As developers, we know the software you use to run your business is one of your most significant investments. Leveraging the value of that investment is important and one of the most effective ways to achieve that leverage is to stay current on software versions as they are released. This is why many end-users are already planning their upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018. At Horizons, we take our role in helping you maintain the value of your software investment very seriously, which is why we were pleased earlier this week to announce that our HMS products for version 188.8.131.52 are available for download on our site. This code version is compatible with DynamicsGP 2018, which was released in December 2017 and ensures that customers who are current on their maintenance plans can complete their upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018 easily.
Of course, downloading the code for an upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018 is really the easy part of the process. Physically executing the upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018 is the real project. One of the greatest challenges to a successful DynamicsGP 2018 upgrade is the presence of custom code or custom integrations. Custom code is often needed because, by its very nature, off-the-shelf software has a defined (and therefore limited) set of features. So, if a business has a process or function that is specific to their operations or that provides a strategic competitive edge, that need is met with customizations in the form of additions to the code-base, modifications to the data structure, or integrated modules. This, in turn, means you need to have a plan to handle those customizations when you upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018.
But maybe that challenge is not as daunting today as it was yesterday…
Sure, businesses still have their competitive strategies that need to be supported, but software functionality has also expanded and matured. This means features that were once only found in high-end products and used only by larger manufacturers, like MRP (Materials Requirement Planning), are now commonly used by smaller organizations. The software used by many of our customers has evolved from simple min/max or reorder point systems to single-site, multi-site, and even multi-factory MRP and these customers rely on Horizons International to support them. This support includes helping them make the upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018.
Replace custom with off-the-shelf for a simpler upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018
What this maturity of existing products may mean for your organization is that your process for an upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018 may be less about bringing customizations with you and more about finding the off-the-shelf alternatives. The beauty in such a replacement is that new off-the-shelf products will have additional features that were too costly to include in your customizations but which will further enhance your efficiency and productivity, while also making future upgrades smoother. Take our Quality Essentials Suite product, for example. The customer most likely to purchase this software is one that has a custom or proprietary Access-based system with custom reporting that is challenging to upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018 or other ERP solution. When they discover that our affordable solution provides tools like dashboards, control reports, data export, and certificates of analysis, they find it doesn’t make sense to continue to invest in the support of their existing tools.
Below we have compiled several short lists of the areas of functionality that our new and existing customers find most interesting. The links will take you to our website or to the site of a vendor that supplies the featured functionality. Visit our web site to learn more or to sign up for notification of webinars where these features will be covered in more detail.
Top manufacturing features
- Serial and lot trace automation – if you are still using paper records, you may want to consider automating this process to help speed up your recall timelines and regulatory reporting.
- Quality Control – are you struggling with meeting regulatory requirements in a cost-effective manner and unsure of how to improve or automate your systems with cost-effective solutions?
- Material Planning with MRP – if you are still using Excel spreadsheets and simple min/max or reorder points to trigger material purchases, maybe deploying MRP will help reduce your overall inventory levels.
- Shop floor labor routing data collection – move your digital transformation efforts forward with tools that record labor events in real time and speed your response time to customers.
Top ISV solutions
- Bar code scanning for materials movements – solutions that integrate with DynamicsGP and Horizons will improve efficiency and accuracy.
- Business Intelligence tools – ensuring all staff has real-time access to the same data supports more consistent decision-making.
- Private and Public Cloud/Hosting – to understand how, where and when to consider alternatives to managing your GP environment in-house.
- Efficient data entry and search – make data-search and other look up tasks simpler and more efficient with tools that speed up lookup time.
Upgrade tips and tools
There are several resources available to help you plan and execute your upgrade. Visit www.gpug.com to see webinars and recordings that provide guidance. If you are not yet a GPUG member, you might consider this the ideal time to join. Not only will you have access to immediate information on the newest features to support your upgrade to DynamicsGP 2018, but your staff will also have access to a wide range of training tools that can help you make the most of your upgrade efforts.