Customer portal

The topic is about the Customer Portal so it will be inappropriate to discuss the supplier portal idea in details. Here is just one use case for an organisation working in the non-profit sector and seeking to promote communication and collaboration with implementation partners (Suppliers).

Donors/Sponsors operate in communities through Implementation partners (IPs). The IPs are paid in advance and send back financial reports (Bill).

A portal for IPs to upload reports, share contract documents and download statements would be great. When it is time for project reports, the Portal could be temporally opened with a Timer/Countdown for IPs to upload their project reports, bids, Quotes etc before deadlines. Organisations pay a lot of money to get such reporting platforms here.

This will be for Lubos to decide. As I have no use for a supplier portal, I can’t really comment on how useful this will be for majority Manager users. But reading what you have said, I don’t really think that using Manager is the best way to handle this. Manager is an accounting program and the point of the portal is to show the customers information from Manager itself.

It does not appear that you are wanting to share information in Manager itself (like your quotes), but rather use the supplier portal as a document storage platform to share reports and contracts. I think you will have to discuss in great detail with Lubos whether there is any benefit to creating a supplier portal as it sounds to me like your requirements are quite niche, unlikely to be used by many Manager users and also not providing the core purpose of the portal which is to share information contained within Manager.

Manager is not a sharepoint solution which I think is what you are trying to create.

I have more than 300 Customers… before I am able to do batch update and enable Customer portal… is it still possible…???

I have not checked it yet. can anyone confirm?

Many donors USAID, B&MGF, IFAD, NORAD and implemeting partners (NGOs, Private Sector, etc) have their own financial and operational reporting formats and time frames. I think Manager should work on getting accounting as strong as possible and I would have liked as in other posts to be able to have the possiblilty to aggregate Projects (in Manager terms businesses as they are) to a Main Organization (Parent Business). This would facilitate a lot in terms of partner projects. I was hoping for basic calculus in the newly non-coding report transformations but learned that I should use custom reports as the transformations are more dealing with specific country reporting of taxes.

Considering you would need to send a link to each customer anyway, batch updating to enable the feature only does that … it enables it. But the customer would be unable to access it without the link.

So even if batch updating isn’t possible, perhaps it’s not a major problem:

  1. Advertise to customers that you have the feature
  2. Any that request it, you can create a portal link for them and send it through

I really would like to start using the Customer Portal when my next contract year starts in April. Would it be possible to get the following issues sorted so that the Customer Portal can be used in production mode. I think the Customer Portal Concept is an absolutely fantastic feature and one that I have been wanting to implement for many years.

  1. Customers need to be able to download a pdf copy of the quote/order/invoice. Without this functionality, the portal is basically useless for my needs.

  2. Cyber Security implementation - at a bare minimum, username and password implementation. More is needed, but just to get the Customer Portal to Production mode, that would suffice.

  3. Review the Summary Page in the Portal as it is a Cyber Security risk, contains no information that the customer needs as all that information is in the quotes/invoices anyway. I am not seeing the point of the Summary Page in the Customer Portal.

For reference, here is a complete list of requests via various posters for the Customer Portal. But the first three I consider to be essential for production use.

Another feature that I would like introduced sooner rather than later is the ability to view a folder within the Folders Tab where Customer contracts, SLA, Terms and Conditions etc could be stored. However, the Folder Tab would need to have a theme similar to Ealfardan - Adjust themes for folders and obviously the client could only access their folder in the Folder’s Tab.

A lot more has been requested for the Customer Portal as you can see by the linked topic. But just these few suggestions would make the Portal usable for production use and then you can build on the portal by implementing MFA, Client Edit Restrictions etc. At the moment the Customer Portal is not being used at all.

I was just thinking about the problem with the retirement of the internal pdf creator button as I support the removal of the legacy pdf creator for all the reasons discussed. But this causes a problem for how pdf’s would work in the Customer Portal. I think I have come up with the answer.

With the Customer Portal, perhaps the solution is us to create the pdf using our own pdf printer program and then upload that pdf to the quotes, sales orders and sales invoices transactions.

Attachments are already supported in the Main accounting program. However, these attachments are not viewable in the Customer Portal - but they could be with minimal programming?

The only request that I would make (for the customer portal), would be that the location of the pdf attachment be clickable/viewable in two locations. One - at the bottom of the view form (exactly as it currently works in the main Manager program), but more importantly in a column next to the view button in the list of transactions. On the basis that the vast majority of the time, the customer is interested in the pdf document, not viewing the Manager form.

As add attachments functionality already exists within Manager, this should be a very quick addition to the Portal and would make the Portal pretty much ready for immediate production use and get round the problems of not needing the legacy internal pdf creator. I have no objections using my own pdf printer software to create the pdf attachments. I just need the attachments to be viewable in the Customer Portal.

Lot of non value added work steps in that proposal there vs. if it was just created as a pdf in the first place :frowning:

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@lubos Users continually request the option to put customer balances on new invoices. Is it possible to improve the customer portal by allowing users to generate a Statement of Transactions with closing balances for a given period?

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Hello Lubos
I was wondering if customer portals can have ability for us to give access of view, view/create, view/create/update, options for sales invoices/orders etc

Basically we want to use it as a order booking software in which client creates a sales quote as we have given access of (view create update) so they can create their demand or order then client or us can directly copy to invoice which client has (view) or (view+create) option only.

It will be super beneficial if we can restrict client to select certian inventory items or non inventory items only and can’t see or select other items

Is there any possibility of its implementation any sooner?

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I don’t think giving them the permission to Edit is good. I think it would be best to get them to make the changes by contacting you.

I agree. But what @fahadalarab want is for the customer to be able to create an order or quote. Maybe you can add them as a user on your system then ask them to place orders from the system.

I think it is a clever idea though to get your client to place an order similar to what they can do an any ecommerce website.

Would you really want your customers to create their own sales quotes? I doubt it. Nor would it be advantageous for them to be able to directly enter sales orders, which would have the potential to disrupt your production, purchasing, and supply chain management. Making online purchases, which are binding contracts, is far different from entering a sales order in another business’ accounting system.

I think the more you consider customer portals, the more you will realize that viewing transactions is risky enough, without giving outsiders access to your actual accounting records. The security risks are huge.

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@Tut , Do you think that creating a separate business for the client and creating a user for him with limited access to sales orders only is a good idea till we have the option in Manager?
I know it will take time to make the order again in the main business, but it is just a step to save time by exporting the sales order from the client access

No. You can create a user in the regular business restricted to only sales orders. But I would not do that personally.

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But in this case he will be able to see other clients sales orders too, right?

Right, but why not just create a test business and find this out. As @Tut said it is not recommended giving outsiders access to your accounting records. I would advise to just create a standalone online form on a website that contains all the information that people can enter to create a sales order mimicking as many fields that Manager uses.

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I did that, but trying to reach to a safe private solution, maybe in future we can have the function in Customer portal that customer can see only his orders.

The only safe private solution for now is a standalone online form on a website you own or an offline form that you email to customer.

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Dear Manager io Admin
Can you please Add PDF button to the Customer portal?
I know they can print PDF but it takes longer time and i think if PDF button is there , would be easier especially for clients who might don’t have enough knowledge of printing PDF
Thank you!
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