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It's About Time! The Journyx Blog
BusinessTips.com, is a blog of ideas, tips, advice, lessons learned and more from business leaders and CEO's all over the world. They've taken "thought leadership" literally and have made it their goal to give the best articles and ideas out there to the masses. They’ve even been as kind as to publish articles from our very own CEO, Curt Finch.
This article, “What's Your Company's DNA”, written by George Meszaros of Success Harbor, paints a fully formed picture of how a company's core values tells the public how they want to be interacted with right from the beginning. Click here to read the full article.
INTRODUCING JOURNYX 9.5
Does this sound familiar?:
My standard rates are too general – I can’t forecast project costs.
I need to know changes to project costs early enough to make adjustments.
Am I missing out on profits?
With Journyx 9.5’s custom project costing and billing rates, you will:
Know your costs more accurately than your competitors.
Know project cost variances early enough to act.
Know next quarter’s costs this quarter.
Have you felt like this?:
My invoices are being rejected because they’re hard to read.
I need to get paid faster.
I want my customer to have confidence in my invoices.
Journyx 9.5 lets you track varying contract bill rates, so that you can:
Sail through the billing verification process.
Bill correctly the first time.
Get your money faster.
And there’s even more. For a full feature list for Journyx v9.5 or to watch a demo, click the button below.
What will you do with the time and money you save with Journyx?
In our previous article, we looked at the concept of a KPI, or 'key performance indicator.' Specifically we looked at how important it is to use KPIs to measure the health and progress of your company. ‘Billability’, for example, is one of the most critical KPIs that virtually every company should be tracking.
In this follow up post, we'll look at two other KPIs that provide crucial information: adherence to estimate and percentage of projects profitable.
1. Adherence to Estimate
Many contractors or consultants do a poor job with bidding appropriately because lack of knowledge or budgetary insight. In order to avoid underbidding or overbidding, you can use the formula [(E-A)/E] where:
E = Estimated hours to complete project
A = Actual hours used to complete project
Improving this number can be difficult for some companies until they understand a simple truth: similar projects often have a strikingly similar ratio of early phase cost to overall project cost. The early phases of a project are usually referred to as the “requirements,” “design,” or “specification” phases. If after carefully tracking time on a batch of similar projects, you find that the first two phases usually take about 10% of the total project time, you can then use that data to predict the length of future projects.
By tracking time and subsequently learning that the first two phases of Projects 1 and 2 took approximately 10% of all project time to complete, the projected length of Project 3 becomes easy to determine. If the first two phases of Project 3 take 1.8 months to complete, you can estimate that the entire project will be completed in 18 months. This project estimation technique has proven itself to be extremely accurate for similar projects in a variety of companies.
2. Percentage of Projects Profitable
“Percentage of projects profitable” is a KPI that can really affect your business in a vastly positive way. As an analogy, consider British Petroleum (BP) and its experiences in drilling for oil. BP created a strategic vision for the company called “no dry holes.” Drilling for oil and not finding it is expensive. Rather than try to make up for all the dry holes by finding an occasional gusher, BP decided to try to never have a dry hole in the first place. Changing the attitude that dry holes were an inevitable cost of doing business fundamentally changed its culture in very positive ways.
If you set a strategic goal for your company of “no unprofitable projects,” it will change the nature of discussions in your business. For example, it empowers frontline employees to legitimately push back when a project is being taken on for political reasons. Conversely, having the attitude that the winners will make up for the losers doesn’t do this.
Measuring this KPI is easy because you can obtain direct per-project cost data from your timesheet system. Correctly applying indirect data (such as sales or accounting time) to the direct costs is a bit more complicated. Connecting all of this to revenue data gives you per-project profitability. Once you have that data, you can work on your KPI of percentage of profitable projects to try to maximize it. The formula for this KPI for a given time period (usually a quarter or a year) is:
# of profitable projects/# of projects
Other KPIs that are useful include:
▪ Calendar time to complete a job (because overhead costs increase substantially due to delays)
▪ Percentage of customers satisfied
▪ Time to complete initial free estimate
Unfortunately, many businesses that track time and attendance for payroll and billing overlook the other benefits such data can provide. Real-time access to relevant KPIs, however, can give early warnings of project problems and lead your company to faster growth and more profitability.
Happy Monday, all! If you're anything like us as this season winds ever-so-closer to the Holidays, you're racking your brain on how to best prep for your yearly corporate audit. Well, lucky for you (and 'tis the season), we've put together this list of best resources and tools to help you get ready! Check out these blogs, checklists and official government sites to get you on your feet (and keep you off your toes) and ready to go for the audit season.
- NYC.gov - Preparing for the audit: what should I do?
- WiseGeek.com - How do I prepare for a corporate audit?
- NOLO Law - How to prepare for a business audit
- Wayne State - Audit Prep
- National Council of Nonprofits - Preparing for the audit
- AWCnet - Audit Prep Checklist
Want more you can find on social media? Check out these groups to follow and join below!
Executive Street – The Vistage Blog, is just a small subset of the massive international meetup and networking group of executives around the world. But don’t let the “small subset” part fool you; the blog is a convergence of knowledge, advice, the latest industry trends and more, updated on a daily basis from who better than the industry leaders themselves. They’ve even been as kind as to publish articles from our very own CEO, Curt Finch.
This article, “Defensiveness Costs Your Company Profits”, written by Andrew Bielat of Profit Hawk, gives us a window of just how detrimental defensiveness, finger-pointing and excuses can be to a team’s success. Click here to read the full article.
Time and attendance data is a necessary part of any organization's operations, but it is often misunderstood and underutilized. Outside of payroll, many business owners fail to see the benefits this data can provide to their business, whether in the form of measuring progress, increasing billable time or optimizing project profitability. In this two-part series, we will look at how you can put this data to work for you.
Key Performance Indicators
A 'key performance indicator' (KPI) measures an organization's progress towards a goal. When leveraged correctly, KPIs can have a huge impact.
The first step is to determine what your organization's goals are. It may be increased profitability, reduced number of defective parts per thousand, maintaining a certain percentage of customer satisfaction or increased revenue per store. Once this is established, you can create a KPI to help you measure your progress.
The second step is to make sure your KPI is measurable. "Make customers happier" is not an effective KPI without some way to measure the satisfaction of your customers. "Be the most convenient drugstore" won't work either if there is no way to measure convenience. In addition, it is essential that your KPI definition remain stable from year to year. For example, "increase utilization rates” needs to be more specific and address such things as whether to measure by hours or by dollars.
Keep in mind that a KPI is part of a SMART goal—one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. For example, consider the goal, "Increase average revenue per sale to $10,000 by January." In this case, “average revenue per sale” is the KPI. This goal wouldn’t be SMART if it wasn’t achievable, if the word “January” was left out, or if it was not relevant (e.g. if this was a portion of the organization that had nothing to do with sales or marketing, such as human resources).
Simple and Useful KPIs
There are three basic KPIs that you should be able to calculate from any time and data labor source.
- Billability. This is often termed the utilization rate. It is the percentage of time in a given period during which employees are working in a revenue-producing capacity. You must configure your timesheet system to track whether or not work is considered billable to the customer. Once you have this information, utilization for any period, group or person is found by the formula “B divided by T”, where:
B = Billable hours for the employee/group in the period
T = All hours worked for the employee/group in the period
Most organizations try to keep their utilization rate above 70%. A higher rate is better, until you reach a point where administrative tasks that are necessary to the business—like tracking time—are not being accomplished. Then you know you’ve pushed it too far.
In our next article, we'll consider the remaining two basic KPIs: adherence to estimate and percentage of projects profitable.
Happy Monday, all! It’s officially October and that means that we’re coming down to the wire on our projects, our pipelines and other major deadlines. If you’re feeling a little more stressed than usual, we’ve got the resources for you to completely shake it off and look at your deadlines with a new view.
- CIO - 11 Project Management Tips for Setting and Managing Expectations
- PMTIPS.com – The 3 Dimensions of Project Manager Competencies
- 99U – Top 10 Characteristics of Great Project Managers
- Forbes - Four Project Management Lessons You Can Learn From Software Engineers
- TIME.com – The Mistake Busy People Make
- INC.com – 10 Apps That Make Managing Projects Remotely a Breeze
Want more you can find on social media? Check out these groups to follow and join below!
- Google+ - Project Management Community
- Google+ - Project Manager Community
- Google+ - Project Management Masters Community
- LinkedIn – Project Manager Community
- LinkedIn – PMO-Project Manager Office
- LinkedIn – PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management
- LinkedIn - Project Management: Networking, Forum and Jobs
Small Business Trends, the popular online blog of -- and relating to -- small businesses, is a cross-cultural hub of tips, analytics, latest industry trends and more. They’ve even been as kind as to publish articles from our very own CEO, Curt Finch.
This article, “How to Balance Leadership and Management”, written by the one and only U.S. Small Business Administration, offers its “how to” guide on keeping your scales evenly tipped, and keeping from going off in the wrong direction. Click here to read the full article.
It's not in the way you can multitask, it's not in how many devices you can juggle at once and it's not in how many meetings you can schedule in a day. Time management is a skill that -- carefully considered in proportion to your own personality type -- can be one of the most powerful tools you can learn in a lifetime. And we should know; we make it our goal every day to provide an easy-to-use interface to track your time on the job.
That being said, for this week's Monday Link-Ups, we're giving you our list of the best articles and studies we've seen out there to help you get your time on track.
- 4 Things You Thought Were True About Time Management - Harvard Business Review
- How Multitasking Hurts Your Brain (and Your Effectiveness at Work) - Forbes.com
- Small Business Owners And Time Management (INFOGRAPHIC) - Huffington Post
- Data, Data: How much time people waste looking for lost information, how fast the World Wide Web is growing, and other statistics from the front lines of the info glut - Inc.com
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity - The Creativity Post
- Don't Delay: How Are You Managing Your Time? - Psychology Today
Want more in the social-sphere? Check out these groups that have great time management tips and tricks to follow on a daily-basis.
- Lifehack on Facebook
- Time Management Ninja on Facebook
- Time Management Skills on LinkedIn
- Organizational Skills, Time Management and Project Management on LinkedIn
- Time Management Magazine on Google+
- Time Management Community on Google+
- Time Management and Productivity Community on Google+
Have some you didn't see make the list? Let us know in the comment section below!
Today on the Journyx Blog, we have guest blogger Diana Gomez, Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America. Lyoness is an online shopping community that operates around the world.
In this article, Diana discusses how to keep calm and carry on, all while operating your own startup.
There's nothing more exhilarating than quitting your lame day job in order to direct all your energy to your startup passion project. If you've recently made this move, first of all: congratulations! You are in for the ride of your life-complete with slow climbs to the top, gut-wrenching drops and copious amounts of upside-down loop-di-loops. But you know it's all worth it for the existential satisfaction you feel day in and day out. That day job really was lame.
A key component of running a successful small business is maintaining your positivity and composure even during those loop-di-loops. Consumers can be very intuitive of the first signs of faltering on the back end, and the front end of your business may suffer as a result.
Here are six tips for keeping your sanity as captain of the "SS Startup," so that all your consumers ever see is smooth sailing.
1. An apple a day (and exercise and plenty of sleep).
The most obvious strategy in maintaining mental and emotional health is also the most overlooked. When in decent health, people often take their wellbeing for granted. Be purposeful in what you eat and drink, and exercise for 30 minutes every day. You'll have more energy, self-confidence, and less stress. Plus, creative people generally agree that one of the best ways to get ideas flowing is to go for a walk or jog-the fresh air and boost in metabolism really can work wonders.
When your brain just can't calm down, try meditation. It may seem cheesy, but yoga and guided meditation classes have been gaining huge traction for a reason. Think of it as erasing all the old junk from your e-mail inbox-a clear mind just feels better. Check out some online resources or a local wellness spot near you for more info on how to get started.
2. We all need somebody to lean on.
Is it safe to assume your business partners, employees and interns are all fabulous people to be surrounded by on a daily basis? Excellent. But when it comes to keeping your cool, confiding in them may not be your best option. No one can do it alone - so don't be afraid to reach out for support in any way you need. Widen your circle to plenty of people who are willing to lend you their ear, and be open about lending them yours, as well.
If you've had a mentor in the past, remember that just because you no longer work with them doesn't mean your relationship has to end. Mentorship is a symbiotic relationship. Just as mentees gain knowledge and advice in their endeavors, mentors get a sense of fulfillment and sustainability in their experiences by cultivating a fresh mind. Don't be shy.
3. It may be a shark tank, but you can be koi.
It may be temping to research your competitors on a daily (hourly) basis. Are you keeping ahead of the curve? What are their consumers writing in their reviews? Do you even stand a chance? The truth is, your competitors are trying to keep their cool, too. You're never getting the full picture of their business, so you don't have to let it inform your view of yours. Allow yourself to check out what your competitors are up to once a week or less and you'll maintain your focus - and sanity.
4. Switch it up.
A change in environment can do wonders for productivity. Whether that means rearranging your office furniture, working in your kitchen instead of your living room for the day, or enjoying an overpriced latte in the hippest neighborhood hangout, you are actually more influenced by your surroundings than you might think. Never underestimate the power of natural sunlight or a colorful painting-inspiration is absorbed in even the subtlest forms.
5. Get a life.
You know you need to take some time off, so do it! Feeling like a well-rounded person with experiences and interests outside of your startup will do wonders for your perspective, charisma and overall wellbeing. You're more likely to meet interesting people if you've got more to talk about than sales projections. Laughter is important, so go see the newest Seth Rogan movie. Go skydiving - your business will look a lot different from 13,000 feet.
6. Renew your vows.
Everyone says it, but that's because it's vital: "Do what you love." Never forget why you are devoting your life to your business. True love never fades, but passion does need some nurturing. To keep your motivation raging and your fires blazing, attend a startup weekend or get a drink with other entrepreneurs. Read some small business success stories. Revisit old mission statements and e-mails you wrote when your ideas were first starting to blossom.
Stay the course. Keep your cool. Do great things. And have fun!
About the Author: Diana Gomez, Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America, implements business and social media marketing strategies. The Lyoness loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase, can now be accessed on mobile devices
For those of us who tend to embody the type-A persona over the type-B, planning projects to the very last detail comes as second nature. For example; few, if any, of us would begin a cross-country road trip without first planning out where we want to go, what we want to see and how we want to get there. And during the trip, a traveler will often review how far they've traveled, how far they have left to go and what adjustments to their planned route may be necessary. Even then, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.
So how do you go about setting up a plan for your project that will give your organization the desired outcome? Unfortunately, these lessons are often lost on the modern world of accounting, making poor planning, or no planning at all, one of the most costly mistakes in project accounting. So just how much will your organization be affected by poor project planning?
Let's take a look at these issues.
Just like a trip with no destination, companies often make the mistake of planning out a system for project accounting without giving much thought to their destination. In this case, the “destination” is the kind of reporting they would want to generate three, six or nine months down the road. You can get a better grasp on the desired outcome of a project by asking questions like: what kind of key performance indicators do they want to be able to measure the company by? What kind of information will they need to be able to evaluate their company strategy for the next quarter? What kind of figures will they need to be able to determine the success or failure of the given project?
By taking adequate time at the very beginning to determine what information you want to have down the road, you can then properly implement project accounting.
Asking the Wrong Questions
So maybe you have done your research and have determined the key performance indicators you will be using for your project and their desired outcome. But how do you know that you’ve implemented the correct KPIs to begin with? Going back to our road trip analogy, if you were planning a trip across country, you wouldn't use a map that focuses on local points of interest in one particular region. Why? Because it would be too specific and too narrow in focus to be of practical benefit.
Similarly, many organizations make the mistake of designing their data collection system with one department in mind, and with extremely fine-tuned KPIs limiting the site and scope of the project as a whole. The problem with this approach is that your average employee doesn't think like an accountant. As a result, just like a very detailed, but very specific map, a data collection system set up in this way will create more trouble than it's worth. Employees will get frustrated with it and can end up submitting inaccurate reports because of the flawed system.
So what do you need to do to avoid this mistake? Focus on efficient reporting. You will need ample information to track the project’s progress, but try not to create a system that focuses on acquiring every possible scrap of data, to the point that it bogs your employees – and your project - down. Decide what you need to track, and design the system to collect that information as succinctly as possible.
Here are some great options to consider when determining the data sets you’ll use in your project:
- Adherence to estimate
- Percentage of projects that are profitable
- Available resources
- Scope of milestones within timeline
Make Adjustments Accordingly
In the end, it’s all about revisiting the initial plan. Just as you periodically review your progress on a trip, it's essential to periodically review how well your project accounting plan is working. All too often, companies put a method into place and never revisit it.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is, you may not get it right the first time, and that’s okay. Only through periodic reviews, every three or six months, will you be able to see what is working, what isn't working and what might work better with a little tweaking.
By taking the time to plan with your end goal in mind, designing the most efficient route to that goal and periodically review your progress, you can avoid some of the most common project accounting mistakes.
Poll Provides Better Understanding of How Customers Use Journyx Software
AUSTIN, TX (September 23, 2014) – Journyx today announces the results of the 2014 Journyx Customer Survey that reports a complete overview of how Journyx time and expense tracking software is used by customers, how data insights help customers to run a more efficient organization, and how vital cost tracking is to their everyday duties. The full survey infographic can be found here.
The survey shows that the majority of Journyx customers use the time and expense data they collect for the purpose of cost accounting. Using the data for billing came in second. Additionally, 56 percent of respondents report their time and expense data directly within Journyx while 54 percent have integrated Journyx with Microsoft Excel reporting.
“The 2014 Journyx Customer Survey is not only a great resource for understanding how our product is best used, but it also allows for a clear and open line of communication with our customers,” said Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx. “From long-term to new customers, this report gives us great insight into our customer-base and how we can better offer the best time and expense tracking software on the market.”
Other findings in the survey include that 83 percent of businesses say that cost tracking is vital to their everyday job. The majority of Journyx customers are based in the United States, with Canada coming in second and the United Kingdom in third. The top industries for Journyx customers include business services at 19%, government contracting at 18% and software companies at 11%.
The report also includes data from the 2012 Journyx Customer Survey; the two data sets aggregated provide a full picture of how customers use Journyx time and expense tracking software, the primary uses of which include cost accounting, billing and payroll.
Journyx is not your average software company. We strive to be relentlessly creative and to build tools that help you spend your time on things that matter. After all, time is all we have. Founded in 1996, Journyx offers customers two solutions to reach the highest levels of profitability: Journyx – project, time and expense tracking software – and Journyx PX – resource management software that provides work and financial forecasting for a complete picture of project and budget status, employee time and availability. Journyx has thousands of customers worldwide, including Crate&Barrel, Schlumberger, BP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Callaway Golf, Honeywell and many others. For more information, visit www.journyx.com.
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Last Tuesday, September 16th, Vincent Apesa, CEO of Broadleaf, partnered up with us here at Journyx to present a webinar focused on how much a government contract management system (COMS) can revolutionize the way you do your job. What does that mean, particularly? Well, for those in Federal Government Contracting, that means standardizing contract processes and getting rid of the need for using Excel Spreadsheets.
From a high-level view, the highlights included points such as how to track your contracts, generate billing documents, track deliverables, and get access to contract information instantly.
For a more detailed perspective, the way that COMS works at it's finest is giving you a dashboard overview of things like "number of contracts by type", "expiring contracts", and dividing up those projects in a way that makes the most sense for your working processes.
It can also interface directly with Excel should that be a process you would like to keep involved, and automatically inputs values into your spreadsheet to get you a full picture of your aggregated data.
If you want to see more about this handy tool, check out the full webinar and see for yourself in the video below!
For the past few weeks we've been asking our (very gracious) customers to take a second of their day to fill out our 2014 Journyx Customer Satisfaction Survey. We've carefully parsed together the results--comparing our findings with the 2012 survey from two years ago--and the data is so fascinating we thought it couldn't go unshared. Each and every one of you that answered our survey contributed to helping us figure out ways we can do better, ways in which our product is used the most and how we can be of service. See the results for yourself in our interactive infographic below!
Happy Monday, everyone! It feels like we're finally moving into the Fall season. For us here in Austin, that means three days of beautiful 60-degree weather and then it's time to break out the parkas. For American businesses - large or small - that means getting ready to close the books and start fresh, and one of the best ways you can do so is by hiring new staff. We've got all of the best forums and resources below for you to do just that.
- StaffingIndustry.com has a blog full of helpful advice, tips and more on how to get the best employee for your buck in the coming hiring season.
- The Staffing Stream is a blog that goes by the mantra of, "voices of the staffing industry". They're all about inside perspective for the best possible information, and it shows. Check them out.
- The Staffing Robot is an agency designed to help staffing firms get noticed on the web with graphic design services, SEO management, branding and more.
- Staffing Talk is a news and blog website, offering more than just advice - it offers the latest statistics in the job market, aggregated industry news, the fastest growing cities and more.
Want to find more on social media? Check out these groups:
- LinkedIn - Recruitment Consultants and Staffing Professionals
- LinkedIn - HR, Staffing and Recruiting Professionals Forum
- LinkedIn - IT Staffing & Services
- LinkedIn - Temporary Staffing Professionals
- Google+ - IT Staffing - Recruiters and Candidates Unite
- Google+ - Staffing Events
- Google+ - Staffing Daily
This last Tuesday we demonstrated and revealed what the latest updates in the new version of Journyx 9.5 will do and how it will massively affect how you spend your time. These new features ensure that you are able to get a complete picture of your project costs and revenues both in terms of forecasts, and as they are realized. v9.5 also includes greater flexibility in calculating your project costs and contract-based bill rates as they are applied to your project work. Other major features in the list include:
- Custom project costing and billing rates based on project roles and/or assignments
- New custom entry environment that can be used for tracking equipment utilization, widget completion, etc.
- Single tracking environment for entering employee reimbursable expenses and mileage
- Leave request handling improvements
- New option to set up entry screen column-to-column filtering via imports
- New option to set up a custom semi-monthly time period that is not always limited to the end of a month
The full webinar is below, as well as on our Journyx YouTube page for those that want to learn more.
Many business owners have reached the point where their current software is no longer working or is out-of-date and are forced to examine the alternatives. At the rate technology is evolving, that point is realized once every two years; or every other week when it comes to smartphones. But when it comes to business software, the thought that crosses many minds is, “I have a talented developer on my team--why can’t I just have them code a solution?” Building your own solution may seem more budget-friendly in the face of high monthly fees from enterprise-level SaaS companies, but when it comes down to the wire, how do you determine what the best choice is for your business?
All-in-one options: Are they really that simple?
The idea of building your own software often stems from looking at the all-in-one applications available on the marketplace and believing that your team may have the technical chops to build something as good or even better. The problem is that many all-in-one products aim to be good at everything -- packed with pedigrees and assured by awards -- but they aren’t as comprehensive as they seem; even a giant company like SAP can’t be all things to all people (and all businesses, for that matter).
So where do you start? The first step is to have a thorough understanding of costs so you can create a budget, and that means knowing what works for your bottom line and what doesn’t..
Building your own software: Not actually time or budget-friendly
When considering the build versus buy scenario, budget is obviously a major factor -- but make sure it’s not the ONLY factor.
●Managers often view the cost of their own employees as free--which isn’t the case. If you have billable client work that your employees could be working on instead of building and maintaining software for your company’s infrastructure, then you’re actually losing money by having them build your software.
●If you’ve got competent employees, you’re likely underestimating the amount of work it’s going to take to get a software solution built. It seems like they always get things done quickly and on time, so you assume this will be quick and easy for them too, but that may not be the case, especially if you have a small team.
●Even after the solution is built, you still have to factor in maintenance and support of the product. Think about all of the security holes that are discovered every year in software that’s built and maintained by companies --and imagine taking on the work of finding all of those security bugs and fixing them yourself. That’s what you’re doing when you build your own piece of software.
An article from The Next Web delved into this very idea and asked Henrik Werdelin, the Managing Partner of Prehype, to give his best estimates of how much it would cost to essentially create your own product from the ground-up.
“You could still build an Instagram-like product inexpensively, in the $100,000 to $300,000 range over a three-to-six-month period,” said Werdelin.“But even with a billion dollars of investment on day one, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be in a position where you might grow as quickly as Instagram.”
You really can’t underestimate the amount of time and evolution that goes into a software solution. Which brings us to our next point.
Find the happy medium
The best solution that will save you both time and money is this: research, research, research. Do some digging, look at reviews and testimonials online and buy the best software packages that do 80-90% of what you want, and integrate them together. Most software solutions today integrate with other industry leaders (Quickbooks, for example, integrates with Bill.com, Shoeboxed, and more), and the ones that don’t usually have open APIs--which means you can often make them play nice together with much less work than custom-building your own solution. If you look at this list of integrations on Zapier, someone else may have already done the work of making them work together for you.
How to tell if you’re the exception to the rule:
That said, there are a few circumstances where building your own solution might be the right move. If you have:
●A very specific problem and there doesn’t seem to be anything currently on the market that solves it
●A talented developer with nothing to do and no client to work on
●And (most importantly) needs that won’t be changing anytime soon (that are truly not met by any solution available on the market)
If any of those are the case, then it might be time to look at building your own software.
Have you ever faced the build vs. buy debate in your business? If so, what solution did you go with?
A little while back we focused one of our Monday Link-Ups blog posts solely on GP Support communities. Now it's Dynamics SL's turn. With that, this weeks Monday Link-Ups brings you SL support tools of all types. Check out the resources here!
- Dynamics SL Users Group - the official community for users and VARs alike, this is a great place to share ideas, resources, tools, questions and meet in groups around the world.
- Dynamics SL Software Advice Review - just looking around in the market and wondering if SL is right for your organization? Check out this Software Advice review. It lists specs like functionality, support and product quality and rates it based on actual user reviews. You can even connect with a Partner to get an installation going.
- Dynamics SL Overview from Microsoft - this overview from Microsoft themselves lists video demos (both interactive and non) of the product to get you a better feel of the tool, connects you with Partners and more.
- The Official Microsoft Dynamics SL Support Community - Maybe you already own Microsoft Dynamics SL? Check out this great support community. Aside from help from your VARs, you can connect with other users and see what problems they're experiencing, what's been resolved, upcoming product releases and enhancements, CRM Connectors and a great forum for all involved with SL.
Maybe you're looking for more socially-focused communites to get connected with? Check out these great LinkedIn and Google+ groups below!
Business Analyst Times, partnered with Project Times.com, both leverage and excel the understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur, CEO or in a leadership role. This might be because many of their contributing writers are actually CEO's offering up their best advice, penning the changing world as they see it or simply relaying new info they've learned to the masses. They've even published work from our very own CEO, Curt Finch.
This article, "5 Timeless Communication Truths the Digital Age is Changing" was written by Speaker and Blogger Ryan Jenkins. Visit their site here for the full story.
Do you know the fool-proof way to know if someone desires a connection with others? They are breathing. For those playing at home…that’s everyone among the living.
Even the most introverted introverts still have a deep desire to share and connect. Humans crave connection. The explosive growth and adoption of social media is proof. We are all communicating but are we connecting? Why is it that in our always-on and always-connected culture we struggle to truly connect with people?
Perhaps we need a refresher on the truths of effective connection. These truths are timeless but their application has changed due to the three communication disruptions: technology, social media, and the emerging generations.
TRUTH #1: CONNECTING REQUIRES SELFLESSNESS
But first…DO NOT take a selfie. First, focus on others. The moment you become more concerned with your own agenda during communication is when you’ve lost the connection with your audience. Turn “selfies” into “youies.”