Monday, 31 October 2011

Sneak Peak: New Help System

This week we will be rolling out a new help system. 

Our walk-through approach is designed for users who prefer to be shown how to do something rather than read about it.

When you click on one of the walk-through links, OfficeBooks will prompt you to follow the steps required to complete a given task. 

The system has been very well received by our in-house testing crew and we expect you will like it as well. 

As always - we welcome your input.  Don't hesitate to write us with ideas, questions, or suggestions.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Using work orders to manage production

Users often come to OfficeBooks looking for a way to better manage their inventory.  This is a common challenge for new businesses.  You can track inventory on a spreadsheet, but once you start using that inventory (to build your products), keeping your spreadsheet up to date can be a real challenge.

Work orders are useful for several reasons.  In a manufacturing environment, they are a tool that provides workers with a clearly defined task (Build 10 of product X, for example).   From a management perspective, work orders also provide you with a means to track and review planned, in progress, and completed production. 

Once a manufacturing work order is completed in OfficeBooks, the process of closing the work order automatically adjusts your inventory levels for your products and the sub components used to build it.

In a service environment, work orders are typically used in a different way.  Work orders (also known as service orders, repair orders, or maintenance orders) are issued for discrete tasks such as changing light bulbs or recurring tasks such as preventative maintenance on machinery.   The work order system within OfficeBooks was designed with manufacturing in mind, so some work is required on our part to offer better support for service work orders.  It's on our to do list and we will get it done. 

If there are specific things you would like to see from the work order system, we welcome your input.  Just drop us a line at

Get started quickly with Learning Mode

This week we introduced a new way to learn about OfficeBooks.

Learning Mode is an option available to all registered users. The option is available from the main dashboard and will take you to a special account that allows you to effectively play with OfficeBooks without worrying about making a mess - the learning mode data is reset frequently.  Even if you do make a mess of things - there's no damage done!

Learning Mode is the first part of a collection of resources we are developing to help you get started more quickly and take full advantage of the more powerful aspects of OfficeBooks.  We expect to release a series of short tutorial videos next week and introduce some walkthrough type guides to help you complete typical tasks such as creating a manufacturing work order, creating a purchase order, or building a bill of materials.

We encourage you to give Learning Mode a try.  And - as always - we welcome your input.  If there are features you would like to see, or a specific feature you need help with, don't hesitate us by emailing