We recommend you to consider such extensions to your newly implemented Corporate ERP system, as Warehouse Management, Logistics, Supply Chain Management as phase number two.
Lets assume now that your initial ERP implementation went smooth and now you believe that you are ready for the new phase, integrating your Barcode scanning in the warehouse with Great Plains Inventory Control, Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing modules. The price tag for this phase might be comparable or even higher to the initial implementation and software licenses, but WMS and SCM are probably what your goals are and you decided to take Dynamics, having these goals to be honored in the short future; or maybe in other words, GP is the platform for you to open the door for the mission critical Warehouse Management System and elements of Supply Chain Management. Lets take a look at some details:
1. WMS. There are two options in our opinion. The first one would be to go and pick Nationwide Warehouse Management System brand name, which has integration connector to Great Plains. This option is reliable if it works as standalone system, but when you have to have it integrated seamlessly with GP distributions modules you may see some flaws and unexpected expenses, probably associated with the fact, that Great Plains is not the only one ERP they support, and lower mid-market ERP applications (where GP belongs to) might not be necessary considered as a streamline, where Warehouse Management software is demanded the most. And now the second option Warehouse Management Extensions, working out of GP SQL tables and creating master records and transactions directly in the Great Plains realm. Important thing here is to take into consideration such WMS technologies as Barcoding and probably RFID
2. SCM (here we mean Supply Chain Management). It is broader concept, which by the way includes Warehouse Management System as its core functionality. Supply Chain automation might include such functions as Consignment, Just in Time Delivery (or truck route and time delivery optimization), EDI. Being very diversified SC often leads you to the necessity to rescue to custom programming in such tools as Dexterity, eConnect, Extender, VBA for Modifier, MS Visual Studio SDK for GP, direct SQL Stored Procedures. SCM also means that what you may need is sort of unique and Great Plains ISV channel doesnt have enough clientele to introduce and sustain the add-ons to cover your needs
3. Some words on programming tools, where you enable your Warehouse Management and Supply Chain extensions. There are tradition and so called new tools. Lets visit first tradition tools home page. The first one to consider is Microsoft Dexterity (after Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software Great Plains Dexterity was rebranded). Dex is almighty and you may do amazing and virtually unlimited things with GP user interface and backed database. But everything has its price, Dexterity is semi-proprietary software development environment, which might be not friendly for newcomers to the area (in other words it is not an easy task to rebrand generic Microsoft Visual Studio C# or VB programmer into Dexterity software coder). Second traditional tool is Modifier with VBA scripting. New tools are eConnect SDK (the best example of deploying eConnect would be MS Visual Studio .Net web application, where you are integrating your legacy system DB with GP objects and transactions). If you have strong IT department with Microsoft VS oriented programmers, we strongly recommend to take a look and make self-discovery about eConnect. Now about SQL direct scripting. Even if this might look like something natural and you may have very optimistic opinions from your SQL DB administrators and software developers SQL direct update or data feeding might cause GP data compromising, where data repair might be too expensive (plus business hours lost )
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