Monday, April 27, 2009

Making Dynamics GP Easier to Use: Some Tips Your GP Partner Might Not Tell You

We work with clients, users, and business owners who have become used to the world of "Quickbooks". This is likely because for the last 4 years we have been promoting, supporting and sweating over the $400 per user little brother of Dynamics GP--Microsoft Small Business Financials. (Or maybe it is because nearly every small business in the USA has or had Quickbooks? ;-) In any event the expectations surrounding ease of use in accounting software has been forever changed by the presence of Quickbooks.

So if you are a Dynamics GP user and feel it's too hard to use the good news is--Microsoft is "getting" it! (even if some of us partners are not! ;-) What are some of the areas that Microsoft is making big progress on in the area of ease of use?

-Finding Stuff (like customers, sales docs and more)
-Reports (drill downs, splashy graphics, fancy charts, zooms to details...)
-Importing Stuff

In this blog post about making GP easier to use I'm going to focus on Finding Stuff.

We just had a client who moved from Microsoft Small Business Financials to Dynamics GP. They had been on GP for about a month so I called them to see how things were going. I got the dreaded pause...(meaning a good client hates to say something bad...) but soon the truth tumbled out: Dynamics GP seemed harder to use than SBF. Ahem. We drilled into what was harder to use and it turned out that "Finding Stuff" was the culprit. I asked "Are you using Dynamics GP Navigation Lists"? The answer was no.

#1 Use Navigation Lists

Navigation Lists is a relatively new feature in GP. Many partners and users haven't gotten onto using them yet. But for making GP easier to use (in my opinion) they are a big step forward.

-Finding Customers, Vendor, Sales Documents is as easy as using Google.
-The 3 click rule applies: Anything that can be done to a record can be done in 3 clicks.
-You can preview, say a sales order, without even opening it!
-You select multiple records and do an action on them: like print or post.
-Assign a hot key Navigation List-Now your favorite lookup is one key away.
-Tweak the Action Panel to have the actions you use up front.
-And a lot more.

If you think GP is hard to use and you are not using GP Navigation Lists...beg, drag, coerce your GP Partner into showing you how to use them. Or just start using them.

#2 Take a look at the Smartfill Addon By Rockton Software.

What if you were on a sales order and could type anything you knew about a customer instead of needing to know the Customer Id? What if you could type anything you know about an inventory item to add it to the sales order line item? Same goes for vendor id's, general ledger id's...And this work ANYWHERE you use an id. That is why we make Smartfill a mandatory add on for each GP implementation we do.

Okay, so much for the first part of making Dynamics GP Easier to Use. More to come.

making dynamics GP easier to use, dynamics gp ease of use


DeadFly said...

I ran into just what you said, my partner never even touched on Navigaion Lists (I didn't know they were called that; I've been calling them "ribbon lists".) I think they need to take things one step further and make something like Smartlist builder for them. If I could give my users a few more bits of data in the views, it would solve a lot of our problems. If I could add an action to move multiple documents between batches at one time, they might even put down their pitchforks (still going through implementation pains).

Matt Landis said...


Actually you CAN make navigation lists! Here is the addon:

We have worked with eOne and can provide this to you if you need.

I will check on moving between batches.