As the newest member to the Dynamics GP Consulting practice at WebSan, it is my responsibility as a junior analyst to learn how the system works through Microsoft E-Learning and actual hands-on practice in QA environments. My goal with my blog entries is to take you through my learning process with the system. It is my intention to provide any new users or potential future users of the system an objective view of how I perceive and adapt to Dynamics GP.
Coming from a systems background with experience in ERP and warehouse management systems, the first thing that came to mind when interacting with Dynamics GP initially was how easy it was on the eyes. This is an attribute that many software developers neglect because they fail to think like a user. I personally believe that more appealing GUI’s are successful than their bland counterparts in the efficiency department. Nobody likes monochrome work environments.
I’ve also found the navigation to be very intuitive. I have been able to get where I need to go in my basic training exercises in usage and configuration. The help menu has been doing a great job covering any questions I had. Any challenging issues I have definitely had to inquire a senior analyst. Although the software has an accounting backbone and I don’t come from an accounting background, I did not have much difficulty accomplishing basic tasks such as setting up GL accounts or running reports.
I am currently working through the configuration of a new WebSan client on Dynamics GP. My next blog entry will describe my experience with it, including any challenges and lessons learned. Stay tuned!
Microsoft is offering significant discounts to customers who migrate from Intuit Quickbooks, Exact (Macola) and Sage (all editions) to Dynamics GP.
Contact us for more details!
In an independent analysis, Nucleus Research studied various customers who had implemented either:
- Microsoft Dynamics GP
- Oracle E-Business Suite
They found that :
"Microsoft Dynamics GP has a lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and delivers a positive ROI by limiting costs while delivering significant returns. Microsoft Dynamics GP takes less time to deploy and fewer resources to support than other solutions."
For more information, see the following presentation for more details:
There's a lot of debate out there on forums regarding hosted ERP solutions.
Obviously, much success has been had with Software as a Service (SaaS) in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) space, but CRM really isn't "mission critical." If a company chooses to outsource mission critical applications, such as shipping software, WMS, or manufacturing software, then what will happen if the company loses their internet connection?
There are many pros to going with a fully hosted solution over an on-premise solution. They include, but are not limited to:
- The initial cost for the ERP solution is usually significantly less than an on-premise solution.
- Total cost of ownership (TCO) over time can still be less than on-premise, depending on the outsource provider and their capabilities
- The initial implementation time line can also be accelerated by hosting because much of the underlying configuration infrastructure can be shared, therefore consulting time is minimized
- Internal IT support staff is not required for a hosted solution
- The hosting provider takes care of system updates, patches, regression testing, etc.
The one advantage on-premise solutions have over hosted is that they are indeed, on the premises of the client. They don't go down unless your business does, and then, you've got bigger fish to fry.
That being said, if you could combine the benefits of on-premise with the benefits of hosted, in a hybrid solution, then you would have the best of both worlds.
Look for a solution that offers to have your mission critical applications on site, like:
- Warehouse Management System
- Shipping/Manifest System
- Manufacturing Data Collection (work order) System
The rest of the ERP system can be hosted. That way, if your network does go down, your mission critical applications are still up and running and your financial transactions will simply wait until connectivity to the main Accounting system is restored.
A hybrid hosted and on-premise solution may be the answer you're looking for!
We've combined the best of both worlds for our clients. Contact us now to learn more about our hybrid Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) solutions.
In the first volume of this series, we discussed one of the key advantages a well-designed warehouse management system (WMS) delivers – visibility of inventory. For volume two we will touch upon the direct correlations between an effective WMS and increased customer service.
By implementing the appropriate WMS solution to fit your warehousing needs, you are telling your customers through your actions that, “Hey, we really do care that you get your product on time and in an accurate fashion”. It’s one thing to promise your customers that you can do something for them and another to keep that promise.
The simple concept of customer service is very often confused and misplaced in a world full of fancy gadgets and new-age business theories. At the end of the day, just make them happy; it’s really all they ask for.
A WMS increases customer service directly through:
- Improved warehouse organization
- Efficient usage of warehouse space means lower storage and overhead costs. This translates into a competitive advantage you can leverage to provide more attractive pricing to customers
- A return system that actually works
- An ineffective return merchandise authorization (RMA) program is as frustrating to customers as misleading promotional deals. A returns processing applet is typically integrated in a well-designed WMS
- Better inventory accuracy
- If a customer needs to order a product and your website says that it’s available then you should be making sure this is true. A WMS increases inventory visibility, which reduces the number of stock-out confusions
- By forecasting inventory trends, buyers can determine when a demand spike for certain products will arise and make appropriate purchases to support it
- Faster order cycle times
- A WMS is not only software – it is a complete integrated system that works with your ERP system. RF devices can be incorporated to increase order-fill rates. Shipping stations can be established with shipping partners for automation and shipment management
Vernon Johnson is a warehouse management specialist at WebSan Solutions Inc. He can be reached at 416-499-1235.
Whether its aiding an aging workforce or assisting a disabled employee, there are a wide variety of cost effective products in the market today that can help employees become more efficient in the workplace. Many of these technologies will also allow employers to take advantage of resource pools they once were unable to profit from.
Our analysis of assistive technologies focuses on two of the leading impairments faced by workers today, visual difficulties & dexterity impairments. Those with either of these impairments can take advantage of many technologies discussed. For example, Speech Recognition Software is a great tool for those living with either difficulty. Furthermore, many of these technologies can be used to aid those with learning difficulties or simply assist those not living with any impairment.
Aides for Visual Impairments
Among adult computer users in the United States, more than 1 in 4 (27%) have a vision difficulty. This large percentage of the population can take advantage numerous technologies to aid in everyday tasks.
- ·Screen Enlargers – Working like a magnifying glass, these enlarge a portion of the screen as the user moves their focus. Many allow the user to further zoom in & out on a specific area of the screen as well.
- ·Screen Readers – These programs used to verbalize, or "speak," everything on the screen including names & descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
- ·Braille Displays - Provide a tactile output of Braille letters such that users can read with their fingers.
- ·Speech Recognition Systems - Allow users to enter data & give commands using their voice rather than a mouse or keyboard.
Aides for Dexterity Impairments
Among adult computer users in the United States, 1 in 4 (26%) have a dexterity impairment. Technologies used to assist this portion of the population can also aid those with other disabilities, such as the Speech Recognition software mentioned above.
- ·On-Screen Keyboard Programs – Displays an image of a keyboard on the computer screen allowing the user to select keys with a mouse, touch screen or electronic pointing device.
- ·Keyboard Filters - These products reduce the required number of keystrokes enabling users to avoid inadvertently selecting keys they don't want. Examples are word prediction utilities & add-on spell checkers.
- ·Alternative Input Devices – Modified keyboards, touch screens & electronic pointing devices allow data entry through unconventional means. Electronic pointing devices in particular are extremely useful as they can be utilized by a variety of individuals facing dexterity problems. Devices utilize ultrasound, infrared beams, eye or head movements, nerve signals and even brain waves.
Many of these technologies are not only for the impaired. Any employee can take advantage these as well as many other means in order to minimize time & errors when performing everyday tasks. For example, most programs allow for the use of macros for repetitive entries or allow the saving of favourites for quick access to certain screens. Keyboard shortcuts can also be employed to reduce time during entry. Even the settings on a standard mouse can be modified to adjust the double-click options or the left & right click settings.
Many employers are surprised to find most devices designed for the impaired require minimal investment or setup. One or two of these systems in the workplace can go a long way to improving employee productivity & expanding ones workforce. The disabled community is closely knit & presenting your company as one with an inclusive environment can also go a long way in improving corporate image.