Blogiversary Top 20 (#15) Why NAV users should be using dual monitors

We’re celebrating our one year blogiversary by reposting the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year, as determined by you, our readers! Follow this link to see the entire list. Enjoy!

My company began using dual monitors a few years ago for power users, and have been putting them into place for all users this year. Does this change make a real difference in user productivity?

Some real world examples of what my team uses dual monitors for:

    • More than one NAV session at a time. As long as you have the licenses for it, you can have more than one NAV session open at a time. This is great for when you need to run a report that ties up your session for a while like the AR aging or AP aging or inventory valuations. Use one session to run these reporting hogs in, and another session to look up information for something else you’re working on.
    • Answering email questions. Open up that email on one screen, and reference the information you need on another.
    • Spreadsheet stretch.  Sometimes when you have a ton of data to deal with, it sure helps to see it all in one place.
    • Remote access. If you’re in more than one computer at a time, perhaps your laptop and also a computer back at the office via remote access, being able to see one on each screen is a big help instead of hitting Alt-Tab all day.
    • Using the help menu or other documentation. Are you trying to figure out how to use something new? Put up the application on one screen and the help menu (or user guide) up on the other screen.
    • Comparison. Whether you’re looking up more than one option on the internet or comparing what you have in your production versus development databases, using dual monitors is a great way to see what you options you have without having to switch between screens to remember what you saw.
    • Connecting with your customer. When on the phone with a customer, our customer care team has NAV on one screen and a view of what our customer is looking at on our website on the other. This allows them to better answer the customer’s question about the product, and also make suggestions later as to how we can improve on the customer experience.
    • Entry to NAV on one screen, information on another screen. If your work is transactional, and you need to enter invoices on one screen, but reference a document on another screen, this is a great way to use dual monitors. Don’t print out that document, just put it up on your second monitor.
    • Paperless processing. Ultimately, dual monitors make paperless processing possible for my company. We’re working on a paperless initiative in our accounts payable area right now which couldn’t have happened without dual monitors. Getting users to reference documents on-screen has been an easy, natural transition and while we’re saving a tree or two, the better argument has been the time saved in not printing, organizing, and filing those documents.

Return on investment of dual monitors

If you’re not convinced yet, take a look at the ROI of dual monitors. Let’s say a second monitor costs $200. Estimates of productivity gains range anywhere from 10% – 50%. If you have an employee who generates $200,000 of revenue annually, at a conservative estimate of 10% productivity gain, this could equate to a $20,000 increase in revenue; a one hundred-fold payout on your initial investment.

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