More grip on value chains with Dynamics 365
With an increasing focus on fast (home) delivery, supply chain integration and flexible deliveries, good chain management is indispensable for organizations in industry today. And even as the effects of COVID are still visible, supply-chain planning needs maximum attention, with strict supplier management. After all, good supply chain management not only gives you flexibility and a quick response time to changing customer demands, but you also deliver at lower costs thanks to smart inventory management. And you can be more alert to developments in the market because you can quickly share the right information, such as current delivery times or delivery progress with customers and partners. In short, good supply chain management is crucial. No wonder it is often at the top of the executive agenda. How do you make sure this is optimized within your organization? What would be needed for that? Conclusion MBS consultants Wesley Hofman and Peter Meulman explain.
June 21st, 2022 | Publication | By: Conclusion MBS
The first step: an integrated IT platform
It starts with having the basics: an up-to-date, integrated IT platform that makes the entire chain visible, down to the individual links, and is fed with real-time data. "A platform that properly supports inventory management, purchasing and production planning, order processing and forecasting is indispensable," Wesley explains.
"It is also important that this platform is able to differentiate by industry," Peter adds. "Look at inventory management, for example. It is implemented differently for each industry. What can you buy smart? What can be stocked for longer? What do we produce ourselves? This will vary by sector. In the fashion industry, for example, you have to deal with collections that change every season. So you need to smartly distribute your inventory between stores or a web shop. This is very different from the food industry where product shelf life plays an important role. Therefore, it is important for companies to have a platform that provides the right support for these specific sector challenges."
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain
An example of an integrated IT platform is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain. This is a full-fledged ERP cloud solution, fully equipped to manage your supply chain. This solution has all the components that good supply chain management requires: purchasing, sales, manufacturing, inventory and warehouse management, integration with asset management and integration with machines.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain offers your business the following benefits:
- Thanks to integrated machine learning and algorithms, you will be able to predict customer demand much better and reduce inventory to what is actually needed.
- Dynamics 365 generates real-time orders, making purchasing, producing or moving inventory easier.
- Dynamics 365 provides capabilities to link the warehouse to carriers. This greatly enhances your track-and-trace function and you always have visibility into where a product is.
"In short, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management gives you oversight of and control over your value chains," concludes Wesley.
It's not just about importing data, exporting it to your customers or a web shop is also possible, for example.
Links to external systems
But the IT platform alone won't get you there. The platform needs information from various sources to work optimally. Consider, for example, prices, inventories and current delivery times from suppliers. "Dynamics 365 therefore has several integration options for importing external data," Wesley says. "That puts you in a better position to select the best supplier for your products."
"But it's not just about importing data. It is also possible to export them, for example to your customers or a web shop," Peter adds. "Linking customers, order flows and products to an online store is necessary to support the omnichannel approach of increasing your sales through multiple channels."
Switching to Dynamics? Here's how to increase your chances of success
Switching to another ERP system is not easy. Things can go wrong during implementation. "Often things go wrong at the start of the process," Peter says. "At the start, it's important to get various things straight. For example, establishing a clear scope of business processes, the functionality needed and the defining principles to be pursued. If this is not done properly and thoroughly, you run the risk of the implementation getting bogged down at later stages in lengthy discussions and 'custom sticking plasters'. You want to avoid that, of course."
How to avoid this? "By not doing it on your own," Peter argues. "We are happy to help you at all stages of implementation with our successful MBS project approach. Our approach has agile principles at its core. This means working in short sprints to keep a sharp focus on what needs to be done in each sprint. But to those agile principles, we always add our own accumulated knowledge and experience."
For each step within the implementation process, we have developed a blueprint that has proven itself previously.
Wesley adds: "Specifically, we work with templates. For each step within the implementation process, we have developed a blueprint that has proven itself previously. Think of it as a toolbox we carry with us every time. This allows us to focus our attention directly on your specific challenges as a client. By then adapting the template accordingly, together we arrive at a suitable solution faster. After all, we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Thanks to the templates, you, as client, therefore benefit optimally during implementation from all the knowledge and experience that we as MBS consultants have gained over the years."
We are happy to help you with your challenges
Conclusion MBS is part of Conclusion's technology house, in which over 25 expert companies in the IT market have united in a unique ecosystem. "Should the need arise for your challenge, we have low-threshold access to knowledge and skills from a wide range of IT expertise within the ecosystem," Peter says. "In addition, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we are always working in close cooperation and connection with Microsoft. If unexpected challenges nevertheless arise, then the lines of communication are short."