One of the go-to ERP software’s trending today is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. From streamlining processes to accelerating growth, it is a one stop for all ERP solutions. Multiple objectives such as accurate financial forecast and reporting, supply chain optimization for operational efficiency and a sales boost by prioritizing leads with the least amount of invested resources can be accomplished. Not to mention operations can be run across geographies via cloud all thanks to Business Central.
However, while the tool simplifies ERP, implementation is usually a daunting task. The implementation process involves the setup of systems, training users, migrating legacy data and configuration. Also, unlike other ERP solutions, the cost of Business Central is 50% at launch and the rest at running its service and not just the launch cost which is a big misconception.
Business Central is currently available under three categories of subscriptions to allow for flexibility based on ERP needs:
1. Dynamics 365 Business Central Essential at $70/user per month
Under this subscription of Business Central, stability across functional areas such as financial management, HR, project management, CRM, warehouse management and supply chain management is attainable.
2. Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium at $100/user per month
The premium version of Business Central has all the aspects of the Essential version. In addition to it, two more effective components are added namely production and service management making this an all in one ERP solution.
3. Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members at $8/user per month
This license represents the number of users of Business Central in a company. Users who are mere additional users and do not require full user functionality unlike heavy users have Business Central Team members at their disposal.
This is for users who want to read, access and have limited written access and are just wanting to use this functionality.
Reading, updating data and creating/editing/deleting quotes and personal information are the functions performed by users of team members Business Central license.
While this is the standard subscription model officially provided by Microsoft, overall implementation cost is dependent on certain factors. The first factor to be taken into account is the number of users and the business roles. Business Central is suitable for small and medium sized businesses however the scale of implementation can vary depending on the business roles and users in each role. The cost to a business will consist of cost per user for individual apps for different roles such as sales, marketing, operations, customer service and Project service automation.
The next factor influencing cost is the basis of application of Business Central i.e. configuration or customization. Configuration is less costly as it deals with performance of basic business roles. Customization on the other hand caters to more complicated ERP needs and advanced business roles. Installing extensions like the one provided by Microsoft wherein it integrates with PayPal payment standards is a classic example of customization.
Third and probably the most important factor influencing cost is the chosen Microsoft partner and the country of operations. Owing to localization, the implementation cost of Business Central is different in different geographies. Also, different Microsoft partners charge different subscriptions for configuring Business Central and additional customizations. Hence depending on host country and partner, the time and cost investment can be a differentiation factor in implementation of Business Central.
A prominent example is that of INECTA, a gold certified Microsoft partner with over 20years of experience in food ERP. INECTA has two differentiators. For food ERP, readymade customizations called granules are offered alongside configuration. This reduces time and monetary investment as these customizations are already integrated hence take less time to install and prove less expensive than when asked for separately. INECTA also follows a plug and play model for small businesses (less than 5 users) wherein within a 100hours food ERP can be implemented, a class above the industry standard.
For a cost perspective let us delve deep into INECTA’s subscription model. Business Central USA price ($USD) for INECTA is as follows:
Essentials Subscription: $70/user per month
Premium subscription (includes Manufacturing): $100/user per month
Team Members: $8.00/user per month
Device Licensing starts at 40$/device per month.
Business Central is now a prerequisite to attain efficiency no matter how small your business is. The bigger the business, more complicated are its operations and more are the customizations needed to simplify processes and for better management. Business Central implementation cost boils down to two factors: the business needs of the company and the Microsoft partner chosen.
Knowledge is power and, in this case, not only a company should possess knowledge of its own needs and gaps but also of what the Microsoft partner brings to the table and whether they make an ideal fit to help the company close these gaps. Today’s competitive environment is just like a game of chess wherein Business Central is the Trojan horse and a fit between business needs and chosen Microsoft partner is how you checkmate your competitors.