Aptean ERP FAQ
Here are some of the most common questions about Aptean ERP and our extensions that we have encountered in our more than 30 years of business. Do you have a question you’re not seeing here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of our solutions are currently available for download from AppSource. We are working on developing app versions of the remaining products, and will eventually be able to offer our entire ISV line on AppSource. We encourage you to check AppSource on a regular basis to see our latest offerings.
If your staff possesses a high level of technical and practical expertise, you may be able to take on a greater share of the implantation responsibility, but at some level you will require our assistance.
It is important to emphasize that, while the scope and complexity that comes with deploying one of our solutions is not as extensive as an entire ERP system, it will still require a formal implementation process. We will work alongside your team to learn your requirements and identify any areas that require enhancement. Once we establish the scope of your project, we start development work, followed by testing and training from both our team and yours.
Which is to say you will not be up and running on your Aptean ERP solution over the course of a weekend. Again, the timeframe for your project will not be as extensive as if you were implementing a full ERP system, but it will be a matter of months before you are ready to go live with your Aptean ERP product.
The one exception to this is our bcShipStation solution. bcShipStation is a straightforward and simple connector between Business Central and ShipStation that was developed specifically to require as little assistance on our part as necessary. Using the supplied documentation and with perhaps a support e-mail or two, you can be able to get up and going on bcShipStation in a matter of minutes.
Your Aptean ERP solution can be licensed in a few different ways. While we can support a more traditional, perpetual implementation, we have found that subscription-based SaaS deployments are becoming increasingly popular, as they require less of an up-front investment. We recommend that our new customers take this approach whenever possible.
In fact, we believe that the existing SaaS model can be improved to provide new software users with even greater reductions in cost and risk, and we have recently begun to offer full-service implementations for some of our Aptean ERP solutions. This full-service concept expands upon the standard SaaS model by rolling up both software and service costs into a single subscription amount.
Dynamics 365 is the latest evolution in what was initially Microsoft’s “Dynamics” line of ERP software solutions, which targets companies of different sizes. Business Central (or, more fully, “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central”) is one of the offerings under the Dynamics 365 umbrella. The product began life as “Navision” many years ago before being acquired by Microsoft and re-branded “NAV.” The “Business Central” name merely represents a new re-branding of the NAV product.
Yes, all of our add-ones are compatible with on-premise environments. As long as Microsoft supports on-premise deployments for Business Central, so too will our solutions.
Microsoft publishes and maintains a complete list of requirements for all aspects of a Business Central installation. You can find more information about these requirements here.
However, it is important to distinguish between “requirements,” which represent the bare minimum necessary to run the software, and “recommendations,” which exceed the minimum and allow your solution to operate as it was truly intended. And when it comes to recommendations, there is no one size fits all answer, as every organization is different. For example, a company with 50 users will have very different needs than a company with 300 users.
Although we do not directly deal in hardware, we will be happy to talk to you regarding your hardware needs and provide some general hardware recommendations to your IT department/service provider. We strongly recommend that you work with your IT department/provider to identify your specific needs prior to making any hardware or software purchases.
Aptean EDI is supported on versions 2013 R2, 2015, 2017, and 2018 of Dynamics NAV, as well as all releases of Business Central.
Aptean EDI can be deployed on-premise, in hosted environments, on Microsoft cloud services, and through Business Central SaaS. Aptean EDI must be deployed in the same manner as your Business Central environment.
If you are deployment the SaaS version of Aptean EDI, then yes, you must use this product in conjunction with SPS Commerce’s fulfillment platform.
For all other versions of Aptean EDI, it is not necessary to utilize SPS, but we recommend doing so. All of the pre-developed EDI ports that are included as part of Aptean EDI are developed to work specifically in conjunction with the SPS platform. Having these out-of-the-box ports available from Day One reduces the time and cost that is needed for your implementation. While we can accommodate a decision to pursue an avenue other than SPS for your EDI needs, but this will almost certainly extend the timeline and budget for your EDI project.
Yes, Aptean EDI supports both customer and vendor side interactions. While almost all of our customers initially seek out an EDI solution to meet requirements and bring improvements to the customer side of their business, once they see the benefits, many are excited to implement this same automation and efficiency with their vendor transactions.
Absolutely. This is a very common occurrence, as many of the companies using Aptean EDI continue to grow and add new trading partners. Any new business relationships you take on over time can be easily incorporated into your EDI solution.
In addition, when we are getting started on a new project with a company that has a large number of desired EDI trading partners, we will oftentimes encourage them to narrow this list down to a handful of the most critical ones. This makes the initial implementation of Aptean EDI much more manageable. Once this first phase is complete and everyone is comfortable with the EDI process, we will then re-visit the list of trading partners and bring more on board, a few at a time.
Yes. One of the most significant ways in which Aptean EDI brings efficiency to your company is through the automated sending and receiving of data. Aptean EDI includes the objects you need to configure Business Central’s job queue to manage the automated, recurring processing of EDI documents. If your version of Business Central/NAV utilizes NAS services, you can use this to automate Aptean EDI, as well.
Aptean EDI can be deployed alongside our bcPacknShip solution, which enhances Business Central’s warehouse picking and shipping capabilities. As shipping activities are processed through bcPacknShip, you can use Aptean EDI to generate the related 856 advance shipping notice (ASN) EDI document and then send it to the customer.
bcMobile is supported on versions 2013 R2, 2015, 2017, and 2018 of Dynamics NAV, as well as all releases of Business Central.
bcMobile’s Windows Mobile platform is supported on Windows Mobile version 5.0 and later. The Android platform is supported on Android KitKat 4.4 and later.
bcMobile can be deployed on-premise, in hosted environments, and on Microsoft cloud services. bcMobile must be deployed in the same manner as your Business Central environment.
Microsoft offers what is called a “device” license that allows multiple users to work on the same device. A device license is a limited license that only permits access to a specific area of Business Central, such as warehouse operations. Because mobile warehouse users typically do not perform activities outside of that specific area of operations, the limited accessibility offered by a warehouse device license should be sufficient for your mobile needs.
There is no single answer to this question. Every user approaches bcMobile with a different level of comfort and experience when it comes to technology in general and mobile warehouse solutions in particular. If you are transitioning to bcMobile from an old pen-and-paper system, you can expect at least some amount of learning curve as opposed to replacing a legacy mobile system.
Having said that, bcMobile is designed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, and in our experience users are generally able to become proficient with mobile data entry after minimal training. We have a client who once decided to perform an ad hoc deployment of bcMobile within the production department, and the users there were able to pick it up on the spot.
No. bcMobile brings the concept of real-time inventory to your warehouse by instantly transmitting the information you record or scan into your handheld unit to your Dynamics platform.
In addition, bcMobile’s “queue” functionality makes it possible for users to obtain a personalized list of assigned warehouse activities directly from their mobile device. So not only do you not need to return to the office to transfer your mobile data to Dynamics, but you don’t even need to make this trip in order to obtain instructions for what you need to do next.
bcMobile is available on both Android and Windows Mobile platforms. However, Microsoft has discontinued development efforts for Windows Mobile, and the only reason we continue to offer it as a platform is to support our customers using legacy systems. For any new implementation, the mobile solution is deployed on the Android platform.
One of the many advantages to utilizing Android is that you will have a wide range of hardware options available to you. bcMobile has been successfully deployed on mobile units from popular manufacturers such as Zebra, Honeywell, and Motorola. As with your general hardware needs, we recommend you review your mobile requirements with your IT department/service provider.
Yes, there are scanners available that are designed specifically to work in low temperature or extreme conditions. bcMobile has been successfully deployed on these devices many times.
bcMobile contains the technology to parse scanned barcodes into data and then transfer this data to Dynamics, but does not offer any barcode creation tools of its own.
When it comes to creating barcodes, it is possible to develop these within Business Central, but this will almost certainly require assistance from your Dynamics provider, which can take time and incur cost. If you would prefer to do this yourself, there are a number of user-friendly barcode design tools available, such as Seagull Scientific’s BarTender application.
bcMobile can be deployed alongside our bcPacknShip solution, which enhances Business Central’s warehouse picking and shipping capabilities. The picking and shipping activities that are created through bcPacknShip can be completed by users working with handheld units running bcMobile.
bcPacknShip is supported on versions 2013 R2, 2015, 2017, and 2018 of Dynamics NAV, as well as all releases of Business Central.
bcPacknShip can be deployed on-premise, in hosted environments, and on Microsoft cloud services. bcPacknShip must be deployed in the same manner as your Business Central environment.
This is a good question, but unfortunately not one that we can answer. In our experience, bcPacknShip users have already selected a multi-carrier application and discover bcPacknShip because they are looking for a solution that will integrate their application to Dynamics. We do not have many users who first select bcPacknShip and then commence the selection process for a multi-carrier solution (although we would certainly be flattered in that scenario).
Ultimately, the only guidance we can offer is the same as what we would advise for selecting any piece of software for your business: fully identify your needs, then determine which product will best meet those needs, all while considering things such as the software’s support services and overall cost.
Although it contains similar functionality to certain components of bcPacknShip, bcShipStation is a separate product. bcPacknShip introduces a number of enhancements directly to Business Central’s warehousing environment. In addition, bcPacknShip provides connectivity to a number of popular multi-carrier solutions, such as ShipRush, GoShippo, and EasyPost.
bcShipStation, on the other hand, is a simple connector to another multi-carrier solution, ShipStation. Its functionality is limited to this integration, and there are no significant improvements to the warehousing process within Business Central itself.
Each shipment batch you create with bcPacknShip can be comprised of multiple packages, each with its own tracking number and other identifying information.
bcPacknShip also supports multiple packaging levels. If you have a number of small cartons, for example, you can aggregate these into a larger box. You can then aggregate these boxes onto a pallet. Every one of these package records has its own identification information, and complete visibility is maintained throughout the entire package hierarchy.
bcPacknShip allows for both the sending and receiving of data between Dynamics and the multi-carrier solution of your choice. Your Business Central sales orders are initially sent to your multi-carrier platform, where you can then calculate freight, create shipments, and print labels. Updated information, including the shipment’s tracking number, is then sent back to Business Central. This information is included directly on your Dynamics sales orders.
No. bcPacknShip includes around 10 or so out-of-the-box predesigned UCC package labels that provide a variety of layout options. Ideally one of these formats will meet your needs, but if there is a need to make any modifications, this activity will have to be performed by us or your Dynamics provider.
Your shipping labels will be generated by your multi-carrier software system. These labels are created according to the selected carrier’s format, and there should be no need for you to deviate from these layouts.
bcPacknShip can be deployed alongside both our bcMobile and Aptean EDI solutions to create a truly automated warehouse environment. The picking and shipping activities that are created through bcPacknShip can be completed by users working with handheld units running bcMobile. As these shipping activities are processed through bcPacknShip, you can use Aptean EDI to generate the related 856 advance shipping notice (ASN) EDI document and then send it to the customer.