How to make Business Central Manufacturing transparent and simple

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Last month, we hosted a webinar named "How manufacturers can leverage transparency & simplicity with Business Central". In this article, I’ll save you the time to watch it with four straightforward points on which stages and how to simplify them when working with Business Central as your ERP.
By the end, you’ll find the recording of the webinar and links to the corresponding minute.

Where less is more: four stages in Business Central [min 2:28]

leverage blog

1. Set up and assessment- [min 5:24]

If you’re new to Business Central, you will notice there is a lot of background information to set up. For example, the items, the routing to produce them, the Bill of Materials, the machine centers, and work centers, and the availability calendar, to mention a few. Being able to understand your data is crucial.
For this reason, we recommend the use of a Visual Scheduling tool. It will aid in figuring out new best practices to adopt. In other words, a visual scheduler will make all your Business Central settings, master data, and transactional data visible.
A visual scheduler will ease the recognition of a path an item goes through from start to finish. It would portray the operation and where it must be performed, along with any helpful comments (min. 15:53). As shown:

production order view in VPS
On the other hand, with a visual scheduler, you can merge the list of items to be produced into one view and follow the sequence for it. Like here:

capacities view in vps

2. Learning curve and implementation [min 25:00]

When you’re trying to get a grip of what is happening in Business Central and why a visual scheduler can be a great ally. With it, you can identify lots of criteria needed when scheduling, for example, the due date. You will be able to understand what would happen if you changed the dates on the routing lines of your item and the impact on the delivery dates.
A clear example of how using visual scheduling helps is when a released production order gets started earlier than expected [min 29:07]. Starting early means posting consumption today, but Business Central wouldn’t change its routing by default.
With a visual scheduler, you can distinguish the progress per operation. In this example, we can see there is a black bar under operation 30 in the turning machine center, indicating it has been finished. When an operation is finished it no longer consumes capacity meaning we can schedule something else at the same time, as in reality, we can work on another matter.

learning curve in vps


3. Implementation or use of the scheduler in Business Central [min 33:22]

Knowing what each field means in your production order card and the tables from Business Central that support it is essential to gain transparency.
For this phase, you can define your new “best practices”. In other words, how you want to use Business Central. For example, to decide when you want to change the status of a production order from the firm planned to release. Choose when you want to post the completion of the shop floor, whether at the end of each routing step or only at the end of the whole production order. Select the date range to set on the planning worksheet (MPS), and will you keep and maintain a “stable period” in which you don’t want the MPS to make changes to your schedule. Pick the cycles you’ll be updating in your routings, how to do it and where to find the information that will tell you it's time to update the routing.

4. Planning and scheduling within Business Central [min 42:08]

At this stage, we recommend specifying and describing the scheduling process you want to follow. This suggests what you want to achieve when scheduling and when, how, and how often to do so.
In the webinar we explained when it’s better to plan on a work center level first and later determine when and where to work on these production orders, depending on the free capacities at the moment [min 43:47].

leverage on scheduling

When using a visual scheduler, you should find the information you want right away. For this reason, with our scheduler, we give you the freedom to adjust the views and the fields shown. For example, the labels are shown on operations or the tooltips when hovering on anything [min 47:00]:

leverage on scheduling

How to leverage simplicity [min 50:27]

During the webinar we shared two benefits of what we win with a simpler and transparent usage of Business Central:
1. Ease of scheduling
2. Process automation

A visual scheduler, such as our Visual Advanced Production Scheduler can fasten the assignment of production orders to the available machines, for example with the scheduling automation feature. Adding all-new production orders into the schedule should consider the current capacity utilization (aka finite capacity) [min 54:58].

add all in the vaps


There are several visual schedulers in the market, but we can assure you, that ours, free to trial btw, can aid in finding the transparency you need when planning and scheduling in Business Central. Our two extensions, to connect with the Manufacturing module are the Visual Production Scheduler (VPS) and its bigger brother, the Visual Advanced Production Scheduler (VAPS).

Further information

• Watch the recording of this webinar
• Book a free demo with a VAPS or a VPS specialist.
• Get your free copy of our comprehensive eBook:


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