Vicinity’s New Microsoft Dynamics BC Batch and Process Manufacturing Features

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In batch and process manufacturing, one of the most significant challenges is production scheduling. This process involves meticulously planning and organizing resources to ensure that products are manufactured on time to meet customer demand. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Project manager working with schedule to plan production and deliverables.
 

If a company produces too much inventory, it risks overstocking and wasting resources. On the other hand, if a company produces too little inventory, it risks not being able to respond quickly to customers’ demands, and thus potentially losing customers to competitors who already have the product in their warehouse.

The difficulty is further compounded due to various factors like fluctuating demand, resource constraints, and unforeseen disruptions. A solid MRP solution, tailored to the unique needs of batch and process manufacturing, helps to cope with the challenges and keep production in sync with demand.

Our most viewed video tutorial of the year centered on Vicinity Software’s new Available to Promise feature in our Dynamics 365 Business Central integration. This highlights the popularity of Business Central in the manufacturing industry, as well as our commitment to delivering enhancements to BC functionality that our users need and request. Let’s take a look at how Vicinity Software simplifies production scheduling for batch and process manufacturers today.

Want to see Vicinity's Available to Promise in Action?

See how the latest feature in our Business Central integration helps you make quick decisions when taking customer orders.

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How Vicinity and Dynamics BC Aids in Production Planning

Among the many features that follow your products from the initial sale to final delivery are two that are essential for production planning: Batch tickets and Planned Orders.

  • Batch tickets are an essential tool for scheduling personnel. They represent a commitment to producing a certain quantity of goods within a specified timeframe. By using batch tickets, manufacturers can firmly schedule production runs, thereby providing a clearer picture of their production capabilities.
  • Planned orders are a step before batch tickets, offering flexibility in scheduling. They indicate the intent to produce certain goods but are not yet finalized. This flexibility allows schedulers to adjust production dates and lines as needed, ensuring optimal resource allocation and efficiency.

Available to Promise Shares Production Data with Microsoft Business Central

Now, in the Vicinity 4.42 release from March 2023, more production data (including Batch Tickets and Planned Orders) is made available through the Dynamics 365 Business Central integration in the new “Available to Promise” screen. This bridges the gap between production planning and other business functions.

 

How the Available to Promise Feature Works:

  1. Real-Time Inventory Analysis: It assesses current inventory levels, taking into account the quantity on hand which is critical in determining immediate availability.
  2. Future Production Visibility: It includes data from batch tickets and planned orders to provide a more accurate picture of what is available to promise to customers.
  3. Accounting for Existing Sales Orders: It also shows you the existing sales orders that are depleting the inventory. This reveals the net available inventory after fulfilling the orders already in the pipeline.
  4. Dynamic Update Mechanism: As these variables change – like inventory levels fluctuating, new batch tickets being issued, or sales orders being placed – the data shared with Business Central updates in real-time, ensuring that the information is always current.

Using the Available to Promise Feature:

  1. Review Product Availability: When a customer inquires about a product, any Business Central user can check its availability through the Available to Promise screen. This includes examining the quantity on hand, upcoming production batches (batch tickets), and planned production (planned orders).
  2. Determine Delivery Timelines: Based on the revealed information, your staff can estimate when a product will be available for shipment. This includes considering any existing sales orders that might affect the availability.
  3. Communicate with Customers: Armed with accurate and up-to-date information, customer service representatives can confidently inform customers about product availability and estimated delivery times.
  4. Make Informed Decisions: In scenarios where product demand exceeds current production capacity, the feature allows Business Central users to make informed decisions about prioritizing orders or expediting production.

How Available to Promise in Business Central Improves Efficiency

This feature brings several benefits, streamlining your order-taking process and helping you build a reputation of reliability with your client base.

Accurate Delivery Promises. Users can confidently inform customers about product availability and realistic delivery dates, reducing the risk of over-promising and under-delivering.

Enhanced Visibility. The ATP feature provides a comprehensive view of the product lifecycle, from production to sales. This visibility is crucial for customer service representatives who need to quickly and accurately respond to customer inquiries.

Proactive Order Management. With real-time data on production and inventory, sales and customer service teams can proactively manage orders. If a product is not available, they can immediately communicate alternatives or adjust delivery expectations.

Improved Customer Satisfaction. Reliable information on product availability and delivery times enhances customer trust and satisfaction. This can lead to repeat business and a stronger customer relationship.

Streamlined Operations. By integrating production data with sales and customer service functions, ATP helps streamline operations. Teams can work more efficiently, as they have all the necessary information at their fingertips.

Partner with Vicinity for Batch and Process Manufacturing Solutions

For businesses looking to streamline their manufacturing processes, the combination of Dynamics 365 Business Central and Vicinity Software offers a robust solution. By enhancing visibility and communication across departments, Vicinity and BC help in meeting customer demands more effectively and efficiently.

For more information on how Vicinity Software can transform your batch and process manufacturing operations, or to explore upgrading your current systems, contact Vicinity Software. We are dedicated to helping manufacturers increase their productivity across every aspect of their organization.

 

By Vicinity Software | www.vicinitysoftware.com

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