Well, thinking in the “after quarantine” phase, how can we help the small business to get back on track and take an option that from the beginning allows them to mount a new work plan that thinks about situations like the one we currently have. Logically, this scenario does not need to wait for the end of the quarantine, we can start in this moment and take some advantage of starting before other players.

First of all, I´m talking about very small businesses, like 10 – 15 users. Those companies works in purchase and distribution of some items using a logistics partner like DHL or some transport company to send the items to the final customer.

We can use Business Central, and with the assisted setup make the company setup.

Which General Ledger I need to use? Well, if you have a previous system, you can use the same, or if you don’t have idea, in Mexico you can use the SAT Catalog (Colombia is PUC) as an example (in case of any doubt, please call your trusted partner). For the suppliers, customer, items and other setups, the system has the migrate business data assistant.

Ok, after you finished your setups and upload your info, we need to think how we are going to start our sales.

In these times, more people started to learn how you can purchase products or services online so these market started to grow. How can we take advantage of this new situation?

Lets review this, we want to show the product catalog to the people and take orders from them, accept the payment and ship the products to the customer address.

How can we do this?

Well, we can attach a commerce site to Business Central, this kind of addons let us show our company items to the world. This can be achieved with an extension that connects a website with my catalog of products, prices and stocks.

The potential customer go to our commerce site and search a product, when he find the item, we can show him the technical specifications, the description, the images, the price and availability.

If the potential customer wants to purchase the product, he needs to register on the site and leave their billing, delivery and payment details.

With this, the (now is a) customer can add the product to the purchase cart and finish the purchase.

We receive the payment in the commerce addon defined bank account and we can send a message to the customer telling “We receive your order and we start the shipping process, thanks for your purchase”.

So, the sales order was created automatically and we need to create the shipment but, we need to select the shipment agent that can be internal or external.

If you use your own shipping trucks, you just need to create the shipment, pick the items and then load them into the truck with the invoice.

If you use a cargo agent like DHL, you need to create the collection request and send the items to the final customer adding the track number to an email for the customer.

Sounds fine, but….

In this point you may think, seems complicated, how many applications will be needed to cover that scenario? For example, the website store, everybody say “its very complicated to get the items, prices and/or images”. And we are not talking about the DHL or FedEx integration, one friend of mine told me sometime ago, “took a lot of time and effort to get the DHL integration with our ERP, be careful”.

With Business Central, we can have the total backoffice support, I mean, Finance, Sales, Inventory, Purchases, these modules are an integral part of the ERP.

What about the website store and the payment/shipment integration?

If you live in America, you Sana Commerce because the extension supports Business Central North America and W1 versions

For the payment process, Sana provides addons with several payment service providers (PayPal, WorldPay, PayFabric, etc) and is the same scenario for the shipment support (DHL, FedEx, etc).

So, the process, in very big steps are:

  • Call your Cosmo Consult Sales rep and ask for the project (lets think a Rapid Implementation Methodology in this Corona times).
  • Take the “Online Business Discovery Session” (is an analysis session to get the required information of your company for the application setup).
  • Cosmo creates your instance and make the required setups.
  • You and the Cosmo consultant have BC process validation session.
  • Cosmo make the Sana Commerce Extension integration and also make the setups for the store, the payment process and the shipping addon.
  • The training sessions are held with you.
  • The system goes live.

So, you need to invest in consultancy services (for this scenario I recommend Rapid Implementation to keep the cost low), your Business Central Licenses (70 USD per user per month, Essentials and 1 user at least) and the Sana Commerce extension.