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Posts Tagged ‘dynamics ax’

The History of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Systems – SL, GP, AX & NAV

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Microsoft has multiple ERP solutions that were acquired at different points in the past.  They had somewhat different target markets and capabilities and there still exists some market confusion, especially with the  similar names.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Dynamics SL was originally known as Solomon Software and was acquired by Great Plains who was later acquired by Microsoft.  SL is focused on small and midsized companies with a heavy emphasis on Project Accounting.  However, SL’s technology platform has gotten dated and Microsoft outsourced all development on the product years ago.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP was originally known as Great Plains Dynamics.  At one point, Dynamics was one of the top selling small and mid-market accounting systems and typically was ‘neck and neck’ with State of the Art’s MAS90 (Later to become Sage 100).  It was a very competent general accounting system with basic distribution and manufacturing functionality.  It was based on a language that was built for the solution known as Dexterity.  It’s still sold today, but given that it’s not localized to run outside of the US, it’s not a strategic solution for Microsoft as it moves to the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Dynamics AX, originally called Axapta, was a solution that was created by a group of executives who left Navision.  It was later acquired by Navision before Navision was acquired by Microsoft.  Axapta historically focused on complex customization, global implementations and later a strong focus on manufacturing.  Over the years Microsoft has pushed AX upmarket to compete head to head with the likes of Oracle and SAP at large multi-national corporations.  Although it can fit a variety of industries and business sizes, its deep functionality and thus longer implementation times leaves it best in complex multi-plant manufacturing environments and those that need to run one system instance across multiple geographies with multiple localization requirements.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV, formally Navision Financials, was developed by Navision.  It was a solution that introduced many capabilities that have been copied by others since including a multi-dimensional chart of accounts, built in real time summation and analytics for fast summaries and instant drill down anywhere and a rapid development environment designed to be mold-able to a client’s needs rather than a solution that assumes you will change to it’s ‘best practices.’  Over the years, the distribution functionality of NAV was heavily enhanced along with a mid-level range of manufacturing functionality and is ideal for financials only, distribution and light manufacturing companies.

The Future:

Microsoft has known for sometime it needs to streamline its offerings while still not leaving existing clients abandoned.  It’s opportunity to do so became clear while it simultaneously is retooling its solutions to be offered in the cloud.  The fact that Microsoft get’s the majority of its revenues from international sales spells trouble for Dynamics GP & SL because neither solution can be used outside of the US in most cases and are among the only solutions of the hundreds of products Microsoft offers to be in this position.

With Microsoft’s introduction of Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics 365 for Operations, Microsoft has retooled NAV for the small and mid-market cloud ERP market and retooled AX for the upper mid-market and upper market cloud world.

Microsoft has rebuilt the core architectures of NAV & AX to run smoothly in the cloud and to be run completely in a browser.  If you are a mid-size distribution or light manufacturing company, NAV & Dynamics 365 for Financials are the Microsoft solutions to look at today and Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 for Operations for those with complex manufacturing requirements.

Did you know if you are on Dynamics GP or SL (Great Plains or Solomon), you can get 100% of your license investment applied toward upgrading to NAV or AX?  Read more about it HERE.

What is ERP and What Can ERP Do for Me?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

We’ve created a new microsite around the definition of ERP software.  It’s a site that explains how it differs from just Accounting software or something as simple as Quickbooks.  The site also specifically talks about Microsoft Dynamics AX and has links to our various video and other content including our specialties in MRO (Maintenance and Repair Organizations) as well as Food manufacturing and distribution.  The site talks about specific modules in the areas of:

  • Accounting
  • Manufacturing
  • Accounting & HR
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Financials

It also discusses typical ERP costs and how to control projects.  Check it out Below and thanks to Andi Conti for her great work!

ERP Software

Technology Can’t Solve all Business Problems

Friday, June 21st, 2013

By Mark Chinsky

It is a common problem that seems to course through every consulting business. A consultant works on the client’s problem but implementing a new technology solution, only to discover that technology was only part of the original problem, and that it is personnel issues that are really at fault. When we rely too much on technology, it opens the doors for a whole slew of problems. Here is a closer look at some of the problems surrounding technology.

  1. It can’t make employees more efficient. Yes, the right technology can help make the work easier, but if an employee is truly falling behind or is just inefficient, all the technology in the world will not remedy the situation. The truth is that such employees are often inefficient due to either inexperience or laziness. The unwillingness to use new technology only heightens an already present problem. Adding new, faster technology will not fix the problem.
  2. It can’t improve communication. In some work places, there may be departments that do not communicate well with other departments. Using technology to find new ways to force these departments to communicate may fix the problem for a short period of time, but it is merely a bandage. While a new piece of technology may make it easier for these departments to communicate when it is necessary, it does not address the underlying problem. A better solution is sitting the departments down together and talking about the problem so that there can be a real solution.
  3. It won’t make up for a shortage of resources. Technology can make your workers more efficient, by supplying the necessary means to work better. However, if cannot make up for a limited number of staff. While the right technology can make the job of your current employees easier, if there simply aren’t enough people to handle the work load, technology won’t be able to fix everything.
  4. It can’t force employees to change. Technology is good for helping with change, not forcing it. Many business owners think that implementing new technology will result in big and better things. The truth is that if the wheels aren’t already in motion for a change, technology isn’t going to make change happen.

Technology is a good tool for improving businesses; however, there is only so much it can do. The success of using technology is to understand that it isn’t the whole solution. Rather, it is a merely part of a whole. The business and its employees must also be willing to work with that technology to achieve the desired goal.

Enhanced Manufacturing Functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Changes to the job scheduling functionality for discrete manufacturers in AX 2012

Definitions of AX 2012 terms used in this article:

  • Resources: A machine, tool, employee, vendor, or location that is used to complete an operation within a manufacturing environment.
  • Capability: The ability of a resource to perform a given activity relevant to production.
  • Operations: Tasks that must be completed to produce a finished product.
  • Routes: The flow of operations that are required to produce a finished product.
  • Job Scheduling: Used to plan for the actual production process in such a way that each operation in the production route is assigned a starting and ending date and time.

New to the 2012 release of Microsoft Dynamics AX is the ability to schedule resources within the production control module via capabilities. This allows for greater flexibility in the scheduling of resources in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 vs. previous releases of the software due to the fact that the selection of the resources required for the production of a item are delayed until job scheduling is run.

Resources and capabilities replace the work center and task group functionality that were available in previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX.


ABC Manufacturing Corporation has 4 identical milling machines. ABC wants to be able to run production scheduling weekly for the upcoming week to firm production plans 1 week in advance.

ABC Manufacturing creates a capability called “milling” and assigns it to the 4 machines. They also assign this capability to all production operations that require milling to be completed. Utilizing this capability, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will schedule the jobs on the different milling machines for the week based on availability.

Setting up capabilities to schedule production is a 3 step process:

  1. Create the capability. Go to Organization administration > Common > Resources > Resource Capabilities. Click the New button to add the capability.
  2. Step 2: Assign the capability to the different resources within AX. Go to Organization administration > Common > Resources > Resources. Click on the Capabilities fast tab to add the capability created in the previous step to the resource. Click the “Add” button.
  3. Step 3: List the required capabilities within the production routes and operations within AX. Go to Production control > Setup > Routes > Operation. Find your milling machines and click on the Resource Requirements tab and add a new requirement of type “capability”. Select the capability created in step 1. Repeat this for all 4 milling machines.

Congratulations, assuming all other production module setups are in place, you are now able to assign products to operations that utilize the new capabilities functionality within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. For a more detailed look at this functionality, or if you have questions, contact your local Clients First Dynamics AX professional.

Thank you and good luck!

Aaron Murch, CPIM

Consultant, Clients First Business Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in the Food and Beverage Industry

Thursday, September 13th, 2012


Food and beverage manufacturers know they have special requirements that standard ERP applications cannot readily meet. The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Food and Beverage Solution changes all of that. It was designed with industry-specific functionality and capability that makes managing the processes in food and beverage companies a great deal easier and more effective.

The following is a list of valuable features incorporated in the AX 2012 Food and Beverage solution:

Recipe and Formula Management

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Food and Beverage provides you with a flexible and powerful tool to manage your recipes and/or formulas. You can define produced items by ingredient percentage, standard batch size, or both. You can also associate a formula item to multiple finished container sizes without having to recreate the base formula each time. Formula and recipe management using Dynamics AX 2012 helps ensure accurate product costing and simplified product definitions.