As your SMB grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage all aspects of your business in a streamlined way. However, what if we told you there is a way you can integrate customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities into a single, comprehensive, and seamlessly integrated suite of business tools?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 (and more specifically Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central which is more suited to SMBs) is a powerful, cloud-based solution that does precisely that. When used correctly, it can help transform your business by making you smarter, leaner and more capable as an entity.
Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 an ERP?
Short for enterprise resource planning, ERP software is software organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities. This can involve anything from CRM to invoicing, to communication and on to logistics.
So, yes, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an entire suite of ERP software applications. The line of business applications in the Dynamics suite can help you manage your day-to-day operations across accounting, project management, human resources, sales and marketing (via CRM capability) and more.All of these ERPs can be integrated into a single, seamless business application. In that way, Dynamics 365 doesn’t only make it easier to manage specific areas of your business – but the entirety of your business as a whole as well.
What are the key benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365?
There are a number of key benefits as follows:
- Ease of use and familiarity: Although the underlying software might be complex, Dynamics 365 offers an intuitive and beginner-friendly experience and interface. In fact, Dynamics Apps are specifically developed to be familiar to users of other Microsoft software products
- Highly compatible: The chances are you are probably already using various Microsoft products within your business such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. Dynamics 365 is highly compatible and seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft programs – as well as supporting a wide range of third-party integrations
- Quick and easy to deploy: As a Cloud-based service, Dynamics 365 doesn’t require a complex internal IT infrastructure behind to. To get going all your users need is a browser and internet access. You can add or remove modules with just a few clicks and most apps are easy to set up individually
- Flexible and customizable: Dynamics 365 follows a modular architecture, which means you can choose to add individual apps as and when you need them. This means that Dynamics 365 can be configured to be exactly what you need it to be.
- Scalability: Because it runs on the Cloud, Dynamics 365 is highly scalable. Most SMBs would have access to more resources than they are ever likely to need and it is also designed to grow with your business in terms of features, pricing and numbers of users
- Improved customer experience: Dynamics 365 allows you to collect a massive amount of information on your customers, their behaviours and preferences. This is ‘gold-dust’ for your sales team who are able to create personalised experiences that are much more likely to add revenue. As well as create more finely tailored services and make faster decisions that increase customer satisfaction as you bring them onboard
- Faster sales cycles: Dynamics 365’s CRM tools are some of its most powerful features and a favourite of customer-facing SMBs. It helps you to drive customer conversion and accelerate sales cycles by cutting down the time between leads being generated and sales being made
- Competitive pricing: Finally, even as tight as SMB budgets tend to be, you’ll find that Dynamics 365 is surprisingly affordable. What’s more, the modular nature of the suit allows you to opt-in and pay only for exactly what you use.
How long does it take to set up Microsoft Dynamics 365?
The reality here is that, like any other business application, the time taken to set Dynamics up is going to be influenced by the extent to which you want to embed it in your business.
But the good news is that the highly modular structure of Dynamics means it is possible to get up and running quickly, with a specific functional focus – for example to start with the CRM capabilities inside Dynamics – and build out from there. In fact, we find that many of our customer view implementing Cloud products like Dynamics as a journey and not a project. Where you are able to take a phased and ongoing approach to developing additional functionality.
This is something that particularly appeals to customers who come to us because they are not getting what they need from either their existing Dynamics implementation or their supplier. We are able to help them with a journey-based approach which gets them back on track and helps them get more out of Dynamics incrementally.
With a flexible, ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing structure this is a win-win for all parties.
What are Dynamics 365 capabilities?
Dynamics 365 has the potential to be an all-in-one business ERP ecosystem. Its’ capabilities are modularized into different apps that can be added or removed from your application when you need them.
This means you can find an ERP solution component for just about any aspect of the modern SMB including:
- Consumer data platform: CRM with customer data, insights and communications capability
- Supply chain management: Everything from insights to implementation guides to intelligent order management
- Sales: Brings together market research and segmentation with sales cycle management tools. It also has a powerful integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator to boost social selling
- Customer service: Whether remote assist or field service, Dynamics 365 provides the tools to serve customers proactively
- Human Resources: These tools empower your HR and employees through self-service HR tools. As well as boosting your organizational agility
- SMB management: Dynamics 365 gives you the capability to gain visibility and insights across all of these functions of your business. Aside from the specialized apps, you’ll have access to a central business console that acts as a hub for the entire business.
Add in modules for marketing, commerce, finance and project management and you can begin to see how it is genuinely an end-to-end business ERP.
However, there is a lot to consider when you are looking to get started with Dynamics 365. To get the most value out of the solution you should consider leveraging the expertise of an approved Dynamics 365 specialist who knows the product inside out and is going to be able to get you running quickly with the minimum of hassle around configuration, data migration etc.
They are also going to be able to help you compare the relative merits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and choose which route to go.
What does the future of your SMB look like with Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 truly has the potential to transform your business digitally for the better. It is truly a tool that can empower and transform your business. Not only for you as a business owner or manager but for your staff as well. It will allow you to cut costs, be more productive, make better decisions and bring down lead times for new projects and initiatives.
If we can help on your Dynamics 365 journey. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your specific requirements and for a live demo of Dynamics in action. We would be pleased to help.