Nubik Day at Moisson Montreal

Nubik Day at Moisson Montreal

While normally we all telecommute, every few months, we get together in person for Nubik Day. Nubik Day is a day of learning and sharing company updates, company successes, discovering the latest updates, brainstorming, and welcoming new team members. We get to spend time in each other’s company and usually end the day with some games (laser tag, bowling, pool) and food.


This past Nubik Day was very special because we spent the morning volunteering for Moisson Montreal.  Moisson Montreal is Canada’s largest food bank, providing food to many community food banks spread throughout the city of Montreal. Since part of our company culture is about giving back to our community,  it makes sense to gather us all together and chip in where we can. We put on our safety gear and got to work right in the warehouse in two teams. One team had to fill coffee bags and the other team (mine) packed and loaded cabbages onto pallets.

I noticed something fascinating and I think very unique happening – each individual took ownership and initiative – just naturally. No one told us exactly how to work; we each took turns jumping in, assessing where there was a need and addressing it, naturally. We also constantly strived to optimize how work was being done. I noticed after our break, for the second half of the morning we were actually working faster. Everyone had found a rhythm and a groove. It’s remarkable to sit back for a second and realize you are part of something so synergistic!

 

I think this represents well the type of personalities that work at Nubik – we are independent, but we know how to work together in concert to get work done. We also make sure all our systems are optimized for efficiency. I think we do this in our work whether it’s packing cabbages or implementing Salesforce. It’s a way of thinking and working that is natural to us.

Of course, we still know how to have fun! We ate well, had a few drinks, and had a great time coming together as ONENubik!

On Our Way to Dreamforce

We’re on our way to Dreamforce and there’s always one thing we can be sure of…lots of surprises! Want to know what we are looking forward to?

Here are a few things that have caught our attention, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg:

  • Einstein in all its forms
  • Field Service Lightning is taking off!
  • Salesforce adopting invoicing with CPQ Billing
  • Salesforce DMP, what is it?

EINSTEIN

Einstein is entering its second year and is being developed in different forms. Most importantly, the big winner to benefit from recent Einstein innovations has been Sales Cloud. Forecasting and Opportunity Scoring functionalities have been added.

These added functions make the sales team more efficient when it comes to forecasting, and give better insight into the best next steps to take.

FSL

Field Service Lightning also just celebrated its second anniversary by being a complementary offering to Service Cloud in field technician task assignment. The tool has grown a lot over the past year and we’re anticipating some exciting announcements on this at Dreamforce.

CPQ BILLING

Salesforce already covers quite a lot of ground when it comes to business processes, but this year there will be even more of an expansion. Just look at the transition of Lead-to-Quote to Lead-to-Cash, and how Salesforce easily allows you to invoice customers. CPQ Billing, the logical next step to Salesforce CPQ, adds another important dimension to Salesforce and eliminates complex integrations with external payment processors.

SALESFORCE DMP

You want to better understand your customers and be able to anticipate their needs in real time? Salesforce DMP is now the platform of choice to unify your client data from different sources, and guide you in our marketing strategies.

More info will be on our blog over the course of the next few days.

We’re bringing you all the latest announcements and discoveries direct from Dreamforce!

Marketing Made Easy for Small Businesses

by Kelly Bron Johnson, Marketing Coordinator at Nubik

Small businesses face unique marketing challenges when it comes to budgets, competition, and gaining customer loyalty. Despite that, there are many tools and techniques that can be leveraged to make the most of what you have. Small businesses can still make a big impression!

In an increasingly digital world, you need to have social media accounts. The great thing is they are free to create and use. Who doesn’t love free advertising? However, you can’t just create an account and let it sit. You need to actively engage with your followers if you want them to stick around. Understandably, time is tight and you can’t necessarily be on social media while you’re trying to juggle managing your business. This is where a scheduling tool, like Pardot, comes in handy. What sets Pardot apart from other social media schedulers available is not only does it manage your email contacts, but it also tracks customer clicks and activity, so you can quickly learn what kind of content brings the best results and focus your efforts there.

Email and Social Working Together

Email marketing is another cost effective way to engage your customers and inform them of promotions, contests, or new products. The challenge is building that database. One way many small businesses start out building their email contact list is by simply asking customers when they are at the cash or physically at your location. This is effective if you have a lot of customers coming in your door on a regular basis, but for online stores or services, this simply won’t work. Both physical and online stores can take advantage of email captures on your website or through your social media accounts. For example, with Pardot, you can build a landing page with a form to capture newsletter subscriptions. It’s also easy to put links on your social media accounts back to your landing page or form and encourage people to sign up.

To maximize both social and email, make sure that each email you send out has links to your social accounts. In this way, social and email work together to help grow both and keep your business top of mind for your customers.

Just Too Good At Good-Bye

Remember, with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), you have to make it as easy for people to unsubscribe from your email list as it is for them to sign up. Every email sent out must have an unsubscribe link. Even though it’s hard to say good-bye, Pardot makes it easy to comply with CASL by having the unsubscribe variable tag. All you have to do is insert the tag in the bottom of your email and that aspect is taken care of.

We all want customers to come back and stay loyal though, so having a tool like Pardot doing a lot of the effort for you makes it so much easier. You can save time and nurture your customers by putting them in drip campaigns, tailored to their interests or past interactions with you or your products/services. This can be totally automated, so you can continue engaging your customers no matter what time of day it is. For example, you can have it set that when a customer completes a purchase on your site, they automatically receive an email with a discount code to apply to their next purchase. It’s as simple as that!

How do we know so much about how Pardot can help small businesses? Because we’re a small business and it’s what we use here at Nubik! Of course, it being fully integrated with Salesforce makes it an easy choice as our marketing automation tool.

As always, if you have any questions about how Salesforce Pardot can help you take your marketing efforts quickly and easily to the next level, contact us!

A dream come true: one single platform for your business

By Katie Bussières, Nubik President

Many of you have likely experienced the roll-out of a new IT system for your business. Some of you probably still have the scars to show for it. If we ran a survey regarding those facets of an IT system roll-out that are most likely to trip us up, a number of aspects will come to mind. However, one in particular would most likely stand out from the rest: the interfaces between the different IT systems deployed in the same organisation.

Whether it’s a question of cost or the complexity of integrating different systems, or even the reliability of the interfaces between them, ensuring the proper flow of data between information systems (for example, an ERP and a CRM system) can be challenging.

Who hasn’t dreamed of a single integrated platform that could host a range of business processes? Well, guess what? That dream is now reality. Thanks to Salesforce and FinancialForce, it is possible to completely integrate all of your business processes into a single platform.

Here are some examples of the benefits that such an integrated platform can offer:

From prospecting … to billing

Organisations typically have to manage multiple IT systems with overlapping business process features, including a marketing management tool, a CRM system, a professional services management tool, and a client billing tool. However, each of these tools manages the same individuals and companies that started out as prospects, became contacts/accounts, had opportunities that were subsequently won, and then projects created and billed.

Obtaining a holistic view of each individual contact and clients’ company is therefore a complex undertaking. Complex IT integrations enable incomplete data to be shared between systems.

This is where an IT infrastructure based on Salesforce enables you to connect everything together. Whether it’s with Pardot for prospecting or lead management, Salesforce for sales and service management, or FinancialForce for project management and accounting, everything you need is in one place. A single system that ties together account and contact data. A single source of truth; what more can you ask for?

From billing … to sales

What goes up must come down! That is as true as ever in this case, too. For a vendor, the opportunity to have real-time visibility into the billing situation enables better insight into the health of its clients.

With data integrated on the same platform, a sales representative now has access to information concerning project progress as well as billing (including delinquent client payments). That enables the representative to better plan the next steps with customers, with access to a real-time project status, awareness of any issues, and billing history.
Say goodbye to maintaining multiple IT systems
First of all, IT systems maintenance typically requires a variety of expertise on staff. One IT system requires this programming language, while another system requires a completely different one. With multiple experts involved, the costs quickly mount, whether those resources are internal (with training an ongoing concern) or even external.

A single platform means that there is a single group of experts that understands the systems from all angles, from A to Z.

Another point to consider is the elimination of bridges between different systems. Who hasn’t had to deal with the challenges of updating multiple software applications? It takes only a single extra parameter added to an API call following an upgrade for systems to not be able to communicate anymore. In such cases, there typically follows a number of sessions where finger-pointing is the norm.

Pooling information

Now when you find yourself in an organisation that has standardised on a single integrated platform—one upon which all business processes have been deployed—it’s a short leap to a paper-free office. Business processes, all executing on the same platform, as well as all paperwork supporting these processes, whether business, functional, or financial, are accessible (with proper security protocols in place) via the platform, and can be integrated with your data store, facilitating both search and access. The platform therefore becomes the central business tool in the organisation.

Conclusion

While the elimination of bridges between systems is a victory in and of itself, additional benefits reside in the accessibility and the fluidity of the processes, which enable us to celebrate—thanks to savings in cost, energy, time, as well as the reduction of frustration. In the end, it’s the entire organisation’s productivity that comes out ahead.

Businesses that follow this model are no longer considered outliers, but rather part of the mainstream.

Field service reimagined for a connected world

Services de terrain avec Field Service Lightning

Field service is critical

Field service activities are a complex yet critical component of the ongoing operations of organisations that have solutions deployed on customer premises or assets used remotely. Examples of such companies include manufacturers of capital goods; value-added resellers and distributors; and service providers that provide hardware and network-based services on a subscription basis, such as providers of leased office machines, as well as the local telephone, cable TV or home alarm service providers.

Field services activities range from the initial deployment or configuration of assets at a remote site to their ongoing maintenance (planned) or repairs (ad hoc). These activities can be performed on assets belonging to the customer—located on its premises—or on assets (e.g., physical plant, equipment, software, etc.) belonging to the organisation itself. With all of these moving parts, optimizing the flow of information, service, and inventory is imperative in order to manage customer expectations and minimize business downtime—both in terms of field agents’ best use of time and clients’ need to be up and running.

The challenges of providing a seamless customer experience

As end customers are exposed to seamlessly integrated service and support experiences elsewhere, expectations of “good enough”, let alone world-class, have changed. As diverse service providers have upped their field service game—putting in place tools that enable customers to track the progress of their installation or repair—expectations have changed as well.

More and more, business customers are expecting the same level of visibility into the provisioning or repair processes as they have experienced as consumers. While customer expectations have increased, the challenges associated with providing field service have remained largely unchanged—manual data entry and ad hoc communication—and there are opportunities for misunderstanding or for things to fall through the cracks have largely stayed the same.

Enter the Salesforce Field Service Lightning platform

Stepping into the breach between customer expectations and an organisation’s field service capabilities is Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning solution. Leveraging data in Service Cloud, Field Service Lightning promises to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of field service personnel while providing customers with a seamless experience from the first contact to ultimate resolution. Field Service Lighting works to tie the discrete processes, actors, and artefacts generated by field service activities into an automated workflow, where a timely view of the state of the work order is the natural by-product and not a separate deliverable.

Field Service Lightning’s capabilities include:

  • Work order management
    • Create, assign, complete work orders from the Service Cloud console
  • Smart scheduling
    • Assign technicians automatically
    • Route (assign and schedule) work orders to technicians based on skills, experience, location, availability
  • Dispatcher console
    • Manage and monitor technicians remotely
    • View alerts and take action
  • Mobile application
    • Receive and update work orders
    • Consult inventory and expense parts
    • Consult product documentation
  • Asset management
    • Track information about customer assets (i.e., products)

 

Field Service Lightning provides field personnel with the customer insights and intelligence, leveraging Salesforce’s Einstein artificial intelligence platform, necessary to deliver on service commitments, along with the knowledge to upsell or cross-sell other products and services. With support for desktop and mobile applications, Field Service Lightning lets each stakeholder monitor and report on field service activities in real-time, generating insights that can manage customer expectations in the short term, and drive service enhancements in the long term.

Nubik and Field Service Lightning

While best known for its implementations of Sales Cloud and Service Cloud as a Salesforce Consulting Partner, Nubik also provides Field Service Lightning implementation for clients in a range of industries. Nubik’s team has experience deploying tools and supporting agents in organisations of all sizes—some with thousands of field personnel—and in the most demanding field service situations.

Leveraging its experience with Service Cloud and the client’s existing customer, product, and service data, Nubik’s team of field service specialists work with clients to understand its specific field service capabilities, its unique challenges, and its different customer support entitlements. Nubik will recommend best practices for customer service excellence and the Field Service Lightning and Service Cloud configurations that support them. Nubik works to transform the customer experience at each step, from the initial support call to a successful resolution.

Nubik helps deploy Field Service Lightning

One of Nubik’s clients is a multinational company that provides irrigation management and automation solutions to growers of water-intensive crops such as almonds, pistachios, and cotton. These solutions help growers improve the health of their plants, increase yields, and reduce the costs of irrigation and fertilizer.

The company’s solution combines wireless-enabled hardware probes located throughout the farm with a secure, cloud-based platform that aggregates data from probes to present a real-time overview of soil tension and crop performance across the farm. The company aggregates data from across farms, combines it with analysis using expert systems backed by research, and then recommends those areas of the farm requiring additional irrigation. The system offers a mobile-friendly web portal with real-time dashboard and reporting capabilities, enabling farmers to monitor and take action from anywhere on the farm.

In essence, the company provides irrigation management as a service. Its ability to deliver its solution as a service—and to meet its contracted service levels—is predicated on its own ability to remotely monitor thousands of probes in real-time, and to take effective action promptly when those probes are not responding. Work orders are delivered by an in-house dispatcher who works with 3rd party contractors in the field—each is an independent technician with a dedicated territory—to perform the actual inspection and repair activities. Due to the sheer size of many farms, field service activities largely consist of driving, mostly on country roads, leaving less time to locate, inspect, and then repair or replace unresponsive equipment.

While this organisation was an existing Salesforce Service Cloud customer, it had managed its field service activities mostly offline or in separate applications. In fact, much of the activity was based on phone calls or text messages. Technicians would receive a list of sites at the beginning of the day and then head out. Work order status would be updated sporadically during the day or all at once at the end of the day. A list of parts used, as well as remaining inventory, would be provided as handwritten notes transmitted by fax.

During a conversation about how to improve the client’s field service effectiveness, Nubik proposed the Field Service Lightning platform, which could leverage the client’s existing data and business rules in Service Cloud to provide a starting point for reinventing the field service experience.

Nubik worked with the client to identify the project scope, objectives, and timeframes; key project resources both at the client and its 3rd party contractors; and, finally, any project risks. Leveraging interviews with various stakeholders in the field service process, as well as through surveys and questionnaires, Nubik worked to understand the client’s unique field service processes. Armed with this information, Nubik was in a strong position to help launch a secure and effective Field Service Lightning implementation. In light of the relationships with multiple 3rd party contractors, a decision was made to roll out the new solution progressively.

Transforming field services

In determining the scope of work and the project objective with Nubik, the client identified three specific aspects of its field service operations that it wanted to improve by implementing the Field Service Lightning platform: real-time visibility into field service activities; the productivity of its field service personnel; and its own agility in the face of evolving customer requirements.

VISIBILITY

The disparate systems and manual processes that preceded its deployment of Field Service Lightning meant that Nubik’s client had limited real-time visibility into its field service activities. Once a technician was dispatched on a given work order, the client operated in near total darkness, relying on ad hoc communications with the technician or the affected customer to monitor the progress of the field service effort. While it was able to track technician journeys via GPS in a separate application, it was unable to track progress or infer anything meaningful once the technician was on-site. The field service effort was effectively a black box.

By implementing Field Service Lightning and equipping its technicians with the purpose-built Field Service Lightning mobile application, Nubik’s client is now able to manage and monitor all aspects of the field service effort electronically. Using the mobile application’s chat capabilities, dispatchers or other support personnel can interact with the technician immediately, eliminating the need for untimely phone calls, while also confirming that a message was read promptly. The mobile application also supports photo capture, enabling technicians to provide visual confirmation of completed work or request remote assistance for specific issues with probes or other hardware, captured in high-resolution detail. Work orders can be dispatched, confirmed, and marked as completed electronically. Customers and support personnel can receive service reports automatically, within seconds of work orders being updated.

Leveraging the built-in GPS capabilities of smartphones, the Field Service Lightning mobile application enables the client to track technicians remotely, replacing the need for a separate, unintegrated vehicle tracking application. The Field Service Lightning mobile application also provides technicians with navigation services, enabling and encouraging them to stay connected to the Field Service Lightning solution at all times.

FIELD PRODUCTIVITY

The disjointed nature of the field service process—work orders were dispatched over the phone while completed work orders and inventories were submitted via fax—and the use of multiple unconnected systems of record meant that field data needed to be reconciled manually. As a result, the information that could drive key insights into workforce behaviours or productivity was not being captured in any methodical or systematic way. There was no way to effectively measure the productivity of individual technicians or to determine whether additional training was in order. There was also limited ability to understand trends or to capture learnings that could improve the core solution offering or the field service experience. This complicated efforts to better manage field service resources, whether that meant paying overtime, assigning additional technicians to a customer site, or recruiting additional technicians that could be called upon in the future.

By moving to the Field Service Lightning platform, the client now has access to an end-to-end, time-stamped view of every field service activity, as well as the ability to aggregate data from multiple activities to understand trends and opportunities for service improvement. Dispatch times and completion times for each job are recorded automatically, enabling the client to measure the effectiveness of individual technicians. This has enabled the client to better understand opportunities for additional training, as well as opportunities to reward the most effective technicians with more work.

Field Service Lightning’ mobile application enhances the productivity of individual technicians. In addition to providing a complete and up-to-date calendar of service appointments, the mobile application enables technicians to access product documentation, including timely product notices. A technician can also view complete details of the customer relationship, including service records, in the palm of their hand. Though Nubik’s client is not currently managing its field inventory via Service Cloud, Field Service Lightning provides the ability to do so natively; this will eventually give technicians real-time access to parts availability, delays, and other information critical to delivering on customer expectations.

AGILITY

Having real-time visibility on contractors en route to each probe location, as well as between probe locations, is critical to managing and responding to customer expectations, as well as optimising technician assignments. As we saw earlier, implementing Field Service Lightning essentially transformed the client’s visibility overnight.

Before deploying Field Service Lightning, the client’s ability to respond to changing customer field service requirements was dependent upon a single team member, the dispatcher, who managed and tracked every detail in his head: technicians, their skills sets, their assigned territories, their experience with customers, etc. While the dispatcher was extremely proficient at his job, he was, in essence, a bottleneck, complicating the client’s ability to scale its business as well as manage its customers’ expectations. He was also at the mercy of timely communications from the field due to a lack of integrated technologies and systems.

With status updates occurring on an ad hoc basis at best—or worse only occurring at the end of the day—there were huge gaps in the client’s ability to understand the utilisation and the effectiveness of the technicians it had deployed. The inability to determine whether a technician is ahead or behind in their work, can take on a new assignment during the day, or needs to be seconded by an additional technician complicated the resource allocation effort, and lead the client to take many decisions sub-optimally.

By codifying and implementing the dispatcher’s knowledge of the field service dynamic in software—the data points concerning technicians, skill sets, and territories—and by enabling real-time communications with technicians via the mobile application, Nubik and Field Service Lightning were able to significantly enhance the client’s business agility.

Conclusion

As we have seen, field service activities are a critical aspect of the ongoing operations of organisations with solutions deployed on customer premises or assets used remotely. The ability to offer a seamless, end-to-end customer experience while achieving installation or repair outcomes promptly is paramount. This is contingent to a certain extent upon automating the discrete processes, actors, and artefacts generated by field service activities. Managing customer stakeholder expectations is only possible when a timely view of the state of the work order is the natural by-product of the field service process and not a separate deliverable.

With its ability to call upon a team with experience deploying tools and supporting agents in organisations with hundreds or thousands of field service technicians, and by leveraging the power of Field Service Lighting to tie everything together into an automated workflow, Nubik is well-placed to radically transform the complete customer experience.

Sales Cloud for Operations

Sales Cloud for Operations blog post on Nubik.ca

Here’s to Operations !

by Alexandre Boyer, VP Operations, Nubik

When thinking about Salesforce Sales Cloud, the immediate reflex is to think about the tools that can be provided to an organisation’s Sales team to enable it to structure, plan, and monitor its sales and business development activities. For many companies, Sales Cloud is an essential tool and there are many success stories that demonstrate as much.

However, Sales Cloud also has its advantages for Professional Services organisations. At Nubik, we are well placed to talk about this, because we use it and live it every day.

Here are some of the aspects of Sales Cloud that we use to ensure the smooth functioning of our organisation:

  • Forecasting and planning
  • Technical review and approval of proposals
  • Record keeping for customer communications and quoting activities
  • Automated project creation

 

Forecasting and planning

Managing project assignments in a professional services organisations is a savvy mix of magic and science. How can we minimize the magic and maximize the science? It’s no surprise that the answer involves communication.

However, the real question is: how to enable organisational fluidity without the need to organise another yet another meeting to review opportunities? Using Salesforce’s Forecast engine enables everyone, particularly the Operations team, to have a complete view of the sales opportunities that are likely to materialise in the coming weeks and months. Consequently, Forecast becomes a gauge by which future assignments are evaluated and enables the Operations team to better plan as a result.

Based on our experience, Forecast should be consulted weekly, at a minimum.

Technical review and approval of proposals

We don’t want to emphasise the common confrontations between the Operations and Sales teams. However, one must admit that such confrontations can be reduced if Operations has its say in Sales’ efforts!

The most effective approach is to validate architectures and work estimates before presenting them to clients and prospects. On the one hand, this helps Sales because it brings technical credibility to their estimates. On the other hand, it helps Operations be more effective since it provides them with a project based on a solid footing.

It is good business practice to involve one or more representatives from Operations for approving “Quotes” in Salesforce. While they could always veto a proposal if required, they are also better placed to help the project delivery teams if they feel capable of delivering on a reasonable budget.

Record keeping for customer communications and quoting activities

At the risk of repeating ourselves, one of Salesforce’s strengths is the Chatter messaging engine. Sales opportunities can retain all records of internal communications, which enables one to quickly get up to speed on the sales dynamic.

Even more importantly, all activities are recorded in the opportunity record, including call notes, emails, and other communications between the client and the sales representative. It’s probably the most effective way of avoiding misunderstandings and other surprises such as, “Yes, but during the sales cycle, we were told that …”. At the very least, these notes enable everyone to get realigned.

Together, these activities, Chatter notes, and other opportunity data points can be used at a later time (e.g., a few months)  to reconstruct the sales history and to provide the Operations team with a customer overview.

Project creation

Finally, one of the most important ways of using Sales Cloud for Operations teams: when an opportunity has been won, the next logical step is to deliver the work. No surprise here!

The creation of an effective project structure begins during the sales cycle. It’s then when tasks should be broken down and presented, followed by proper budgets assigned to these tasks. This separation at the Opportunity level enables project managers to align the project and give it a truly representative status. This enables the customer to understand at all times where the project stands relative to what was promised. The organisation will appear that much more coherent and well-organised as a result.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Sales Cloud is not just for Sales, but useful for each of the departments in a Professional Services organisation, particularly so for Operations. Whether it’s for project planning, risk management, alignment, or follow-up, Sales Cloud’s tools (i.e., Opportunities, Quotes, Forecast) are a must. To try them is to love them!

FinancialForce Print Formatter Tips & Tricks

FinancialForce Print Formatter Tips & Tricks post by Nubik.ca

Written by Jordan Ojeda, Force.com Developer at Nubik

Print Formatter is a standalone app that you can use to create design formats for printing sales invoices, credit notes, remittance advices, and checks that can be completed with data from the FinancialForce Accounting application. Essentially, it consists of a canvas where you can add the fields you need to appear in the final print. Besides the position, you can also customize the way your data will look by modifying font, color, size, format, and more.

Getting Started

Before using the app, the first step is getting authenticated. You will need to provide a combination of your org password and its Salesforce security token. Additionally, remember to specify the kind of org (sandbox, production) that you want to access.
Once you specify your org’s credentials, you can select between opening a print format (to modify an existent one) or create a print format if you want to create a new one.

To see how the tool works, let’s create a new print format:

1) Click on Create Print Format.
2) Select one of the standard base templates Print Formatter comes with (we are going to create a check format, but according to your needs, you can select “sales invoice”, “sales credit notes”, “remittance” or “checks”). Use “blank format” to select one of the standard base formats provided by Print Formatter.

Now that we have our new blank format, it’s time for the fun part, the actual building process! At this point, you will be working on a layout where you must place the fields, labels, and images you want to appear in the final render.

Print formatter screen shot 2 on Nubik.ca blog

You will want to start by adding a new section from the Toolbox, since that will allow you to add any available component, including data fields based on the type of section.

To add a new section:

1) Click on the section icon in the toolbox
2) Click on the layer in the spot where you want to see your new container.
TIP: You can include a section, field, image or any other component and define the size at the same time by keeping the click pressed meanwhile you adjust the size by moving the mouse.
Once you have your section defined, you can add any other component inside.

Adding metadata fields

Let’s be honest, the ability to add simple static text messages, images and tables wouldn’t make this app useful unless we had the ability to integrate data from our financial records. This is when the metadata fields come in. A metadata field allows you to retrieve data from your FinancialForce Account application by defining the specific field you want to show in the final render.

In order to define a metadata field:

1) Select the section you just created and click on the properties button. (For this example, we are going to select Check Summary so we can print general data from the check).

FinancialForce Print Formatter screenshot Nubik.ca blog

2) Click on the Metadata Field icon.
3) Click inside the previously created section.
4) Finally, click on properties to configure your new metadata field. (You can select the proper field amongst a bunch of fields available from FinancialForce Accounting, depending on the configuration of the section that is used as the container for the field).

TIP: Sometimes the set of Data Fields provided by FinancialForce and recognized by Print Formatter is not enough to comply with your requirements. Still in these cases, you are able to use the tool. You can add Data Fields to Print Formatter from any object that has a link to the Payment Media Summary. Set the custom fields on the object, then use a formula on the Payment Media Summary to map them to Print Formatter. Print Formatter will recognize any field with a prefix “ffdcpf” and make it available in the Data Fields list.

Once you added all your fields, it’s time to see how the format looks! Print Formatter gives us the ability to specify the criteria to easily retrieve a set of data that will be used to build the document based on our format. There are two ways to visualize the format populated with real data.

To test the formatting, use the Print Preview button. Or use the Print button, which will generate print events, and change the print status for sales invoices and sales credit notes to the status of Complete in FinancialForce Accounting data.

FinancialForce Print Formatter tips and tricks blog post screenshot by Nubik.ca

Whether you want to do an actual print or just test the format, by clicking on any of these buttons, you will be presented a window where you can specify the filter to be used to retrieve the data (by clicking on Next and then on Preview you can see the result of your query).

Print Formatter app by FinancialForce screenshot on Nubik.ca

Finally, click on the OK button to obtain the PDF with your populated format.

TIP: you can sort the data to be printed by adding your sort criteria in the menu Sort Order under View. There, you need to specify the field to take into account for the sort process and the sort order to be applied.

 

FinancialForce app Print Formatter screenshot on Nubik.ca Tips and Tricks blog

Now that we have built our format it’s time to save our work to make it usable in the future.

We have different options:

  1. We can Export the format so we can have and standalone copy that we can import to any other organization
  2. We can save it in Salesforce by clicking Save.
  3. Or we can save it as a Template to use again.

TIP: Save your work frequently so you won’t lose your work after any crash from the application, or save changes that cannot be easily be rolled back, like some visual modifications.

For more information about Print Formatter, please visit your FinancialForce community, and for a deepest technical description, you can review the documentation provided by the tool by clicking the help buttons. You can download the tool here.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and see that printing has never been as easier with Print Formatter!

The Advantages of Working from Home

Nubik blog the advantages of working from home image of black woman lying on her stomach infront of laptop

Written by Alexandre Boyer, VP Operations

Many people will tell you that remote working is the way to go. There are just as many who are all too happy to underscore the disadvantages. Which one is it? Is there a way to balance and enjoy the benefits while mitigating the disadvantages?

In this sense, Nubik is a laboratory, constantly in evolution, we have adapted and continue to refine what it means to work from home. There are some obvious benefits that come to mind when we think about working from home: for example savings on gas, not to mention time spent commuting, freedom and autonomy. But there is way more to it, and it is these that contribute to Nubik’s success.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages for the Employee:

  • Work-life balance
  • Optimization of working hours
  • Distraction reduction and inter-office movement
  • Proximity and accessibility of colleagues

For the Company

  • Ability to integrate offshore experts
  • Greater geographic coverage of customers
  • Increased productivity

Work-life Balance

The concept is often discussed, but it is not easy to achieve. In an era where both partners hold down full time jobs, and children are in the home, the challenge can be extreme. How can one offer the best to their family while investing in their career?

This right here is possibly the #1 advantage to be emphasized when working from home: On the condition that the employee listens to the needs of his or her own family! If the priority is set as the family then the time saved from commuting to and from the office should be granted to the family, overall improving quality of life. Moreover, the flexibility of working from home means you can organize your schedule to accommodate your family, for example picking up children after school, even if it means allocating time in the morning or evening to put in the hours necessary for work.

Optimization of working hours

Along the way, the workday was recognized as being from 9am to 5pm. This concept assumes that all individuals are identical, and are also effective on this time slot. Is this really the case?

To ask the question, is to answer it. Obviously the ranges of concentration and productivity vary widely between individuals. Many people succumb to mid-afternoon fatigue benefitting instead from a burst of energy either early in the morning or late in the evening. Why not take advantage of it then? It makes sense to tap into this productivity in non-traditional time slots, rather than force them to work when they are not at their best.

Increased productivity/Distraction reduction and inter-office movement

It is quite easy to fall into friendly conversations throughout the day with your colleagues, only to realize that valuable time has been wasted.

This is not to diminish the importance of these escape times, on the contrary! These times are quite necessary, and are optimal … when planned!

In a typical office environment, these distractions can occur at any time and disturb the concentration of individuals. Conversely, teleworking allows the individual to focus and concentrate on his or her tasks, and then take downtime when they need it.

Proximity and accessibility of colleagues

This advantage may at first seem curious, but tools like Sococo and other technologies give us a snapshot into the availability of our colleagues, and even our customers. At a glance, it is possible to check if someone is in the office, without having to go up several floors or peek into meeting rooms.

With one click, we are now face-to-face! It is fascinating to see how being physically distant can actually bring us closer together.

Ability to integrate offshore experts

Working with offshore experts is not new. Depending on the needs, the best person for the job is not always in the same city: they may be in another province, state or even country! The problem is, however, this colleague is often isolated, and therefore not given equal opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.

What is interesting about a telecommuting company is the ability to better integrate these experts. They find themselves on an equal footing with their colleagues, accessible in the same way as everyone else. So in a sense, we are more committed with all team members, regardless of their location.

Greater geographic coverage of customers

It goes without saying, integrating people living in remote areas means we can get coverage outside of the office location that would be otherwise difficult to access or costly to operate.

Suddenly, opening an office in a new urban center is simply a matter of finding and hiring the right person, rather than finding a physical location. Then even your customers have instant access to local resources.

Conclusion

Obviously, nothing is perfect, but as a company that continues to invest and innovate in work-life balance, we can say without a shadow of a doubt that good management of remote teams can bring immense benefit both to the team, and to the company. Whether it is productivity, flexibility, accessibility or profitability, everyone can benefit from it!