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ERP for Repetitive Discrete and Batch Manufacturing

By January 17, 2024January 22nd, 2024ERP

Originally published November 24, 2020 and updated January 17, 2024


Small to mid-sized manufacturers often believe that they don’t do enough production to justify investment in overarching ERP solutions, instead getting by on basic accounting packages, homegrown applications and a system of spreadsheets.

However, even if your software has worked well for you in the past, these isolated systems are only effective as long as your business remains static. What happens when your company starts to grow?  

Unforeseen growth and change can have significant impact on how your organization does business and even dramatically affect your bottom line. Growing organizations often find they need to provide more accurate data more quickly to an extended enterprise of suppliers and resellers. They also face increase demand and competition—requiring them these businesses to constantly deliver greater value to customers.

Managers at growing companies need a way to make informed, agile decisions and improve their communication across an expanding enterprise. If not, they will quickly see production costs, labor times, and outstanding orders skyrocket.

In other words, these organizations can falter under the weight of their own growth.  

Continuous improvement is the core philosophy behind six-sigma and lean manufacturing. These ideas should form the background of your entire organization—including the software and tools you decided to use.

Investing in powerful, integrated ERP solutions now will not only help you prepare for growth—it will also help you create it.

Planning and Execution Systems You Can Grow With

Discrete and batch manufacturing operations demand a high level of predictability and repeatability in their processes and in their costs. These businesses must benefit from economies that can be gained by efficiently grouping and scheduling production. And they need sophisticated forecasting and demand planning capabilities to better match product mix to sales mix.

Eliminating waste and delay is key, having the right product available at the right time in the right quantity is the goal.

Robust sales, production planning, and execution systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, enable you to reduce raw material, WIP, and finished goods inventories, while at the same time minimizing stock-outs and maximizing revenues.

What are the signs it’s time to upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Robust and efficient supply chain management systems are crucial to success in the manufacturing sector. Many small to medium-sized businesses start with QuickBooks, but as they grow, they often find that it no longer meets their complex needs. This is where Dynamics 365 Business Central comes into play. Let’s delve into the signs that indicate your supply chain has outgrown QuickBooks and how Dynamics 365 Business Central can address these challenges. 

1. Inventory Management Issues

Are you constantly juggling between overstocking and running out of inventory? Excessive inventory can lead to increased storage costs and tie up capital, while inadequate inventory risks obsolescence or expiry. QuickBooks may struggle with advanced inventory management, but Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a comprehensive solution. It optimizes inventory levels, reduces holding costs, and ensures timely replenishment, preventing inventory obsolescence. 

2. Production Scheduling Challenges

If you’re spending excessive labor on production planning or missing deadlines, it’s a clear sign that your current system isn’t cutting it. Dynamics 365 Business Central streamlines production scheduling, reducing idle time for machines, work centers, and labor. This efficiency translates into reduced costs and the ability to meet customer deadlines consistently. 

3. Supply Chain Visibility

Limited visibility is a significant hurdle in supply chain management, and negotiating with suppliers and responding to changes is difficult without clear insight into lead times and costs. Dynamics 365 Business Central offers real-time visibility, eliminating manual processes and the mental workload of handling the same volume of work

4. Compliance Issues

Compliance with regulations is non-negotiable. If you’re struggling with tracking inventory according to regulations or lack audit records and compliance certificates from suppliers, it’s time for an upgrade. Dynamics 365 Business Central ensures proper LOT and Serial Tracking and maintains necessary audit records, enhancing compliance. 

5. Ill-Informed Decisions

Making informed decisions is critical, yet challenging when your data is scattered across emails and Excel sheets. QuickBooks might offer basic functionalities, but Dynamics 365 Business Central excels in providing data-driven insights. It ensures that decision-makers have timely, accurate information, leading to faster and more effective decision-making processes. 


Benefits from Effective ERP System Deployment and Operation:

Transitioning from QuickBooks to Dynamics 365 Business Central is a strategic move for businesses facing the complexities of a growing supply chain. This upgrade not only addresses the challenges of inventory management, production scheduling, supply chain visibility, compliance, and decision-making but also sets the stage for scalable growth. With Dynamics 365 Business Central, businesses can transform their supply chain management, ensuring efficiency, compliance, and informed decision-making, essential for thriving in today’s competitive market. Advantages include:


  • Increased production throughput/output
  • Increased personnel and plant productivity
  • Improved material planning ensures orders can be launched and processed as scheduled
  • Reduced inventories and material shortages
  • Improved cost control/lower costs
  • Higher utilization of production capacity
  • Improved management of raw material and component lead times
  • Smoother transition toward a lean, just-in-time production model
  • Reduced order management/customer service effort due to provision of self-service order inquiry/tracking portal(s)
  • Reduced engineering/estimating workload due to improved data integration between CAD systems and BOM/Estimating systems
  • More efficient/higher yield production schedules due to production planning that logically groups orders for like/similar components and end items
  • Better integration between forecasts, usage history, and planned production orders reduces working capital needs and order-to-cash cycle times


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