Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is one of the top ERP solutions for discrete manufacturers. It provides the needed features and functionality to streamline processes, manage inventory and production, and much more. But like any technology, the system needs to be set-up and optimized in order to be effective with the solution. With the correct Dynamics 365 customizations and features, manufacturers can simplify everyday tasks to increase efficiency.
Start With the User Rather Than the Functionality
Working alongside users in their environment helps identify opportunities to make their day-to-day tasks easier. When working with users, discover what activities they do most often and go through those processes with them. Question if there is any way to automate or eliminate steps in the process with software functionality. In addition to gaining efficiency, this is an opportunity for managers and owners to get involved on the floor and build rapport with the team.
Useful customizations may become clear while working with users. For example, frequently referenced information should be on the front page to avoid switching between screens. A filter can be set as the default view to avoid manually applying the same filter every time a user opens a list page. Customizations can save a lot of clicking, especially with customized workspaces. Workspaces put all the information a user needs right in front of them and can be personalized to show the most relevant information.
Use Your Data Effectively
KPIs should be actionable, meaningful, and easy to digest. Instead of overloading your employees with reports, encourage teamwork by focusing on KPIs relevant to each department. Regularly running granular reports is expensive and unnecessary. You need to cut back if you find yourself glossing over an overwhelming number of reports. Finally, don’t spend time collecting data you’re never going to use.
Configuring and Customizing Wisely
Keep the future in mind when configuring and customizing software. Consider the following questions while planning customization:
- Will this still work for us in five years?
- Are there any potential expansions we need to consider?
- Is there related functionality we may use in the future that would be hindered by this customization?
Customizations can increase efficiency, but also increase system complexity, making it more difficult to identify interfering functionality. Work with trusted developers to make customizations as unobtrusive as possible.
All-Star Functionality (That You Might Not Be Using)
Demand forecasting allows you to better predict your needs from a supply chain standpoint and use that insight for purchasing and production planning. In some versions of AX 12 and Dynamics 365, you can generate a statistical baseline forecast, which runs an algorithm on your item usage history to determine demand forecast estimates for certain periods.
Product lifecycle state is in conjunction with the engineering change management module, which must be enabled to leverage this feature. Product lifecycle state allows you to label products as new, obsolete, sunset, and more. You can then set parameters on which actions are allowed for each state. For example, if a product lifecycle state is set to obsolete, this can block the ability to create sales orders, purchase orders, and production orders.
Marking becomes a very powerful tool with small customizations. Customized marks tie items to a top-level order, enabling you to see how transactions are connected. As you approach the end of a project and have a lot of moving pieces, this customization allows you to quickly see transactions in the system.
Floor stock is consumable items used for manufacturing, such as nuts, bolts, and washers. Typically, these item quantities are put on the bill of materials. Counting floor stock is time-consuming, expensive, and takes time away from more productive activities. Many manufacturers are instead establishing a vendor-managed inventory to keep inventory levels up. The system can be set up to treat items as though they are always on hand so you will not be forced to track floor stock inventory.
If you want to learn more about optimizing your manufacturing processes with Dynamics 365, reach out to the experts at Stoneridge Software. And make plans to join us for our upcoming webinar:
August 11, 2021
10:00 am – 10:30 am