Small and medium sized businesses that need to improve their supply chain management software have an increasing number of companies competing for their business. For company owners who feel that products from Oracle, SAP and JDA are too complex or too expensive for their operations, Microsoft has a range of products under the Microsoft Dynamics umbrella that are more applicable for the small and medium business.
There are four components in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution.
- Microsoft Dynamics AX
- Microsoft Dynamics GP
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- Microsoft Dynamics SL
Microsoft Dynamics AX
The Dynamics AX module was originally developed in Denmark by the company Damgaard. The first version of the software, called Axapta, was released in Europe in 1998. Damgaard merged with Navision Software in 2000 and purchased by Microsoft in 2002. The latest release of the software is called Dynamics AX 2009 and has 19 core modules and 7 extended modules that can be implemented. At the core of the system are a number of modules found in traditional ERP systems such as General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory Management, Production, Master Planning and Human Resources. Unlike some ERP systems, the software is delivered with a Customer Relationship Management module and Project Accounting.
The extended modules include components that are not necessary for smaller companies such as Shop Floor Control, Service Management and Payroll. The system does allow users to work with the AX product seamlessly with the Microsoft office products and this is a great advantage to many businesses.
Microsoft Dynamics GP
The Dynamics GP product started life as a product created by Great Plains Software until the company was purchased by Microsoft in 2000. The Dynamics GP component is a powerful accounting package that can be integrated with the other Dynamics components and Microsoft Office components. The Dynamics GP component can give small and mid-sized businesses an advantage as it is delivered with industry specific applications. Some of the industries the Dynamics GP software offers are Distribution, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Construction and manufacturing.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV
The Dynamics NAV component is used as a business management solution that works with the other Dynamics modules. The software is extremely configurable and it allows users to create their own tools to track information in financial, customer management and supply chain analytics. The product was created by the Danish company Navison, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2002.
Microsoft Dynamics SL
Dynamics SL was created by Solomon Software, which was purchased by Great Plains Software and subsequently Microsoft in 2000. Dynamics SL delivers accounting applications which can be easily customized for a company’s specific needs. The software allows users to easily retrieve the financial and business information they need in the form that they require.
Small businesses often have supply chain and accounting software that is outdated and does not integrate with other business software or today’s office suites. Most companies need to update and to invest in new business applications to have a competitive advantage. However, with all expenditure being so carefully examined, businesses must see be sure that any purchase is compatible with their current and future technologies. The Microsoft Dynamics products allows companies to use their office applications with their business solutions and for many small and mid-sized businesses this is a great advantage.