Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Industry 4.0

In this article, I will introduce MS Dynamics 365 software and associated Microsoft software solutions. I will discuss the main responsibilities of MS Dynamics 365 as an Enterprise Ressource Planning software (ERP) and I will analyze its relations with Power BI as well as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft announced Microsoft Dynamics 365 in July, 2016. It was released on November 1st, 2016. It is a product line that offers ERP as well as customer relationship management (CRM) in the form of business applications. Below is a screenshot from Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 screenshot

This combination of technologies simplifies the procedure of building applications and sharing data across Miscrofot Dynamics 365 applications. It even constructs a set of purpose-built applications with thematic intelligence to connect front- and back-office functions through shared data.

Indeed, Microsoft Dynamics 365 delivers real value and impact to organizations through the following elements:

  • Multi-channel applications, turning single interactions into recurring engagements.
  • Intelligent services, providing prescriptive guidance to improve operational results.
  • Integrated cloud platform, unifying people, processes, and data to provide a 360-degree view of customers and operations
  • Flexible solutions that allow companies to evolve and thrive under change

In fact, Microsoft Dynamics 365 contains 12 applications that I explained in the table below.

Application Explication
Dynamics 365 Sales– Acquire new customers
– Communicate with customers using Microsoft teams
– Develop revenue with artificial intelligence
– Gain visibility into the entire sales cycle
– Highlight potential strengths and weaknesses
– Reduce reporting time by highlighting exceptions with out-of-the-box reports
Dynamics 365 Customer Service– Rationalizes case and knowledge management
– Enables personalized customer service
(Gartner named Microsoft a Leader in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center)
Dynamics 365 Field Service Combines workflow automation, scheduling algorithms, and mobility to prepare mobile workers for success when they are onsite at customer sites to solve problems
Dynamics 365 Human Resource– Compensation
– Social benefits
– Leave and absences
– Compliance, payroll integrations
– Performance feedback
– Training and certification
Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations– Budgeting
– Project management
– Finance
– Accounting
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management– Engineering
– Manufacturing
– Distribution.
Dynamics 365 Commerce– Rich, personalized, and seamless shopping experience
– Ensure consistent and optimal customer engagement
– Streamlined digital commerce
– Intelligent, AI-driven commerce activity
Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation– Plan projects
– Create estimates and work schedules
– Estimate and track project costs and revenues
– Forecast resource requirements for ongoing projects
– Track project progress and cost consumption
Dynamics 365 Marketing– Engage customers in real-time
– Build customer trust with a unified, adaptable platform.
– Win customers and retain them faster
– Personalize the customer experience with AI
Dynamics 365 Artificial IntelligenceIt aims to bridge the gap between data and silos, allowing users to use all data to create machine learning-based experiences for specific tasks, including sales, marketing, and customer service.
Dynamics 365 Mixed RealityIt allows technicians with mobile devices to connect to a remote collaborator on Dynamics 365 Remote Assist mobile or Microsoft Teams (desktop or mobile).
Dynamics 365 Business CentralIt automates and streamlines business processes and helps us manage the business.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and data analysis

We know that data analysis is a process that consists of (a) examining and (b) interpreting as well as (c) communicating data. Data analysis, in a business context, deals with business problems and thus “comes along” with relevant business stakeholders. For this reason, the company must always look for reliable software for this data. Among this software is Microsoft PowerBI.

Microsoft PowerBI is a data analysis solution provided by Microsoft. It was created in July 2011. It allows the creation of customized and interactive data visualizations with an interface simple enough for end users to create their reports and dashboards. The video below explains the benefits of PowerBI.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 in Industry 4.0

Like with all ERPs, prospective MS Dynamics 365 users want to adapt the software to “Industry 4.0”. This is why MS Dynamics 365 has integrated a Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

What do I mean with that? In MS Dynamics 365 the MES is a production management software package. It collects all data related to manufacturing and allows you to set up performance indicators in real-time. Its aim is to optimize the manufacturing process by monitoring, tracking, documenting, and controlling the entire product lifecycle. It furthermore seeks to thereby improve quality control processes and productive uptimes. 

Below figure explains what happens when we integrate a MES into Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Concluding remarks and related content

As I explained in one of my previous articles ERP software is a very important lever when improve enterprise-wide operational efficiencies. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is reliable and contains a fairly wide range of modules suitable for many businesses. The default modules cover essential business functions such as purchasing, sales, maintenance, and manufacturing. Also, it is compatible with other software solutions such as PowerBI and MES software. Lastly, I have listed some links to some SCDA articles related to ERP systems:

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