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While we all love to disconnect every so often, but for many of us, especially owners and senior managers, you need some level of connectivity with the office to manage challenges. Below are three ideas for how you can stay connected and in business while away from your business.
- 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.
- Did you know that 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. When Richard and I travel on road trips, we take a small printer and blank cheque paper with us. While many payments we can make online these days, it is always handy to have cheques in case something unexpected happens. 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. In order for this to work, you’ll need your IT person to set up what is called printer redirect, so that when you go to print from within Minotaur, you’ll be able to send the print job locally so that you can print it the printer that is connected to your laptop, or you’ll need a network printer connected to your server from wherever you are. I just bought a $50 printer from Staples that connects via USB to my laptop.
- 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 employees directly into their bank account. More and more companies are foregoing cheques in favour of electronic 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 through the internet.
Of course, it’s great when you can step away and take a break from work. But if that just isn’t possible, consider using the above features to stay connected while you are away from the office. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing if something comes up at the business while you are away, you have the tools to take care of it.