Strategic Planning

Microsoft Great Plains in Advertising & Publishing - implementation highlights

Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Dynamics is excellent fit for service oriented business and in this small article we'll give you magazine publisher and advertiser implementation and reporting scenarios. The system we describe is not real, we are putting together industry specifics, based on our consulting practice. In the case if you do not see some unique features of your publishing business - this just means that publishing industry is diversified and say, regional newspaper publishing is quite different from magazine with narrow specialization.

? Advertisement Selling. This is the blood of every publishing company/house. In Great Plains you usually deploy Sales Order Processing module without Inventory control and all your SOP lines are advertisement services.

? Multiple Magazines. Publishing house has very turbulent life and it is industry norm when you do frequent acquisitions and spin-offs. There is time lag between acquisition and incorporation new magazine into your main company. In Great Plains you typically create new company for your newly acquired magazine, transfer chart of accounts, modules settings, enter beginning balances and you are ready to go. There are SQL scripts that you can deploy for new company initiation

? Collection Department. Advertisement sales require very strong collection and follow up. In Microsoft Great Plains you deploy Collection Management module. This module integrates with AR and SOP modules and allows you create collection query, where you select customers for your collections calls batch. For example, if you are in Houston - you may create your East Coast clients batch for your morning calls and then by the end of the day - another batch for California. And the most productive hours you can use for day of the week specifics - say - on Monday your call large collection accounts, on Tuesday - to who is almost hopeless and should be sold to specializing collection agency, etc.

? Complex Financial Reporting. Assuming different size and data format of financial data, belonging to variety of magazines - you need advanced FRx reporting technique: Reporting Trees for consolidation and even combining Great Plains GL data with Excel spreadsheets. Also turbulent publishing environment requires you to have reliable cash flow report.

? Data Import. Some magazines may give you their daily batches in text logs and you need Microsoft Great Plains Integration Manager customization to handle various data format import automatically with minimal user intervention.

? Customizations. You probably need several industry specific Crystal Reports, we saw advanced requirements coming from collection management department. Alternative way is to do this in Great Plains Dexterity. If you have authors, writing articles for honorary - you might need advanced 1099 filing scenarios and reporting - this is Great Plains Dexterity customization candidate.

We encourage you to analyze your alternatives. You can always appeal to our help, give us a call: 1-866-528-0577 or 1-630-961-5918,

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ), serving Microsoft Great Plains, CRM, Navision to mid-size and large clients in California, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan

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