Market researcher successfully integrates Microsoft Dynamics SL with homegrown system

February 11, 2016 Ken Jacobsen

Market researcher successfully integrates Microsoft Dynamics SL with homegrown system

A market research company wanted to track particular projects in Microsoft Dynamics SL.

A market research firm required better integration between its Microsoft Dynamics SL solution and a homegrown operational system. The company performs market research for a variety of industries. Its clients range from automotive manufacturers to businesses in food distribution.

Due to the diverse nature of its operation, it worked with The TM Group to implement Microsoft Dynamics SL to track its various projects. While the system performed as expected, the company felt employees wasted time transferring data between the ERP solution and its custom systems. After sitting down with representatives from the client’s organization and hearing their needs, a TMG  specialist designed an integration to link the  systems together.

A homegrown operational system
The company had been using the same financial system for almost two decades. It was a custom accounting and project program designed by the business for its operations.

Employees had grown quite comfortable with their homegrown software. The system had some CRM functionality so users could track parent client accounts. It’s also web-based, so it was easy for users to access from anywhere.

When it came time to implement a new ERP solution, the company expressed its desire to keep its custom system and adopt a new accounting solution that would work in conjunction with its current system. After evaluating the client’s preferences, The TM Group recommended Microsoft Dynamics SL with Project Accounting.

A customized implementation
After setting up the accounting modules and project accounting, The TM Group ERP implementation team built connections and relationships between the homegrown system and Microsoft Dynamics SL. The customized scripts removed the need to manually move or clean data as it transfers from system to system.

Now, when users enter expenses for labor into their time entry module the company wrote, the information is automatically pushed into Microsoft Dynamics SL. Also, any time users create a project in the custom system, one also gets created in Microsoft Dynamics SL.

An efficient solution
The integration of the homegrown system and the Microsoft Dynamics SL Project Controller module provides the company with complete visibility of its ongoing tasks. Employees can track projects at the financial level for expenses and revenue. For example, managers evaluate expenses for labor on a monthly basis, the integrated systems allow overseers to monitor asset allocation against project progress.

Much time is saved through the automatic sharing between the systems. Employees no longer have to go into the accounting solution and transfer information into Microsoft Dynamics SL. In the past, employees were basically building job code into the sub-accounting structure manually. Now, the solution creates codes simultaneously in both systems.

Not only is the new solution more efficient, all information is updated in real time and grants complete insight into the company’s financial structure. With the old system, any time an error was detected, operations had to stop while IT employees went through the datasets to find where the problem occurred. The integrated systems offer double check functionality. The customized processes allow data to stay in its natural state so less is lost in translation.

The TM Group also built customizations to use a third party add-on solution, Concur, for expense reports. Employees can log in and submit their expenses. Once managers go into the system and approve the data, the information is available to accountants. The customized ERP integration imports the details into a particular employee or project ledger in Microsoft Dynamics SL. It provides easier functionality for employees at every level, and real-time visibility for all supervisors.

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