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MERiT: Mobile Enterprise Reporting Tool

MERiT Logo

> Overview:

This Heart Business Systems developed mobile application is designed to display data from a Company’s E.R.P. or Accounting Software and make it available to mobile devices on demand. It comprises a Server side Application that sits alongside the existing ERP/Accounts software on the Company’s Server and a Mobile Device side Application that displays the data requested and allows the user to perform various functions.

Video 1: A look at an early developement build.

> Deployment & Security:

The Application has 2 installed components;

1) The Server application handles the incoming data requests from the mobile devices and uses a combination of the Username, Password and device hardware ID to make the security verification before returning the results of the mobile enquiry.
2) The Mobile application acts as the user interface, allowing the user to make enquiries on the Server held ERP database and displaying the results. It also allows for extra functionality by utilising other available Applications held on the device in conjunction with relevant data returned by the enquiry.

Mobile App Security Diagram
Fig. 1a: Application Deployment and Security Diagram.

> Versatility & Availability:

Because of the way in which the Application has been developed it can be tailored to display literally any information that is held in your Company’s ERP database. The application can also be made to work with virtually all of the leading database languages used by the Industry leading ERP, CRM and Accounting Software solutions in use today, such as SQL & FoxPro.

Examples of ERP solutions that can work with this application are;

  • Pegasus Opera 2 (Enterprise & SQL platforms)
  • Pegasus Opera 3 (Enterprise & SQL platforms)
  • Sage 50 Accounts
  • Sage 200
  • Exel Computer Systems EFACS
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV (aka Navision)
  • Microsoft Access
  • Sun Systems Oracle
  • and many more…

In addition to being extremely versatile, the application has significant advantages over more common, web-browser based mobile applications. This is mainly due to the way that this application handles the caching, transmission and retrieval of the data. This allows the application to work quickly and smoothly even when the available connection to the internet is intermittent or just plain slow. Furthermore the application is lightweight yet robust and operates quickly even on smartphones with comparatively low processing capabilities compared to laptops.

Possible applications for this software are far reaching and could bring benefits to many departments of a company. Initial development by Heart Business Systems has focussed on delivering the application for use by Sales People on the road making enquiries of a Pegasus Opera 3 Enterprise solution with a native FoxPro database. Some examples of functionality that a Sales Person on the road may want to have includes;

1. Search all Sales Accounts and return relevant results
2. Show basic Account Header information;

  • Account Code
  • Company Name
  • Company Address & Postcode
  • Contact
  • Contact Email Address
  • Company Phone Number
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Company Website Address

3. Show Sales History Information

  • Turnover / Sales History for the Sales Account
  • Overdue Items on the Sales Account
  • Current Credit Limit and Account Balance

4. Show current Stock availability

  • Free Stock
  • Incoming Stock
  • Sell Prices

> Example of Usage:

In this Section we will run through some of the functions that a Sales Person on the road might make use of, as per our focus for the first iteration of the software.

Let’s say our titular Sales Person is on the road and gets out of a meeting early and so wants to see what clients he/she has in a given postcode region.

With our application he can search all of the Sales Account records and bring up a list of any Account records that include his search terms (in this example; the first 3 or 4 digits of a postcode).

Having done that he/she can select any of the client’s from the list returned by the search and the application will display the Account Header information for that client (including Name, Address, Postcode, Contact Names, Telephone Number, Email Address, Credit Limit/Balance, etc. (see Fig. 2a).

 

Fig. 2a: Sales Account General Information.

Our intrepid Sales person may then wish to see how far away the selected client is from his/her current location and/or get directions on how to get there.

By utilising the postcode data contained in the Account Header information and linking this to Mapping/Navigation software also installed in the device this can be achieved with a single stroke (see Fig. 2b).

 

Fig. 2b: Example of Account Postcode to Navigation Functionality.

Alternatively, he/she might wish to send an email to the client contact and again this is simply a matter of pointing to the email address and letting the application do the rest. The email can be composed and sent using the standard on-screen touch-keyboard (see Fig. 2c).

Furthermore, if the device has telephone functionality, they could simply point to the telephone number to call the contact there and then.

 

Fig. 2c: Example of the Compose Email Functionality.

Our Sales person could check any relevant data in their Company’s ERP/CRM system for Memorandums and notes regarding previous dealings (in the development build we have utilised the Pegasus Opera Sales Account Memo field for this, but any relevant fields could be displayed). A future iteration of the application will also have the ability for users to edit and/or add to the “Memo” using the onscreen virtual keyboard (see Fig. 2d).

 

 

Fig. 2d: Example of the “Memo Field” Functionality.

Or maybe the Sales Person would like to refresh themselves on the client’s business via their website, or take a look at their online shop to see what they are selling at the moment. To do this they would just click on the website address to open a browser at the client’s home page (see Fig. 2e).

Fig. 2e: Example of the Account Website to Web-Browser Functionality.

Having done all of this, the Sales Person may then want to check the client’s Turnover, Credit Limit, Current Balance & Sales History in order to see what sort of items that client usually purchases and so on (see Fig. 2f).

 

Fig. 2f: Example of the Drill down into Account Sales/Transaction History

At this point the user could make use of the “Zoom” function allowing them to see a detailed view of the selected Order including the individual transaction lines (see fig. 2g).

 

 

Fig. 2g: Example of the Zoom function into Document Transaction Detail

 Having determined various Stock Lines that the client is likely to be interested in, our Sales Person might then want to check the availability of relevant items or remind himself/herself on Sell Pricing (see Fig. 2h).

 

Fig. 2h: Example of a Stock Enquiry.

As mentioned earlier, these are all examples taken from our first development build which has been aimed towards Sales People. However, it is worth repeating that due to the extremely versatile nature of the way in which the application was developed, ANY information held in your ERP/CRM or Accounting Software database can be extracted, displayed and utilised in the ways we have shown above.

There are literally hundreds of ways that this application can be brought to bear that could bring never before achievable benefits to personnel at all levels of your Company.

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Heart Business Systems Ltd.
Unit 314/315 The Big Peg
120 Vyse St
Birmingham B18 6NF
© Heart Business Systems Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales Company Registration Number: 06841822