Deliver Time Tracking Automation and Expanded Inventory Management to Your SMB ProServ Clients

Partners can now also deliver time tracking automation and expanded inventory management to their SMB professional services clients.

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    In April, Stratos Cloud reviewed how partners can leverage Advanced Projects by Progressus for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to meet their professional services industry and project-based prospect requirements and win more business. 

    With our deep resources and subject matter experts, the Stratos Cloud team helps partners deliver an integrated solution for project management, billing and inventory management to their SMB professional services prospects and customers so they can stay ahead of the competition leveraging Microsoft’s cloud platform. 

    Now we’ve taken it one step further. With Advanced Projects, partners can now also deliver development team time tracking automation and expanded inventory management capabilities to their SMB professional services clients. 

    API Integration with Jira and Azure DevOps

    As part of their business, professional services companies often maintain software development teams that frequently use software to plan, develop, and deliver software. But even those companies running much smaller software development teams will usually rely on software to manage development. Two of the most popular choices for this kind of project management software are Atlassian’s Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps.  

    Both Jira and DevOps have developers track their time. But neither Jira nor DevOps talk with the backend accounting system. This means employees must input their time twice, first in project management software and then in the accounting software. Any project manager or scrum master would tell you that it’s not easy to get their developers to track their time across more than one type of management software. 

    With Advanced Projects for Dynamics 365 Business Central, users can map unique projects to specific Jira or DevOps users, who then enter their time spent working on any mapped projects only once, in one system. This information then populates their timecard in Advanced Projects along with the right project/feature combination. Without integration, development team time tracking, including notes and attachments, can be easily forgotten, lost, or worse, recorded incorrectly. Advanced Projects streamlines the process with real-time integration that enables the flow of entry data captured when it’s inputted the first time.  

    With the API integration, this data is automatically populated in the timecard in Advanced Projects data is inputted only once, giving more time back to the development team. Redundant effort is cut, duplicate entry errors are eliminated and, more important to the business, delays are reduced. Your clients’ customers don’t get late invoices and finance teams can confidently bill accurately and consistently every time. Financial decision-makers at your client companies can know the bottom line isn’t being undercut by wasted time and effort. 

    Inventory and billing solutions for SMBs 

    Your customers in the professional services sector likely don’t think the same way when it comes to inventory management. But they all need to track project-related purchases for accounting associated project costs. And a company with the ability to track inventory or items against a project can cost and price accordingly. Unfortunately, many SMBs rely on manual processes or multiple solutions for project accounting and inventory management. 

    For organizations looking for detailed tracking, the features in Advanced Projects for Dynamics 365 Business Central goes beyond keeping tabs on inventory that’s purchased and used. Inventory management features include tracking use of inventory across projects, as well as: 

    • Lot and Serialized inventory processing – Track individual pieces of inventory by unique lot and serial numbers  
    • Bin tracking – Know where each part of your inventory is located at by bin location within the warehouse 
    • Inventory allocation – Assign specific components of inventory to specific projects and create triggers to maintaining minimum and maximum inventory levels  

    All equipment assigned and consumed by a project is tracked, helping with milestone billing. Additionally, once an item’s details are entered into the company’s catalog once, that data stays in their catalog, allowing them to use consistent information about their inventory items repeatedly and without error. And there are no more silos of information between the accounting software and whatever system was being used for inventory tracking. 

    Your customers can use Advanced Projects to accurately account for the items or inventory put toward a project. This insight can help business leaders determine whether money was made or lost on each project. 

    Advanced Projects also supports the requirements for AIA progress billing. This includes support for defining progress billing, retention, and supporting the lifecycle and changes that will be made to billing through the lifecycle of the project. Your customers now send bills to their customers in a format that meets industry standards set by the American Institute of Architects. Contractors, architects and others in the industry can use Advanced Projects to do incremental or progress billing, helping them speed up payments and reduce errors while meeting industry standards. 

    With these API integrations, inventory management and billing features, your professional services customers can do even more than ever before with Advanced Projects by Progressus for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – empowering you to help them illuminate hidden costs, do away with budgeting guesswork and knock down sales and delivery silos. Stratos Cloud is helping Microsoft Partners win business with industry go-to-market strategies.