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How TPH replaced Integration Manager to achieve faster integrations that handled more.

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“We found that SmartConnect was much more than the Swiss Army Knife of Integration Tools.”

David Valade, Dynamics GP Practice Manager at Columbus

Project Scope

TPH uses an in-house developed SOP system that is “many things in one.”  It generates work orders, creates invoices, links to banks for payments and more. They had been moving all data that passed through their in-house system into a staging database and using Integration Manager to send the data to Microsoft Dynamics GP. Besides slow and unreliable integrations, TPH used an employee who was an early starter to manually start the integration at 6 am each day for the process to be complete by the time the rest of the team came into work.

With hundreds of invoices, payments and inter-branch transactions each per day all needing to hit Microsoft Dynamics GP, TPH needed a reliable solution which could quickly integrate their data and could run on a schedule.

Benefits

  • 90% increase in speed of integrations
  • Scheduled integrations so no one had to work early
  • Saved 2 days in integration time
  • Integrated data from in-house developed SOP System

The Solution

The TPH team replaced Integration Manager with SmartConnect by eOne Solutions. Rather than requiring an employee to start integrations early in the morning, they were able to schedule their integrations. TPH used the SmartConnect scheduler to bring in invoices at 5 am. They then used another eOne product, SmartPost, to post the invoices at 5:15 am. After the invoices were posted, SmartConnect was scheduled to apply payments at 5:30 am.

The new process provided a 90% increase in the speed of the integration over what they had done with Integration Manager. With such success, they decided to use SmartConnect in multiple areas of their business.

“We found that SmartConnect was much more than the Swiss Army Knife of Integration Tools. We knew it could address our website integration, so we tackled that next,” commented Pieter du Toit, Director of Financial Systems and Reporting at TPH.

TPH receives customer account applications via their website. With each application, the data the customer enters is shared via an XML file in a SQL database. TPH created a SmartConnect integration to transfer the XML file to an internal staging database of their account applications – where it then goes through a series of approvals. The branch manager must approve (or deny) the application and once they do, SmartConnect sends a notification to the finance department to approve and do a bank verification. Once the bank verification is complete, the accounting personnel will approve the application, where SmartConnect is then triggered to create an account in GP, CRM and in TPH’s home-grown SOP system – all in one integration.

“We are not only using SmartConnect to transfer data, but we are actually using it as a management console. It is at the center of this specific management process. It is managing every step of the account applications – from the customer side right into all systems – completely hands off,” commented Jamie Newman, Senior Developer at The Printing House.

“This process alone has made a huge difference for us. When a customer submits an application to a company like ours – who has a focus on technology – that application should not get slowed down due to poor processes in the back office. SmartConnect is not only providing the best possible integration, but it’s also helping speed up our processes, so our branches can start on the new work. And beyond that, SmartConnect helps our reflection as a company,” shared du Toit.

The process – with many stages of approvals and account creation across multiple systems – took 24 to 48 hours prior to using SmartConnect. Now, with SmartConnect, the process takes 5 to 10 minutes.

It was simple and such a relief to know we could use a tool that we knew and trusted to continue a critical integration for us. Using SmartConnect to move our integrations built for Dynamics GP to new D365 Business Central integrations provided the best outcome.

– Nate DeJonge, Vice President, Finance at Eagle’s Flight

Leveraging Their SmartConnect Investment

TPH decided to use SmartConnect for GP journal entries, as well.  TPH has a high volume of credit card transactions that run through their branch network across Canada. At the end of the month, as with any credit card processing company, there is a percentage fee that must be paid. This needs to be split via a journal entry across 70 branches. To add complexity, it’s not an even split – it needs to be based on the specific credit card volume each branch has performed.

That’s where SmartConnect and Extender, another product by eOne Solutions, come in.

TPH downloads an Excel file containing thousands of rows from their bank. After a bit of data manipulation, pulling the appropriate payment number fields from an Extender form and grabbing the branch number from an Extender form on the Customer Card in Microsoft Dynamics GP (both via SmartConnect), TPH is ready to import the journal entry with SmartConnect. To make things even easier, the integration is set up as a change data source so once the file hits the folder being “watched,” SmartConnect runs the integration into GP.

“It’s a 5-minute job to do a giant journal entry – including assigning the proper branch at the proper rate. With SmartConnect there are no assumptions, no weighted averages. Each branch is charged for exactly what they used. The beauty of SmartConnect is that you can have all of these super complex processes going on and yet you still feel good about the integration method,” commented du Toit.

Conclusion

From integrations with in-house systems to account creation across ERP & CRM systems to integrations coming from a website to complex journal entry creation with data from 3rd party products, The Printing House was able to save time, quickly integrate the data they needed, and free up their resources to focus on other things rather than manually running integrations.

Newman concluded, “SmartConnect truly is limitless and that’s why we love it.”

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