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Is Your ERP Application(s) Taking Your Business To New Levels?

If you're like a lot of the Executives we've been talking to recently, some of your main goals and objectives for 2014 include:

  • Driving growth by increasing margins, expanding into new geographies, and speeding innovation and time-to-market.
  • Improving operational effectiveness by standardizing processes, increasing visibility, driving efficiency.
  • Improving decision making with better access to real-time data and key performance indicators.
  • Future-proofing IT architecture by meeting the profoundly more demanding IT trends of businesses today:
    • Supporting BYOD (Bring your own device)
    • Exploiting Big Data
    • Connecting via Social Media
    • Utilizing the Internet "Store"
  • Mitigating risk and maintaining compliance with improved visibility, control, and security.

Do these sound familiar?

When Trading Technologies International, Inc. found themselves facing similar objectives, they decided they needed to integrate their company with a global ERP solution and streamline and standardize their business processes. Read more about how they did it - and the benefits they have received since undergoing their business transformation: Trading Technologies Implements Microsoft Dynamics AX to Optimize Processes, Extend Organizational Insight, Improve Decision Making, and Transform Their Business.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a Next Generation ERP Solution

A while back we discussed some global business and IT trends that are slowly but steadily reshaping the ERP landscape. With our emerging economic climate, these trends are posing additional challenges for business and IT professionals who are struggling to improve profitability and retain IT agility.

Global market trends are creating the need for businesses to:

At the same time, shifting IT trends are creating the need to:

  • Increase ERP adoption and access to ERP data across a broader subset of the workforce.
  • Reduce IT operational costs by investing in systems that are more flexible and scalable, and simpler to configure, maintain, and upgrade.
  • Put solutions in place that enable broad business strategies, and that enable IT to respond quickly to specific line-of-business (LOB) requests and industry needs.

When you frame this discussion with the research conducted by Forrester in 2010 detailed in our article, Key Challenges Companies Face with ERP Solutions, you can see how the needs produced by market and IT trends are affecting customers’ expectations of their ERP application.

Today’s world is increasingly flattened by technology, global complexity and new global competition - making it critical for a business to be able to rapidly see and react to signals, threats and opportunities. Going one step further, in this world where the pace of business accelerates, imagine being able to anticipate rather than react to those signals. Success today and tomorrow increasingly depends on information insight and efficient business processes.

So what would the next generation of ERP look like? See for yourself!

Adapt Quickly - And Grow Your Business

You and your employees share a common aspiration - to grow your business. To reach this goal, you need a solution that can support changing demands along the way. Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers the flexibility you need to accommodate new business processes and scale as your business grows without significant increases to your original investment—or your payroll.

  • Conduct business internationally. Use international trade and multicurrency capabilities to maintain your general ledger in different currencies – enabling you to manage customer and vendor accounts in the appropriate currency.
  • Connect your remote and roaming employees. Empower your mobile workers with direct access to enterprise resource planning (ERP) data and local resources over the Internet using a rich RoleTailored interface—and get even more from your investments.
  • Choose the right solution for you. With flexible deployment options, you can choose the solution that works best for your business—and increase IT flexibility without increasing costs. Microsoft Dynamics AX supports both on-premises and Cloud ERP deployments.

With a Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP enterprise business platform, your people will have the innovative, flexible tools they need to be proactive and productive—keeping you ahead of the competition. As a result, your business can move forward instead of standing still.

Connecting The Global Manufacturing Supply Chain

Today, business opportunity can mean enlarging your customer base to include a worldwide audience or expanding across borders into new sites or branch offices. Unfortunately, global business has driven higher levels of product and service customization, both for individual customers and to meet the needs of different cultures, consumers, languages, distribution channels, and market requirements. As a result, manufacturers must juggle increasingly complex product line and supply chain requirements. In addition, retail competition is so fierce that retail customers can, and do, demand tailored products, services such as RFID compliance, and even the ability to specify the materials’ origin and other characteristics of product packaging.

Meanwhile, market conditions change faster than ever, and customers expect their suppliers to help them adapt. Traditional lead times have become irrelevant, orders may be changed at the very last minute, and as a result, traditional sales forecasting and demand planning no longer work. Customers also expect suppliers to provide complete traceability and chain-of-control management, no matter how complex the product or how many times the goods change hands. Meeting these demands requires unprecedented operational flexibility and the free flow of accurate data throughout the supply chain.

Fortunately, every headache of global supply chain management also represents an opportunity for astute business managers to seize an advantage over competitors. Many manufacturing firms are implementing strategies that include demand-driven supply chains focusing on greater real-time interaction, automated inventory replenishment, and increased manufacturing or logistics outsourcing. The successful implementation of such strategies can be greatly facilitated by an integrated business management technology that increases supply chain visibility, connects trade partners to speed interaction and collaboration, fosters greater efficiency, and provides the cross-organizational insight for confident decisions and actions.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed to manage the complexities of a global organization by consolidating and standardizing processes and providing visibility across your organization.

  • Expand easily across international borders with country specific functionality, including capabilities for multiple languages and currencies; help support compliance with local financial requirements for more than 36 countries.
  • Eliminate silos of data and utilize a single ERP software system enables companies to control the details of their businesses by linking all departments together - erasing information boundaries and delivering critical information needed for rapid, effective decision-making.
  • Consolidate financial, operational, and customer data while preserving local information—to build your strategic edge and personalized customer, partner, and supplier relationships.
  • Unify standards and help ensure quality by centralizing processes, automating standard operating procedures, sharing best practices, and extending supply chain management across multiple sites and divisions.
  • Manage and monitor global and local performance with sophisticated yet straightforward reporting and analysis tools. Combine your solution with Microsoft Business Intelligence applications to enhance the analytic capabilities critical to managing a complex business environment.
  • Give people access to real-time KPIs, scorecards, and data through Enterprise Portal in Microsoft Dynamics AX. And with Microsoft SharePoint, key decision-makers can work with critical information without logging in to Microsoft Dynamics AX.
  • Help ensure efficient, consistent, and rapid deployments with Merit Solutions Rapid On and Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step - a standardized, global methodology and suite of tools that simplify implementation, speed deployment, and ease upgrade processes.
Removing barriers to international growth is essential for business development. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 enables you to expand your operations to new geographies with built-in, country-specific localizations in a single solution to meet regulatory requirements for 36 countries. Enable entities across your multisite, global organization to share the same data, business rules, and processes in order to harmonize and streamline business practices. Also support your business growth by easily adding users and transactions, as well as configuring more complex business scenarios.

When you have a technological solution that provides closer integration and greater data accuracy, you can automate manual activities and eliminate redundant data entry throughout purchasing, warehouse, and logistics processes that cross organizations or are within a single company. The result can be fewer errors, lower costs, and reduced cycle times. An effective business management solution can also provide automated notifications to keep goods and data flowing smoothly and help ensure prompt actions on changes, delays, or unexpected events.

Read the following white paper for more information: The Value of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Manufacturers

MAXLife Cloud Featured in Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Merit Solutions is featured today in the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog for "Kati Unplugged", a blog series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead. In the article, I explain how Merit Solutions was able to help a leading medical services industry player - Innovare Health Advocates - implement a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Life Sciences Cloud ERP Solution that fits their needs and budget like a glove.

You can read the full article here: Kati Unplugged: How Merit Solutions Implemented its Cloud-Based Vertical Solution to Help Position a Client for Growth