Home » Compelling Reasons Why Growing Businesses Need Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (Revised: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management)

Compelling Reasons Why Growing Businesses Need Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (Revised: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management)

by Josh Santiago
14 minutes read

A growing business often faces a range of challenges. As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions. The things that worked a year ago might now be not the best approach. All too often, avoidable mistakes turn what could have been a great business into an unsuccessful one.

Recognizing and overcoming common pitfalls associated with growth is essential if your business is to continue to grow and thrive. Crucially, you need to ensure that the steps you take today don’t create additional problems for the future. Effective leadership will help you make the most of the opportunities, creating sustainable growth for the future.

“One of the most important aspects when growing a business is to have a solution that is reliable, quick, and accurate.”

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, also known as the Operations module included in the company’s Dynamics 365 enterprise edition. This resource planning tool combines industry and brand-specific functionalities with core enterprise management features, and empowers many prominent companies around the world to meet the challenges of their industries, and make use of profitable business opportunities.

Users get to choose whether they want to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on-premise or use it in the cloud, as the open REST API guarantee the system’s compatibility with a variety of business applications. The system is available in multiple languages and works with several currencies, which is how it meets the needs of all organizations. It also offers a friendly interface, outstanding flexibility and customization, and a reliable support team you can turn to for any question or inquiry. Using Microsoft Dynamics AX also makes you a part of a large user community where you can learn how to maximize its potential and to exchange experiences.

Improve every part of your business using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations:

Warehouse Management

The Warehouse Management module helps organizations provide flexibility and choice to customers. The automation of warehouse processes help reduce operational costs which can be translated into lower prices for customers.

Provides customers with choice and flexibility of delivery with agile processes: 

  • Increase effectiveness with advanced picking strategies including cluster picking.
  • Efficiently put away inbound goods with advanced putaway strategies.
  • Increase flexibility by configuring workflows without coding for put-away and picking activities. Use filter capabilities to determine the custom workflow.
  • Provide warehouse workers with material handling instructions based on the system or directed by the user (task interleaving).
  • Process waves: automatic, manual, batch-time scheduled, filtering and grouping, and container calculations packaging.
  • Improve tracking and tracing of goods with the registration of serial numbers in the picking process, as well as batch number support with picking strategies based on the expiration date.
  • Optimize transportation loads with containerization of shipments including auto volume and weight calculations.
  • Manage sales order returns using warehouse workflow

Transportation Management

Transportation Management introduces global enterprise transportation planning and execution capabilities. Manufacturing, distribution and retail companies will benefit from a Transportation Management System that flexibly supports changing and growing business demands. Transportation Management System helps customers deliver the right customer experience with out of the box capabilities to help meet and exceed customer expectations.

Enable intuitive transportation planning: 

  • Inbound/outbound shipments.
  • Multi-shipment loads.
  •  Shipment consolidation.
  • Load building.

Send advanced shipping notices to customers and manage docks with appointment scheduling: 

  • Driver check-in/check-out.
  • Driver log management.

Shop transportation rates, by carriers. Configure rating structures based on: 

  • Customer constraints.
  • Fuel prices (by state, country/region).
  • Toll charges.
  • Multi-mode and multi-segment planning and execution.
  • Manage routes via transportation engines.
  • Reconcile freight automatically or manually.

Master Data Management

Master Data Management (MDM) is a feature of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 that lets you synchronize data across multiple instances of Dynamics AX.

Master data is stored in a central data store. This central store then synchronizes the data with each AX instance on a defined schedule. MDM uses Microsoft SQL Server Master Data Services (SQL MDM) as the central data store, and AX Data Import/Export Framework entities as the unit for data synchronization. MDM is preconfigured to support synchronization of the Customers, Vendors, Employees, Global Address Book, and Product entities. You can also customize to support other Data Import/Export Framework entities in MDM.

Master Data Management helps to increase the consistency of your data across your organization and deployments. It helps maintain reliable data for key business entities and enables data integrity for unified data governance and helps improve data analysis.

MDM uses the following to provide top-quality functionality:

  • Single-master or multi-master record modification — You can configure a single-master environment, where only one AX instance can push updated data to SQL MDS, and all other instances are read-only. Alternatively, you can configure a multi-master environment, where all AX 2012 instances can update master data records.
  • Synchronization scheduling — You can schedule entities to sync with the master database every hour, day, or week. Synchronization groups allow you to easily schedule entities that you want to sync at the same time.
  • Data filtering — You can limit the records that are pulled from the master data store to an instance by defining a view that retrieves a specified subset of data.
  • Conflict identification and resolution — When two instances make different updates to the same record, this conflict is recognized, and the conflicting records are flagged in the master data store. The conflict is reported to MDM so that you are alerted. You can then use the SQL Server Master Data Services Add-In for Microsoft Excel to manually resolve the conflict.
  • Customization support — You can extend your master data coverage by adding or customizing Data Import/Export Framework entities that are used with MDM.


E-commerce and Social Media

eCommerce and Social Media integration provide retailers with an opportunity to engage and connect with their customers on their terms while offering an integrated and end-to-end Omni-channel shopping experience. Enhancements let retailers extend services to their customers, for example, allowing them to connect with friends and followers who also share purchasing intentions and preferences on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By deploying these types of connected solutions, retailers will be able to maximize their investments by avoiding extensive customizations and provide customers with a superior shopping experience.

  • Deliver out-of-box shopping experiences including multi-language storefront, flexibility in delivery options (e.g. splitting orders, buy online pick-up in-store).
  • Deploy the solution rapidly and reduce time to value through multiple out of the box storefronts with publishing and checkout flows, with full access to customize the storefront.
  • Define campaigns and promote through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Build campaigns once and distribute through multiple channels including eCommerce storefront and provide flexible redemption capabilities.
  • Improve customer engagement on eCommerce storefront including customer-specific pricing, Omni-channel wish list (e.g. customer can build and save wish lists online, across sites accessed in-store through the modern POS), customer account management, buying and redeeming gift card support, accruing and redeeming loyalty, as well as the ability to sell kit items, are enhanced in this release.


Demand Forecasting

Demand Forecasting is a lightweight, yet a powerful demand forecasting tool. It enables organizations to forecast demand manually based on historical data using Microsoft SQL Server forecasting algorithms, adjust the forecasted demand using the familiar environment of Microsoft Excel, and import the values into Microsoft Dynamics AX forecast models. Demand Forecasting will help organizations improve the accuracy of forecasts and therefore improve product availability, and minimize inventory costs.

  • Forecast demand with statistical baseline forecast generation based on historical data. This includes the ability to exclude outliers from the forecast to improve accuracy. Forecast generation uses algorithms from Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services. Algorithms include the ARTXP algorithm (optimized for predicting the next likely value in a series) and the ARIMA algorithm (to improve accuracy for long-term prediction).
  • Support an iterative forecasting process with baseline forecast visualization and editing using the extended capabilities of Excel and SharePoint. Import the edited forecast back into Microsoft Dynamics AX. • Create forecasts by product family and choose desired inventory dimensions to include in the forecast.
  • Forecast accurately by monitoring forecast accuracy KPIs.


Human Resources

Your talents and the efforts of people in your organization is one of the most valuable assets. Human resources for Microsoft Dynamics AX helps minimize the complexity of administrating worker and organizational information while creating a positive customer experience.

  • HR and Payroll Analysis Cubes enables you to use tools such as Microsoft Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Power View to create custom reports. Power View provides quick and easy visualization of your data such as total headcount, and turnover percentages for the month, year, or quarter
  • More easily track and control hires, terminations, transfers, and promotions by using employee-based personnel actions and workflow
  • Maintain comprehensive worker information from the day that they first apply for a job to the day that they retire.
  • Define organizational benefit plans and options, enroll workers in benefits, assign dependent coverage, and designate beneficiaries.
  • Review performance levels through discussions, and then outline steps for improvement by creating and implementing goals for workers.
  • Set up, deliver, and analyze training courses that include agendas, sessions, and tracks, together with demographic information about participants.


Budget Planning

Budget managers can now benefit from enhancements in budget planning including the ability to allocate budget plan amounts based on ledger allocation rules. Budget Planning will appeal particularly to organizations that have formal and structured budgeting processes, where responsibility for preparing and using budgets is down to budget holders and possibly being sent to higher levels in the organization for a review and approval.


Modern Point of Sale

Connected customers live in a connected world, and are well informed when making a purchase — before they even walk in the store.

The modern POS includes the basics around tender/transaction, but now also extends to a rich clientele or assisted sales offering, as well as back-office capabilities at the employee’s fingertips. The power of this new modern POS is that it becomes much more than a Point of Sale experience — it is a customer engagement dashboard.

For example, new assisted sales solutions will consolidate customers’ purchase intelligence — such as sales history, transaction details, and wish lists — and provide this to the sales associates to better guide their customers.

Additionally, retailers can customize look and feel (font, color, graphics, and more) and optimize by store, by role, by the user, and even by device. For example, the cashier may have access to specific capabilities beyond tender, such as adding a loyalty card and looking up inventory, while a store manager may have access to store reports and real-time sales data.

These capabilities are based on a commitment to provide immersive, flexible, modern and mobile experiences for retailers and their consumers anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

  • Empower sales associates in-store with a Modern Point of Sale supporting the basics including tender/transaction, but also extending into rich clienteling, real-time inventory lookup, as well as back-office capabilities at the employee’s fingertips.
  • Engage with customers through assisted sales using rich customer purchase intelligence regardless of what channel they shop in. • Provide employees immersive and richer experiences through role-tailored POS UI, support of multiple platforms, multiple devices (e.g. tablets and phones), as well as integration to peripherals (e.g. receipt printers, scanners).
  • Empower employees through highly flexible and rich inventory management, daily operations and KPI reporting, and engaging customer data including omnichannel wish-lists.
  • Modern Point of Sale (or Modern POS or MPOS) refers to the “next-gen” Point of Sale that is mobile and capable of running on various form factors like tablets, phones, phablets, etc. Modern POS works in conjunction with Retail Server, and the rest of all the retail components including Retail Headquarters, Commerce Data Exchange (CDX).

Dynamics 365 for Operations utilizes workflows, predefined workspaces, and the time-saving ability to enter and access data from anywhere, on any device at any time. Dynamic Consultants Group has had years of experience working with MS Dynamics AX, and understand why it is one of the most powerful ERP solutions for competitive business today.

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