How ERP enables the digitization in manufacturing

Posted by Lawin Ileto on Oct 12, 2020 2:15:00 PM

The wait is over! The Business Central Manufacturing Show is back with its 14th episode. In this episode we talk to Olof Simren. A Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV expert who started working with Navision back in 2002, when it was called Navision Attain. With over 18 years of Microsoft Dynamics experience, an awesome blog about Dynamics NAV manufacturing and projects in different parts of the world, Olof now leads a US based company called Naviona. In our interview, we discussed how an ERP system can help manufacturing companies go paperless through full-circle digitization.


Business Central Manufacturing Shwow - Olof Simren - Quote

Olof nailed down the broad and fuzzy buzzword of digitization to “going paperless”. This, of course, has some obvious benefits for all backend processes, e.g. when orders no longer being processed by fax and print but by documents and emails.

However, most recently Olof started to observe that this whole notion of going paperless also spills over into the shopfloor – bringing some new efficiency gains. This has two aspects:

  • Bring information from the ERP to the shop faster and seamless
  • Bring information from the shop back to the ERP faster and seamless

This first aspect refers to attempts e.g. of making the work order process digital, which is enabled by both the general Business Central (mobile) app and (robust) devices in the shop. That way, work order lists, work instructions, CAD drawings, inspection instructions, etc. can be brought to the shop without any delay and without losing any kind of information. Also, they can get updated in real-time if needed.

The second aspect opens new options to run the shop smoother, but also to establish some commercial processes such as real-time costing and improving planning parameters (and assumptions) by always having current live data.

All in all, digitization is not only the change of a medium, it also requires well-defined processes to cater to the digitization benefits.


You can tune in below 👇 on Apple PodcastSpotifyStitcherTuneIn, or anywhere you get your podcasts.



In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How digitization and going paperless is affecting the manufacturing industry

  • The importance of technology in today’s shop floor specifically when working with your foremen, vendors, and customers

  • A solid foundation of well-managed processes should be in place when applying digital transformation in the shop floor to avoid chaos

  • Access to real-time data and the ability to capture real-time data in specific operations is proving to be more and more important in manufacturing

  • Digitization brings visualization and this visualization on the shop floor could help assist operators

  • Business Central is a general ERP system that benefits manufacturing companies because of the presence of add-ons and extensions as well as the option to further customize it to fit your needs

What to listen for:

  • [4:29] The meaning of digitization and how it relates to the shop floor
  • [5:24] How Business Central is changing today's shop floor, specifically working with 3rd parties and going paperless
  • [6:32] How COVID19 has accelerated the rate of digitalization of the manufacturing industry
  • [7:30] How the processes on the shop floor have digitalized with the rise of tablets and applications such as Business Central
  • [10:48] The importance of managing the digitalization to create efficiency and not chaos
  • [13:00] How good processes should be in place to accompany the so-called digitalization
  • [14:26] The importance of having the latest information and real-time data on the shop floor
  • [15:15] How real-time data could be used for product costing by capturing accurate operating times
  • [20:30] The rise of purely automated processes and machine (only) interaction with the ERP system
  • [22:55] The advantages of using Business Central as a manufacturing company


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Topics: Business Central Production Scheduling, Visual Scheduling Fundamentals, Business Central Visual Scheduling Extensions, Podcast