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Increase Insight and Efficiency by Integrating People, Information, and Processes

For our 500TH POST on the Merit Matters Blog, let's talk about manufacturing insight.

Accurate information and the ability to respond with fast, informed decisions are key requisites for agile, low-cost manufacturing. Unfortunately, many manufacturers continue to operate with aging and unconnected information systems. Growth through acquisition, plus the valid need for custom manufacturing processes, often results in an inability to gather and roll up data from diverse manufacturing execution and control systems.

Consequently, many manufacturing organizations struggle with insight issues such as:

  • Manual forms and unstructured data not readily integrated or understood in relation to other data and systems.
  • Limited visibility of manufacturing data in the context of overall enterprise processes and information.
  • Critical machine, performance, tracking, and status information trapped in silos.
  • Labor-intensive and untimely report generation.
The resulting lack of visibility of key data can greatly hinder an organization’s ability to implement common and shared business processes, practice lean manufacturing, or even understand machine center or process profitability. That’s why many companies are recognizing the need to move to a common and shared manufacturing solution architecture that enables implementation of shared best practices while addressing the needs of local language, regulatory compliance, and integration requirements of each operating unit or location.

When companies integrate data to make a single version of the truth visible across the organization, they can deploy an appropriate manufacturing solution in either an on-premise or cloud model to:

  • Support the business across manufacturing, back office, and managerial processes.
  • Provide an integration platform for manufacturing execution and control systems.
  • Deliver accurate information to people who need it for proactive decisions and actions.
  • Facilitate the standardization of data and the optimization of processes and value.
  • Help reduce cycle times and costs through the elimination of errors, redundant or manual tasks, and data delays.
  • Link to existing or corporate systems to better understand overall performance and plan continuous improvement.
With accurate, integrated data, business managers can more easily measure and analyze performance, run “what-if” scenarios and simulations, and better predict potential problems. When circumstances change, the right business management solution can provide fast access to the historical and plan data needed to assess the right course.

The end-to-end integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX means the right information can be available to the right people at the right time, with less data reentry and fewer manual procedures.

  • Real-time, consolidated views of customer account and historical information, product data, and production or delivery status can help your sales and service teams step up their responsiveness to customers and deliver faster, more accurate quotes, pricing, and order status reports.
  • Detailed inventory and replenishment information based on actual production and materials use data can help you reduce inventories, optimize purchasing processes, and gain leverage with suppliers.
  • Automated alerts and workflows can help ensure prompt actions and keep processes on track when conditions change, while automatic posting of materials consumption, work in process, and finished production costs directly to the general ledger means less time spent on routine financial tasks.
  • Comprehensive traceability and audit control can help you document components or ingredients and more easily manage source material tracking and chain-of-control compliance.
  • Remote access to company data and processes, either directly or through the Web, boosts the productivity of field employees.
Microsoft Dynamics AX helps multisite businesses operate more efficiently with immediate connectivity across locations by using one business application and a single business object data model. You can, for example, create and update sales and purchase orders across your locations in real time. Minimize stockholding costs by making stock-on-hand inquiries in all subsidiaries and sourcing raw materials across locations. Support for multiple companies, locations, languages, currencies, and tax and legal requirements for more than 30 countries is built in. Employees, customers, and suppliers can work in their own languages and currencies, while smooth conversion and reporting functions help ensure full insight and visibility at the highest levels of the organization.

Microsoft Dynamics AX enables companies to reduce time to delivery and increase customer satisfaction by automating procedures and improving connections between all company departments, from sales and customer service through production and delivery to accounting—the entire “order to cash” process.


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