Some days ago, I attended Directions EMEA in Vienna - the annual gathering of many Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partners. It took me a while to digest my impressions, and summarize my key take-aways. Other than many other Directions EMEA reflections that I read and enjoyed, mine is less product-centric, less tech-centric, but more business model-centric.
For a while, our Marketing claim is the same. We are the company with the most complete stack of visual scheduling software for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV. The finished second calendar quarter underlines this claim. We achieved the hat trick and published three visual scheduling apps on Microsoft’s AppSource. With this, the second generation of our Visual Scheduling Suite is taking shape.
Partners and customers from now on can achieve a seamless visual scheduling of production orders, jobs, and resources. Also, they can get a comprehensive resource Gantt chart. The latter shows allocations from jobs, service orders, assembly orders, and absences. The Q2 hat trick brought thee apps to AppSource. Visual Production Scheduler (VPS), Visual Jobs Scheduler (VJS), and Visual Resource Viewer (VRV).
Time is flying, and it is over a month ago that I attended Directions NA in Las Vegas - the essential partner conference for all Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partners in North America. When you visit a conference, a smartphone seems to be everyone's best friend, and I am no exception. I took a zillion of pictures. Last weekend, I showed a friend some impressions from Las Vegas and came across four pictures that are very meaningful to me. With that distance to the conference, I actually noticed how meaningful they are to me (and why) and decided to share in a blog post.
"Believe me Martin, this won't work." He did not give me any chance to answer or ask why. But he emphasized his point: "I have been in production scheduling the past 25 years."
Then he shared his lessons learned: "No factory is like the other. Each manufacturer has its own processes. Hence, they all manage and schedule in a different manner. Production scheduling only works if you customize it. It needs to support the individual manufacturer's processes. This is common sense and you should trust me."
Well, this was not what I wanted to hear.
For almost two years, I had been making a consistent observation. This observation made me think I had a smart idea for a brand new product. Or even a new product category. I had been noodling on this idea for quite a while. Finally, I was confident enough to discuss it. And I dared to ask a recognized industry expert for feedback.
"But my discussions with many small make-to-order manufacturers speak a different language. They want something simple, something visual and … ", was my attempt to make my point again.
He didn't let me finish my thought. He was so convinced that I was on a completely wrong track, that he interrupted me again.
We recently relaunched our website. This had been a 9-months project. We did this completely on our own and did not involve any agency. In this process, I made (among others) two fundamental decisions:
- Going forward, I want to run an "exec corner" blog. In this blog, I wanna share insights from owning and running a software company.
- With the relaunch, we say good-bye to (almost) all Marketing forms. I mean, all forms that we usually put between our visitors and the content we create.
This is my first "exec corner" blog and it sheds some light on the second decision. Actually, it needed only one reason to decide that we ungate all our content.