Human Resources and ERP are a Powerful Combination

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Microsoft Dynamics AX has traditionally been viewed as a solution for financials, manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution.  From my perspective, and I think many of my colleagues would agree, this has traditionally been a fair assessment.  Indeed, in the first 8 years I worked with Dynamics AX, I spent my time almost exclusively in those areas.

A while back, I did a side project where I led the software selection and assisted in the implementation of a recruitment and talent management solution for a multi-billion dollar organization with 60,000 employees.  During this engagement, I became aware of the wide range of requirements and regulations that Human Resource professionals are faced with from recruiting all the way through the employment life-cycle.  The approach this organization elected to take was not uncommon in that they compiled a steering committee made up entirely of HR professionals and made their selection of a solution without regard to the ERP systems the organization was running.  The overriding logic behind this was so powerful and widespread that considering the ERP was not really discussed.  The two solutions were viewed as separate solutions that met a separate set of requirements for a separate group of employees without need for interaction between the two.  Ultimately we selected and implemented a very capable, but stand-alone system for recruitment and talent management.

Last year Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 was released and I began working the Human Capital Management (HCM) module.  Now being well versed in both core functional requirements and those of the Human Resource professionals, my eyes opened to the world of possibilities that this powerful HCM module within Dynamics AX presented.  Within AX, human resource professionals can now do a number of things such as:

  • Track and Modify Organizational and Employee Hierarchy
  • Manage Recruiting and Job Postings
  • Administer Benefits Programs
  • Maintain Work History
  • Track Time and Attendance
  • Manage Compensation
  • Track and Manage Performance
  • Track Injury and Illness
  • Create Professional Development Plans
  • Track Competencies, Certifications, and Training
  • Manage On-Boarding, Transfer, and Off-Boarding through Workflow Systems integrated with Microsoft Office
  • Track and Manage Employee Travel & Expense Reporting
  • Offer Employee Self-Service through a web-based Employee Portal

It doesn’t take much of an imagination to immediately see the benefit of having all this information in the ERP system coupled with the information that has traditionally been housed there.  For example, imagine creating an Employee Card report for a sales rep that a manager can use during review time.  This report could include all of the employee’s personal information, work history, year-to-date sales, top 5 customers, compensation, current commissions, sales ranking within the organization, and goals.  Because all of this information is in one database, the information is available real-time at the touch of a button.

Consolidated information isn’t the only benefit.  For example, using the Dynamics AX 2012 Workflow system for On-Boarding will make people more efficient and make their jobs easier.  The HCM module uses the same workflow system as is used in the purchasing system.  Since it is integrated with the ERP, as soon as a hiring decision is made, workflow triggers can be sent to the appropriate employees to set-up the login in AX, purchase a company cell-phone, configure a lap-top computer, and enlist the new hire in the next orientation class, which are also set-up and tracked in AX.  All of this uses the same workflow system the staff uses for all other modules so all tasks are managed and reported in one place and integrated with Outlook.  This makes it very easy for an employee to see everything outstanding that they must complete.

I am presently involved with two projects where RSM and our clients are implementing this module along with the traditional core Dynamics AX modules.  The possibilities awaiting these organizations because of a completely integrated HR solution within Dynamics AX, have everyone excited.  I would never have predicted this 5 years ago, but I am now a champion of eliminating stand-alone HR solutions and using the Human Capital Management module within AX 2012 as the singular solution for an organization's HR requirements.

RSM has served the ERP community for more than 30 years and is a proven Microsoft implementation leader with the Gold Enterprise Resource Management Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Our experienced professionals not only understand the issues facing your industry and provide fresh insights with tailored services, they also are Certified Microsoft Professionals for Dynamics AX 2012.

Please contact us at for more information on services or how we can help you with Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation.

By:  John Hannan, RSM LLP – New York Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner

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