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Business Central Manufacturing Show
34 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
A conversation on how to jumpstart Business Central production scheduling
The Business Central Manufacturing Show is back. This podcast started as something I would call a “first COVID lockdown project” in spring 2020. Six months ago, I lost a bit of traction, then got distracted and the podcast came to an unplanned stop. However, we analyze our marketing data.Here is the finding. We stopped the podcast. We stopped to promote it. Nevertheless, the episodes that we recorded got listeners. Week, by week. So: what is more inspiring than creating content that has, well, a "fan base"?Here we are again. We decided to make the podcast a natural part of our monthly Marketing plans. Thus, we aim for one episode a month for the time being. For my first new episode, I met Antonio Checa from Spain. And we had a great conversation on how to jumpstart Business Central production scheduling.In our conversation, we flew the full circle. We started high-level (why Business Central manufacturing). Then drilled into the details (down to why setup optimization is like finding money). We concluded on a high level again with the question if Microsoft is the Empire or the Alliance.Antonio's experience with new manufacturing customers is that they rarely come especially for the Business Central manufacturing module. Instead, they come for the entire solution and platform. Especially, the seamless integration with the Office product family is attractive to them. Typically, they share one big issue. They have an accounting system and a lot of function-specific "island solutions". It is no surprise that the latter oftentimes are made with Excel. With this, these manufacturers have a lot of information that is disconnected.The challenge is to bring all these information sources into this one Business Central platform. Antonio's advice is not to oversell Business Central. You run danger to do so if you work with the assumption that the customer is always right. The result of this is a lot of customizations and big projects (which too take long to deliver fast results). Instead of this, the first concrete tip for jumpstarting Business Central manufacturing is: stick to the standard.After that, Antonio reveals what he calls the "David Copperfield" trick: He shares concrete steps on how to implement Business Central manufacturing. Second concrete advice: do not go for heaven. Start with the financial and the billing system. Live in 2 months. Then add purchase automation with the purchasing part of the planning worksheet. After that, turn the paper-based warehousing processes into processes based on state-of-the-art technology. Now, look at implementing standard Business Central manufacturing. This allows you to use the planning worksheet in full swing. Once this is done, the scene is set for finite capacity scheduling.This triggered me to ask for the conditions that should be met to make this last step. Antonio called this the "one-million-dollar question" and surprised me with this answer. The third concrete advice for jumpstarting Business Central manufacturing is: you need to have a smart guy. This person should be familiar with both how Business Central works and with how the shopfloor works.I was truly pleased that Antonio brought the "human factor of scheduling" into the discussion. It made me ask what I sense was the "true one-million-dollar question": Should the final scheduling decision be made by the algorithm or by the person working with the scheduling software? Antonio picked it up and developed compelling thoughts on the importance of scheduling parameters and the need to continuously tune them. That brought him to the fourth piece of advice for jumpstarting Business Central production scheduling: do not blindly rely on algorithms.
30 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
The constant battle between production planning and scheduling
This week’s episode is a special edition of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. Last week, hosted our online event called “next by NETRONIC – session 2”. The idea of the “next” events is to talk about topics, not about products as well as to discuss with each other rather than to have a 1-way demo. Hence, last week’s event was a panel discussion in which we looked at the constant battle between production planning and scheduling.The discussion was led by Martin Karlowitsch, and his guests were experienced Business Central manufacturing experts. If you took some time to attend our event – a big thank you from all of us at NETRONIC, if not then please enjoy this podcast. The panelists were first Peik Bech-Andersen from Denmark, who is the author of the book “manufacturing with Dynamics NAV” and who has been working with NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central since 1984. Second, we welcomed James Crowter from the UK, who is a Microsft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Managing Director of Technology Management. Third, they were joined by Mike Fontaine from Canada, who is a solutions expert with 20+ years of ERP software and manufacturing experience from VOX ISM in Canada. The expert panel started by discussing if they agree with the general existence of a constant battle between production planning and scheduling. There was a consensus from our panel that this battle does exist and that it is something that isn’t as simple as one usually thinks. Understanding the material requirements planning and getting it right, requires a lot of fine-tuning. Especially when taking into consideration the different policies that exist within a company. Oftentimes, when the material requirements planning is not done correctly, you see a lot of confusion and sometimes you will even see customers moving back to using Microsoft Excel. If this happens, planning and scheduling no longer are aligned … and the battle kicks in. Preparing for the event, we sent out a questionnaire to everybody who registered. The majority of the Dynamics 365 Business Central customers who attended said that only one person handles both: planning and scheduling in their organizations. James assessed that it might cause problems if only one person is handling both parts of the business. The organization would become too dependent on that one person, which might cause some issues later on. Peik put this into perspective when he mentioned the only way to eat an elephant is when you take small bites. He said that he’s seen a lot of success from companies that divide responsibilities between MPS and MRP since they are split up into manageable sizes. In terms of the tools used to manage planning and scheduling, we heard a lot of feedback not just from our customers and partners, but also from our panel. Despite the abundance of ERP software, we still see a lot of companies using Excel. The panel shared their views on Excel, and why it remains popular, and why they advise against it. James explained the importance of planning and scheduling by saying that getting it right is the “Holy Grail” for most manufacturing companies. Getting customer satisfaction by having the right inventory at the right place at the right time, is exactly why manufacturing companies invest in ERP systems. According to Mike, it is software such as Business Central that can help customers with their planning and scheduling, specifically balancing their sales forecast, inventory, machines, and manpower. With the rise in popularity of the cloud subscription option, BC is so much more affordable for small manufacturers these days.
29 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
How to right-size your manufacturing ERP solution (Trevor Moore)
We continue our podcast episode by going north of the border. From Wisconsin, we now head to Montreal, Canada where we had the chance to talk to Trevor Moore, the Product Director of ERP Solutions at Gestisoft. Trevor started his career in the manufacturing industry, where he implemented full ERP systems in two different companies as a production scheduler. Given his experience on the end-customer side, he ventured into the NAV world where he now has a 20-year track record of successfully implanting ERP systems to around 100 companies (mostly manufacturing). Our conversation mainly centered around all aspects of how to right-size a manufacturing ERP solution for each client.Watch our Business Central Manufacturing Show overview site to see all episodes at one glance.
27 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
How routings can be used for both costing and scheduling … and more concrete tips (Kevin Fons)
We continue our podcast, where we left off last time, somewhere in the US. From the Atlantic coast in Florida, we now go to Madison, Wisconsin (virtually) for our next guest, Kevin Fons. Kevin has been working in the manufacturing industry for 30 years and with Dynamics NAV, Dynamics 365 Business Central, and ISV add-ons for about 16 years. Today he is a Senior Applications Consultant for Innovia, where he leads various NAV & Business Central projects for a wide array of customers.Starting from the general value manufacturing ERP data can have for customers, the conversation became very specific rapidly. We dived down into the concrete topic of routings and that they need to serve two purposes: costing and scheduling. Click here to get an overview of all episodes of the Business Central Manufacturing Show.
26 minutes | Oct 12, 2020
How ERP enables the digitization in manufacturing (Olof Simren)
The wait is over! The Business Central Manufacturing Show is back with its 14th episode. In this episode, we talk to Olof Simren. A Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV expert who started working with Navision back in 2002. With over 18 years of Microsoft Dynamics experience, an awesome blog about Dynamics NAV manufacturing, and projects in different parts of the world, Olof now leads a US-based company called Naviona. In our interview, we discussed how an ERP system can help manufacturing companies go paperless through full-circle digitization.Get access to all episodes of the Business Central Manufacturing Show here.
28 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
6 super concrete tips for manufacturers working with Business Central (Matthew Woodhouse)
Episode number 13 of the Business Central Manufacturing Show was with Matthew Woodhouse. Matt is the Microsoft Dynamics Team Director at Technology Management and runs its project delivery team. Originally coming from a manufacturing & distribution background, Matt first came into contact with Navision back in 1999. Since then he has been helping manufacturing companies. The interview evolved in a way that we looked at manufacturing and Dynamics 365 Business Central from various angles (e.g. from shop-floor data capture as well as from artificial intelligence). But, independent of how we looked at it: Matt always came up with very concrete tips that manufacturers should apply when it comes to an ERP system.
27 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
Why gamification matters for manufacturing - and how it can work (Paul Hogendoorn)
Paul Hogendoorn was my guest for the 12th episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. Paul is an incurable entrepreneur from Canada and has founded, co-founded, or helped launch numerous ventures over his 30+ year career, including most recently, FreePoint Technologies. FreePoint's unique technology captures and delivers real-time productivity information, connecting plant floor manufacturing processes directly to managers and operators in innovative, practical, and cost-effective ways. I picked up one of his recent likes on LinkedIn and started the conversation with a question on gamification. This let to a vital discussion on why gamification matters for manufacturing companies. (spoiler: among other benefits, it can yield a 25% uptick in productivity for high-mix low-volume manufacturers). The good news is: we didn't stop with the why, but also looked at a hands-on recipe how it can get implemented, and what metrics can help with gamification.
25 minutes | Jun 1, 2020
How manufacturers can achieve sales and back office process efficiency (Chris de Visser)
I met with Chris de Visser for the 11th episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. Chris is from the Netherlands, but lives in New York and works as CEO North America for Continia. Before taking that role, he successfully ran the American business of Sana Commerce in Northern America. As such, Chris does not represent a partner being specialized in manufacturing with deep vertical know-how. Instead, he brings a lot of experience with horizontal topics such as sales and process efficiencies that are crucial for any company, and hence also for manufacturers. Hence, I took the opportunity to fly a full circle on back-office process efficiency, which includes administrative processes as well as sales and even marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
22 minutes | May 25, 2020
Manufacturers: Winners doesn't take it all, but balance information (Christophe Billard)
This is the 10th episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. This week, I spoke with Christophe Billard, who is from France, but lives and works in Spain. After working as a business demand planner and in supply chain management for pharmaceutical and FMCG companies, Christophe became an ERP consultant 15 years ago. Since then has helped many manufacturing companies to fully embrace the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. In our conversation, we looked at best practices when implementing an ERP, getting started with MRP, and introducing an MES. Throughout this round-trip, Christophe's advice for manufacturing companies stayed consistent: do not try to take it all. Instead, start small with balanced information, before you then unleash the power of these systems by constant fine-tuning. He repeated this advice when we looked at the similarities of a successful wrestler and a successful manufacturing company.
26 minutes | May 18, 2020
Let's talk production scheduling concepts, not scheduling solutions (Mike Fontaine)
For episode #9 of the Business Central Manufacturing Show, I met Mike Fontaine from Canada. He is a solutions expert at VOX ISM, and has 20+ years of experience with ERP software and manufacturing. Actually, Mike used to work with manufacturing companies as a buyer, a scheduler, and a production planner. After spending some minutes on the experiences that Mike gained working for manufacturers (quote: "I actually was the MRP system of the company"), we found ourselves chatting about scheduling. Interestingly enough, we did not speak scheduling software, but scheduling concepts. A major lesson learned is: we need to spend more time dealing with scheduling concepts. If we break down scheduling success, it is software plus concepts (neither just software nor just concepts). The scheduling concepts we discussed range from "applying how baseball works to scheduling" to the "frozen, slushy and wet schedule". Last, but not least Mike also shared some thoughts on why he is driving the Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) 2020.
26 minutes | May 11, 2020
A box of chocolate of manufacturing ERP best practices (Michael Hering)
Michael Hering from Germany was my guest in episode #8 of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. As Industry Manager Concrete, Michael is responsible for COSMO CONSULT's products and solutions for discrete manufacturing. The conversation turned out to become a box of chocolate with manufacturing ERP best practices. We looked into a variety of aspects such as lean management and the IT required for it, artificial intelligence in manufacturing, concrete steps to make when implementing a manufacturing ERP system, and future data strategies if supply chains might become shorter again. Michael provided concrete tips & advice to not only each of these "pieces of chocolate", but to even more pieces.
27 minutes | May 4, 2020
7 super practical tips to master the digital transformation (Guus Krabbenborg)
I met Guus Krabbenborg from the Netherlands for this episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. He was my first guest without a dedicated manufacturing background. However, he is a highly-experienced business trainer and consultant with a well-earned reputation in the international Microsoft Dynamics arena. He has managed and co-owned several software companies and was Sales Director for Navision Software in The Netherlands. Guus and I quickly came to the topic of digital transformation, and I learned that transformation is the hardest of the implied challenges. However, Guus didn't end up making this clear in a provocative way. Instead, he gave seven insanely concrete and practical tips of what companies can do to achieve that transformation journey. These tips are not only inspiring, but they are also hands-on and ready-to-go aka ready to get applied. Starting this Friday ;-)
27 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Do not search for the secret sauce of Dynamics 365 Business Central (Robert Jolliffe)
This week, I had the chance to interview Robert Jolliffe, CEO and President of Sabre Limited from Canada. He has been an ERP consultant in the manufacturing space for over 25 years, starting immediately after graduating University of Toronto Engineering. His two uncles and his father owned and operated manufacturing businesses, and hence manufacturing is in his blood. In our conversation, Robert not only explained the phrase "secret sauce" to me, but also made it very obvious, why manufacturers would do wrong if they try to search for the secret sauce of a product such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. However, we did not end up with searching for the secret sauce ... we also looked ahead into industrial revolution number 4 and the return of cottage industries.
20 minutes | Apr 20, 2020
Two underestimated Business Central manufacturing powers: Upgrade-ability and extensibility (Bart Pattijn)
I met Bart Pattijn from Belgium for the fifth episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. He is ERP consultant at Christiaens BV, and actually didn’t start his career in an IT company. Instead, he initially was a production manager in several food companies. Hence, he has plenty of hands-on experience when it comes to manufacturing and planning. He has been working with Navision since 2004. Our conversion quickly became very hands-on, and Bart managed to unveil two underestimated superpowers of Business Central to me: this is the upgrade-ability and the extensibility. Both in combination enable manufacturing companies to achieve more with Business Central, and to cope with the ongoing need for speed and need for change.
27 minutes | Apr 12, 2020
A round-trip from material requirements planning (MRP) to shopfloor execution (Sune Lohse)
In this episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show, I met with Sune Lohse. Sune is Chief Strategy Officer and Business Unit Manager Supply Chain at Abakion from Denmark. He holds a bachelor in “manufacturing engineering” and helps customers optimizing supply chain processes. Sune is author of the book "200 ERP Questions: The most important things to think about when considering Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central" and initiator of the free Microsoft Dynamics learning portal UseDynamics.com, where he has contributed with more than 500 videos on Business Central. Our conversation started with some Marketing best practices, but then quickly turned into a round-trip from material requirements planning (MRP) to shopfloor execution, which culminated in the similarities of raising kids and raising Business Central manufacturing clients.
20 minutes | Apr 6, 2020
Situational manufacturing: What manufacturers can learn from football (AJ Ansari)
Football is a strategic team sport. Typically, those teams win that are able to quickly adapt their strategy to the changing dynamics of the game. This is called situational football, and in this episode, we develop the idea of situational manufacturing. My interview guest is AJ Ansari, a Microsoft MVP with 13 years of experience in the Microsoft Dynamics channel. Prior to his current role as COO at DSWi, he has built and led a profitable NAV practice from the ground up at InterDyn BMI (now Columbus) and held the responsibility for presale and product management. During his years as consultant and presale specialist, he has advised many industrial manufacturers and services businesses in the SMB space with respect to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV.AJ is passionate about manufacturing, about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and about (American) football and we bring together these three passions in this third episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show.
17 minutes | Mar 30, 2020
Focus processes, not functionalities (Peik Bech-Andersen)
"Focus processes, not functionalities" is the number one recommendation Peik Bech-Anderson gives to all manufacturing companies starting with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.This episode is an interview with Peik Bech-Anderson. Peik is a solution architect and senior developer, and he first saw Navision back in 1984. He is the author of the best-selling book “Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. A comprehensive guide to the manufacturing module in Microsoft Dynamics NAV”, which can be applied 1:1 to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as well.In this interview, we
10 minutes | Mar 28, 2020
Calling all Business Central manufacturing specialists (Martin Karlowitsch)
This is the initial episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show – the first podcast for small and midsized manufacturers that work or consider working with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.With this initial episode, I am calling all global Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central manufacturing specialists. I cordially invite you to join me for this show.Actually, this initial episode is an exception as I am the only person speaking in this episode. My plan is that nine out of ten episodes will be me interviewing folks that have much more to say about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and manufacturing.I am using this episode to share the background story of why I am doing this:I want to make good use of some time that I won unexpectedly.I always wanted to do a podcast, and so far could hide behind the “no time” argument.I am an extremely curious person. In my leisure time, I am fully into football (some might it call soccer). But in my professional life, I truly became curious about all things manufacturing – especially in combination with Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central.It seems that I know quite a bunch of people who know a lot more than I about manufacturing and Business Central. Let’s do the math and put all of this together. The result is the Business Central Manufacturing Show – the first podcast dedicated to small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that use (or consider using) Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. I know that this is a niche podcast. But I hope it will bring great value to this niche.And with this: I am calling all Business Central manufacturing experts to join me for this show.
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