What it Means to be an ERP Implementation Artist

Every implementation consultant out there will tell you that they are better than or different from other consultants because they can “think outside the box”. So I don’t want you to think of Briware Solutions as a team of implementation consultants.

Think of us as a team of implementation artists.

Artists don’t “think outside the box”. They look at it and see something completely different…this box is actually an angel waiting for me to release it! (Sorry, Mr. Da Vinci, for the flagrant misquote). If you explain your business process to us, it doesn’t matter how nutty you think it is we can make Dynamics GP reflect it.

That is our kind of art.

I’ve never been a fan of writing posts like this one, because like any Canadian I tend to shy away from boasting or bragging about myself and my team. But this isn’t meant to be a boast piece so I will continue.

Time and time again we have heard about Dynamics GP partners who say they have looked both inside and outside of the box and the customers’ request simply can’t be done. In almost every case we were able to make the customer excessively happy by simply redefining the box.

For example, one of our clients rents water meters to their customers. They use Dynamics GP contract management to manage the contract billing and invoice customers on a regular schedule. Everything works great, except that once in a while a customer wants to change their payment schedule.

Dynamics GP does pre-authorized debits out of the box, and we had already configured it for this customer. According to the contract those payments will come out every 30 days on the invoice date. If you want to collect the customer’s money on the 15th of the month instead of the actual invoice date, though, there may be no actual invoice created in Dynamics GP yet to collect against.

A lot of Dynamics partners would just look at this situation and say it can’t be done. The user would have to manually create these payments.

We used Extender for Dynamics GP to allow users to record and edit a payment schedule, which we defaulted from the billing schedule. We then created a Smart Connect map that looks at the schedule instead of the actual contract for collection date and amount. The integration looks to see if there is an amount that’s supposed to come out “today”. If yes, a cash receipt is automatically created within an unposted batch so that the user only needs to post that batch, which then generates a file to send to the bank.

The customer service team can work with their customers to update the schedule directly and accounts receivable can generate a file for everything that’s supposed to go “today”. All that they are really doing is posting. We accomplished the goal without adding manual processes for their team or external tracking and communication mechanisms.

For a manufacturing company, we were asked to deal with a process where part of the output actually became input to the exact same process. Basically any scrap that was left over at the end of the day actually went back in as a raw material at the start of the next day. This was really a strange concept to try and build the costs of something into itself.

There are people who would say that you can’t have something be its own raw material, that that just doesn’t make sense. But they are missing something crucial. Obviously it can be done because this company is doing it! We just had to figure out how to make Dynamics GP understand and reflect reality.

Without going into full detail, we did actually get it working within the system, and it was pretty cool when it was finished. Sometime over drinks you and I can discuss it.

When an artist looks at a block of stone or a blank canvas, they are able to see something there that nobody else sees. Then they use the tools and skills at their disposal to give that something life.

An implementation artist needs to be able to envision a complex business process from soup to nuts and see that something that nobody else sees. Then they can employ their skills and the tools that GP places at their disposal to create simple, elegant, and dare I say beautiful business solutions.

That is our kind of art.

And that is what the implementation artists at Briware Solutions do for Dynamics GP customers every day.

If you are looking for a Dynamics GP based solution that is a work of art, call me. 844-BRIWARE or rod@briwaresolutions.com.

By Briware Solutions, www.briwaresolutions.com

Follow me on Twitter: @Briware_Rod