Enterprise resource management (ERP) platforms offer a lot of benefits. They help you boost efficiency among your workforce and provide better customer experiences. Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and Dynamics 365 Business Central are popular among small and medium-sized businesses looking to stay competitive with larger enterprises. It helps to understand what each platform offers as you consider whether to go with Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. GP.
What is Microsoft Dynamics GP?
Microsoft Dynamics GP includes software to support functions related to accounting and other aspects of business management. It’s one of the most popular tools still running among smaller companies in industries across the spectrum, including construction, eCommerce, and manufacturing. Organizations use Dynamics GP to help manage finance strategies related to:
- Lockbox Processing
- Check Refunds
- Cash Flow Management
You can purchase a Dynamics GP license outright through a licensed provider or pay for a monthly subscription. Organizations can host GP on-premises or in the cloud as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The solution also integrates with other third-party software to expand available features and help you streamline business processes.
Many organizations use GP to help with:
- Supply chain management — Monitor inventory stock levels and cost. You can also set product prices and print reports to get the status of your inventory.
- Manufacturing — Track the entire product processing cycle and manage your raw material resources and other components.
- Accounting management — Use the productivity systems within the General Ledger to keep up with your workloads. You can also track financial data from across the organization in one place.
- Human Resources Management — Keep up with company benefits and any compliance standards set by your state government. Set up automated processes to deal with common tasks related to sick time policies, payroll, and vacation.
Microsoft makes a starter pack of Dynamics GP available to businesses looking to try out the functionality. It includes modules for Core Financials and Distribution for up to three users. If needed, you can also purchase an extended pack to help with inventory tracking, construction billing, and other professional services.
Costs for Dynamics GP vary depending on the number of users requiring access to the platform and which modules get purchased. You would need to go through a GP Partner to estimate what you would pay for a Dynamics GP instance.
What is Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Business Central is part of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 suite of Software-as-a-Service cloud applications. The ERP solution helps small and mid-sized organizations manage manufacturing, financials, and project management services. It’s built using the same technology that supports Dynamics NAV.
Users can view everything related to business functions within a single modern interface from any mobile device. You can use automation within Business Central to reduce the time spent working on smaller menial tasks. The following is an overview of just some of the modules and capabilities available within Business Central to help you decide between Dynamics GP vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- General ledger — Lets you set up companies and post general ledger entries. You can also manage sales tax, journals, and VAT. There are also built-in reports and the ability to use Power BI charts and reports.
- Budgeting — You can track the progression of your businesses with budgets through the general ledger. You can also share data from this module with Power BI.
- Cost accounting — Review costs related to operations and projects to gain more insights into your company’s financial health. You can also go through different scenarios while analyzing budgets and general ledger actuals.
- Contact management — Set up an overview of all contacts to help your salespeople create more personalized approaches. You can also record information about various business relations and receive alerts for duplicate connections. Users can also prioritize the most important contact and divide customers into segments for campaign targeting.
- Interaction and document management — Keep up with the interactions you have with contacts, including telephone calls and letters. You can attach documents in various formats like Word or TXT. Set up automatic logging of other interactions like sales quotes and orders.
- Invoicing — Create, post, and print customer invoices. You can do the same with credit memos.
Supply Chain Management
- Purchase invoicing and order management — Create, post, and print out purchase orders along with purchase credit memos. Manage all your quotes, purchase order processes, and blanket orders in one location. You can also keep up with partial receipts and create prepayment invoices for a purchase order.
- Inventory control — Create stock items and add attributes like costing method, unit measure, cost, and price. You can post item transactions like purchases, sales, and item transactions. In addition, you can group your items in a hierarchy and keep up inventory in different locations.
- Planning and forecasting — Figure out your plan material requirements based on current demand. Set up automatic orders for purchase, production, assembly, and transfers. You can manage demand forecasting based on various factors.
- Resource management — Track all resources and related costs for your projects. Business Central also helps you with capacity planning.
- Time sheet — Have resources add the time spent on various tasks and quickly get manager signoff.
- Task management — Keep up with who is responsible for various tasks and assign job ownership.
Should I Upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Making the switch to Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. GP depends on your company’s needs. Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing is subscription-based, and you customize your instance by only adding modules for certain services. You also receive access to upgraded reporting and analytical capabilities.
The best way to decide whether you should go with Dynamics GP vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central is to talk with a licensed provider. Internet eBusiness Solutions (iES) works with organizations to help them set up ERP solutions that fit their business environment.
If you’re interested in a partnership with iES, set up a consultation today with one of our Microsoft experts.