Microsoft Dynamics for manufacturing Industries
Remaining profitable and competitive in the manufacturing sector today is no mean feat. Manufacturers are exposed to extreme pressures on all fronts.
Customers demand extensive choice, quality which is second to none, low prices, speed of delivery, accurate and up to minute product and transaction information. They also frequently change their mind about what, how and when they want a product. Also, the growing purchasing power of large customers means that suppliers’ margins are perpetually squeezed, stringent quality controls throughout the production to shipment cycle need to be applied and strict deadlines cannot be overrun for fear of harsh penalties imposed.
Increasing competition forces some manufacturing operations to sub-contract to low-cost locations, such as India or China, and this implicates further challenges in managing credit, logistics and quality control.
Sometimes you can also be your own worst enemy with sales and marketing departments generating demand through promotions, discounts, etc. without even so much as a heads-up to production quite often resulting in expensive overtime, stock shortages, disgruntled customers and line managers.
Moreover, when economic activity slows down and energy and materials prices go through the roof, now – more than at any other - is the time to invest in modern IT systems which can help you introduce more efficient processes, drive down cost, boost productivity, improve communication and secure a very rapid return on investment.
Meeting These Challenges
Remaining responsive and competitive will mean that you will want a business system in place, which:
- Drives down cost by streamlining processes for raw materials procurement, capacity loading and stock management in order to create a lean, flexible manufacturing environment
- Enables more precise planning and forecasting to avoid waste and meet customers’ changing demands on time
- Yields accurate, up to the minute KPIs and business reporting so that performance can be effectively monitored and plans adjusted to changing circumstances as required
- Provides effective intra- and inter-departmental, sub-contractor, supplier and customer communication and information-sharing tools to build a more connected and informed network of collaborators and in so doing speed up material/product sourcing, product development and time to market
- Gives powerful after-sales support technology, including mobility solutions for rapid response and tracking to ultimately drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.
M4 Systems in partnership with Microsoft can provide you with world-class business systems for ERP, CRM and document management and underpin these with expert, industry-specific implementation and support.
IT - The Strategic Weapon
Many manufacturing companies fail to capture even basic production data, either manually or electronically, or make data available throughout the business. Even fewer use manufacturing information to benchmark competitiveness and fewer still share this information throughout the value chain to improve supply chain effectiveness and improve customer service.
Even a small manufacturer can compete against a competitor ten times its size if it effectively applies intelligent and flexible software systems.
The Dynamics suite of products work like, and in conjunction with, familiar Microsoft products, such as Outlook, Excel and Word. They are designed to be cost-effective, enable quick user adoption and trigger a rapid return on investment in terms of cost savings, efficiencies gained and speed of communication and decision-making.
Comprehensive Planning & Intelligence
Dynamics AX is the flagship product Microsoft’s ERP line-up. This is a comprehensive business solution encompassing core financial management, business intelligence and reporting, supply chain management, project management, customer relationship management, human resource management, manufacturing as well as workspace collaboration (Enterprise Portal) and customisation technology.
Dynamics AX provides powerful and easy to use tools to handle everything you need from production management and resource planning to demand planning, automation of routine financial tasks, and rich analysis of integrated, updated information.
Core functionality includes sales forecasting, materials requirements planning, manufacturing order processing, bill of materials, quality assurance, job costing and engineering change management and more.
With proven code and a wealth of functionality running on a solid Microsoft SQL platform, Dynamics AX is a highly stable and scalable solution, easily capable of supporting a dynamic and expanding local or global business.
Knowing Your Customers
As you will probably have heard time and again, knowing your customers inside and out and being able to react to and even pre-empt their needs, is the key to business survival and success. No more is this true than in the manufacturing arena, where deadlines loom large and there is a multiplicity of interconnected processes.
Modern CRM systems give you the means with which to build a cohesive and informed picture of your customers and the means to communicate proficiently, intelligently and in real time with them. A CRM system can also help you implement and track after-sales care and preventive maintenance service programmes using appointment scheduling, case follow-up workflows as well as wizards and templates to pursue ensuing business opportunities.
However, the biggest advantage of working with the Microsoft platform is the interconnectivity of products and the reduced cost of ownership this implies.
Having a seamless system means data handling and errors are reduced, processes are more automated and streamlined and departments, suppliers and customers are better connected with a “single version of the truth”.
Integrate Dynamics CRM with Dynamics AX to:
- Map data for accounts, contacts, product catalogue, orders and prices
- Integrate customer information bi-directionally to ensure consistency of data between teams and departments
- Streamline processes, empower employees with a complete, accurate view of customer information.
- Connecting Dynamics AX and CRM is our forte as we focus solely on Microsoft Dynamics and related technologies (e.g. SharePoint, SQL, BizTalk, etc.). Contact us if keen to find out more or you wish to take advantage of a free consultation or demo
We are handling an ever-growing number of enquiries from manufacturing businesses who are waking up to the realisation that the only way forward in a highly competitive industry with increasing compliance mandates is to deploy modern, comprehensive resource planning and customer management IT systems.
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