We live in a digital world where you’d be hard pushed to find any business without a computer of some sort. However, alarmingly, the amount of paper used by a full time office employee is estimated to be around 10,000 sheets a year with around 45% of that put in to waste.
So it may be time to question: do we really need to print as much as we do or are we just stuck in our ways?
If your company uses timesheets, you’ll be familiar with the challenges that come with them; from misplaced paperwork on cluttered desks to running out of storage space. It’s no surprise many companies are re-evaluating their methods and systems to reduce paper processes. Not only does this save valuable admin time but it can also reduce printing costs and lessens the risk of human error.
However small, human error can have such large repercussions for a business and its employees. Having a reliable timesheet management system that links with your payroll can drastically improve data accuracy. It allows the employee to simply log on to the company’s secure portal and enter in the details eliminating the risk of inaccurate information. It also relieves the monthly monotonous data entry exercise for your finance team – saving time and money!
2018 has seen a rise in flexible working. While the advantages of smaller offices, less costs and happier employees definitely outweigh the negatives, this can also be another issue when it comes to those needing to complete timesheets when they can’t get back to the office.
If you have an employee that works from home, out on the road or has a flexible contract, the Timesheet Module in Pegasus Opera 3 allows employees to submit their timesheets completely remotely from a device of their choice. This allows timesheets to be created, recorded and submitted via their laptop, home PC, mobile or tablet. Once the timesheet is submitted, it gets sent to the delegated manager for approval which can then be imported seamlessly to the Opera 3 Payroll system. This reduces the risk of data entry errors whilst also giving more visibility to those who can strategically benefit by spotting trends and gaining more insight into the individual’s working patterns. By exporting the report in to a standard CSV file, the information can be further analysed in a spreadsheet enabling you to track, monitor and manage efficiency.
It’s worth noting that the Timesheets module can be used by any employee so you wouldn’t need to purchase additional Opera 3 licences.
Overall, having a smooth, user-friendly timesheet management system can greatly benefit the employer, employee and the environment. For more information, contact us.
GDPR is right around the corner and, as part of our on-going support, we want to help our customers to be as compliant as possible by the GDPR deadline date 25th May 2018.
On Tuesday 16th January 2018, Minster have put together a GDPR seminar with Pegasus.
It will include legislative updates and important information about how you can get the most out of your Pegasus system to prepare for the big changes that will affect your business.
Places to the event are very limited so, if you wish to attend, register your place here.
Important information regarding the introduction of “KC” as a prefix for National Insurance numbers
This change was not included in the specification HMRC provided to payroll software developers this year. It’s also not catered for by the Government Gateway itself. As a result, Opera 3, Opera II and Capital Gold payroll systems do not accept NI numbers with the KC prefix, and FPS submissions containing these NI numbers are currently being rejected.
Until this issue is resolved, HMRC guidance to employers is not to enter NI numbers with the KC prefix into their payroll systems. We therefore advise users of Opera 3, Opera II and Capital Gold Payroll to leave the National Insurance Number field blank when adding a new employee with a KC NI number, and ensure that the employee’s name and address details are completed in full as HMRC will be using these as employee identifiers.
NOTE: Please contact HMRC for further information
Manufacturing Resource Planning software is used to integrate inventory control and production planning – to manage all aspects of manufacturing efficiently. When managing your business it is important to keep costs low and efficiencies high which is where an MRP system may just become your new saviour!
The three main objectives of MRP Systems are;
To ensure materials are in stock for production and products are available for delivery to customers,
To ensure the lowest possible material and product levels are maintained,
To plan manufacturing activities, delivery schedules and purchasing activities effectively.
How could an MRP System benefit you?
MRP Systems are designed to make business operations smooth and efficient which allows the business an economic advantage. The system does this by planning and scheduling production operations which reduces money spent on waste materials, as this is a struggle for some manufacturers. Planning production also helps to see the number of finished goods for the future to improve planning of sales. The lowest material and product levels need to be maintained for warehouse storage and cash flow implications. Daily schedules and manufacturing activities need to be planned so the manufacturing of a product goes smoothly to ensure there are no complications which could impact on the production of the product and the delivery of the product to the customer.
It is important for a business to control the types and quantities of materials they purchase, products that will be produced and the quantities in which they will be produced. This is to ensure the business continues to meet customer demand at current and in the future, at the lowest possible cost. An MRP system would help to control this and would create reports on financial status and areas in which the business could improve on.
Why would an MRP System benefit your customers?
An MRP system will improve shipping performance to ensure goods are delivered to the customers at the correct time. It will also reduce the amount of late orders, create higher levels of productivity and helps the company adjust to changes in demand quickly; greatly improving customer service.
Overall, an MRP system is a great way not only to stay organised, but to also save time and money. All aspects of the business will integrate into a successful management solution with many benefits to the business.
Are you looking for more than just accounting tools? SAP Business One can help you manage every aspect of your business.
Why not use a business management system that grows WITH you? Trusted by over 50,000 companies in 150 countries, SAP Business One allows you to have more control over your business. This single solution will streamline your key processes – from accounting and CRM to supply chain management and purchasing, making growth a lot easier for your business.
- Capture all of your business information in a single, scalable system that will grow with you.
- With its integrated business intelligence, you can get the answers you need a lot easier.
- As it has an intuitive mobile app, you can give your employees on-the-go access to the software
- Be set up and ready to go on premise or in the cloud in as little as 2 to 8 weeks
For further information on SAP Business One, contact us.
Businesses in the across the country have been alerted to protect themselves from increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals, amid concerns that attacks are set to double the national crime figures.
Nick Marlow, director at Kidderminster IT experts Minster Micro Computers, has issued the warning saying businesses, especially SMEs, are under ‘extreme risk’ as criminals create ways to simultaneously hack thousands of global IT systems.
The alert comes amid concern that crime statistics for England and Wales will double this summer when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) begin to include a category of cybercrime, alongside other types such as burglary, when it publishes its Crime Survey on 21 July.
A field trial by the ONS last summer found 2.5 million incidents of “computer misuse” – affecting 46 for every 1,000 adults in England and Wales.
Mr Marlow said: “Viruses and other malware are constantly evolving but the blunt truth for any business is if you don’t have adequate protection through properly deployed anti-virus software, you will be attacked.
“Online criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and it means businesses could have their systems affected even if they aren’t the intended target.
“There are countless examples where businesses have unintentionally sent spam emails to customers and compromised their security, personal information and reputation. Even worse, there is a growing trend in businesses having their files encrypted and held to ransom. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
To combat the cyber criminals, Mr Marlow said businesses need to be pro-active and carry out a full review of their network security, identify their potential failure points and review their disaster recovery plan.
“All desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices and servers connected to a network have to be protected. Statistics show that people are more likely to be attacked through their computer than in person. It’s frightening but true and that’s why businesses and individuals must take action, protect themselves with robust and more sophisticated anti-virus software, and fight back against cybercrime.”
Mr Marlow’s warning comes after police forces in the region urged businesses to sign up to the West Midlands Regional Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP).
Minster Micro Computers is a leading provider of IT security software, including BitDefender and server monitoring applications, along with tools to minimise downtime.
Minster also have a FREE Anti-Virus Advice Guide available on request to anyone looking for key suggestions on how to protect their business against threats.
Businesses looking for advice on their cyber security arrangements can email email@example.com or telephone 01562 68211.
As you may be aware, the end is in sight for Opera II with Pegasus advising that they intend to make an ‘end of life’ announcement within the next 24 months.
With this in mind, Minster have organised an Opera 3 event to go through details of how you can save money by upgrading early as well as the benefits your business will gain.
As well as Opera II customers looking to upgrade, this event is also suitable for those who are looking for an overview on Opera 3 as well as those who currently use it and would like to hear about future developments.
This complimentary event will include a run through of the added features of Opera 3 from both the Minster Team and Pegasus’s Product Specialists Steve Power and Sue Flavell.
For further information or the agenda please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A local University student studying Business Information Technology has successfully secured a 12-month placement with Kidderminster-based Minster Micro Computers Ltd. as part of his university degree course.
Joining one of the longest established and well-known IT firms in Worcestershire, 20-year old Ryan will work with and train alongside Minster’s SAP product development and support team over the next year.
Minster Micro Director, Susan Marlow, commented: “It has become more and more apparent that the next generation are being taught how to code and develop, which is fantastic, but they’re not being taught about how to service and support business products that are already on the market.”
“We approached a local University to voice our concerns and to see if they could help. After being impressed with both the undergraduates and the programme we decided to sign up. Our aim now for Ryan is that he gains both commercial knowledge and experience that will complement and add to his existing skill set, and at the same time we gain a fresh, enthusiastic individual who brings to the table fresh ideas and lots of enthusiasm.”
Having completed two years of his degree, Ryan is currently working alongside Minster’s software team having passed his pre-sales product training and examinations with an impressive pass mark; his primary focus now is support.
Software Team Leader Neil Hodgetts added: “This is an exciting time for Minster as we continue to explore new opportunities and build our engineering teams. Over the next 12-months Ryan will work with our engineers whilst earning a salary and extending his knowledgebase, with the guarantee of a full time job working with us at Minster once he graduates.”
With the average SME owed around £38,186 and many expressing concerns that if this figure was to increase to £50,000 they’d risk bankruptcy, the scale of the late payment problem doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. And given that SMEs account for more than 99% of private UK businesses, it doesn’t take an economist to work out that this poses a potential threat to the current growth we are seeing.
So the measures to bolster the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) outlined last month by Business Minister Matt Hancock, were welcomed pretty much across the board. These measures, which stipulate a 60 day limit on payment of invoices, after which the company will be ‘blackballed’ from the PPC, and require companies working in the public sector supply chain to lead by example, are designed to encourage best practice.
But in our view the late payment culture that we seem to accept as the norm these days, can only be tackled if political agendas are reinforced by practices undertaken by SMEs themselves. In fact one of our biggest concerns about the PPC is that it risks creating a false sense of security, whereby SMEs step down their own efforts to tackle late payments, safe in the knowledge that it is being addressed at a higher level.
Few issues threaten the financial stability of SMEs as much as cash flow. Yet we are genuinely surprised at how many organisations still view it as something which is outside of their control, and therefore cease to take steps to reduce its impact.
As a company which works with many thousands of SMEs, we see first-hand the frustrations and ramifications it creates. Those organisations which take our advice, and implement a few simple steps to strengthen credit management capabilities, achieve a substantial reduction in debt levels. This might take the form of automating many levels of debt correspondence, reinforcing letters with e-mails, or workflow to flag debtor days before they spiral out of control.
So while the new measures in the PPC clearly represent a positive shift, as we see it, in isolation, they are simply not enough. We strongly believe that SMEs have to take responsibility to ensure they are doing everything within their power to add rigour to their credit management and speed up payments.
This approach, supported by the PPC, stands to create a more stable balance sheet and reduce the level of supplier risk which is currently endemic across industry.