Companies are currently under tremendous margin pressure and many are looking at how to reduce costs and improve efficiencies – including how management systems can help.
- Can your ERP system help improve operations effectiveness and manage costs, as well as ensure that every sale is captured and fulfilled as effectively as possible?
- Is it working as well as it could for your business?
- Are the costs of supporting your ERP reasonable for the service you are receiving?
Here we offer a few simple tips for managing costs and efficiencies by managing or improving your MS Dynamics AX system.
- Ensure System Efficiency and Effectiveness
Although AX is no longer fully supported by Microsoft, there are still ways to improve your system to make it more productive, efficient, and automatic.
Even if you are implementing an upgrade to Dynamics 365, keeping the current system performing as well as possible during the 18month – 2-year transition is still important, but you will want to keep any costs as low as possible.
Small enhancements – a customisation, integration, or module implementation – can ensure your system continues to deliver for you and work effectively with the rest of your management information systems.
You can still boost productivity, reduce operational costs, overcome problems, or deliver better, quicker information for the decision-making process now with your AX: ask your MSP to help. There’s usually a way.
- Keep your Users Trained
Training is often one of the first things to be cut during tight economic periods but cuts in systems training are often made – and usually a false economy.
It doesn’t matter how robust your ERP system is if your employees can’t use it properly and take full advantage of all the functionalities that it offers. Training helps maintain and increase productivity, and it should be relatively ongoing to deal with any system improvements or employee changes. Additionally, it’s well proven that well-trained employees are less prone to make errors, which can result in extra costs – even lost customers and sales.
Training needn’t be arduous or costly, especially if it’s for a system that is going to be replaced: regular small sessions over time, as and when changes to the system or personnel occur, will make a difference. Ideally, costed within your service contract.
- Your ERP Support Contract
A support service contract is essential to ensure optimal system performance, especially for Dynamics AX. Maintaining the system and ensuring it continues to integrate well with other systems, can take up increasing amounts of time (and money).
A negotiated contract for a fixed period is usually cheaper than time and materials charges and so usually the ideal option. Many companies have yearly, or even 2-year contracts for ongoing support service, sometimes billed upfront. So, key things to consider as your contract comes up for renewal are:
- Is your current supplier still supporting your AX system well enough? As a system now benched by Microsoft, AX expertise is decaying and becoming rarer in the market. If you’re sticking with this system, solid support needs to be ensured by your supplier over the period of the contract – and this doesn’t mean reliance on one person who might leave.
- In addition to AX expertise, your supplier also needs to have up-to-date knowledge and skills of integrating AX with the latest systems and technology requirements important in your industry. Just because you’re not migrating from AX, doesn’t mean you can’t make it work somehow with other new software.
- Does your partner offer the support flexibility you need to respond variably to the needs of your business and the market conditions now? Being adaptable and flexible is key for competitiveness during economic downturns. Can your partner also adapt to you?
- For example, can you dial up or down the number of hours you need, when you need without penalties?
- Are you able to adjust the type of support you need within your contract, or do you have to pay extra for certain types of support
- Are monthly hours fixed with no roll-over? Or variable, with a roll-over?
- Importantly, does your partner proactively suggest ways to help improve your system for better efficiencies? Ideally, they should have broad experience across the market and know relevant short-cuts, and sector specific adaptations that will help you save time and money.
- Lastly, a question always worth considering: can you get the same level of support contract, cheaper? Whilst changing suppliers can seem onerous, if a new supplier can offer better support at a cheaper price, why wouldn’t you?
If you are using Microsoft AX – even if you are currently migrating – there are still opportunities to help you save costs and improve efficiencies. Ensuring you have the best supplier with an optimal, flexible contract that suits your business – and your budget – can really help your business.
Should you want to discuss how we might support you, contact us to set up an informal chat with one of our consultants. We’d be delighted to share what we do for others and see how we might help.
Dynamo Global is a trusted Microsoft Gold Partner with 15+ years of experience of supporting mid-large corporations around the world with their Microsoft AX and D365 ERP platforms. We have huge expertise that can help you maximise your system to help you manage your business – whatever your situation – as well as save you money.