Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Finance & Operations
Comparing Business Central vs Finance & Supply Chain (formerly Finance & Operations) to help you make the right decision for your company.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a leading product line offering an extensive array of intelligent business applications to simplify and manage all complex business processes. It is renowned for linking crucial business applications into a unified and intelligent system. Within its ERP (enterprise resource planning) range, you have two solutions to choose from - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, formerly known as Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations.
While both of these solutions are very similar with overlapping features, choosing the right ERP solution for a business is important as they provide different functionalities. This post will look at D365 Business Central vs. Finance & Supply Chain (Finance & Operations) and see which can be the best solution for your business.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
With Dynamics NAV as its predecessor, Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution designed to manage finances, processes, sales, and customer service. It is a single, end-to-end solution that allows businesses to upgrade from entry-level accounting applications and legacy ERP systems easily. Dynamics 365 Business Central is a trusted cloud ERP solution, which has been used by more than 160,000 businesses across the world and is enhanced by Microsoft every year.
Business Central is highly flexible and can be customized to suit any business requirements. It has a strong functional breadth and can be deployed differently: public cloud, private cloud, or on-premise. Well-suited for small to medium-sized companies with less than 500 members of staff, this user-friendly solution can change the way you do business by streamlining, automating, and managing finances, operations, sales, and customer engagement in all one application.
This ERP software integrates with other Microsoft cloud services, including Office 365, and can be extended with Power Automate, Power Apps, and Power BI. Customized reports, built-in CRM functionality, and enhanced financial forecasting accuracy are some of the major benefits using Business Central.
Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain (Finance & Operations)
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain is a robust ERP solution for streamlining business operations, involving financial structures, and global expansion while helping companies manage organizational risk. Its predecessor was Dynamics AX, and enables organizations of all sizes to transform their whole business by introducing intelligence and automation to the financial and operational business components.
Similar to Business Central, this solution can be hosted either on-premises or in the cloud and comes with different modular capabilities enabling users to choose the applications and features as needed. It is well-suited for fast-growing companies to help improve their financial performance with improved reporting, optimized production, scheduling, processes and cost management, supply chain automation, and logistics. This comprehensive solution can be easily integrated with Office 365 (Outlook, Excel, Word, Teams), Power BI, Power App, etc.
While commonly still referred to as Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, the solution is now licensed under two applications: Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Dynamics 365 Finance covers budgeting, financials, accounting, and project management for large international organizations, whereas Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management includes engineering, production, warehousing, and distribution. This 2-app licensing lets you decide whether you want access to one or both apps, depending on your business needs, and it is adopted with a single implementation.
Differences between D365 Business Central vs. Finance & Supply Chain (Finance & Operations)
In this section, we will review a detailed comparison between D365 Business Central vs Finance and Supply Chain Management. Here, we will compare everything from strengths and features to deployment and pricing options to help you choose the right solution for your business.
The codebase of any application is the source code generated for building it. Both solutions are built from the code base of robust legacy Dynamics ERP applications. BC is developed on the code base of Dynamics NAV, whereas Finance and Supply Chain are developed using the code base of Dynamics AX – a long-standing ERP solution. While Dynamics AX has been excellent in the enterprise field, Dynamics NAX played well in the ERP mid-market for many years.
Since both solutions have different codebases, Business Central and Finance and Supply Chain Management have different capabilities to suit different market sizes better. Business Central is well-suited for small and mid-market businesses. Unlike other ERP solutions that might come with several complex options, Business Central keeps everything straightforward while showing enough flexibility to grow and scale as your business expands.
Finance and Supply Chain provides extensive ERP functionality for an enterprise organization. It comes with extra flexibility and individualization capabilities than Business Central, which means it is designed to fulfill complex business requirements. Both applications are well-equipped to handle multi-location needs worldwide, adapting to different tax laws and currencies.
Both solutions are equally equipped to support product-centered businesses in industries like manufacturing and distribution. However, the size of the business these systems can work best with depends on the complexity levels they can handle. Though Business Central is somewhat a complex solution, it is well-suited for companies running step-by-step business processes. For example, it is suitable for a manufacturing company with traditional processes to use Business Central to integrate into an existing software environment and handle usage, inventory, and financials.
Finance and Supply Chain Management work for streamlining even the most complicated business processes. The Finance module is responsible for helping the teams create and work under the budget. In contrast, the Supply Chain Management side enables companies to use IoT intelligence for considering everything involved in a given process, handle overall manufacturing, and track related sales and marketing data.
Business Central is considered a single, all-in-one business application, and Microsoft provides for out-of-the-box integration of D365 for Sales. For Finance and Supply Chain, the integration option comes in the modular approach to Dynamics 365 solutions and is easily integrated with Talent and Retail as it comes in the Unified operations plan. In addition, the Common Data Model enables easy integration of Finance and Supply Chain with other D365 applications.
The deployment duration of an ERP solution is highly dependent on the system itself and the complexity of processes within a company. For Business Central, implementation projects run anywhere from 2 to 8 months. These projects usually run shorter than Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain due to its ability to use major features of Business Central out of the box. Conversely, Finance and Supply Chain implementations usually span between 6 to 36 months. It is because of the customization required to successfully implement this software and the company's size.
Number of Transactions
Another distinguishing element is the number of transactions processed in the ERP solution. Does your company process thousands of transactions? Finance and Supply Chain is better suited for large-scale companies as they typically reach hundreds of thousands of transactions. On the other hand, small and mid-sized businesses will find Dynamics 365 Business Central more suitable for their needs.
There are two versions of Dynamics 365 Business Central: Essentials & Premium, and the solution has one user license minimum. Essentials Full License costs $89.60 CAD per user/ per month (70 USD), whereas a Premium Full License costs $128 CAD per user / per month (100 USD). Adding Team Members costs $10.20 CAD per user/month (8 USD). On the other hand, the Finance and Supply Chain solution requires 20 users minimum. Both the Finance and Supply Chain App costs $230.40 CAD per user/month (180 USD) each.
Business Central vs. Finance & Operations - Which Should You Choose?
Selecting the right ERP solution for your company can get slightly confusing, especially when you're evaluating two comprehensive solutions. While Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ideal cloud ERP solution for small and mid-sized businesses to help them unify operations across finance, supply chain, and project management, Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management are dual programs that work together or individually to help larger organizations needing advanced capabilities for finance, manufacturing, and supply chain.
Consider Business Central if your company falls between the 20 – 200 employee mark and processes thousands of transactions daily. Consider Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain (Finance & Operations) if your organization is an enterprise with over 250 employees and processes hundreds of thousands of transactions each day.
Talk to a Dynamics 365 Partner
If you need more clarification about which solution would be right for your company or are thinking about implementing one of these Dynamics 365 ERP solutions, get in touch with Kwixand Solutions.
We are a Silver Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, based in Vancouver, Canada, and we help businesses in Canada and the US through all stages of their ERP transformation. We provide implementation, upgrades, training, and support services for the full suite of Microsoft Dynamics 365 products & Power Platform. For us, implementing a solution successfully is just the first step. We help your business optimize processes, drive profitability, and set you up for long-term success.