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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Dynamics AX’

Ignify Customer Spotlight: The Port of Long Beach

April 22nd, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

As one of the nation’s premier seaports, the Port of Long Beach provides roughly 316,000 jobs in Southern California and handles more than $155 billion worth of products, from clothes and shoes to lumber and steel, that pass through its harbor annually.

In addition to it being an economic powerhouse, the Port is a leader in providing environmental initiatives to minimize or eliminate negative environmental impacts.

With such a huge economic, logistic, and environmental footprint to track, the Port needed a reliable system to monitor its operations, such as tracking the high volume of vessels and cargo that pass through its waters to managing invoices and the billing system.

Ignify’s specialized implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX improved operating efficiency by automating the invoicing and accounts receivable processes, increasing oversight of revenue recognition an analytical reporting systems, enhancing productivity, and providing complete visibility of Port processes.

“Ignify came up with an ingenious idea,” Douglas Albrecht, Director of Information Management of the Port of Long Beach said at Ignify’s CXO Breakfast Series. “We have built data interfaces with partners such as the Marine Exchange and the City of Long Beach; almost all data flows into the system electronically now, everybody works from the AX screens.”

The CXO Breakfast Series featured Albrecht as the keynote speaker. He shared how choosing Microsoft Dynamics AX has streamlined previously burdensome manual processes in order to make the Port’s operations run smoothly and efficiently. This has, in turn, strengthened overall port processes while improving customer satisfaction.

Albrecht said that the number one complaint he would receive from staff prior to implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX was the inability to access important information. The staff could work more efficiently if it didn’t have to dig through information.

The billing system was the first main target area.

“Replacing our billing system was one of the most significant things we had on our plate because that’s where our revenue comes from,” said Albrecht. “You don’t want to disrupt that information flow for a moment.”

With Microsoft Dynamics AX, the Port’s data is correct, accurate, and accessible at any time. The invoices became consolidated—instead of 30 or 40 invoices for one vessel call, there is one invoice for everything, from inbound to discounts to the dockage.

The Port’s successful implementation and usage of Microsoft Dynamics AX was recognized by Microsoft as they were a finalist for a 2014 Customer Excellence Award.

“What I want to share is we don’t do IT projects,” said Albrecht. “We do business projects; and the way we do this—the way we make this real—is we bring business managers in as project managers on our IT and business projects.”

Ignify’s port solution is based on the Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics platforms, and provides the following functionality to port authorities, shippers, and marine terminal owners:  vessel information management and vessel scheduling, billing and invoicing, contract management, property management, and electronic data interchange.

For more information, please email ports@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

April 15th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

Create amazing customer experiences. Run agile operations. Expand business. These core values stitched together during the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Launch Event.

The focus, as it should be, was very much on the customer throughout the hour-long online event, featuring breakout sessions from corporate business leaders and Microsoft professionals, as well as engaging demos.

If you missed the launch event, it’s not too late to watch the presentation. The entire recording is streaming on demand for your convenience. Simply register, or sign in, to view the video.

Informative video snippets demoed the new release in a very fresh manner. A few key features include upgraded demand forecasting features, custom app components, new mobile POS enhancement, and new transportation capabilities. Most feature are fully-functional on tablet and smartphone devices—no cumbersome laptops or desktops required.

Tablet usage and cloud-based software are greatly improved in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Source: www.microsoft.com

Tablet usage and cloud-based software are greatly improved in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

Key Event Highlights:

  • Listen to Gartner’s Principal Analyst Nigel Montgomery speak on how to adapt to today’s changing market conditions.
  • Learn how leaders of companies like Ashley Furniture, Kathmandu, and New Belgium Brewery use Microsoft Dynamics AX to improve customer experiences and expand business.
  • Discover how businesses are simplifying their supply chain, which strengthens their ability to give timely business insight to the board room and noticeably improve employee productivity.
  • Watch a sneak preview video of how to Run, Engage and Expand your business with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3.
  • Hear Special Guest Hal Howard share tips and tricks for R3 and better business practices.

What’s New with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

In today’s business climate, engaging with the customer is always the number one priority. Microsoft Dynamics AX has proven to deliver quantifiable results without increasing your business costs. The new release is slated for release to the general public next month. The main touch points for customer satisfaction will be facilitated with the technology available in the new release: deliver amazing customer experiences, engage with customers on their terms, run agile operations to exceed customers’ needs, and expand the business to better serve customers.

New social channels integration and eCommerce features in R3 allow you to support loyalty programs and develop meaningful customer relationships. Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged out-of-the-box for campaigns. Other new integration capabilities translate to more choices for customers, which allows them to get the results they need. Additionally, R3 will help grow your customer base and expand business opportunities. All of these features can be leveraged with localizations for 36 countries.

Capabilities

  • Financial management
  • Human capital management
  • Manufacturing
  • Supply chain management
  • Project management and accounting
  • Retail
  • Business intelligence and reporting

Next Steps

Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers unmatched ability and capability to create a compelling and empowering user experience. This powerful and dynamic enterprise resource management (ERP) software is designed to scale with your business to create results. For more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email dynamics@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Connecting eCommerce Sales and Supply Chains with Channel Allocation

January 31st, 2014 Ranjit Goray No comments

Merchants in today’s connected world face a market where the buyer has access to a lot of information for making a purchase decision. Merchants need to play a facilitating role in decision-making processes, and then offer a price which is competitive for different markets. To help the purchase decision, the merchant needs to have presence on the web, on devices, on phone, and in the physical world (retail outlets for B2C merchandizing). These are what we call “Demand Channels” in Ignify eCommerce.

Sometime purchase decisions are influenced by stock availability, time taken to deliver, or more complex requirements that require a closer engagement via the sales quote process. All these influencers are tied to what we call “Supply Channels” in Ignify eCommerce.

Both demand and supply channels have come much closer over the last decade, thanks to technological advances in connectivity. For a merchant to become successful in an eCommerce world, it’s important that both demand and supply channels are appropriately modelled in their eCommerce platform.

Ignify eCommerce has incorporated the concept of these channels into the eCommerce platform, providing merchants with a way to keep an efficient supply chain as they connect and service customers at multiple levels. These channels are designed to operate as a simplified plugin to merchants using Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM products. Merchants can also use the Ignify eCommerce platform without Microsoft Dynamics, and add Microsoft Dynamics ERP or CRM products in the future as revenues grow and there is a need for capabilities that Microsoft Dynamics brings.

Demand and Supply Channels

In Ignify eCommerce, the channels are categorized into two different groups: sales channels that are essentially demand channels, and service channels that are supply channels.

Sales channels are the ways in which a customer can interact with the merchant’s brand and potentially purchase items or services. Supported sales channels in Ignify eCommerce are:

  1. Web Store,
  2. Retail Store,
  3. Call Center.

Service channels are the channels that are involved with servicing the customer’s post-purchase needs. So a service channel could be a:

  1. Retail store,
  2. Warehouse,
  3. Or a Call Center for electronic delivery/non-physical goods.

The sales order acts as the bridge between the sales and service channels. An Ignify eCommerce order is shown below with both sales and service channels captured on the two fields called “Placed At” and “Fulfilled By”. “Placed At” is the sales channel while “Fulfilled By” is the service channel for an order. In this case, the order was placed on the website.

“Placed At” is the sales channel while “Fulfilled By” is the service channel for an order

“Placed At” is the sales channel while “Fulfilled By” is the service channel for an order.

Setting Up Channels

This classification of sales and service channels helps build a multi-channel framework in Ignify eCommerce. Shown below are different types of channels that have been configured in Ignify eCommerce. Each channel has a Channel Manager who has the visibility (and can get notifications) for various events occurring in his channel.

A merchant’s Manager Panel showing different types of sales and service channels used by the company

A merchant’s Manager Panel showing different types of sales and service channels used by the company.

Channel Allocation Rules

As explained earlier, the “Placed At” channel on a sales order is simple – this is the sales channel through which a sales order was accepted. The “Fulfilled By” channel on a sales order is more dynamic. Ignify eCommerce gives the merchant control on deciding how each order should be fulfilled through “Channel Allocation Rules”. These are rules that determine which service channels will be linked with the sales order – for physical goods this translates to which warehouse(s) will fulfill which sales orders.

Some examples of the types of channel allocation rules that merchants use can be based on:

  1. Zip Code: A merchant can specify that orders shipped to a certain zip code are to be fulfilled by a specific warehouse.

Automated channel allocation by ship-to zip code

Automated channel allocation by ship-to zip code.

  1. State: A merchant can specify that orders placed in a certain state are to be fulfilled by a specific warehouse.

Automated channel allocation by ship-to state

Automated channel allocation by ship-to state.

  1. Country: A merchant can specify if orders placed by customers in different countries are to be fulfilled by different warehouses.

Automated channel allocation by country

Automated channel allocation by country.

  1. Customer Class:  A merchant can specify that orders placed by customers belonging to different customer classes can be fulfilled by different warehouses.

Automated channel allocation by customer class

Automated channel allocation by customer class.

  1. Channel: A merchant can specify that orders placed by customers in certain channels are fulfilled by different warehouses.

Automated channel allocation by channel

Automated channel allocation by channel.

  1. Sales or Customer Service Representative: A merchant can specify that orders placed by certain customer service representatives are fulfilled by certain warehouses.

Automated channel allocation by sales or customer service representative

Automated channel allocation by sales or customer service representative.

Stock Availability

Within Channel Allocation Rules, a merchant can also prioritize how these rules should be evaluated. Each rule is evaluated and a corresponding service channel (warehouse) checked for stock availability. If the stock quantity is available, then service channel assignment logic stops and the warehouse gets assigned to the order.

But if stock quantity is not available in that warehouse, then the next Channel Allocation Rule is evaluated to decide the next preferred warehouse in a stock outage scenario.

Automated channel allocation rules with priority

Automated channel allocation rules with priority.

By allocating different fulfillment channels according to different channel allocation criteria, you can automate the connection between sales channels and service channels. This offers a competitive edge since orders can get fulfilled faster, leading to not only happy customers but also lower inventory carrying costs.

Legal Compliance and Accounting Book Updates

One critical difference between the sales channel and service channel is the completely different set of legal requirements that need to be satisfied. While sales channels have broader flexibility and a fewer set of legal requirements, service channels need to satisfy a stricter set of requirements, such as collecting taxes on the government’s behalf and accounting book maintenance.

To automate these legal requirements, Ignify eCommerce provides a Company/Legal Entity framework. This allows a merchant to define all of their legal entities in the Ignify eCommerce platform. These companies are tied to Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM product suites via readymade integrations.

Ignify eCommerce allows a merchant to define all of their legal entities in the Ignify eCommerce platform. These companies are tied to Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM product suites via readymade integrations

Ignify eCommerce allows a merchant to define all of their legal entities in the Ignify eCommerce platform. These companies are tied to Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM product suites via readymade integrations.

These companies own various service channels (such as warehouses and retail stores). A sales order assigned to individual service channels is routed to the respective companies for invoicing and payment collection.

If you would like more information on how Ignify eCommerce can help connect your demand chain to you supply chain via eCommerce, please email us at ecommerce@ignify.com.

Ranjit Goray is Vice President of Customer Satisfaction at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERPCRM, and eCommerce software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

Management Reporter for Microsoft Dynamics AX Rollup 5 is Out

May 7th, 2013 Sandeep Walia No comments

Management Reporter Rollup 5 is now out and provides several new capabilities:

  1. Open Management Reporter (MR) Reports from within Microsoft Dynamics AX: The ability to open Management Reporter Designer from within Microsoft Dynamics AX General Ledger and Budgeting areas (See the first link under Reports) as opposed to separately opening the Management Reporter Designer. When clicked it launches the Designer and logs you into the same company that you are logged into Microsoft Dynamics AX. Only users that have security rights for designing or viewing these reports will view these reports.

    Management Reporter Designer (below) is launched from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

  2. Web Viewer: Ability to view Management Reports from a web interface such as an Intranet or a SharePoint document library. Below is a report showing Profit and Loss for a department with Budget to Actuals variance. Notice the sharp, clean lines in the report. There is easy capability to zoom in and out and to download into multiple formats such as Excel, PDF, etc.

The web viewers maintains all the security privileges. For example, the company has multiple departments but the user here only has access to Administration, Production and Sales Departments, and is only able to see the Profit and Loss for these departments.

If you have questions or would like more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us at dynamics@ignify.com.

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, POS, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to mid-market and enterprise businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify is winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year award in 2012 and 2011. Ignify offers Microsoft Dynamics AX, Dynamics AX for Retail POS and the Dynamics CRM Loyalty Management solution for retailers and to several other businesses. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011 and 2010. Sandeep was ranked in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People List by DynamicsWorld. Ignify has offices and team members in Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Spotlight in Accounting and Financial ERP Systems Buyer’s Guide by Technology Evaluation Center

December 12th, 2012 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

Ignify customer ESI Enterprises’ use of Microsoft Dynamics AX has been cited as an important financial software success story in the Technology Evaluation Center’s (TEC) Financial Software Packages for Medium and Large Enterprises Buyer's Guide.

A major distributor and contract manufacturer serving North America, Canada, and Mexico, ESI Enterprises works closely with customers to provide consumer durable products at low prices, with an emphasis placed on offering branded consumer electronics, appliances, housewares, sporting goods, toys, and other general merchandise. The company actively seeks opportunities to purchase a variety of consumer products from a variety of sources, and using a skilled team of buyers with global connections, ESI Enterprises frequently seeks out specific products desired by clients.

Previously using an outdated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that could not adequately support the company’s technological or business growth, ESI Enterprises experienced disconnected manual systems that created processing inefficiencies and a lack of data insight. After evaluating multiple software systems, ESI Enterprises found that Microsoft Dynamics AX’s platform flexibility would provide a solid, adaptable foundation for growing with the company’s business development.

By creating a system that made inventory management, warehouse and delivery information, and financial data transparent and instantly accessible by system users, ESI Enterprises benefits from greater visibility of crucial business processes and the ability to strategize more effectively.

In regards to the company’s financial processes, the financial analysis and reporting capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX allows ESI Enterprises’ team to gain a consolidated overview of data that allows them to more effectively evaluate the financial health of the organization. With analysis services, reporting services, key performance indicators (KPIs), Management Reporter, Excel, and the system’s seamless integration with many third-party tools, the quality of analysis that the ESI Enterprises finance department delivers has improved with increased visibility and greater data access.

The ESI Enterprises case study in the Buyer’s Guide delves into the specifics of how ESI Enterprises operates with Microsoft Dynamics AX, and the benefits the company receives from using the system. To view the case study, please download the Buyer’s Guide here.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.