Project management is a real challenge in every company. Being organized, respecting deadlines, taking notes, dealing with unforeseen events, managing teams and resources... this is a non-exhaustive list that Business Central can manage with its "Jobs" module (project management).
To help you understand Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management and why you should adopt it, we have prepared a little list of 7 reasons to add this software to your routine.
First, what is Business Central?
As I was saying, Business Central comes from Dynamics NAV, a Microsoft ERP. In the last few years, Microsoft has tried to gather all of its products under the same banner: Dynamics 365. By combining ERP and CRM, the Microsoft clients have access to a wide range of modules and functions that help them manage their company in a coherent and efficient way.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive business management solution developed by Microsoft. It is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) manage various aspects of their operations, including finance, sales, service, and project management, all within a single, integrated platform. Here's an explanation of what Dynamics 365 Business Central is and why it's beneficial for project management:
What is Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. It offers a wide range of tools and functionalities that enable businesses to streamline their processes, improve efficiency, make informed decisions, and grow their operations.
Why is Dynamics 365 Business Central Good for Project Management?
- Integration: One of the key advantages of using Dynamics 365 Business Central for project management is its seamless integration with other business processes. Project management is not a standalone function; it involves coordination with finance, sales, inventory, and more. Business Central's integration allows for real-time data sharing, reducing the risk of errors and improving collaboration.
- Project Planning and Tracking: Business Central offers robust project management features, including project planning, task assignment, and resource allocation. Project managers can create detailed project plans, assign tasks to team members, and track progress in real-time. This helps in effective project planning and execution.
- Financial Management: Projects often involve budgets and financial resources. With Business Central, you can create and manage project budgets, track expenses, and compare actual costs to budgeted costs. This financial visibility ensures that projects stay within budgetary constraints.
- Resource Management: Efficiently allocating and managing resources is crucial for project success. Business Central provides tools for resource management, allowing you to allocate employees, equipment, and other assets to specific projects. This ensures that you have the right resources at the right time.
- Time and Expense Management: Business Central simplifies time and expense tracking. Team members can log their hours and expenses directly into the system, reducing paperwork and the risk of data entry errors. This data can be used for billing clients or assessing project profitability.
- Reporting and Analytics: Business Central offers powerful reporting and analytics capabilities. Project managers can generate customized reports and dashboards to gain insights into project performance, identify bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions.
- Scalability: As your business grows, Dynamics 365 Business Central can scale with you. Whether you're managing a small project or a complex portfolio of projects, the platform can adapt to your needs.
- Mobility: In today's mobile-centric world, project managers often need to access information on the go. Business Central offers mobile apps that allow users to access project data and perform tasks from their smartphones or tablets.
- Security and Compliance: Microsoft invests heavily in security and compliance, ensuring that your project data is safe and meets industry standards and regulations.
In conclusion, Dynamics 365 Business Central is a versatile and powerful solution that can significantly enhance project management within small and medium-sized businesses. Its integration, planning, tracking, financial management, and reporting capabilities make it a valuable tool for organizations looking to streamline their project management processes and improve overall efficiency.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is an undeniable ally to help you manage your projects without forgetting any details or losing important information. In fact, it gathers all the data that you need, and you can access it in just a few seconds.
Why should you choose Business Central Project Management?
Here are 7 famous functions that will convince you to forget your office’s chaos.
Reason #1 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the jobs
First, you have to know that in your Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management the jobs are a must have, an essential in your daily work. They are the cornerstone to almost everything that you will do with your project manager.
In Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management, jobs are the foundation of your project management process. They serve as a central hub for all the tasks and activities related to your projects. Here's how jobs make project management more efficient:
Example 1: Creating Jobs
Imagine you're a project manager responsible for a construction project. You can create jobs within Business Central to represent specific tasks or activities related to the project. For instance, you can create jobs for "Foundation Pouring," "Framing," "Electrical Wiring," and so on. Each of these jobs represents a critical aspect of the project.
Example 2: Assigning Jobs
Once you've created jobs, you can easily assign them to your team members or colleagues. For instance, you can assign the "Electrical Wiring" job to your electrical contractor. This ensures clear ownership and accountability for each task within the project.
Example 3: Planning Jobs
Business Central Project Management allows you to plan jobs in detail. Let's say the "Foundation Pouring" job requires specific resources and materials. You can allocate the necessary equipment, personnel, and materials to this job, ensuring that everything is organized and readily available when needed.
Example 4: Resource Allocation
Suppose you need a specific piece of construction equipment for the "Framing" job. Business Central allows you to allocate that resource to the job, preventing scheduling conflicts and ensuring that resources are optimally utilized across multiple projects.
Example 5: Timesheet Integration
As your team works on various project tasks, they can log their hours and activities directly into the system. This integrates with timesheets, making it easy to track labor costs and project progress. No more manual time tracking or paperwork.
Example 6: Expense Management
For the "Electrical Wiring" job, you may need to purchase electrical components and supplies. Business Central allows you to record these expenses directly within the job. This means you have a clear record of all costs associated with each job, helping you stay within budget.
Example 7: Structured Job Journals
Each job in Business Central Project Management is linked to a job journal. This journal provides a structured view of the job's planning, resource allocation, and expense details. It's a centralized repository for all information related to the job, eliminating the need for scattered Post-it notes and to-do lists.
Example 8: Enhanced Organization
With Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can say goodbye to the chaos of paper files and cluttered desks. All project-related information is neatly organized within the system, easily accessible whenever you need it. This level of organization reduces the risk of losing critical project details and enhances overall productivity.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management streamlines project tasks and activities by centralizing them within the "jobs" framework. It offers efficient job creation, assignment, planning, resource allocation, timesheet integration, expense management, and structured journals. This level of organization and automation simplifies project management, improves collaboration, and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. Say goodbye to the chaos of manual task management and welcome the efficiency of Business Central Project Management.
Reason #2 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the timesheets
The Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management timesheets allow you to plan the jobs in a specific time period or a number of weeks. Besides giving you a hand with the accounting, it will be useful for the management of your resources or to better follow your project’s progression.
Timesheets are a crucial component of project management, especially in industries where tracking time spent on specific tasks and projects is essential. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management offers a robust timesheet feature that simplifies and enhances the way you manage time-related aspects of your projects. Here's why this is important:
- Precise Planning of Jobs: With Business Central's timesheets, you can plan jobs for a specific time period or a set number of weeks. This capability enables you to allocate resources and schedule tasks with precision. For example, if you have a construction project, you can allocate labor resources for each week to ensure that the project stays on track.
- Resource Management: Timesheets are a valuable tool for efficiently managing your resources. By planning jobs in advance and assigning them to specific time periods, you can avoid overloading your team or underutilizing valuable resources. This leads to better resource allocation and productivity.
- Accurate Project Progress Tracking: Timesheets help you track the actual time spent on tasks and compare it to the planned time. This allows you to gauge the progress of your projects in real-time. If a task is taking longer than expected, you can identify it early and take corrective actions to prevent delays.
- Seamless Data Integration: Business Central Project Management allows you to copy planning lines directly into your timesheets. This streamlines the process of transferring planned work into actual time entries. It reduces the chance of errors and ensures that your timesheet data is accurate and consistent with your project plans.
- Approval Workflow: Timesheets can be submitted for approval by an admin or manager. This approval workflow simplifies job management and ensures that timesheet data is validated before it is integrated into your project and accounting systems. It reduces the risk of errors and discrepancies.
- Efficiency and Collaboration: Using timesheets within Business Central Project Management eliminates the need for endless email exchanges and manual data entry with your accounting team. This automation and collaboration feature saves time, reduces administrative overhead, and makes life easier for everyone involved in project management.
- Billing and Invoicing: Accurate timesheet data is essential for billing clients or customers. With Business Central, you have a reliable record of the time spent on each project, making it easier to generate invoices and ensure that you are compensated correctly for your services.
In summary, timesheets within Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management are a valuable tool for efficient project planning, resource management, progress tracking, data integration, approval workflows, and overall project management. They provide a structured and systematic way to manage time-related aspects of your projects, resulting in better organization, increased accuracy, and improved collaboration within your project teams and with accounting departments. This level of control and automation is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their project management processes.
Reason #3 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the budget
Dynamics 365 Business Central allows you to really manage your projects because it offers you, aside from the timesheets and jobs, a way to follow the usage of allocated resources for a job or a project.
Budget management is a critical aspect of project management. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management provides robust tools for managing project budgets, which is essential for maintaining control over project costs and ensuring the financial success of your projects. Here's why effective budget management is important:
- Resource Allocation: Dynamics 365 Business Central allows you to allocate resources to specific jobs or projects. This means you can assign personnel, equipment, materials, and other resources to each project, ensuring that you have the necessary resources in place to complete the work.
- Budget Allocation: With Business Central, you can allocate a budget for each job or project. This budget can be as detailed or as summary-level as needed, depending on the complexity of the project. For instance, you can allocate a budget for labor costs, materials, subcontractors, and other expenses associated with a construction project.
- Progress Tracking: As the project progresses, you can monitor the usage of allocated resources and compare it against the budget. This allows you to track expenses in real-time and identify any discrepancies between the estimated and actual costs.
- Cost Control: Effective budget management helps you control project costs and avoid cost overruns. If you notice that a particular job is exceeding its budget, you can take corrective actions such as reallocating resources, renegotiating contracts, or adjusting project plans to stay within budgetary constraints.
- Financial Visibility: Business Central's budget management features provide financial visibility into each project. This visibility is crucial for project managers, as well as accountants, as it allows them to monitor the financial health of projects, assess profitability, and make informed decisions.
- Reduced Administrative Burden: Automating budget management within Business Central reduces the administrative burden on your accounting team. They don't need to manually track and reconcile budgets; the system does it for them. This streamlines financial processes and frees up time for more strategic tasks.
- Improved Accountability: By having a clear budget in place, team members and project stakeholders have a shared understanding of financial expectations. This promotes accountability and encourages responsible resource usage throughout the project.
- Enhanced Decision-Making: When you have real-time budget data at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about resource allocation, project priorities, and potential cost-saving measures. This level of insight improves decision-making at every stage of the project.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management's budget management capabilities are vital for maintaining control over project finances, preventing cost overruns, and ensuring the financial success of your projects. With accurate budget allocation, progress tracking, and cost control, you can improve project profitability, reduce financial risks, and provide your accounting team with the tools they need to manage project finances effectively. This level of financial management is essential for businesses seeking to maximize the return on their project investments.
Reason #4 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the resource usage
The same way you can allocate a budget to each job, it is possible with Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management to allocate one or many resources for the completion of the project.
Resource management is a critical aspect of project management. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management provides tools for effectively managing and tracking the utilization of resources, whether they are personnel, equipment, or materials. Here's why resource usage management is important:
- Resource Allocation: Business Central allows you to allocate one or multiple resources to a specific job or project. This means you can assign the right people with the right skills, equipment, and materials to each project, ensuring that you have the necessary resources for successful project completion.
- Usage Tracking: As resources are used in project tasks, you can record their usage within the job journal. This records the actual consumption of resources, including hours worked, equipment used, and materials expended. This data helps in tracking costs and ensuring that resources are used efficiently.
- Cost Analysis: Tracking resource usage allows you to analyze costs associated with each resource. You can monitor labor costs, equipment expenses, and material costs in real-time, making it easier to manage the project budget and identify areas where cost optimization is possible.
- Price Adjustments: Business Central Project Management provides the flexibility to adjust resource prices as needed during the project. This is valuable when you need to account for changes in pricing, negotiate new rates with suppliers, or accommodate unexpected cost fluctuations.
- Efficiency and Accuracy: Automating resource usage recording and price adjustments within the system eliminates manual data entry and reduces the risk of errors. This streamlines the process and ensures that your project cost data is accurate and up-to-date.
- Inventory Management: In addition to resource usage, Business Central allows you to buy inventory or invoice it for each job. This feature ensures that you have the necessary materials and inventory items on hand to complete the project and accurately track inventory costs.
- Billing and Invoicing: Accurate resource usage data is crucial for billing clients or customers. By recording resource usage within the system, you can generate invoices based on actual work completed and resource consumption, ensuring that you are billing correctly for your services.
- Project Profitability: Resource usage data helps you assess the profitability of each project. By comparing resource costs to project revenues, you can determine whether a project is meeting its financial objectives or if adjustments are needed.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management's resource usage capabilities are essential for efficient project execution. They allow for effective allocation of resources, real-time tracking of resource consumption, cost analysis, price adjustments, and inventory management. This level of resource management improves project efficiency, cost control, and the accuracy of billing and invoicing. It also provides valuable insights for optimizing resource utilization and enhancing project profitability. Effective resource management is a key factor in successful project delivery and financial performance.
Reason #5 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: job progression monitoring
It can be difficult to follow each project and avoid confusion of your budgets or financial states. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management offers you the possibility to publish the materials and resources used for each ongoing job, even if it’s not completed or you haven’t invoiced it to your client.
Job progression monitoring is a critical aspect of project management. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management offers a feature that allows you to closely monitor the progress of ongoing jobs or tasks, even before they are completed or invoiced. Here's why accurate job progression monitoring is important:
- Visibility into Ongoing Work: Business Central Project Management provides the capability to publish the materials and resources used for each ongoing job or task, regardless of whether it's completed or invoiced. This means you can track the progress of work as it happens, providing real-time visibility into project status.
- Financial Estimations: By publishing materials and resources used for ongoing jobs, you can estimate the financial value of each task as work progresses. This estimation is invaluable for understanding the financial impact of ongoing work on your projects and the overall financial health of your organization.
- Budget and Financial Control: Accurate job progression monitoring ensures that you have control over your project budgets and financial states. You can identify any discrepancies between planned budgets and actual expenses early on, allowing you to take corrective actions to stay within budgetary constraints.
- Informed Decision-Making: With up-to-date financial estimations for each task, project managers and decision-makers have the information they need to make informed decisions about resource allocation, project priorities, and potential cost-saving measures.
- Improved Financial Reporting: Publishing ongoing job details facilitates more accurate financial reporting. You can generate financial statements that reflect the current state of each project, providing stakeholders with timely and reliable financial information.
- Client Communication: When you can estimate the financial value of ongoing work, you can also provide clients with more transparency about project costs and progress. This enhances client communication and builds trust.
- Enhanced Resource Planning: Accurate job progression monitoring enables better resource planning. If a project is running behind schedule or over budget, you can adjust resource allocation and scheduling to address the issue promptly.
- Overall Project Efficiency: Timely monitoring and estimation of job progression contribute to overall project efficiency. You can identify bottlenecks, allocate resources more effectively, and make necessary adjustments to ensure project success.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management's job progression monitoring capabilities are crucial for keeping projects on track and maintaining financial control. This feature provides real-time visibility into ongoing work, helps estimate the financial impact of tasks, ensures budget adherence, supports informed decision-making, enhances client communication, and contributes to overall project efficiency. Accurate job progression monitoring is essential for organizations seeking to deliver projects on time, within budget, and with the highest level of financial transparency and control.
Reason #6 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the WIP method
Obviously, to follow the progression of your jobs that closely, you will need a very important function for Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: the WIP method (Work in Progress). In fact, the WIP method is a calculation that allows you to estimate the financial value of your projects without necessarily having to wait to invoice or complete the projects.
The Work in Progress (WIP) method is a crucial financial calculation within Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management. It enables you to estimate the financial value of your projects without having to wait for project completion or invoicing. Here's why the WIP method is important:
- Timely Financial Insight: The WIP method provides timely financial insights into the progress of your projects. It allows you to understand the financial value of work that is in progress, even if it hasn't been completed or invoiced yet. This real-time data is invaluable for project managers and financial teams.
- Revenue Recognition: Properly using the WIP method is crucial for revenue recognition. It enables you to recognize revenue as work is completed, rather than waiting until the project is entirely finished. This aligns revenue recognition with the actual progress of the project, improving financial accuracy.
- Budget Tracking: WIP calculations help you track project budgets more effectively. You can compare the estimated financial value of work in progress to the planned budget, identifying discrepancies early and taking corrective actions to ensure that projects stay within budgetary constraints.
- Resource Allocation: By knowing the financial value of work in progress, you can make more informed decisions about resource allocation and project priorities. This ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that critical projects receive the necessary attention.
- Cash Flow Management: The WIP method assists in managing cash flow by providing insights into when revenue can be expected based on project progress. This information is valuable for ensuring that your organization has sufficient working capital to support ongoing operations.
- Project Profitability: Accurate WIP calculations help you assess project profitability as work progresses. You can identify whether a project is on track to meet its financial goals or if adjustments are needed to improve profitability.
- Billing and Invoicing: The WIP method aids in billing and invoicing processes. It allows you to invoice clients based on the percentage of work completed rather than waiting until the project is finished. This can lead to faster payment cycles and improved cash flow.
- Financial Reporting: WIP calculations contribute to accurate financial reporting. You can generate financial statements that reflect the financial value of work in progress, providing stakeholders with a clear view of project financials.
- Multiple Calculation Methods: Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management offers flexibility in WIP calculations. You can calculate WIP based on cost value, cost of sales, sales value, percentage of completion, recognized costs, and completed contract. This flexibility ensures that you can choose the method that best aligns with your business practices.
- Control Over Reporting: It's important to note that WIP calculations are not automatically reported in the General Ledger. This gives you control over when and how you report WIP data, ensuring that it aligns with your financial reporting requirements.
In summary, the Work in Progress (WIP) method within Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management is a powerful financial tool that provides real-time insight into project progress and financial value. It supports timely revenue recognition, budget tracking, resource allocation, cash flow management, project profitability assessment, billing efficiency, and accurate financial reporting. Utilizing the WIP method enhances financial transparency, improves decision-making, and ensures that project financials are aligned with the actual progress of work. This is essential for organizations seeking to optimize their project management and financial processes.
Reason #7 to adopt Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management: invoice jobs
Finally, the invoice is often the moment that concludes a project. To better support you in this last step, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management has decided to offer you a flexible and optimized function.
Invoicing is a critical step that often concludes a project. Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management provides a flexible and optimized function for invoicing jobs. Here's why efficient job invoicing is important:
- Project Conclusion: In many cases, the invoice represents the final step of a project. It's the moment when you officially bill the client or customer for the work and resources expended. A smooth and efficient invoicing process is essential for ensuring that you are paid accurately and on time.
- Cost Recording: Business Central Project Management allows you to record costs associated with resource usage, materials, and purchases related to jobs in the journal. This ensures that all project-related expenses are accurately accounted for, providing transparency in your financial records.
- Flexible Invoicing Options: With the flexible invoicing function, you have multiple options for billing clients. You can choose to invoice the entire project from the job lines or send an invoice that includes specific billable lines chosen from the planning lines. This flexibility allows you to tailor your invoices to the client's requirements and billing preferences.
- Periodic Invoicing: Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management supports periodic invoicing based on your invoice projections. This means you can invoice clients at predefined intervals, such as monthly or quarterly, to ensure a steady stream of revenue throughout the project's duration.
- Global Invoicing: Alternatively, you can opt to send a global invoice at the end of the project. This approach consolidates all billable items and expenses into a single invoice, providing a comprehensive overview of the project's financials.
- Accuracy and Transparency: Efficient invoicing ensures accuracy in billing, reducing the risk of errors that can lead to disputes with clients. It also enhances transparency by providing clients with clear and detailed invoices that itemize the services, resources, and materials provided.
- Faster Payment Cycles: Streamlined invoicing processes often lead to faster payment cycles. Clients appreciate prompt and accurate billing, which can positively impact cash flow for your business.
- Compliance and Auditing: Properly recorded invoices and cost details contribute to compliance with financial regulations. They also make auditing processes smoother, should they be necessary.
- Client Satisfaction: Timely and accurate invoicing contributes to client satisfaction. It demonstrates professionalism and reliability, which can lead to repeat business and positive referrals.
In summary, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management's efficient job invoicing capabilities are crucial for concluding projects successfully. They provide flexibility in invoicing options, accurate cost recording, transparency, and the ability to tailor invoices to client preferences. This results in faster payment cycles, compliance with financial regulations, client satisfaction, and overall financial control. Efficient invoicing is essential for businesses seeking to maximize revenue and maintain positive client relationships.
As you can see, Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management offers you great flexibility to better suit your needs.
As you can see, project management doesn’t have to be chaos or a source of unexpected stress like it was on my desk. It is possible, whether it’s with Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management or Dynamics NAV Project Management, to use technology to optimize your process, make sure to have the right data at any time, and follow your budget. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts to better understand how Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management can help you deliver better projects.
Feel free to contact one of our experts to better understand how Dynamics 365 Business Central Project Management can help you deliver better projects.