In today’s society, businesses face challenges such as rising consumer demand, increasing operating costs and globalization in a context which is considerably influenced by the current economic conditions. As a result, some businesses respond by reducing operating costs, while others use technology to be agile, to create more productivity and to streamline organizational processes. Enterprise resources planning (ERP) in Microsoft Dynamics improves the role of a company in the market by offering a versatile structure that adapts rapidly to changes, benefits from new business opportunities and helps the company expand. According to Burns (2014), there are six different products in the Microsoft Dynamics family. This includes the Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM, NAV, GP, SL and RMS, which are Enterprise resource planning solutions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM deals with customer relationship management, while retail management system (RMS) is a retail organization software for medium to small-sized retail businesses. However, the system is not suitable for hospitality and service specialties. It successfully automates retail business activities by allowing easy checkout with the point of sale function; it enables effortless stock level supervision with inventory management application and ensures successful market initiatives using the customer relationship management.
MS RMS is presented in two packages, the Store and Headquarters operations. The Store operation involves inventory control, employee management and customer relationship management applications while Headquarter operations deal with multiple stores that require data analyzed in the headquarters. MS RMS runs on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista.
MS GP is mainly a financial accounting system that is designed to meet most of the requirements of mid to small-sized businesses. In reference to Yogesh & JJ (2015), the application offers financial management, manufacturing planning, business intelligence, field service, collaboration and compliance, IT management and supply management. Dynamics GP leverages .NET frameworks and Microsoft’s Window to provide hosted or deployed on-site applications for monthly fees.
MS SL is an ERP system that is designed for the project-based medium to small-sized businesses. The application offers industrial-specific means for distribution, professional services, construction management, government contracts and generally vertical markets. The application is well-suited for an organization with less than five hundred workers. It has applications for business intelligence, business portal application and financial management. The advanced edition provides extra features such as industry-specific add-on applications created by independent software vendors. Generally, the MS SL utilizes .NET frameworks and Windows (Stefano, 2017).
MS NAV is ERP software intended for medium and small enterprises. It offers functionality for government, manufacturing, distribution and retail organizations. The system was originally created by the Denmark-based Navision A/S before being acquired by Microsoft. It offers applications for manufacturing, human resource management, project management, service management, sales and marketing, business intelligence and the supply chain management. On the other hand, MS AX is appropriate for the mid to larger-sized enterprises. It is the application that is most scalable, functionally rich and robust ERP system in Microsoft Dynamics. It was originally known as the Axapta because it was owned by a Danish software company. On top of accounting, MS AX provides complete functionality for warehouse management, supply and demand chain planning, production management, product lifecycle management, product management, material requirement management, inventory control, transportation management and asset management.
The application serves a wide variety of markets, more so in distribution and manufacturing. Its industry functionality meets the requirements of discrete manufacturers of electronics, industrial machinery, medical devices, consumer products, metals and the aerospace industries. Stefano (2017) noted that MS AX supports the repetitive, make-to-stock, engineer-to -order, make-to-order manufacturing. The process manufacturers require MS AX, which is recommended for companies such as the pharmaceuticals, food, beverage and chemical organizations. However, this does not mean that Microsoft Dynamics AX cannot be used in small enterprises. Microsoft Dynamics AX is suitable for organizations with multi-country or multi-site operations (Nicolàs, 2013). This is because it has a strong functional support system for distributers and manufacturers.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV as well provides a strong functional uphold for distribution and manufacturing, but it’s extremely configurable and has numerous vertical partners, which provides market solutions. On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics GP offers human resource capabilities and strong financial management. It is trendy in professional services, the public sector and in finance. Lastly, Microsoft Dynamics SL is fine for project based business like construction.
The cost of MS ERP within the cloud used to be hard to calculate because of the different factors involved, it needed multiple servers to work and their prices ranged (Yogesh, & JJ, 2015). However, today, online MS GP costs $149 per month per user, MS NAV costs $149 per month per user, MS AX costs$249 per month per user and MS CRM costs $30 per user Month.
A fully integrated corporate management system covering the functional areas such as logistics, finance, production, human resources and accounting is an ERP system. It integrates and organizes information flow and operational processes to make maximum utilization of the available resources. An ERP is important today because businesses are more aggressive, requires on-time analyses, flexibility to change and informed decision making. To achieve competitive advantage, businesses need one or more of these planning and application systems. Therefore, an ERP should be flexible, open and modular, comprehensive and confined to the organization.
Burns, J. (2014). Microsoft Dynamics 79 Success Secrets – 79 Most Asked Questions On Microsoft Dynamics – What You Need To Know. [N.p.]: Emereo Publishing.
Nicolàs, C. (2013). Microsoft Dynamics NAV Financial Management. Birmingham.
Stefano, D. (2017). Building ERP Solutions with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. [N.p.]: PacktPublishing.
Yogesh, K., & JJ, Y. (2015). Microsoft Dynamics AX Implementation Guide.