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Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Nigel Cox from enVista explains how a lean operational assessment can assist companies 



Caspar Herzberg |

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of The Record.

For companies that want to make the jump to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, the first thing to consider is the impact such a move could have on business operations. By conducting an operational assessment beforehand, companies can identify any inefficiencies that may exist across their business. As an implementer and consultant for multiple Microsoft systems, including Dynamics 365 for Operations, enVista offers a deep knowledge base that provides companies with unique insights into optimising supply chain execution through a lean operational and technical value assessment.

For all types of manufacturing – including project, discrete, process, and lean – the goal of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation is to satisfy customer demand while keeping costs low with minimum inventory levels. However, each manufacturer faces distinct challenges. For example, project manufacturers must collaborate across multiple departments, such as sales, project management, engineering and finance for each sales opportunity, whereas discrete manufacturers focus on operations like the shop floor, warehouse and procurement.

With so many moving pieces in a complex manufacturing organisation, it’s easy to envision what can happen when department processes are out of sync. Enterprises should ask themselves whether their delivery performance is below 95%. An assessment can help them pinpoint where they are falling short and how to increase service levels before upgrading their ERP. Companies might also benefit from a value assessment if they have capacity challenges in their current operations and need to handle more products within their existing footprint. If a company is curious as to what their competition is doing to enhance their supply chain, they can learn that through an assessment too.

A lean operational and technical value assessment should include an onsite interview of key stakeholders to identify significant pain points. It is also beneficial to conduct a lean process analysis that includes all functional areas of a company’s distribution process – from order entry to receiving, to loading and shipping. Ultimately, the goal is for organisations to identify areas throughout their operations to generate more profit, make customers happy, and tie up less cash.

Lean is about eliminating waste in processes and ERP is about integrating and automating back-office processes. Do companies really want to integrate and automate waste?

Nigel Cox is senior director of AX Consulting Services at enVista

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