Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a full set of business management capabilities. These include a wide range of features for manufacturing management. Manufacturers are increasingly finding the Dynamics cloud ERP solution to be an effective way to operate a manufacturing business while cutting the costs of running ERP on-premises.
Manufacturing Management at the Sales Stage
Some of the most important work in managing a manufacturing operation occurs before any actual manufacturing takes place. Accurate sales forecasting leads to effective capacity planning, staffing, inventory ordering and more. Dynamics 365 Business Central’s Demand Forecasting allows manufacturing managers to predict manufacturing volumes based on sales forecasts from sales management functions in the broader system.
A Sales and Inventory Forecast extension offers insights into potential sales as well as expectations of stock-outs. The toolset can look at historical sales data to offer stock recommendations and suggestions for replenishment. These features connect directly to purchase order generation and materials requirement planning in the solution.
The Bill of Materials and Production Orders
Dynamics 365 Business Central offers extensive features for creating a Production Bill of Materials (BOM). The BOM lists all the materials and other inputs needed to manufacture a product. The tool also provides for version management. This is useful because manufacturers often have multiple versions of BOMs in use. Managers can use the tool to generate Production Orders. These include instructions for manufacturing a particular order or batch. An Order Planning window gives managers visibility and the tools they need to plan for demand from sales forecasts.
The term “agile manufacturing” refers to tools, processes and training that enable a manufacturing organization to respond rapidly to market shifts and customer needs—while still maintaining quality and controlling costs. This is largely a matter of software. Dynamics 365 includes an Agile Manufacturing module that enables agile manufacturing by means of dynamic supply and capacity planning.
Supply planning makes it possible to map out requirements for materials based on demand, working in tandem with master production scheduling. Dynamics allows for automatic production order and purchase order creation as well as messaging and other tools for balancing supply and demand. This includes reordering processes for internal and third-party materials orders.
Capacity planning and finite loading round out the agile manufacturing capabilities of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Manufacturing managers can use the software to add work centers to the manufacturing operation. This feature also includes setting up routing for production orders and material requirements planning (MRP). The application provides visualizations of loads the tasks. Finite loading involves tracking capacity constraints on work centers to avoid overloading capacity.
A Machine Center is a locus of manufacturing operations built around related pieces of equipment. Dynamics 365 enables managers to establish machine centers as part of the manufacturing capacity planning and production management processes. The tool lets managers see the functioning of machine centers at the individual level and with a consolidated view. With machine centers, it is possible to monitor manufacturing activity, collect information on productivity as well as scrap percentages, and so forth.
Manufacturing management can be challenging, especially as product development and marketing cycles accelerate. The right manufacturing management software can make a difference in terms of productivity and profitability of a manufacturing operation. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a comprehensive feature set for effective manufacturing management. For businesses exploring the potential of technology to improve manufacturing management, this software is worthy of strong consideration.