Introduction to Business Central
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? It is the name and current version of Microsoft ERP (traditionally known as Navision or Microsoft Dynamics NAV), one of the most used software in the world due to its ease of adapting to any sector (engineering, retail, distribution, banking …) , which has more than 200,000 clients and more than 30 years of history.
Business Central is a state-of-the-art ERP based on the cloud, which is part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 family and which includes functionalities from all the financial and operational areas that an SME usually has. In addition, it is fully integrated with all Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) products and services , such as Excel, Word, Power BI, PowerApps, etc.
In short, it is a comprehensive business solution made up of several modules that is aimed at streamlining and automating the main processes and tasks of a company (inventory, accounting, operations, etc.).
Business Central modules and functionalities
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a single, comprehensive solution designed to meet the needs of growing businesses by automatically extracting systems and processes to manage finance, sales, service, and operations.
And how does Dynamics 365 Business Central work ? It works through modules and is an ERP system based on roles (some are predefined and others can be configured). Each user using the system will be assigned a role (from operators to managers), and will be able to quickly and easily share data with key people throughout the company.
Below, you can see the ERP modules and some of their key functionalities:
- Management of charges and payments
- Bank reconciliation
- Fixed asset management
- monthly/annual closings
Sales and service management
- Generation of offers
- contact management
- payment processing
Supply chain management
- Purchasing and inventory control
- shipping and distribution
- Returns and cancellations
- Procurement and supplier management
- production planning
- Business Central for Manufacturing capacity
- Warehouse management
- capacity planning
- Budgets and estimates
- Project and process costs
- Resource management
Reports and analysis
- customer information
- self-service reporting
- interactive panels
- embedded intelligence
It is important to note that, although Microsoft Business Central consists of some predefined modules. The ERP has a high capacity for customization and adaptation to the way of working of each company. That is to say, the standard functionality can be completed by adding new functional areas or extra functionalities to the already existing modules. Additionally. It can be integrated with third-party solutions, payroll applications, banking, CRM, or industry-specific systems.
Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
This management tool present in more than 155 countries offers numerous benefits to the companies that use it. Here you can see some of the most important:
- It is an intuitive tool that is easy to learn to use, like most of the applications in the Microsoft universe.
- It has a great capacity for integration and compatibility with other platforms (whether from Microsoft or from third-party manufacturers).
- It is a flexible ERP , since it is possible to implement it on your own server, on a third party, or on the Microsoft cloud. There is also the hybrid implementation option for those companies that do not want to depend on a 100% cloud environment.
- Web client : accessible from any browser
- Desktop client – accessible from the Windows desktop app
- Universal app for smartphones and tablets : accessible from anywhere and any Windows Phone, Apple and Android device
Business Central Implementation
Any implementation process is complex and requires some planning and strategy on the part of the company. In addition, the size of the company, the number of users who are going to make use of the ERP will be fundamental factors that determine the price and the duration of the process.
So, what must be taken into account for the implementation of Dynamics 365 Business Central to be a success?
- Organize a plan for implementation. Together with your team, identify all those processes that require improvement or automation, and determine how these changes will affect the day-to-day business of the company.
- Review the software features in detail. Again, familiarize your team with the new system and establish the best way to automate tasks and processes.
- Ensures data accuracy. Check the integrity and accuracy of the data that you have previously decided should be transferred to the new management system. Do not forget to maintain fluid communication with all parties involved in the process.
- Get your team soaked in information. Determine what type of training the staff who will use the software will need so that they can get the most out of it. An interesting idea is to have your team practice with a test database.
- Implement Business Central and evaluate the results. After implementing the software, you must carry out periodic audits that allow you to verify if the new solution is meeting the objectives set from the beginning.
Finally, whether you are looking for a partner to implement BC from scratch, or if you are looking for a change of distributor or a migration, we advise you to ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:
- Do you have Microsoft Business Central certifications?
- Have you previously worked in companies like mine?
- What is your work methodology?
- How far apart are they?
See Also – The best ERP for SMEs: D365 Business Central
Business Central Licensing and Pricing
How much does it cost to implement Business Central? First of all, you should know that the price of licensing Dynamics 365 Business Central will depend on the complexity of each company’s processes (eg, what functionalities do you intend to use? How “standard” are your business processes? How many users will be trained?).
In addition, the price will also vary depending on the type of license you want to obtain. BC has three user levels: Team Member, Essentials and Premium.
Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Member allows a user to have limited access to the platform to perform certain operations of reading, approving and reporting records, in addition to some specific functions such as the management of specific tasks (eg, fill out timesheets, read registers…). Being the most limited option, it is also the cheapest: €6.80 user/month.
The other two options are available from €59 user/month ( Essentials ) and €84 user/month ( Premium ). Basically the difference between one edition and another is that the Premium edition offers all the features offered by the Essentials, plus the Manufacturing modules (production orders, planning, inventories, supplies…) and Services (service, maintenance or repair requests… ).
Business Central SaaS vs On Premise
Now that you know the types of license depending on the users and everything you need to consider before implementing Dynamics 365 Business Central, it’s time to decide if you want to buy or rent the license. The decision you make will affect both the initial investment and the costs associated with the deployment of the project.
There are two license acquisition options:
- If you choose to rent, we will talk about Business Central SaaS (server hosted in the cloud)
- If you decide on the purchase option, we will talk about Business Central On Premise (being able to host the ERP on a local server or in the cloud).
In the following post you can learn in depth the difference between an ERP SaaS and On Premise .
Business Central ERP Demo
We hope that this Business Central ERP manual has been very useful and we have been able to resolve all your doubts. If not, do not forget that you can request more information or ask us for tutorials on Business Central and its functional areas (Analytics, commercial management, financial management, warehouse management, project management, treasury, manufacturing…).