Equipment Hire Software release 6.2.0.9 2014/08/28

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Equipment Hire Software – Issues resolved and new features:

Equipment Hire

Specific Customers:

Container Agents

Issues resolved and new features:

Work Orders:
Change to test for control characters on the following overtype fields:
• Customer description
• Phone number
• Email Address
• Item Code
• Item description
• Order number
• Plant number

Recurring Billing:
Process Monthly Contracts:
Add a checkbox “Monthly Fixed Rate Price increase”
When checked and the contract continues to the next month the Monthly fixed Price for the new month derives from the Item’s monthly price and not from the current month’s price.
If the monthly price at Edit Item is 0 (zero) the monthly fixed rate for the next month will be 0 (zero).
If applied to a previous custom monthly fixed rate this custom rate will be updated to the new monthly price on file at Edit Item

Relations Management Software Release 5.4.0.9 2014/08/27

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Due to development and testing a few Versions will not be available for download.Also the latest full install wil include this upgrade.The Release notes will include changes made in Ver:6 – 9.

Relations Management Software – Issues resolved and new features:

Relation Management

Countries and cities as location issue for customer
• When adding a new customer and using the locations when selecting some countries then the combo box for the cities was not enabled at first. This issue have been resolved.
User deletion.
• Only users of the administrator group will now be able to delete and edit users.
Creating and editing customers and suppliers
• All the unnecessary spacing at the start in the text fields will be removed to insure the correct results when the advanced search feature is used.
Set status all
• The option to set the status of all the customers in the list will only be allowed and be visible for users of the administrator group.
Adding countries to the database
• No duplicates of the county codes will be allowed when adding additional countries to the database.
Flag Correspondence
• Option to flag the correspondence items have been added.
• Will also have the same levels as the customers and suppliers High, Medium, and Low.
• When flagging a correspondence item the customer will automatically be flagged if not flagged.
• The customer or suppliers flag priority will be set to the highest priority of the correspondence items.
Additional fields for contact people
• Telephone and fax number fields have been added for the additional contact people for the customers and suppliers.
Support for Pastel version 14
The NovPasSDK.dll have been altered to support Pastel 14 and is included in the upgrade.
Flag all correspondence items
• All the correspondence items will now be able to be set with a flag priority.
Customer And Supplier deletion.
• Only users of the administrator group will now be able to delete customers or suppliers.
• When deleting all the suppliers in the list of suppliers resulted in an error it occurred when the last supplier was deleted this issue have been resolved.
Un-flag Customer or Supplier
• If the last correspondence item is unflagged then the user will be asked if the selected customer or supplier should also be unflagged.
Un-flag Correspondence Items
• If the customer or supplier is unflagged al the correspondence items will also be unflagged.
Adding Customer or Supplier
• The spacing in front of all the text field values will be removed when adding a customer or supplier.
Flag Customer, Supplier or Correspondence Item for User
• Option to flag the customers, suppliers or correspondence items for a specific user have been added.
• This feature will only be available for user of the administrator group.
Sort Flagged Correspondence Items
• A button have been add to the main form that when clicked will move all the correspondence items that are flagged to the top.
Sage Pastel Evolution
• Relations will now be able to interface will pastel evolution and can be set up in Setup=>Interface then select Evolution in the combo box.
• A new form will be opened to set up the interface with the database location, username, and password. The Evolution Connection settings will also need to be entered.
Sort Flagged Customers, Suppliers and Correspondence Items
• A button have been add to the main form that when clicked will move all the Customers or Suppliers and correspondence that are flagged to the top of the list with those with the highest priority at the top.
Flagged Note for the Flagged Item
• When a customer, supplier or correspondence item is flagged then an option to add a note for the reason that the item is flagged will be displayed.
• Will be the same as the existing notes but the type will be Flagged Note.
• If an item is flagged then when it is right clicked an option to open the flagged note will be displayed to open the note that was added when the item was flagged.
• The Flagged Note will ensure that the date that the item was flagged will also be recorded.
• When the flagged note is opened all the users that flagged the item can be displayed by clicking on the “Flagged For” button.
Display Flagged Items for User
• If an item is flagged it will only be visible for the user that flagged it of for whom it is flagged.
Issue with Deleting Contact People
• The issue that occurred when deleting contact people for a customer or supplier that deleted a different person than the one selected have been resolved.
Advanced Search for Flagged User
• The advanced search for a flagged user did not display the correct Flagged Note. This issue have been resolved.
Flagged Note for logged in User
• The correct flagged not was not display for the user that is currently logged in it they opened the flagged not for an item flagged for them.
Correspondence icons overlap
• The issue with the flag icons in the correspondence list view that overlapped if the list was full have been resolved.

Contract Management Software 4.7.0.4 2014/08/22

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Contract Management Software – Issues resolved and new features:
Contract Management

Novtel Contract Changes
• Includes all the bug fixed from Novtel Service Business Rental Management.
Novtel Contract also now replaces Novtel Service Business Rental Management
• Added the option to send the service agreement description through as a remark
to Pastel Invoices and Credit Notes. This option can be activated under Setup Company ->
Financial -> Post Item Description as Remark.
NOTE: The remark is only sent through if the price of the rental is 0. If the price is greater than zero,
the rental charge line is sent through and not the remark
• Added a performance fix to the Contract Manager form
• Added the ability to apply a discount per line on the reservation and contract additional costs.
The discount is entered when you select the rate to use for the additional cost
(after you click the Add button on an Additional Costs tab), at the bottom of the form.
• When the discount feature is used, a remark is automatically created below
the additional cost detailing the original price and the discount percentage.
• Added the ability to add multiple additional costs lines of the same service/charge code.
This functionality can be activated under Setup -> Company -> Preferences ->
Allow Reservation Additional Costs to contain multiple lines of the same service code.

Note 1: When this feature is turned on, you can add as many lines of the same service code
as needed. Each line can also have a different discount and escalation, even if it is of the same service code.

Note 2: When used with contracts, the following is extremely important: Because the system
will now allow multiple entries of the same code, you must be careful when applying
the contract fixed additional costs from the contract manager form.
If the additional costs already exists on the contract reservation, and you re-apply the fixed costs again,
duplicate entries will be created because the system now allows multiple entries of the same charge code.
A warning has been implemented to notify you before the cost is applied if this is the case.

Note 3: If you want to change the fixed additional costs on a contract, and re-apply the charges
without created duplicate entries, temporarily turn the ‘Allow Reservation Additional Costs to contain multiple
lines of the same service code’ option OFF under Setup -> Company. The system will then apply the changes
to the existing additional costs on the contract reservations without creating duplicate entries.
Once you are done, re-enable the option under Setup -> Company

• Contracts are now limited to one Service Agreement per contract.
• Fixed a bug where you could apply escalations even before the contract reservations have been created.
• Fixed the Contract Excalations Report not calculating the escalations correctly when multiple
additional costs of the same charge code is used.
• Added the Banking Details tab to the Edit Customer form (In support of the debit order system)
• Updated the Debit Order tab to the latest version under Setup -> Documents
• Added the Debit Order system to Novtel Contract Management. To enable the debit order system,
navigate to Setup -> Company -> Financial, and check the ‘Use Electronic Payment’ option.
When the option is set, you can export the debit order list from Processing -> Recurring Billing ->
Electronic Payment Tenants
• Added Support for Pastel 14 Partner and Express

Equipment Hire Software release 6.2.0.8 2014/08/14

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Equipment Hire Software – Issues resolved and new features:

Equipment Hire

Specific Customers:

Container Agents
ODP

Issues resolved and new features:

Customers:
Add additional support if customer code format started out as AAANNN. If this format is present when creating new customers, the system will check and only change to format AANNNN if existing AAANNN format codes are not present for the customer to be created.

Car Rental News

Car Rental News

Europcar is extending the range of services available from its ground-breaking Mobility Centre at ExCeL London. Focused on giving visitors to the exhibition and conference venue a transport solution that is tailored specifically for their needs – a first for the events sector – the new Europcar Chauffeur Service enables customers to take advantage of a luxury driving option. ? Read More

Car Rental News

The spotlight is on Scotland for the Commonwealth Games as well the Edinburgh Festival and Ryder Cup as Homecoming 2014 makes the country the hot destination this summer. ? Read More

Car Rental News

Concur, leading provider of spend management solutions and services in the world, and premium minicab firm Addison Lee announced a strategic partnership that enables travellers to book Addison Lee taxis through the Concur Travel platform and automatically link an e-receipt to their expense report. ? Read More

Take the risk out of investing

Take the risk out of investing

Investing in property? Here’s stuff you need to know first!

Decide on a niche

In order to make an informed purchasing decision, you need to know what the market-related selling prices and rentals are. Since it is very difficult to be an expert on all types of properties in all areas, it is usually a good idea to decide on a niche you will target. For example, you could choose to focus on townhouses within a certain area.

Observe market trends

Watch the trends in your chosen market for some time before taking an investment decision. You should know what the rental and buying demands are like, and whether they are increasing or decreasing. Are rental yields going up? Are selling prices going up? Try to establish whether changes in demand are related to the area only, or to variations in the general economy.

Remember, you will be buying with a long-term view so always satisfy yourself that the area you are looking at will continue to be sought-after by renters (and buyers) in the future.

Understand tax

As an investor, you need to know what the tax consequences of your investment will be. Typically, any rental income you receive will be included in your taxable income but maintenance expenses, rates and interest on the bond can be deducted. You could quite easily end up with a tax loss in the first few years which could be set off against your other taxable income.

Capital improvements to a property cannot be deducted, but will reduce the profit on sale taxed by SARS.

When you sell a property that you bought to earn rental income, there will be capital gains tax on any profit you make. It is important to note that if your original intention was to buy a property and then resell it for a profit, the profit could be taxed at normal income tax rates!

Get tax advice from your accountant before investing.

Understand tenant rights

If you rent out a residential property, there are two legal elements you must be aware of.

  1. If you ever decide to sell, the lease agreement that you signed with your tenant will take precedence over the subsequent sale agreement. This is the “huur gaat voor koop” principle. What this means is that any change of ownership has no effect on the lease; the tenant just makes payment to a new landlord. This could limit potential buyers to only those who don’t mind the fact that there is a tenant.
  2. You need a court order to evict a tenant who stops paying. Not only can this take three months or more to obtain, but it is not a foregone conclusion that the court will even agree to evict. In terms of SA law, the court will consider the rights and needs of tenants who are vulnerable: the elderly, disabled persons, children, and households headed by women. The court could therefore decide, in the particular circumstances, that it would be too harsh to evict the tenants even though they aren’t paying the rent. The lesson is to carefully screen any potential tenantsfirst and to consult a good lawyer.

RentReport tool for property investors for TPN

RentReport tool for property investors for TPN

Another first in the industry, Tenant Profile Network (TPN) announced its innovative new RentReport tool at the launch last week, which is set to change the face of property investment inSouth Africa.

“The quality of your rental investment is based on the quality of the tenant you have placed in the property,” says Dickens.

Property owners and investors can now access suburb-specific data to assist them in identifying what properties in which areas will deliver good and consistent returns. There are 22 700 suburbs in SA and TPN has data which is invaluable in pinpointing buy-to-let hotspots and tracking trends in various suburbs.

With 3.6 million households living in rental accommodation in SA, this represents 25% of the population, says Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN, and this figure has grown from 18% in 2001 (Stats SA figures). In Gauteng alone there are 1.4 million households renting, which is 42% of the resident population.

“The quality of your rental investment is based on the quality of the tenant you have placed in the property,” says Dickens. Two things are important for investors, capital growth and rental yields, and knowing the payment behaviour of a particular tenant is vital, as is understanding location and pricing of rental properties.

The report uses data sources which include TPN’s RentBook, RentBay and credit bureau data, as well as suburb demographics sourced from Stats SA population census and General Household Surveys.

Dickens says RentReport generates reports which are based on a number of crucial suburb demographics. For example, she says the most important demographic from a buy-to-let perspective is how many properties within an area are rental properties, as this is an indicator of the volume of tenants looking to rent in that area.

Investors can also get a feel for the size of properties in an area that tenants are looking for, she says. RentReport distinguishes between property types such as townhouses, clusters or freehold properties, and investors can see the percentages of these property rental categories for a specified area. Dickens says in an area like Sunninghill there are more townhouses for rent than townhouses occupied by owners,  while there are more owner-occupied freehold properties than tenants renting this type of property. Therefore, she says potential investors can deduce that townhouses would be a more valuable buy-to-let investment.

Dickens says RentReport generates reports which are based on a number of crucial suburb demographics. For example, she says the most important demographic from a buy-to-let perspective is how many properties within an area are rental properties, as this is an indicator of the volume of tenants looking to rent in that area.

She says when investors are looking to, for example, buy a property in Midrand, they would need to know whether a studio apartment priced at R395 000 would be a good deal or not. Now they can download a report for that suburb in Midrand. This indicates how tenants are paying rent in the area – percentages on time, in the grace period or late – compared against the national average, which is currently 86% in good standing.

RentReport gives an overview of who lives in the area, distinguishing between owners and tenants. “Data provided includes the average number of tenants per household, the housing dynamic of these tenants (such as singles, couples, families etc.) and the average ages of household heads,” says Dickens. “You are also able to view the income of each household, which enables buy-to-let investors to derive the affordability of rental prices in that area based on 30% of income.”

The report includes employment status of tenants in an area, their education level and languages spoken. Payment performance data in an area enables investors to check this against national, provincial and local area averages.

RentReport shows rental prices in a selected area over a six-quarter period for one, two and three bedroom properties, with average maximum and minimum rent for each category over the period. Dickens explains that a visual graph indicates in which price brackets the majority of rentals are being achieved. “The report also supplies the relevant outlying data, which shows, for example, that a three bedroom rental price bracket can start from R 11 000 and up to R 18 000 per month.”

The RentReport tool can be accessed through the TPN website and is available to all registered TPN members.

“An important factor to note for property owners and investors is that access to RentReport is based on data-reciprocity. This means that members are required to supply their own tenant data in order to access these aggregated rental suburb reports,” says Dickens.

The RentReport tool is based on the Google Maps visual system and designed in an simple-to-navigate web-based platform.  Dickens says they wanted to make sure the system would be really easy and user-friendly.

Until now, property owners and investors could not access any suburb-specific rental demographic information. Dickens says, most importantly,  what they have achieved with RentReport is the collation of suburb-specific demographics and data, which is non-static and generated in real-time as opposed to historical, giving it a rental component – a first for South Africa. - Julia Hinton