NAV 2015

Looking Ahead: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Among Microsoft’s array of ERP solutions, NAV has been the enterprise accounting software of choice by distributors, manufacturers and other organizations alike. Users have come to expect Microsoft to roll out upgrades for these ERP solutions either once a year or every other year.  So for all of you NAV people on 5.0 and 2009-the time has come. NAV has been working on an upgrade since late 2013.  Soon, small and medium sized enterprises will have upgraded features in NAV that will arm them with the tools to move forward in 2015.

NAV 2015

The Microsoft Dynamics NAV team has been hard at work to not only make the ERP solution simpler to use but also to have multi-tenancy and multi-platform capabilities. During the Convergence 2014 presentation in March, Microsoft committed to shipping yearly releases for NAV, beginning with NAV 2015. Also christened “Crete”, the NAV 2015 is expected to undergo partner testing in June and launches in beta for businesses in September.

While Dynamics AX R3 got all the hype for its new capabilities, the NAV 2015 also promises to be packed with a couple of upgrades that will improve business agility among SMBs.

NAV 2015 is built to create a uniform experience across devices. For example, when operating on mobile and other portable devices, it can adjust as a user tilts the device. However, Crete’s main emphasis is on Power Business Intelligence (BI), integration with Office 365 and document reporting.

NAV 2015 Business Intelligence

Big data plays an important role among organizations by enabling them to put the customer at the center of the universe- with central access to customers, suppliers, sales cycles, inventories and other pertinent business processes.  With Big Data becoming not only an advantage-but a necessity for Manufacturers and Distributors competing in the SMB space-it is becoming crucial to capitalize on big data sooner, than later. However, despite the importance and potential of big data, very few organizations are using it to their benefits. It’s estimated that 85% of businesses do not have the capability to harness the power of big data for their operations.

With Crete, Microsoft is focused on helping small businesses tap the full potential of big data insights in their critical business processes. Through Power BI, Crete users will be able to use common tools such as SharePoint, Excel and mobile devices. Some of the key features in the Power BI module include:

i) Power Query – This feature will enable users to access data from public and corporate data sources.

ii) Power Pivot – This module extends the capability of Excel by adding key Performance Indicators (KPIs), hierarchies, custom measures and relationships. Pivot’s in-built memory can store generated models, hence enabling users to analyze millions of data fast.

iii) Power View – Provides interactive views of Excel data or reports in form of charts and graphs for easy understanding.

iv) Power Map – Enables end users to integrate Excel with geospatial data to create a 3D map experience.

Power BI will also be accessible through Windows 8 app-enabled phones, iOS and Android devices.

Apart from introducing new features, Microsoft is also working on technological innovation that will make it less expensive for users to upgrade to NAV 2015 and subsequent versions. Any upgrades after NAV 2015 will be easier to carry out. Users will not feel a big technological shift like has been in the case before.

The Crete is expected to be a major NAV upgrade. After launching Crete, the NAV team will focus more on supporting applications.

Microsoft believes that small businesses also need agile solutions that will solve their problems just like the big companies. Crete will solve many of the problems SMBs face in their daily operations. Crete is poised to have powerful enterprise-comparable features that are quick to deploy and easy to implement.

Cloud based ERP

Acumatica Cloud ERP: Improve Operations And Increase Revenues

Today’s customers are more sophisticated and require personalized attention to spend more. With increased competition from online stores and offline competitors, retailers need to find ways to improve their revenues and keep their costs down through agile methods that improve value delivery. One of the ways retailers can do this is by using cloud ERP.

Cloud ERP software solutions like Acumatica can help retail stores have a centralized view of their business and get real-time information on inventory, status of orders, and customer history.  Cloud ERP enables retailers with multi-location channels to have a better view of their operations since the application can be accessed from any location.

Benefits of Using Cloud ERP

Some of the benefits of cloud ERP software solutions include:

Cloud ERP

i) Control Operating Costs

Stores can streamline their entire business processes including ordering, inventory, invoicing and accounting. Since the solutions are available on the cloud, warehouses, franchises, and offices can be easily linked without the need to have additional communications infrastructure.

ii) Optimize Inventory, Ordering , and Sales

With cloud ERP, retailers can automate all their business processes in multiple locations. Automation allows for accurate decision making regarding, price, promotions, inventory, overheads and revenues.

iii) Integrate Point of Sale (POS) and Ecommerce Orders

Solutions like Acumatica have robust APIs that enable them to be integrated with third party apps and hardware that a retail store may be using. Cloud ERP can be integrated with touch screens, scanners, credit card readers and POS systems.

Improving Revenues through Customer Optimization

Beyond optimizing operations, cloud ERP has much potential for improving revenues through customer offer optimization. Retailers can improve their revenues when they understand more about their customers and hence provide more relevant recommendations at the right time.

Cloud ERP software systems can help retail stores capture customer data and shopping history, allowing them to see purchase patterns and spending. From this information, retailers can position their offerings based on the customer’s purchase history. This relevant positioning helps in delivering a consistent message and leads to more sales.

Improve Cross-Selling Revenues

With in-depth customer shopping behavior data available in the cloud ERP, stores can provide on-time recommendations and increase cross-selling opportunities. For example, a customer purchasing a particular machine may also be interested in buying its accessories. When these accessories are recommended to them at the right time (when making a purchase), the customer is likely to buy them.

Better Inventory Flow Control

Retailers can use ERP to see the flow of inventory over different seasons. This information can help the purchasing department determine which inventories should be procured based on the frequency of their replenishment.

Apart from this, the store can know which inventory needs to be scaled down or augmented in sales and promotions activities based on how they are selling.

Accurate Store Pricing

One factor that reduces loyalty among retail customers is a disconnect between prices of goods on offer and price at the point of sale. For example, if a store advertises a particular item is on sale but when the customer goes to pay for it the item is found to be no longer on sale, this can create friction towards buying.

To reduce such friction, retail stores can use ERP to control promotional pricing for their products. Cloud ERP software solutions can be integrated with other applications like CRMs to ensure accurate data is relayed at all times. Integration reduces price mismatch between ERP and CRM applications, leading to better customer experience at the store.

Manage Complex Information

Cloud ERP helps in managing complex information retailers handling different products usually have. Retail stores may add hundreds of products every year. This increases the complexity of managing inventory and supply chain. Cloud ERP can help stores modernize their businesses keep their inventory up to date and hence gain a competitive advantage on order fulfillment.

ERP applications like Acumatica have become important tools for today’s retailers looking to improve operations and keep costs at a minimum. The cloud applications enable retailers to have a clear view of their operations and identify areas where processes can be optimized to improve efficiency and revenues.

Cloud ERP software

Acumatica Cloud ERP: Real Time Warehouse Management

About 90 percent of C-level executive decision makers see cloud computing as key to business success – an unsurprising fact considering that cloud ERP solutions have already helped thousands of enterprises efficiently manage different business areas and boost profit.

Cloud ERP

What about warehouse management? Will your warehouse thrive in the cloud? Is cloud-based software the best alternative for your organization? To efficiently manage warehouse operations, maintaining information flow is of the utmost importance. Even short delays in delivering real-time information can have serious consequences, such as stock outages resulting in lost sales and warehouse congestion jeopardizing in-bound and out-bound activities.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages of cloud computing is delay in communication due to slow remote servers and disruptions in links. Since this can literally cripple your entire activity, having a cloud-based software solution capable to manage the issues known to cause communication delays while executing many other tasks is critical when handling dynamic, fast-paced operations.

The Solution

Acumatica, an industry leader in manufacturing and warehouse control software, proposes an intelligent cloud ERP solution that eliminates information lag time typically occurring in cloud computing. Not only this system downloads information from remote locations, it also maintains it locally. Essentially, this means that Acumatica can process data quickly, in real time and maintain warehouse operations even when remote servers experience communication delays or disruptions.

Combining a full spectrum of capabilities, Acumatica delivers an adaptable, highly configurable cloud-based ERP system that you can use to manage:

  • Multiple warehouses. For each warehouse, Acumatica allows you to select several employees who can perform inventory transactions and access warehouse information. Additionally, this cloud ERP system can be used to track products and pallets; customize grids with filtering and sorting; perform inventory and cycle counts; and draft reports of profitability by business unit, location, product line and warehouse.
  • Inventory. The inventory management module included in Acumatica gives your real-time access to inventory in stock, in transit, on sales orders, on back orders, on purchase orders, and even to damaged and expired inventory, while calculating the inventory needed to complete certain work orders. Integrated with order, purchasing and financial management features, this module can also be used to check warehouse space, lots, expiration dates, inventory sub-items, and negative inventory; analyze location-specific inventory allocations, quantities and costs; track inventory by lot or serial numbers; set item-specific valuation methods to develop and view reports by quantity and costs; obtain detailed cost allocation data based on inventory-related transactions; and create multiple accounts for different groups of items so that you can keep a detailed record of your inventory.
  • Purchasing. This cloud ERP system also contains a purchasing module that can be fine-tuned to automate different processes commonly used to acquire materials, require vendor quotes, issue purchase orders, receive orders and create vouchers. A series of analytics tools and ordering algorithms included in this module can help improve procurement process efficiency.
  • Orders. With Acumatica, you’ll be able to optimize not only the way you enter work orders, but also the way you fulfill them. You can split jobs among different subsidiaries, allocate inventories according to the tasks that must be completed, accept returns, and set up notifications and alerts to improve the entire operation.
  • Requisition. Streamlining the complex distribution process involving multiple products, suppliers, warehouses and shipping routes has never been easier. Acumatica makes available a series of requisition management tools appropriate for obtaining bids, gathering requests, creating and approving quotes, and managing purchases and orders in the most efficient way.

Acumatica is one of the few cloud ERP solutions that provide a single point of control to direct and manage equipment and personnel along any physical activities within manufacturing and warehousing facilities in real-time, enabling your organization to quickly adapt to last-minute changes. Real-time verification capability also enhances order accuracy, leading to fewer errors, improved throughput, on-time delivery and lower operating cost. All these mean more revenue and profit for your organization.

Additionally, Acumatica can be customized and configured to optimize a series of business operations, ranging from manufacturing to picking, packing and shipping. Whether your organization grows or shrinks, this agile software solution can easily adapt to changing business environments, improving performance and optimizing operations to improve financial performance.