases responsibilities of employees to their customers.
  • The mix of ideas can give a more accurate assessment.
  • Opinions gathered from lots of staff are sure to be more persuasive.
  • Not only manager should make assessments on its staff performance but other colleagues should do, too.
  • People who undervalue themselves are often motivated by feedback from others.
  • If more staff takes part in the process of performance appraisal, the organizational culture of the company will become more honest. 
The disadvantages of 360 appraisal:
  • Taking a lot of time, and being complex in administration
  • Extension of exchange feedback can cause troubles and tensions to several staff.
  • There is requirement for training and important effort in order to achieve efficient working.
  • It will be very hard to figure out the results.
  • Feedback can be useless if it is not carefully and smoothly dealt.
  • Can impose an environment of suspicion if the information is not openly and honestly managed. 
I normally do this to decide on increment in my company. We also do it to promote certain staff. However I  believe there must be more than this. This requires another thought. If you loom around, you will see so many design and method people use to do the staff evaluation. Like I said before, I always prefer a system that the staff gets feedback immediately, not once a year.

Coming back to design, we will do the following:
Group:
1. Competency
2. Work Habit
3. Work Attitude
4. Work Performance
5. Deliverables, project management
6. Interpersonal skills

The following are sample questionaires:
We look at various angles and give mark for the item.:


Competency:
1. Core competency
2. problem solving skill
3. Writing skill
4. Speaking skill
5. Learning new skill

 Work Habit
1. Initiative
2. Dependability
3. Perseverance
5. Orderliness



Work Attitude
1. Responsibility
2. Following policies
3. Willingness to work extra hours

 


Work Performance
1. Quantity
2. Versability
3. Speed

 

 Deliverables, project management
1. Deadline
2. Resourcefullness
3. Cost control




Interpersonal skills
1. Client perception
2. Customer handling skill
3. HR management
4. Business Skill



You can make your own list and what is important for you.

In this example, you already decided what is important and give mark between 0-5

You will see the result  from:
1. Himself ( self assessment)
2. From his boss
3. From his peers ( average numbers)
We do not give to customers nd his subordinates to evaluate him.

With that numbers we can see the evaluation,
and make certain decision.

The weakness is that the evaluation takes a lot of time,
and we do it once a year grudgingly.

The question is,
Can we get the data automatically from the system?
We we get feedback faster,
Can the company benefit from getting better performance?

In the end the objective is that the company will benefit from higher performance of the staff,
the staff benefit from the feedback that he will perform better.

The next question is, do all this performance numbers supporting the company strategic plan?
What are company strategic plan?
1. We want the sales to move to RM4.0 million in 2017
2. We want the users to reach 20,000 by the end of 2017
3. We want customer satisfaction to be increased to 90%
4. We want staff satisfaction to move to 90%
5. We want to reach to 20,000 new potential customers.

All this personal assessment will cover certain part of the company requirements,
but not helping into strategic target of the company.
That is why some people will use Balance Score Card to help them guid the direction of the staff towards the specific objectives.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How do you build KPI management for the whole of your company? KPI for sales department is much more straight forward, KPI for the whole company is need much more thought.

Building KPI for the sales department is quite straight forward.
You look at sales funnel concept and set your KPI and the sales process in place.
Of course another component is your company sales process must be automated, using a system. No need to ask your sales staff to write report at the end of the month.
Looking at sales funnel, you will have the following KPI:
1. How many leads ( and from which source - event, exhibition, facebook, online marketing etc)
2. How many calls - how many days from leads date
3. How many sales meeting
4. How many quotation, how $ quotation
5. How many become Orders, how much $
6. How many becme invoices , how much $
These are the normal KPI for the sales people.
In fact if you use ny CRM software, you will see the KPI and the Process flow.
OfficeCentral also have these features.

The KPI for the whole company is much more complicated.
Most leading companies worldwide will use Balanced Score Card ( BSC) 
BSC says that the KPI can be looked from four perspective:
1. Financial
2. Customer
3. Lifelong learning
4. Internal process.
Every one of the staff performance will have impact to overall company performance.
Normally every staff will have between 4-6 KPI targets.

Staff level:
KPI 1 -
KPI 2 -
KPI 3 -
KPI 4 -
KPI 5 -

What is the target
What is the unit of measurement
What is the weightage

Department level:
The performance of the staff will have impact to the department performance
The calculation is based on the various staff KPI and the weightages.

Staff 1 composite KPI, weightage
Staff 2 composite KPI, weightage
Staff 3 composite KPI, weightage
Staff 4 composite KPI, weightage

The result will be he KPI for the whole department.
What is the weightage of this department,
the calculation will have impact to the performance of he whole company performance.

Department 1 composite KPI, weightage
Department 2 composite KPI, weightage
Department 3 composite KPI, weightage
Department 4 composite KPI, weightage

What is the weightage of this department,
the calculation will become the performance of the whole company.

Most companies will fumble during the building of the KPI process.
1. What is the correct measurement?
2. What is the correct weightage?
3. Are we giving the correct hings to do?
4. Is it really helping the company to achieve the objective?

A good KPI will have the following characteristic:
 The measurement should come from the process within the company.
If you are doing it manually, i.e everyone have to key in their work or numbers manually every week/every month, the system will fail.
Try to have a system to automatically track the KPI.