Freshly arrived in the ERP world, Microsoft Business central has made an appearance these last few days and it goes without saying that we have to talk about it. But what’s hiding behind Microsoft Business Central? What can it do concretely for your company? What are its functions?
They are, still today, questions that sparks conversation for many entrepreneurs looking for an ERP. This is why we have decided to detail the functions of Microsoft Business Central for you.
What is Microsoft Business Central?
In the last few years, Microsoft has made numerous efforts to consolidate all the ERP and CRM program packages under the same banner: Dynamics 365. Dynamics NAV has appeared under the name of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finances, and Operations Business Edition has quickly received a complete revision of its offerings.
In fact, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Center keeps the performance and most of the Dynamics NAV technologies, this new edition also brings some changes. Microsoft’s ERP for SMBs is now on the cloud.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be released in April 2018 to better serve the needs of companies that are looking for a high-performance ERP of mid-level. Business Central is a unique and complete solution that includes functions to manage :
- Customer Service
And, this is without mentioning the possibility of updating your accounting module.
Then, Microsoft Business Central offers a unique system that unifies your enterprise, improves its efficiency, and automates tasks and procedures while giving you privileged access to all your data within the same interface. And the best of all of this? Microsoft has integrated your favorite Office 365 tools like Outlook, Word, and Excel.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, it’s the power of Dynamics NAV on the cloud
With Azure and its numerous certifications, Microsoft benefits from this trusthworthy platform as a host for Dynamics NAV. That way, Microsoft Business Central has everything it needs to become the essential ERP of SMBs with all its functions, but especially with its powerful, secure and innovative cloud.
Besides, Azure is well-renowned for being one of the most secure platforms on the market with its unique functions of integrity and continuing security monitoring, plus its ability to comply with many specifics and international norms like ISO 27001, FedRAMP or SOC 1 and SOC 2.
Microsoft Business Central distinguishes itself from the competition with a secure cloud and numerous functions and options like Power Apps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI.
And in terms of price, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be avalaible in two editions plus a license for teams:
- Essential is the first edition available and is the equivalent of Starter Pack with all the basic functions: finance management, advanced and simple inventory, distribution, workflow, contact management and much more for $85 CAD.
- Premium is the second edition available, and it includes both Starter Pack and the more advanced functions Extended Pack like manufacturing and service management for $122 CAD.
- Team license is the equivalent of the limited user license from other Microsoft Dynamics 365 products with an access that allows reading information, approval, and reports, plus self-service for $10 CAD.
Microsoft Business Central functions
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Accounting & Finances
That way, by being an ERP, Dynamics Business Central includes, obviously, functions to help you with the management of your finances. After all, it’s there that all the decisions are made, that all the elements of your company converge, and where you probably need the most help.
That way, the Microsoft Business Central module counts three parts that align more general functions, specialised tools for the management of your fixed assets and obviously, you will find help for your cash management.
In a general way, Microsoft Business Central offers all the needed tools to help you with your accounting, and to allow you to establish your company financially. Whether it’s to send information to the general ledger or the chart of accounts, Microsoft Central has a function for you.
Finally, when it’s a question of money, Microsoft Business Central has a large range of functions that might surprise you: management and supervision of multiple bank accounts, payments, check writing, and even accounts or bank account reconciliation.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Supply Chain Management
There is no doubt, the supply chain management is an essential many companies. Whether you offer a product or a service, you know how important it is to always have your hands on the needed resources to produce your orders or offer services to your clients. That way, to improve your performance and the efficiency of your processes, Microsoft Business Central offers an essential module and powerful functions to help you manage your supply chain.
This way, Microsoft Business Central details its offers in many tools that can help you with the sale and the management of your inventory or even the payment of your accounts.
For sales and receivables, the Microsoft Business Central SCM will give you all the functions you need to better manage your invoices, discounts, sale line pricing, orders, order return, multiple transportation agents, and even multiple clients’ addresses. Besides, Microsoft Business Central has included a module for your purchases that will allow you to have true control over your supply chain, from A to Z.
For its part, the inventory module includes a wide range of tools to keep control of your units that you have in stock, the different suppliers you have, and anything that surrounds the management of your items (budget, value, substitution, category, attributes, etc).
Finally, your supply management system wouldn’t be complete without the module for warehouse management. You can manage your orders by items or bins and even automate your data entry in your warehouse to improve your productivity.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Manufacturing
Obviously, the manufacturing module is not for the service-oriented business but if you are a manufacturing business, Microsoft Business Central can definitely help you.
That way, when it’s a question of basic manufacturing, Dynamics Business Central can help you create invoices for materials and calculate the standard cost of your activity. Besides, this module will enable you to create and generate production orders to improve your productivity and have better control of your company.
And since it’s a productivity subject, we have to underscore the fact that Microsoft Business Central also includes a module and functions dedicated only to agile manufacturing. By working jointly with the supply planning and capacity functions, this module can lighten your processes and automate some parts of your production.
Then, the supply planning makes sure that you have all you need to produce your orders with a demand forecasting module and the needed resource planning. You will even find a function to help you plan the sales and the inventory, so you never miss a deadline.
And the manufacturing functions of Microsoft Business Central don’t stop there since we can also find a capacity planning tool that helps you increase your manufacturing power or even add some machine centers to better manage the machines’ capacity to produce with the same resources.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Service & Project Management
As the projects are filling your days, it could be very difficult to improve your productivity without benefiting from ERP functions in your project management. Microsoft Business Central has adopted this module and its functions to offer you a global view of your ongoing projects, but also the needs and resources that will be required for their realisation.
Since it can be difficult to maintain a complete view of numerous projects and their evolution, it’s necessary to have by your side a tool that can insure that everything is under control: inventory management, order production, and even delivery.
This way, the project management module includes a tool that helps plan your resources (teams and stocks) and gives a complete overview of their uses. So you will have a better idea of the progression of your projects and a better control on the cost and production delays. Besides, you will find tools for time sheets and the different tasks to accomplish in order to optimise your production power.
To help you with client relationships, and also with your sales, Microsoft Business Central offers a service module that includes a wide range of tools to ease your life. Unlike CRM, this module doesn’t focus just on crisis management or problem solving, but works more on precise elements that will enable you to deliver impeccable service.
You can find a tool that offers an overview of the tasks to accomplish, work, or even the employee’s skills in order to use them properly. Microsoft Business Central also provides tools to support you in your marketing efforts to improve sales volume or even target your clients at the right moment to close a sale.
What to expect from Microsoft Business Central in the future?
We could believe, wrongfully, that Business Central is only Dynamics NAV with a new name, but the Microsoft ERP is arriving with a lot of new features and we can expect many more new functions in the near future.
For example, Microsoft Business Central is working on adding new functions regarding the document movements in the ERP: whether it’s by placing or picking up an item, your employees could have access to documentation offering instructions for better warehouse management.
And recently, they’ve added a function for the average cost method to better evaluate your inventory when the item prices are unstable or that your inventory cannot be differentiated.
Finally, we can expect seeing shorter addresses in the next few months, and you’ll be able to forget the long address of your company to make space for a simpler formula.
And if you have specific needs or special expectations for your ERP?
If you still have doubts about the capacity of your ERP to suit your enterprise, it’s important to know that software of this scale is customizable. Yes, in fact it’s possible to adapt it and even create an ERP software tailor-made with Microsoft and its ISV. What’s an ISV?
It’s an independant software vendor that works to create extensions and add on to your Microsoft Dynamics NAV (or in this case Microsoft Business Solution) so the solution can reflect the reality of its clients. You have manufacturing problems that are unique to your expertise? You would like help with your contracts? It’s possible with more than 180 applications available and an entire industry dedicated to develop new ones everyday.
For example, at Gestisoft, in the last few years we have seen increased interest in a module that would help get better contract management. While Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a wide range of functions, not one supports the clients throught their contract management. So we have decided to develop a module for this. This is the way ProContact 365 and ProAlert365 were been created.
This way, the solutions already created by ISV give the possibility to refine your software and find complex functions for your Microsoft Business Central solution without investing the capital to develop a tailor-made application. This is the best of both worlds!
Finally, Microsoft Business Central has all the needed functions to serve SMB needs for increased productivity. From finance to supply, the ERP can help you automate and optimize an impressive number of processes to free more time for you to focus on what matters the most. And the most interesting thing about all this? Microsoft Business Central is hosted on the cloud with all the benefits that brings!