This post focuses on the industries and sectors that may benefit from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC).
There exist two major types of ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems: industry-specific (1) and generic (2).
Industry-specific ERP Systems
Industry-specific ERP systems tend to capture 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 customers who 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.
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.
Unlike, industry-specific ERP systems, generic ERP systems (such as D365BC), may be unable to capture all the minutes details of each industry and sector out-of-the-box. This is explicated by the fact that different industries and sectors may have different requirements and naming conventions around the same function or master data record. However, generic ERP systems, in turn are more flexible and adaptable. This means that D365BC can be adjusted to particular needs of a given industry, sector and even each company – this includes both functions and naming conventions.
One of the greatest benefits of generic ERP systems, besides flexibility, is open API. This means that D365BC can be seamlessly integrated with Microsoft Power Platform (including Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents), CDS (Common Data Service), Dynamics 365 (including D365S – CRM), Outlook, Office 365 (including Excel) and other products, including beyond Microsoft.
Financial reporting in D365BC is easy and quick. Users can use one of the available tools to create their 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. Below is a list of the key modules (areas) in D365BC:
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.
What Industries & Sectors May Benefit from D365BC?
D365BC (branded under different names) 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 worked successfully with companies from different industries and sectors implementing and supporting D365BC. Below is a list of some of these industries and sectors:
- agriculture (commodity & livestock);
- research & development;
- financial services & banking;
- oil, gas & renewable sources of energy;
- supply chain: distribution & warehousing;
- utilities & public services; etc.
There are different ERP systems in the market – some are industry-specific; others are generic. Each of these types have their advantages and disadvantages: industry-specific software tends to focus on industry-related details, but may lack some flexibility, financial reporting depth and user-friendly interface; D365BC, in turn, is a generic ERP system and may need some setup to cover all industry-specific requirements, but has the flexibility to do so, to integrate with other software through open API, has advanced financial reporting to meet managers’ needs and is user-friendly. In order to determine which ERP solution may be optimal for a particular company in a given industry, it may be a good idea to consider multiple ERP systems before making a decision.
Edocation team helps companies determine how to meet the ERP objectives fully. Our specialists provide consultations, training and assist in the system setup. If you have questions about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can help your company or has helped other companies in the same industry, just contact us.