Business Central Essentials vs Premium | Manufacturing Differences

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Business Central Essentials vs Premium

Key differences between Business Central Essentials vs Premium for Manufacturing

Manufacturing Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cutting-edge cloud ERP system. In Fall 2018, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was finalized into two key versions: Business Central Essentials and Business Central premium. There are a few differences between these two versions.  Let's start with the cost and then into the modules that are different.

Cost Differences

The Business Central Essentials version costs $70 US ($90 CAD) for a full user per month. This includes about 85% of the functionality of the product. You have the full accounting, purchasing, warehousing, project accounting, sales, human resources, and many other modules.

The Business Central Essentials version costs $100 US ($128 CAD) for a full user per month. Business Central premium adds two core modules:

  • Service Management in Business Central
  • Production Management in Business Central.

Module Differences

Service Management Module in Business Central: Service management allows companies to create and book or "service orders". Service Management also allows you to create service contracts for any ongoing maintenance activities. This module is often used by companies that sell and service products.

Production Management Module in Business Central: Product management is a module that is designed to allow a complex multi-level structure of bills of materials and routings including scheduling and managing the production of finished goods. There are lots of other ways that you can handle manufacturing that is not production manufacturing. Only certain companies need the level of sophistication that is provided by this module.

Can Manufacturing be done with Essentials?

If you are a manufacturing company, and see that the premium module comes with Production management, you might think you must have premium to do manufacturing. That's not entirely true.  

Assembly Management for manufacturing: Assembly Management is a "lightweight" manufacturing module that is in the essentials level product. It supports bills of material, due date scheduling, recording of production and completion, and multi-level bills. Many companies do well using the Assembly Module, which still supports the forecasting and planning features that are built into Business Central.

At Sabre, we think that smaller manufacturing companies can definitely start with Assembly Management when they are making their first move to an ERP system. If you need to, upgrading from assembly to Production is not very difficult, and migrating is a pretty simple process. All you have to do is export the Assembly BOM details into Excel, make some changes, and re-import the new Excel file into Production BOM.


Choosing between Business Central Essentials vs Premium is a big decision that impacts the overall costs of the project. This document is meant to provide manufacturing companies who are looking at or considering a Microsoft Business Central implementation a high-level overview of the differences.  You can find a more detailed breakdown in the original article Understanding Business Central Premium vs Essentials versions for Manufacturing.

Need some help?

Have more questions about Business Central Essentials vs Premium level pricing? You can visit the Microsoft Business Central Capabilities page for more information. Want some assistance with a Microsoft Business Central Implementation? Give us a call at (519) 585-7524 x.45 or contact our team, we're excited to talk with you soon!

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