Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP Grand Rapids, MI

Dynamics 365
Business Central

Why Companies Choose Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP

  • Business Central connects the entire organization from sales to operations to Accounting.
  • A proven system with over 3 decades of successful implementations in the small and mid-market segments.
  • A cloud-based platform which provides open data and a high level of flexibility.
  • A very high level of functionality at a very affordable price. Contains 800 features not available in QuickBooks.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products such as Power BI, Power Automate, Office and Teams.

Why Companies Choose ThesisTech as their Implementation Partner

  • Deep industry knowledge in Manufacturing, Distribution, Professional Services, Retail, and Job-Centric Businesses.
  • Our experience with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform along with our custom software roots insure an ERP solution that fits your unique business.
  • Our Dynamics 365 Consultants have years of hands-on business experience in finance and operations which allows us to develop solutions that work in the real world.
  • We are obsessed with reducing the operational risks involved with typical ERP implementations.
  • We have developed custom ERP systems in the past which gives us a deep and detailed perspective of ERP functionality.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Brings it all Together

Dynamics 365 Business Central brings your sales, services, finance, and operations teams together within a single cloud business management solution. Go beyond the promise of automation and process improvements to transform your business with the ability to adapt faster, perform better, and work smarter.

The "Essentials" version of Business Central addresses all functions except manufacturing and service management, including inventory and warehouse management. The "Premium" version of Business Central brings together all functional areas including:

Sales and CRM

Business Central includes a CRM where customers, contacts, opportunities, and interactions can be tracked. Sales Quotes can be easily created in the system and converted to Sales Orders after the sale has been confirmed. If additional sales automation is required, Business Central can be integrated seamlessly with Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise for the significantly reduced "attach license" rate.

Jobs and Project Management

The Jobs functionality in Business Central is very comprehensive. Job quotes can be quickly created by using tasks and lines from past jobs as a template. You determine which lines are billable and which are cost only. Business central handles Fixed Bids or Time & Material jobs. Deferred revenue is accounted for as required. Costs can be billed to jobs using timesheets, purchase orders, direct charges, or inventory charges. Job profitability can be monitored in real time using system reports or Power BI.

Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

Business Central supports full Purchase Order functionality including approval workflows, OCR recognition of vendor invoices, and Blanket POs. Supply planning, demand forecasting, and inventory forecasting can be automated with Business Central's planning functions where POs are created automatically based on requirements.

Inventory and Warehouse Management

When setting up inventory items in Business Central, they can be categorized in many different ways to support business functions. Items can also be tracked with serial, lot, and package numbers. Pictures can be assigned to items in the system for easy identification. Business Central supports all warehouse management tasks including bin setup, inventory picks and put-aways, warehouse receipts, warehouse shipments, and drop shipments. Inventory can be costed using FIFO, LIFO, average, standard cost, or specific cost if serial number tracking is enabled.

Human Resources and Payroll

The human resources module in Business Central allows you to record employee details and key attributes about their employment contracts, confidential information, qualifications and employee contacts. You can also register employee absences. Business Central will interface with your 3rd party Payroll company. Integrated Payroll applications can be found on the Microsoft AppSource.

Accounting and Financial Management

Most accountants we speak with are looking for 3 benefits when implementing a new Accounting system: More efficiency, less errors, and better access to information. Business Central delivers on all 3 of these objectives. The "Accountant Role Center" in Business Central is a customized page specifically designed for accountants. This page gives constant feedback via metrics widgets as well as quick access to important areas of the system. The global search function in Business Central also allows for very quick navigation throughout all aspects of the system. In Business Central, all functional areas are linked directly into the accounting general ledger, creating a highly automated approach to financial management. Most journal entries in the system are auto-generated which requires less time on administrative functions and allows more time on value-added activities. System reports are comprehensive and customizable, providing much more reporting power than simpler accounting systems. As a business grows, management must have quick access to more indepth reports such as Sales Performance (mix and margin) and Cashflow reporting. Business Central has many other advantages for accountants including: Budgets, Fixed Assets, Audit Trails, Multi-Location, Multi-Country Multi-Currency, Inter-Company automation, Automated Workflows, Automated Bank Reconciliations, Reporting Dimensions, and more.

Advanced Reporting

The standard reports in Business Central can be customized to meet your specific needs. Beyond these standard reports, other reporting approaches are available as well. Because the data in Business Central is open and accessible, Power BI can be used to build cross-functional dashboards and reports from any data contained in the system. This is often helpful in the areas of executive dashboards, project management, and manufacturing planning. Another approach to reporting is to use Excel. Business Central data can be linked to reports in Excel that are custom built for your specific needs. The Thesis Technologies team includes several advanced Excel Consultants that can create highly efficient and impactful reports in Excel without requiring expensive add ins.

Manufacturing - BOMs, Routings and Work Centers (Premium version)

Business Central has very comprehensive manufacturing capabilities including Bills of Material, Routings and Work Centers. The BOMs are multi-level and support manual, backwards or forward flushing methods. Routings can be serial or parallel and support multiple routing versions. Work Centers have a 3 level heirarchy including Group, Work Center, and Machine. Capacity loading and planning can be tracked at each level. Business Central manufacturing supports Make-To-Order, Make-To-Stock, and Engineer-To-Order scenarios. The manufacturing module works hand in hand with the jobs module to support a combined approach where manufactured components are produced and then consumed by a project or job.

Manufacturing - Forecasting and Planning (Premium version)

For many years, the Business Central system and its previous on-premise versions have been known for its exceptional production planning capabilities. The "Planning Worksheet" brings all planning proposals and calculations together into a single view. Business Central supports both Master Production Scheduling (MPS) and Materials Requirements Planning (MRP). The MRP run creates replenishment orders based on the selected replenishment policy. These policies include: Fixed Reorder, Direct Reorder, and Lot-for-Lot which accumulates demand based on a specific timeframe. Production Orders are the core element in manufacturing replenishment. Production Orders come in 4 types: Simulated, Planned, Firm Planned, Released, and Finished with each type behaving differently in the system. Many replenishment parameters can be used to influence system behavior including: Make or Buy, Safety Lead Time, Safety Stock, and Dampener Period to control the quantity of action messages produced. Forecasting in the system can be driven by a sales forecast by period in combination with the Sales Orders found in the system. A visual production scheduler is available where a planner can reschedule production orders using a drag and drop user interface.

Service Management (Premium version)

The service management functions in Business Central can be used to accomplish the following: Schedule service calls and setup service orders, Track repair parts and supplies, Assign service personnel based on skill and availability, and Provide service estimates and service invoices. In addition you can standardize coding, setup contracts, implement a discounting policy, and create route maps for service employees.

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Dynamics 365 Business Central Services provided by Thesis Technologies

ERP IMPLEMENTATION

The ERP Team at ThesisTech partners with you from project planning to final implementation and training. We work hard to understand your unique business needs and bring the right solutions.

REPORTS AND DASHBOARDS

New insights into your business is one of the most important benefits of Business Central implementation. We help you design and build the right reports and dashboards to realize this benefit.

DATA MIGRATION

Business Central has many tools to assist in the migration of data from your current systems. We also have Excel experts on staff to assist when your data needs a more advanced conversion effort.

REQUIREMENTS ASSESSMENT

One of the first steps in Business Central implementation is to capture and understand your business requirements and goals. We measure our success based on achievement of these goals.

RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES

Due to the wide reaching impact of an ERP implementation, there are certain risks that must be understood and addressed. We use 10 key strategies to mitigate these risks which are explained later on this page.

SYSTEM INTEGRATIONS

Automation of business processes is one of the most powerful benefits of Business Central implementation. We help you connect the system to other in-house systems if required.

BUSINESS PROCESSES

Successful ERP implementation starts with a clear understanding of current and future business processes. We help you work through each of your key processes to make sure all of your business needs are addressed.

ACCOUNTING VERIFICATION

Because all functional areas have an impact on the Accounting system, we pay very close attention to the financial results of each transaction as we implement and test Business Central.

PRODUCT COSTING

Business Central has several methods of product costing. We work with you to evaluate the pros and cons of each approach and choose the right costing method for your business.

SALES FORECASTING

One of the ultimate goals of an ERP system is to correctly capture sales demand and translate this into requirements and capacity related data that can be acted on. We help you design and build this process.

PRODUCTION SCHEDULING

Production Scheduling can be complicated. We show you how to use the tools inside of Business Central to make this an efficient and flexible process. Schedulers can realize a 70%-90% efficiency gain in their process.

TRAINING AND SUPPORT

We fully train your Business Central users and admin team members as part of each implementation. We also provide on-going support after the original implementation project.

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Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Quickbooks

Many companies that implement Dynamics 365 Business Central are moving from QuickBooks or a similar system. Why do they do it? The short answer to this question is often that they have "outgrown" their current system and need a higher level of functionality to meet their business needs. "Outgrowing" QuickBooks can mean different things for different companies, but here is a recent blog post that goes into the most common reasons that suggest it may be time for a change: Why Companies Move from Quickbooks to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Strategies to address ERP Implementation Risks

Due to the wide reaching impact of an ERP system implementation, there are some risks that need to be addressed directly to make sure things go smoothly. The good news is, the risks can be mitigated as long as they are identified and dealt with. A recent industry survey reported that 67% of distributors and manufacturers described their ERP implementations as "successful" or "very successful". To make sure our implementations fall into the "very successful" category, here are 10 key strategies we use to mitigate project risks:

  • Clear requirements and objectives with confirmed buy-in from all company managers.
  • A Disciplined project management approach with frequent communication (documented plan, weekly meetings, constant feedback).
  • A written "Potential Risks" document with specific strategies for each risk.
  • Expanded cross-functional team involvement to insure all needs are addressed.
  • Clear documentation of who does what (ThesisTech team vs. Client personnel).
  • Development of a detailed Data Migration plan with a related test plan to verify results.
  • Run parallel systems in high risk areas until results are proven.
  • User training plan.
  • On-going support with a rapid response to any issues.
  • Seek feedback from all managers and users for 90 days after system launch.

ERP Systems offered by Microsoft

Microsoft has 3 distinct ERP system in its product line-up. In the not too distant past, they were known as Navision (NAV), Dynamics AX, and Dynamics GP. As the migration to the cloud occurred over the past several years, the names of these products have changed a couple of times. Dynamics 365 Business Central is the cloud-first version of Navision, Dynamics 365 Finance is the current version of AX (also previously known as Finance & Operations), and Dynamics GP is still known by that name. Dynamics GP remains in the market but is not a top priority for Microsoft in the future. Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance will be the primary focus going forward.

So what is the difference? Business Central, as described previously on this page, is a small to midsized company solution. Dynamics 365 Finance is for midsized to large companies with more complex and global needs. Here are some of the main differences:

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central:
    • All the features and benefits previously mentioned on this page.
    • No user minimum when subscribing to the system.
  • Dynamics 365 Finance:
    • Maximum power and flexibility (which also add complexity and implementation costs).
    • A payroll module is included.
    • More tax regions and language/country support (an advantage for global companies).
    • 20 user minimum when subscribing to the system.
    • Subscription costs per user are about twice the cost of Business Central.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Industry Case Studies

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