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At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

  • 1.  At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 13, 2020 07:06 PM
    A number of questions have been posed to myself and the GP team as our company  looks at the current and future growth roadmap.

    At what point do we consider to be at the point of out growing GP?

    Is there a number of user?
    Is there a number of items in the Item Master?

    Is AX the next logical step from a GP platform.

    Is there already a growth model or discussion on this topic


    Jeff Roe
    Kele Inc
    Bartlett TN
    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 2.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 13, 2020 10:26 PM
    Hi @Jeff Roe.

    If GP is meeting your current business and process needs then I'd say stay where you are. If you have specific requirements that it's not meeting your expectations then talk with your Microsoft partner to see if they can help. The number of users and items shouldn't be a determining factor when discussing if you should move off of Dynamics GP or not. ​

    Kristen Hosman | Microsoft MVP
    Dynamics 365 Business Central Senior Consultant
    Boyer & Associates

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 3.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 14, 2020 09:45 AM
    Edited by Thaddeus Suter Nov 14, 2020 09:51 AM
    Well at 30,000 Item masters in the IV00101, over 800 Site IDs (Warehouses),1,000 employee timesheets per week in workflow,10,000 SOP Invoices per day averaging 6-8 lines per invoice, 3,000 CA Contracts to bill monthly, 400 RMAs per week, 400-600 vendor payments per week.... I do not see changing systems anytime soon.
    Of course you have to know what you are doing with volumes like this as you are not going to be applying cash receipts manually and you best be familiar with EFT for payables/receivables, eConnect, multi server XenApp or RDWeb and the WebClient for T&E, scheduled posting, module based archiving and so on...

    The only volume trouble I have seen was trying to set up 40,000 assets in Fixed Assets and even when trying to depreciate 10,000 per week it was still a no go so these are external to GP. The practical limit for FA seems to be around 10,000 active assets and even then you will need to split them up for depreciation monthly.

    edit: The logical upgrade is SAP or Oracle

    Thaddeus Suter
    Retus, Inc

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 4.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 16, 2020 01:54 AM
    Hi Jeff,
    There are a number of issues that you need to consider to determine the long term plans for GP. There really is not an obvious limitation to the size of GP, it all comes down to how you design and use GP and the hardware that you use. These are the same issues for any other software that you would consider.
    We have 990 concurrent users, we process around 5 to 6 million lines through our GL monthly, somewhere around 900K invoices through SOP, and we have 32K SKU's in our Item master and at this point, we do not have any issues with performance at all, so we have no concern on growth. This all came with a fairly robust hardware set but then that is a requirement for large volume, regardless of the software.
    To me, the next logical step has to be to move to a cloud based solution as it simplifies the maintenance, redundancy, security and growth of your ERP, so D365 should be a consideration but most of the major players have offerings in that space.
    The large negative is that an upgrade has a huge business impact, it will basically take all the focus of the business away from the things that really count (like growth) and have that focused on installing and stabilizing a new system. No mater what anyone says, there is no doubt that an ERP implementation will not go without some "issues" and requires people to learn something new. That said, it does not help to get too far behind the market either as that also makes a change even harder and usually increases cost. It must always be kept in mind that a move to a new ERP will never add value in itself (despite what the salesman says), but it is also important to remember that your ERP is what keeps business going, so it should not be neglected either.
    From you personal point of view, if GP is working for you right now, you probably have three to five years that you can coast and focus on adding business value with important IT projects before you have to seriously consider your options. This does not mean that you can not start to consider a hybrid option with a gradual migration plan that fits into the projects you already had considered.
    I am not sure if any of this helps and every business and person has slightly different view on this so it is important for you to plan your roadmap to the future in a way that first and foremost benefits your business.


    David Joosten
    IT Executive
    Premier FMCG (Pty) Ltd

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 5.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 16, 2020 08:24 AM
    Edited by Lou Spevack Nov 16, 2020 10:37 AM
    David's comments are spot on.  Selecting and implementing a new ERP system is a huge project that requires a thorough evaluation of your requirements and reporting structure to properly select and deploy a new system.  If you have major pain points using Dynamics GP, you probably need to do that evaluation anyway.  Re-implementing Dynamics GP may be an option.
    Consider also that many of the cloud ERP products are not fully mature compared to Dynamics GP.  I have been using GP since version 2.2 and I think it really came of age around version 2010.  D365 has come a long way, but it's still a work in progress in my view.

    Lou Spevack
    American Council on Education
    Washington DC

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 6.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 16, 2020 09:00 AM
    I have always found and demonstrated someone larger doing just fine when management asks questions like this.

    GP's engine is SQL. Make sure you are not using a Kia when you need a RAM 2500. In a past company I dumped the entire GE parts catalogue into Inventory. And we currently have way too many old customer accounts that are no longer active. The number of rows has some affect, but with SSD storage, lot's of Server RAM, and some SQL tuning here and there you can go quite far. It is not just throwing some hardware at the problem when you truly need it. Talk to your partner and make sure you engage a SQL DBA that really knows GP also. Do a data audit occasionally and remove old 7+ history, inventory, customers, or whatever that haven't been actively used in years.

    David Morinello
    Senior Dynamics GP Systems Architect
    Ascend Learning, LLC
    Leawood KS

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 7.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 16, 2020 10:31 AM
    That's going to be a decision only you and your team can make.  My suggestion, however, is isolate your pain points - those things that take the most time and resources to accomplish - and look at them first.  I see so many people who upgrade or change systems because they get misled into thinking that change is good.  You have to think about WHY you are changing.  What is it in your current system that you feel could be improved? Now quantify in savings what that improvement would like like.  (I use $35/hr loaded cost.)  That gives you a good place to start from when talking about change.

    Keep in mind that EVERY other accounting package (including Dynamics Business Central and AX) is a completely different product from GP.  Upgrades are to stay on the same platform.  You don't "upgrade" when you change platforms, you re-implement.

    Changing accounting systems in incredibly costly over-and-above the licensing prices.  There are all the costs of trying to move the data to the new platform, re-create ALL existing business processes, train users on the new system, etc.  And don't forget the hidden costs that come with dumping all your internal troubleshooting knowledge with your existing platform and starting from scratch!  That's an incredibly valuable resource that is hard to put a price tag on.  Same goes for switching user communities and troubleshooting relationships.

    Technical reasons are really the LAST reasons to change systems.  The real reasons lie in business process improvement.  Isolate which business needs aren't being met by the current software and what the costs are to changing.  That's where the real conversation starts.

    Blair Christensen
    Database Administrator
    Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.
    Boise Idaho GPUG Chapter Leader

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 8.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 17, 2020 10:10 AM
    With no humor intended, well, with some humor intended, it may be a good idea to teach your CxO types to ignore the hyperactive sales types who are big on using the charming "Digital Transformation" catchphrase.

    The push toward "upgrades" of ERP systems which are not really upgrades is aimed at the executives who do not actually run or use the ERP.  The people below them hopefully know they are running systems that work fine now and will continue to work well into the future.

    Your GP and plugins will work and work well for years to come as long as you take care of things and keep the servers running.  Your only limits for the forseeable future is what you put into the SQL machines and storage. A change in ERP, especially one of the "digital transforming" ones will just be spending money somewhere other than your business and often times those systems generally are less capable than the one you have now (that is how the salespeople can sell the quick implementation, it is easier to implement a system when the customer has to adapt to the system instead of the other way around).

    Jeff Frye
    Systems Analyst
    Hunt Brothers Pizza, LLC
    Nashville TN

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 9.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 17, 2020 07:09 PM

    I would highly suggest you make sure you are running the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics GP and that you are using as many of the features available as possible. I bet there is lots you could be using and are not.

    Also, look at the ISV community as there is probably a number of ISV products that you could use to extend GP and make it better suited to your needs.

    Finally, you can always look at customisations/tweaks to fine tune the product.

    For example: GP Power Tools has lots of usability enhancements and security extensions for the Administrator as well as a whole suite of development features for making customisations. I have many customers who use this to tailor their systems.... and make it impossible for users to make mistakes. Once an issue is found, a little bit of code is added to ensure it can never happen again.



    David Musgrave MVP, GPUG All-Star

    Managing Director
    Winthrop Development Consultants

    Perth, Western Australia

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 10.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Nov 23, 2020 12:29 PM
    Edited by Paul Dyer Nov 23, 2020 12:31 PM
    GP's "openness" makes it nearly hard to "outgrow". Like David said there's a lot of plug ins and ISVs out there. GP allows you direct access to the database is is well documented (both by Microsoft and 3rd parties, like here on GPUG).

    In fact for an example, my company has their own ecommerce software for a specialized business we're in (Office Supplies) that's designed to work with several of the distribution channels out there, and interface with large customers using punchout technology, It works with GP (we use it of course!) (we have over 1 million skus over 20 Site IDs, 18 MILLION records in our inventory tables, and run about 500 orders a day through it). Connecting our software with econnect, was easy and well documented by Microsoft, our credit card data is using Nodus' Payfabric (A popular GP ISV), and to be honest we also did it for Quickbooks (although I tell everyone on QB to look at GP), it was easy. Then we had a customer ask about Oracle Netsuite... that documentation is not available unless you become part of their developer network, no problem, we were willing to pay, but then after paying the membership fee, we had a required call, and when they found out we wanted to connect our ecommerce software to them, we were denied access as they considered us a competitor to oracle's own ecommerce suite (even though we had features they didn't have, or why this customer was looking at us). Their answer was if we wanted to connect in we'd have to buy into a per-transaction ETL tool out there that's part of their marketplace, this adds additional costs and "points of failure" to our end customers, transaction fess can also hurt as many of the orders for this customer can be small $2-5 orders, and all profit could be lost in transaction fees.(basically the connector software would cost more than our whole ecommerce website per month...) I've NEVER seen Microsoft do this, they're more than happy to add new partners, and the Microsoft Partner Network is easy to join, Microsoft MSDN is an amazing resource out there that most other software developers do not provide, or lock out if there's a chance it competes with them (IE: Oracle, SAP). This limits the software abilities, and locks you into what *THEY* think is best for your company (one of the biggest "evils" of cloud-based software.

    Basically, GP's openness makes is nearly impossible to outgrow (other than disk space and memory, but that's a hardware issue, but they keep making faster machines)

    GP is more setup for resellers than ANY software I've seen in the cloud (which are more driven for purchasing workflows than sales).

    I can tell you as a fact working on several of the "cloud" systems that NOTHING comes close to GP's performance for order entry, the Server/Client model that GP uses will always be superior to a server-only based system as it distributes the computing power to the clients.

    Paul Dyer
    IT Director
    Hoffman Technologies (Dba: Item Grabber)

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts

  • 11.  RE: At what point does a company look at outgrowing GP

    Posted Dec 01, 2020 07:01 PM
    Edited by Silver Subie Dec 01, 2020 07:04 PM

    Most of the responses so far suggest you to stay with GP with very good reasons.  We have a huge support community as long as MS won't bail out on us (???).  I would like to share with you my own experience as I saw someone mentioned SAP.

    But first, I used to implement A/X (Trade & Logistics consultant) so to answer your question, if for whatever reason GP won't be around anymore, A/X is definitely the next logical step (or even NAV or whatever they call it nowadays). Be ready though, A/X is totally different animal. You can't easily monkey around with SQL to fix things.

    Or, invite all vendors in and let them demonstrate their products and you could draw a better conclusion. That's what we did at my previous job, invited SAP, Oracle and Microsoft (for A/X).  They ended up with SAP S/4HANA which might not be applicable to yours as I don't know your company size (there's SAP Business One for small size and there's S/4HANA for enterprise). That was a huge mistake!!! Why? $30M later and they still prepare invoices using Excel.  And they were getting ready to do Phase 2 of the implementation.  Plus, the CAO told me a few weeks ago when I asked him about SAP, this is his response "You know when I needed something back then I just went talk to you and you made it happen". Now, we have to wait for a long time and it costs $$$.  This company was $1B sales company. I was FTM (think GL and FIxed Assets) lead on the implementation team and left before went live.

    A/X has been around very long time. It originated from Europe. The inner/core product is very matured. The reason you might hear it's buggy, this is a few years back, is due to the fact that MS tries to improve the UI and most bugs are/were from the interface improvements.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to give feedback to A/X interface while I was in Fargo. It was UX team I believe.  They took it very serious.

    The reason the company i worked for went with SAP was due to the fact the new CIO was SAP guy his whole life and A/X did not have a great integration between Fixed Assets and Equipment Maintenance (We had thousands of heavy equipment/trucks/bulldozers/etc. and there were very detailed requirements for maintenance alerts/automation that integrates with FA). I'm not sure how it is now as it's been a few years since but if you or anyone needs to know more feel free to contact me.

    So my short take is stay with GP and start to explore others as learning new things never hurt.  Hope it helps.

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