Warehouse Module for Dynamics GP Selection and Implementation

Generic Corporate ERP packages, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, formerly known as Great Plains Dynamics, do not support Barcode scanning advanced features, such as Batch mode scanning and upload, keeping the whole document in the laser scanner memory and then uploading at the whole into Great Plains.  Also typical WMS has Client-Server architecture, where the client software runs directly on the barcode scanner and it talks to the Server via wireless or works in autonomous so-called batch scanning mode.  In certain situations you rather prefer RFID tags for better security and advanced tracking features (versus barcode label, they also might be combined for convenience) and RFID readers (versus barcode laser scanner).  To some extent it is possible to realize very small scale Warehouse Management operations by installing GP user workstation on tiny portable computer with USB barcode scanner attached, however this approach requires warehouse worker GP user training and is probably only practical for low level of unique (high price tab) items to be allocated, restocked and adjusted on the warehouse floor.  For the rest of the Warehouse automation customers we recommend you to shop for Warehouse Management module for Dynamics GP.  Let’s review the options and recommendations:

1. WMS architecture.  Here you have to select from two options.  The first would be external Warehouse Management System, which could be implemented independently from your Dynamics GP and later on integrated with your Great Plains Sales, Purchasing Inventory control transactions (or in simple cases directly with General Ledger).  Second option is direct Dynamics GP WMS extensions, where you open such forms in Great Plains for barcoding as SOP Transaction Entry (Order Fulfillment in classical WMS), POP Purchase Receipt (merchandise restocking) and Inventory Adjustment and Transfer.  WMS extension route doesn’t require to plan on the integration between the Warehouse originated transactions and your Corporate ERP application, as they are already integrated by their nature.  Let’s now compare two platforms in their number of installations, software and implementation cost, and several other parameters

2. Number of installations is definitely higher for external WMS.  These systems are typically independent from your ERP, MRP or Accounting platforms and this fact allows them to expand on the market.  Some customers are happy with their reliability and decent technical support, however we also saw customers who were complaining about difficulties in integration between the WMS and their ERP application, such as Dynamics GP.  WMS extensions are committed to single ERP platform, it is in our paper Microsoft Dynamics GP, this is why the installation number is narrower.  However some customers like the idea of extension to be integrated out of the box, plus its flexibility in being modified and even customized on demand even for small WMS customer.  And now price factor – it seems to be higher for external WMS (here you have rich functionality as these systems are competing on the horizontal market and have to offer solution for every possible customer)

3. Alba Spectrum Warehouse Management Extensions for Dynamics GP.  In our offer WMS module works directly out of SOP, POP and IV tables in Great Plains.  In order to go down to the budget price level and support low price barcode scanners, we support text compatibility mode from the side of the WMS client (runs on the scanner OS directly).  Wireless scanner talks to WMS server and the server transmits WMS originated documents via ODBC connection to Dynamics GP.  If you have large number of WMS documents per hour, we recommend you to place WMS server on the wired LAN, which is the same, where your Dynamics GP Server is located

4. Custom WMS and integration to Dynamics GP.  There might be potential situations, when you have in-house programmed simple Warehouse Management System (typically programmed and hosted in Microsoft Access, MySQL/PHP/Linux, but in advanced cases even in Oracle, FoxPro, or even in XML).  We provide WMS integration programming services for Dynamics GP.  In our opinion such services are in demand, especially when you are migrating from legacy accounting application, where integration was historically tuned (Platinum, Accpac, QuickBooks, MYOB, Peachtree, SAP Business One, IBM Lotus Notes, etc.) to Dynamics GP, where you need integration to be programmed.  There are several integration options to consider: Great Plains Integration Manager, Alba Spectrum Order Connector (set of SQL stored procedures), eConnect SDK programming, Great Plains Dexterity to name you several popular

5. WMS as Part of Customer Web Portal or Electronic Commerce.  In B2B and B2C ecommerce scenarios you would like your customers to enjoy online order status tracking, this is competitive advantage to keep your customers loyally.  We do offer ecommerce extensions for Dynamics GP, working in concert with WMS extensions.  Ecommerce module supports popular ecommerce shopping carts, such as Magento, ASP.Net Storefront and others

6. To request further support, please call us 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com We need to discuss your cards in order to recommend you the best solutions, which is not contingent to our preferences.  We serve you USA/Canada nationwide via remote support (web sessions and phone/skype conferences).  Local service is available in Western Michigan, Chicagoland, Southern California (LA, Orange County, San Diego)Psychology Articles, Houston area of the state of Texas