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Armanino Dynamics Blog

Armanino Dynamics Blog

Welcome to the Dynamics Blog hosted by the professionals at Armanino. This blog is about anything that may be helpful to others regarding Microsoft Dynamics' software. The topics can be anything from Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, CRM, SharePoint, MAS 90/200, .NET development, accounting, compliance and more.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Payables Transaction Approval Workflow in Dynamics GP

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Dynamics GP 2015 R2 includes two new features that will allow you to expedite and better control your payables invoice processing.
  1. Payables Transaction Approval workflow object 
  2. Document attachment for email approvals
Using the workflow mechanism in Dynamics GP 2015 R2, you can customize a workflow process to meet your specific control needs. You can create multiple approval levels with groups or individuals, and you can create workflow logic based on several different fields in the transaction and your local system.

It’s also possible to allow for approvers to approve transactions within an email message generated from the workflow. The email message can include line level detail and attachments specific to the transaction being reviewed.

The transactions can be approved or rejected and relevant comments can be tracked along the approval process.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nutraceutical Companies Urged to Focus on Quality Assurance

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Recent negative press and threats of legal action have sparked questions about the safety and integrity of nutraceuticals. In early 2015, the New York attorney general's office subpeonaed four major retailers of herbal supplements for evidence proving their product claims. They had tested store-brand herbal supplements sold at GNC, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target and discovered most of the products did not contain the ingredients listed on the label. Some even contained ingredients not listed on the label at all.

While there were concerns about the political motivations behind the testing, which industry trade groups have countered was flawed, the recent publicity has focused a spotlight on the need for clear quality assurance issues for nutraceutical companies. One retailer, GNC, has taken steps to ensure the quality of its products, including reaching an agreement with the attorney general's office to expand its testing and supply chain traceability processes.

The activity in NY didn't stop at the state's borders. Fourteen additional states have now requested increased FDA oversight as well as the consideration for more stringent industry-wide requirements. It is essential for nutraceutical companies to ensure higher level quality controls.

While the rules are vague - and unfortunately, open to interpretation - nutraceutical companies can stay ahead of the regulatory requirements and potential changes with well-documented systems and accurate data. Organizations can utilize their ERP system to help set up preventive systems and maintain adequate internal controls to enable adaptability for any future changes.

Read the full articles on quality assurance regulations for nutraceutical companies, As Industry Considers New Controls, Nutraceutical Makers Must Focus on QA and discover additional educational articles and white papers for life sciences industries.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

#2 Reason Life Science Companies Need an ERP: Supplier Quality

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Reason #2 from | THE GLOBAL LIFE SCIENCES RACE IS ON! 14 Critical Hurdles to Clear on the Way to the Finish Line:

SUPPLIER QUALITY

Tracking the quality of supplier goods is important for any industry – but it’s absolutely critical for life science companies.

Suppliers who can’t meet delivery dates or who provide poor or inconsistent components can drive up costs by impacting your production and put you at risk for product recalls. Worse still is the potential impact on recipients, who could face serious complications or even death.

Having an ERP system that can provide management with “supplier scorecards” gives your team the insight to make better decisions.

Read the entire list at: THE GLOBAL LIFE SCIENCES RACE IS ON! 14 Critical Hurdles to Clear on the Way to the Finish Line.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dynamics GP - Coupa Integration: Spend Management Meets ERP

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During this year's Coupa Inspire '15, our team was excited to unveil our latest integration pack: the Microsoft Dynamics GP - Coupa integration. the best-in-class spend management solution is now fully integrated with the robust ERP system.

Every business utilizes technology to stay ahead of the competition, but technology can often become a burden when there are too many disparate systems in place. Integrations like this one allow companies to mesh systems together in order to maintain one source of the truth without manually rekeying data and worrying about human error and data inaccuracy. 

The Dynamics GP - Coupa integration syncs two powerful finance tools to aid companies in achieving a seamless "procure to pay" process. It includes migration from GP to Coupa of general ledger (GL) accounts, vendors, users, items, tax schedules, and payments from a single or multiple instances of GP. Additionally, it migrates purchase orders, non-purchase order invoices, receipts, and invoices from Coupa back to GP. Finally, the integration enables a user to pull budget information from GP into Coupa and show the percentage of budget remaining throughout the fiscal year for purchases.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

#1 Reason Life Science Companies Need an ERP: CAPA & NCR

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Reason #1 from THE GLOBAL LIFE SCIENCES RACE IS ON! 14 Critical Hurdles to Clear on the Way to the Finish Line:

CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE ACTION (CAPA) & NONCONFORMANCE REPORTING (NCR)

The purpose of the corrective and preventive action subsystem is to collect information, analyze information, identify and investigate product and quality problems, and take appropriate and effective corrective and/or preventive action to prevent their recurrence.” - FDA

Inadequate corrective and preventive action (CAPA) procedures have accounted for 40%-45% of FDA citations and observations in recent years. In addition to handling failure, companies need to ensure they are learning from these missteps and improving processes – becoming proactive rather than reactive.

Like two peas in a pod, nonconformance reporting (NCR) goes hand in hand with CAPA and is often a precursor to CAPA investigations. It’s essential that life science companies have a system and processes in place to adequately document all failure points via a nonconformance report.

Read the entire list at: THE GLOBAL LIFE SCIENCES RACE IS ON! 14 Critical Hurdles to Clear on the Way to the Finish Line

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Future Considerations for the Internet of Things (IoT)

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has become increasingly more prevalent. As noted in the article “Smart” Products Yield New Data and Revenues for Manufacturers, "At its core, the IoT is a system of interconnected devices that communicate directly with one another to provide data or control functions." Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are adding connectivity to everything from oil rigs to pharmaceuticals.

International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm, predicts that by 2016, 70% of global discrete manufacturers will offer connected products.

This expanded interconnectivity means more data to utilize in generating additional revenue streams and developing new business models. The influx of data is helping companies increase efficiency and improve service for customers. Additionally, more information is enabling manufacturers to understand how customers are using their products and pinpoint potential product failures to improve profitability and performance.

As the IoT arena expands, manufacturers need to embrace flexible software integrations to reap the rewards of the big data influx. Organizations need an ERP that can adapt to changing business requirements and a CRM that's prepared to accept information from the connected devices. They also need to be ready to address the potential security concerns related to software-based devices.

IoT is creating major opportunities for manufacturers and encouraging better products and services for customers. Learn more from the full article, “Smart” Products Yield New Data and Revenues for Manufacturers and check out additional content for manufacturers in Armanino's Trends and Insights.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Leader in Records & Information Management Syncs Dynamics GP with Qlik

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With numerous disparate systems, a leading records and information management (RIM) company sought a way to integrate their solutions and maintain their data easily. Their vision was to create a single powerful, scalable, easy-to-use analytical tool that synced with their core system of Dynamics GP.

A long-time user of GP, the company was eager to integrate their ERP with Oneil systems and Verishred (both industry-specific solutions for storage and shredding, respectively) as well as their CRM. Their rapid growth and regular acquisition of additional companies encouraged the need for a solution to be implemented quickly and smoothly.

The team chose QlikView to consolidate data into one, easy-to-use Business Discovery dashboard and provide the ability for employees to drill down into data from the multiple business software systems in place to make rapid, informed decisions that drive business growth.

With a rapid deployment, the RIM industry leader was able to get their systems synced and running smoothly to allow their team to focus on continuing to grow the business.

Learn more about QlikView and how an integrated business intelligence solution can benefit more companies like this leading RIM industry company.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tales from the Trenches: Strange Errors with Customizations or Using Advanced Find

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We recently encountered an unexpected error when attempting to view the Customizations list (via Settings | Customizations | Customizations) in a CRM 2011 On-Premises instance. Rather than seeing the list of all components within the Default solution, we were presented with the following error message:

This error also occurred whenever we attempted to view a specific managed or unmanaged CRM solution.

The error message (“An entry with the same key already exists”) and the reference to the internal GetOrderedComponentList function led us to believe that there was a duplicate Guid in the SystemComponentBase table. However, our investigation of that table revealed no duplicates. We also reviewed several other SQL Server tables, and did not find anything out of the ordinary.

During the course of our investigation, several users reported a different, but equally unusual, error. Whenever they attempted to use Advanced Find functionality on any entity, they got the following error message:

At first glance these two errors appeared to be unrelated because the second error message (“Index was outside the bounds of the array”) was completely different than the first one. However, we suspected a connection because of the internal functions involved (GetOrderedComponentList and GetSolutionComponentType). It seemed logical that, even though our investigation had not yielded any duplicates within the SystemComponentBase table, there was nonetheless a problem involving components.

We considered several approaches:
  1. Restart the CRM-related Services; 
  2. Reboot the CRM Server entirely; or
  3. Restart IIS.
The third approach was the least drastic, so we tried that first… and were pleasantly surprised that it worked! Both of the previously-mentioned errors vanished.

In retrospect, we may have been able to recycle the CRM Application Pool or restart the CRM Web Site rather than completely restarting IIS. Either of these approaches would have been less disruptive to the end users. However, all was well that ended well.

By Greg Lief, Senior CRM Developer, Armanino's Microsoft Dynamics CRM Practice

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Billing and Revenue Recognition with Contract Administration in Dynamics GP

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The Contract Administration module in Microsoft Dynamics GP allows you to easily manage your contracts with your customers. You can have multiple lines of detail contract items that can include inventory items and non-inventory items.

The Contract Administration module will automatically create billing schedules and revenue recognition schedules based on general contract attributes such as start date, end date, and billing frequency.

There are special billing and revenue recognition screens that allow you to process a large number of transactions at one time. As actual transactions are processed, the billing schedules and revenue recognition schedules are updated to show the current status of your contracts.

The image below shows the screen in which general contract information is entered. You specify the contract start and end dates, the billing frequency, and the day of the month to bill. You can also choose smooth billing and revenue recognition so that equal dollar amounts will be used each period; for example, if you started a contract in the middle of a month.

This shows an example of a contract that will generate deferred revenue because the billing frequency is quarterly.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Global Company Discovers Reporting Ease with PrecisionPoint

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A global networking solution provider, BTI Systems, needed a more efficient, cost-effective solution for reporting from a finance perspective. The company was utilizing Dynamics AX as their ERP, but couldn't quite get the functionality they needed from AX's reporting tools.

The BTI team eventually settled on a managed on-premise model of PrecisionPoint to fit their needs. According to Martin Pitson, BTI's Vice President of IT and CIO, ""The software was deployed without difficulty, it is very easy to learn and very cost-effective. When talking to PrecisionPoint, you know you are talking to experts that have an in-depth understanding of their specialist subject."

Martin's team is very pleased with the PrecisionPoint implementation and commented "Given the nature of our business, things change rapidly and our BI tool has to adapt continually.We like the fact that we can write our own reports or we can outsource to PrecisionPoint, if we prefer. We design the reports and they build them. They are very responsive and cost effective and their input has accelerated our ability to deploy financial BI reporting."

The solution's scalability and on-demand design fits BTI's needs for accurate, real-time data. It also allows the team to focus on strategic goals for the business rather than unnecessary administrative tasks.

Check out the full case study on the BTI team for more of their financial reporting story: BTI Systems Uses PrecisionPoint for Precise Reporting. Discover other case studies and white papers in Armanino's Trends and Insights.