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Quality Documents and Your ERP Solution: Leveraging SharePoint’s Document Management Tools for Key Dynamics 365 Quality Records

Published October 17 2022
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When Alithya implements Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365 F&O) for customers, some companies have document management requirements and quality control processes that trigger discussions about linking key quality documents to ERP data.

For example:

  1. A vendor account can include various certifications for quality audits, copies of certificates of analysis, etc.
  2. Some companies also need to engage with some 3rd party laboratory testing companies and the provided lab testing documents need to be linked to a lot record in the ERP.
  3. While a new product is at the R&D stage, the product profile is “started” in the ERP but various documents related to quality, costing, and product design are required in the development of that new product profile.

When companies evaluate the Document Handling function in D365 F&O, “wish list” items come up about some typical document management features such as:   

  1. Version control and audit trail to track changes and provide the ability to call up earlier versions.
  2. Alerts going out to stakeholders when new documents are added or existing documents are updated.
  3. The ability to configure workflows to formalize the review and approval of some documents.

These features are typically handled in a document management tool such as SharePoint. In this article, it is assumed that the SharePoint document libraries for quality documents have already been set up and configured, so our focus will be around the D365 F&O Document Handling functionality.

For more information on the setup of Microsoft SharePoint document libraries, please see:

Setting up the Document Type in D365 F&O that will connect to your SharePoint Document Library: 

Once the SharePoint document library has been set up, we can create a link to that library in the D365 Document Type configuration:

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This is done in Organization Administration / Document Management/Document Types. In the example below, we have created a link to the QC document library from SharePoint:

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Here we set the File Location type as “SharePoint” and we can specify the SharePoint Address for the quality documents library that was previously set up:

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Once the document type has been setup, users can attach business documents in Dynamics 365 F&O that will be also visible in the QC Documents library. For example, if a quality audit certificate for the vendor “Pratt Farms” is sent to a material buyer, the buyer can attach the document to the vendor record in D365 F&O:

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The actual audit certificate file is then attached using the Document Handling function (paper clip icon)

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The actual Certificate document is selected.

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As soon as the document is “attached” in D365 F&O, it will appear in the “QC Documents” Document Library in SharePoint:

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At that point, the SharePoint features could handle the following scenarios:

  1. Alert the quality department and accounts payable that a vendor’s audit certificate has been received.
  2. Trigger a workflow where documents can be approved or digitally signed.
  3. If the document is in an editable format, the version control and check-in/checkout feature can be used to keep track of document changes

Note that you can also include a document in a SharePoint library first, and then create a link to D365 F&O record using the URL address of the document/library combination.

In the example below, a certificate of analysis has been received by the quality department and has been uploaded to the SharePoint library:

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If the company process requires that this same document be attached to a purchase order in D365 F&O, either an alert can go out to procurement with the URL link for the new document, or users can simply copy the link and then “attach” that URL link in D365 F&O to the related purchase order:

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Someone can then “open” the attached document and the link will call up the document from SharePoint (provided that the user who opens the link has access to that library).

Business Documents Belong with Business Records

Rather than storing important business and compliance documents in a user’s local folders or on various network drives, SharePoint and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations enable companies to organize key documents and control access and updates to these files.

Since your ERP acts as your system of record, the documents related to these ERP transactions and master files need to be linked to that data, not in scattered local or network folders.

The integration between SharePoint and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations provides the best of both worlds with a robust document management system and a world-class ERP solution.

Contact us to chat, and request a demo of Microsoft Dynamics 365