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Streamlining Business Processes: Microsoft Dynamics GP EDI Integration

July 27, 2023
Posted in: Innovation
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Every business aims to improve its operations to become more productive for a profitable organization that delivers the highest quality goods and services. This can be achieved by streamlining their processes. Most enterprises employ enterprise resource management systems to achieve this level of productivity and efficiency.

One of the leading examples of an ERP system is the Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains software which supports the management of finances, human resources, and supply chain. This article will dive into the Microsoft Dynamics GP software, how it functions, and the benefits and challenges of its integration with EDI.

What is Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Great Plains is a Microsoft Dynamics software designed for accounting and management, keeping medium to small-scale organizations in mind. It was first created by the North Dakota-based Great Plains software that Microsoft later obtained. Along with the possible applications mentioned earlier, Microsoft Dynamics GP also supports manufacturing, IT management, collaboration, business intelligence, and field service planning. This software can be easily integrated with third-party applications.

The integrated communication tools present in Dynamics GP make fostering partnerships much easier and faster. The software also has features for automated workflows. The incorporated notifications and decision trees can be utilized. The option of batch approval is present for tasks such as vendor approval workflows, employee training, general ledgers, and skills management.

Great Plains also allows invoice coalitions to collect multiple bills into a single integrated communication channel. This software also put forward the ability to run asset status reports with these reports having an accumulation of depreciation values, and it will have a netbook value. You can also provide transactional content by attaching appropriate documents to bills and business communication using the document attaches feature.

Services provided by Great Plains

The software provides services in many aspects of the operational process to trim it down and make it more prolific. These are the following functions of the Microsoft Dynamics software:

Project Management

It is very effortless to combine third-party accounting applications and software with the project management capabilities of Dynamic GP. These third-party apps can also accommodate financial, inventory, and accounting management. These applications make it very easy to manage and keep a check on the progress of all your projects. 

Accounting Management

The Great Plains software allows you to utilize a General Ledger account, an analytical tool with multiple features and modules that make the analytical process far more efficient. The productivity tools of the general ledger also help to improve the management of workloads. You are also able to track the finances over the entirety of your organization and combine this data to create centralized accounting management.

The significant benefit of using Microsoft accounting software is the effortless connection with other Microsoft products. The easy maintenance of budgets on Microsoft Excel and the ability to share data across platforms due to the import-export option makes it an ideal package. The software also has a forecasting tool available, and there are also options for automating accounting processes. 

Human Resource Management

The management of human resources also becomes very effective through the use of Dynamics GP tools. All the statistics are available for analysis online, and data can be filtered out monthly or yearly, removing the need for manual paperwork to determine the company’s performance.

You can schedule meetings and tasks, carry out any hiring, and analyze individual and company performance all in one place. You can also automate processes such as employee salary, determining and approving vacation time, and managing sick leaves.

Bank Management

Great Plains allows you to attach endless cheques to your bank account. It also can carry out checkbook integration through your phone or computer. These cheques make it possible to withdraw and make payments faster and more effortlessly. You can also automate all your bank transactions, saving you time and making your account more secure. 

Supply Chain Management 

This software allows you to supervise the amount of stock present in the inventory and its cost. Microsoft Dynamics GP regularly creates reports listing all the vital inventory information. Great Plains also makes it easy to set the prices of all the inventory items, and manual pricing can also be automated. You also list down products based on their cost to make checks easier.

Manufacturing Management

Great Plains makes it possible for you to keep an eye on the entire product manufacturing process and keep the relevant data in one place. This makes it possible to improve the management of all the materials that go into the manufacturing process to make it more lucrative and cost-effective. Making specific products can also be automated to make them more efficient.

What is Electronic Data Interchange?

Electronic data interchange, or EDI, transfers business documents and other important information from one computer to another. The documentation exists in a standardized electronic format. This has irradiated the requirement for traditional data entry and paper-based documentation. Trading partners can communicate smoothly and in a well-organized manner because of EDI, which is compatible with many documents, such as invoices and purchase orders. 

Advantages of EDI Integration

There are a multitude of benefits that come with the integration of ERP software. The following are some of the many advantages:

  1.   It has a favorable impact on the efficiency of operations as it removes the need for manual data entry and reduces the probability of human errors. Processing orders, shipping, and invoicing all get sped up, decreasing transaction time and increasing customer satisfaction.
  2.   The possibility of human error also diminishes by replacing manual practice with automated data exchange. This makes sure that the exchange of information between systems is reliable to reduce the chances of disagreements and expensive errors.
  3.   Due to the streamlining of operations, organizations can better distribute their resources and decrease their administrative overhead. By removing paper-based data entry, an enterprise can save a lot of capital previously spent on paper, printing, labor, and storage. This cost reduction is very beneficial in the long run.
  4.   The integration of EDI shortens the reaction time of organizations to respond to the market’s ever-changing demands and customer needs. The availability of frequently updated transactional data makes it possible to better plan for orders, supply chain processing, and inventory management.

Integration Capabilities of Dynamics GP with EDI

Microsoft Dynamics GP holds several qualities that make it ideal for integration with EDI and lets you enjoy the full benefits of both software. Great Plains allows for uninterrupted communication between enterprises, making transferring EDI documents easy. Many EDI standards, such as XML and ANSI X12, are supported by Dynamics GP, ensuring that your data is compatible with the organizations you partner with.

The software also allows you to reconstruct EDI documents better to match your internal data structures. This makes it easy to integrate the data into the ERP system without any misinterpretations, which reduces the chances of inconsistencies.

Integration with EDI leads to significant transactions becoming computerized, such as invoices, shipping notices, and purchase orders. This automation decreases individual intervention, makes transactions more accurate, and shortens the time from order placement to payment.

EDI works extensively with Dynamics GP to lessen the probability of errors by employing formidable validation techniques. It thoroughly reviews the EDI documents and highlights any disparities or information that needs to be included. This vigilance ensures no processing errors and maintains the validity of the data.

Challenges of EDI and Microsoft Dynamics GP Integration

Integrating EDI with Great Plains software can be valuable for growth and development. Still, it also comes with difficulties that should be understood to prepare for them. These are some of the problems that come with EDI integration: 

1. Intricacy of Implementation

Implementing EDI can be highly complex, requiring experience in Great Plains software and EDI standards. Enterprises need help converting data between different formats, managing communication practices, and ensuring the integration does not adversely impact existing procedures.

2. Variations in Partners

Organizations often have to engage in business with many trading partners, each of which can have their own EDI formats and needs. Facilitation of all these variations can be complex. There is a need for customization, adjustability to process alternate types of documents, and awareness of partner requirements. 

3. Growth and Scalability

The growth and development of a business come with a marked increase in the volume of transactions. The EDI integration should be able to cope with this increase in issues with the speed of transactions, data processing, and capacity to take on large amounts of transactions. It is imperative to make sure that performance is maintained during high transaction periods to continue growing.

4. Support

To keep EDI integration maintained and successful with Microsoft Dynamics needs constant attention. It is necessary to continually be updated with the latest developments in EDI standards and the needs of clients and customers. You must also keep the Great Plains software updated to its latest version. Challenges of fixing issues, provision of support to team members, and resolving errors can require dedicated departments.

5. Security

The exchange of confidential data between companies is an integral aspect of EDI integration. The protection, secrecy, and integrity of this data are essential. Extensive security procedures need to be implemented by organizations. Encryptions must be set up to protect the data against unwanted access, manipulation, or distribution.

6. User Training

Training may be needed after implementing EDI into the existing Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem. Users will have to be educated on maneuvering through the updated practices and using the implemented procedures and EDI features to have the most efficient results. It can be problematic to tackle any resistance to change and encourage user adoption as it calls for the proper communication tactics and training.

7. Needs of Regulations

The EDI requirements and compliance are different according to different regions. Ensuring that your integration of EDI with Dynamics GP abides by these regulations is crucial. Following industry-specific rules like HIPAA and UCC-128 retail labels may take much work. It would be best if you also kept updated on the developing regulations to ensure consistent compliance with them.


We have covered the basics of Microsoft Dynamics GP, its functions, and its beneficial impact on organizations following its use. We have also gone over the ability of Great Plains software to integrate with EDI and all the challenges that come with this integration. EDI is an electronic exchange medium with many benefits to improve the quality and efficiency of the workplace environment. Both EDI and GP combine to form a formidable package that works for the growth and improvement of your organization. Now that we have reviewed all the information, you should know if Microsoft Dynamics is the right fit for you and if its integration with EDI is a step you want to take.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, EDI Partners services customers in all industry verticals across the United States to help them maximize the value of EDI. For nearly 30 years, we have helped organizations grow through seamless, end-to-end management of their EDI operations.