Microsoft Dynamics GP, or Microsoft Great Plains is very popular mid-market generic ERP. It can be used as ERP platform for multiple vertical markets. In this small article we’ll describe typical auto dealership network automation.
Worldwide automaker has dealers across the USA and Canada and in their case they had Great Plains Dynamics 6.0 on MS SQL Server/MSDE. Each dealer is independent enterprise, so each has its own Great Plains license
o Dealership proprietary software. Dealership is traditional business and it had several generations of computer business systems. Customer info, associated with the car and VIN, work done for the car, parts, associated with the specific model, works pricelist and technician availability – this information is stored in DOS based business management system.
o Microsoft Dynamics GP – accounting back end. Each transaction financial information goes to be stored in Great Plains Standard. Natural choice to use standard accounting application as the backend – it can handle US and Canadian dollars variation, plus it can handle sales tax (USA) and VAT/GST (Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
o Financial Reporting. Microsoft Great Plains has FRx financial reporting: Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss (P&L), Cash Flow Statement – all these reports should be coming from standard accounting package, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP.
o Integration Technology. Great Plains Dynamics 6.0 had legacy VBA/Modifier integration, using ADO to connect to dealership proprietary database and integrate with it. For version 8.0 we recommended eConnect in combination with direct MS SQL Server stored procedures integration (eConnect has certain issues, dealing with multicurrency and other nuances). As we move to Microsoft Dynamics GP (or Microsoft Great Plains Standard 9.0) – the accent will be changed to Object Integration SDK (eConnect with XML web services connectors, so we can deploy Visual Studio.Net C# or VB, however the need for the SQL stored procedures should be expected).
o Future Directions. Auto dealership is very conservative business. It will be tending to skip one or two versions upgrade, as we have in this case: client skipped upgrade from Great Plains Dynamics 6.0 to Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics 7.0 and Great Plains Standard 7.5. Current plan is to upgrade GP Dynamics 6.0 to Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 and then in 2007 or 2008 GP 8.0 to Microsoft Dynamics GP 10