Category Archives: CRM Blog

Dealing with Backorders

What is a backorder?

By definition, a backorder exists when there is a promise to fulfill an order which has not yet been fulfilled. In that case, a backorder is essentially a strategy allowing businesses to sell inventory, despite not having stock on-hand.

Why do businesses use backorders?

Backorders are implemented for a number of different reasons, the most common being an inequality in levels of supply and expected demand. Sometimes businesses incorrectly anticipate consumer demand to be less than it actually is. When a surge in demand occurs, backorders allow customers to continue placing orders, meaning businesses can continue to sell product.

For other businesses, backorder purchase options are intentionally used to generate hype and exclusivity, particularly for new product releases.

How to handle backorders?

Keep customers informed: give an ETA on the product, update the website ASAP with accurate information, encourage a discussion if customer’s have questions or concerns.

Consider offering an incentive if you’re worried about losing sales: free shipping, discount etc.

Choose how you want to fulfill the order (and tell the customer): offer to partial ship OR ship the whole order once the product arrives.

If it happens often, consider re-evaluating your stock management systems (perhaps by switching to a more efficient CRM-stock management product) and automating as much as possible based on historic data.

What are the issues with backordering?

Customers may abandon their order and decide not to purchase – this may continue into the future if the backorder is not made transparent initially.

Reduced revenues: both in the short and long term. In the short term, backorders will contain unprocessed payments for products that have not been fulfilled – revenues may need to be recorded in different periods. In the long term, customers who have been deterred from purchase may continue to take their business elsewhere – reducing long term revenues.

Extra shipping costs: if the products are shipped in two batches, you’ll need to choose how to absorb this cost.

What are the benefits of backordering?

Guaranteed sales that you can fulfill at a later date.

Data for future inventory purchases and better consolidation of inventory management systems (CRM stock control) and marketing.

Creates hype by promoting a sense of exclusivity – people want what they cannot have.

How to track and optimise stock levels?

Collect real time data.

Make predictions using historical data.

Have a back-up (e.g. extra vendors who can fulfill orders).

Automate inventory systems (or CRM stock management processes) with triggers and cues so the ordering process completes without involvement.

Version 3.1 End of Life

As we’ve previously advised our clients, Tall Emu CRM v3.1 is going “End of Life” as of 30 June 2019.

Tall Emu version 3.1 was released 6 years ago, and we’ve since released v3.2,  v4 and now have version 5 and our Web CRM.      As per our longstanding policy, we only support the most recent two versions of our software – is is impractical for us to support and keep 4 products updated.

What does this mean for customers on v3.1?

If you are on version 3.1 ,  you’ll need to update to version 4.0 or move to our web CRM.    The software won’t suddenly stop working on 30 June – but since we are not doing updates to it, as things change and different versions of software such as word, outlook, windows, campaign monitor or eway are released – it will slowly become non functional.

MYOB are discontinuing their old “Classic” product as of September.  So if you’re on MYOB Classic you also need to start thinking about where to move to.

What should I do?

Depending on your requirements there are three options with Tall Emu:

  • Web CRM – Pure cloud CRM, runs in your browser.  Zero infrastructure and easy to use.  It is not yet as fully featured as the desktop CRM, however, it is rapidly being enhanced and is our cheapest product.
  • Version 4 –  Version 4 is the current successor to version 3.1/3.2 CRM.  It offers a familiar user-interface but is faster with lots of usabiity improvements.
  • V4 Hybrid –    Combines v4, Synchronized with our cloud CRM.  Your data still exists in your office, but some data and features are available in the cloud, from our datacenter.

What happens 30 June?

Don’t worry, nothing happens.   Support ends , which means that if you call for help on that product we won’t be able to provide it.    No updates will be available – but the product will keep working.

 

Freight Quoting in Web CRM

If your business moves things from A to B, you’re going to love the new freight system in Web CRM.    Making use of existing customer and product data and using our links to MYOB and Xero *  we’ll help streamline business operations by reducing redundant data entry, and maintaining accuracy.

You’re able to quote either independently, or as part of the selling process as part of raising a quotation or invoice.  This means that you are able to include real-time freight pricing in your discussion on the phone with clients.

When used with our other features such as accounting and credit card interfaces, this will provide a full process all within one program.

Connecting to over 50 carriers, the feature will allow you to:

  • Use your own rates and account with the carrier
  • Create freight quotes – select the best rate – comparative freight quotes
  • Optional automatic markup of freight costs
  • Freight cost and sell prices added to quotes/sales/invoices for cost and margin tracking.
  • Use the freight quote later as a consignment.

 

 

Supported Carriers

The following carriers are supported.  This list is subject to change.

AirRoad
ANC Couriers
APD
Aussiefast
Australia Post
Bagtrans
Bluestar
Bohaul
Booth
Border Express
Camerons Transport
Capital Transport
Comet Couriers
Cope Sensitive Freight
Couriers Please
CTI Logistics
Deliver Express (Transtex / Total)
Direct Freight
DXT
Fastway
Followmont
Freight Assist
Freight Specialists
General Carrying
Hi Trans
Hopper Transport
Hunter Express
Jayde
Josies Transport
Mainfreight
Metro Security Couriers
Morrows Transport
Niche Transport
Northline
NP Distribution
NTFS
Parks Transport
Railroad
Region Peak
Sadleirs
SCT
Searoad Logistics
Startrack
Tamex
Tasfreight
TNT
Toll Express / NQX
Toll Ipec
Toll Priority
Toll Tasmania
Towers Transport
Vellex
VFS
VicTas
XL Express

 

* Reckon and EXO supported in Hybrid CRM.

Project Management updates in Tall Emu v4

Quite a few of our customers run projects and tasks in CRM, and this module has been given a bit of an update in the latest version of Tall Emu CRM version 4.

  • Templated projects with many stages.
  • Automatically create projects based on items sold
  • Kan Ban style visualisation of project status

First of all – we’ve added different types of projects, and each type of project can optionally have different stages.  It means that there’s not a one-size fits all approach for deciding what stages to use in your delivery process.

KanBan style Visualisation of project Status

We quite often see clients using whiteboards with columns drawn on;  or paper files clipped in groups on the wall for customers to visually see where projects are at.     Taking a leaf from our Web CRM, we’ve added a KanBan style project view to version 4 CRM.

kanbanThe projects can be dragged from stage to stage (it updates CRM) for a real intuitive way to see what stage open projects are up to.

 

When run on a flat screen TV, the view gives you an easy to digest summary of project status without having to move magnets around or draw on white boards.    As the project status changes in CRM, the display will refresh and update automatically.

Close up of kanban

Template Projects & Tasks
Template projects and Tasks makes it quick and easy to generate projects to track and manage the delivery of your projects.  Templates help to save project managers’ time, provide consistency and enforce standards.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define your project types – you can have as many types of project as you like.
  2. Decide what stages each project has – each project may have its own stages)
  3. Create template tasks for each stage.

You can now create a new project, manage it through stages and all tasks will create automatically in the right stage.

Automated Task Actions

Aside from automatically creating tasks, when a task gets (or doesn’t get) to a specified stage, we can trigger actions.

Actions may trigger based on:

  • Starting a Task
  • Rescheduling a task.
  • Completing a Task
  • When a task falls overdue.

The types of actions that can be triggered are:

  • Send an Email (with optional report)
    • To the person the task is assigned to
    • To the person another task is assigned to
  • Run a workflow
  • Update the project status
  • Update the task status

When a Task gets to a specified Stage, an Action can be automatically run. Action examples include:

  • Email the responsible person that their task is ready to start.
  • Email the project manager when Tasks complete with a report showing the progress of the project.
  • Alert the project manager when Tasks are overdue.
  • Email a customer when a Task is complete to show progress.
  • Email a customer with reports.
  • Run a process to create and send invoices when Tasks are in progress.

 

Create Tasks( or projects) based on sales made

It’s now possible to make a template set of tasks in CRM which can be created when a product is sold.  This allows you to automatically create a set of tasks (with dependencies or child tasks) when the sales order is processed.   If you have a large number of tasks, it’s possible to have them grouped for you into a project too.

For example:  You have a business selling cakes.

A customer orders from you, and your normal process would be to make a task to make the sponge, and then a task to ice the cake.

In Tall Emu, it’s now possible to have these tasks automatically generate based on the number of cakes sold.

The tasks can then be managed in the Tall Emu Time tracker – with staff members ticking off tasks as they are done, seamlessly keeping everything up to date.

New Hosted CRM option from Tall Emu

Many of the people we’ve spoken to have loved the possibilities our CRM offers, but don’t have the infrastructure to install it – or the IT skills on tap necessary to maintain it.

We’ve got some great news –  we’re offering our Enterprise CRM in a SAAS/Hosted cloud fashion.

For those of you who use MYOB Accountright live you’ll be familiar with this approach.  You download the program – but the database and infrastructure is all managed by someone else (in this case Tall Emu and Microsoft).

This means we can do it cheaper, faster and better.   You don’t need to worry about servers, storage space, SQL Server or any of that technical stuff.    Simply subscribe, download and configure.

This is still enterprise software, and so there’s work to do in helping you get going with the software – but there’s less “grunt-work” for you to pay for meaning that we can get you up and running quickly.

The main differences between our Enterprise CRM and the hosted version are:

  • The Hosted version does not require a server; does not require SQL Server.
  • Hosted will NOT support Reckon, EXO or Accountright Classic- these are on-premises applications that are (for now) too hard to support.
  • Hosted WILL support MYOB Accountright LIVE (and soon, XERO and QBO).
  • Webforms, webquotes, webmarketing and clickstream will all use  ‘tallemu’ domains and won’t require any server configuration in your office  making them available to more customers more easily.

We’re even making it possible to sync our Web CRM with Hosted for those that need mobile and tablet based solutions.

If you’re a company that needs fully featured CRM/ERP without a crazy price tag, and without switching from MYOB – get in touch.

CRM that works with Reckon Accounts Hosted

As a long time Reckon Partner, we’re pleased to announce that in Version 4 of Tall Emu CRM we have added support for Reckon Accounts Hosted.

For those that don’t know, Reckon Accounts Hosted is a cloud version of Reckon’s desktop product which runs in the browser.   It’s the same powerful Reckon product as the desktop – just accessible from anywhere.

So – if you are a small biz considering sticking with Reckon and want a CRM to match – you’ll be able to use Tall Emu CRM as soon as we finish testing.

Moving Office

After 10 years at 99 York Street, we’re moving on – down the road to 83 York Street!

Our move will be happening over the 18th to 20th of July, and during this time our service will be limited.  We will do our best to keep the disruption to a minimum, but do ask that you bear with us during the move.

Love Reckon Accounts, but hitting the limits?

Hitting the limits with Reckon

If you’re hitting the limits with Reckon but you don’t want to change accounting systems or you’ve just realized that its not a substitute for a CRM.

For warehousing:

It’s common that people use lots of paper and excel spreadsheets because Reckon doesn’t really have a pick, pack, ship process. Reckon just does the accounts.

As a result there can be lots of paper based process, running around with dockets, re-keying data between courier systems, excel, Reckon.

For example quite often:

  • Sales order entered
  • Special prices or custom pricing manually handled.
  • Printed
  • Taken to warehouse
  • Picked, packed
  • Sales order comes back to admin with notes
  • Invoiced & Invoice printed
  • Data entered manually into Australia post for labels.

Tall emu extends Reckon to deliver some process in the warehouse.

  • Enter orders into CRM or download from Shopping cart
  • Special pricing automatically applied.
  • Auto print picking slip
    • When picked, tick and flick in CRM
    • Auto printing of delivery label.
    • Auto printing of invoices (if required)
  • Transfer consignments automatically into Australia Post, Star Trak, Fastway (can add your courier too).
  • Transfer invoices automatically into Reckon
  • Email to the customer automatically.

Not just that – but can get the core crm features too:

  • Outlook integration with our Inbox 360
  • Phone integration
  • Email marketing
  • CRM database
  • Rich info about products
  • Process Automation
  • Website and Shopping Cart integration

and on it goes. We are happy supporters of Reckon but we make it better and help your business work smarter.

Web CRM Sync

Need Cloud CRM?  

Existing customers can try it for 6 months FREE*

We have connected our Desktop CRM to our web-based CRM due to customer demand for a field-solution for mobile and interstate staff.    The Sync process will sync your office CRM (or hosted Tall Emu CRM) giving you the best of both worlds.

WebCRMImage

Why Tall Emu Cloud CRM?

  • Simple to use – log in and get access right away.
  • Cloud hosted – no new infrastructure required.
  • No complex setup – syncs your data securely and automatically.
  • Links to your existing Tall Emu – Low risk, no loss of function.

 

What features are available?

  • Mobile and tablet access of company, contact, opportunity and project data [core fields only]
  • Tasks, Meetings, Notes data – Create, View and update
  • Map, Grid and Kanban views of Companies, Opportunities, Projects
  • Send SMS messages
  • Access to financial data while on the Road
  • Projects & Task in our Kanban view
  • Sync back to your Desktop CRM
  • …and shortly the ability to quote on the spot and get digital signatures.

We’d previously looked at (and postponed) this project – however – the benefits of having this are too great to ignore.  For example – you can use the Enterprise/Desktop CRM to manage and delegate tasks, plan meetings and manage sales and accounts.      When on the road, you can use the driving directions and speech recognition features of CRM to get to meetings and quickly record notes.

Over time more features will work between desktop and cloud CRM, including field service functions, charts and dashboards – but right now web CRM combined with desktop is compelling for in-field staff.

* The not-so small print:

  • We’ll give you a free trial if you are an existing or new Tall Emu desktop/enterprise customer with a current subscription licence.
  • We’ll set it up free.
  • You can use it for all your licenced users in your business
  • Try it for 6 months (all features)
  • At the end of the 6 months if you don’t think it’s worth paying for we’ll shut it off, and not charge you a cent for it.  If you want to keep it it is $10 per user per month (where you already have a licenced desktop user).
  • This is available to existing and New Tall Emu customers with a current desktop subscription.
  • First installations should start on 1st August 2018.
  • Installations done on first-come, first-served basis and are subject to provision of access to your systems, and normal business as usual support takes priority over free installs.

Voice Recognition and Transcription into CRM

We’ve added many cool new features into our CRM over the years, but this is one that we’re really excited about  –   Automatic transcription of voice notes.   It’s something we’ve been asked about and considered many times, and now we’re able to deliver it.

It’s as simple as it sounds.   Open up a note in CRM – start speaking, and CRM will automatically convert your text to speech.

Voice Capture

The note taking screen in Tall Emu Web CRM showing the voice transcription prompt and microphone icon which toggles voice capture on and off.

If you talk in a normal tone and pace, the automatic (and instant) transcription is really good quality.  Once you get over any phobia of talking to your mobile phone (!) you’ll find it much faster than thumbing in notes on your smartphone using the keyboard.

Here’s a quick video of it on our test system.   It’s not showing the realtime display of the text as it is spoken in this demo, but I couldn’t wait to get this post up and that will be fixed before release.

No automatic transcription is perfect.  Accents, background noise can sometimes confuse it – it’s being done by a machine and formulas after all.   So, to make sure that nothing is lost, we’re also recording and uploading the original audio file as an attachment.

When you are back in the office you can edit the notes to your heart’s content using the original audio as reference, or assign a task to a personal assistant or virtual assistant to do it for you.    If you need a professional, human quality transcription you can use services to get that too – our audio quality is good enough to send off to those services should you desire.

A normal speaking speed in conversational English is around 110-150 words per minute.   An average typing speed on a full size keyboard is 40 words per minute.  I’d hate to think what it is on a smartphone, but we expect that this new feature will be a great time saver.

For those with multi-cultural or transnational teams, the speech recognition is also available in other languages.  The company selects a default language for speech recognition – this can be overridden user by user.

For example, a demo of recognition in Chinese: