Michael Hering from Germany was my guest in episode #8 of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. As Industry Manager Concrete, Michael is responsible for COSMO CONSULT's products and solutions for discrete manufacturing. The conversation turned out to become a box of chocolate with manufacturing ERP best practices. We looked into a variety of aspects such as lean management and the IT required for it, artificial intelligence in manufacturing, concrete steps to make when implementing a manufacturing ERP system, and future data strategies if supply chains might become shorter again. Michael provided concrete tips & advice to not only each of these "pieces of chocolate", but to even more pieces.
The Visual Resource Viewer (VRV) was our guinea pig with which we learned how to build visual scheduling extensions for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. In terms of developing software, for us it was a landmark app. It followed our approach to start small, and learn focused. However, a development guinea pig not necessarily translates into a commercial success. In case of the VRV, the market resonance showed that a static (i.e. non-interactive) resource Gantt chart may be great for development (testing) purposes. However, it falls short in providing true customer value. Hence, we retire the Visual Resource Viewer (VRV) with immediate effect.
I met Guus Krabbenborg from The Netherlands for this episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. He was my first guest without a dedicated manufacturing background. However, he is a highly-experienced business trainer and consultant with a well-earned reputation in the international Microsoft Dynamics arena. He has managed and co-owned several software companies and was Sales Director for Navision Software in The Netherlands. Guus and I quickly came to the topic of digital transformation, and I learned that transformation is the hardest of the implied challenges. However, Guus didn't end up making this clear in a provocative way. Instead, he gave seven insanely concrete and practical tips of what companies can do to achieve that transformation journey. These tips are not only inspiring, but they are also hands-on and ready-to-go aka ready to get applied. Starting this Friday ;-)
This week, I had the chance to interview Robert Jolliffe, CEO and President of Sabre Limited from Canada. He has been an ERP consultant in the manufacturing space for over 25 years, starting immediately after graduating University of Toronto Engineering. His two uncles and his father owned and operated manufacturing businesses, and hence manufacturing is in his blood. In our conversation, Robert not only explained the phrase "secret sauce" to me, but also made it very obvious, why manufacturers would do wrong if they try to search for the secret sauce of a product such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. However, we did not end up with searching for the secret sauce ... we also looked ahead into industrial revolution number 4 and the return of cottage industries.
I met Bart Pattijn from Belgium for the fifth episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. He is ERP consultant at Christiaens BV, and actually didn’t start his career in an IT company. Instead, he initially was a production manager in several food companies. Hence, he has plenty of real-life experience when it comes to manufacturing and planning. He has been working with Navision since 2004. Our conversion quickly became very hands-on, and Bart managed to unveil two underestimated superpowers of Business Central to me: this is the upgrade-ability and the extensibility. Both in combination enable manufacturing companies to achieve more with Business Central, and to cope with the ongoing need for speed and need for change.
In this episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show, I met with Sune Lohse. Sune is Chief Strategy Officer and Business Unit Manager Supply Chain at Abakion from Denmark. He holds a bachelor in “manufacturing engineering” and helps customers optimizing supply chain processes. Sune is author of the book "200 ERP Questions: The most important things to think about when considering Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central" and initiator of the free Microsoft Dynamics learning portal UseDynamics.com, where he has contributed with more than 500 videos on Business Central. Our conversation started with some Marketing best practices, but then quickly turned into a round-trip from material requirements planning (MRP) to shopfloor execution, which culminated in the similarities of raising kids and raising Business Central manufacturing clients.
I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with AJ Ansari as third episode of the Business Central Manufacturing Show. AJ is Chief Operating Officer with Dynamics Southwest from Houston, Texas. However, more than that he serves as a volunteer in various committee roles with NAVUG, IAMCP, Dynamics Credentialed Professionals (DCP), and Directions North America, and has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP. In our conversation we also came across his passion for football and developed the idea of situational manufacturing by learning from successful football teams.
I met Peik Bech-Andersen from Denmark for my first interview in the Business Central Manufacturing Show. He is a solution architect and senior developer, and he first saw Navision back in 1984. Peik and I actually got to know each other in the year 2014, when he was writing his book “manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. A comprehensive guide to the manufacturing module in Microsoft Dynamics NAV”. Here is what Peik has to share on Business Central and manufacturing.