Microsoft CRM and Great Plains Implementation: Freight Forwarding Business Automation Example

Microsoft Business Solutions offers several ERP applications: Great Plains, Navision, Solomon and its own CRM solution ? Microsoft CRM. Targeting to automate all business operations, Microsoft CRM is now integrated with Microsoft Great Plains and in the close future it should have integration with Microsoft Navision. In this small article we'll show you business automation example, where Microsoft CRM and Great Plains are integrated and customized to fit Freight Forwarding business processes.

? CRM. Central Customer and Vendor records place. Assuming you have agents across the USA and internationally ? CRM, being web-interface application and so, could be used across the globe with good internet connection. The nice features of this product are central emailing ? you send email from MS CRM and receive responses from your clients back in CRM, where they are permanently stored and documented. You can issue Quote and Sales Order directly in CRM if needed or could have them issues in Microsoft Great Plains with propagation to Microsoft CRM (deploying MS CRM-Great Plains integration tool ? BizTalk based connector).

? Accounting/ERP. Microsoft Great Plains could play this role, being integrated with Microsoft CRM and with industry-specific business system. In the case of Freight Forwarding/Transportation ? this business system could calculate fees and charged, associated with MBL/HBL and posted against agent accounts. You could deploy SQL triggers for instant integration or stored procs for scheduled batches.

? Great Plains Customizations. Freight Forwarding specifics require Shipment tracking with SOP and POP invoices posted and tracked against the shipment and probably regular/monthly Agent Settlement report, where you match customer and vendor invoices, associated with the agent shipments and create AR or AP document, depending on positive or negative balance. This is Great Plains Dexterity customization or web-development (if you need your agents lookup features from remote locations)

? Microsoft CRM Customization. Assuming that you have Shipment Tracking system, which might be SQL or Oracle based ? you need shipment lookups for your order takers and customer support personnel from Microsoft CRM screens. Being designed for easy web customization ? Microsoft CRM allows you to incorporate .Net web application into its screens, such as Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity, etc. You use Web Forms and Microsoft CRM SDK to penetrate into MS CRM security realm and then ADO.Net to call third party MS SQL Server or Oracle data

? Implementation Advices. Microsoft CRM should be probably tried as in-house pilot implementation with 5 users license and then you can purchase additional license as you have your users trained. If you need MS CRM SDK C# or VB.Net programming ? you could subcontract. Great Plains requires consultant help to be implemented and integrated, because it has sophisticated tables structure and documents flow mechanism.

? Data Conversion. We recommend you to deploy Great Plains Integration manager to import Vendor and Customers plus open documents. Historical transactions, if needed ? should be moved by outside consultant. Microsoft CRM has import tool ? try it first and subcontract more complex ? attachments, for example.

Good luck with implementation and customization and if you have issues or concerns ? we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! [email protected]

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ? USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving clients in Chicago, California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Minnesota, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( ), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew: [email protected]

In The News:

Software Developer
Nutanix, VMware Battle For HCI Software Market Share Lead  CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers

Microsoft CRM: Implementation, Customization, Support ? Consultant Overview

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is present several years on the... Read More

Begun, The Browser Wars Have

As Mozilla Firefox nears 10% market share, with well over... Read More

Introduction To ISDN, Part III: PAP

Introduction To ISDN, Part III: Configuring PPP PAP AuthenticationNow we... Read More

How to Evaluate Staffing Software

If you are in the market for new staffing software,... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Security Setup - Overview For Consultant

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is very good fit for... Read More

Cross-Platform Custom Software Development & Integration ? IT Strategy for Large Corporation

Microsoft Business Solutions products: Great Plains, MS CRM, Navision, Axapta,... Read More

Spyware, Adware, etc. -- Terms and Common Sense

When reading an article where some term is used often,... Read More

Spyware, What is it?

Spyware, what it is and what it does. Basically, spyware... Read More

Microsoft CRM Implementation ? Fundamental CRM Principles Revision

Microsoft CRM is relatively new player on the now becoming... Read More

You Can Write Microsoft Office Program in About 60 Minutes

Microsoft Office program is a programming tool called Visual Basic... Read More

Microsoft CRM Customization: Integration with Third Party SQL Application/Database

Microsoft CRM ? Client Relationship Management package from Microsoft Business... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Customization Upgrade & Recovery ? Visual Studio VB 6.0

Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics, eEnterprise has... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Interest Calculation Example ? Stored Procedure for Crystal Report

This is intermediate level SQL scripting article for DB Administrator,... Read More

Implementing Microsoft CRM: setup and configuration ? notes for IT specialist

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is web-based CRM application, deploying all... Read More

Microsoft CRM Integration with Lotus Notes Domino: Messaging Connector ? Future Directions

IBM Lotus Notes Domino and Microsoft CRM (Client Relation Management)... Read More

PHP On-The-Fly!

IntroductionPHP can be used for a lot of different things,... Read More

Five Reasons for Using an O/R Mapping Tool

So, why should you use any O/R mapping tool? I... Read More

Will Adobe Manage to Replace Industry Work Horse Quark Express by Giving Adobe InDesign for Free?

Heard about the Quark "killer"?Adobe InDesign CS2. Will it really... Read More

DVD Burning Tips

CD and DVD replication is a process that works by... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Collection Management ? Overview For Consultant

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is very good fit for... Read More

Blind CC (Bcc): Master Its Use When E-Mailing

If you use Microsoft Outlook (or similar applications) for e-mailing,... Read More

Great Plains DOS Support ? Notes for Consultant

Great Plains Accounting, accounting package for mid-size and small companies... Read More

Microsoft Navision and Crystal Reports - An Overview

Microsoft Business Solutions ? Navision is an integrated solution for... Read More

Passwords Used In Microsoft Word Documents

You would like to protect your documents, wouldn't you? Reasons... Read More

Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS) SQL Customization ? Overview for Programmer

Microsoft Retail Management System serves retail single store as well... Read More