Microsoft Great Plains – ERM from Microsoft Business Solutions and formerly Great Plains Software is pretty generic with its standard set of modules: GL, BR, AR, AP, IV, SOP, POP and US Payroll. However, having about twelve years of implementation and customization history – Great Plains Dynamics, Dynamics C/S+, eEnterprise being Great Plains Dexterity written application has been and still is attractive core platform for third party software development companies to write vertical and horizontal modules, written as well in Great Plains Dexterity. If you have Microsoft Great Plains implemented or under the implementation should have your options in making in-house or outsourced customizations to fit your vertical industry needs.
Let’s consider consignment, barcoding and distribution/warehouse management
1. Consignment Sales & Recurring Sales. If your business is bakery, sandwiches or ice cream making – you probably send recurring daily shipments / trucks to your customers on consignment. You need accurate system with daily predictions and recommendation on the lot size, based on historical data: day of the week, season, holiday, etc. This is very popular Dexterity customization, dealing with SOP (Sales Order Processing) and IV (Inventory Control) modules
2. Trucks Scheduling / Distribution. In the case of consignment sales you may have your own fleet of trucks. Then for each truck you should have SOP orders batch and you need to print picking tickets. You should first print the picking tickets for the longest route and then one-by-one up to the shortest route. This is also Dexterity customization for SOP module
3. Barcoding, Warehouse Management. Lot number tracking, Receiving, Order Fulfillment, Inventory transfer and Cycle Count could be automated with Barcoding. Barcode scanner could automate picking list allocation by reading first picking list number and then scan items and quantities – and doing so – allocate Items for Sales Order in Sales Order Processing. Usually you write Visual Basic application or routine to work with the scanner and then communicate with Microsoft Great Plains SQL database – more precisely – with Sales Order and Inventory tables: SOP10100. SOP10200, IV00100
4. Wholesale – daily sales and comparisons, profit by item and salesperson. Yes – all these calculations could be pulled from SOP historical and work tables, item sales analysis, etc. You can deploy Crystal Reports and even Datawarehousing solution to pivot your cube. If you need fixed number of reports and criteria – you may need again Dexterity or .Net application to arrange reporting data

Considering Microsoft Great Plains – majority of the logic above is implemented and could be implemented in Great Plains Dexterity. Alternative platform would be Microsoft C# or VB.Net ASPX web programming with Microsoft Great Plains at the back end. You can use such tools as eConnect to work with Great Plains object creation and retrieving or go ahead with direct SQL Stored Procedure. To certain level you could use legacy technologies, such as Great Plains Modifier with Continuum for VB, VBA scripting, etc.

Good luck and you can always seek our help in customization, implementation, integration and support. Call us: 1-866-528-0577 or 1-630-961-5918,

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Australia, UK, Canada, Continental Europe, Russia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( ), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK