For as long as we have had customers, over 30 years, the annual renewal process has been a laborious and time consuming manual process. When you are small the time doing this process is noticeable.
Last year our company switched our internal ERP systems to Acumatica Cloud ERP. This year we added the MaxQ Advanced Billing module and it is not an understatement to say that it has been one of the biggest transformations we have seen in 30 years.
We have more than 300 customers and more than 90% of them have active annual support plans.
In the past, we had one full-time person who would probably spend more than half her time, each month, on our customer renewal process. Amounts would be calculated manually then each renewal email would be sent manually, 60 days in advance, then resent, and tracked.
Now, the entire process is automated in Acumatica.
The automation starts as soon as we make the sale, from day one. For example, when we sell a Dynamics GP Starter Pack for $5,000 right now the 18% support plan fee is $900.
With the MaxQ system, we have separate billing codes for the Starter Pack and the support plan. So next year, when it is time for the support plan to be renewed it is automatically processed. A new contract is set up on the fly, based on the original sales invoice, and an email is sent to the client 60 days before the renewal date. And we have it set up to auto-renew the following year.
From an administrative standpoint, we can see what is going to renew during a specific time period. And we can review a specific renewal in a preview window before it is sent out to see if any changes need to be made.
For example, perhaps the client added a new user three months after the initial purchase. Then there would be two support plan renewal contracts – 18% of the original purchase and 18% the additional user. Our team can decide to combine those invoices into one.
We know that ISV add on vendors charge their annual support plan fees differently. Some charge a pro-rated amount so that the renewal data matches the Dynamics GP system renewal date. And others always charge for 12 months. So this also needs to be reviewed.
In the past, we had to manually look through the records to see if additional users were added, and when they needed to billed.
With our Acumatica clients in the Cloud, the renewal is easier since the whole purchase amount is renewable each year. It is a different situation, but it works the same and is also an automated process with MaxQ Advanced Billing.
In the past, our invoice from Dynamics GP could not be formatted to show the renewal amount PLUS the different price options the client had if they wanted to choose a different support plan. So a separate Word document was attached, which was cumbersome.
Using some general formatting with items we were able to configure the MaxQ system in Acumatica to include all the necessary information on the renewal form. The look is crisp and fresh and colorful.
Figure 1: Renewal Email Template
Figure 2: Renewal Invoice (sent as attachment to email)
What used to be a time consuming manual process can now be done with the click of a button. A template email is sent out to the client’s email address on record, with the renewal invoice as an attachment. Everything is tracked. And the entire team has access to the information for reporting and decision making.
I predict that this new MaxQ Advanced Billing for Acumatica system saves us 30 to 60 hours a month.
It has been a transformation for our business, and I am excited to help our Acumatica clients experience the same benefits.
To start the conversation about how you can transform your business with Acumatica Cloud ERP contact CAL Business Solutions at 860-485-0910 x4 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By George Mackiewicz, President, CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut based Microsoft Dynamics GP and Acumatica Partner, www.calszone.com