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Microsoft Great Plains Manufacturing – before you jump there – advices to IT specialist

In this small article we would like to try to save your company software and services money. As the result of recent economic recession, many companies here in the USA have now outsourced or in process of outsourcing manufacturing routines abroad and are still using manufacturing applications for data entry. Some of our clients had strange situation when they had more people for manufacturing data entry than real manufacturing workers. Our strong advice is – consider using simple bill of materials with probably some advanced reporting instead of going for full featured manufacturing application/module purchase. Yes, as many clients indicated – they just needed advanced reporting, something like Microsoft Great Plains Bill of Materials / Inventory control based Crystal Reports. And Crystal Reports is only k$0.5 software plus you could find Crystal Report designer for reasonable price.

Let’s go to the topic.

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions product, targeted to mid-size companies. Currently Microsoft is in progress of transforming several ERP products it has: Microsoft Great Plains, Solomon and Navision into several business suites - Microsoft Financial, Microsoft HR, Microsoft Manufacturing, Microsoft Logistics. These suites may be (in the future) put together and work for your company as integrated ERP solution with web interface (Microsoft Business Portal). If you are midsize company with some manufacturing - you should make the research on light manufacturing packages available on software market. In the case of your commitment to Great Plains (if you use it as your accounting system) you should probably first answer this question - do we need full featured manufacturing or we should implement just bill of materials and have missing functionality be filled with custom Crystal Reports and light Dexterity customization? And one more thing to consider - Microsoft Manufacturing will be more likely build on Navision manufacturing base. If you have process manufacturing - you should not implement GP manufacturing - it is discreet manufacturing.

If you answer yes on most of these questions, you do need manufacturing

  • Do you need Manufacturing Resource Planning?
  • Are Cost Centers required?
  • Do you base your production on the specific Sales Order?
  • Do you track working shifts and allocate the cost?

Now - this is what you can have in Bill of Materials

  • Samples bills of materials - to do the replacement of the items
  • Purchasing configuration, based on ABC codes and other criteria
  • Historical bills reporting

With Crystal Reports you can have this information, having just Bill of Materials

  • Sales/profitability by customer, item, region or custom criteria
  • Future Sales predictions, based on your criteria
  • Employee time and cost allocation
  • Simple Cost Centers, based on product line, specific order or other user defined information

Good luck with your research – we are here to help with Bill of Materials or recommend the best GP Manufacturing partner! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918, 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

Submitted by:

Andrew Karasev

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, based in Chicago, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, New York, Washington, Georgia, Canada, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( www.albaspectrum.com ), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew: andrewk@albaspectrum.com



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