Welcome to the latest offerings from Tabs FM.
January proved an exciting start to 2010 for Tabs, with plenty of new and renewed interest in our product. We have noticed a three fold increase in new enquiries over January 2009 which indicates a possible upturn in the market and the growth of Tabs recognition within the CAFM world.
Following our last newsletter, we hope you’ve now had the chance to settle back into your routines and look towards a positive 2010. As promised, this edition is packed full of information and development detail and we hope your interest will be aroused.
Tabs News ...
IT in FM
There was recently an interesting debate on ‘LinkedIn’ referencing IT and whether it should be part of Facilities Management? One view taken was that any ‘non-customer facing department should be administered as a back office function to support the business’, and this is certainly where Facilities Management has become involved.
Our clients often ask us if we can supply an IT Support function. We responded by developing an integrated IT Support system within our main application. After all, an IT Support process shares many characteristics to that of logging a maintenance request. So why not share the same data source, modules, functionality and reporting tools?
An existing client recently introduced our IT module to support the day-to-day activities of the IT department and the service they provide. For more information on this feature, click here
Of course, internal politics cannot be overlooked here but that’s what makes life interesting. Discuss.
Providing a link between Sage Accounting Packages and Tabs Systems has been on our agenda for some time. In February, we are taking a great leap to advance and broaden this connectivity. A select committee of existing Tabs users will be joining us for a discussion on complete Sage integration.
Phosters have kindly offered to host this event at their head office in Birmingham. The aim is to discuss/demonstrate options of linking Sage Accounting packages with existing Tabs modules, including Time Sheet Entries, Purchase Ledgers and Sales Invoices. The event has been scheduled for the 25th of February. Expect an update in our next newsletter.
Tabs Management Systems with Sage Accounting Packages...a perfect partnership!
Released Developments …
Tabs Mobile Systems
Tabs Mobile Systems continue to evolve and mature into a sophisticated and efficient business application. The latest release introduces some minor features to help streamline your processes and provide true data accuracy. The new developments include:
- A new configuration setting added to capture a signature on every maintenance task response. Previous versions only forced one signature capture per job. Now there is option to capture a worker and client signature per response.
- Tabs Mobile Systems supporting a Timesheet facility, to include time spent on jobs or via a direct manual entry into the main Timesheet application for accounts/wage processing.
- An additional global configuration layer, embedded with the ability to show/hide contractors in the Pocket PC login screen.
Tabs Intranet Systems
Our internet/intranet systems have recently been further enhanced. Two key features have been added to improve performance as follows:
- Monthly Room Booking View – This new facility enables users to view room availability using a month view. A summary figure is displayed for each calendar day, indicating the total number of bookings. The benefit this offers is the ability to quickly view available meeting rooms via a clear interface and continue to easily make a booking using your normal processes.
- Within our Reactive Maintenance web interface, we have included the facility for selected users to change the preferred worker on a maintenance task. This functionality is ideally suited for workers who don’t have access to the main application or Pocket PC system, yet still need the ability to change the worker on given maintenance tasks. A simple feature which is already benefiting some users.
Data Import Utility... a class leading tool
The Tabs Data Import Utility is rapidly becoming an essential tool, not only in the initial set up of Tabs, but also for ongoing system usage. To this end, we have continued to enhance the product and by providing our clients a powerful and unique tool. The latest development has seen the introduction of a Job Description/Work Type import facility, enabling users to instantly import Job Descriptions and Work Types directly from an Excel Spreadsheet, either at the initial system setup or when taking on new contracts.
We continue to spoil you.
We have frequently been asked a key question regarding our stores module: "Is it possible to record multiple incoming or outgoing stock items?" Well, we are pleased to announce that the answer is Yes. The new stores system now supports the ability to book multiple items into individual stores locations at the click of a button. Items recorded into stock can either be driven by a Purchase Order or from items selected by search results.
On the flipside, users also now have the ability to record multiple items out of stock, to either a predefined Job Number or as part of a general requirement. Both facilities bring greater efficiency to the system, saving time on what would normally be a manual and laborious task. All actions are recorded for auditing purposes.
The move to a new .Net Stores application has opened many doors and many exciting opportunities for Tabs. As we continue push the boundaries of the latest WPF technology offered by Microsoft, we would like to extend our thanks to those clients who have supported us through this transitional period. The suggestions provided by our clients have all contributed towards a better and more intelligent system.
We will be introducing more modules using this new platform throughout 2010 and continue to welcome your thoughts and ideas. As the saying goes, "every little helps!"
We recently received an interesting support request to resolve geographical connection issues with a centralised database system. Our systems had been deployed at various locations, each supporting low and often inefficient bandwidth connections. Due to their geographical location, users began to struggle with performance issues. Our expert technical team found a solution through a process called 'SQL replication'! By replicating the database locally and synchronising it with the main data source, we managed improved the systems performance for users at remote locations and yet retain a centralised numbering sequence. This was a rare challenge which we were happy to assist with.
If you would like more information regarding the technical aspects of this process, please contact us.
Work Station Assessment
This month we are commencing development on re-engineering the existing Work Station Assessment module. More information regarding this will be available in our next newsletter.
“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.” Emo Philips