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Dynamics GP in Retail Outlets and Specialty Stores as Integrated ERP and POS Solution

We do not want you to rush and acquire software licenses until you understand the options and select the best one for you.  There are several things to check.

First of all it is barcode scanning and label printing.  If you use barcoding as most of the retailer do then we are giving you introduction below in paragraphs. Second if you have several stores do you move merchandise from one to another to cover quantity shortages and fulfilling the order?  We also advise you to be skeptical and do not succumb to ‘aggressive ERP software licenses selling’ techniques.  Retail and POS require system which should have functionality beyond ‘standard ERP’.  Let’s come down to details:

1. Do we need external ERP integrated with GP or we would rather implement Dynamics POS extensions?  Both options have advantages and disadvantages.  Let’s talk first in general and then we will review specific POS brands.  External retail software typically takes care about barcode hardware and POS terminal specific equipment.  Plus it has store inventory management functionality where you can do merchandise restocking, cycle count, label printing and other things.  But besides barcode automation all the rest is present in ERP logic and you would need to pay twice or restring Great Plains to just Financials and Consolidated Reporting.  And we need to mention that moving data from one system to another is not necessary something ‘simple’.  Point of Sale extensions do what their name suggests.  Generic ERP applications are not necessary ‘friendly’ to barcode devices.  Let’s now talk about retail software products

2. Microsoft RMS.  It is good solution for several outlets with integration module coded in Dexterity for integration with GP on GL and PO levels.  Tandem might be optimal if you plan to deploy Great Plains for financial reporting and AP payments to vendor invoices.  However such data synchronizations as stock counts, movements from one warehouse to another and merchandise replenishment might be difficult to implement.  Our company had advanced integration with RMS add-on since 2005.  However we rather classify it as ‘solution’ and not ‘boxed’ software.  We tried ‘boxed software’ approach but each customer wants something custom and every time we had to open the code and modify it

3. Counterpoint from Radiant Software.  This package is competitor to RMS.  It relays on data export such as retail transactions and store purchases in CSV format.  Exported files are imported into Great Plains via Integration Manager.  So data import goes ‘one way’.  We were observing large number of customers and we believe that Microsoft Retail Management System is popular in gift stores, neighborhood food outlets and Counterpoint is found in Asian and specialty stores as well as forest preserves and not for profit organizations (zoo, museums, etc)

4. POS extensions.  There are numerous available via ISV channel.  We would like mention Compass which extends SOP Transaction form transforming it into Cash Register.  We recommend you to see Compass demo as some features might be not available as we figured out recommending this software to our leads.  For example customer credit card signature print out on receipt was not available couple of years ago

At this point let’s take and answer several questions from the internet:

Q.  As we understand the technology barcode scanner is just characters entry speed up device comparing to entering characters by cashier manually.  If we install GP workstation on the cashier computer and have him to open SOP form and scan checked out items?
A.  This approach in theory might work.  Actually we have seen it implemented in nursery country store.  If cashier is actually consultant helping to select plants and tools and the number of checked items is small and each one is priced at twenty dollars or more then it is OK to open the form and use combination of keyboard and barcode scanner.  I you have your store workers to check out ten items with price tag below five dollars and other customers are staying in line then this approach is not feasible

Q.  We need second opinion.  Our original reseller promised that POS solution is part of the deal but later on we realized that it is at ‘extra cost’ and complex implementation
A.  Feel free to give us a call or email

For additional information please call us: 1-866-528-0577Article Search, 1-630-961-5918 or email us: help@albaspectrum.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com help@albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577.  We serve Microsoft Dynamics GP since 1995 with specialization in Barcoding, Logistics, Warehouse Management.  Local service in Chicago, West Michigan, Houston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, CA.  We also support WMS customers USA, Canada nationwide and internationally

 



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