User Guide for ERP Business Central for Enterprises

Introduction to Business Central

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? It is the name and the current version of Microsoft ERP (traditionally known as Navision or Microsoft Dynamics NAV), one of the most used software in the world due to its ease of adaptation to any sector (engineering, retail, distribution, banking ...), which has more than 200,000 customers and more than 30 years of history.

Business Central is a state-of-the-art cloud-based ERP, which is part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 family and includes functionalities of all the financial and operational areas that an SME usually has. In addition, it is fully integrated with all Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) products and services, such as Excel, Word, Power BI, PowerApps, etc.

In short, it is a comprehensive business solution composed of several modules that is aimed at streamlining and automating the main processes and tasks of a company (inventory, accounting, operations, etc.).

Business Central modules and functionalities

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a unique, end-to-end solution that is designed to meet the needs of growing businesses by automatically extracting systems and processes to manage finance, sales, service and operations.

So how does Dynamics 365 Business Central work? It works through modules and is a role-based ERP system (some come pre-defined and others can be configured). Each user using the system will be assigned a role (from operators to managers), and will be able to quickly and easily share data with key people across the company.

Below you can see the ERP modules and some of their key functionalities:

Financial management
  • Receivables and payments management
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Fixed asset management
  • Monthly/annual closings
Sales and service management
  • Quotation generation
  • Contact management
  • Invoicing
  • Payment processing
Supply chain management
  • Purchasing and inventory control
  • Shipping and distribution
  • Returns and cancellations
  • Procurement and supplier management
Operations management
  • Forecasting
  • Production planning
  • Manufacturing capacity
  • Warehouse management
Project management
  • Capacity planning
  • Budgeting and estimating
  • Project and process costs
  • Resource management
Reporting and analysis
  • Customer information
  • Self-service reporting
  • Interactive dashboards
  • Integrated intelligence

It is important to note that, although Microsoft Business Central consists of predefined modules, the ERP has a high capacity for customization and adaptation to the way each company works. In other words, the standard functionality can be completed by adding new functional areas or extra functionalities to the existing modules. In addition, it can be integrated with third-party solutions, payroll applications, banking, CRM or industry-specific systems.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

This management tool, present in more than 155 countries, offers numerous benefits to the companies that use it. Here you can see some of the most important ones:
  • It is an intuitive and easy to learn to use tool, like most applications in the Microsoft universe.
  • It has a great capacity for integration and compatibility with other platforms (either Microsoft or third-party manufacturers).
  • It is a flexible ERP, since it is possible to implement it on your own server, on a third party server, or in the Microsoft cloud. There is also the option of hybrid implementation for those companies that do not want to rely on a 100% cloud environment.
  • Mobility:
  1. Web client: accessible from any browser
  2. Desktop client: accessible from the Windows desktop application.
  3. Universal App for smartphones and tablets: accessible from anywhere and from any Windows Phone, Apple and Android device.
Business Central Implementation

Any implementation process is complex and requires some planning and strategy on the part of the company. In addition, the size of the company, the number of users that will use the ERP will be fundamental factors that determine the price and duration of the process.

So, what should be taken into account to make the implementation of Dynamics 365 Business Central a success?

Organize a plan for the implementation. Identify with your team all those processes that require improvement or automation, and determine how these changes will affect the day-to-day running of the company.

Review the software's functionality in detail. Again, familiarize your team with the new system and establish the best way to automate tasks and processes.

Ensure data accuracy. Check the completeness and accuracy of data that you have previously decided should be transferred to the new management system. Don't forget to maintain fluid communication with all parties involved in the process.

Soak your team in the information. Determine what kind of training the staff that will be using the software will need so that they can get the most out of it. An interesting idea is to have your team practice with a test database.

Implement Business Central and evaluate the results. After implementing the software, you should perform periodic audits to check if the new solution is meeting the objectives set from the beginning.

Finally, whether you are looking for a partner to implement BC from scratch, as if you are looking for a change of distributor or a migration, we advise you to ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:
  • Do they have Microsoft Business Central certifications?
  • Have they worked with companies like mine before?
  • What is their work methodology?
  • How far away are they physically?
  • Business Central pricing and licensing
How much does it cost to implement Business Central? First of all, you should know that the price of Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing will depend on the complexity of each company's processes (e.g. what functionalities do you intend to use, how "standard" are your business processes, how many users will be trained).

In addition, the price will also vary depending on the type of license you wish to obtain. BC has three user levels: Team Member, Essentials and Premium.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Member allows a user to have limited access to the platform to perform certain operations of reading, approving and reporting records, in addition to some specific functions such as managing specific tasks (e.g. filling timesheets, reading records...). Being the most limited option, it is also the cheapest: 6.80€ user/month.

The other two options are available from 59€ user/month (Essentials) and 84€ user/month (Premium). Basically, the difference between one edition and the other is that the Premium edition offers all the functionalities offered by Essentials, plus the Manufacturing (production orders, planning, inventories, supplies...) and Services (service requests, maintenance or repairs...) modules.

Business Central SaaS vs On Premise

Now that you know the license types according to users and everything you need to consider before implementing Dynamics 365 Business Central, it's time to decide whether you want to buy or rent the license. The decision you make will affect both the initial investment and the associated costs of deploying the project.

There are two license purchase options:
  • If you opt to rent, we will talk about Business Central SaaS (server hosted in the cloud).
  • If you opt for the purchase option, we will talk about Business Central On Premise (being able to host the ERP on a local server or in the cloud).
  • In the following post you can learn more about the difference between a SaaS and On Premise ERP.
Business Central ERP Demo

We hope this Business Central ERP manual has been very useful for you and that we have been able to solve all your doubts. If not, don't forget that you can request more information or ask us for tutorials about Business Central and its functional areas (analytics, commercial management, financial management, warehouse management, project management, treasury, manufacturing...) by filling out the form on this page.