Tech Talk Tuesday: 10 Tips for Macola and Progression ES

 
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Exact Macola technical experts reveal tips, trips and little-known features of Progression, and Macola 10. (Buckle your seat belts!)


Buckle up — here comes 300 Years of ERP Expertise

The Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team has some of the brightest minds in software and business consulting. Combined the team has more than 300 years of experience in ERP solutions with a specialty in Exact Macola.

In this blog post, our tech gurus (special thanks to Don Gilsdor, Nick Danza, Frank Ezinga, Patricia Carrick, and Leslie Bather)share several tips, words of caution and reveal little known, yet helpful features that current Exact customers and IT departments may not know about and should consider when getting started.


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Tip #1: Reserve Server Setup

We see lots of cases where the client software has not been installed correctly. The result is that Macola is not receiving software updates. Companies need a clean SQL server installation.

When you set up your SQL server, don’t dedicate 100 percent of the RAM to the SQL server. Instead, allocate 80 percent, which leaves 20 percent for Macola to use. Also make sure you buy enough RAM. It’s cheap, so buy as much as you can.


Tip #2: Beware of Repurposed Servers

Be careful about installing Macola on a repurposed server. The hardware might make it run slower, and there might be old software that causes incompatibility issues.


Tip #3: Stay away from SATA Drives

There are four kinds of drives you can buy: SCSI, ATA, SAS, SATA. Don’t use SATA drives because they’re really slow. People think they’re saving money. We see clients use these and then wonder why Macola is running slow. Instead, use SCSI because they’re built for servers. They’re much faster, and are available everywhere.


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Tip #4: Make Menus Personal

Many users don’t realize they can personalize the menus in Macola. For instance, a user can create their personal reports and then link them in the menu. Once that’s done, the report looks like it’s part of Macola. Once the report is in the menu, users don’t need a third-party reporting program like Crystal Reports or another viewer to read it because Macola’s viewer can now be used.


Tip #5: Leverage User Monitoring

Many clients need the ability for their system administrators to see users in the system. Macola offers this through the menu feature called Online Monitoring. Admins can not only see who is using the system, but what they’re using. If an administrator needs to lock records or make a backup, then they can first see who’s in the system and notify those users only rather than issuing a blanket notice.


Tip #6: Stop Resisting Upgrades (Seriously!)

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Progression clients resist upgrading because they are very trained and have worked with the system for years. Progression customers with under ten users usually don’t want to pay $20K+ to upgrade to Macola 10. But just like Microsoft is eventually going to force clients to move from internet explorer because the software is in sunset mode, Progression will shortly sunset too.

There’s some hints of this too. For example, there are no new features and development coming from Exact. There is no software support; in fact, more and more support people are leaving the Progression world. Rather than being “forced” into Macola 10 later, we recommend firms change now. Don’t wait for the product to sunset. It’s much more of a hassle, and more costly if you wait.


Tip #7: Get in Sync with Synergy

Customers that have both Synergy and Progression typically don’t use all the features currently at their disposal. Customers on Progression and ES have a much better business case to upgrade to Macola 10 because of it.

Synergy SE is a big deal. It is so much more powerful. It now comes with Exact event manager, and can save a business up to $5,000 because they don’t have to buy a third-party software. If a client is already running ES, it is a no-brainer upgrade. It is very simple to do!

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Tip #8: Put Macola’s Data Import Feature to Use

Many clients use a third-party payroll package that is not integrated with Macola. But users can export the payroll data to Excel, then import that data into Macola. Clients use Macola’s recurring entry function as a template for their financial data, but they don’t know what to do when they need to make a change to a recurring entry. You can’t-do this directly in Macola, but you can use the import function. For example, in Canada, many companies use a software payroll package called Paydirt. Since so many people also use Macola, Paydirt created an export function specific to Macola. It is a project-specific payroll function that allows a company like a construction firm to look at the actual cost of the project by breaking out company costs versus employee costs. If a person works on three construction projects, their payroll can be divided that way down to 30-minute increments so the company can better see actual costs.


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Tip #9: Take Advantage of Event Manager

Macola 10 users should definitely leverage Event Manager much more than they are now. This feature allows you to send reports automatically and do mass updates to files. Users can automate sending invoices and order acknowledgments. Sales reports can be customized and automated. For example, many companies have one dedicated person responsible for getting sales reports out to everyone each day. This might take a person 3–4 hours to do. Event Manager lets you automate sales reports. You can email a daily report to every sales rep to let them know how they’re doing, and a sales manager can easily get a daily report of sales from all reps.


Tip #10: Explore Excel Export Possibilities

Users don’t always know they can ask for reports in Excel. Some reports export readily to Excel, but many customers overlook the feature.