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Phil Bickler, Vice President of Operations:

     "When a company embarks on the challenge of selecting a new ERP system, the choice of the partner to work with is just as important, if not more so, than the selection of the software itself. A major part of our decision-making process involved finding a firm that we believed would be a good long-term partner, and we found that with Strategic Solutions NW.


Our implementation project had a very tight 9-month timeline and they helped guide us through the process to achieve that goal. The knowledge and experience the SSNW application consultants demonstrated with the Dynamics platform was impressive, and their guidance helped deliver a solution for our complex needs. Like with any ERP implementation, there were challenges at go-live and their team dedicated the resources necessary to quickly provide solutions to our issues. Since we’ve been operational, their technical consultants have been a 24/7 resource in providing solutions, both out of the box and customizations, as we look to improve our workflows.


Our collaboration with their team has been key to unlocking additional functionality and enhancing the value of the Dynamics platform for our organization. We have forged a strategic partnership with SSNW that we believe will serve us well, as our organization grows."


Virtual Supply (VS) is a national wholesale distributor with rapidly growing segments in direct retail and third-party logistics. Their corporate offices and 60,000 ft² distribution center are located in Beaverton, Oregon. Most of their employees work on site. 


As their retail and 3PL segments began to grow, VS realized their trajectory was being hampered by unintegrated software, which forced additional manual steps to small processes across their three divisions. Realizing the necessity of a quickly scalable cloud-based software foundation, they hired SSNW to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Employing Microsoft’s Sure Step implementation methodology, we built and customized the Dynamics platform, including a robust network of third-party solutions that could handle the specific knots and flows of the distribution industry. 


The tooling of the F&O software formed the bulk of our year-long effort. We leveraged in-house customizations as well as Microsoft’s AppSource Marketplace to build an advanced warehousing module that shifted all of VS’s previously bottlenecked processes on to the Azure cloud. Through this, SSNW was able realize significant shifts toward automated processes and internal translation services across VS’s divisions, allowing the company to communicate more effectively within and without. 




  • Fully integrate the interface and workflows of retail, logistics, and wholesale divisions under one ERP platform 

  • Provide a flexible, scalable infrastructure for growing segments with limited need for supplemental systems and customizations 

  • Perform transformation while maintaining current operations 




  • Implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations as cloud-based ERP platform with customizable third-party add-ons 

  • Combined in-person and online training for managers and staff 

  • Reorganization of warehouse facilities 


  • Realized significant shifts toward automated workflows 

  • Freed up manpower to focus on gestalt processes  

  • Through training, provided a competitive structural advantage for all employees 


VS’s accounting system (Everest) was not fully integrated with their Foxfire Warehouse Management System and Camelot 3PL. Since their systems did not automatically share electronic data, a substantial amount of manual mapping and onboarding was required. The unintegrated nature of their workflow also meant that the system could not be corrected in a discrete steps and required a complete overhaul. 


Software Plan 




Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O) 

  • Provides a strong financial foundation and supply chain management capabilities  

  • Provides a robust platform for future enhancements such as special price agreements and CRM integration. 

  • Microsoft’s One Version services application and platform updates remove significant burden from IT resources. 

  • Allows for seasonal stock surges via promotional order batching (promo batching) 


Third-party integrations 


Value Added Billing (VAB) 3PL solution from Blue Horseshoe 


  • Track and apply a price to 3PL events and generate invoice information  

  • Highly sophisticated integration designed for Microsoft Dynamics 

  • Scalable 


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) solution from TrueCommerce 


  • Links to online marketplaces to pull orders in real time  

  • Streamlines order processes, providing a unified format for all orders moving within the company’s software systems 

  • Automatically translates various order formats coming in, and translates the invoices generated back to the format preferred by the customer 

  • Simplifies and speeds up the process of adding new trading partners 


Tax solution (AvaTax) from Avalara 


  • Integrated with the Microsoft Dynamics platform. 

  • Automates tax calculation and filing 



  • Automatic application of freight rate for the service level requested. 

  • Automatic carrier routing and preferences 


F&O Add-ons 


Special Pricing & Chargeback Management (SPA) solution built by Vyas Consulting, sourced from Microsoft AppSource 


  • Highly flexible integration customized for Microsoft Dynamics 

  • Lowers operating costs with streamlined management of vendor claims 

  • Automates changes to SPAs, significantly reducing manpower as SPAs are frequent and change through the year 

  • Increases integration by removing the need for spreadsheets 

  • Allows any one of three involved parties to initiate 

  • Speeds up time between initiation and implementation of SPAs 

  • Reduces the costs of resolving disputes arising from and related to SPAs 


Game Plan 


SSNW’s team was kept small and organized around an implementation methodology that allowed for a clear, staggered timeline gated along well-defined stages.  


The project was divided into two phases. The first phase dealt with the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics, TrueCommerce, Blue Horseshoe, Avalara, and DesktopShipper. The second phase included the SPA and CRM customizations to the Dynamics framework. 


The project went live at the end of Phase 1, following which SSNW provided two weeks of technical support and training for warehouse workers. VS’ managers had been fairly hands-on in the earlier stages of the project and were already familiar with the system once it went live. 


COVID-19 Response 


The beginning of the project necessitated several in-person meetings with managers, and trips to Virtual Supply’s distribution center and corporate offices. Thankfully, the primary in-person work was completed before the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown and any further work, while completed virtually, was carried off without a hitch. The original timeline was extended by a month to relieve pressure on the team. Since VS’ corporate offices are very close to SSNW’s, travel was minimized for any necessary in-person meetings post-lockdown, which were kept to a minimum. 


Strategic Solutions NW 

Strategic Solutions NW is a tight-knit tech and management company headquartered in Beaverton, OR with clients around the world. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we specialize in integrated software implementation and recovery, approaching every solution with a business-wide approach. Our repertoire includes creating and managing accounts for 500 million dollar manufacturers & distributors, specialized forest product experience, and longstanding partnerships with a swathe of major software vendors. Led by three partners with decades of experience in software and business solutions, we approach each client with a long-term relationship in mind, providing continued support and communication beyond the initial project. 

Virtual Supply implements Microsoft's D365 for Finance & Operations to enable continued growth in new business segments.
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