There is a lot of buzz around the recent release of the Dynamics 365 for Operations, and rightly so. I had the opportunity to explore the new launch as I attended the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference last month. Here are my top five exciting features for users of the Dynamics 365 for Operations.
1. Sales order management
This was one of my favorite sessions at the Technical Conference last month! The workspace itself a stellar example of being “persona-based,” with tiles presenting important summary information such as Number of Unconfirmed Orders, Number of Confirmed Orders, and Number of Held Orders. Also included are values for Partially Shipped Orders, Delayed Order Lines, and Delivery Date Changes. Certainly better tools have been provided to be proactive with regard to managing exceptions. In addition to entering and validating sales orders, there is a new feature known as “Delivery alternatives.” Delivery alternatives allow the user to present differing options to their customer to better manage order fulfillment options available. It is highly interactive and may easily be updated with customer preferences such as Include alternate colors, include partial shipments, and displaying all potential warehouses.
2. Credit limit additional checkpoint
A great source of frustration is managing credit limits in the sales order process. The credit limit check may “pass” when the order is placed. The order is fulfilled and shipped. Then the invoicing process errors/fails due to the credit limit being exceeded. In the Dynamics 365 for Operations, the ability exists to block release to warehouse and creation of work for sales orders that exceed credit limits. This should prevent those annoying errors in the shipping process!
3. Smart search
Without using masks, the system user may type directly into a field and receive suggested values. This is illustrated as follows where a vendor name is proposed and also where an item is suggested based on three alpha characters.
Instead of role centers, there is a shift to a more process focused workspace. They are intuitive to use, have vast personalization capabilities, and have a fresh, albeit fun feel to them. The user is able to apply color themes and sizes of the page elements. The ability to tailor a workspace to feature the data that are most important, as well as viewing the information in a specific order just feels more efficient. Using the personalization toolbar, elements may be hidden, relabeled, moved, added, and so much more. I especially liked the ability to add “lists” to the workspace which allow a choice of columns to display in the list.
5. Excel integration
This too is super exciting! This is a replacement for the Excel add-in that allows users to “Open in Office/Excel” and will populate with the source information or export. Two-way integration is the exciting part! This means that updates, inserts, and deletions may be performed in Excel and published back to AX. The Data Connector provides the available values that would normally be seen as drop downs in AX that are now visible in Excel. This is just one way that the Data Connector is assisting in data validation. Also, for anyone that has struggled to locate an error in hundreds of rows using the Excel add-in tool, it is a relief to know that errors are presented at the line level in this new integration.