Food Safety Regulations for Canada in 2019, and How Microsoft for Food Software Can Make You Compliant

The federal government will begin enacting consolidated food safety regulations, which come into force starting on January 15, 2019.

If you are a business that imports or prepares food for export across provincial and territorial borders, you will need to have the following three items in place:

  1. Licenses
  2. Preventative Controls
  3. Trace-ability

To get the full details please visit this website.

Download our webinar replay and presentation deck on this topic. Click here.

For small businesses, it is easy to obtain licenses and has documented procedures on how to handle unsafe food; but, without a food-specific ERP system, it is very time-consuming to comply with the new trace-ability requirements.

Under the new regulations, you must be able to trace forward to the immediate customer and backward to the immediate supplier (one step forward, one step back).

Food safety regulations_red velvet cake
Food safety regulations_1

Example

Using the item tracing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Bbusiness Central you can type in an item or batch record and trace down through the BOM to identify where it was purchased.

Food safety regulations_2

Once you have identified the containment or bad batch, you can review the associated documents.

Food safety regulations_3

You can look at the receiving document, where it was used, who received and inspected the batch.

Food safety regulations_4

In this example:

Food safety regulations_5

You can see many items were received on the same truck.  Perhaps if there was a containment on the truck you might need to review where all of the items where used.

In this example, there is actively 450 KG of expired product on hand.

Food safety regulations_6

As a food safety auditor, you can immediately block the lot number and prevent further contamination or use of this product in the business system until it is moved, red-tagged and dispositioned.

Food safety regulations_7

The system will automatically track and dates/comments or notes of your actions with additional comments or tasks that you can assign as a part of your investigation.  For instance, you might find the certificate number and review the inspection results.

Food safety regulations_8

Then use the item trace to trace all suspect raw materials upward through the batch records to end customers.

Food safety regulations_9

In this example, we have traced the batch through to 3 shipments.

Food safety regulations_10

Summary

there are 6 commodity specific divisions that require traceability.

  • Division 1: Application
  • Division 2 Dairy Products
  • Division 3: Eggs
  • Division 4: Processed Egg Products
  • Division 5: Fish
  • Division 6: Fresh Fruits or Vegetables
  • Division 7: Meat Products and Food Animals

Why it matters

While many businesses in Canada have simple trace-ability records in place, others do not. This can impact the effectiveness and timeliness of food safety investigations and recalls.

Businesses that trace the source of each food supplied to them (one step back) and its next destination (one step forward) can access timely and precise information as needed. This can significantly reduce the time it takes businesses to remove unsafe food from the market. This will better protect Canadians and increase confidence in Canada’s food safety system.  Learn more at www.inspection.gc.ca/safefood.

Interested to know more?

If you would like to see Microsoft for Food Manufacturing Software download our webinar replay – Food Safety and Trace-ability software requirements in 2019 – Click here.

Blog post by Mike Fontaine – Solutions Expert at Vox ISM

Michael Fontaine_Vox ISM

Mike Fontaine is a 20 year ERP veteran and APICs certified. Over the past 16 years, Mike has supported over 500 customers nationally, and he regularly presents Microsoft Dynamics software to executives (approximately 5000+ meetings) in the past 11 years.

Connect with Mike Fontaine on LinkedIn.


Using Posting Groups for Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Using Posting Groups for Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Posting Groups are used within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (previously Dynamics NAV) as the primary link between the different Department’s sub-ledgers within the ERP software, and the general ledger.  Posting groups will map customers, vendors, items, resources, sales and purchase documents directly into the specified accounts in the general ledger.  Once set up, use of posting groups will save time and avoid mistakes when entering and posting transactions into the system.

One way to gain additional insights into sales and purchases is to utilize Posting Groups to segment operations within your company.

Using a candy factory as an example, we could segment our manufacturing operations in the following product categories:

Using Posting Groups for Manufacturing_1

Having defined our groupings, we can utilize the filter functions built into Business Central, or externally with the many business analytic tools available, including Vox ISM’s Management Analytics Reporting Suite (MARS), to produce reports on our operations and financial data.  We can see our company’s performance in any levels of details, from our product category (Candy), all the way down to the item (Sour Gummy Worms).  Rather than spending time preparing the data manually, we can focus more time on analyzing the information and making decisions to drive business success.

Interested to know more?

How To Set up Posting Groups for Manufacturing

On February 7th, Vox ISM is hosting an exclusive customer only – online training session that’ll give you the basics to advance uses of Posting Groups to supercharge your accounting and reporting.  As a user of Business Central (NAV), let’s learn some tips and tricks to make accounting a breeze.

Click here for the complete seminar agenda and reserve your seat.

Register for Webinar

Blog post by David Mo – Business Central Financial Consultant

David Mo_Vox ISM

David brings 10 years of experience as a Microsoft Dynamics NAV customer.  He is focused on financial reporting and business analytics.  He is skilled in optimizing ERP systems to gain efficiencies in accounting processes; design ERP solutions to help strengthen internal controls over financial reporting, and develop reports and dashboard critical for senior management’s decision making using BI tools.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation Cover

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation is the next generation of cloud-based systems which provides an overview of business processes from Sales, Project Management, Customer Service and Fields Service. Dynamics 365 is integrated with Office 365, Power BI and also Microsoft’s additional cloud solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation solves day to day problems in project-based organizations like an end to end project management on time and on budget. With all in one platform, you will be able to predict hiring requirement, forecast revenue and resource management.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation

PSA allows you to work in your way from the beginning of the sales process (lead, opportunity), all the way to final project deliverables, track all necessary sections.

Planning

Planning and delivery section enable you to create a project, define team members, timelines, estimate and actual cost and sales and status of the project.

Billing

Billing section used to track your finances for the project. Invoices, actual, cost and journals. This section ensures that financial information is tracked uniformly throughout the lifecycle of a project.

Resources

The resource section is where you can manage your resources, their availability and type of roles required to execute a project, so you can plan for hiring.

Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation

Interested to know more about Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation?

Join us in our upcoming webinar on 6th February 2019 at 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM to learn how Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation helps you to solve your business problems.

Click here for complete webinar agenda.

Register Now

Blogpost by Ashish Rana – Dynamics 365 Consultant

Ashish Rana_Vox ISM

Ashish is Microsoft Certified CRM, Now Dynamics 365 and Power BI expert for Pre-Sales with implementation experience in North America, South East Asia and the Middle East. He holds an MBA in Systems and Consulting from Symbiosis International University. He has been involved in securing several significant values and diverse IT projects across Asia and the Middle East, across technology platforms such as CRM and BI.

Read Full Bio


ERP System Blog Cover_Vox ISM

What is an ERP system and why your business needs it?

What is an ERP System?

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning (ERP). It’s a business process management software that manages and integrates a company’s financials, operations, supply chain, manufacturing, reporting and human resource activities.

An ERP system includes software components, also called modules, that focus on quintessential business areas such as HR, finance and accounting, production management, materials management, customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management. Companies choose which core modules they want to use based on which are most significant related to their particular business requirements.

ERP System Vs Stand-Alone Targeted Software

ERP System has a central database from which the multiple software modules obtain information. This means that companies using ERP system are saved from making double entries to update information because the system shares the data, in turn enabling higher accuracy and collaboration between the company’s departments. ERP system also allows each department to see what the other departments are doing vividly. The result is that accounting and HR can easily collaborate with sales and customer relationships.

Here is a simplified look at how an ERP System works:

ERP System Concept

ERP Implementation & Capabilities:

ERP implementation options include on-premises, cloud and hybrid (mix of on-premises and hybrid). Although ERP system has historically been affiliated with expensive, inflexible, end-to-end implementations, the new cloud versions enable simpler deployments and offer great flexibility which SMBs are taking advantage of in greater numbers.

New ERP systems also offer next-generation capabilities, such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT and advanced analytics, to promote digital transformation. These new advancements in ERP technology can put your business ahead of the competition. Not only they help you enhance employee performance, but also give opportunities for greater customer engagement.

Benefits of ERP System

When to switch to an ERP System?

Companies turn to an ERP system when they outgrow spreadsheets and diverse, often siloed traditional software systems and need the unifying capabilities of an ERP system to enable growth.

For those of you who need a bit of understanding on when to replace your outdated system, read our article 5 Signs It’s Time to Change Your ERP System.

Discover What Modern ERP Can Do for Your Business

Now that you’ve got a good understanding of what is an ERP system, discover the ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central brings the best of what enterprise resource planning has to offer to your business.

Join our industry experts at our exclusive event on February 20 from 1:30 PM till 3:00 PM at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga.

Click here for complete event agenda.

Register Now

Blog post by Neetu Jain – Marketing Coordinator at Vox ISM


Supply Chain Management

3 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management

Whether you are the CEO of a big corporation or the owner of a small enterprise, the success of your business links inevitably to the performance of your supply chain. Supply chain management success begins with identifying those aspects of the business that need to perform effectively.

By watching these areas and implementing improvement strategies, you can enhance your ability to create and sustain a well-managed supply chain. Of the many possible areas for supply chain improvement, let’s discuss the three main ones:

Inventory Tracking in Real-Time – As your company grows, you will need a real-time inventory tracking solution to maintain clear visibility into warehouse product levels. Updated data allows you to fulfil orders accurately and keeps your supply chain performing at its best.

• Inventory Management – Let’s understand the term Velocity. Velocity is the amount of time taken to sell in-stock products in the warehouse. When you have a clear understanding of the items velocity, you can make efficient inventory purchasing decisions. For Example: If you know a specific product sells faster than other products, you can stock extra units of it in advance. Similarly, if some items are sitting on the shelves for a long time, then you should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether it’s worth it to re-stock sold items.

• Performance Insights and Metrics – It’s challenging to make changes to your supply chain performance management if you can’t identify the areas where you need improvement. In-depth performance metrics clue you into the areas of your business that are working well, and those that need some modifications. Armed with accurate performance insights, you can develop and execute supply chain strategies for improving specific areas of the business.

What Drives Supply Chain Excellence!

Interested to know more?

On January 23, join us for an exclusive webinar – What Drives Supply Chain Management? 

We will discuss the functionalities available in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for the supply chain management.  

Click here to register!

Blog Post by Bob Dzimbowski – Manufacturing Consultant

Bob Dzimbowski_vox ism

Bob is a Certified Supply Chain Professional and Certified in Production and Inventory Control, graduated with a BCom from York University. Specializing in inventory control, planning, purchasing, warehousing, and distribution, Bob has spent the last 37 years in Toronto in a number of industries including durable goods, construction, automotive, food and Pharma.


Microsoft Teams – Hottest Collaboration Tool

At Microsoft Ignite Toronto, the focus was on their hottest collaboration tool- TEAMS. It is one of the fastest growing tools and comes with Office 365 Enterprise. It is a chat-based collaborative tool to improve communication within the work teams. With Teams, you can chat, Videoconference, make notes, access content in SharePoint, office online Planner and other features, which we will review in this blog. It integrated unsurprisingly with Office 365 and based on “Groups”, the cloud service developed for collaboration among users.

Microsoft Team_2

Achieve more together with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offers the possibility of using Office 365 applications, customizing the environment according to the needs of your team. Teams can replace Skype for business for better. Here are few distinct features which Teams has in addition to chat, video conferencing and sharing data-

  • Blurred background, focused meeting

There is an option to blur background when attending a videoconference from home or public place to reduce distraction

  • Record and transcribe meetings

Not only record or transcribe the meeting but also help you search the important words or phrases said in the meeting. It will take you to the searched word and play the video. Now you do not have to view the whole video

  • Screen Control

Now, you are able to request control of someone else’s desktop or grant control of your screen while you are sharing. While you are in control of someone’s screen, you will be able to use your own mouse and keyboard to select or move content or type and make edits.

  • Full-Screen Sharing

Unlike Skype for business, attendees can now see full-screen content, what the presenter is sharing

  • Anonymous join is here

Need to meet with someone outside of your organization? No problem. This feature lets you send a Teams meeting invite to anyone with a valid email address (even if you are scheduling your Teams meeting from Outlook).

  • Better notifications about calls

You can leave voicemails. Click a new voicemail notification to go to the Voicemail tab, where you will be able to listen to your message or review a transcript.

  • Activity

Activities are created based on your mention in email or chat. Therefore, you do not have to go through the whole list of zillion emails. Just check the ones in which your name is mentioned.

  • Planner

You can create to-do lists, activities, manage backlogs and create meeting invites from Teams. It will act as a schedule builder.

  • Translate chat messages

The world is our workplace here at Teams. Get an instant translation of the message into the language you have set for Teams! Très cool.

  • Add Tabs to the work Teams

You can add SharePoint, Power BI, OneNote etc. on easy access Tabs for work teams.

Microsoft TEAMS_1

With Teams, users of a team can schedule, plan, manage, communicate, share and collaborate with the whole team without going to different apps. Teams is a one-stop solution for managing work teams and projects.

Microsoft Teams provides the security and business compliance features that Office 365 offers its customers. In summary, we dare to say that- the way Skype for business changed the way people communicate, Microsoft Teams will do it with work teams and provide additional brilliant features for collaboration and team management.

https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/apps

Blog post by Vasudha Solanki – Project Manager

Vasudha Solanki_Vox ISM

Vasudha is a Project Manager at Vox ISM, her current role is focused on Client relationship building and successful project delivery. She will be the active communication link between the customer and all project stakeholders.

Read Full Bio


Vox ISM's MARS

Vox ISM's MARS – Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics 365

With all the current developments in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, getting the analytics that can drive your organization forward is becoming more and more intuitive. That being said, not everyone is a Microsoft report guru, and even though there are many options for text to analytics visuals, some custom reports do require writing time in an integrated development environment. That is where Vox ISM’s MARS – Management Analytics Reporting Suite can help you achieve your reporting goals without having to worry about and spend time on the writing process!

Vox ISM's MARS_1

With over 15 years of operations, Vox ISM has compiled a vast array of different reports, spanning various software and implementations, all with the purpose of getting companies the data they need. Specifically, Vox ISM’s MARS includes:

  • Over 90 Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NAV on-premise SQL views
  • Multiple Excel-based Business Intelligence cubes
  • SSRS Reports Capturing all Aspects of Company Operations
  • Word Templates for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Business Central
  • Growing Repository of Microsoft Power BI Reports, Dashboards and Analytics

Vox ISM's MARS_2

The photo seen above is just one of the many examples of our pre-configured Power BI dashboards, tailored to get the most relevant data directly into the palm of your hands. That’s right, with our unique analytics, seamless integration with your existing systems allows you to get relevant visuals in the place of your choosing. So not only can you get relevant data to drive business decisions, but they can be available in the right place at exactly the right time!

So if you are a company looking for reporting that helps grow your business, no need to look forward, Vox ISM’s MARS  is for you!

Interested to know more?

On January 16th, Vox ISM is organizing a relevant and informative webinar of how our reporting experts can help you – Vox ISM’s Management Analytics Reporting Suite (MARS).

Click here for the complete webinar agenda and reserve your seat.

If you are looking for a fast and effective way to get your data back in your hands, this is the webinar for you!

Blog post by Danny Arkadyev – CRM and Business Intelligence Consultant

Danny Arkadyev_Vox ISM

Danny is a Microsoft Certified CRM and BI Consultant with Vox ISM. He provides on-site and remote consulting for a variety of clients to best enrich their CRM for analytics/reporting. Danny specializes in automation, CRM configurations and how to best structure data to create the most useful and meaningful visuals for end users. As a 4th year student in Computer Science at The University of Western Ontario, Danny brings his focus on database architecture to the playing field at VOX, applying data flow theory into practice with constantly changing software and implementations.


Microsoft Ignite Group Picture

Vox ISM team at Microsoft Ignite - The Tour Toronto

The Vox ISM team took to the streets of downtown Toronto to experience the Microsoft Ignite Tour that was held over two frigidly cold days! This is a cool event with thousands of people packed into the Metro Convention Centre. Amongst the demo hubs and air hockey tables, there are hundreds of Microsoft Experts leading seminars and answering product questions. Vox ISM sent the team down to find out all the latest and greatest coming out of Microsoft.

Microsoft Ignite Group Photo-Horizontal

There are three reoccurring theme’s at this event; Microsoft is focusing on Security in the Cloud, Collaboration, and Simplifying how you work. As Microsoft presenter Stephen Rose stated during his presentation “Work is no longer a place” and Microsoft is addressing this dynamic work environment by focusing on bringing Collaborative Tools that allow employees to work from anywhere, work faster and go home earlier! Tools like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Groups, OneDrive, Skype, and SharePoint allow employees to stay connected no matter where they are.

Microsoft’s “Fluid Design” allows users to access Apps and Data that look the same across all devices, simplifying the interface and using customer feedback to engineer easily to use products. With increased accessibility and cloud technology – many are concerned about the security and safety of their data and their customer’s information. Microsoft has invested their team into Security Compliance through applications like Microsoft Lockbox and Secure Score, which opens up infinite options into regulating internal access to your data and controlling what can be shared by your staff.

The Microsoft Ignite sessions begin at 8:30 am with a Kickoff Breakfast where our Team would meet; there are How To sessions that last 5-15 minutes and engaging seminars that last about an hour inside of huge auditoriums full of hundreds of attendees. During lunch, the Microsoft Panel discusses various topics such as skills for the future workforce. The Microsoft experts are buzzing around explaining, talking, demoing the various Microsoft Products; attendees are playing Arcade Pacman and foosball. The Vox ISM team had the chance to connect with peers and discuss the latest innovations from Microsoft that will help our customers transform their business.

Blog post by Ksenia Beljakova – Sales Team Member – Vox ISM

Ksenia Beljakova_Vox ISM

Ksenia Beljakova

Sales Team Member

Ksenia Beljakova graduated from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications. Shortly after graduation – Ksenia began her career as a business owner, before moving onto Procurement & Logistics in the Distribution & Manufacturing sector.

Read Full Bio


Vox ISM's Future Learning Events and 2019 First Half Schedule

In 2019, Vox ISM will be hosting a series of events, seminars, and webinars to satisfy every type of customer and every role within a company. Based on the feedback that we have received over the years, we are offering a series of different kinds of learning environments to suit your individual needs. Best of all, all these events are free, and to improve your personal and work skills.

Vox ISM Events

Cozy face to face meetings (Workshops)

We have found that the majority of our manufacturing and distribution customers value an in-person meeting more than a webinar.  An in-person meeting is more satisfying, cozier (fewer people) and provides better clarity and a clear focus on the products and services offered.  It facilitates your employee’s ability to retain and communicate information by the virtue that the sessions are longer and, and you can ask interactive questions as opposed to trying to focus on a topic in a distracted and difficult to hear an in a workplace environment.

Be in the know with Webinars

Webinars are designed for busy professionals who value concise and informative information.  Our webinars focus on top issues that your industry needs.  Each webinar is recorded in our resource center so you can share with your colleagues the valuable insights and strategies afterward. Our top speakers are typically consultants who will provide useful content you won’t find anywhere else.

Technology Inspired Trade Shows

Twice a year Vox ISM hosts tradeshows at Microsoft Canada.  We collaborate with many vendors and create inspiring product showcases and customer success stories. You will get a chance to network with other attendees, compare products, find solutions specific to your company needs and see the industry’s latest technology and the future direction of the Microsoft products.

Half Hour How to’s:

A half hour how to’s are a new webinar offering from Vox ISM.  These lunches and learn webinars focus only one topic or feature in detail and are designed for busy users who need the information to be more productive but who can attend a short session during a lunch break.  Since the webinar is only one topic you can ask as many questions as you like.  It is indeed a free training session offered by Vox ISM.

If you work in Accounting – Check out these events

If you are a business owner or need reports to run your company – Check out these events

If you are in Sales or Marketing – Check out these events

If you are in Operations – Check out these events


What’s Possible with Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Portals

Customers today are demanding more information than ever before and often prefer to gather the information all by themselves. In this blog, we will explore how customer engagement portals with Microsoft Dynamics can create a centralized information hub that is accessible 24/7 while reducing costs across departments. Dynamics 365 customer engagement, fully supported portals are now part of Dynamics 365. Microsoft host the portal for software as a service integration with Dynamics 365, Customer can design and configure the portal as per their requirement. Recently, Microsoft launched a new portal capabilities version 9.0.10 with some new exciting features.

  1. Add Power BI reports
  2. Manage SharePoint documents
  3. New portal editor with no code configuration

Dynamics Portals

Microsoft provides 3 different portal solutions:

  1. Customer Self-Service: your customers can log into their account and manage cases from the portal. Even submit a new case or edit existing one. They can even search for Knowledge-base articles based on keywords they have entered before they can even create a new case.
  2. Partner Engagement: You can help your business partner to use the partner portal to start capturing sales data. Allow your partners to submit and manage their opportunities with your internal staff.
  3. Employee Self-Service: Your internal staff can access employee self-service- ESS portal to share knowledge. Also submit and resolve internal trouble ticket.
  4. Custom Portal: Custom porta is fully customizable from scratch. You can create a Franchise Portal, an Agent Portal, and Citizens Portal etc.

Interested to know more about portals?

Please join our webinar on January 9, 2019, from 2-2:45 PM EST. Click here to register.

Blog post by Ashish Rana – Dynamics 365 CRM Expert

Ashish Rana_Vox ISM

Ashish Rana

CRM Consultant

Ashish is Microsoft Certified CRM, Now Dynamics 365 and Power BI expert for Pre-Sales with implementation experience in North America, South East Asia and the Middle East. He holds an MBA in Systems and Consulting from Symbiosis International University. He has been involved in securing several significant values and diverse IT projects across Asia and the Middle East, across technology platforms such as CRM and BI.

Read Full Bio