Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Manufacturing: What You Should Know
Microsoft Dynamics has been helping manufacturers streamline and optimize processes for decades.
Manufacturers today need to build resilience and agility in their businesses to respond quickly to customer preferences, competition, market trends, and unforeseen disruptions. They face numerous challenges, including:
The growing need for cost efficiencies to suppress increasing freight labour and rising commodity prices
The lack of visibility due to siloed systems and massive volumes of data
Customer demand for faster, more accurate fulfillment across global channels
This is where a robust ERP solution can help. The Microsoft Dynamics suite has been catering to manufacturers for decades, with solutions such as Dynamics NAV and Dynamics AX back in the day and modern cloud ERP solutions like Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics for Supply Chain Management offered today.
Why Microsoft for Manufacturing?
Microsoft has 40+ years of supporting manufacturing and decades of powering manufacturing shop floor systems with Windows-embedded technology. Microsoft Dynamics has been helping manufacturers streamline and optimize processes for decades.
They offer the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider.
They are a leader in hybrid cloud solutions for manufacturers who are not comfortable yet with full cloud transitions
They are also on the leading edge of development in the cloud, IoT, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence and have committed to investing $5 billion in IoT to enable cloud transformation.
Why Dynamics 365 for Manufacturing?
Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based suite of business applications by Microsoft that helps manufacturing businesses break down silos and connect their systems and data together. It allows manufacturers of all types, from process, discrete, batch, or repetitive, to optimize their processes so that they can:
Introduce new products and services quickly
Keep your line moving by anticipating issues before they arise
Meet changing customer needs by building agility into your supply chain
Increase resilience by connecting assets
Build trust and strengthen relationships with customers
Increase customer loyalty by providing exceptional service
It unifies and optimizes all areas of your manufacturing business, from design and training, planning and sourcing, production and distribution, asset management, sales, and services.
Dynamics 365 Apps for Manufacturing Businesses
Microsoft offers two robust cloud-based ERP solutions for manufacturing: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Dynamics 365 Business Central. Both solutions have robust manufacturing capabilities, and the one that’s right for you depends on your organization’s size and scope.
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
Formerly part of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, D365 Supply Chain Management helps businesses operate sustainably with a predictable supply chain. Geared towards larger organizations, this solution helps mitigate supply chain issues with real-time visibility and agile planning capabilities. Here are some key features and functionality to be aware of:
Product information management
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management’s product information management solution provides organizations with a shared and singular version of truth for all item master data. From product definitions and configurations to the distribution, export, and import of product data to maintaining and measuring master data accuracy, it combines the tools you need to efficiently and effectively manage and administer product master data.
Procurement and sourcing
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management integrates all steps of the procurement and sourcing processes through a single application. Embedded tools for spend analysis, supplier performance management, and real-time vendor collaboration provide you with the actionable intelligence needed to maximize the effectiveness of your purchasing and sourcing processes
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management’s cost management solution gives businesses deep insights into cost performance across the value chain in near real-time. It equips cost accountants with the tools required to move from collecting cost data to providing management with actionable information and reports. The introduction of Global inventory accounting allows businesses to account inventory in multiple representations, each following a set of defined inventory accounting rules for reporting purposes like Statutory, Consolidation, or Management accounting. Additionally, inventory can be accounted in a selected secondary currency.
Master planning capabilities
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management’s master planning capabilities help businesses optimize resource planning and production. Demand forecasting capabilities enable companies to intelligently anticipate needs while planning tools help ensure they have the right resources—including raw materials, workforce, and machinery—to meet customer demands. Planning optimization allows companies to turn a 5-hour task into a 5-minute task so that production plans can be run multiple times a day, reducing total lead time, increasing production throughput, and improving customer responsiveness.
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management’s production control solution handles every step in the production lifecycle, providing the deep integration required to facilitate the information flow that modern manufacturing demands to enable efficient production of products. By bringing together data from across the organization, Supply Chain Management serves as the production process’s connective heartbeat for manufacturing operations.
Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central (an updated, cloud-based version of Dynamics NAV) is designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Its premium version comes with robust manufacturing and service management modules, which help to integrate and streamline your manufacturing processes. Here are some key features and capabilities that make Business Central a good choice for small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses:
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.
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.
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.
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 highly flexible. It can also be implemented relatively simply and expanded further down the line to include more advanced features, as your business needs evolve.
Taking Your Manufacturing Business to New Heights
A well-implemented cloud ERP solution provides a solid foundation for your manufacturing business. It will provide you with financial and process visibility, automate your processes, enable digital transformation in your factories and warehouse, and keep you agile so you can spot and mitigate risks before they make an impact. Book a free consultation with the Kwixand Solutions team to explore how Dynamics 365 can transform your business.