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Dynamics GP in Retail Industry: Implementation, Modules Selection, Point of Sale

This small and mid-size business Corporate ERP application is very flexible and has numerous add-ons, and external products, integrated with GP.  You should make your homework, as it is a bit difficult to draw the line, where you want POS and Retail system to do the job and where Dynamics GP takes the initiative in data processing.  For example, if you would like to have sort of “luxury” Retail Management System with such features as POS terminals (cash registers in old terminology), Store merchandize replenishment, Store inventory management (counts, adjustments, returns into broken, damaged, in-service, etc.) – the best job is probably done in external POS and Retail applications, such as Microsoft Retail Management System, Counterpoint or similar.  However, such functionalities as cutting checks to your suppliers, General Ledger, Tax Reporting (possibly Payroll, 1099 forms printing to your vendors, EDI integration) should be considered to be automated in your Corporate ERP system, such as Dynamics GP in our paper.  In more budget oriented approach, you may consider to do POS add-ons for Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing and Inventory Control modules (good example would be Compass POS extensions for Dynamics GP Great Plains).  Such topics as Barcode laser scanners, POS devices, Credit and Debit card processing probably deserve special consideration.  Let’s begin our discourses:

1. Do I need external Retail Management System?  The answer depends, as you may expect.  If you have reliable and high speed internet connection from all of your stores to your central locations (where Dynamics GP Server is hosted) – you should be OK with Dynamics GP POS extension implementation.  But, now, let’s imagine that your business model requires seasonal mobile outlets and stores to be out there without stable connection to your central office with POS daily sales synchronization overnight (of course, if you are accepting credit cards, then relatively reliable dialup or DSL internet connection should be recommended, but it is not comparable in data traffic consumption with the real time POS data synchronization with the Headquarters).  Such external POS and Retail Management application as Microsoft RMS allows you to have remote mobile retail outlets without constant and stable connection to your central office (Microsoft RMS Headquarters)

2. Barcode Scanning.  It is really difficult to imagine any modern store or retail outlet without barcode scanner at the Cash Register.  This is very generic observation, and everyone would agree.  But, laser barcode scanning technology went the long way since its introduction.  Modern barcode scanners allow you to capture the whole document or the whole batch of documents and then upload them to your ERP or Accounting application.  These scanners have small processor and operating system onboard.  In POS cash register scenarios we rather expect you to have USB compliant cheap barcode scanner, working the same way as computer keyboard (hundred times faster, however due to the whole barcode label scanning idea).  In current moment of time, November 2010 in our opinion external Retail Management Automation systems have more control and compatible with pretty much complete list of Barcode scanners and other POS devices (Credit Card processing and Signature Capture units, Customer Tabloids)

3. Dynamics GP Modules Selection for Retail company.  We do believe that all you need is Distribution and Financial sets of modules.  Whatever you choose for POS and Store Management integration – those transactions should transform themselves into SOP Invoice with Customer deposit, POP Purchase Receipt, Inventory Adjustment, Transfer or Cycle Count.  Having said that, we recommend you to consider Dynamics GP Business Ready licensing module with its cheaper option – Business Essential (versus Advanced Management)

4. Bringing your stores to ecommerce presence.  We recommend Dynamics GP ecommerce add-ons, especially the one from Alba Spectrum, where we support integrations with such popular ecommerce shopping carts as Magento/PHP/Linux, ASP.Net Storefront (this one is obviously on Microsoft Windows .Net platform)

5. Behind the scenes – Warehouse Management System for Dynamics GP.  This technology is also in your disposition.  Please review our publications, where we are giving you pluses and minuses of one WMS technology versus the other.  In our opinion, in the best case scenario you should have your ecommerce module for GP to submit its Customers orders in real time to the warehouse floor for immediate fulfillment (this is one of the purposes of the Warehouse Management System to pick it from there)

6. Adopting new technologies.  In Retail industry these would be touch screens, signature capturing devices (credit card processing is probably matured technology, tracing its roots back to early 1970th)

7. EDI (Electronic Document Interchange).  In retail industry you might be in the situation, when your suppliers require you to place merchandise replenishment purchase order via EDI channel or interface.  There are several EDI extensions for Dynamics GP available through Great Plains ISV channel.  If you think the quotes are too overpriced (they support all the EDI protocols and delivery channels) – you may always check with your Dynamics GP implementation partner is the same functionality could be programmed for just one EDI protocol

8. Lager Retail Chains.  Here you might be in the situation, where you have to deploy high volume transactions compliant SQL database platform, such as Oracle, DBII, Ingress.  And from the back end ERP or MRP application you are comfortable to have those transactions to be integrated to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  For large Retail chain we would like to discuss your situation, as you might have to choose from various options

9. 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), Houston area of the state of Texas

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