Spire Features BusinessVision Users Will Love

Why should a company using BusinessVision accounting software switch to Spire? BusinessVision users will be very impressed by the myriad of ways that Spire will improve their productivity, help meet customer demand, and drive increased profitability.

Those at companies that have already switched to Spire have found that the work flow is familiar and have been able to quickly take advantage of the improved user interface and many new features. Upon conversion, companies use Spire in a way similar to how they used BusinessVision, and then take advantage of the new and expanded features and modules as they become more comfortable with the system.

The list of Spire features is divided into several sections for ease of reference:

User Interface and Navigation

New or Expanded Modules

General Features

Inventory and Customer Related Features

Sales Order Related Features

Integrated add-on Modules

Technical Improvements

If you have BusinessVision and are not already working with a partner and would like to upgrade, please contact me at  rita.bloem@rogers.com and I will be able to help you through the process.

User Interface and Navigation

List Views Data is presented as a list in grid fashion so all records for that module (Inventory, Customers, etc) can be seen at once. Columns can be moved and sorted in any order, which facilitates maintaining, understanding, analyzing and updating the data.
Filters Filters can be used to select information right on screen and can be saved for future reference, including the column layout and sort of the filter. Examples include: sales orders that are shipped and are ready to be invoiced, customers with accounts receivable over 90 days that need to be contacted, or inventory items that are on back order.
Search Information can be easily found based on single and multiple word searches and the entire module is scanned for the search. For example, a search for ‘widget’ and ‘large’ in inventory returns items with either of those two words in fields such as the item code, description, extended description, notes and vendor part number.
Multiple Windows Modules can be opened in a new window, so that multiple modules can be open and available at the same time, including on multiple monitors. Also, multiple screens of the same module can be open, such as more than one sales order, customer or inventory item.
Complete module integration Sales orders and purchase orders can be opened and maintained wherever they appear, such as in Customer, Vendor or Inventory. Likewise, customers, vendors or inventory items can be opened and maintained in sales orders or purchase orders.
Reports and forms All reports and forms are found in the related module and are selected at print time without having to be specified in advance. Multiple different reports and forms can be printed at once. All forms and reports can be emailed without having to manually pdf and save them first. For example, customer statements can be sent automatically to selected customers directly from the accounts receivable list.

 

New or Expanded Modules

Requisitions This module integrates purchasing requirements derived from sales orders, inventory and production orders (a separate add-on module for manufacturers). If an item is backordered on a sales order, it can easily be added to the requisition list. In inventory, a suggested order quantity field* allows you to isolate items that need to be ordered and then easily add them to the requisition screen. In Production Orders (items needed for production can be quickly added to the requisition list. The requisition list aggregates all of the purchasing requirements and facilitates creation of open purchase orders, which can then be modified as required. (* Suggested order quantity = quantity committed or backordered on customer sales orders, less quantity on hand, less order quantity on purchase orders, plus re-order point)
Price Matrix Customer pricing can be set based on a wide range of variables, such as specific customer/inventory combinations, types of customers, inventory product codes, or territories. The module also supports multiple price points based on volume and date ranges. It also offers cost plus pricing and cumulative price breaks, and has the ability to push customer specific pricing to the matrix from an order or quote.
Communications – To do list The Communications module can be used to create items for follow up that can be assigned to yourself or other people, enabling a light CRM system within Spire.
Communications – Alerts Using the Communications module, ‘Alerts’ can be created that pop up a message regarding a specific customer, vendor or inventory item whenever that information is relevant. For example, an alert could notify the person entering an order that the salesperson requires a copy of the order for that particular customer.
Phases Phases can track all activity for a sales order, purchase order or production order. For example, for a sales order, phases can track the date, time and user entering, authorizing, pricing, shipping and invoicing the order. Phases can be configured to create custom workflows, and can be used for reporting on order fulfilment timeframes or user performance.
Labels Labels, including bar codes, can be easily created for inventory, purchase orders and sales orders. The suggested quantity of labels is based on the number of items on the order, but can be set to 1 or amended as required.

General Features

Email templates Any form or report can be emailed using a template, which is a user defined set of standard messages that can be edited as the email is being sent, and that includes data from the form, such as invoice number or invoice date. The email window makes all email addresses associated with that order, invoice, customer, purchase order, etc. available to choose at time of sending.
Export Data can be exported easily to Excel from all module lists; all data on screen exports in the same column and row format as what is on the screen. Excel can automatically be opened from within Spire once the export is complete.

Inventory and Customer Related Features

Inventory and Customer Group Edit A group of inventory items or customers can be edited all at once. For example, a new sales rep can replace an existing sales rep for specific customers, or inventory items can be assigned to new product codes, or the unit price for inventory items can be updated by setting a specific gross margin.
Colours in Inventory, Customer and Sales Orders Customers, inventory and types of sales orders can be assigned different foreground and background colours, making it easy to highlight information such as important customers or discounted inventory. Quotes can be visually distinguished from open sales orders, for example.
Inventory and Customer Code Change Inventory and customer codes can be amended where changes are required to reflect revised part numbers or customer names. The utility updates all files affected, such as open orders, sales history and purchase history.
Inventory Adjustments and Transfers Inventory adjustments and transfers can be done in a batch, not just one item at a time. This is very useful for transferring goods between warehouses and for physical inventory counts. The transfers are stored in Purchase History for future reference or analysis.
Inventory Components Inventory components (bill of materials) can be created for any manufactured or kitted item, which can be built even without Production Manager (an Integrated Add-on Module – see below.)
Inventory Landed Costs Default landed cost % can be established by item. Landed cost can be allocated to items on a PO receipt by weight, quantity or value.
Lot Tracking Ability to track lots from purchasing through manufacturing through sales.
Customer Mail Merge A Word mail merge is available in the Customer module to send marketing and other materials to a specific set of customers, facilitated by using custom filters (discussed above).
Customer Pre-Authorized Debit Customer pre-authorized debits can be exported and submitted to the bank, significantly improving the collection process.

 Sales Order Related Features

Customer History View in Sales Order A customer’s sales history can be viewed from within a sales order. The sales history is quickly filtered for the items already on the order, showing the quantity and price of prior sales. When the filter is turned off, all other items that the customer has previously purchased are visible with the ability to add them into the current order with a single click. This is a great tool for customer service to make sure the customer is maximizing their order.
Desired Margin Visual Aid Once the desired margin by product code is established, the margin will turn red on each line item that falls below that desired margin in sales orders, alerting order entry staff to pricing issues.
Scanning capability Fill Order tab in Sales Orders and Receive Order tab in Purchases are designed to work with bar codes for scanning of items to improve order and receiving accuracy and efficiency.
Cumulative Discounts Discounts can be offered based on a minimum quantity of items purchased over multiple items matching a certain criteria (such as Product Code). For example, buy any 10 of one type of item, and get 10% off.
Sales History Edit Non-financial information on an invoice can be edited in Sales History, such as customer PO number, salesperson, territory, or item description.
Restrictions by User Users who are sales reps can be set to only see the sales orders and sales history for their own customers or customers within a specific territory.
Sales Order Job Headers Headings/sections can be created in the detail section of sales orders to better organize items, such as between services and parts. These can be sub-totalled if desired with form/report customization.
Deposit Orders The sales order list displays deposits received to date and remaining amounts, adding visibility to customer deposits and enabling analysis of the Customer Deposits account in the general ledger.
User Selectable Kit Components Components for a kitted inventory item can be specified; when that item is added to an order, the system will prompt to ask which items should be included in that order. This can be used for size/colour inventory, or where different components can be substituted in regularly.
Job Costing by Invoice Detail Job costing can be done on a line-by-line basis on a sales order or purchase order.
Automated Repeat Orders Sales orders can be set to repeat at specified intervals, where, when due, they are automatically created as new orders awaiting processing.
Sortable Detail Lines If activated, a line # column in the detail section shows how many different items have been entered on an order.   Detail lines can also be sorted by location for printing of the pick slip, then re-sorted back to the original order before printing the packing slip or invoice.

Integrated add-on Modules

Production Orders The Production Orders module is used by manufacturers to efficiently plan and execute production. Production Orders specify the quantity, components, and timing of goods to be produced, and utilize templates, or bills of materials, which can have multiple versions to allow for customization. Raw materials are committed to production, enabling proper management of inventory purchasing. Both the Requisition and Phase modules are fully integrated into Production Orders.
Service Orders This module is used by companies that need to track equipment, such as a garage that services cars. All sales and purchases are tracked against specific pieces of equipment; data such as odometer readings are recorded with each transaction. Some field names are customizable to match the type of equipment being tracked; an odometer reading could be changed to number of copies for example.

Technical Improvements

Data Conversion Virtually 100% of BusinessVision data is migrated into Spire, including information contained in BusinessVision’s WorkBook fields into Spire’s User Defined Fields. Although forms should generally be re-customized, most custom reports (if still needed) can be used within Spire with little modification.
Database Spire uses PostgreSQL, a more modern, faster database than BusinessVision’s Pervasive database.
API Spire has a comprehensive Advanced Program Interface (API), which allows third party developers to easily read from and update Spire. Software developers can seamlessly integrate e-commerce, warehousing, financial reporting and other custom programs.
Scalability Users can be added one at a time, not in groups of 5 or 10. There is no change in technology as a company grows from one user to up to 100 users.
Security and Backup Spire data is more secure than BusinessVision’s because it resides in a proper database that is password protected. Backups are fast and can be taken even as users are logged in.

 

 

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