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Improve Manufacturing Visibility to Achieve Business Objectives

Business success today involves far more than simply delivering quality products on time. It requires integrated solutions that include service, support, and timely and accurate information, whenever and wherever customers want it, and it demands that companies regularly assess and improve the performance of operations that deliver those solutions. To deliver optimum customer satisfaction and operations performance—and business success—organizations must be able to provide products and efficiently capture, access, and share operations data in the right way with the right entities. These companies — along with their customers and suppliers — need “manufacturing visibility.”

Yet many companies fail to capture even basic production data, either manually or electronically, or to make that data available throughout the business. Even fewer organizations use manufacturing information to benchmark competitiveness (or lack thereof), and fewer still share this information throughout the value chain to improve supply-chain effectiveness and improve customer service.

Manufacturing visibility and its benefits—improved operations and customer service and rising profits—are available only to those organizations that:

  • Focus on the right measures—those that enable them to understand how well their processes are functioning, and those that matter most to their customers.
  • Capture and share the right information across the supply chain, making sure that both suppliers and customers participate in the visibility process— ensuring optimal value to customers.
  • Offer timely access of information to the right people, allowing appropriate employees and partners to manage problems and capitalize on opportunities.
Nucleus Research found that greater visibility into all aspects of operations was the number one benefit Microsoft Dynamics AX customers in manufacturing recognized, particularly those that were moving from disparate systems or individually-owned paper or Microsoft Excel files. The Microsoft Office-like interface, connections with other Microsoft tools, self-service business intelligence and reporting tools, dashboard KPIs, and business analytics within Microsoft Dynamics AX helps users work effectively in a familiar environment so they can make better decisions more quickly.

As one customer said, “We have greater visibility in general – not just transaction visibility but a more holistic view of the company. This has led to a lot of insight into things that are more or less profitable, insight into what our actual product time is, and insight into the popularity of different products.”

In a separate study, Nucleus Research found that 75% of Microsoft Dynamics AX customers reported improved operations and visibility as a result of their Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment. Actual returns from better operations and visibility ranged from productivity gains to greater inventory turns to improved time to delivery to changes in working capital.

Remember, though, that manufacturing visibility is merely a tool to achieve business objectives. Although visibility can gauge the progress of operations—hour to hour, day to day, month to month, quarter to quarter—and eventually move the organization toward future targets, the real work still occurs on the plant floor—and in the minds of employees dedicated to improving that work.

Use our Microsoft Dynamics AX ROI Calculator to see the potential annual savings you could achieve by implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The Value of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Manufacturers

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a business management application for mid-sized and larger organizations that is designed to improve operational efficiencies through automation and increased end user productivity. Beyond traditional ERP components such as financials, business intelligence and reporting, sales and marketing, and service management, Microsoft Dynamics AX also includes key functionality to support manufacturing, including:

  • Manufacturing management tools including production order management, bill of materials (BOM) management, production tracking and reporting, forecast scheduling, master planning, cost tracking, job monitoring, and shop floor management.
  • Supply chain management functionality including order management, trade agreement support, RFID support, logistics and inventory management, multisite and multi-currency support, master planning, quality management, warehouse management, and demand planning.
  • New investments include support for lean manufacturing, process manufacturing, and sustainability monitoring.
Microsoft Dynamics AX can be customized using standard integrated development tools to meet the specific needs of manufacturers. Microsoft’s Application Integration Framework allows access to Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality as Web services so it can be easily integrated with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications.

Nucleus analysts have analyzed hundreds of Microsoft Dynamics AX deployments over the years and found that organizations broadly achieve returns in areas of increased visibility, increased productivity, and reduced costs. This research note focuses on the specific experiences of manufacturers deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX to support their operations and analyzes the types and scale of returns manufacturers can expect to achieve from deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Read the report: The Value of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Manufacturers

Microsoft Dynamics AX ROI / Benefits Estimator

Are you considering a new ERP solution? Not convinced that Microsoft Dynamics AX is the right choice?

Welcome to the Microsoft Dynamics AX ROI / Benefits Estimator!

This tool, based on analyst interviews and insight by Nucleus Research, helps companies calculate the potential annual savings they could achieve by implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX. Identified savings include: increased productivity, improved visibility, reduced administrative overhead, reduced inventory, improved supply chain, and more!

Don't wait - calculate your annual savings with the Microsoft Dynamics AX ROI / Benefits Estimator! Then sign up for your Microsoft Dynamics AX Free Trial!