Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing – A Viable ERP System?

care if we can use Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing?

Given the disruption of the past year, a lot of businesses are investigating ways to work remotely and in a hybrid work environment. There are a few technologies that manufacturing companies need to use that don’t work well remotely. One of them is ERP systems. That’s why we should care about Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing.

If you are looking to replace an ERP system because you want to ensure it facilitates remote work, cloud ERP is where you need to look. My experience is almost entirely with what is often called “SMB” or Small and Medium Business manufacturers.

There are not a lot of good, modern cloud based ERP systems in the mid-market / SMB space. There are even less that really support manufacturing. That means that the best cloud systems are priced out of most manufacturers budget.

Oh, In case you are wondering, Microsoft defines SMB as businesses with less than 250 computers. That’s a pretty large manufacturer.

What is Business Central?

In the simplest terms, Business Central is the new brand name for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. In all the ways that count this cutting edge new cloud based ERP is the old Dynamics NAV reimagined in the cloud.

Microsoft did not shirk on the technology either! They have a boat load of money, and they were willing to spend a lot of it on Business Central.

The full name of the product is Dynamics 365 Business Central. That 365 should look familiar, because it appears on Office 365, Microsoft 365 etc…

This does mean that Business Central is part of the same suite of products you might already be using for your Outlook email, Teams communication, Microsoft Word or Excel productivity tools. And yes, that is a big advantage to Microsoft. It doesn’t mean that it will work in Manufacturing however – so that remains to be seen.

How does it compare with more traditional manufacturing ERP?

I recently wrote a blog comparing Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing with a pretty well respected mid-market pure manufacturing ERP called Infor Visual ERP.

I worked extensively with Visual ERP for almost 20 years (ironically I never sold a copy in all that time). I ran the firm that people who had trouble with the system came to for help.

When I migrated my business away from Infor Visual, I investigated a lot of products. I settled on Dynamics NAV (which later became Business Central) after significant research.

By 2014 we had started switching Visual ERP customers Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing. There are a few small areas that Visual might do a bit better in. That is more than overcome by two main factors that make Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing really shine.

Customizability

Dynamics NAV and now Business Central are extremely easy to program, which let us enhance it in ways you absolutely could not with Visual. It’s so easy to program that we are essentially giving away “Missing” Visual features when we sell the product.

This customization let us plug any holes we found. It also allowed us to do the one thing Visual customers always cried about. We could make small, easily maintained, incremental changes. We could adjust the system to make it work better for the customer.

We avoided any kind of massive programming (although in my time I’ve seen other partners who didn’t avoid the same). We focused on making really useful changes that allowed the customer to get rapid benefits. This made a huge difference to customers. It can be a game changer when a very small change saves staff hours every week.

Dynamics 365 AppSource Addons

More or less related is the existence of addons for Microsoft Dynamics products.

When we first started selling Dynamics NAV for manufacturing, there was no AppSource. AppSource is like the Google Play store or Apple Apps store. It’s a place to go and rapidly (in seconds really) install addons.

In the early days these addons existed, were certified by Microsoft, but did not exist in any central location. Today things are even better. With Appsource we can really enhance Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing. I mention a couple of those modules below.

Wait! I have to get Addons

There are 2 schools of thought about ERP systems. You want to get a really good ERP system with: great accounting; inventory control; purchasing and sales; CRM; scheduling; shop floor execution etc…

Imagine you wanted to get a similarly priced personal item. Say you wanted to get a vehicle and a camping trailer. You went to 2 dealerships. A Ford and the other GMC.

In our fake and hypothetical Ford dealer they sell their F150 truck, with a Ford Radio, Ford Tires, and a Ford brand camping trailer. This specific ford’s rims are totally custom and don’t fit other makes of tires. Nobody makes a radio that fits their dash. The trailer is OK but not the best you’ve seen. The trailer hitch is custom built for their truck.

You have no choice. But wait! It’s all in one warranty so if anything goes wrong you can blame them and they have to fix it!

GMC sells their big truck by itself. You can choose which tires you get, so you want Michelin tires. You can add a radio, and decide to get the more expensive but awe inspiring Bose Radio. They don’t sell trainers, so you buy an Airstream.

You would never complain about GM not making their own tires or radio, and you would never want the Ford where you had no choice but to get what they sell.

Why do you want an ERP that forces you to get their proprietary versions of things instead of buying the best you can afford?

Out of the Box Manufacturing Features in Business Central

Dynamics Business Central manufacturing capabilities are identical to what was in Microsoft Dynamics NAV manufacturing.

There are a set of core modules in the Essentials edition of Business Central. These include: sales orders, inventory and purchase orders; assembly management; jons (project accounting and management); and warehouse management.

Some customers use the Essentials version exclusively. It works fine depending on your mode of manufacturing (see below).

Upgrading to the Premium version adds extra capabilities. You get Bills of Materials; Routings; Machine and Work Centers; Capacity Planning; Production Orders and other purely manufacturing oriented features.

Premium also adds Service management, which is used in the Engineer to Order space quite frequently, but not often in regular manufacturing.

Detailed Features in Manufacturing – in the Premium Version

Production Order Management

Agile Manufacturing
Version Management
Inventory Planning
Demand Forecasting
Machine Centre Management
Capacity Planning
Finite Loading
Production Bill of Materials
Production Scheduling
Supply Planning
Modes of Manufacturing for Business Central

I tend to think of manufacturing ERP projects in terms of the mode of manufacturing being used. There are different definitions from different organizations (mainly APICS) but these are the ones I tend to see and my take on how good Business Central for manufacturing is for these modes.

Engineer to Order – ETO

This is my favorite. I worked at an ETO for a few years before starting my own business. Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing includes a really powerful project accounting module called Jobs. Since ETO manufacturers are really project manufacturers, this jobs module is a solid foundation. There are a few additional addons that I strongly recommend (including one that we created) to make the fit even better.

Overall – Business Central for ETO is really good.

Make to Order and Make to Stock – Production Manufacturing

Make to Order and Make to Stock are usually two separate modes of manufacturing (and they are) but I combine them into one mode I call Production Manufacturing. The out of the box manufacturing modules that are part of Business Central Premium work great for these businesses. Many of them also want the addins that I list below – which are great extra features.

Job Shops

Job shops tend to come in the biggest variety and tend to actually not fit that well into either ETO or Production Manufacturing. I’d want to see the Job Shop to see whether it’s more of a micro-production shop (very common – I call these “repetitive job shops”) or whether it’s more of a custom mini-project manufacturer like a light ETO.

These businesses vary a lot in what they make. A food co-packer is technically a job shop. So is a welding service business, a small machine shop etc…

Whatever the case, it is a good fit for Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing.

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing is usually related to making one of the following:

Cosmetics
Chemicals
Nutraceuticals
Pharmaceuticals
Food manufacturing
Process manufacturing needs some heavy duty addons for Business Central to work properly. This is outside my comfort zone to be honest. The regulations and batch manufacturing processes are really unique. I have a few colleagues that I send these kinds of prospects to. Those addons for Business Central are extremely good, and handle this industry very, very well.

Graphics Arts Manufacturing

Print Manufacturing is it’s own sub-type, really a form of either Job Shop or Production Manufacturing depending on what they make. These businesses don’t work as well out of the box with Dynamics Business Central for Manufacturing. They usually fall into these categories.

Commercial Print (magazines, business carts, posters, flyers etc. – a real Job Shop)
Folding Cartons (think a toothpaste box, or cereal box. Can be production or Job Shop)
Flexible Packaging (these companies make the plastic bags you get consumer goods in)
Labels (could be a wine bottle label, or a shampoo bottle, or your aspirin).
Wide Format (think huge banners, giant photographs on walls in a mall etc.)
This mode of manufacturing has a really great addon for Business Central called PrintVis. PrintVis is a Print manufacturing MIS software addon that turns Business Central into arguably the best Print MIS in the market.

Add-ins Recommended by Me

My team has reviewed many addon solutions since we started working with Business Central for manufacturing. Here are our top choices:

InsightWorks Shop Floor Insights (SFI)

This is a manufacturing execution system for collecting job costing data (time), production reporting and materials use in real time. Comes with a nifty scheduling tool also.

InsightWorks Warehouse Insights (WHI)

This product is my favorite wireless barcoding solution for warehouse management. It runs on most of major brands of wireless devices used in warehouses today. I think it’s a great mid-level warehouse management solution.

Netronic Visual Production Scheduler

For those who need a a graphical drag and drop scheduler, Netronic is the industry standard for Business Central. Their Visual Production Scheduler is more or less for visualizing and manually editing the schedule. The Advanced Production Scheduler is more robust and will do best fit scheduling.

Conclusion

We’ve taken a look at using Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing in this article. I’ve had the opportunity to oversee the implementation of this system in more than 50 companies, and so far, so good. For that SMB manufacturer with 20 employees who work in the office and 60 that work in the shop – this is a great system. We’ve got a few customers with 500+ total employees using it very successfully. We also have a few with 10 total employees, and they are able to make it work.

If you are a manufacturing company that is in the small or medium market (again – less than 250 computers) looking for ERP I strongly suggest you look at Microsoft Dynamics. I can confidently say that as an ERP Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing is a great fit.

Read More / Contact Us

All we do at my business (Sabre Limited) is implement Microsoft Dynamics Business Central for manufacturing. We are experts at remotely deploying Business Central for manufacturing companies all across the US and Canada.

check out this page for a dependable seller that will give you the spinal cord lawyer you're looking for quickly and easily. Visit https://www.1ufabet.com to find out more regarding แทงบอลออนไลน์ Visit dayscarpetcare.com to find out more regarding carpet cleaning greenville sc ipsnordic made a real revolution in the industry. If you are looking for woblogger then visit this page .
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

How To Start A Service Business

Setting Up A Service Based Business For Beginners

Although there are exceptions where both entities are entwined into one, most basics of the business is built around one unifying category so that the intentions and goals are clearly and visibly set.

This distinction allows the individual to then decide of the accompanying tools that should be chosen for the purpose of enhancing the business experience and also to contribute positively to the ease of running the business entity.

Most service based forays are labor intensive which the business entity revolves around. This is either packaged as the selling of expertise in a particular field or the selling of the actual “engines” that produce the desired outcome that bring in the revenue.

Either way the quality, efficiency, attention and detail that is exercised within the business are the eventual elements that are going to make or break the business foray into the revenue churning mechanism.

Basically offering the time frame required to create a particular service or to provide the content of the project itself is how the cost factor is calculated and the profits are gained in the service based business.

Therefore, the individual would have to factor in the cost of business entity by the labor intensive tool it provides, in order to provide a suitable base line for the eventual calculation of the profits and the pricing suitable to be demanded.

Alternatively the value of the service based business can be calculated on the value of the service being provided in a consultancy capacity which is evaluated against the insights the said service will bring to the company with the intention of creating a system thereby the said company is able to save or be more cost effective.

Being able to identify a suitable and good service based company is very important if the new business or existing business owner intends to hire its services to help enhance the site’s potential.

Identifying the characteristics of a particular service based company and matching them to the needs of the site in question will allow the business owner is make an informed decision of the merits of the chosen service.

Do Your Research First-

Customer perception of a company is very important to the progress and eventual success of any business endeavor, therefore it is very important to be able to identify the appropriate service based one to best suit the individual’s needs.

Being able to provide good service should always be the prime concern of any business entity especially if its revenue earning power depends on this one factor.

Market research is often the best way to identify the companies that have good track records and are capable of delivering what they promise.

This information can easily be sourced over the internet as these companies will be active in presenting their achievements for all interested parties to view.

It is also an excellent platform for potential clients and competitors alike to note the merits of the presenting service based company.

Being well-placed on the search engine rankings will allow the service based company to be more visible and thus make it easier to garner the intended customer base to ensure its consistent success.

The features of a good service based company would have to include the value added by the business entity from the input stage to the output stage where the results are then measured by its success rates.

These input stages are often regarded as the commodity phase and the processes that it is designed around have to ensure the successful output stage which is where the end desired results are more than adequately met.

Making a sale or pushing a business proposition is never an easy task to accomplish for some, therefore having the relevant assisting tools at hand should provide the individual with some encouragement to see the process to success.

Marketing Skills-

The following are some tools that can prove to be of great assistance to any individual intending to beef up their marketing skills:

Making use of as many online tools as possible to promote the business or product intended is one way to start the enhancement of the marketing skills venture.

Using blogs to create the interest and visibility for the item is something that should be considered as this is one way to get the attention of the target audience without much cost incurred.

Working together with others is another way to beef up an individual’s marketing skills. Being part of a team effort where the individual’s talents and contributions are noticed and acknowledged is definitely an encouraging factor and helps the individual to be more adventurous and keen on honing his or her skills further.

Availing one’s self to be listed on freelance job sites is also another way of beefing up the marketing skill of an individual. The fact that the visibility factor the site can bring to the individual will help the person focus more on ensuring the eventual connections made are optimized and locked in at the earliest opportunity.

Social websites are also a good platform to introduce one’s marketing skills to the masses.

Because of the competitiveness of all the participants in this particular platform the individual will subconsciously be forced to step out and ensure his or her participation leaves a positive impact on the interactions.

Showcasing all the positive skill of the marketing process will eventually earn the respect and attention of others looking for such services.

Create Your Website-

Creating a website can be a challenging feat for those not very internet savvy, however it is not altogether a task that is formidable in nature. With a little startup knowledge and tips anyone can successfully attempt to put together their own website.

The following are some guidelines that will help ease the process:

Registering the suitable domain name is the first step to take when designing a website.

The choice of this domain name should ideally take into consideration the relevance the name has to the intended site, an easy to remember reference, one that is short yet descriptive and whether it has the right extensions tagged to it such as.net,.com,.org.

The next step would be to set up a web host account and this would entail the picking one that can provide the services the individual would need for the website.

Although cost is always a factor for every business endeavor, it would be advisable to avoid using the cheaper and inexperienced ones available as this might end up costing the individual in the future.

The follow up step would be to point the domain to the web host in place.

This is a fairly simple exercise, however if the individual faces any potential problems along the way there are always assisting platforms to tap into to get the relevant help or explanations.

Getting a word press linked to the site is another important step to incorporate into the setup. This word press is a free platform that is used by bloggers and allows the individual to build the website with the minimum of effort while making it user-friendly always.

Last but by no means the least, would be for the individual to organize the website.

This process would involve the backtracking exercise to ensure there are no defaults that would cause the viewer to be put off when visiting the site.

Learning to build websites isn’t the complex technical process a lot of people think it is. All you really need to do is come to our website and get access to 300+ Tutorials that show you step by step how to build a website, and so much more, and start playing around with building your own websites.

Advertising Ideas-

In order to stay competitive it is necessary to always be able to have fresh views and ideas to present to potential customers and target audiences. Without such innovations the website will become stagnant and outdated thus eventually causing the original high volume of traffic flow to thin out. Brainstorming is one way of gathering and creating new ideas that would benefit any endeavor.

Some of the ways that can be adopted to bring forth interesting and innovative ideas at the brainstorming sessions are facilitated by encouraging the participants to simulate the mindset of the customer or the intended target audience.

By doing this the participant are more likely to anticipate the needs and wants of the customers and target audience and design any changes to fit into this discovery.

Bringing people together to discuss ideas at the same time and in the same place is also another good advantage the brainstorming sessions can facilitate.

Advertising ideas and campaigns can be discussed in “real time” as opposed to having emails flying about which is less effective and time-consuming and even confusing at times.

Brainstorming for advertising purposes, should ideally take into account the following points:

Problem definition and identification should be done at the very onset of the exercise. With this clearly outlined, other factors can then be worked on in line with the initial problem discovery information.

Custom designing can also be worked on within the brainstorming session, as the collaboration of views can contribute to finding the one idea that is going to eventually used to build the campaign around.

Customer Service-

Making a sale is only the first step is the relationship building exercise, which will eventually contribute to either the success or failure of any business endeavor. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the customer service offered to cement the success rate desired.

The following are some tips as to how to stay on top of the customer service exercise:

Taking the customer for granted is the first and most common mistake most businesses make. This is especially evident when the business has expanded to now successful and comfortable levels. Often forgotten is the customers that brought the business to such heights in the first place.

Therefore, it is very important to keep in touch with the customers so that vital information can be obtained about the current needs and wants of the customer.

In the quest to stay informed and provide optimum customer service another point to consider and exercise is the importance of being fresh and innovative with ideas that are going to keep the customer coming back for more.

When boredom sets in the customer will usually simply look elsewhere for the next new exciting thing that attracts their attention.

Therefore, in order to induce customer loyalty innovative ideas should be a constant feature within the business.

Happy Customers Are Loyal Customers-

Training staff to treat each customer with respect and individuality is well worth the effort. Sometimes this positive treatment is the defining factor that keeps the customer coming back, even if the products are not exactly the best in the market.

Having the protocols in place for quick and efficient responses to a customer’s queries or grievances, is one way of ensuring the individual stays a loyal customer and does not spread negativity about the business or product. Happy customers are loyal customers.

In most cases it is rather difficult to specifically categorize businesses into specific service based styles. This is mainly because a lot of businesses tend to incorporate different platforms and strategies into the actual blueprint of the business format.

However, there are some that can be clearly defined as service based business companies and the following are some of these examples:

Types Of Service Based Business-

Such service companies may include the likes of services provided by doctors, accounts, architects, actuaries, lawyers and other related fields.

On a more creative side one may include the likes of services provided for by fabric designers, fashion designers, color scheme artists and many more as the list of such endeavors can be quite overwhelming.

Most service type companies rarely have appreciable inventory as the purchases for usually made with the objective of facilitating a job thus the need to carry any inventory would not be necessary.

Merchandising companies can also be considered service style enterprises as they to provide a service of sort to the customer base.

However, this service is based solely on providing tangible elements rather than just the action of extending physical service. The generation of revenue is from the actual sale of the inventory rather than from the service extended.

Manufacturing companies also come under the category of providing a service to the industry and the customer needs. In this scenario the products or items are made and sold within the company’s business entity thus ensuring monetary gains are derived both from the product and the service offered by manufacturing the product.

All these different types of basic service providing entities are all in place with one goal in mind and that is to create the platform for revenue earning potential. Therefore, in order to understand and identify which would be best suited for the individual business owner, more research should be done to find the style that best suits the individual’s needs.

OK, so I hope this article gives those looking to start their own online service based business a better understanding on what it takes to set up and grow a successful online serviced based business.

To your great success on your online business journey, Bob

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off