Dynamics GP (102)
I've been involved in IT and Supply Chain projects all over the world. I've seen projects achieve all of the objectives, come in under budget and ahead of schedule. I've also seen projects fail to achieve the benefits they set out to, or even outright fail to even work.
And what's the #1 difference between success and failure?
When I am contacted by a prospective client to discuss a new ERP system, I always make sure that the first meeting includes key decision makers. You may say, "well of course! You don't want to sell to someone who isn't authorized to make the purchase." And you'd only be 1/2 right...
The real reason that the key decision maker needs to be in the very first meeting is because if they aren't "driving the bus", then everyone will end up under it. What I mean is that technology projects are complicated and fraught with challenges just by their very nature. If someone at the top of the organization isn't driving the success of the project, then it will not work. It may finish, albeit over budget and over schedule, but I can almost guarantee that it won't meet the business objectives set at the beginning.
Sometimes a CFO or CEO looks at me funny during the first sales meeting because I've refused to meet with the "IT guy" and insist on meeting with them as well. After I explain the reasoning behind it and start the Q&A session that is outlined in the "Unlock Your Potential" program, they are always heavily engaged and demand to be significant contributors along the way. This is because we create value right at the very first meeting and if there is no significant ROI demonstrated right at the beginning for them, then it ends right there. No one is wasting time.
When the senior leadership is engaged at the beginning of the sales process, they can have a vision of the solution and understand the objectives right at the outset. We always make sure that when we publish the Project Charter, it states clearly what the objectives of the project are; not in "subjective terms", but in real, tangible benefits.
This way, when the project hits a couple of bumps along the way (they always do), the senior management team is aligned to the goals and objectives and the project is put right back on the tracks.
Depending on the complexity of the project, I also sometimes recommend a steering committee or program office be formed to manage the project along the way.
I'll get into those details in the next post...
I wanted to take an opportunity to discuss an article I recently wrote for our monthly WebSan newsletter. The article discusses utilizing mobile devices to access one’s ERP system. Since mobile devices have become so common, software companies have made great efforts to make their systems available on these devices.
Here is a quick excerpt:
Salespeople by nature are always away from the office. As such, most CRM applications are also now available on mobile devices. When combined with the ability to view data straight from ones ERP, salespeople are enabled to make the best offer to the customer in order to win business. Salespeople can view real-time data on extended pricing, sales history & quantities on hand help make their pitch. The ability to view unpaid invoices, credit limits & payment information can help resolve disputes. And by viewing inventory data on size, weight or other user-defined information, one can help solve the customer’s complex purchasing needs. All while taking less time to fill out papers & allowing more time to be spent selling product.
Part two can be found in our next newsletter & discusses many of the benefits that can be derived from everyday business professional using mobile technologies. Visit our website to sign up for our monthly newsletter containing new articles every edition.
Home sweet home! It’s a beautiful place. Its where we feel most comfortable & spend most of our time. The same can (& should!) be said about your ERP. The homepage in Dynamics GP has access to everything you need in the click of a button.
Managers are always interested in quick easy access to reports. The Dynamics GP homepage offers various metrics to the user the second they log in. Click on the pencil icon to the right of the word Metrics on your desktop to modify what metrics will display. Although there are dozens to choose from, my fav five are:
- Top 5 Customers by YTD Sales
- Top 10 Items by Sales Amount for the Past 30 Days
- Receivables Aging
- Payables Aging
- Gross Profit for the Past 12 Months
Scroll through your metrics using the < & > keys for instant access to the reports you desire.
Try these other tips to help make your homepage a one-stop shop for all your GP needs:
Right click on the navy blue banner at the top of the screen to create graphical shortcuts
- Click on the pencil icon to the right of the Quick Links heading for one-click access to your favourite windows
- Click the ‘Customize this page …’ button to change layout of your homepage
- Select the following icon to add or remove windows from your desktop & even configure shortcuts:
Dynamics GP Homepage
There is a reason we put pictures of loved ones on our desks … we like things our own way. No matter how small the tweak, we all like being individuals. Dynamics GP has some great features to let users view & access information how they want. From one’s homepage, users can access an invoicing screen by selecting Transactions & then Sales at the top of the window or they can select to view the Sales module from the bottom left corner of the screen.
Users should also check out the User Preferences screen under the Microsoft Dynamics GP heading at the top of the screen. Accounts Receivable will love being able to have invoices automatically selected when they enter the Sales Transaction Entry screen. Users can also modify text to display in various colours & styles. Feel free to make your link fields display as Pink if you like, its all up to you!
User Preferences Screen
If you are currently running on Microsoft Dynamics GP Version 9 you may be fighting with the decision to upgrade to Version 10. There are some great arguments to why you should upgrade to the newer system but those upgrades may not be worth your time and money expense.
The first thing users want to know is: How does it look? Current users won’t waste time becoming familiar with the layout because the Home Page & Toolbars are reminiscent of Version 9. Differences will be noticed in the address bar, status bar & navigation buttons.
The newest version of GP makes it really easy for all users to locate windows using the navigation buttons. The navigation buttons allow for faster & more direct access to different windows. These come in handy when trying to find the location of an unknown window, allowing the user to look through the directory path instead of clicking through multiple screens.
The introduction of Action Panes further streamline business processes. These allow users to preview & filter data without the need to open multiple windows. For role specific tasks this feature will greatly speed up routine procedures.
Managers now have greater ability to review the outlook of the organization in greater detail. With Microsoft Dynamics GP 10, budgeting has become more flexible & now allows the user to budget for multiple fiscal years, integrating budgets from various business units.
Overall, Version 10 has 120 new features to help your business run smoother. To view the current version of Dynamics GP you are running, select Help > About on any of the user screens. If you require assistance, WebSan has experience assisting clients with upgrades. Contact us for more information.
Everyone is different. The same goes for clients, who often asked me how to modify aging periods. Most Dynamics GP users stick with the standard 30/60/90 day aging periods for both receivables & payables. However, many businesses have the requirement to insert a 45-day break into the aging process. This is a two-step process wherein users often forget the second step.
Begin in the Setup menu, selecting either Purchasing & then Payable or Sales & then Receivables. You will find the ability to add up to a total of seven aging periods. One can adjust aging periods here as desired. The second (and more difficult) part of the process involves modifying your reports. Standard GP reports only display four aging periods. If your company inserts a fifth period, the last period will populate with the report but will not be printed. If you have experience in Report Writer, you should be comfortable changing the necessary layouts. If not, try contacting WebSan. We are experienced in helping companies with this very issue.
“Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking, just a moment.” If you’ve ever seen Office Space, you know how annoying THAT person can be. What if your system did that same thing?
Dynamics has a small quirk that can annoying to those in Accounts Receivable. Since invoices can be entered in multiple windows. Both the Sales Transaction Entry & the Invoice Entry windows perform the same essential function of populating sales invoices. As such, Dynamics warns users when entering these windows. Well, that warning can become annoying after viewing it for the 463rd time. To get rid of this warning, run your GP Utilities (from your Start menu). In the Additional Tasks window, select the ‘Remove SOP and Invoicing message’. Proceed to uncheck ‘Warn in Sales Order Processing’ & ‘Warn in Invoicing’. When complete, your little annoying warning will be gone forever.