This post focuses on the industries and sectors that may benefit from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC) and also discusses two different types of ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.
To learn more about D365BC, including its modules, its financial reporting and budgeting capabilities, its license types and their prices and to estimate your implementation cost and savings, visit the corresponding page or contact us.
What Industries & Sectors May Benefit from D365BC?
D365BC (branded under different names, such Microsoft Dynamics NAV) has been in the market for over a third of a century and during this time, it has adjusted to meet requirements of many industries and sectors. Edocation team has successfully implemented and supported this ERP for companies in the following industries and sectors:
- agriculture (commodity & livestock);
- financial services & banking;
- food & beverage;
- hotel & hospitality;
- HR (human resources);
- IT (information technology);
- oil, gas & renewable sources of energy;
- supply chain: distribution & warehousing;
- utilities & public services; etc.
There exist two major types of ERP systems: industry-specific (1) and generic (2). In order to determine which one is right for your company, it is a good idea to learn more about them. These ERP types are discussed in the sections follow.
Industry-specific ERP Systems
Industry-specific ERP systems tend to capture all key and minute details of each given industry (e.g. contractors’ payment withholding in construction) – this is one of the biggest advantages of such systems. Sometimes this can be just a matter of naming things – for example, what is called “prepayment” in one industry, may be called “down payment” in another – thus, an industry-specific system is likely to have an advantage in using the native terminology that ERP users are likely to recognize easily.
There are, however, disadvantages that are associated with some industry-specific ERP systems. For example, such systems tend to have limited financial reporting (if any at all) – Edocation team has worked with multiple companies that use their industry-specific ERP system to manage their commodity (agriculture), but on top of that use D365BC to run financial reports.
Another disadvantage of some industry-specific ERP systems is absence of open API (application programming interface) that prevents these ERP systems from integrating with other software. Edocation team has recently worked with a construction company that completely switched from their legacy system to D365BC because their legacy system prevented them from integrating with other programs that were important to their business.
Additionally, industry-specific naming conventions, functions and requirements may be irrelevant to a slightly different (even related) sectors. For example, what if you would like to implement same ERP system across multiple companies? Or, what if your company does things slightly differently (e.g. more efficiently or in an innovative way) than some other companies. The lack of industry-specific software may hold you back more than it helps.
Finally, some industry-specific ERP systems may have inefficient user interface. Inefficient user interface can decrease productivity and result in less user satisfaction from operating the system.
Generic ERP software is flexible and adaptable. This means that D365BC can be adjusted to particular needs of a given industry, sector and even each company. This flexibility allows to bring together multiple companies under the same ERP system for consistency and cost efficiency. What if you are acquiring a new company; what if it is in a different province, state or country; what is the way they do the things are slightly different? In all those cases, it is still a “yes” and a “go” for D365BC.
Another great benefit of generic ERP systems, such as D365BC, is open API. This means that D365BC can integrate with your website, a CRM system and other software, including by Microsoft and beyond. Here are some popular things that D365BC is integrated with: Power Platform (incl., Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents), CDS (Common Data Service), other programs from Dynamics 365 suite, Outlook, Office 365 (incl. Excel) and other products.
Financial reporting in D365BC is easy and quick. Users can use one of the available reports, modify them (both content and design) or create their own financial reports (e.g. trial balance, budget to actuals, revenue and expenses by department by area by project, etc.) without any external help or development.
D365BC has a variety of functions and modules. The available functions, include: EFT, Sales Quotes, POs, Sales Shipment Documents, optical character recognition, easy and flexible security, free automatic FX rates (e.g. from the Bank of Canada website), etc.
Importantly, D365BC has user-friendly interface which can help work efficiently and effectively. Moreover, users who are familiar with other Microsoft products (e.g. Excel) may find that the interface is similar and some hot key combinations work across different applications.
Lastly, because there are a lot of users of D365BC all over the world, on top of the official documentation, D365BC has abundant learning materials, forums, blog articles and free videos to help companies learn different features in the system easily and, if they choose so, without external help.
Companies in a variety of industries and sectors use D365BC. D365BC is a generic type of ERP and has a number of advantages over industry-specific software, including flexibility, open API, robust financial and other reporting, user-friendly interface, etc.
Edocation team helps companies determine how to meet the ERP objectives fully. Our Microsoft certified specialists provide consultations, training and assist in the system setup. If you have questions about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, contact us.