When implementing an Enterprise Resources Planning System, clients are mostly keen to replace their current paper work with automated solutions which are fully integrated with the backbone ERP system of the business, in order to effectively and efficiently manage the Approval Chain.
In Dynamics GP, configuring a new customer, vendor, item, fixed asset or GL account always requires sensitive data to be filled out and approved before being configured on the system, such data will highly affect the quality of the transactions and reports generated.
In this series of two posts, I will try to explain the value of using certain MS products together to provide a very effective automated solution for managing Approvals specifically for GP Cards (customer, vendor, FA, item and GL account ).
Below is a proposal for using three common MS products together to provide the maximum added value to the business with Dynamics GP, these products are:
1- Form Management :
The very essential value of InfoPath is to replace the paper forms with elegant e-forms, with a validation layer within to ensure that the data filled out is correct.
2- Document Repository:
elegant e-forms require an online repository for archiving the documents. SharePoint library can be the best mate for InfoPath.
InfoPath forms can be published into SharePoint Library, as shown below;
What’s valuable about Publishing an InfoPath form into SharePoint Library is that “meta data” within the form can be published into a grid view in the document library, which gives powerful filtration and search capabilities.
3- Workflow Management:
Finally and most importantly, the approval cycle can be managed with SharePoint Designer, through which a customized and up to the need workflow can be designed in order to automate the approval collections of the old-fashioned paper work.
When deployed on the top of the solution, the SharePoint designer provides the end-users who are filling out the forms and the approvers an added value through mail notifications on every single step in the process.
All in all, the proposed solution can be outlined as drafted below, to eliminate paper work, ensure correct data to be filled out, approvals to be well managed, forms to be archived and most importantly the “Sensitive Cards” in Dynamics GP to be well configured.
Helping Note !
The automated solution proposed above can be further enhanced to automatically migrate the data that has been fully approved to Dynamics GP. Since data of InfoPath is stored in an XML format. eConnect can be considered including the following eConnect Schema:
- Item: IVItemMasterType
- Customer: RMCustomerMasterType
- Vendor: PMVendorMasterType
- Fixed Asset: FACreateAssetIDType
- GL Account: GLAccountType
In the next post of this series, I will apply the concept above on a practical case study through which Item and Vendor cards are designed and well configured in InfoPath.
When integrated, Simple MS products can do such a great job !
Mahmoud M. AlSaadi