Are you running an older version of Sage MAS 90 ERP? Customers tell us they stay on older versions because of the image time and money they spent having custom reports built. Those reports are no doubt essential to running the business effectively, but with versions of Sage MAS 90 that are built in the Business Framework (4.0 and above), there are easier and more dynamic ways to obtain the key information you need.

Fewer Custom Reports Required

With older versions of Sage MAS 90, creating custom reports requires specialized knowledge of Crystal Reports and Sage MAS 90 file structures. When you update to Sage MAS 90 Version 4.2 or above, you may find you can eliminate the need for most, if not all, of your old custom reports. Business Insights Explorer (BIE) and Business Insights Reporter (BIR) are easy to use. We will look at some examples to give you ideas about which of your custom reports could be replaced and even improved using BIE and BIR.

Business Insight Explorer

Do you have a report organizing customers by telephone number so customer service staff can easily locate an account? Or perhaps a report that lists invoice history by purchase order number? The Primary customer grid data view in BIE allows you to put any column on the left side and sort by it. Once you set up a special view organized the way you want it, you can save it with a descriptive name and recall it instantly.

Another common custom report is one designed to assist with collecting past due amounts. Using the filtering capabilities in BIE, you might create a Collections view listing only customers with past due amounts, or customers with amounts over 60 days, or with past due amounts over a certain dollar amount. Custom fields can be added to views for special calculations to total past due values.

Now your collections manager has the subset of customers they need to work with, and it can be regenerated at any time to keep the information current. From within the view, they can:

Sort by any column to prioritize the order »»to follow up

Use the list to make telephone calls, and add »»memos regarding the conversation from the Tasks section of the Navigation bar

Perform a mail merge with Microsoft Word »»to create dunning letters that include specific past due amounts — ready to send by mail, e-mail, or fax.

It is also very common to have customized sales reports. Sales managers need to stay on top of performance of their team and their most important customers. A personalized BIE view of your customer list for sales management might include a customer list sorted by salesperson, with subtotals on current and past activity amounts. You also may want to see a list of top customers by year-to-date revenue and compare that activity to the prior year. Have sales to a top customer dropped off since last year? Early detection enables you to identify and resolve customer satisfaction issues before you lose the customer altogether.

These are just a few examples of how BIE can replace legacy custom reports with powerful, dynamic querying.

Business Insights Reporter

If only a formal printed report will do, BIR alleviates much of the learning curve required to master Crystal Reports for Sage MAS 90. A front-end application for Crystal Reports, BIR is sophisticated, yet simple and intuitive for users. It was designed to help even a novice user create simple reports quickly and easily.

Here are the top features found in Business Insights Reporter:

Wizard driven for ease of use»»

Data presented in logical views making the »»selection of the right data table simple. No need to understand underlying data structure to produce informative reports

Output to multiple formats, including »»Excel, Adobe PDF, or XML

Point-and-click calculations based on »»the Advanced Lookup Engine (ALE) Customization Wizard

Built-in role-based security — you define »»which roles have access to reports

Support for three-hole punch margin and »»page collation controls

Allows creation of links to additional data »»sources.

To speed you on your way to recreating custom reports, the Sage MAS 90 help files include complete file layouts, and cross references so you can match old field names to new field names. We would be pleased to perform an analysis of which of your old custom reports can be replaced with BIE views or easily recreated in BIR.

Upgrading may be more straightforward than you think, and you will be able to take advantage of all the powerful features of the Business Framework, such as faster, more flexible data entry, enhanced security, and batch processing. Give us a call.