User Personalization – Business Central

In Business Central it is easy to personalize your pages. You can personalize your pages by changing, adding or removing fields from these pages.

Now, how do you do this?

  • You go to Settings and click on Personalize which opens personalization business manager.

  • Now let’s say that you want to change the customer list. Click on customer list and you can start changing a number of things. For example, you want to get rid of phone number. Click on the red triangle and hide and it is gone.

  • Now Maybe you want to add field. Click on more, +Field to add more fields to the page.

  • Let’s say, the Language Code. Type in language code, and drag it now to the canvas.

  • You can also change the order of the field as well as sorting of the fields, and once you are done, click Done and you will have a personalized page.

Please note this is only be applicable to the user who has personalized his or her page. This will not be applicable to the other users in the company. So personalization is on the personal level. That is what each user can do for his or her pages to make sure that they are reflecting whatever that user wants to see. A personalization can always be undone. That means reverting it back to the status before the personalization.

To clear personalization, click Settings > Personalize > Clear personalization. This will undo the changes.

My Settings – Business Central

You can find My Settings in the settings menu, which you can find on the AppBar.

Here you can find some very important features or functions like:

  • You can choose or change the Role Center.
  • You can select or change the company that you’re working in.
  • You can verify and change the work date that you’re working in.
  • You can specify the language that you want to use in your application. Business Central solution is a multi-language solution, so people working in different languages can all work in the same system, the same Business Central solution that then is displayed in different languages.
  • You also have some regional settings related to the region, like language and the time zone.
  • You can also change your notifications in the system.

User Interface – Business Central

Role Center

Every Role Center is built or designed out of the same components.

  • On top, there is the AppBar in which you can find the:
    • App menu
    • A search button
    • A feedback button
    • A notifications button
    • My settings
    • The question mark for more information and
    • The signed-in user.
  • Underneath the AppBar we have the Navigation bar, existing of:
    • Navigation menus and
    • List places

    Here you find menus for different functional domains and departments relevant to the role and quick access to master data applicable to the specific role.

  • Next, we have the Headline area in which salient insights are published and the action area that contains the most used actions for your role. By having these actions directly on your Role Center, you save clicks and you win speed.
  • More insights are then built up by Cues, in which most relevant statistics for the role are built and cues are displayed in:
    • Standard layout and
    • Wide layout

List Page

A list page publishes multiple records on one page, for example a customer list.

  • On top of the list page, you will have an App and a Navigation bar just like the Role Center page. But on top of that, a list page will also have a Command bar including an action menu with most relevant actions for that master data.
  • Underneath the command bar, you will find the real content of this page in the Content section.
  • Then on the right-hand side you will have the Factbox pane which will include much more statistics and additional relevant information for that customer record that you have selected.

Card Page

Now, let’s have a look at the card page.

  • On top of the card page we have the Ribbon. The ribbon is organized in tabs, and in each tab you’ll find the most relevant actions grouped, like, for instance, the actions related to the creation of new documents.
  • The content of the card page is organized in FastTabs. Each FastTab includes information published in fields related to the FastTab name.
  • On the right-hand side, you will find a Factbox.
  • On the right-hand side of the FastTab you can find the Promoted fields. These are fields in the FastTabs that display their value.

Pages in Business Central

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Pages offer a modern online visual and convenient experience.

The user interface consists out of following important types of pages:

Role Center Page

You typically open your Business Central solution with a Role Center Page, it represents your starting point in your solution by giving you quick access to the information you need, the actions you want to perform and the insights you need to make decisions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides several different Role Centres for users who have different jobs in a company.

List Page

List pages display lists of customers, vendors, contacts, sales orders, sales invoices and many more. As you find multiple records on one page, List pages are typically used to search and filter for information.

Card Page

You can use a card page to view and edit one record or entity from a table. The card page displays a wider selection of information than a list page. You can find more detailed information on the card page than on a list page. The card page only displays information of one record while a list page displays multiple records.

Documents Page

Document pages, focus on user tasks. Examples of document pages are Sales Order, Purchase Order, Sales Invoice, Purchase Invoice, Posted Sales Invoice, Posted Purchase Invoice and many more.

Financial Management in Business Central

You can manage all common finance processes and information such as posting financial transactions, preparing financial statements, managing bank accounts, inventory costs, manufacturing costs, and fixed assets in Business Central.

Chart of Accounts

When you create a new company, you must first set up a chart of accounts and configure the posting processes. The chart of accounts in Business Central looks something like this:

Use these accounts to post transactions to the general ledger. You can setup balance sheet accounts and income statement accounts. Besides the basic setup, you can also set up advanced features related to GST.

Once G/L accounts are created, you can then use them in sales and purchase documents and in general journals to post transactions to the general ledger.

Dimensions

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can make use of dimensions for advanced transaction analyses.

You can set up dimensions and then assign multiple dimension values to each dimension. Once dimensions are set up, you can assign default dimensions to customers, items, vendors, G/L accounts, jobs, resources and many more.

Examples: Before posting sales, you can assign a customer group dimension to a sales document. Or you can assign a department when posting expenses so that you can analyse and compare your expenses by department.

Processing Payments

From the payment registration page, you can process customer payments with only a few clicks and mark invoices as paid to automatically reconcile accounts.

To pay your vendors, you can use the payment journal, including advanced features such as vendor priorities and paying invoices on their due dates. To do so, you can run the suggest vendor payments batch, modify the payment journal lines if necessary, and then process the payments electronically or by check.

With the payment reconciliation journal, you process and reconcile bank statement transactions in one go. Use the import function to import bank statement files and let the system apply transactions automatically using advanced application rules.

Cash Flow Forecast

To get a better grip on their cash position, companies want to know how their cash flow will evolve in time. The cash flow forecast function uses a whole range of sources to calculate the future cash flow to receivables, payables, purchase orders and sales orders.

You can use manual revenues and expenses to analyse the impact of a future loan or an unforeseen future cost. By including Cortana Intelligence, machine learning is used to calculate the cash flow forecast based on historical income and disbursements.

Budgets

You can work with budgets for general ledger accounts, costs, sales and purchases.

Deferrals

You can set up deferral templates that automate the process of deferring revenues and expenses over a predefined schedule.

Fixed Assets

You can keep track of fixed assets and related transactions, such as acquisitions, depreciations, write-downs, appreciations, and disposals.

Audit Trails

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central automatically assigns audit trails and posting descriptions to every transaction. In addition, you can define reason codes to create complementary audit trails.

Bank Account Management

You can create, operate, and manage multiple bank accounts to cater to your diverse business needs and across different currencies.

Reconcile your bank statement data automatically to open bank account ledger entries and keep track of all your bank statements.

Currencies

You can Manage multiple currencies throughout the system, including payables and receivables, general ledger reports, resource and inventory items, and bank accounts.

Business Central Clients

Web Client

You can access Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central through a modern user experience, optimized for insights and productivity.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central web client is role based and includes all functionality a user need. It does not require any installation.

You can access Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central through the web client with the latest version of common browsers like Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome for Windows, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, Safari for macOS.

Tablet & Phone Client

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Tablet and Phone Client experience comes with apps available for Windows, Android, and Apple devices.

The Phone Client – Example (Screenshot from Android device).

You can sign up for a free trial. Click here.

To watch video, click here.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central

Microsoft launched Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in Australia and New Zealand quiet recently and here is what you need to know.

What Makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central a Cloud End to End Business Solution?

The typical features of a Cloud End-to-End Business Solution system are:

All these distinctive Cloud End-to-End Business Solution features are within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

What are the Price Points?

Dynamics 365 Business Central is available essentially at following price points:

  1. Team Member
  2. Essential and
  3. Premium

App Source

To find Apps:

  • In the Search box type “Extensions”, and then click Extensions.
  • You will then find the pinned extensions.

You can find apps on App Source for more capabilities. If you’re a developer, you can build powerful extensions and then add them to App Source for easy discoverability.

In Office 365 Experience

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is fully integrated with Office 365. And this is really very powerful. It results in a lot of convenience. It results in a lot of power. And it results in a lot of efficiency. Know More.

Business Activity Statements (BAS)

This is an Australian local functionality available in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a form that businesses must submit to the
Australian Tax Office (ATO) on a monthly or quarterly basis.

BAS reports both:

  • The total Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected from sales activities—which must be paid to the ATO and
  • The total GST paid on purchases – which is claimed as an input tax credit.

Companies can report their taxes:

  • Manually using a form, or
  • Electronically using Electronic Commerce Interface (ECI) software provided by the ATO. The ATO provides the ECI software at no cost.

Filing BAS Electronically

When you file your BAS electronically, you must perform the following tasks:

  1. Ensure that the BAS setup has been completed.
  2. Using the ECI software, download your monthly or quarterly file from the ATO.
  3. Import this file into the BAS area.
  4. Update your tax details.
  5. Export the data to an XML file.
  6. Upload the completed XML file to the ATO using the ECI software.
  7. Update BAS with the receipt number received from the ATO.

General Posting Setup

General Posting Setup in NAV is combination of:

  1. General Business Posting Group

    Essentially this is the WHO we deal with? When setting up business posting groups, you must consider:

    • How many groups you need for breaking down sales by customers and
    • How many groups you need for breaking down purchases by vendors.
    • The business groups can be set up to group customers and vendors by geographical area (Domestic, EU countries/regions, Overseas, and so on) or type of business, or to distinguish between private entities and government agencies.

    Typically, you can attach a default GST Business Posting Group, which determines calculation and posting of GST according to the location (country/region) of the customer or vendor involved in the transaction.

  2. General Product Posting Group

    Essentially this is the WHAT we deal with? When setting up product groups, you must consider:

    • How many groups you need for breaking down sales by items and resources and
    • How many groups you need for breaking down purchases by items.

    Typically, you can attach a default GST Product Posting Group, which determines calculation and posting of GST according to the type of item being purchased or the type of item or resource being sold.

For each combination, you can fill in account numbers for posting of transactions related to sales, purchases, inventory and jobs. This includes accounts for posting of discounts, inventory adjustment, and so on. You can enter as many combinations as necessary.

Business Plan, Supply Chain Strategy, Collaboration Relationships

The following topics are discussed in this section:

Business Plan

  • A business plan is a written document that describes the overall direction of the firm and what it wants to become in future.

(Definition) Business Plan is a statement if long-range strategy and revenue, cost and profit objectives usually accompanied by budgets, a projected balance sheet and a cash flow (source and application of funds) statement. A business plan is usually stated in terms of dollars and grouped by product family. The business plan is then translated into synchronized tactical functional plans through the production planning process (or the sales and operations planning process). Although, frequently stated in different terms (dollars vs units), these tactical plans should agree with each other and with the business plan.

  • Key function such a finance, engineering, marketing and operations typically have input into the plans.

  1. Finance
    The finance function manages and tracks the sources of funds, amounts available for use, cash flows, budgets, profits and return on investment.
  2. Engineering
    The Engineering function is responsible for research and development and the design and redesign of products that can be made most economically.
  3. Marketing
    The Marketing function focus is on analysis of the market place and how the form positions itself and its products.
  4. Operations
    The goal of the operations function is to meet the demands of the market place via the organization’s product. Operations also manage the manufacturing facilities, machinery, equipment, labor and materials as efficiently as possible.
  • The functional roles collectively support the success of the supply chain.

Supply Chain Strategy

  • Functional strategies underlying supply chain management must articulate with the business plan.
  • The purpose of supply chains is to be globally competitive.
  • Time, distance and collaboration are basic elements in modern supply chains that impact the chains ability to respond to competitive changes in the global market place.

Collaborative Relationships

  • In the virtual corporation and virtual networks, we can and therefore we must share ideas and data to be competitive.
  • What do these strategic partnerships look like in action? Suppliers, manufacturers and customers all come together on design teams to create products that will not only satisfy customer demand but will be efficient to produce, assemble, transport and store.

Partnership Criteria

  • Seven factors need to be carefully researched and considered when forming a supply chain strategy:
    • Add value.
    • Improve Market Access.
    • Strengthen Operations.
    • Add Technological Strength.
    • Enhance Strategic Growth.
    • Share Insights and Learning.
    • Increase Financial Strength.
  • Every potential partner organization has its strengths or core competencies.
  • It’s only a successful strategic alliance if the partnership results in a “win-win” for both parties.
  • Effective partnerships are a combination of shared risks, resources, rewards, vision and values.

Building Collaborative Relationships

  • In order to build the foundation of collaborative partnership, the partners must:
    • Initiate management tasks.
    • Overcome barriers to collaboration.
    • Build levels of communication.
    • Determine levels of collaborative intensity.
    • Examine strategic importance versus difficulty to determine product categories.
  • Initiate Management Tasks
    • Once the collaboration is official, it’s critical that top management demonstrate their enthusiastic commitment to the partnership.
    • This process begins with determining the specific contribution of each party and the criteria for measuring that contribution.
    • In early stages, relationships should emphasize equity in profits among all parties. Equity will help motivate all parties to work toward the good of the whole.
    • The next talk is to define roles for each party, taking care to avoid redundant efforts. Conflicts can occur if these roles make one party more dependent upon another than they wish to be. To alleviate this common problem, networks should avoid sequential interdependence, in which the second party cannot begin work until the first party is done. Instead, they should establish reciprocal interdependence, in which the exchange of tasks and services occur in both directions. Examples of this include CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment).
    • Since no contract can cover all contingencies, the next task is to create a policy for resolving conflicts.
  • Overcome Barriers to Collaboration

    Building successful collaboration requires overcoming predictable obstacles, including the following challenges:

  1. Sub Optimization

    Sub optimization refers to a solution to a problem that is best from a narrow point of view but not from a higher or overall company point of view.

  2. Individual Incentives that Conflict with Organizational Goals
  • Incentives, such as sales force bonuses, structured without thought for the supply chain strategy, can often be counterproductive.
  • These practices create a great deal of excess inventory as well as variability in demand that the manufacturer must then deal with. Instead sales goals must be aligned with actual demand.
  1. Working with Competitors

    One firm may try to win market share at the expense of the other. Such relationships should be kept at arm’s length to ensure fairness and extra caution must be devoted to sharing information. Companies may pretend to embrace collaboration when they really only want access to information for their own benefit.

  2. Bottlenecks Caused by Weak or Slow Partners

    If the firm is not willing to invest un a technical and social change process, the only alternative may be to find a more willing or able partner who can keep up with the networks collaboration curve.

  3. Technology Barriers
  • When potential partners have incompatible systems, it increases the difficulty of sharing data.
  • Incompatible and / or antiquated hardware infrastructures can also prove a barrier to collaboration.
  1. Power-Based Relationship
  • Rather than building relationships based upon trust and mutual benefit, the nucleus firm may use its leverage to dedicate the terms of relationships to other members.
  • While the profits of the nucleus firm increase, other members of the network may suffer losses. When this occurs, the disadvantaged partner may rebel.
  • Resistance may result in redundancy, loss of overall profitability for the chain or an actual reversal of the power relationship. Once in power, the mistreated party may retaliate instead of using the opportunity to develop equitable relationships along the chain.
  1. Underestimated Benefits
  • When collaboration is viewed as another type of process reengineering, the partners generally measure the results in reduced cost and cycle time rather than return on investment (ROI), which is a better long-term indicator.
  • Simply measuring efficiency increases will fail to account for some of the true long-term benefits or collaboration.
  • This may lead managers to reject a collaborative venture based on a failure to see gains such as removal of reduplicated efforts, enhanced innovation and better use of total system assets and processes.
  1. Culture Conflicts
  • Cultures tend to be egocentric and thus tens to resist external collaboration. They feel that their ways are the best ways of doing things and will often reject a different way without even considering it.
  • Culture conflicts are increased when each company relies on its own sources of information and unable to see the impact of its choices on other areas of the network. When companies don’t see the negative results of their actions, they can’t learn from their mistakes.
  • Another potential culture conflict can arise when managers delay or prevent collaboration. Such managers generally have safeguarded their positions by not sharing information so that they may be sought for their expertise.
  • Others feel that collaboration is a fad or a bad idea altogether. Still others talk about collaboration, but they are only interested in receiving the benefits from a partner without reciprocating.
  • Build Levels of Communication

    Communication between partners can take place on different levels; not all collaborations dependent upon the same degree of intensity of communication.

    Four levels of communication:

  1. Transactional with Information Sharing

    At this level of communication, each partner has access to a single source of data about matters such as workflow, forecasts and transactions. Contracts are generally medium term.

  2. Shared Processes and Partnership

    At this level, partners collaborative in specific processes such as design. They share knowledge across the network, contracts are longer term.

  3. Linked Competitive Vision and Strategic Alliance

    At this level, supply chain partners function as virtual entity, working out even the highest level of strategy together. The partners develop considerable trust and achieve social and cultural understanding as well as information sharing. Strategic alliances may last for decades.

  4. Backward Integration (Mergers and Administrations)
  • Outsourcing current functions isn’t the only way to forge links in a chain. Mergers or acquisitions may involve two companies in the same till rather than horizontal supplier-customer partners.
  • Although mergers would seem to provide the deepest level of trust and communication, the sudden clash of business, regional and national cultures involved often requires years of work to align attitudes, technology and business practices.
  • Determine Levels of Collaborative Intensity
    • Determining the level of collaborative intensity that each relationship requires depends on cost, quality, delivery, reliability, precision and flexibility.
    • Cost speaks for itself, but cost and quality often are inversely proportional.
    • Quality and delivery reliability are usually measured by number of defects allowed or late orders and are often collectively rated by members of an exchange using supplier history.
    • Precision is measured as degree of variance from specifications.
    • Flexibility is the ability of the supplier or manufacturer to deliver in varying quantities when given a specific number of days’ notice.
    • These criteria are strongly influenced by four factors related to the product or service:
      • Strategic Importance
      • Complexity
      • Number of Suppliers
      • Uncertainty
  • Examine Strategic Importance vs Difficulty to Determine Product categories

    If a partnership requires more than one of the intense collaboration levels – for example, when there is a limited number of suppliers and uncertainty about an item’s availability – then the need for higher collaborative intensity can be turned as “high strategic importance”.

    This model can be used to determine which suppliers are most appropriate for each of the four types of goods:

  1. Commodity Materials
  • Low strategic importance
  • Low supply chain difficulty

They require suppliers whose priority is cost reduction. These item are best purchased at arm’s length. Which of your suppliers can provide the best cost reduction on the commodity items you need?

  1. Bottleneck Materials
  • Low strategic importance
  • High supply chain difficulty

Efforts must be made to ensure that the need for these items is fulfilled. Therefore, some level of ongoing relationship with a particular supplier may be called for.

  1. Leveragable Materials
  • High strategic importance
  • Low difficulty levels

They call for collaboration to maximize both cost savings and reliability through means such as bulk purchasing by multiple members of the supply chain.

  1. Direct or Core Competency Materials
  • High strategic importance
  • High difficulty

Require strategic partnerships for longer periods of time to ensure availability and quality.

Features and Benefits of Collaboration

Collaborative Relationship Features Benefits
Joint development of shared processes. Lower costs.
Open sharing of information and knowledge. Improved quality.
Jointly developed performance metrics. Better customer service.
Open two-way communications. Reduced inventories.
Network wide visibility. Rapid project results.
Clear roles and responsibility. Reduced cycle times and lead times.
Joint problem solving. More effective working relationships.
Commitment to the relationship. Enhanced commitment to one another.