You run a small manufacturing business. You know how tough it is to compete in today’s aggressive market—especially when your business is growing so fast that it’s hard to even keep up with the workflow in your own warehouse! You need a solution that will simplify every step of your operations, from creating a customer quote to assembling an order right down to shipping it from your warehouse. Fortunately, there’s a solution to your business problems.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an enterprise resource planning software (ERP) designed to connect data from several departments in your company and store it in a single database. Your staff will have access to all the information they need about quotes, production orders, and routing. As the business owner, you’ll get a 360-degree view of your operations and will know exactly what’s happening with each product you create. To learn more about buying an ERP system, read our blog.

Want to know more about how Business Central can help you streamline your company’s functions? Contact our Business Central consultants for a free demo.

We know what you’re thinking—I run a small warehouse; I don’t need fancy software to get my work done. But the truth is that no business is too small for a solution that will help it be more efficient. If you want to succeed in today’s competitive market, you have to be faster and sharper than the guy down the street.

Did you know? A recent study by SelectHub showed that 47% of manufacturers prefer cloud-based applications to simplify their operations. Source: SelectHub

Whether you run a 10-person warehouse or a larger operation with up to 50 employees, Business Central can help you streamline your workflow and allow you to get more work done. Here are some of the ways this solution will make your company more efficient.

1. Control Your Inventory

Consider this scenario. Your company manufactures office furniture. You’ve got a big order coming up for a new series of corporate offices, when suddenly you realize there are three desks missing from the production order. It seems that the person who did the last inventory check forgot to adjust the numbers. You have to ship this order tomorrow, and you don’t have time to do a quick turnaround. What do you do?

The best way to deal with this problem is to prevent it in the first place. Business Central has built-in intelligence that will help you predict when your stock is running low and which items you need to replenish. It will even suggest substitutes if the components you need are out of stock. By having a real-time view of your inventory, you’ll be in a better position to plan for future orders. And you’ll make sure there are no slip-ups that could cost you a lot of money and affect your company’s reputation.

2. Streamline Your Operations

Having all your production data in one place means everyone in your company—such as accountants, production managers, and sales people—can view it in real time. And they can take appropriate action that could save you a lot of money. For example, your production managers can monitor progress on the production floor and let the purchasing and finance departments know if they need more raw materials. Sales forecasts prepared by your sales team can be generated into production plans and used later to create orders. When you centralize data this way, you give every department a bird’s-eye view of the design, production status, quality control and inventory of your operations. The result? All procedures are coordinated to make the entire manufacturing process a lot smoother.

3. Synchronize Your Data

One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is trying to predict market demand and analyze the reams of data they have about their customers. Business Central collects important data about your supply chain, production, inventory, customer behavior, and in-market product performance. This makes it easier for your employees to meet your customers’ needs.
A recent study by McKinsey has shown that standardizing data and analyzing it has led to the following benefits for the manufacturing industry:

  • 30–50% reduction in machine downtime
  • 20–50% reduction in inventory costs
  • 10–40% reduction in maintenance costs

Having more information about customer behavior and product usage allows companies to deliver better products and services. When you can close the gaps between back-end departments, you can improve your existing business processes and develop new ones that are more efficient and effective.

4. Stay Connected with Your Mobile Devices

Let’s face it: You often come up with the best solutions to business problems while you’re out of the office. Because Business Central is based in the cloud, you can work from anywhere at any time using your mobile, tablet, or laptop. This means you can work on customer quotes while you’re on the way to a client’s office, check your inventory while you’re having lunch at your favorite restaurant, or even follow the progress of a big production order while you’re sitting on the subway—all with just a few clicks.

Did you know? A recent report by the Gist Blog shows that 32% of employees around the world rely on more than one mobile device during their typical workday. Source: Gist Blog

5. Improve Your Cash Flow

The way your company processes its invoices can really affect your cash flow. If you rely on manual processes, you’re leaving yourself open to human error. And you’re lengthening the order-to-cash cycle, the time it takes from processing the order to finally getting paid by your client.

Business Central lets you automate your cash flow procedures so you can reduce the time spent on account receivables. You’ll need fewer people to process invoices, which means these workers can focus their attention on more important tasks. In the end, your company will be more productive and efficient.

Here are the top six benefits manufacturers have cited from using an ERP system like Business Central, based on data collected by Aberdeen Group:

  • 65% improvement in inventory turnaround
  • 19% reduction in operational costs
  • 17% reduction in administrative costs
  • 17% improvement in complete and on-time shipments
  • 20% reduction in inventory
  • 20% improvement in internal schedule compliance


Written by Janice Lavallee Marketing Content Writer @ SherWeb

Janice is a Content Marketing Writer for Dynamics 365 & IaaS. She has worked in Sales and Marketing for more than 15 years, creating messaging that will help resellers better understand the products they sell. When she’s not writing or editing, Janice can be found perfecting her serve and ground strokes on a tennis court. She’s an avid volunteer for the Rogers’ Cup tournament in Montreal.