End-to-End Business Central Solutions for Manufacturing & Distribution

Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you’ll know the platform is an excellent ERP for those in manufacturing or distribution. Business Central includes tools to manage sales, inventory, warehouse & manufacturing processes, financials, and more. While the features offered out-of-the-box are helpful, some companies need more, and that’s when businesses turn to third-party apps.

Third-party apps for Business Central are available through the extensions marketplace within Business Central or from the Microsoft AppSource website. Searching AppSource for “Insight Works” will yield a suite of apps for those looking to fill gaps within manufacturing and distribution.

This article will look at a few of the different roles and departments in a business that will benefit from using a third-party app with Business Central for manufacturing and distribution.

Procurement for Purchasers

For those working as a purchasing agent within the procurement arm of an organization, you’ll definitely want to check out DocXtender. DocXtender is a 100% completely free app that enables users to attach documents to any page in Business Central with a simple drag and drop. Docxtender makes attaching emails, quotes, and invoices to POs simple.

Receiving for Receivers

Insight Works offers a couple of great options for those tasked with receiving inventory. Warehouse Insight and WMS Express enable receivers to use mobile computers to scan products against warehouse receipts. Using a mobile computer replaces a paper-based system while streamlining the operations and reducing errors.

Personnel is connected to Business Central in real-time via a mobile computer, and so they simply select a warehouse receipt and then scan items. Scanned items are automatically matched to the items on the warehouse receipt.

WMS Express is a 100% completely free WMS app, while Warehouse Insight is a subscription-based app that is chock-full of features.

Inventory Management for Inventory Managers

Advanced Inventory Count enables inventory managers to simplify inventory, and cycle counts with comprehensive data entry, reconciliation, posting, and analysis tools. Advanced Inventory Count significantly expedites counts by scanning inventory for companies equipped with mobile computers.

With Warehouse Insight, inventory managers get real-time access to inventory, including item inquiries, bin inquiries, inventory movements, warehouse movements, and more. WMS Express, a free app, offers features to manage inventory for those with more straightforward requirements.

Warehouse Management for Warehouse Personnel

Insight Works offers a couple of excellent options for Warehouse Managers. WMS Express is a free app that runs on mobile computers to help facilitate several warehouse functions, including warehouse receipts, picks, shipments, and standard inventory counts.

Warehouse Insight is a subscription-based app that streamlines inventory and warehouse functionality to provide intuitive warehousing tools for inventory counts, shipping, receiving, picks, putaways, bin management, and more.

Shipping for Shippers

Streamline tedious and error-prone shipping tasks by seamlessly integrating Dynamic Ship with Business Central. Dynamic Ship provides rate shopping, detailed package management, shipping labels, and package tracking.

For those using Dynamic Ship, there is a free Power BI app called Dynamic Ship Analysis designed to analyze shipping data, including metrics like total shipping spend by month, spend by location, year over year comparisons, and lots more.

Sales for Sales Professionals

Sales and order takers will really appreciate the Counter Sales and Product Configurator apps from Insight Works.

Counter Sales is a point-of-sale solution for professional salespeople at trade desks or sales counters that enable users to quickly and easily add retail capabilities to their system. Counter Sales is packed with all the features you’d expect from a powerful Point of Sale system but in a simple and cost-effective package.

Say goodbye to manually managing product options and variations and say hello to the Product Configurator app. Product Configurator is a lightweight app for Business Central that significantly simplifies the creation of production Bill of Materials (BOMs) and Routings, or Assembly BOMs, to make Quote and Order generation more efficient.

Management Reporting for Managers

While Insight Works offers apps with features to fill gaps within Business Central, many of the apps come with reporting that managers will appreciate.

For example, Shop Floor Insight is a barcoded time capture, time and attendance, and employee management solution. The app lets managers see the labor associated with specific projects, time spent on non-production tasks, and macro-level reports.

Counter Sales, an industrial point-of-sale solution for trade desks, enables staff to track lost sales and the associated reasons. Reporting on lost sales enables managers to understand supply chain inefficiencies and improve sales.

The Dynamic Ship Analysis app provides detailed shipping metrics for those using Dynamic Ship. Reports include:

  • Total shipping spend by month.
  • Total shipping spend by location.
  • Year over year comparisons.
  • Average number of shipments per week.
  • Total spend by shipping carrier.
  • Average spend per shipment weight.
  • Total spend by service level.

Warehouse Insight is another app managers find helpful to comply with regulatory requirements.

Material Management for Material Handlers

The Advanced Inventory Count app is an excellent tool for material handlers who need to stay in sync with inventory levels. Warehouse Insight also provides real-time access to inventory and production data allowing material handlers to maintain inventory requirements.

Labor Tracking for Production Planners, Lead Hands & Production Employees

Production Planners, Lead Hands, and Production Employees will quickly fall in love with the Shop Floor Insight App. Shop Floor Insight is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) app for Business Central that significantly reduces the labor costs and entry errors associated with manual data entry. Shop Floor Insight allows employees to use barcode scanners or touch screens to speed up shop data input for time, material, quality, and more.

Scheduling & Execution for Production Planners & Lead Hands

MxAPS is an advanced finite capacity scheduling app that transforms production planning and scheduling from an inaccurate and time-consuming task into a responsive, repeatable, and highly accurate decision support activity. Production Planners and Lead Hands will significantly reduce the headaches associated with scheduling and execution.

Another helpful app for Production Planners and Lead Hands is Shop Floor Insight. The included visual production schedule is more than a display. Users can drag and drop an operation on a production order to a new work center and time. As work is rearranged, associated operations will automatically update to reflect a new production schedule.

Finally, Graphical Scheduler is a free app that enables you to quickly visualize exactly what work is scheduled at each workstation, enabling production managers and employees to view and manage production scheduling more effectively.

Capacity Planning for Production Planners

As mentioned previously, MxAPS is an advanced finite capacity scheduling app perfect for Production Planners who need to manage capacity planning. With MxAPS’s finite constraints, the app does a lot of the heavy lifting when scheduling production orders. Optimized schedules are quickly generated when needed.

There is an App for Everyone - Manufacturing & Distribution

All of the apps from Insight Works integrate seamlessly with Business Central, so there is no need to jump between applications. A consistent user interface helps Business Central users quickly adapt to the apps and improve their processes.

Insight Works offers both a set of free apps and subscription-based apps for manufacturing and distribution. Are you looking for more information about the apps mentioned in this article? Check out the links below.

Warehouse Insight: http://www.wmsfordynamics.com/
Improve warehouse accuracy and boost efficiency with mobile device and barcode integration

WMS Express: http://wmsexpress.com/
The FREE warehouse management system for Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamic Ship: http://shippingfordynamics.com/
Easily add carrier integration, real-time shipping rates, package management and shipment tracking

Shop Floor Insight: http://www.shopfloorfordynamics.com/
A comprehensive MES solution for barcoded time capture and employee time management

Advanced Inventory Count: http://inventoryfordynamics.com/
Simplify inventory counts with comprehensive data entry, reconciliation, posting and analysis tools

Counter Sales: http://posfordynamics.com/
A point-of-sale solution for professional salespeople at trade desks or sales counters

Product Configurator: http://www.cpqfordynamics.com/
Product Configurator makes quote and order generation more streamlined

MxAPS: http://schedulingfordynamics.com/
Advanced Finite Capacity Scheduling in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Graphical Scheduler: http://www.schedulerfordynamics.com/
Manage production scheduling more effectively with Graphical Scheduler

DocXtender: http://docxtender.com/
Easily drag-and-drop documents to pages in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central