We're really excited to be bringing you Version 72. As you'll see, Version 72 continues to deliver on our two key product goals:

  1. Reduce user friction by making the software "just work"
    No-one likes bugs in their software so we're continuing to bash those bugs. But we're also making key features work better, in a more obvious way - like improving the way the document locking works.

  2. Increase product value by delivering features that help you to grow your business in a more efficient, scalable and profitable way
    We can't wait to share the full Quote-to-Order Workflow and Customer Portal with you. This version includes only the very early part of those solutions though...so you'll have to wait a little longer to see the full solution!

🏷️ Quote-to-Order Workflow Automation (Preview)

Allow customers to view and accept quotes online. Provide a great customer experience whilst maximising your Sales team's efficiency and ensuring your business rules are applied along the way.

We’re super excited to have created the first version of a whole new Quote-to-Order Workflow solution. This update runs alongside the creation of a new Customer Portal which will, over time, support more features and workflows (not just Quote-to-Order Workflows). Between these new workflows and the Customer Portal, you'll be able to significantly improve the customer experience (CX) you offer, whilst also speed up your sales process by significantly reducing the time and effort it takes to get an order, and at the same time increase the accuracy and reliability of data you capture.

In this release, the functionality is quite limited. You can add "Authorisation Buttons" at the top of an email quotation template. This will add two buttons to the quotation email for "Approve" and "Reject". These buttons take the user to the new Customer Portal to action that stage of the Quote-to-Order Workflow.

Both the new Customer Portal and the new workflow is in Preview, so will see further significant updates and changes in the coming releases. We also have a whole load of exciting ideas for the future. We can't guarantee any one feature or any specific release dates, but look out for:

  • A new Branding system to allow you to apply your own branding themes to the Customer Portal

  • Enhancements to apply optional business rules that require a Purchase Order Reference to be supplied

  • More advanced options to allow your larger customers to set spend limits for their employees and have any over-spend routed to a supervisor to further authorise.

We're also considering features such as...

  • Credit card payments at the point of confirming the quotation

  • Delivery charge options for the customer (you can already use all the standard delivery options within the Quote-to-Order Workflow, but we think it might be important to offer customers options for same-day, next-day or different couriers etc.)

  • Preview of the full quotation details (this is already in the email that contained the "Approve"/"Reject" buttons, but might be nice in the Customer Portal too)

  • Automated quotation chasing emails

  • Other action to take or notifications for the Sales team if the quotation isn't confirmed by a given date

...and loads more!

What's next?

We're actively working on the next few updates. And once these are out, the Quote-to-Order Workflow will be a genuinely viable and useful solution for the vast majority of users. We'll then be running a series of education activities (online events, documentation, etc.) to explain the options and how to set up the Customer Portal and this Workflow, and which features are likely to be included in each subscription level. We'll also put our best ideas for further enhancements into our Ideas Portal to let you, our customers, vote on the features you'd most like to see next.

In the meantime, you're more than welcome to try out the Quote-to-Order Workflow and tell us what you think. Just remember, it's in Preview at the moment, so it's subject to change.

📃 Improved Word Document Lock Handling

Microsoft Word documents that are opened from the CRM are automatically locked for editing by the user that opens them. This prevents two users overwriting each other's changes (the current Microsoft implementation of WebDAV doesn't allow for multiple concurrent editors). Previously, this lock would persist until the user closes the document. However, if the user were to disconnect from the Internet, and then shut down their computer whilst still offline, then the lock would never be released.

Now, these locks will time-out after 10 minutes if that user disconnects from the Internet or shuts down their computer with the document open.

When a second user opens a locked document in the CRM, the document record will now display the locked status. When the document is locked, then the edit buttons are now disabled for the second user.

Administrators can also now click “Unlock” to force the document to be unlocked - however you should be aware that this may result in data loss so we advise contacting the person who has the lock so that they can save their work and close the document rather than simply overriding document locks. If not managed correctly, the original user could lose their changes, but will also still be able to save the document (even after they lose their lock), and their changes will overwrite those of the second user, and vice versa.

🐛 Other Fixes & Updates

  • Significant performance improvements for loading quote line group totals

  • Improved the terminology of the Licensed/Unlicensed/Free user options in the Admin Portal

  • Updated the user list in the Admin Portal to allow filtering by Licensed/Unlicensed users

  • Fixed race condition with email signature selection that could cause signatures to fail to load or report the email had been modified when it hadn't

  • Fixed an issue with the decimal places on the default “Quantity” field when reporting on quote lines

  • Record duplication no longer duplicates created/last updated information (created is now set to be the created date of the new record, not the created date of the originating record)

  • Unleashed and DEAR Inventory use non-standard text (i.e. not the ISO Country definition) for "United States of America" and this could cause issues posting sales orders to Unleashed and DEAR when using the ISO country text as the delivery country

  • Purchase currency is no longer hardcoded to GBP when importing product purchase prices from Unleashed

  • Fixed a UI bug with handling language translations for default Problem Statuses and Types when initially loading the CRM

  • Fixed a crash that could happen when performing aggregate calculations in the Report Builder on not nullable values on a nullable navigation property

  • Added HTML stripping and description handling options for DEAR Inventory products import. This allows DEAR customers to import HTML descriptions into either the CRM's HTML description field, or into the plain text description field (where the HTML is stripped so that the information can be used in quotation tables)

  • Fixed race condition that caused ERP specific field labels to not appear on first load

  • Updated “Next Action Due” text to say “Follow-up Date” to make its purpose clearer

  • Fixed an issue with the customer type description on filter drop-downs

  • Updated CRM login screen gradient to be more consistent with our corporate brand guidelines

  • Added the remaining missing bulk actions to the new search reports (i.e. all bulk actions that were previously available on the main entity types, e.g. the Contact entity, are now also available from the equivalent search entity, e.g. the new Contact Search entity)

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