Chicago Food Manufacturer Manages Growth with Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM

The Client

A family owned and operated food manufacturer located in Chicago, Illinois was looking for a new ERP and CRM system.  The business is focused on baked goods such as croissants, rolls, and donuts/pastries and needed new systems to support current and future growth. The customer base was located throughout the United States and the food manufacturer sells both directly to end customers as well as utilizes an extensive distributor network to sell their offerings. The company has experienced substantial growth in the past few years and sought replacement of their existing enterprise applications to coincide with their capital investment in increased production capabilities.

The Opportunity

The company had been operating using a host of legacy applications including an industry-specific ERP application. Unfortunately, this application did not communicate with their separate sales reporting tool, causing excessive repetitive key strokes and redundant data entry. The company sought a more modern application which would: better track raw materials costs, improve customer and vendor interaction, and enhance financial reporting. A solution was also sought which would work with other company-wide applications such as Microsoft Office to make day to day use simple and yet powerful.

With ever-increasing sales and an expanding network of business partners, it became necessary to have a front-end sales force tool in place. This would allow for improved visibility of deals as well as streamline and standardized sales processes. Improved communication throughout all facets of the business as well as serving the unique needs of each customer were high priorities in selecting a CRM solution.

The Solution

  • The solution chosen contained the following software elements:
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Scribe Software Integration Tool with GP & CRM Connectors
  • Microsoft Office

It was decided that the implementation would take part in two phases. Phase One, included the following:

  • Retirement of legacy ERP application
  • Retirement of legacy reporting tool
  • Deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP including the following functionalities:
  • General Ledger
  • Customer Master
  • Sales Order Management
  • Invoicing
  • Vendor master
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Check Management
  • Item Master
  • Deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM for both Sales & Support
  • Integrate GP and CRM using Scribe integration toolset
  • Replace of all legacy reports with new ones derived from these different applications

The entire Phase I solution went live after training of the various staff members and conversion of legacy data into these new applications.

Phase II of the implementation, included the following functionality:

  • Manufacturing & Distribution from Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains)
  • HR module of Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Integration of E-Commerce solutions including:
  • Amphire
  • I-Trade

The Results

  • The old ERP application was retired as well as the legacy reporting tool, since all sales information is generated in GP and sales reporting spawns from there.
  • Relevant sales-related data, such as Customers, Items, Price Lists, Order, and Invoices flow seamlessly into Microsoft CRM using Scribe software.
  • Updated item master with dynamic price lists to meet the unique pricing needs for each customer relationship.
  • Microsoft CRM custom objects retired inefficient word documents while unifying all information into a single, reportable database
  • Revised & improved business processes streamlined through the use of Microsoft CRM workflow engine which operates automatically without human intervention based upon defined business rules
  • Cost savings were realized by transporting Microsoft Dynamics GP-related data into Microsoft CRM, thus avoiding the cost of buying GP licenses for sales team members and forgoing selling time in order to train them on running reports within GP. All of the necessary data they need is automatically fed from GP when records are created or updated.
  • The entire GP & CRM user community is capitalizing on the fact that both Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM are fully integrated with a host of other Microsoft applications. Data moves seamlessly between such mission critical applications as Outlook, Excel, and Word from the ERP and CRM solutions deployed.