Integrations using IMAN
IMAN provides a single point for all integration “jobs” and it does the connection to Sage 50 (UK), Sage 200, Sage 300 and Sage X3. Within the IMAN software you specify the job, the source of the data, the mapping of fields and any process and transformation that needs to take place before the writing of the data. IMAN has a scheduler and it sends out email notifications to advise of successes and failures.
Every client of ours has at least one integration with another system. The point of the integration is to transfer data between two systems quickly and without requiring user time. These integrations have become so successful in processing such large volumes that our clients can run large businesses with a minimum number of clerical staff.
IMAN is also very good value. There are many integration applications on the market, although none as complete are IMAN, which are charged by transaction volume. At first the price looks low but multiplied by 10,000 order lines per year then it becomes expensive. IMAN is a piece of software and you can use it for as many integrations as you like. The cost is fixed and comparatively low.
We are specialists in writing and managing IMAN jobs. IMAN was developed by one of our former senior consultants and we were the first company to replace all of our client integrations with IMAN.
While integrations are seamless and automated they do need some monitoring. We also provide a service to our clients where we monitor all job email reports and when there is an unsuccessful submission we investigate, fix and resubmit and confirm with the client.
If you have numerous integrations into your Sage system then contact us to see how IMAN could make your processing much more efficient.
To give you an idea of where it can be used here are some of the jobs that we have carried out;
A client that is a big restaurant chain with regular purchases of food and beverage item needed a way to quickly process the daily purchase invoices. Each of their suppliers had a different integration file format.
We created a job per supplier which either retrieved the file from an FTP site or as an email attachment, loaded it into the management system and then processed it in Sage 200 as a purchase invoice. The processing involved a number of steps whereby the product codes on the invoice were allocated to nominal codes, the delivery addresses were analysed to determine the restaurant cost centre and the VAT was identified for the correct processing. At the same time a file was sent to the restaurant manager to confirm the purchase.
The client was able to significantly reduce the staff needed to process the F&B invoices.
Another restaurant client saw the opportunity of using IMAN to process the bank reconciliations for each of its stores. Each day the store would cash up and this would be processed by IMAN. The following day the banking is done but the various credit card receipts can appear a day or two later. Using the IMAN job functions we were able to download the bank file, analyse each transaction based on the date and reference and then create a receipt which is allocated to the daily cash up entry. This left the staff free to attend to only the unmatched deposits. A function that was often left as the matching process took so long.
This is the most common of our integrations and we have done many in the UK, Europe and the US.
Many of our clients have outsourced the warehousing and logistics to a 3PPL (Third party logistics company). There are many integrations when working with a 3PL. There is the order picking request and the advice of a delivery for a purchase order which need to be sent to the 3PL. The 3PL sends back the picking and shipping confirmation and the confirmation of the goods received. So that is 4 separate integrations. You may also need to add an advice of a return from a customer (RMA) and receive confirmation of the return.
When using a 3PL it is vital that the inventory balances at the 3PL are the same as those on your system. There is a daily stock “snapshot “ file that the 3PL will generate at the end of the day and we have an IMAN job that processes this, compares it to the inventory balance on the Sage system and reports any differences.
We have also developed an order management screen to go with these integrations. It displays all orders and based on certain criteria it will attempt to allocate the stock to the order. It does allow the user to change the allocation if needed. Once confirmed then the allocation is fixed and the orders are sent to the warehouse. Without this screen you would only achieve this using reports and processing each order individually.
With our experience with 3PL integration and the fact that we record the time that the order is sent to the warehouse and when it is fulfilled, we have developed a set of dashboards that provide a “live” position of the status of orders in the warehouse and the general performance against SLA’s. Our clients have found this most useful. Without this view they have no idea of the value or the age of the orders that are waiting to be picked and despatched. The sooner they are despatched the sooner they are invoiced and the sooner the invoice is paid.
These are the second most popular of the integration jobs we have done.
Most of the integrations are for orders placed on the website. Our integrations will create a new customer if required, post the order and the payment. We have created these for global businesses where the order needs to be allocated to the appropriate local business entity. Some integrations include the sending of email confirmations of the order, address verification and the placing of orders on credit hold.
Some integrations for websites include the passing up of customers, price lists and content which is stored in extended fields or in Sage CRM.
A client in the sportswear industry has agents across Europe and the US who use a specially formatted Excel file to take orders from each of the retail shops that they visit. These excel files are attached to an email and sent to a specific email address.
We have developed an IMAN job that separates the attachment from the email and creates a sales order from the spreadsheet.
While there are applications that provide Intercompany transaction processing they may not need all your requirements.
We have created a set of related IMAN jobs that create the necessary intercompany transactions on the completion of a certain event in one company. A purchase order in Company A will create a sales order in Company B and a purchase order on the supplier in company B. On receipt of the notification of the shipment from the supplier all related delivery dates in Company B and A are updated allowing for a time delay for shipment between A and B. On receipt of the actual goods in company B a shipment is created for Company A and the inventory is placed in transit in company A.
IMAN is a great application for streamlining integrations and internal processes. There are integrations for time sheets, projects, budget changes and more. We would be happy to help you find out how IMAN can make your business more efficient wherever you are in the world.