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Wednesday, 09 November 2011 12:55

Evaluation Tools

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In 1983, Quaker Oats purchased Gatorade, transforming it from a multi-million dollar business into a multi-billion dollar business.  Fast forward a decade & Quaker decided that another drink manufacturer was primed for the same growth.  This time, Quaker eyed a takeover of Snapple, a popular fruit beverage.  After paying a large ransom for the Snapple business, Quaker did not see the returns it had forecast.  The Snapple brand fizzled as Quaker resources were washed down the drain.  Eventually, the Snapple brand was sold at a $1.4 billion loss to Quaker.

What went right with Gatorade that went so wrong with Snapple?

The measurement tools that Quaker used to evaluate Gatorade were both accurate & appropriate.  However, in the decade that past, these same evaluation tools were not updated.  Quaker applied the same methods & metrics to the Snapple brand that they did to the Gatorade brand.  However, in the decade that had passed, these tools were no longer the most appropriate.

Evaluation mechanisms are constantly being updated.  What works today might leave you behind tomorrow.  Quaker found this out first hand.  If companies want to continue to thrive, they must be constantly tweaking & evaluating the tools they use to evaluate their business.

Microsoft Dynamics GP leverages ever evolving Microsoft technologies in order to provide the best reporting options possible.  Users can access reports in many different formats.  Business Alerts can send automated emails to any staf member when exception criteria are met or at specific intervals.  Emails can be configured to include attachments, including lists of applicable information.  Users can have similar automated Reminders open on their screens when specified criteria have been met.  This allows for fast & automated management by exception.

To Do lists & Check List force users to complete tasks periodically in a structured way.  Meaning, no longer are workflows undocumented or dependent on a single employee.  If an employee leaves the organization, those same tasks must still be completed.

Standard reporting is available in paper format as would be expected.  Users can further use inquiries to research linked transactions if auditing information.  The same information can be exported to Excel or Word at the click of a button through a Smartlist.  These can all have filters applied to them to restrict the information that is displayed.  However, where Dynamics GP takes things a step further is SRS Reporting.  Smartlists can live on the server in the form of an Excel Report.  These can contain, charts, graphs, lists or whatever one's heart desires.  These reports are linked to the server & the Dynamics GP database through Excel, meaning information is constantly changing on them automatically as data is entered into Dynamics.  And the best feature is that those who wish to view these reports do no require a Dynamics GP user license as they are not actually logging into GP.  The same premise applies to SRS (or SQL Reporting Services) Reports.  These are built through regular SQL statements & can include filters, etc, just like any SQL query would have.  Data can be displayed in many different formats & again, do not require a license to view.

The evaluation tools offered by Microsoft are beyond comparison & constantly evolving.  those utilizing Dynamics GP are always in the know & won't be left behind.

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Adam MacIntosh is the Senior Project Manager with WebSan Solutions Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in helping companies get the most out of their ERP systems. You can contact Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 416-499-1235 ext. 213.


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