Microsoft Dynamics AX new feature alert – Conflict Checking
From time to time,we detail new features that we’ve released as part of our ongoing development efforts with our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) 2012 industry solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX on this blog . ProjAX (now known as Projects+) extentions help in extending the native capabilities of the Microsoft Dynamics AX Services Industries solution to provide best in class features for Professional Services firms and other project-driven organizations. This time, we’re introducing a new concept called Conflict Checking that we’ve added to Dynamics AX 2012 by way of our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) extensions.
In working with a couple of organizations that provide consulting services and other technology-based solutions to the legal industry, we identified a requirement to cross-reference any possible conflicts of interest that may exist when evaluating the organization’s ability to pursue a new client engagement. This process of “conflict checking” entails mining the data in your ERP system to determine if a legal matter that you’re about to pursue might be related to clients or individuals that you’re already working with in a conflicting manner.
What makes conflict checking a little more difficult is that you might be mining for data that isn’t necessarily tied to any specific transactions, meaning it’s not automatically stored in the ERP system. For example, in a class action lawsuit that might have a large number of participants, most of these individuals are not tied to any transactions in the ERP system, making it difficult to associate and identify them.
You may have read previously that SAG added a concept to our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX called Qualification Management. This feature is used to store detailed attributes about the projects you’re working on which you can then mine. More recently, we’ve extended our Qualification tool to include a concept called Interested Parties (see screenshot below).
This feature allows you to create a list of third parties that are related to this project, or “matter” as it’s called in the legal business. These parties are then associated with the project via that project’s qualification data. Users can either key in these Interested Parties, or you could upload them from an external source, like Excel for example.
When determining whether to pursue a new matter or engagement, you can then go to the Qualification Search screen we’ve developed in Dynamics AX and run a query on any attribute in the Qualification system to see what matches you get. So you can search for a given type of matter, or certain individuals that were Interested Parties, or any other attribute that would help you determine if there is a conflict that might prevent you from pursuing it.
This isn’t a full-blown conflict management tool like some large law firms use, but it does provide a simple and straightforward way to store these relationships and then mine the data to look for conflicts.
About the Author
Michelle Kirby is the Marketing Coordinator and Account Manager for SAGlobal. Michelle’s dual role includes coordination and execution of marketing campaigns and managing SAG’s existing client base. Michelle has over 16 years of ERP experience, including consulting, account management and as an end-user in a database administration role.