New Sage 300 CRE user training – where’s the manual?
by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant
It’s called “Help” and “What’s This?”
One question often asked of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate consultants is, “Where is the manual for the software?” This question is posed by brand new users and more experienced users alike. Whether you are new to your company, your company is new to Sage 300 CRE, or you just want to expand your knowledge and proficiency, the opportunities for learning are right at your fingertips.
Help Topics – the “Manual”
The Help menu selection in each module provides access to Help Topics specific to that module. Help Topics are organized in volumes that expand into sub-volumes and individual topic links that provide detailed information about the setup and workflow within the module. Help Topics can be printed for easy reference, and many contain hyperlinks to additional topics to provide users with broad, multi-level learning opportunities. Help Topics are key word searchable on the Index and Search tabs of the main screen.
Window-Specific Help and “What’s This?” Icon
Most Setup, Tasks and Tools workflow windows include a Help button that opens the Help Topic, specific to the window and the fields it contains (highlighted top and bottom right).
To access the Help Topic for a specific field in a window, users can first click the ‘What’s This?’ icon on the window and then click on the field. ‘What’s This?’ icons are identified by either a question mark or an arrow and question mark together. In the absence of a ‘What’s This?’ icon, field-specific information is still available through the Help button on the window or the Help Topics for the module.
The Workflow Centers in Sage Desktop > Additional Tools provide a simple graphic interface for users to access Common Workflow Tasks, Additional Tasks, Setup Tasks, commonly used Reports and Inquiries, and commonly accessed Help Topics. All elements can be launched directly from the graphics and links contained in the Workflow Center.
Beyond the Basics
The built-in “manual” of Help Topics is not the only at-your-fingertips source for how-to information, particularly when it comes to correcting errors and troubleshooting unexpected issues. Sage Software purposely included the Sage Support web page as one of the default Home Pages of the new Sage Desktop introduced in version 16.1. The Sage Support page provides 24/7 access to the Sage Knowledgebase. This key-word searchable database contains articles produced by Sage technicians in answer to questions and issues submitted by Sage users over the years. Many of these articles even contain helpful guidance for setting up and using the software in uncommon situations.
Sage Support handy links for users to:
- Submit an online customer support case to Sage. A Sage 300 CRE expert will contact you to help resolve your issue.
- Chat online with a Sage 300 CRE expert about a technical issue with your software product (available during Sage business hours).
- Access the Sage 300 CRE product documents.
- Access Trending Topics articles and Videos produced by Sage that address specific training topics and help keep users up-to-date on industry-related issues.
- Access Sage University to enroll in Sage training opportunities, including Anytime Learning and scheduled live webinars.
- Access the Sage City community and a host of links to blogs, discussion forums, articles, and videos provided by users, consultants, and Sage.
- Download products and access installation instructions and activation keys.
In addition to these self-paced, independent learning methods, Sage certified consultants are available to work with users on a one-on-one or group basis, either in person or remotely using interactive online meeting tools.
The Bottom Line
The opportunity to learn about the set up and use of Sage 300 CRE is limited only by a user’s dedication to the learning process. Some suggestions for honing your skills include:
- Prepare written procedures for the tasks you routinely perform within Sage 300 CRE. Take screenshots of the windows you access, paste them into a Word document, and add notes detailing the fields required (either by the software or by your company) and the steps needed to fully complete the task. Have another user test your procedures from start to finish. Fill in any missing information and add the document to your company’s procedural manual. Modify as needed to keep the documentation current so that new users follow the same procedures.
- Keep a written list of other topics to be explored; add to the list as questions arise during use of the software. Prioritize the list according to individual and organizational needs.
- Schedule time to research a topic on your list using the tools above. Document your findings and add the documentation to your collection of written procedures.
The Sage 300 CRE software product is a suite of multiple integrated applications. The structure and navigation alone can seem complex and daunting for users, but Sage has provided everything you need to become a power user – and your Sage business partner is committed to helping you achieve success with your Sage 300 CRE software.