Microsoft Great Plains: Manufacturing or Bill of Materials – overview for IT Specialist

    October 5, 2004

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions product, targeted to mid-size companies.

Currently Microsoft is in progress of transforming several ERP products it has: Microsoft Great Plains, Solomon and Navision into several business suites – Microsoft Financial, Microsoft HR, Microsoft Manufacturing, Microsoft Logistics. These suites may be (in the future) put together and work for your company as integrated ERP solution with web interface (Microsoft Business Portal).

If you are midsize company with some manufacturing – you should make the research on light manufacturing packages available on software market. In the case of your commitment to Great Plains (if you use it as your accounting system) you should probably first answer this question – do we need full featured manufacturing or we should implement just bill of materials and have missing functionality be filled with custom Crystal Reports and light Dexterity customization? And one more thing to consider – Microsoft Manufacturing will be more likely build on Navision manufacturing base. If you have process manufacturing – you should not implement GP manufacturing – it is discreet manufacturing.

If you answer yes on most of these questions, you do need manufacturing

Do you need Manufacturing Resource Planning?

Are Cost Centers required?

Do you base your production on the specific Sales Order?

Do you track working shifts and allocate the cost?

Now – this is what you can have in Bill of Materials

Samples bills of materials – to do the replacement of the items

Purchasing configuration, based on ABC codes and other criteria

Historical bills reporting

With Crystal Reports you can have this information, having just Bill of Materials

Sales/profitability by customer, item, region or custom criteria

Future Sales predictions, based on your criteria

Employee time and cost allocation

Simple Cost Centers, based on product line, specific order or other user defined information

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (, he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.