Most of the wine distributors in the United States use specially designed order management systems in their day-to-day operations. These order management systems are used by sales reps on the field, processing daily orders for wine, beer and spirits. Using an iPad, iPhone, or PC, sales reps do not need an internet connection to use this software and can write orders offline as they work with customers. As a guide for both sales reps and customers, these order management systems eliminates common guesswork by tracking customer sales history, updating warehouse inventory, and highlighting deal pricing. These systems are offered as a secure cloud-based solution which connects directly to your backend systems.
The wine distributors also use one of the leading ERP solution as their backend system for accounting, financial purpose. These systems connect various internal departments such as operations, marketing, accounting, warehouse and sales for the proper functioning of the organization as a whole.
I happen to work with one of the client based out of California who is using Sage 100 as their accounting, financial system and pocket advantage by the sale rep to process orders on the field. The client wanted to connect Pocket Advantage with Sage 100 for the data to flow in timely and accurate fashion which would decrease the turnaround time in taking orders by the sales rep who are on the field in getting new orders from the existing or new customers. For instance, a sales rep handling an assigned territory should have first-hand information about the customer from which he is going to take orders. He also should be aware of the stocks available in the warehouse of various items which would help him in taking the informed decision and informing the same to the customer about shipment delivery date.
Based on the client’s initial requirement and subsequent discussions with their business teams, we proposed a solution through DBSync iPaas which would facilitate the data flow between Sage 100 and Pocket Advantage. For ease of maintenance by the client’s IT staff, the solution is implemented in the following manner:
- A project which reads various object from Sage 100 and sends it to Pocket Advantage at set time intervals
- A project which read various objects from pocket advantage and sends them to Sage 100 at set time intervals.
The main ingredient for any integration project is to open the connections betweens source and target systems. Sage data objects are used to connect with the on-premise version of Sage applications and they are typically installed within Sage, but has to be activated using a serial number from a Sage developer account. The drawback of using sage data object is that you should know the working knowledge of C# to develop the integration with Sage.
Alternatively, the recommended approach to connecting with Sage 100 is a mechanism built within Sage known as Visual Integrator, through which we could perform various CRUD operations on different objects of Sage 100. The Visual Integrator is an easy to use, a self-explanatory UI-based mechanism with powerful integration commands that makes integration virtually seamless.
Here is the list of things which you would need to connect with Sage 100:
- Using ODBC bridge, add an ODBC 5.3 Unicode driver and then configure your ODBC data source configurations.
- Through visual integrator, create export jobs and then add a direct field to field mappings with that of Sage table and of your data source.
- Running these export jobs would push the Sage data to the configured data source.
Even though setting up projects, processes, connectors, and workflows are pretty straightforward through DBSync iPaaS, implementation of Sage 100 is slightly different as compared to other integration projects. Our tool reads various Sage 100 objects, does data manipulations through data transformation applied in field mappings during run time of the sync. Finally, we do data scrubbing and queue up the records to be processed into Pocket Advantage. The functionality of write back mechanism will help the system to identify the processed records from unprocessed records. We ensure that data quality is retained by reducing duplicates.
For better understanding, the DBsync standard solution of Pocket Advantage (one of major order management system used widely in wine distribution industry) and Sage 100 is explained via two section i.e out of Sage and into Sage.
Out of Sage 100
- Sales Rep: The sales representative would be read from sales rep table periodically using Visual Integrator and send to the order management system
- Vendors: The vendors records to be read out of Sage 100 and to be sent to order management system.
- Customers: The customer related information like billing, shipping, additional, statistics summary is extracted out of Sage 100 and sent to target application.
- Items: All of the product related information like product type, sales, purchase cost, quantities, the warehouse can be extracted and sent to the target application.
- Historical Invoices: All the invoice related information of a particular customer is extracted out and sent out to the target application.
Into Sage 100
- Sales order: we are reading out of order management the orders and writing them to Sage 100 as sales order through Visual Integrator on regular intervals of time.
- Although Customers, Items, and other objects can be written to Sage 100 these order management systems are used by sale rep on the field who take orders from various retailers/wholesalers and raise orders through their mobile apps to be sent to Sage 100. The sales reps are given access of only raising orders through their app as new customer onboarding and related product list are managed to their backend end system i.e. Sage 100 and hence these data is read from Sage 100.
With a mission to simplify and streamline your order management/distribution software, DBSync has built a standard solution through its cloud offering in order to streamline your process through cutting cost and maximizing profits. DBSync automation and integration for Pocket Advantage and Sage 100 is a solution that pays itself for productivity and improvements in the longer run.
We anticipate a net savings of over $1200/month by automating your order management system to that of backend accounting & financial application because of which your whole business process is optimized in garnering customer loyalty, customer retention and increase in sales volume for the current fiscal.
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Additional information about Sage 100, Pocket Advantage which is also a very popular order management app for wine distributors and our standard solution can be learned from the below wiki links: