Working From Home – The new norm

Working from home

When the Corona virus started to hit the UK, many businesses were totally unprepared. It was quickly realised that people needed to be isolated and this meant working from home.

Now that the remote working Genie is out of the bottle it is very hard to get it back in, and should you even try? Here at OneNAV, we have fully embraced remote working and now we’re here to show you how you can as well.

How to set up a business for home working

Setting up a business that lets your employees work from home (or anywhere else remotely) relies on several key parts

  1. Device
  2. Connection
  3. Correct software

The first and second parts are quick and easy to do. You can either let your employees use their own devices (BYOD) or give them laptops. The second part is usually already in place, this is simply a connection to the internet.

Part three is giving them the correct software, and this means cloud enabled software. If you haven’t heard about cloud software yet, then now is the perfect time.

Cloud software

Cloud software is simply programs and applications that sit on a remote server rather than on your PC. They are accessed through a standard internet browser (Safari, Edge, Chrome, Firefox etc) so there are no programs to install and they are platform agnostic (Windows, Mac etc).

There are many dedicated software applications that are now specifically designed to allow remote working, let’s take a look at what they are and how they can help.

Business software for remote workers

There are two main programs that you require for successful remote working.

  1. Office 365
  2. Business central

Just using these two programs, your employees can do all their office work at home (or anywhere else for that matter)

Office 365 gives you

  1. Outlook for emails
  2. Teams for collaboration and communication
  3. SharePoint for document management
  4. OneDrive for cloud file storage
  5. Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc

Business Central gives you all the business functions you need, securely managed by Microsoft and held in the cloud.

  1. Accounting
  2. Sales & CRM
  3. Purchasing
  4. Inventory
  5. Warehousing
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Servicing
  8. Projects

Business Central and Office 365 integration

There are many different scenarios where Business Central and office 365 work together non more so than providing all the tool for working from home. Below are some practical ways that the integration makes this possible.

Selling your products and services from home

Imagine receiving a request for a quote via email. As Business Central is integrated with Outlook, it provides a button that when you select click, it automatically recognises the customer from the email address, so it shows you all of their details. If you then click Quote, it looks through the email and if it recognises any items it will then automatically suggest these in the quote. This means you can respond to the request with a custom designed Quote document in under a minute.

The customer loves the professional quote, so you then receive a purchase order from them, again via email, this is picked up by Business Central and once again you process the order quickly. You can then pick, ship and invoice the customer using the built in documents. All the financial details are automatically logged in the accounting area. You now use the purchasing area to restock your items. The email interactions are all logged in the built in CRM.

This scenario can be handled from the office, from home, a coffee shop or anywhere with a 4G signal

Managing Projects from home

You create a project in Business Central, add tasks, milestones and record items/services used etc. You then go into Office 365 and set up a Microsoft Teams group for the project so you can communicate with all members, store all documents and attachments in SharePoint. All the project costs are tracked in Business Central and all the Project plans etc are In Office 365 and linked to Business Central. All available on any device, anywhere with a connection.

Processing Manufacturing from home

Business Central contains advanced Manufacturing and warehousing functionality. Your remote salespeople can process orders that are “Make to Order”, this informs your onsite Production Manager of the new requirement. The Salespeople can then track the production as it moves through the manufacturing stages, informing the customer with real time data. The offsite purchaser can track all of the item availability and restock when necessary keeping the manufacturing process lean and efficient. They can also issue Make to Stock orders if they see that manufactured stock items are getting low.

Remote working – Conclusion

As you can see Business Central and Office 365 will allow you to let almost all office workers to be effective and efficient working from any device and from anywhere. Even if you prefer your workers to be on-site, this is the perfect backup plan for your business.

For a review, Quote or demonstration contact OneNAV now or call 07484 709812