Connecting People, Processes, and Systems in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Jun 20, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Connecting People, Processes, and Systems in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

In May 2013, To-Increase released the complete set of Business Integration Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, including Connectivity Studio, EDI Studio, Notification Management, and Replication Management. We made significant improvements to the solutions’ user experience, performance, scalability, and integration with the development model of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. As a result, the Business Integration Solutions are a perfect choice for any integration scenario. Today’s post is the first in a series that will demonstrate the capabilities of and need for To-Increase Business Integration Solutions.

The first scenario involves Acme Metal Stairs BV, a manufacturer of spiral and folding stairs. The company’s headquarters, sales offices, and production are located in Houten, in the center of the Netherlands. Acme has recently expanded into the United Kingdom, where it has opened a sales office, Acme Metal Stairs Ltd. In Acme’s indirect business model, resellers sell the stairs to customers. The company purchases raw materials and semi-finished products from a limited number of large suppliers. Acme assembles every stair to order and also makes accessories for stock. They were looking for business integration solutions that could help them become more connected during technology planning.

Acme runs several applications in its on-premise IT environment. The company uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, the ERP system, for its financials, logistics, and manufacturing. It runs an automated time registration system for production workers, who need to clock their start and end times. A computer-assisted design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) system in the engineering department is used to create technical quotations for stairs. Acme plans to include the introduction of  web shops for resellers and end customers. One of the company’s suppliers, JD Parts, is urging them to implement electronic document interchange (EDI) communication for purchase orders, shipments, purchasing, and invoicing. Another supplier is offering a product catalog through a web service; Acme would like to be able to connect to that catalog.

In its technology planning, Acme wants to apply the concept of the Connected Enterprise. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, the core enterprise application, becomes the central supply chain solution for integrating external applications, supply chain partners, people, and departments. Acme technology planners have identified the following integration opportunities and expect to realize them:

  • Application integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and a web shop, in which master data regarding customers, resellers, and products is sent to the web shop, and order and transactional data is received from the web shop
  • Application integration between the ERP system and the time registration system to provide automatic processing of time entries in the financial system
  • Automatic sales order notifications to sales associates in the sales domain
  • Automatic notifications for accounts receivable in the finance domain
  • Item master replication between databases in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
  • An EDI integration between Acme and JD Parts in the purchase domain, in which purchase orders, shipment notices, and purchase invoices are exchanged as EDI messages
  • Automatic import of parts from a supplier website or web service.
  • Integration with the PLM system in the engineering domain to facilitate exchanges of bills-of-materials and routing

Watch the continuing story! In the coming weeks, we will publish several blog posts that illustrate Acme’s planned integrations, highlight how the company makes use of Business Integration Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, and what the advantages of doing so are. We will take a look at how Acme sets up integrations, extends functionality, integrates with existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 business processes, manages Business Integration Solutions, and visualizes the solutions’ performance data in Microsoft Excel.

This blog post is based on real-life customer experiences. 'ACME Metal Stairs' is a fictional name that we use for the sake of privacy and simplicity in story-telling.

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