ERP

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Comparison 2501 938 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Microsoft Dynamics has a range of products that are designed from the ground up for different functionalities.
  • As an enterprise, picking the right product (for eg. Data migration from NAV to Business Central and choosing between Business Central vs Finance and Operations) requires intricate knowledge about the in’s and out’s of these platforms.
  • The Microsoft Dynamics family of products offers a wide array of business applications that can provide you with the maximum efficiency and ROI for your enterprise.

Microsoft Dynamics is known for upgrading or in some cases even overhauling its range of products to:

  • Make them compatible with the changing technologies (rewriting on-premise enterprise products for the cloud)
  • Enhance business applications
  • Streamline operations management, resource planning, and/ or financial management functionalities

As an existing Microsoft Dynamics suite customer or an enterprise looking to invest in a modern product, it can be an overwhelming decision to understand the differences between Microsoft’s vast range of products. Whether it’s understanding the minute differences between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations, or determining the additional features that these products offer, making an informed decision is critical.

This article discusses the major differences between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Finance and Operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: Picking the Right Enterprise Resource Planning System

First, it’s essential to understand that Dynamics 365 encompasses both Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Business Central is essentially a cloud-based ERP solution on its way to replace the older Microsoft Dynamics NAV product. The dual functionality of Business Central (on-premise and on the cloud) is what makes it more efficient for operations management and resource planning. The cloud functionality of business central can be leveraged to access data 24*7 anywhere you go. This can be especially useful in recent times where remote work has jumped in scale.

Here’s an In-depth Comparison Chart to Understand the Difference Between Dynamics Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Business Central Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations
User-base Previous Dynamics NAV Users Financial Compliance Teams, Vendor Management, Inter Company Stock Transfers etc
Analytics Maturity Dashboards, Reporting, Ad-hoc Analytics Advanced and More Intricate Analytics, Richer Reporting Options, Machine Learning-enabled Features, Advanced Business Intelligence Tools
Options for Customizations Developers can access open codebase for customizations Multiple plug-in options, Many Modules Available on AppSource
Implementation Cost Generally, 30% of Cost of Implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations All infrastructure costs are included
Licensing Subscription-based Model Monthly Subscription-based Model

Dynamics Business Central vs Dynamics for Finance and Operations are often compared for their scale. While Business Central is usually targeted towards smaller-scale operations (companies that want to move on from basic accounting models to intricate business analytics functionality), Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers two ERP products: Business Central and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

It’s widely considered that In time, Business Central will take center stage, possibly phasing out Dynamics NAV completely. Here are some of the more compelling reasons for this hypothesis.

Dynamics Business Central Key Benefits and Distinguishing Features:

  • Easily accessible on-cloud and/or hybrid models available
  • Better safety with its cloud-based and web-based applications
  • With Business Central, companies can get maximum use and ROI from other applications such as SharePoint, MS Excel, Outlook, and MS Word
  • Business Central offers a variety of new functionalities
  • The flexible upgrade and licensing model allows companies to be digitally agile in the implementation of software
  • Data migration from Nav to Business Central is a fully-supported, streamlined process
  • Overall implementation of Business Central is much faster, thanks to customization options, add-ons development and combination option with other Office 365 products.

In conclusion, companies that are looking for nimble, cloud-based software options for their enterprise’s accounting requirement can opt for Dynamic Business Central. On the other hand, companies looking for intercompany stock dealings, transportation management, and financial compliance solutions should opt for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Depending on the requirement of companies, their IT infrastructure maturity and growth strategies, an informed choice has to be made.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dynamics 365 is an umbrella encompassing Business Central and Finance and Operations ERP solutions.
  • Business Central offers intricate analytical functionalities with the option of going cloud-based or local (on-premises) or hybrid.
  • Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations has a more niche user-base.
  • Companies can get support from experts and consultants to make the right call and for faster, smoother implementations.

Trouble choosing between Dynamics 365 Business Central and F&O? Get help from experts today!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Top Reasons Why SMBs Need to Invest in a Robust ERP System

Top Reasons Why SMBs Need to Invest in a Robust ERP System

Top Reasons Why SMBs Need to Invest in a Robust ERP System 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Growing small and medium businesses (SMBs) around the world continue to invest in ERP software hoping to streamline their operations and boost profits. Let’s find out why the increase in demand for an effective ERP system has risen in the past decade.

need of erp system in small medium businesses

Looking to revamp your company’s ERP solution?

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365: A Guide to Migration

Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365: A Guide to Migration

Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365: A Guide to Migration 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • There are multiple aspects that come into picture when a company decides to transition from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365. This is often a multi-pronged process that goes beyond a simple technology upgrade.
  • When businesses are preparing to move to Dynamics 365, executives need to be aware of the impact on different departments, instead of just focusing on benefits.
  • This article discusses how Dynamics 365 is different from its predecessor, Dynamics AX, and the steps organizations need to take to ensure a smooth transition.

Like most organizations looking to upgrade for better functionality, agility, enhanced digital capabilities, etc., if you’re planning to move from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365, it’s critical to understand the difference between the two, in order to make an informed decision.

Comparing Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamic 365: Understanding the Differences

Aspect/ Functionality Dynamics AX Dynamics 365
User Interface Based on software Browser access (web-based login)
Infrastructure On-premise ERP/ servers Cloud-based and hybrid
Business Intelligence Limited Immense data insight generation with AI-enabled capabilities
Additional features None Power Apps
Updates Time-consuming, effort-intensive Easier, cloud-based updates (feature-wise updates)
License Yearly expense Pay-as-you-go flexible model

This simple comparison presents a decent starting point for organizations considering a shift from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365, but decision makers in the company will want to look closely at the intricacies of Dynamics 365, and how it may affect their business. This will enable them in making an informed decision and in communicating the need for change to the organization.

Why Should Organizations Move to Microsoft Dynamics 365?

According to a recent report published by Forrester Consulting, moving to Dynamics 365 can help companies improve IT and back-office efficiency by 20-50% and 66%, respectively.

Apart from the obvious benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 like improved interface and infrastructure, it also offers ease of use and better business intelligence with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Available power-BI functionality, for instance, helps create unlimited high-end reports and dashboards.

One of the most important aspects of moving to Dynamics 365 from Dynamics AX is how straightforward the migration has become, and with reduced risks. The groundwork done by Microsoft is testament to the newer tools and applications that make migrating to Dynamics 365 products smooth and predictable.

If your mind is made up to transition to Dynamics 365 from AX, the only thing you may still be wondering about is how exactly it can be done?

Below is a simple guide for businesses starting to look at upgrading to one of Microsoft’s flagship ERPs

1.Consider the Areas of Impact While making the shift, it’s important for CTOs and CIOs to note areas, departments and processes that will be most affected. This way those areas can be prepared well in advance for the change. It’s also important to gauge the extent to which your organization is using Dynamics AX. This assessment can be done by addressing the following key questions:

  • Is your business able to adapt to changing requirements?
  • Are you able to track raw materials through the entire supply chain?
  • Are your data streams updated on a near real-time basis?
  • How many integrated systems as well as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are working in association with Dynamics AX?
  • How many systems (integrated and ISVs) are compatible with Dynamics 365

2.License Transfer In order to move from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365, companies can transition the existing license for the new platform. It’s important to note that an active maintenance plan can net up to an almost 40% discount on the license purchase fee. To help ease this transition, Microsoft has included tools that can preserve customizations and ensure complete code compliance in the new Dynamics 365 ecosystem from the predecessor (in this case Microsoft Dynamics AX).

3.Ensuring Similar Transaction ResultsExperts suggest making sure that important groundwork is done in order to reduce risks and avoid hiccups when processing transactions. This groundwork can involve the continuous use of automation to run tests during the migration to ensure that you are getting similar results in Dynamics 365 as you were in AX. It’s also advisable to ensure complete documentation of use cases and business requirements for future reference.

4.Systematic Organizational Change Management (OCM)As is the case with any major software shift, change is often met with both behavioural resistance and in the form of technical glitches. Ensuring a systematic approach to change management will be key in enabling smooth transition. Companies would need to get their IT department well-acquainted with the in’s and out’s of newer Dynamics 365 environments. As well, moving from an on-premise system to a modern cloud-based, web-enabled software will require ongoing training and guidance as the system continues to evolve. Experts advise investing in OCM beforehand rather than solving the problems as they come.

Organizational Change Management: Smooth Transition from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365

   

Organizational Change Management: Smooth Transition from AX to Dynamics 365

Understanding these factors goes a long way to ensuring complete preparedness, letting organizations accurately plan their transition from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365. If you’re still unsure, it’s advisable to partner with change management experts and IT consultants experienced not only in migrations and end-to-end support, but also the industry your organization serves.

Key Takeaways

  • Like any migration, the move from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 has to be well-planned and well-managed for maximum efficiency.
  • Ensuring readiness- technical as well as behavioral, will help organizations in getting the expected ROI from this shift.

Looking to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for streamlining your operations? Get a free consultation with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP - Paper vs Digital

ERP – Paper vs Digital

ERP – Paper vs Digital 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Companies today are understanding the benefits of using digital processes instead of paper-based manual processes. With up to 90% of organizations moving to paperless processes to avoid human error and improve efficiency, not deciding to make the transition can be a big mistake. Read on to learn more about paper-based vs digital ERPs- your preferred choice for technological transformation.

Paper based ERP vs Digital ERP

Start your technological transformation with a digital ERP.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

how to choose the right erp system

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes 1200 450 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

While demand for an effective ERP system is the highest in the manufacturing industry, more and more companies are leveraging the right ERP software to increase collaboration and streamline operations. Here’s an overview of how helpful a modern ERP software can be.

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

Looking for the right ERP system to boost your profits? Get a free assessment with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Investing in an effective ERP solution today is essential for the smooth operation of any business.
  • A prediction by Statista estimates the global ERP market to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 growing with a CAGR of 8%. cv
  • Your ERP system manages various aspects of your business like materials, inventory, sales, distribution, and even your accounts, making it essential to focus on a smooth transition from legacy systems to the cloud.
  • As there is so much sensitive data hosted on the cloud, the transition from on-premise systems to the cloud should be done carefully, taking several factors into consideration. Steps taken to ensure a smooth transition can range from prioritizing applications to the geographical constraints and regulations put on data sharing.
  • According to a prediction by Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security tend to see a 53% revenue growth as compared to their competitors.

Investing in a good ERP system is the biggest responsibility for any company. Choosing the right ERP system is not only a huge financial responsibility but as large companies like Oracle and SAP announced plans to phase out support for the older versions of their ERP software, business executives everywhere are forced to rethink their own ERP strategies.

What today’s companies need instead of just a flexible system is one paired with rapid responsiveness to customer needs and which can lead to increased business opportunities. The next generation of ERP implementation strategies is likely to have a smaller core of critical business processes and easily manageable connections for industry data that lives on the cloud including third-party solutions.

According to Statista, the overall ERP market is expected to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 depicting a compound annual growth rate of 8%. Companies are rapidly moving from legacy systems to the cloud to reap its benefits. In fact, a recent report by SelectHub showed that the global cloud market is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020.

ERP in Core Operations Management

An ERP software manages essential information for different departments of a company. They provide software assistance in most areas like –

  • Materials and Inventory: Managing stock levels, material requirements, and vendor requirements.
  • Manufacturing and Assembling: Helping in planning, scheduling, and forecasting production and material requirements.

Figure: 1Must-Have ERP Modules

Must have ERP Modules

  • Sales and Distribution: Ensuring real-time data tracking for increased visibility on customer orders and distribution requirements.
  • Accounting: Managing essential back-office processes, tracking all transactions, and supporting financial reporting.

Most companies need stable and multitask-capable systems to work on to meet the needs of their customers at a faster pace to stay at par with the competition. The only real solution is to adopt a legacy system replacement strategy using flexible microservices which can offer a competitive advantage.

Enterprise Resource Planning – On-premise and cloud

Currently, most ERP systems run on either on-premise or private clouds. According to a report by Panorama in 2018, 15% of companies use on-premise ERP solutions, 64% of companies use SaaS whereas 21% use cloud-based ERP solutions. On the other hand, in the year 2017, 67% of companies used on-premise ERP solutions, 6% used cloud and 27% used SaaS.

Figure: 2On-premise vs Cloud

On-Primise Vs Cloud ERP

The rapid increase in cloud solutions adoption shows that companies are slowly becoming comfortable with moving to the cloud and working on cloud-hosted systems. Cloud computing makes it much easier for vendors to deploy rapidly changing technologies using the internet of things (IoT), artificial learning, machine learning, and data analytics to keep their systems updated. This is the paramount reason for the cloud to dominate in the future. As and when this happens, the cloud will not only provide you efficiency and deliver valuable insights but will also enhance predictability.

This is not an overnight change because customers and users take time to mature and invest in current systems, the change is yet inevitable.

Steps to take before embarking on ERP modernizing journey

Moving to the cloud is a big step which means certain things should be done very carefully –

  • Prioritizing applications – Separating applications that help in business expansion and staying on par with the competition is essential. Applications like email, messaging, calendars, and other Office-supported apps are lower priorities compared to other business-critical software. Companies can make do without these less important apps for short periods. This helps in gaining a clearer understanding of which apps should immediately be moved to the cloud and which ones can wait.
  • Workload levels and demand levels – As many see the cloud as a solution for applications with major shifts in demand, public clouds offer increased server support when required. Running workloads with rapidly changing demand on the cloud increases efficiency and increase the financial support offered.
  • Importance of customization – When considering a shift to the cloud, workloads which require customer architecture require customization if performance is heavily dependent on a specific configuration. In cases where your internal organization has limited features and configuration capabilities, the cloud helps by increasing flexibility and provides resources necessary to identify workloads for optimal conditions.
  • Geographical and regulatory variables involved – Regulations can complicate your data framework immensely. Hybrid architectures help you successfully host your sensitive data and alleviate these challenges. Understanding these hurdles beforehand can save a lot of time and money. The regulatory requirements in different geographical areas also play a key role in moving data to the cloud. The broad presence of the cloud gives you the redundancy, content delivery network (CDN) capabilities and supports customers at any location that they access the data from without any additional costs. This also helps you by easing the complexity of operating geographically dispersed on your own.
  • Security threats – Security is a focus point for both private cloud providers and ERP software. Cloud providers operate at a larger scale, with increased security experts on staff and more experience protecting tenant data from new threats. When transitioning to the cloud, conducting a thorough assessment of both existing vulnerabilities and potential risks associated with service provider facilities before making your decision is extremely essential.

Better performance with modern ERP systems

Following the steps above can help companies go on to transition from their on-premise software to the cloud. They can effectively plan to modernize their ERP and transform their organizations. The experience of leaders who have been a part of such a transition shows that effort leads to significant gains including better and more secure access to data and increasingly efficient use of resources at reduced operational costs.

One particular benefit was seen by an industrial company with operations spread across the globe. They aimed to reduce operational costs by improving performance. They planned to do this by effectively managing their financial transactions. The easiest solution to this was to improve the connections between their ERP systems and the data being circulated both internally as well as externally. This in turn improved decision-making using automated data flows reducing the time that the company spent in gathering data and boosting the company’s financial intelligence.

Key Takeaways

No transformation of such a large scale can be easy or convenient. It’s not wrong to fear these kinds of transitions but it’s essential for companies to step up and take control so they can reduce their operational costs, increase connectivity and host sensitive data on more secure platforms. Moving data from on-premise software to the cloud can be made easy by answering the questions about the scope and nature of the upgrade. Adhering to a few simple and practical guidelines can also make this process simpler. Once this transition takes place, executives can manage the risks of modernizing their ERP solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Thinking of restructuring your ERP strategy to boost your bottom line? Get started with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

5 Key Reasons Why Distributors Should Invest in a Robust ERP

5 Key Reasons Why You Need ERP Software in Distribution

5 Key Reasons Why You Need ERP Software in Distribution 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • As a distributor, your investments can be severely impacted due to operational or management issues with your transportation system; The day-to-day operations of most wholesale distribution companies can take advantage of optimized systems to avoid inventory stock-outs, transportation bottlenecks, and more.
  • Most operational problems can either be resolved quickly or avoided altogether with ERP software designed for distribution companies.
  • Today, more and more supply chain distribution and transportation companies looking for an advantage are investing wisely in ERP software.

Distribution management, supply chain and logistics planning can be few of the most challenging areas for any wholesale distribution company. If not properly monitored, common occurrences of events like rapidly increasing volumes of new information, varying timelines, and unplanned scheduling issues can become large challenges to overcome. This goes for unforeseen factors that can’t be planned for as well, like breakdowns, natural disasters, and unexpected disruptions to transportation channels. To minimize the impact of these scenarios and more, distribution companies can choose to leverage smart business management software platforms such as ERPs. These solutions designed specifically for distribution companies focus on simplifying operations and shortening the cash cycle with robust out-of-the-box and customizable solutions.

For years, distribution companies have been on the short end of the stick when it comes to implementing IT infrastructure capable enough to support their unique needs and requirements. While a quick search might indicate a majority of wholesale distribution companies operating on a similar model, a more in-depth investigation would highlight numerous differences and intricacies. An effective wholesale distribution ERP software can recognize specific requirements and provide solutions to address them based on the scale, geography, and operating model of a specific organization. This all points to ERP being essential for distribution channel management, boosting overall operational efficiency, and reducing costs.

Below are 5 more important reasons why the right ERP is a must-have for organizations looking to boost distribution and transportation networks

1.Increased agility With today’s market more dynamic than ever before, end-users are not only more aware of what they want but are able to access a growing number of options. This change in behavior requires manufacturers and wholesale distributors alike to rethink their approach. With the right ERP solution in place, both sales and distribution pipelines become much more dynamic, allowing distribution companies to communicate changes in requirements in real-time to simplify the order-to-shipment process.

2.Enhanced Data Management For any distribution company, managing inventory inflow and outflow is an enormous task, susceptible to repetition, recurrence, and multiple errors. This can be avoided by implementing a comprehensive ERP platform to automate data entry and facilitate high-end data and insight generation. The right ERP software in distribution offers significantly enhanced visibility and complete transparency for information being managed in a distribution network.

Figure: 1Why Do Distribution Companies Need ERP

Why Do Distribution Companies Need ERP

3.Efficient Inventory Management Properly managing today’s distribution operations includes actively monitoring supply chains, logistics, and inventory, which, when not managed effectively, can produce a significantly lower ROI. This is where ERP software for a distribution company can make a huge difference with things like built-in automation to track multiple items, real-time monitoring of goods to avoid stock-outs, and improved communication between stakeholders.

4.Streamlined Supply Chain Management To avoid disruptions in supply chains, companies need to take proactive measures to streamline operations and minimize the impacts of any global phenomenon that can potentially disrupt the supply network. An ERP software in a distribution company helps ensure a steady flow of goods, fortified communication amongst stakeholders, and complete visibility of the supply chain.

5.Improved Customer Relationships Today’s wholesale distributors are expected to anticipate their end user’s needs as market demands rapidly change. This helps organizations stay ahead of their competition, and able to respond quickly to their customer’s dynamic requirements. The strengthening of these customer relationships leads to an improved cash cycle, which further helps to avoid overstock. This leads to other, more conventional industries looking to improve customer retention with the right ERP.

Final Thoughts

Modern ERP software in distribution has evolved into complete end-to-end platforms designed to promote growth and improve both suppliers’ and distributors’ ability to do business under quickly changing conditions. Especially today, implementing the correct solution has become much more affordable, offering significantly improved response times, increased efficiency, and stronger customer relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right ERP for distribution is more crucial than ever in making your supply chain and distribution network highly dynamic, leaving your business in a much better position to respond to rapidly-changing market demands.
  • The main focus of ERP isn’t just operations management but also improving supply chain and strengthening customer relations.
  • Overall, sales and distribution cycles become much more profitable when the right ERP solution is in place.

Invest in a robust ERP system to streamline your distribution operations. Start your free trial!

Register Here

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustaining Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustaining Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustaining Manufacturing 2500 1250 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • ERP has been critical to the manufacturing sector, from business strategies to meeting increased demand for specific products.
  • While the manufacturing industry has long been reliant on ERP systems for effective business operations, recent events have highlighted their importance.
  • Experts are looking at comprehensive ERP products that can help them meet rising demand and elevate their business platforms for success in the future.

If the manufacturing industry had to describe 2020 in one word, most might go with ‘unprecedented’. Things like disruptions to Supply Chains, wildly fluctuating changes in demand, and shortages of materials have led to a state of disarray for organizations of every size. These organizations are looking to maneuver efficiently through these challenges and meet changing demands while remaining in compliance. This means that manufacturers’ top management bodies weigh options to reshuffle their business processes and strategies to accommodate sudden changes.

Going forward, businesses will need to change their production plan from top to bottom as the demand for certain goods like automotive, non-essential goods, and construction materials have gone down. In contrast, things like chemicals, ventilators, sanitizers, hygiene products, PPE, and various pharmaceutical raw materials have dramatically increased. This shift in demand calls for realignment and systematic operational implementation of business processes with a fortified ERP system.

53%

of the manufacturing industry expect COVID-19 to impact operations.

Source: National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)

Shown below are some of the biggest concerns the manufacturing industry has at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Disruption of supply chains due to travel restrictions
  • Low or no availability of raw material
  • Skeleton crews on the production floor owing to the fear of exposure to the virus
  • Loss of revenue due to stalled production all over the world
  • Realignment of the workforce to accommodate working from home
  • Rapid change in demand patterns for certain consumer goods
  • Downward or backward fiscal growth.

The future sustainability of organizations of all sizes in the manufacturing sector will depend on current investment in tools, software, and systems to streamline, realign, and effectively manage business and production operations. Sustainable manufacturing practices can surely help companies boost their profits.

Figure: 1Challenges Faced by The Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19

Challenges Faced by Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

The resulting wake of Covid-19 has compelled decision-makers from businesses in the manufacturing sector to reevaluate their business processes and automation to deal with supply chain bottlenecks effectively. This is where the implementation of an effective ERP system comes into play.

Listed below are just a few key strategic ways that a comprehensive ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain and Finance can help fortify the end-to-end manufacturing life cycle for companies in this industry.

1.Addressing Bottlenecks in the Supply Chain ERP systems have proven essential to optimizing the supply chain and providing top-to-bottom visibility of production cycles to avoid situations like stock-outs, inventory glitches, and logistical issues. Enterprise Resource Planning tools have become highly critical to businesses as global supply chains are disrupted. ERP systems help mitigate damages by overhauling the demand-to-supply strategy and optimizing the supply chain accordingly. ERP systems are also highly crucial in collating and classifying production data for complete visibility to workers on the shop floor and beyond.

2.Boosting Automation to Compensate for Skeletal Workforce Thanks to restrictions still in place, many factories continue to operate at 50% workforce or even less to maintain social distancing to mitigate exposure risks. This means that more manual operations are becoming automated, requiring planning, changes in hardware and software, training, and proper deployment of automation protocols. This can all be managed with the help of a robust ERP system.

3.Managing Change in Demand Since the pandemic, there has been a swing in need for certain commodities, such as automobiles, sanitizers, hygiene products, and ventilators. These rapid changes in the market require an ERP system that helps streamline raw material purchases, billing cycles, payroll solutions, last-minute logistical changes, generating a bill of material, and much more.

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Comprehensive platforms like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance or Supply Chain help Improve efficiency and productivity for businesses in the manufacturing industry. The systematic tools assist with planning, logistical management, change analysis, data collation, capacity requirement management, and responding to rapidly changing needs.

Figure: 2Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System During Covid-19

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System during Covid-19

Key Takeaways

The numerous changes that developed since the onset of Covid-19 have created significant setbacks for any business in the manufacturing industry; Savvy organizations that can use the right ERP software while investing in intelligent solutions will be in the best position for growth when this is all over. Here are some final points to remember when you think of ERP in the manufacturing industry.

  • The top executives and decision-makers in the manufacturing sector need to invest in smart manufacturing ERP software solutions to combat the changing demand and supply patterns.
  • Analyzing global and local goods and commodities requirements will be essential for running a manufacturing plant.
  • Manufacturers need to rethink their supply chain and inventory management strategies and implement proven and systematic resource planning tools.

Book a free consultation for all your manufacturing process needs.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Top 5 reasons why ERP Transformation drives business success

Top 5 reasons why ERP Transformation drives business success 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Have you seen a dip in your ERP system performance? Is your system breaking down every now and then? Is your current ERP able to support your rapidly growing business? As business transactions increase with time, you may notice spikes in system inefficiencies. You cannot expect to improve the company’s overall productivity with a legacy system that is barely functioning and outdated. You cannot report actionable insights while dealing with bad data and inefficient processes. By now, you have enough indications that your business is outgrowing the current ERP system. However, like most companies, you probably hesitate to transform your ERP, as there is an inherent fear about the cost of transformation and the company’s inability to accept change.

Three-fourths of ERP transformation projects fail to stay on schedule or within budget, and two-thirds have a negative return on investment.Source: Mckinsey

Interestingly enough, the above stat also forces companies that desperately need an ERP change to be better planned and prepared for the transformation. Companies that cannot transform quickly soon become irrelevant.

The only thing harder than transformation is, failing to transform.

ERP transformation SWOT

Many industry insights have proved that the rate of failure is significantly higher when organizations are unable to embrace change. There are various reasons to move on from your existing legacy systems. Read on to know more about the five reasons you need an ERP transformation.

1.Your current ERP system does not have systemic collaboration capabilities Most old-age ERP systems run in silos and process transactions independently for each department. Some don’t even have cross-functional capabilities. This can pose an issue when you are trying to eliminate inefficient business processes. Archaic ERP systems rely on manual/paper-based methods for inter or intra-departmental collaboration. You rely on your team’s verbal communication and expect them to be on top of their tasks, especially while handing them off to other departments. Most of the process inefficiencies arise due to poor communication. For example, your manufacturing and finance departments interact manually or through paper. As the volume of work orders goes up, the teams quickly lose track of operations that need to be verified and closed out. These delays can cause inventory inaccuracies and bad data.

Figure: 1A real life manual production process prior to transformation

Production Process before ERP Transformation

Notice the number of failure points in the above figure. Now imagine many of these failure points across different production scenarios. While some organizations are very good at tracking manual communication, the onus is always on the team to communicate effectively and move work orders forward. Secure, streamlined, efficient collaboration is the focus of most modern-day companies. Businesses that want to succeed will empower their team to collaborate from anywhere effectively.

2.Your ERP system does not have embedded advanced analytics and BI dashboards Most Agile companies prefer Analytics and BI dashboards within their operational ERP systems. Organizations with profitability as their primary objective always favor tracking efficiencies and inefficiencies. Success or failure depends on the ability to respond to aberrations instantly. BI applications are separate from an operational ERP system by design. A powerful BI application collates data and provides analytical insights. Integrating an obsolescent ERP to a standalone analytics application is cumbersome and does not offer real-time analytical reports. You may lose the capability of embedding a quick and easy BI dashboard onto your ERP that provides real-time progress reporting.

Ultimately, the more visibility you have of operations, the better equipped you are to make accurate business decisions. Once you notice an inability to report actionable insights, it is time to move on to a new ERP with better systemic capabilities and real-time reporting.

3.Your ERP system cannot leverage the power of AI and process automation It is a known fact that various industries have embraced AI to enhance their ability to predict user behavior. The prediction criteria include historical data, continuously improving processes, day-in-the-life activities, and adaptability to process improvements. On a similar token, many modern companies have adopted process automation to increase overall operational efficiency. AI and process automation are not just fancy technologies for larger companies. They are active enhancers that also help small and midsize companies to grow their businesses. Without your ERP integrated into AI, the system will not have the capability of continuous learning-to-enhance productivity. If you are still on an out-of-date ERP system, the chances are that you cannot leverage the power of AI and process automation. When combined with advanced analytics, AI improves your supply chain’s end-to-end visibility and predicts possible disruptions before they occur. It now calls for a business decision if you are willing to decommission a legacy system that cannot utilize AI’s potential and plan your move to a modern platform.

4.Your current ERP system is less secure and more susceptible to data breaches Companies that are functioning on legacy systems tend to be more vulnerable to security threats and data breaches. You may not have the ability to protect your data and audit ‘who did what’ in the system. Most businesses store sensitive information like customer pricing, credit card numbers, employee records, company’s intellectual property, formulations, etc. If you are on an aged ERP, it may be challenging to ensure data privacy and security. Losing Information can be daunting, especially if you have no secure backups of data. How do you ensure that unauthorized access has not occurred and your information is not compromised?

Responsible companies do not risk customer information. They agree that short term pain and cost of an ERP transformation will any day benefit them, eventually leading them to long-term business gains.

5.Your current ERP system is not Agile and cannot accommodate incremental business needs An interesting question to ask yourself is if your technology can adapt to business process changes without customizing the system and violating industry best practices? Antiquated ERP systems are equivalent to following age-old processes. Enough research is done on this subject to help companies move away from outdated business practices and procedures. Companies are now choosing to be more nimble with changing times and stay afloat in a highly competitive market. Many companies within your sector may have already made the shift to newer, agile technologies – giving them the potential to outrun you in competition. Agile companies have the flexibility to function with higher efficiency, better ways to interact with customers/business partners, manage tasks smartly, and optimize resource utilization.

Research shows that agile organizations have a 70 percent chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance.Source: Mckinsey

As market dynamics change, the way you run your business should adjust accordingly. If you want to move out of working exhaustively, it is high time your company transforms towards being agile.

Why do companies move slowly to initiate the ERP implementation?

Below are a few hindrances that stop companies from moving forward with a technology transformation that will drive organizational change –

1.Cost of the changeover.

2.Businesses have difficulty following an implementation methodology that may challenge their current way of functioning.

3.Companies don’t have an internal change agent who can set end-user expectations, make tough decisions that may impact job descriptions and trigger a reorganization.

How do you overcome these challenges to move forward?

1.Have a set budget. Take a crawl, walk and run approach to the transformation.

a. Crawl – Lift and Shift. Map your current business processes and convert them to the new system.

b. Walk – Stabilize in the new environment, including handling issues, fixing them and maximize business operations.

c. Run – Leverage all the additional optimization features on the application to boost the business.

2.Agree to a methodology that works for your company and doesn’t create too much resistance to convert.

3.Look for the right internal champion who understands the business and can manage user expectations effectively, especially when it comes to business changes that make users uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

  • If you cannot move out of an old ERP system, your business challenges will continue to persist – further increasing sunk costs and lost time in the battle of quality vs. efficiency vs. cost of transformation.
  • Chalk out your organizational goals for the next five years to clarify why you should transform your business into a modern – agile ERP system and list your transformational goals.
  • Prioritize your ERP transformation into different phases by starting with lift and shift – to move your core business functions into the new system, and eventually implementing process optimization to utilize the real power of your new ERP.

Begin Your ERP Transformation With Free Assessment.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Rapid ERP Implementation

Rapid Implementation of ERP Systems- Benefits & Challenges

Rapid Implementation of ERP Systems- Benefits & Challenges 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • ERP implementations are transitioning from being just a business choice to a necessity. Companies are now seeking ways for faster, smoother, and more economical implementation strategies.
  • An expedited ERP implementation strategy involves rapid methods that bring must-have features from legacy systems into a newer, agile and modern system.
  • Enterprises face many issues with rapid implementation, such as stringent scope, change management, limited customization options, etc.
  • Latest technologies and methodologies can make rapid ERP implementation a possibility for companies that want a higher ROI on their technology investments.

95%

of respondents improved some or all of their business processes after implementing a new ERP.

Source: Panorama Consulting

If enterprises were asked about their ERP implementation strategies a decade ago, the responses would vary widely. Many were skeptical, some were eager yet unsure and almost all who were positive, opted for steady onboarding into the new ERP. The continuing implementation model meant that employees were trained at a slow pace in the ERP, customizations were done as per requirements, and the budget was spread out. However, in the current day changeover to a new ERP is quicker making enterprises be agile and dynamic. Companies are lot more informed about the various technologies in the market and all they need is to plan the right time for the implementation and choose the right partner.

According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global ERP software market accounted for $35.81 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $78.41 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.2% during the study period.

Many organizations are now opting for a cloud-based, rapid ERP implementation method, as they understand the benefits of the approach. The new decade demands companies to be more adaptable with a workforce that can quickly adjust to changes. In the past decade, companies that tried to get their employees be more nimble faced many challenges. Workforce could not promptly understand the market’s changing needs and adjust accordingly. They were usually overwhelmed, confused and unmotivated to move quickly. However, the new-age has limited choice to stay stuck in the same method of functioning, as many companies have already transformed to agile ERPs. The initial changeover may be painful but is necessary. Companies have to provide the right technology platform and help employees adjust to the new system. Once employee training and onboarding to the new system is done, they become accustomed to a continuous improvement procedure that drives growth.

The benefits of an expedited reorganization through quick ERP changeover makes enterprises go with a rapid transformation methodology.

Figure: 1Benefits of Rapid ERP Implementation

Why do companies move slowly when it comes to deciding on a new ERP? CIOs look for some general points such as ERP system with proven business benefits, technology roadmap for the future, company’s ability to move into a new ERP rapidly, etc.

Challenges in Rapid ERP Implementation:

1.Reduced Scope of Customization: Any ERP system that is suitable for a rapid implementation has templates for users to easily fill data, and tools that can easily help users move to the new system. This eliminates the need for customized codes and also simplifies the use of the tool. Some companies may find this method constricting, especially when they intend to customize the application to fit their current business processes. Predefined templates allow companies to go with out-of-the-box functionality. The newer system may follow all industry best practices out-of-the-box and may restrict you from overly customizing the system to fit your historical business practices. To remove the discomfort of user adoption to the new system, companies customize the system and make it look like the old system. Rapid implementations restrict customizations, creating some change management issues. 

65%

of new implementation budgets go above plan due to customizing the ERP system during the project.

2.Challenges in Faster Change Management: Rapid ERP implementation process requires setting up a system that can manage end-to-end processes. The system however should be designed to scale and accommodate updates or future releases without too much effort. An expedited change management timeline can be tough on users especially if they are unable to adapt quickly. Aligning all the stakeholders, making them privy to the to-be changes, avoiding communication gaps, managing resistance, and sticking to the budget are some of the challenges organizations face when moving to an agile cloud-based ERP.

3.Data Migration Challenges: Moving from legacy to ERP requires collation, classification, and systematic migration of legacy data. In the case of rapid ERP, moving to the cloud requires thorough data scrubbing within a limited time to ensure that data is accurate. To avoid a drain on budget, companies engage an internal resources to clean up legacy data. The data migration process goes smoothly when data is cleaner and in the right format.

4.Managing expectations: Lastly, companies often look at an ERP as their be-all-end-all solution. Rapid ERP tools are made with reduced implementation time as a primary objective. There can be certain discrepancies in managing expectations with stakeholders. A proper internal champion or change agent who can spearhead the transformation can make the transformation easy on the company. Furthermore, managing employees’ psychological resistance and expectations can also be a hurdle for companies in the initial period of implementation, especially if the company has been on the legacy system for many years. An implementation needs an internal change agent who knows how to set user expectations and take a tough stance on situations, especially the ones that can spiral the implementation out of control. Without an internal champion, no matter how good your implementation partner is, you will see a drain on budget, time and a continuous blame that will make your project a failure.

With these challenges ahead, how are the systems integrators ensuring that companies can still benefit from rapid ERP implementations? The answer lies in setting the right expectations with the customer and leveraging the native tool kits of the ERP. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations comes loaded with features that can give companies worth their money. The reliability, industry-standard templates, relevant functionality, and more such hallmarks make Dynamics 365 the go-to solution for faster cloud-based ERP implementations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations also enables step-by-step e-learning for its applications like the Task Recorder Resources that can run as a guide for users to learn the functions. With this app, users can record business processes for various scenarios and replay them as a guide. The feature speeds up change management and removes the user’s discomfort of not knowing the system.

The bottom line is that rapid ERP implementations are highly successful when companies go with native functionality and leverage the strength of the base system, rather than customizing the system. At least for the initial lift and shift, it is always recommended to stick with out-of-the-box functionality. Today, the digital era requires enterprises to become agile while leveraging newer technologies like cloud, process automation, etc. Rapid ERP implementations are a start to help a company become more nimble and adjust to market conditions quickly. So it is not always about ‘this is what I am used to doing’, it is about ‘what do I need to do differently to be successful’. We cannot avoid change and resisting the change will only push your company’s progress further. Companies will need to help their employees understand the benefits of going rapid so that the implementation and execution can be done on time and within the allocated budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Organizations need to be aware of challenges about rapid ERP implementation and be prepared with strategies to overcome these challenges.
  • It is crucial to remember that rapid ERP is highly beneficial to contain project costs and onboard users quicker into the new system. However, the chosen ERP should be able to handle most if not all organization’s needs.
  • Choosing the right tool for rapid ERP implementation is ‘half battle won’ for companies in their journey towards becoming agile.

Book Your Free Consultation for Rapid ERP Implementation.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com