Our AX2012 top ten features: #5 – Workflow

As part of Microsoft’s continued push to integrate Dynamics AX with other Microsoft products, AX2012 now includes a fully integrated, graphical workflow tool based on .NET Windows Workflow foundation.

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As part of Microsoft's continued push to integrate Dynamics AX with their other products, AX2012 now includes a fully integrated, graphical workflow tool based on  Microsoft's .NET Windows Workflow foundation.  

At first glance, the main improvement users will notice is the incorporation of the workflow Designer.

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This Visio- style workflow designer provides the user with a canvas onto which the workflow elements from a pre-defined template can be dragged and dropped. The properties of these elements can then be modified by business users to reflect the requirements of your real-world business process. For example, automatic actions, conditional and manual decisions, escalations, delegations, sub-workflows and much more can be defined in this simple, user-friendly interface.

Each user modification creates a new workflow version that can be activated and deactivated as required. These workflows can be copied, imported, exported and applied with different rules to different parts of the organisation.

 

So what's the business benefit?

Business processes evolve and change over time, and users can now make changes to workflows without requiring a developer. Workflow enables your users to prioritise their work and follow more consistent business processes.

The ability to model and apply consistent processes while prioritising work with lower development costs enables your business do more- with less. 

To learn more about AX2012 workflow, its technical capabilities and how we can help you build these for your business, click here to contact us.

 

 

 

Our AX2012 top ten features: #7 Mutli-mode manufacturing

We continue the rundown of our favourite features in AX2012 with an overview of Manufacturing functionality.

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Dynamics AX has always provided a powerful and flexible set of manufacturing features for customers who run a discrete manufacturing operation.

Manufacturing could be configured to manage something as simple as kitting a BoM with no routes, right through to advanced setups such as creating route networks and selecting work centres based on finite capacity, finite properties (e.g. red paint, blue paint) and even requirement based capabilities (e.g the CNC machine can perform a basic milling operation, but preferably use a lathe as it's cheaper).

These kind of features have always been great for Discrete manaufacturers. However Dynamics AX wasn't especially well regarded for its out of the box Process manufacturing capabilities. It is true that many "process type" manufacturing operations could be managed in a discrete solution by running a manufacturing process as a large batch, but customers with fairly simple requirements such as Catch weights, Reverse BoMs and a requirement to manage co- and by-products always had to find workarounds. 

In recent years, an excellent process manufacturing add-on solution came to market which solved many of these problems, but this came with additional costs, complexities and an increased time to ROI. In addition, if the company had adopted LEAN principles and wanted to use Dynamics AX to manage Kanbans for example, then a further add-on solution would be required.

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AX2012 Kanban scheduling 

In Dynamics AX2012 it is now possible to run discrete and process manufacturing in a single installation and in combination with LEAN manufacturing. Customers won't find themselves having to compromise on functionality and shoehorn themselves into a manufacturing ERP solution that provides most, but not all of their needs.

So regardless of the products you manufacture (or however you make them), you now have a solution in the form of the powerful simplicity of Dynamics AX and the Manufacturing knowledge and experience of Technology management.