Staying Connected When Offsite

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During unusual times like COVID-19, many of our our customers are looking to offer some staff the ability to work from home where possible. As most of our customers are manufacturers, plant and warehouse staff are still needed in person, but there may be times when you or some of your staff will want to work from outside your office. Below are some options for how you can stay connected and in business while away from your business.

  1. Access your Minotaur system remotely? Many Minotaur customers who have multiple locations know that they can use their Minotaur system from outside their office using terminal server, remote desktop or VPN connectivity. If you are running Minotaur’s handheld warehouse management, your server is already equipped to run terminal server. Each terminal server user needs a matching ‘virtual desktop’ on the server to connect to and the accompanying Microsoft server license to make it possible. Your server needs to be configured to allow connections from outside the office securely, but that is completely doable. Finally, you’ll need a device with you that can hop onto the server. That device could be a windows computer or laptop, an Android tablet or iPad. Once on your virtual desktop, you’ll be able to do everything you can do in the office from wherever you are.
  2. If you don’t have terminal server access already and don’t own terminal licenses for your server you can use another connection method Windows makes available called remote desktop instead. With remote desktop (or AnyDesk, Teamview or LogMeIn), your computer in the office needs to stay on, so it is available for you to connect to from offsite. No one else can use that computer at the office if you are operating it remotely. It works just like you would imagine, you are essentially operating your computer from a location other than right in front of it.
  3. To print to a local printer (meaning one at your house or on the road with you), you’ll need your IT person to set up what is called a printer redirect, so that when you go to print from within Minotaur, you’ll be able to see the local printer in your list of printers and send the print job to the printer of your choice. Note that you can also send the print job to a network printer connected to your server. This ability can allow a remote worker to send a print job to a printer onsite at the company, should they need to.
  4. Another important function you might wish to take with you is cheque printing. With Minotaur, you can take blank cheque paper on the road with you. Many companies are still using pre-printed cheques where they have to put the special cheque paper in the printer and be sure the number showing in Minotaur is the same as the paper in the printer. But that is just one way to print cheques. Check out this article on the benefits of blank cheque paper. While many payments we can make online these days, it is always handy to have cheques available when e-transfer limits are exceeded or you when don’t have the information available to do a wire or electronic funds transfer (EFT). You can print a cheque from any one of your business accounts, sign it, and pop it in the mail the same day, all without even being in the same country. For my own on-the-road cheque printing, I just bought a $50 printer from Staples that connects via USB to my laptop.
  5. Another way to issue payments is through EFT (electronic funds transfer). Minotaur can create export files from your system that can be loaded to your bank to pay suppliers and/or employees, and it will deposit the required funds directly into their bank account. More and more companies are foregoing cheques in favour of electronic funds transfers especially for payroll. They are more immediate and unless you enter the bank information incorrectly, they don’t get ‘lost in the mail’. We use this to pay our staff even when we are away. The file can be prepared and uploaded from anywhere.

Talk to your hardware provider or Minotaur if you’d like help with setting up work from home options.

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