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Integrated eCommerce and WMS for Microsoft Dynamics GP

For mid-size internet retailer it is important to have online ecommerce order entry with status lookup, while the internet order is in fulfillment in the Warehouse. 

If this is your scenario, we would like to show you the add-ons and business processes, assuming that you are deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP, or earlier version of Great Plains Dynamics.  Extensions for Great Plains work directly in GP database and create transactions and master records (such as Customer, Address, Inventory Item) which become available immediately (real time) in GP via Great Plains user interface.  You may also have more complex WMS operations, where you assemble your items on the order and even disassemble them back to parts (if item is returned) – in this case you may deploy GP Bill of Materials or even Manufacturing suite of modules, where automation could be facilitated by Alba Spectrum Workflow and Auto Batch Posting Server:
1. eCommerce module.  It should work in B2B and B2C ecommerce scenarios.  Our goal was to enable ecommerce setup via wizard interface, where you select your shopping cart platform (Magento, for example).  Integration work with Great Plains Sales Order Processing module, where if you plan to fulfill orders in your Warehouse Management System, you should select SOP type with manual line allocation.  In our opinion there are pretty advanced ecommerce shopping carts available on the software market, where you can do most of the ecommerce feature, including Sales Tax, Catalogs, Pricing (including items on sale with effective dates).  Please, see our ecommerce add-on dedicated publications and manuals for more info – here we are reviewing WMS and ecommerce integration.  E-commerce module deploy our technology, named Order Connector
2. Warehouse Management System.  Our version of the WMS is integrated and doesn’t require additional budget for “integration implementation” (often required for External WMS).  Basic Warehouse Management functionality, such as Order Fulfillment, Inventory Replenishment and Transfer from one Warehouse to another (plus quantity adjustments) are mapped directly to Sales Order Processing Document entry, Purchase Order Processing Receipt and Inventory Transaction (adjustment, transfer or cycle count respectively).  WMS has client application (works directly on barcode scanner) and the server (dedicated computer, running Windows OS, it talks to all the WMS clients and transmits scanned documents to Dynamics GP company database via ODBC connection)
3. Order Execution in Manufacturing.  If you are relatively small or mid-size manufacturer with EDI or eCommerce order placement channels – Dynamics GP Manufacturing suite of modules is great, but you may want to automate your manufacturing data entry.  Here we suggest our Workflow and Posting Server.  Workflow is programmed in Dexterity Sanscript or in any other .Net or old Windows technologies compliant programming or scripting language, where you can call external DLLs for advanced workflow logic (for example, you may decide to involve manufacturing manager, if certain conditions are met and all the others “simple” manufacturing orders are entered, fulfilled and posted automatically).  When Workflow is done, Manufacturing order batch (or individual order) might be scheduled for posting automatically , if required
4. How and where to get additional info and request demo?  Please, call us 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918 or email us help@albaspectrum.com  We are serving local ERP market in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, plus USA and Canada nationwide and internationally as our consultants speak fluent or native English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian.  We also invite you to our Booth at Convergence 2011 in Atlanta – April 2011
5. Microsoft Dynamics GP eCommerce, WMS in international environment.  If you already own Dynamics GP user licenses in US for your Headquarters, you may add unlimited number of companies (including the ones for your international subsidiaries), assuming that you add them on the Same SQL server and there is enough concurrent users.  There are some nuances for international ERP – one of them is Multicurrency with Realized and Unrealized gains or losses on currency revaluation.  Second nuance is ERP localization concept, which has two aspects: local language support and compliance to the local country tax legislation (and sometimes government reporting, if it is required to be produced in standard format – typically in such countries as France, Russia).  Great Plains supports multicurrency in all its core modules, so this is not a concern.  Dynamics GP is localized for most of English speaking countries and in French Canada (Quebec - Montreal), plus in Arabic and in Spanish for Latin America (except Brazil, as it peaks Portuguese dialect).  There are several add-ons available on the market, which should allow your Great Plains screens to be translated in such languages as Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, German, Korean, Portuguese, Swedish, Arabic, Spanish (version for Spain) – and more languages are coming.  So – if you just need GP to be available for simple data entry for your overseas users, this should be OK, however if you plan to sell your products on the overseas markets with full local legislation compliance, we do not recommend you to localize Great Plains internally, if localization is not available directly from Microsoft Business Solutions.  Instead consider Dynamics AX (former Axapta) option for large manufacturing subsidiary, or SAP Business One for small or mid-size sales office.  Corporate ERP implementation or extension to the international market requires experience and familiarity with specific country conditions and requirements.  WMS typically works with existing SOP orders, POP Receipts or Inventory transactions, where tax compliance is already resolved in original documents – our modules support multicurrency and we have WMS implemented in such countries as Saudi Arabia, for example. We recommend you to call our office for consultation
6. Second Opinion, when your e-commerce or Warehouse Management System implementation failed or went over budget without seeing the end of the tunnel…  Well, you are not the first one and not the last one – Warehouse Management, Barcoding, Logistics, Distributions, Supply Chain Management are pretty technology challenging and require dedication for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, who decided to take this route.  And even if you picked Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, there is still learning curve to enter into the Barcoding and WMS industry.  Make your homework in picking Dynamics GP Consultants, check with them on the number of implemented SCM and Warehouse Management cases.  Also, there is also dilemma to choose between local Barcoding provider (with potentially limited experience, but good intensions to dedicate local consultants) and nationwide partner (who specialize in Barcoding).  Besides of the requirements of being familiar with your industry (and industry niche) – WMS and eCommerce implementation often require such techniques as Dynamics GP data repair, Microsoft Dexterity, VBA customizations, advanced ODBC queries in Integration Manager.  Microsoft Dynamics is great Corporate ERP platform and we do not recommend you to give up – it is matured and reliable ERP and MRP architecture.  We would be happy to advise you on how to find the way out of crisis to successful WMS, ecommerce and GP implementation recovery
7. WMS and eCommerce for Dynamics GP or Great Plains – if you are on the Old Great Plains version, we would like to make the following observation: WMS software and hardware cost typically starts with twenty thousand US dollars and up.  This investment value is comparable or exceeds the upgrade cost to current Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 (formerly announced as version 11.0).  But, by all means, we are ready to discuss your situation and your current Great Plains Dynamics version options (if you are on Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac 9.5, 9.2 or earlier we recommend you either to upgrade to Dynamics GP or walk away to something like SAP Business One or Quick Books, especially if your business came through downsizing).  Feel free to contact us if you are on Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, 9.0, 8.0, 7.5, Great Plains Dynamics and C/S+ 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2 on Microsoft SQL Server (2005, 2000, 7.0, 6.5) or Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree/Faircom – we will work out with you the best action plan.  Upgrading from the old version of Great Plains or GPA for DOS might require additional expense in being reenrolled in Microsoft Business Solutions annual enhancement program
8. Dynamics GP and Microsoft RMS.  Microsoft Retail Management System is very popular, especially in Latin America among mid-size chains of the retail stores.  If you think about RMS and Point Of Sale operations, these are very similar to eCommerce online orders and credit card payments (debit card, check or cash payments are more attributable to Retail transactions, but the payment integration is very similar to Credit Card).  We have Microsoft RMS to Great Plains integration interface, which posts POS records to Dynamics GP SOP or Receivable Management modules at your choice.  We have customers in Central America (Costa Rica, Puerto Rico) plus in the USA: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois.  As our experience indicates, RMS customers prefer to control inventory quantities and print barcode labels for newly arrived merchandise in Great Plains directlyArticle Submission, where we open Crystal Reports with barcode fonts

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com  Informational portal http://www.pegasplanet.com  Andrew is Dynamics GP Certified Master and specializes in challenging customizations, data conversions, integrations, reporting



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