ISV Custom Development Possibilities?

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Suggested Answer
Greg Kujawa asked a question on 13 Jun 2017 8:14 AM

In advance I'd ask you to please excuse the broad, general question. I have experience in customizing and integrating Dynamics GP going back to the early 2000's. Nowadays I primarily use the GP SDK with eConnect to develop add-ins via my Visual Studio IDE. What I am looking for is feedback in terms of engaging one or more Dynamics ISV's to assess the viability of building out a comprehensive retail platform. 

I would assume that the Microsoft Dynamics product family is more or less integrated out-of-the-box. So we could potentially implement Dynamics GP for POP, PM, RM, IV, and GL. As well as Dynamics POS and CRM for the front-end. Again, assuming these applications would be able to communicate with one another without too significant effort. 

Our retail business involves luxury jewelry. and therefore deals with several peculiarities that aren't always covered in vanilla, out-of-the-box solutions. For example:

  • Layaways --- not counted as sold and relieved from inventory until they are paid-in-full and picked up. 
  • Special Orders --- not always ordering items that we already have assigned/defined in our inventory system; need user-defined attribute drop-downs to specify unique item characteristics; same sale/inventory relief trigger as layaways.
  • Repairs --- both internal repairs of inventory items, and external repairs of customer items brought in (that might or might not have been purchased from us); these repairs are tracked with timestamps as they move through the process --- based against a possessing employee, a repair job location, and a repair job status. 
  • Inventory --- we need more comprehensive item metadata than the standard warehouse-type data fields that GP IV possesses; at least a dozen user-defined attributes would need to be available in both window forms and reporting.
  • Serialization --- we need “parent SKU’s” listing all default characteristics of each vendor’s style item; underneath there are “child SKU’s” which contain the default attributes of the parent, but allow for identifying unique characteristics (e.g. – diamond attributes, vendor document numbers, consignment status, etc.).
  • Consignment --- some vendors provide us merchandise that we don't pay for until the items are sold; likewise customer-initiated refunds are submitted for billing credit when put back into inventory; need to be able to report on-hand/sold/refunded consignment inventory over any set time period.
  • E-Commerce --- the ability to easily flag only certain vendors/items as being web-published; with multiple price attributes, multiple descriptions, multiple images, etc.; these items would two-way sync both online and internally (e.g. - an item sells online would relieve it from internal inventory as a sale, an item that has updated pricing in internal inventory would reflect this updated pricing online, etc.).
  • As-At Dating --- since inventory item consignment status, inventory item site locations, etc. can change over time, we need the ability to report based on a certain date; the transactional "audit trail" will roll up to that specific date to reflect how the inventory looked then; for third party auditing purposes.

Which finally leads me to my question. Are there one or more ISV's who could help develop the overlays to implement these features that most platforms lack in total? It seems as if Dynamics POS and GP would primarily require some custom add-ins to deliver supplemental DB tables, links, triggers, constraints, etc. as well as deliver custom Dynamics forms for the enduser. From there custom reports could be developed to pull the data we would be looking for.

Any suggestions on where I should start? A sizable project for sure. So now just looking to see if it's viable and worth it :)

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Greg Kujawa responded on 15 Jun 2017 1:45 PM

So far I've had one Dynamics ISV reach out to me. Given the lack of feedback I suppose this question might be better posed elsewhere? Or else perhaps it's a bit too involved for a support community forum?

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Lou Spevack responded on 15 Jun 2017 2:49 PM

I'm a former partner and not a programmer.  I seems to me that the code for many of these features can already be found in several add-on components.  It's always better to tweak existing solutions rather than create and maintain a boat load of custom code.  I would look first at the manufacturing and field service (for Repairs) feature sets and a robust inventory/warehouse/logistics ISV like Accellos or Panatrack or a manufacturing ISV that could help you put together the pieces, including the eCommerce piece.   You may find some useful resources at Summit in Nashville.

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Suggested Answer
Greg Kujawa responded on 19 Jun 2017 7:54 AM

Thanks so much for the insight! That sounds like a good path forward for the exploratory stage of this. Appreciate the feedback.

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Suggested Answer
Greg Kujawa responded on 19 Jun 2017 7:54 AM

Thanks so much for the insight! That sounds like a good path forward for the exploratory stage of this. Appreciate the feedback.

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