Dynamics 365 Business Central for manufacturing: Here’s what you need to know.
Small Manufacturers and ERP Software
If you run or manage a small or mid-sized manufacturing company, you know that you need to remain competitive and agile in today’s marketplace. Manufacturers often find themselves having to respond quickly to meet the demand for new products in short time frames. This becomes more important for small and mid-sized manufacturing companies whose success relies on their ability to meet small and custom orders from customers. To keep your operations running efficiently, the software you use is no small matter. It can mean the difference between success and failure of your business.
When it comes to management software, SMB manufacturing companies typically fall into three buckets. You may be currently relying on a legacy enterprise planning software system that requires a lot of workarounds and does not scale easily. You may be using an entry-level business management solution that consists of a lot of manual processes and third-party solutions. Or you might run a small warehouse and not have any dedicated software at all.
The fact of the matter is that no manufacturing business is too small for a solution that will help you become more efficient. That is the edge you need to succeed in today’s competitive market. You need a dedicated solution that can simplify every step of your operations, from creating customer quotes, assembling orders, to shipping it from your warehouse. And an enterprise resource planning software (ERP) system is the answer.
Manufacturing Functionality in Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ERP system designed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses. It is designed to connect data from different business areas in your manufacturing company and store it in a central database. This allows your team to have all the information they need about quotes, production orders, and routing. This single source of truth also allows business owners and managers to get a complete 360-degree overview of your operations.
D365 Business Central is a cloud ERP solution (and a predecessor of Microsoft Dynamics NAV), and it offers an intuitive way to integrate and streamline every aspect of your manufacturing activities, from planning, scheduling, inventory, and distribution – thanks to some robust features.
Create and manage production orders. Several types of production orders are available including planned, firm planned and released. After you create one, you can calculate net requirements based on that order.
Production Bill of Materials
Create bills of materials and calculate standard costs. The production BOM allows for tracking input quantities by either quantity or dimension.
Create and manage different versions of manufacturing bill of materials and routings.
Add machine centers as capacities to the manufacturing process. It allows you to manage the capacity of a single machine or producing resource. You can store default information about manufacturing processes, and plan capacity more efficiently.
One or more machine centers can be attached to a work center to manage shift capacity. Changes in capacity for events, such as employee time off, can be processed easily and the production schedule updated.
Plan material requirements based on demand. This includes automatic production orders and purchase orders, action messages for quick balancing of supply and demand, and support for bucket-less and bucketed material requirements planning.
This enables you to run the Agile Manufacturing, Supply Planning, and Capacity Planning modules.
Manage finite loading of capacity-constraint resources. It also enables the system to calculate CTP (capable-to-promise).
Sales and Inventory Forecasting
Get deep insights into potential sales and expected stock-outs. The intelligent system leverages historical data to help you manage stock. Based on the forecast, the system can help create replenishment requests for vendors.
Standard Cost Worksheet
Allows company controllers can maintain accurate inventory costs. Work with standard cost updates in Business Central in the same way you would in an Excel spreadsheet. Prepare for cost updates without changing data until you’re ready.
Specify a list of sellable items, raw materials, subassemblies, and resources as an assembly bill of materials that make up a finished item or a kit. Use assembly orders to replenish assembly items. Capture customer requirements for the kit’s bill of materials directly from sales quotes, blanket orders, and order lines in the assembly-to-order processes.
Dynamics 365 Business Central’s manufacturing functionality is easy to use, easy to learn, and is extremely flexible. It can also be implemented relatively simply and expanded further down the line to include more advanced features, as your business needs evolve.
Benefits of Dynamics 365 Business Central for Manufacturing Businesses
Besides the manufacturing module, D365 Business Central’s core features also include functionality for supply chain management, project management, financial management, HR management features, sales, marketing and delivery, and more. With all these features at your disposal, here are some top benefits of Business Central for small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses.
1. Easily manage your inventory
It’s easy to manage your inventory with D365 Business Central. You can view a list within seconds of all the items you have in stock. You can easily find out if an item is in stock, how many are available, and how many are on order. This real-time insight into your inventory helps you plan better. You can also leverage Business Central’s built-in intelligence that will help you predict when your stock will be running low, and which items you need to replenish.
2. Streamline operations and reduce costs
All your data will be in one place if you’re using Business Central. This means that if a production manager makes an update, your entire team will have access to the same information and can take instant action. As another example, sales forecasts can be generated into production plans and used to create orders. This creates more efficiency in your business as each department works better together and improves productivity. This results in lower operating costs.
3. Unify production data and get more insights
By having all your production data in one place, Dynamics 365 Business Central can help you analyze trends within your business, thanks to built-in business intelligence capabilities. Plus, by collecting and analyzing data such as supply chain, production, inventory, product performance, you can improve customer experience by delivering better products and services.
4. Improve product quality
You can set up a system that monitors the quality status of all its products. By providing real-time reports on machines, components, shifts, and more, you can ensure that only high-quality products are being delivered to your customers.
5. Decrease production time
Capture customers’ special requirements in a bill of materials and use it directly from the sales quote and sales order line in your assembly-to-order processes. There is no need to waste time and effort with back and forth emails. This decreases the overall production time and helps you save time and money.
6. Run your warehouse efficiently
D365 Business Central has a host of features designed to help you efficiently run your warehouse. For instance, you can streamline receiving and storage, get recommendations on where to move items to optimize your space and picking process, and use real-time data to better fulfill your customer's orders.
How Business Central Can Help You Scale Your Small Manufacturing Business
It’s easy to scale your manufacturing business with Business Central. As a cloud-based solution, D365 Business Central gives you the ability to scale quickly and pull back as needed. Thanks to a monthly subscription model, you don’t have to have a large upfront investment (like most on-premise ERP counterparts) to get your business up and running on the software.
D365 Business Central can easily integrate with a lot of other solutions and applications. This means that it’s easy to customize your solution, without a lot of hassle. For instance, whether you find applications via Microsoft Appsource, or build your own low-code apps using Power Apps, the options for innovation are endless.
As a cloud ERP, you also get to run your business from anywhere, using any device. And, as D365 Business Central gives you a 360-degree overview of how your manufacturing business is doing, you’ll be able to pinpoint what works, what doesn’t, and improve your business processes.
At the end of the day, an ERP system like Dynamics 365 Business Central will help you streamline and automate your processes, become more efficient, and lower costs – regardless of whether you are running a 10-person warehouse or a larger operation.
Find the Right Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner
If you are ready to learn more about what Business Central could do for your specific business, and what the costs, timeline, and implementation would look like, register for our free Dynamics 365 Business Central Assessment.
As a Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner based out of Vancouver, Canada, our team of experts at Kwixand Solutions can help you through the entire journey – from selection, implementation, ongoing support, and more.