How Focus Shifts from Technology to Experience in D365

Posted on: September 7, 2021 | By: Lauren Yang | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365, Microsoft Dynamics Manufacturing

As customer expectations rise, manufacturing leaders are turning to technology to help them deliver better, more consistent experiences. Across the board, technology is helping manufacturers become smarter, leaner, and more responsive to customers’ needs, ushering in a bright new era of manufacturing. Servitization-centered manufacturing is becoming the new mantra for many manufacturers. In the B2C sector, this means not just keeping track of data such as who the end consumer is, how they’re using the product, and why they’re using the product, but also being able to engage with customers to identify future service and support needs. Once upon a time, a manufacturers’ relationship with the consumer ended as soon as the product was delivered. Today, that’s when the real customer relationship starts. Intelligent sensors have enabled manufacturers to gather real-time data on product usage and performance. Access to product usage information through solutions like Dynamics 365 allows manufacturers to understand data, such as which product features are most used and how the product is being used. This information can then be leveraged to inform future product designs. Manufacturers’ focus is shifting from selling equipment to gaining access to usage data and leveraging this information to provide superior post-sales service and support.

AI Improves Production Planning

Rising customer expectations have created new challenges for manufacturers, as any lag between ordering and fulfillment is becoming increasingly unacceptable to consumers. Accordingly, manufacturers must continuously stay attuned to their internal data, such as inventory levels and variations in product demand, to ensure the right products are available and ready for shipping when needed. Demand fluctuations due to changes in customer requirements or other operating conditions can create complexities in production planning and scheduling. By using Dynamics 365‘s machine learning, manufacturers can create digital systems that learn from these fluctuations and dynamically alter production processes to accommodate new requests. The ability to manage and dynamically route manufacturing workloads remotely has ushered in a new era of contract manufacturing. With equipment-as-a-service (EaaS) and robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) offered as pay-as-you-go business models, manufacturers can now mass-produce customized products for their customers. These new manufacturing models provide the flexibility to change production volume and design specifications at the touch of a button, without manufacturers having to invest in their own factories or equipment. This enables small and medium businesses to scale up or down quickly based on demand fluctuations.

Custom and Data-driven Products

In a world that is obsessed with big data, manufacturers are continually looking for new data streams to incorporate into product and process design. Consumer feedback, purchasing patterns, product usage data—every information node helps manufacturers meet unique user requirements. Fueled by the low cost of additive manufacturing and a heightened interest in product personalization, companies are steadily moving towards on-demand and micro-manufacturing. On-demand production is not only enticing for customers; it virtually eliminates inventory issues and dramatically reduces production waste. Rather than attempting to predict product needs, factories are able to meet the point of demand directly, producing appropriate volumes as needs arise. Advances in AI and automation are helping companies to get creative with their products and allowing manufacturers to be more targeted in how they serve individual consumers, not just the market average.

Critical Quality Management

The Industrial Age brought with it an era of global economic prosperity, where massive shifts were seen in the standard of living of people across economies. At the same time, we witnessed unprecedented technological advancements across industries, from energy to consumer goods. Companies learned to make new products faster and more efficiently, which in turn meant reduced costs of production and the ability to reach mass markets. Paradoxically, this increase in production efficiency, coupled with the western world’s environmentally conscious consumer, has brought us to a new “peak stuff” world, where the need to own stuff is being decoupled from happiness and the image of wealth. In developed nations, consumers are gradually shifting towards a more minimalist style of living, purchasing fewer, longer-lasting products, while spending more of their disposable income on services, experiences, and entertainment. The means to survive, for any company, then becomes providing consistently faultless products. According to a recent survey, 53% of shoppers rated quality as the most important factor when making purchases. To stay competitive, companies are increasingly turning towards quality.

Blockchain Offers Transparency and Quality Control

In a manufacturing environment, end-to-end process visibility is a must if you want to ensure smooth operations. Thankfully, blockchain has emerged as a powerful tool to generate the transparency required to maintain superior product quality and secure consumer trust. Blockchain can be used to validate every transaction, from supplier to delivery, enabling manufacturers to manage a plethora of critical information such as material traceability, vendor certifications, fraud prevention, contract compliance, and more. The clarity and accuracy manufacturers gain by incorporating blockchain translates into better service for their customers. Limited visibility into any part of the manufacturing cycle can lead to quality control challenges. Defective raw materials or components can create a variety of quality issues in the end product. And when problems do occur, consumers won’t blame the supplier who provided the defective part; they’ll point to the company whose name is on the product. This is where blockchain can be a game-changer. When integrated into the supply chain, blockchain can provide real-time track and trace capabilities to manufacturers. Premanufacturing raw material defects can be resolved before the materials reach the factory floor, enabling more robust control over the quality of the finished product. At the same time, this traceability data can be directly passed to the consumer, resulting in greater trust. For a consumer, gaining visibility on information, such as the origin, authenticity, custody, and integrity of the product, will reduce perceived risk and enhance quality assurance.

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more about how focus shifts from technology to experience in D365 as well as maximizing the use of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management contact us here to find out how we can help you grow your business. You can also email us at info@loganconsulting.com or call (312) 345-8817.



25 Brilliant Ideas to Outsmart Your Competition with Microsoft Dynamics
25 Brilliant Ideas to Outsmart Your Competition with Microsoft Dynamics

Free Download:

25 Brilliant Ideas to Outsmart Your Competition with Microsoft Dynamics

Download the guide ›

Top 10 Inventory & Operations Decisions Distributors Are Making Blind
Top 10 Inventory & Operations Decisions Distributors Are Making Blind

Free Download:

Top 10 Inventory & Operations Decisions Distributors Are Making Blind

Download the guide ›

2020 Nucleus Research Report on ERP Technology

Free Download:

2020 Nucleus Research Report on ERP Technology

Download the guide ›