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Microsoft ERP Review – Can It Manage Your Manufacturing?

The Microsoft ERP suite is comprised of numerous solutions obtained through the acquisition of several smaller technology vendors. Read on to learn more about Microsoft ERP’s wide array of applications and expansive feature set.

Microsoft ERP Acquisitions Offer Best-of-Breed Choices for Manufacturers

When Microsoft decided to enter the business applications market, it did so by acquiring a variety of different ERP vendors who offered cutting-edge specialty technologies in specific market sectors. As a result, the Microsoft ERP suite – the Dynamics line of products – is made up of such solutions as GP (formerly Great Plains), SL (formerly Solomon), AX (formerly Axapta), and NAV (formerly Navision). However, late last year, the company announced that it would be developing a common code base for all Microsoft ERP systems, making both integration and upgrades faster and easier.

Some potential customers may be skeptical about the way these solutions were “slapped together.” Microsoft’s “Project Green” initiative, its comprehensive, unifying ERP strategy that was intended to solve any outstanding product issues that resulted from these acquisitions, has since become a series of upgrades that will take place in smaller stages.

However, there have been many advantages to Microsoft’s approach. For example, Microsoft ERP combines several best-of-breed applications. Additionally, unlike other ERP vendors that must rely on internal resources to develop ERP product functionality (a process that can be very labor-intensive and time-consuming), Microsoft was able to quickly assemble a broad range of ERP applications and features to address the widest range of customer needs.

Microsoft ERP offers modules that impact a much wider span of business processes than most other ERP solutions on the market, including:

  • Human resources management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Manufacturing automation
  • Distribution and logistics
  • E-commerce
  • Project management and accounting
  • Field service management
  • Retail management
  • Financial management
  • Supply chain management

Microsoft ERP is available as an on-site or on-premise system, or as a hosted application through a variety of Microsoft partners. The company’s CEO recently announced that it will offer its own hosted version of Microsoft ERP in the near future.