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Your business is changing and you need help in the accounting or operations department. But there is a hiring freeze. Expenses are also being closely controlled, limiting your ability to bring in contractors to help on a short term basis. It's a typical situation these days and you are in good company. Firms throughout the country are holding back on hiring and limiting expenses to those that are essential. How, then, can you grow your team to accommodate the changes?
There are a number of options you can use to expand the knowledge of your team and make better use of the firm's investment in ERP software.
Dynamics Communities operates a series of user groups, including GPUG, AXUG, NAVUG, and CRMUG. They hold online training classes that are very informative and economical. They also hold an annual Summit for each of the groups and are currently planning for this October's event in Seattle. Check out GPUG.com, AXUG.com, et cetera for information on your product's group and events.
There is a new group coming into the market place: Dynamics University. This firm is a cooperative effort of ten Dynamics GP Partners, each of which have training facilities and offer regularly scheduled classes. Using the Dynamics University site, you can identify the facility that is teaching the classes you need and the ones close to you. Their site is http://www.dynamicsuniversity.com (Make sure to include the S at the end of dynamics as there is also a dynamicuniversity that is not related to GP!)
If your firm's maintenance plan with MS is current, you have access to Customer Source. Customer Source includes not only articles about new product releases, but access to a knowledge base that can help you solve a number of problems easily. Contact your partner for information on accessing Customer Source.
There is also a set of forums, one for each of the MS ERP products where users like you can post questions and get free support responses. Now, the old line that goes "you get what you pay for" should be kept in mind. While everyone that responds to questions on the forums is extremely knowledgable and wants to help, they are all volunteers. Do NOT expect a response within 15 minutes or even 4 hours. This is not a paid support site and no one is obligated to respond to your post. Typically, however, someone will reply and they will provide an excellent answer to your issue. These forums can be found at https://community.dynamics.com/
Of course, your Dynamics Partner is the best source of support and training for your firm. Your partner knows your firm and knows the software installed there. Typically, your partner can respond to any question you have in half the time of any other support source. Make sure to maintain a good relationship with your partner. Certainly, you want to be independent and reduce those hourly billing invoices, but there comes a point where you NEED your partner to help with issues.
Then, of course, there are OUR BOOKS. Accolade has spent the past 10 years building a library of books designed to help you use and understand your software. We are constantly adding new books and upgrading our existing titles as new versions of the software are released. Make sure to check our web site frequently at www.AccoladePublications.com
We also have a Learning Tools section that includes Tips and Tricks. These Tips and Tricks are available free of charge and may help you resolve an issue with your software. Check them out frequently as new ones are added all the time.
For Partners, we have specifically designed training manuals. These manuals are exellent for 1/2 to one day training on specific topics. Check these out and expand your class offering. We are currently updating our Year End Closing maual and preparing a Version 2013 Unleashed, to be ready when the new version is released.
Accolade will be at the GPUG Summit in Seattle. Look for us there! And continue to expand the knowledge of your current staff. After all, they already know your business! Make them smarter.