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Allied Modular Building Systems is a company that has provided specialized modular structures like high-tech robot enclosures, audio sound booths, and portable office spaces to some of the largest companies in the world. Recently, they’ve experienced rapid growth which their outdated and disconnected on-premise solutions couldn’t keep up. This resulted in downtime and a slow response to customer needs.
The company knew it needed to update its systems in order to create faster processes. With some Microsoft solutions already in place, they implemented Dynamics 365 and Business Central to bridge the gap between their additional business applications. Kevin Piethman, CEO, stated: “Dynamics 365 has been really powerful for us over the years. Our estimating and sales departments use the Sales app all the through to win or lose. When an order begins, we promote it over to Business Central. That integration is a huge time save because we don’t have to duplicate the information in two different places. All the sales data can flow with the order. We have saved about 19 percent of the cost per order by making this change–it’s one of the reasons we decided to implement this solution.”
With a simpler IT infrastructure and faster way to track customer information and opportunities, Allied Modular has created a seamless project flow, reduced IT costs, and connected teams.
Simplifying IT processes and creating a smoother flow is just one way hundreds of companies throughout the world are using Business Central and Dynamics 365 to improve end-to-end processes. Others have used the solution for more flexibility in managing data centers, to scale up or down, and to eliminate data silos.
Below, we’ll discuss what you can do with a Dynamics 365 and Business Central integration and how it will benefit your end-to-end processes.
Why Separate These Systems?
We at JourneyTEAM have been asked several times why Dynamics 365 CRM and Business Central are two separate systems rather than joined together.
Our answer is that these systems are separated, yet integrated. They work in conjunction with each other to provide organizations with detailed data, more flexibility, and a centralized marketing and sales planning and operations system. Small startups, acquisitions, or mergers can especially benefit from having two separate systems.
Let’s dive into this a little more.
Keeps Data Accurate Throughout the Entire Lifecycle
When you login to your marketing system to review data, you know that some of the data you’ve gathered is duplicate or incorrect. However, this isn’t cause for concern as this data will be verified and cleaned later on. Having false or duplicate data in your operating system is concerning because you make decisions based on the data stored here and you need it to be accurate. This is why it’s crucial to have all data verified before it reaches the accounting system. That way, when you login to your operating system, only real and precise vendor data is displayed, helping you to make faster, more educated decisions.
The cloud has enabled businesses to gather information from dozens of sources like eBay, Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more. Dynamics 365, a powerful CRM system, has the flexibility to gather that data from the different sources, identify similar data from each source, and feed it to the ERP.
Centralizes Marketing and Sales Planning and Operations
If you’re thinking that your sales inventory and operations planning systems are running just fine separately, you may be right. However, there are a number of benefits to centralizing these two systems. One of the biggest benefits is that your sales and marketing would work in tandem with each other.
A central SIOP system allows marketing and sales staff to identify opportunities and act on them from a single dashboard. For example, if your sales team has just completed a sale of several pieces of construction equipment. Your marketing team would be instantly alerted to this sale, giving them the chance to push service contracts, preventative plans, or other equipment. Not only does this help you increase profits, but also drives faster decisions.
Another benefit to a centralized SIOP is that your entire company would have access to this informative data. These insights can be accessed at any time, anywhere.
Finally, large complex businesses who want to mask the true complexity of their organization can do so with a centralized SIOP as customers would only see a single, seamless process.
Saves Time on Startup, Acquisition, or Merger Projects
Gone are the days where you had to go through the interruption of an ERP migration when you had a new startup, acquisition, or merger project. With Dynamics 365 and Business Central, you can use one of the existing connectors to integrate the two systems with ease.
Designed to Work for You
If you’ve read this information and thought: “I’m just a simple, low-volume startup–this all seems like overkill or isn’t for me”, think again. The best part about Dynamics 365 and Business Central is that they can be used in virtually any organization thanks to its flexible, agile tools.
We’ll take a closer look at each solution’s features and how they can benefit your end-to-end processes next.
Both Business Central and Dynamics 365 feature a Power BI tool. This cloud-based reporting and analytics platform connects users to data stored throughout the organization through detailed reports and dashboards that provide deeper insight into various business teams and processes.
For example, if your business relies on a currency feed service, Power BI will aggregate all the data within your inventory and present it in an easy-to-read report or dashboard. You can even toggle between different views depending on what you’re looking for. Sales managers can look at how many items are stored at a specific warehouse location and inventory managers can ensure parts remain stocked or which locations are running low on certain items.
You can do all this and more from the ERP system, meaning you don’t have to build an integration between two systems.
As soon as the connectors in Dynamics 365 are turned on, they begin working with your CRM system.
Once this integration is established, it goes to work aligning data in your inventory so you can view this data in an easy to read, simple way.
If you’re a smaller company or a startup, this low-volume, simple integration is a perfect introduction to Microsoft solutions. However, it’s important to note that if you’ve customized Business Central or your CRM system, this integration may be difficult or impossible as there’s little room for customization between the two systems.
File Export/Import Method
This is one of the most frequently used tools within Dynamics 365. Using this tool, you can import your master data from a CSV or Excel file and also use other features such as:
- Include or exclude certain columns from the spreadsheet.
- Automate tasks.
- Customize fields for the source and target side.
- Create sales invoices that feature headers and lines.
This tool is a great tool to use if you’re wanting to integrate with other tools. The import/export method allows you to first create the design for the field and table mapping before you export the data from the system into the spreadsheet. You can then drop this spreadsheet into Dynamics 365 and import the data.
As part of the Office 365 subscription, Dynamics 365 features the Power Automate tool. This tool allows users to create automated workflows between various systems to save time, reduce costs, gather data, receive notifications, and more. Power Automate can easily integrate with your favorite apps like other Microsoft Stack solutions, Dropbox, Trello, and popular social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
The tool also allows you to:
- Automate business processes or tasks
- Send reminders about tasks.
- Connect to hundreds of public APIs or data sources.
- Reduce time spent on repetitive tasks.
- Protect sensitive data.
For example, illimity, a cloud-native bank in Italy, used Power Automate to simplify, streamline, and automate a slow, inefficient approvals process. Today, the company has saved a significant amount of time in customer requests using the features within Power Automate.
Dynamics 365 API Integration
To help you gather data from each of your applications, use the direct API integration in Dynamics 365. Setting this integration takes very little time, but is harder and more expensive to maintain. However, the expense is definitely worth it thanks to the speed and efficiency that is unrivaled in Power Automate.
The Benefits of Microsoft
Why go with Microsoft and not with another system? There are hundreds of CRM and ERP systems to choose from, so what makes Microsoft the best? The answer is flexibility. Few other systems provide the flexibility and agility that Business Central and Dynamics 365 do. From small, low-volume startups to large, complex, high-volume businesses, these systems can be configured to support your unique business processes. Streamlined, efficient processes lead to better customer services, more targeted marketing, and more effective sales strategies.
In addition to these benefits, Dynamics 365 and Business Central can help you:
- Gain deeper insight into customer data using powerful, versatile tools.
- Increase business as both these systems work together to analyze data and find promising leads or sales opportunities.
- Provide your entire organization with fast, easy access to valuable data insights by storing data in one place.
- Improve both customer retention and satisfaction by helping your sales, marketing, or customer service team respond more quickly and appropriately to their needs.
Microsoft prides themselves on creating solutions that are designed to work for you, making the list of benefits endless. Implementing just one of these solutions can be the catalyst to implementing others, helping you to further advance and improve your business processes.
Enjoy Customized Support from a Microsoft Partner
When you need assistance with either Business Central or Dynamics 365, contact JourneyTEAM, a Microsoft Gold Partner. With the help of our talented team of professionals who are well-versed in Microsoft solutions, we’ll help you get these solutions up and running as quickly as possible. Whether you need a lot of support or a little, we’re happy to provide it. Talk to a JourneyTEAM representative today!
JourneyTEAM was recently awarded Microsoft US Partner of the Year for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Media & Communications) and the Microsoft Eagle Crystal trophy as a top 5 partner for Dynamics 365 Business Central software implementations. Our team has a proven track record with successful Microsoft technology implementations and wants you to get the most out of your organization’s intranet system. Consolidating your communication, collaboration, and productivity platform with Microsoft will save time and money for your organization. Contact JourneyTEAM today!
Article by: Dave Bollard – Chief Marketing Officer | 801-436-6636
JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com