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    August 12, 2022

    How to Perform a Dynamics GP Health Check – and Why

    This is the first article in a four-part series Enavate has put together to help organizations currently using Microsoft Dynamics GP understand how and where they can get additional value out of their GP environment, whether that is for their existing version, for a potential upgrade to a newer version, or for moving to the latest platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC. 

    The series includes the following topics: 

    • Performing a GP Health Check
    • Upgrade GP: What You Need to Know 
    • Hosting GP in Azure
    • Migrating from GP to BC

    Whether you’re looking to get additional value out of your existing Dynamics GP environment, preparing for an upgrade or migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, there’s a lot to gain from performing a health check on your current GP system. A GP health check can help your organization base discussions and decisions on data and facts, as opposed to assumptions or aged-out assumptions about the environment.  

    Once you’ve performed a health check, you’ll have a clearer view of specific aspects of your business that will allow you to transform processes. You’ll better understand how you can improve them, get better insights into them and make better decisions that drive value from your investment in Microsoft Dynamics GP. You’ll also be able to see any risks or vulnerabilities that may be present and discover how you can optimize your environment to reduce them.  

    For our GP health check offering at Enavate, we’ve partnered together with Mavim to look at Dynamics GP a different way: through the lens of data mining. Our Dynamics GP assessment tool is quick, easy and free. And we provide expert guidance around the findings to help organizations optimize processes. 

    In this article, we’ll focus on how data mining is used to cash process – what you can find and the outcomes you can achieve. However, you can also use this lens to better understand purchase to pay and inventory process in your Dynamics GP system.  

    What is Your Data Telling You? 

    One important goal in assessing your GP system is to better understand your data to gain greater efficiency, optimize processes and improve cash flow. Data mining allows you to look at data through a different lens. It’s not just a KPI or report. You’re able to look at an overall process and assess and adjust it to gain a predictable approach and outcome.  

    Data mining can be likened to a modern GPS. You know where you want to go and how to get there, but you can’t see the traffic jams, construction and accidents ahead on your own. In a typical order to cash business process, you know you have an order, you need to ship a product and you need to get paid for that product. But you may have bumps, or variations in the road.  

    This data mining tool allows us to identify what those variations are so you can anticipate pain points before they happen. 

    Everyone in the organization can benefit from a better understanding of data through data mining. It helps everyone understand the current state and drives discussions around a roadmap to the future state. This understanding will reveal opportunities to run leaner and more cost-efficiently. And it helps each person use business process to develop a story around moving to the Cloud or enhancing the current state – a story around how to really leverage technology. 

    What Dynamics Data is Telling Us – An Example 

    As an example, we performed an analysis of the order cycle time for a distribution company with the goal of increasing customer satisfaction, revenue and cash flow. This meant identifying how long it takes to enter the order, ship and collect payment, and finding the variabilities and negative impacts along the way.  

    For the period we analyzed, the data told us it took 75 days to complete an order from start to finish. We also found 23 differences of how orders were processed in the GP environment. 

    In data mining, we’re not just looking at one piece of information within GP. We assess many different attributes, and we can slice and dice data through lenses such as customers, state, country, city, territory, salesperson and warehouse location. 

    Having this multi-faceted view allows us to ask questions of the data, such as: 

    • Does the average change by different attributes? 
    • Why does it change between different attributes? 
    • Can we improve a process by understanding negative impacts? 

    For this assessment, we dove deep into the various stages of the order cycle. 

    Order -> Delivery 

    We looked at delivery performance and asked how long it was taking to ship and if there were negative impacts along the way. We pulled data based on warehouse location and found one warehouse was more efficient. We also pulled data on on-time and late shipments. We could then dive into the late line items and see if it was a specific item, territory, etc.  

    From there, we could look at the different attributes by item at that shipment level. We could ask: What influenced late shipments? Why is one warehouse underperforming? Why do we always have certain items out of stock?  

    Shipment -> Invoicing 

    In looking at the timing from order shipment to conversion and posting into an invoice, we discovered the average was 34 days from shipment to invoicing. Ideally, this should’ve been within 24 hours. We could look at the attributes and identify what would impact the distributor’s ability to invoice faster. 

    Invoice -> Cash 

    We analyzed the average time to convert a customer invoice to cash. The data said 23.49 days. We could analyze the different attributes, by payment methods, customers, sales, territory, etc. We could identify whether it’s certain payment methods, customers, salespeople, territories. And we could analyze what might be causing negative variations.  

    With this deep analysis, we could see how variations affected the overall process and the goal of reducing the average 75-day order cycle. We could use the data to drive conversations around the negative impacts and identify optimal changes in the process. Once we’d analyzed the data through different lenses in the Enavate/Mavim tool, we could help the distributor with: 

    • Reviewing warehouse performance 
    • Understanding why there are variations to the overall process 
    • Vendor item management/performance 
    • Shipping method performance 
    • Internal invoicing process performance 
    • Cash collection optimization 

    What is the GP Assessment Tool? 

    Enavate’s GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central migration assessment tool is designed to help you analyze your GP solution and determine where you are in your journey to the cloud. It helps you identify key considerations for moving to Business Central before you migrate, if that’s your goal. The tool is a framework or roadmap, helping you understand where you are and where you can go. 

    The tool analyzes your GP SQL server, looking at higher-level metadata and mining it to understand the modules, features, vendors and processes you use. It also analyzes additional products you’ve installed, such as ISVs, so they’re taken into consideration for a migration. It looks at what the entire business solution would look like for you.  

    All of this helps determine which migration tool to use and whether certain data will have to be transferred over manually, so you can determine how best to navigate your journey to the Cloud. It’ll also help you understand your GP system if you’re looking to improve and maximize existing processes, rather than migrate.  

    The assessment tool is free, and the process can be done in less than five minutes. The tool needs a super user, someone who has read access to the SQL database, and it can be run on a desktop without the need for a server. It also can run while you have people in your GP system, so you don’t have to halt any operations or work.   

    Once you’ve run the tool you will receive a report mapping out your best migration path to Dynamics 365 Business Central.  

    What’s Your GP’s Health Status? 

    Knowing your GP health status is like taking the pulse of your business. It tells you where your system is in the current business climate. A complete drill-down of your data will also enlighten you as to process inefficiencies, highlighting where you can streamline data for both your business and software migration.  

     Watch and learn more about how and why you should check on the health of your GP environment below: 

    HubSpot Video

    The Next Step in Your GP Journey 

    What journey are you on with your GP platform? Are you performing a health check or an upgrade? Do you want to host your GP environment in Azure? Or are you ready to fully migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? Whichever your destination, our team at Enavate has unmatched experience working with GP. Get in touch to learn more and get a free assessment of your GP environment. 


    Read the next article in the series, Upgrade GP: What You Need to Know.


    Sandy Williams

    Sandy Williams is Sr. Leader of Client Experience Strategy at Enavate. She has spent the past 20 years in the Microsoft SMB and Enterprise space optimizing technology, experience, and implementation methodologies to ensure the delivery of a smooth, frictionless and consistent experience to clients. Sandy has worked in various industries with the Microsoft solution stack to architect, re-design business processes and implement customer success through business needs and industry best practices.

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