In today’s world, many of us are increasingly turning to supplements because they contribute to our healthy lifestyles. What we rarely realize are the logistical challenges that distributors and manufacturers face every day to get these products to the customer in the desired composition.
When an importer of nutraceuticals found that their current system couldn’t support their operations to the degree they wanted, The TM Group helped them implement a more flexible solution that better fit their business model.
The client supplies manufacturers of custom juices and power drinks, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides the business foundation that they need to continue to serve their industry and clients’ unique business needs long-term.
The biggest challenge for this client was deeply rooted in the very nature of their high-touch business model, where a lot of business process steps can’t be automated in the first place. However, they also needed more control and better reporting, to make sure they were streamlining the operational steps that could be supported through new software.
While they were using QuickBooks for their accounting needs, most of their business processes were still paper-based. To fill in the gaps between systems, they even confessed to tracking their inventory with sticky notes, simply because their system wasn’t flexible enough for their use case.
Ultimately, they were looking for a more robust, cloud-based solution that would still give them the versatility their industry needed.
The client chose to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to streamline their distribution network and provide a reliable framework. While this comprehensive business management solution gave them robust functionality for accounting, project management and financial reporting, Business Central’s standard functionality for adjusting warehouse entries and duplicating item listings actually moved the needle for them the most.
One reason why The TM Group uses Microsoft’s solution in cases like these is that the platform not only allows businesses to configure settings and enable features to their unique requirements; it also extends beyond its already impressive capabilities through add-on solutions — should the client need even more flexibility.
Features like these are especially important to accommodate the unique needs of this food supplement provider, as daily operations require employees to adjust inventory quantities because blending and compacting of supplies can affect volume units of measure.
This posed an additional challenge during implementation. The TM Group team noticed that the client’s employees were used to account for minor differences in volume or weight by simply changing data manually.
Even though it is common that a powdered product settles or changes volume and weight due to humidity or atmospheric conditions, arbitrarily changing metrics can confuse auditors, business partners and customers and cause miscommunication.
The TM Group showed them how Microsoft Dynamics 365 gave them the flexibility to properly represent and track those situations within the tool, but they still needed to rewire their habits and learn to use the system properly.
The TM Group’s consulting team worked with the client to design, coordinate and test their application setup for their specific business needs. Thanks to ongoing discovery and exchanges during implementation, The TM Group was able to adjust the client’s business process and include tailored workflows for inventory management and invoicing that worked for their unique requirements.
Due to this collaboration and the automation capabilities of Business Central, the client could automate countless tasks that seemed unmanageable before, freeing up time to take care of their core business and grow even further in the future.
Certainly, the Dynamics 365 platform gave the client the right combination of flexibility and reliability that made their daily operations easier. However, it’s hard to grasp the full benefits without walking through their most challenging products, but here are a few examples of unique business requirements that TMG helped them solve with Business Central.
For good reason, legal guidelines determine a large part of the processes in the food industry, and this client was no exception. Nevertheless, these small volume adjustments presented the customer with a major bureaucratic challenge.
For every large shipment of concentrate powder, they’re required to take a small sample and store it for later reference, to fulfill government regulations.
In addition, their inventory solution needs to account for samples that clients request before making a purchase.
To reflect that within Dynamics 365, they now use item numbers for the original shipping and duplicates for both compliance and customer samples, which are marked with “-R” for retainage or “-S” for samples.
Another challenge they faced when fulfilling orders was they needed various invoice versions that included the different information necessary for corporate and private clients in different legislative systems. The TM Group added customization within their invoicing process, allowing them to choose the appropriate invoice version within Business Central for each client.
Also, twice a year, the client ships two powders to a third party that mixes both of them to create a new product that is shipped directly to the end customer. The weight and density of the components, which were already measured in different units, would continuously change based on the humidity in the storage facilities or on how long the product had settled during transport. Understandably, that would cause confusion with the customer, who would state they had either received too much or too little of the product.
At first, the TM Group discussed how to create an assembly order inside Business Central to handle the inventory adjustments, but the results always varied for the numerous reasons we already mentioned. Since the client only ran through this exchange twice a year, TMG and the client decided it was just easier to make an adjusting entry.
Thanks to regular and informed exchanges during the implementation period, The TM Group was capable of establishing a true partnership with the client, helping them to fine-tune their business management solution to the unique needs of their industry niche.
The new system ultimately made them a more valuable and trusted business partner, which will no doubt lead to more collaboration and increased client satisfaction in the future.
Once again, this experience goes to show that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is one of the most flexible business management options on the market.
If your accounting or inventory management solution leaves much to be desired these days, you might be ready to switch to Dynamics 365 Business Central as well. Get in touch with the TM Group today! Schedule a consultation with one of our team members and learn how the right platform can transform your business forever.