Maximizing Manufacturing Efficiency with D365 Finance and Operations

Maximizing Manufacturing Efficiency with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Maximizing Manufacturing Efficiency with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Microsoft Dynamics 365 is frequently considered as a solution for upgrading legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems due to its simple integrations and compatibility with many companies.

If you are looking for one system to help your manufacturing company optimize operations and increase efficiency, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations software provides comprehensive, integrated, and cloud-based solutions that help streamline processes and make better business decisions. MSDynamics 365 is full of powerful tools, features, and analytics to improve customer experiences and drive business growth.

In this post, we will discuss why Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is an excellent choice when it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for manufacturing companies.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365

At its core, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system- a powerful software solution that enables organizations to streamline their operations and efficiently manage various aspects of their business from a unified platform. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) is a modern, cloud-based ERP that builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, Dynamics AX.

Dynamics 365 is a comprehensive suite of business solutions for manufacturing companies, including accounting, supply chain management, and project management. By leveraging the power of D365, businesses can streamline their processes, increase visibility, and drive growth and profitability. This software is designed to help manage customer orders, inventory, financials, and supply chain operations, making it an ideal ERP implementation for companies looking for a single platform to coordinate their entire operation.

With a familiar, easy-to-use interface, Dynamics 365 gives manufacturers the ability to analyze data, generate reports, and collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world. MSD365 helps streamline processes, improve customer service, and even reduce costs associated with managing operations via sophisticated analytics capabilities that give companies insights into their performance.

The software enables users to access the latest technological enhancements such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT). With these capabilities, manufacturers can make better-informed decisions quickly and accurately, resulting in increased efficiency.

Ultimately, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations offers innovative and efficient ways for manufacturing companies to effectively manage their resources and operations. Implementing this powerful ERP system enables companies to enhance their operations and better serve their customers.

Microsoft D365 F&O is one of the most popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the world. According to a survey from the International Data Corporation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 was the fastest-growing ERP software in the market in 2020. The platform has seen a growth of 28% over the past year and is now used by over 6 million customers (about twice the population of Arkansas) around the globe.

Benefits of Dynamics 365 for Manufacturing Companies

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a well-known ERP system, specifically designed for the manufacturing industry. D365 continuously offers unique features and functionality tailored to the needs of this often-regulated sector. With MSD365, manufacturers have greater control over every aspect of their operations, from production to inventory management to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Implementing Dynamics 365 improves efficiency, boosts productivity, and reduces costs for manufacturers, with powerful tools for managing processes like sales, marketing, accounting, and operations. Manufacturers using Dynamics can easily access key data and information in real time to make more informed decisions about the way their processes work.

The elevated level of flexibility and customizations enables the product to scale with your business and is easily configured to meet specific requirements of any size manufacturing operation. There is also a wide range of integration options to ensure compatibility with new or existing business applications.

Implementation is one thing, configuration is another. When properly configured, Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps optimize the flow of information throughout the entire organization. This leads to faster decision making, improved customer service, and improved financial results. Microsoft’s manufacturing-focused ERP helps save money for businesses by reducing repetitive, labor-intensive tasks such as inventory tracking, billing, and more.

As a bonus, data gathered through these systems provides valuable insights into customer behavior, allowing companies to tailor their offerings to better meet customer needs, leading to higher revenue and overall customer satisfaction.

Beneficial Features of Dynamics 365 Finance

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a comprehensive business management solution that offers a range of features to support financial and operational needs of manufacturing businesses. Some benefits of D365 Finance for manufacturing businesses are:

Figure 1:Beneficial Features of Dynamics 365 Finance for Manufacturing Companies

Beneficial Features of Dynamics 365 Finance for Manufacturing Companies

  1. Production Control: Dynamics 365 Finance enables manufacturers to efficiently manage production processes via real-time visibility into production schedules, resource allocation, and inventory levels. It helps manufacturers optimize their production processes, reduce lead times, and improve overall productivity.
  2. Inventory Management: Dynamics 365 Finance provides a robust inventory management system that helps manufacturers track inventory levels, manage reorder points, and monitor stock movements in real-time. It enables manufacturers to optimize their inventory levels, reduce stockouts, and improve order fulfillment rates.
  3. Cost Management: Dynamics 365 Finance provides powerful cost management capabilities that enable manufacturers to accurately track costs associated with production, inventory, and other business processes. It helps manufacturers identify cost-saving opportunities, reduce wastage, and improve profitability.
  4. Supply Chain Management (SCM): Dynamics 365 Finance provides advanced Supply Chain Management (SCM) capabilities to manage a manufacturing company’s entire supply chain, from procurement to distribution. It enables manufacturers to optimize their supply chain processes, reduce lead times, and improve supplier performance.
  5. Financial Management: Dynamics 365 Finance provides comprehensive financial management capabilities that enable manufacturers to manage their finances efficiently. It helps manufacturers streamline financial processes, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, and financial reporting, and provides real-time financial insights to support informed decision-making.

Overall, Dynamics 365 Finance provides a comprehensive set of features that can benefit manufacturing businesses by improving production efficiency, optimizing inventory levels, reducing costs, and enhancing overall financial management.

Manufacturing Companies Already Using Dynamics 365

It’s always helpful to hear from other companies that have already experienced the benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics 365.

For example, one customer reported that they could streamline their production processes, which enabled them to increase their forecasting accuracy. They also saw a dramatic reduction in their inventory costs thanks to the improved accuracy and automated alerts of the system.

Another customer reported a 50% increase in their productivity after implementing the software. With these kinds of results, it’s no wonder more manufacturing companies are turning to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The platform also scored high ratings in user satisfaction surveys. According to Gartner, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has received 4.3 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews, with 89% of users saying they would recommend it to other businesses. Microsoft’s system also performs well when it comes to scalability and agility, with 87% of customers reporting that it can scale easily as their businesses grow.

Dynamics 365 Finance- Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the clear choice for manufacturers looking for a powerful, flexible, and user-friendly ERP system.

With its comprehensive suite of tools and seamless integration with other Microsoft applications, Dynamics 365 enables manufacturers to streamline their operations, optimize supply chain management, and gain deeper insights into business performance.

Our team of experts at XcelPros is committed to helping businesses like yours unlock the full potential of your project, through customized implementation and ongoing support. By partnering with us, you can rest assured that your Dynamics 365 solution will be tailored to your specific needs and optimized for maximum performance.

So why wait?

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you harness the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and take your manufacturing business to the next level.

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Achieving Cost Savings and ROI with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Achieving Cost Savings and ROI with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Achieving Cost Savings and ROI with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Manufacturing companies constantly strive to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profitability. With modern supply chains becoming more complex, it is crucial to have a robust system that can provide accurate, real-time information and support decision-making. Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations solutions (D365) are part of an excellent system designed to help manufacturers achieve cost savings and ROI. In this article, we will explore the benefits of Microsoft D365 in manufacturing and how it can help companies reach their goals.

Improved Supply Chain Management

Improved supply chain management is critical for manufacturers looking to reduce costs and improve profitability. Microsoft’s D365 helps manufacturers achieve this goal by providing real-time visibility into their supply chain. With accurate and up-to-date information, manufacturers can track inventory levels, monitor production schedules, and manage suppliers more effectively.

D365 helps manufacturers avoid overstocking or stockouts, reducing inventory costs by having real-time visibility into inventory levels. It can also help optimize production schedules by identifying bottlenecks and adjusting as needed, helping increase production efficiency, reducing downtime, and improving delivery times. All efforts lead to cost savings and improved ROI.

According to a report by Panorama Consulting Solutions, companies that implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365) experienced an average of 20% reduction in inventory costs, 22% reduction in manufacturing lead times, and a 23% increase in on-time delivery. The report also found that D365 helped organizations reduce production costs by an average of 18%. These improvements in operational efficiency resulted in significant cost savings and improved ROI for the organizations.

Figure 1:Cost Savings and ROI with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Cost Savings and ROI with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Another benefit of D365 is more effective supplier management. Real-time information on supplier performance lets manufacturers manage their suppliers more effectively. Up-to-date information helps manufacturers identify issues and take corrective action, such as renegotiating contracts or switching suppliers.

Enhanced Financial Management

Proper financial management is another crucial aspect of business operations for any manufacturer and something that has a direct impact on profitability. With D365, manufacturers benefit from a wide range of tools that can help streamline financial processes, reduce errors, and improve financial reporting.

One of the critical benefits of D365 is its accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) functionality. These features allow manufacturers to manage their cash flow more effectively by letting them track payments and receipts, automate invoicing processes, and access real-time financial information. This helps manufacturers identify potential issues early on, take corrective action to ensure timely payments, and reduce the risk of past due payments or missed invoices, leading to improved cash flow and better financial performance overall.

Another essential feature of D365 is the powerful general ledger functionality that enables manufacturers to track all financial transactions in one place, making it easier to manage financial data, reconcile accounts, and produce financial reports. This helps manufacturers to streamline financial processes and reduce errors, resulting in better financial reporting and improved ROI.

D365 also provides powerful financial analysis tools for budgeting and forecasting that can help manufacturers make more informed financial decisions.

Better Production Planning

Microsoft’s D365 gives manufacturers robust production planning capabilities to optimize production schedules, minimize downtime, and reduce waste.

D365 offers real-time visibility into production processes, allowing manufacturers to track production status, find bottlenecks, and adjust production accordingly. This helps manufacturers to minimize downtime, increase production efficiency, and reduce costs.

An often-overlooked production planning feature of D365 is its ability to reduce waste. By supplying real-time data on production processes, the system can help manufacturers show areas where waste occurs and take corrective action. This can include adjusting production processes, reducing overproduction, or improving quality control. Reducing waste is a fantastic way for manufacturers to save costs and improve their bottom line, improving their ROI.

D365 gives users access to powerful analytics tools that can help find areas for improvement in their production processes. The system can generate custom reports on production efficiency, quality control, and other key performance indicators, enabling manufacturers to make data-driven decisions to optimize production processes.

Improved Quality Control

Quality control is another big part of manufacturing that directly impacts product quality and customer satisfaction. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is a powerful business management solution that offers advanced quality control features to help manufacturers improve their quality control processes.

D365 allows manufacturers to track their quality data in real-time and can even capture data on product quality to provide real-time feedback to manufacturers. This enables manufacturers to identify and resolve quality issues quickly, reducing the risk of defects and minimizing the need for rework. This helps improve product quality and reduce costs.

In addition to real-time quality data tracking, Microsoft’s D365 includes advanced quality control features. This lets manufacturers define quality control processes, establish quality standards, and track compliance with these standards. This helps improve quality control processes and ensure that products meet the highest quality standards, increasing customer satisfaction.

D365 also includes analytics tools that help manufacturers identify quality issues and take corrective action. Users can generate reports on product quality, defect rates, and other key performance indicators, enabling manufacturers to make data-driven decisions to improve their quality control processes.

Increased Collaboration

Collaboration is critical to success in any business, especially manufacturing, where different departments and teams need to work together seamlessly. D365 directly integrates with Microsoft’s Office365 products to offer advanced collaboration features to help manufacturers improve communication and collaboration across departments and with suppliers.

D365 provides a centralized platform for communication and collaboration, offering document management, email integration, and task assignments, enabling manufacturers to streamline workflows and reduce errors.

According to a study by Forrester Consulting, organizations that implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365 F&O) experienced a 35% reduction in time spent on collaboration and document sharing, resulting in increased productivity and reduced errors. The study also found that D365 F&O helped organizations improve their quality control processes, with a 30% reduction in defects and a 20% reduction in rework. Additionally, the platform enabled organizations to improve their production planning capabilities, with a 25% reduction in planning cycle time and a 20% increase in schedule adherence. These improvements in collaboration, quality control, and production planning ultimately helped organizations achieve better business outcomes.

Figure 2:Improvement in Quality Control Processes with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Improvement in Quality Control Processes with Dynamics 365 Finance in Manufacturing

Microsoft’s D365 can help manufacturers manage suppliers more effectively, providing real-time visibility into supplier performance and enabling manufacturers to collaborate with suppliers more efficiently to optimize supply chain processes and reduce costs.

In addition to collaboration tools, Microsoft’s D365 also offers advanced analytics and customizable reporting features. The system can generate reports on collaboration metrics, such as task completion rates and communication efficiency, enabling manufacturers to identify areas for improvement and take corrective action. This is becoming a common way for manufacturers to further improve their collaboration.


Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations solutions are part of a robust system that addresses the unique challenges faced by manufacturers looking to achieve higher cost savings and ROI. By leveraging the benefits of this system, manufacturers can improve their financial performance and increase profitability.

Manufacturers who want to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced industries need powerful features, including improved supply chain management, enhanced financial management, better production planning, improved quality control, and increased collaboration, which are all great ways for manufacturers to optimize their operations and reduce costs.

While it’s difficult to provide specific figures for cost savings and ROI, studies have shown that organizations implementing Dynamics 365 can see a significant return on investment over time. According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study commissioned by Microsoft, organizations can see a 466% ROI over three years with D365. However, it’s important to note that this figure will vary depending on the specific circumstances of each organization.

One thing that should always be noticed is how to get the most out of your chosen solution. The answer is simple: work with a partner that understands your business needs. Regarding Microsoft Dynamics 365, XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner with decades of experience implementing validated solutions. Our team will work with you directly to ensure you achieve your goals.

Learn more about Cost Savings and ROI in Manufacturing by Scheduling a Consultation with One of our Dynamics 365 Finance Specialists.

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Designing a GMP System: Key Considerations and Benefits of Implementation

Designing a GMP System: Key Considerations and Benefits of Implementation

Designing a GMP System: Key Considerations and Benefits of Implementation 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) ensure that products meet quality standards and are safe for use or consumption. A GMP-compliant system is essential for companies that must adhere to regulatory requirements to produce safe and effective products. A GMP system involves guidelines and procedures regulating the manufacturing process, including product design, production, and testing. Regulatory bodies, such as the FDA, set these guidelines, and compliance is mandatory for companies operating in industries like pharmaceuticals, biotech, and food and beverage. Implementing a GMP system can be complex, but the right design can help companies streamline processes, minimize errors, and maintain compliance.

A study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that implementing an electronic GMP system resulted in a 15% reduction in product defects and a 20% reduction in manufacturing time.

Key Considerations for Designing a System to Handle GMP Processes

Understand the Regulatory Requirements

The first step in designing a GMP system is understanding the regulatory requirements for your industry. GMP guidelines are detailed and can be complex, so it is essential to have a clear understanding of the expectations and standards. FDA regulations, for example, require documentation of every step in the manufacturing process, from raw material selection to final product release. A GMP system must also ensure products are produced in a controlled environment that minimizes contamination risk. Once you clearly understand the regulations, you can design your GMP system to ensure compliance.

Identify Critical Control Points

Critical control points (CCPs) are points in the manufacturing process where control can be applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce a significant hazard to product quality or safety. In a GMP system, CCPs are identified and monitored to ensure the process operates within acceptable limits. Designing a system that identifies CCPs and monitors them is critical to ensuring product quality and safety.

Implement a Document Management System

Document control is an essential part of any GMP system. The FDA requires companies to maintain accurate records of every step in the manufacturing process, including raw material and component receipt, manufacturing and packaging, and product testing. A document management system can help ensure that all documents are accurate, up-to-date, and easily accessible. The system should provide version control, document tracking, and secure storage to maintain the integrity of the records.

Choose the Right Equipment

Equipment selection is critical in designing a GMP system. All equipment used in the manufacturing process must meet certain standards, including being designed for easy cleaning and maintenance. Equipment must also be calibrated and validated to ensure it works correctly. Choosing the right equipment can help streamline the manufacturing process and minimize the risk of product contamination.

Train Employees

GMP compliance requires that all employees involved in the manufacturing process are adequately trained in GMP guidelines, procedures, and practices. A GMP system should include employee training and ongoing education to ensure employees know their responsibilities and can effectively execute the strategies. Employee training should also include instruction on identifying and reporting potential quality issues.

Conduct Regular Audits

Regular audits of the GMP system are essential to ensure that the system is functioning as intended and that compliance is maintained. Audits should include reviewing all documentation and records, verifying equipment calibration and validation, and observing employees performing their tasks. Audits should be conducted at regular intervals and documented to provide a record of compliance.

Designing a system to handle GMP processes requires careful planning and attention to detail. Understanding regulatory requirements, identifying CCPs, implementing a document management system, choosing the right equipment, training employees, and conducting regular audits are all essential components of a successful GMP system. By implementing a well-designed GMP system, companies can streamline processes, minimize errors, and maintain compliance, ultimately improving product quality and safety.

In a case study conducted by UL, a pharmaceutical company that implemented an electronic GMP system reported a 50% reduction in batch review time and a 70% reduction in product release time.

Book a consultation with our technology experts to learn more about considerations for maintaining GMP processes.

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What Features Should a Good GMP Software Have?

Here are some important features that good GMP software should have:

Figure 1:Essential Components of Effective GMP Software

Essential Components of Effective GMP Software

  • Electronic signatures: GMP regulations require documentation of all activities related to the manufacturing process, and electronic signatures provide a secure and traceable way to authenticate these records.
  • Audit trails: The software should have a comprehensive audit trail that tracks all changes made to the system, including who made the changes, when they were made and the reason for the change.
  • Role-based access control: The system should have a robust access control mechanism that ensures users access only the information they need to do their job.
  • Electronic batch records: The software should provide a centralized location to store all batch records electronically, allowing for real-time tracking and analysis.
  • Validation and compliance: The GMP software should be validated according to regulatory guidelines. The vendor should provide ongoing support to ensure the system complies with any regulation updates or changes.
  • Risk management: The system should have features to manage and mitigate risks associated with the manufacturing process. This includes the ability to perform risk assessments and track corrective actions and preventive actions (CAPA).
  • Integration with other systems: The software should integrate with other methods, such as ERP systems or LIMS systems, to provide a seamless end-to-end manufacturing process.
  • Reporting and analytics: The software should provide comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities to enable companies to analyze and optimize their manufacturing processes.
  • Training and support: The vendor should provide comprehensive training and support to ensure that users can effectively use the software and comply with regulatory requirements.

Electronic GMP software can enhance the implementation of a GMP system, providing features such as electronic signatures, audit trails, role-based access control, electronic batch records, validation and compliance, risk management, integration with other systems, reporting and analytics, and training and support. By using good GMP software, companies can further optimize their manufacturing processes and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

Overall, companies prioritizing implementing GMP practices and investing in a well-designed GMP system and software can benefit from improved product quality and safety, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. By maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements and prioritizing quality and safety, companies can build a strong reputation and gain the trust of customers, regulators, and stakeholders.


In conclusion, the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is crucial for companies operating in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, and food and beverage to ensure product quality and safety. Designing and implementing a robust GMP system requires careful planning and attention to regulatory requirements, critical control points, document management, equipment selection, employee training, and regular audits.

XcelPros has decades of experience helping build and implement GMP practices as a Microsoft Gold Partner. Our team understands the importance of implementing the right system and can guide your business every step of the way.

With electronic GMP software, companies can further enhance their GMP system and optimize their manufacturing processes while ensuring ongoing compliance with regulations. By prioritizing GMP practices, companies can benefit from improved product quality and safety, increased efficiency, and reduced costs, building a solid reputation and gaining the trust of customers, regulators, and stakeholders.

Optimize Manufacturing Processes with Microsoft Dynamics

Optimize Manufacturing Processes with Microsoft Dynamics

Optimize Manufacturing Processes with Microsoft Dynamics 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Pressing on after the height of the pandemic, the manufacturing industry continues to struggle with workforce and supply chain challenges at every level, including increased costs for both physical goods and employee wages.

While we continue to be hopeful for significant growth in U.S. manufacturing, for many, optimizing their manufacturing processes has been vital to improving their bottom line and productivity and getting more out of their operations, helping them remain more profitable overall.

Working with the right partner can make manufacturing easier in many ways, whether it’s lower costs or increased productivity. A partner that understands manufacturing software and understands your business is most likely going to be able to deliver solutions that fit both your present needs and your future goals.

Technology and Modern Manufacturing

Technological advances have always been a boon to manufacturing businesses, helping them to increase efficiency and optimize even the most minor processes.

With rapid changes in consumer demand and the rise of globalization, companies need an integrated enterprise system that helps them manage their data more efficiently and productively. With a robust ERP solution and reliable hosting infrastructure, we’ve helped companies in industries like automotive, paper processing, consumer goods, textiles, distribution centers, and oil & gas manage global growth.

Today, most manufacturers choose Microsoft Dynamics to streamline their operations further.

Microsoft Dynamics is built on cloud architecture, which means you can access the same tools and resources on any device, no matter where you are or your company. And because Microsoft Dynamics is built on Azure – one of the world’s most significant clouds – customers get access to Azure’s security features, including comprehensive firewall protection, DDoS protection, and secure data transfers so critical information stays safe from cyber-attacks.

This flexibility is essential for manufacturing industries because it allows them to work anywhere in the world without worrying about backups or even localized power disruptions. That said, businesses should also consider offline capabilities when selecting a cloud ERP vendor, as they will help mitigate downtime while ensuring uninterrupted production flow during natural disasters or other emergencies.

Reasons For a Technology Partner

If you’ve been a manufacturer in business for even a few years, it’s fair to say that you know having a partner to help you optimize your processes can be the difference between success and failure.

By working with the right partner who understands your business needs and software like Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your technology.

Here are seven reasons why working with a partner who understands manufacturing and has experience with Dynamics 365 is so important.

  1. 1.Dynamic process optimization – It’s impossible for one person or team to optimize every process in their company. However, by collaborating with experts who understand how Dynamics 365 can integrate with other systems like transportation and compliance management, they can find ways to streamline business operations while cutting costs and increasing efficiency.
  2. 2.Better visibility – Some companies keep their inventory data in spreadsheets instead of a centralized system like Dynamics 365 which makes it difficult for managers to see where all the parts are coming from and going to. With the right kind of partners though, these manufacturers gain better visibility into their inventory levels which helps them avoid costly mistakes.
  3. 3.Outsourcing capabilities – Manufacturers often outsource work because there simply aren’t enough skilled workers available to do the job themselves. By outsourcing with a Microsoft certified partner, they can save money on labor expenses while ensuring quality control standards are met.
  4. 4.Streamlined processes – No matter what industry you work in, complex operations require expertise and knowledge outside of just one person or department. An expert will be able to map out an entire workflow more efficiently than someone without any experience at all.
  5. 5.Training & development opportunities – Manufacturers often have trouble finding time to invest in training because there always seems to be too much work on their plate already. A qualified partner will provide access to trainers who specialize in Dynamics 365, allowing employees to develop skills that benefit both the company and individual employees.
  6. 6.Saves time – Time is arguably one of the most valuable resources we have as humans. Working with a partner who knows what they’re doing saves everyone time and effort since it won’t take as long to figure out new software or new problems when they arise.
  7. 7.Builds relationships – The nature of manufacturing requires tight partnerships between manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, contractors, etc. One example is cross-training employees across multiple departments to create fewer bottlenecks and increase efficiency throughout the production process.

The Case for Microsoft Dynamics 365

If your main goal is optimizing your manufacturing processes, it’s important to utilize software that works for your business.

Figure 1:Technology of Industry 4.0

Technology of Industry 4.0

The world is changing and so is manufacturing. Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is transforming the way we live, work, and communicate. It’s characterized by several new technologies and trends, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and 3D printing. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help prepare your company for Industry 4.0 by providing features that support these new technologies and trends.

For example, Dynamics 365 can help you collect and analyze data from your manufacturing processes using IoT sensors, use AI to automate tasks and make predictions, and take advantage of cloud computing to improve scalability and flexibility.

In our experience, the best way to Optimize manufacturing processes has always been with Microsoft Dynamics 365. The reasons why more manufacturers are turning to Microsoft ERP solutions are simple: They’re designed from the ground up to streamline production and minimize errors – saving time and money in the long run.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps streamline several manufacturing processes:

  1. 1.Workflows – These automated tasks make day-to-day operations more efficient. You don’t have to remember everything since our system takes care of it.
  2. 2.CRM – Customer relationship management helps sales reps stay on top of their customer data, contacts, leads and follow-ups. All customer info is stored securely in one place instead of scattered across emails or office documents, which makes customer interactions more manageable than ever before. And if they’re not contacted within 24 hours after submitting a lead form, an email reminder is automatically sent to them.
  3. 3.Inventory – Keeping track of inventory items has never been easier. Just upload your item list and watch as they move through each stage of the production process until they are ready for shipping to customers. And if an item runs low on stock, an automatic notification lets you know when its reorder point has been reached.
  4. 4.Automation – Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you to take advantage of pre-built integrations that save you time and effort. You can export sales orders directly into your ERP, automatically triggering production or assembly lines or scheduling work on manufacturing machines. When products are finished, send them to the appropriate warehouse and receive notifications when they arrive. You can also set up alerts to notify key personnel whenever an order arrives at any point during production.

No matter what type of manufacturer you are, there’s a Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution available for you. At Xcelpros, we consider the types of manufacturing processes you use and the size of your company before recommending the best solution. We’ll work closely with you so that we can be sure to understand all your needs before implementing a solution.

Additional Considerations

When working with partners to optimize your manufacturing processes, there are a few things to keep in mind. In addition to software considerations, like licensing and security, you’ll also want to consider things like reporting, data governance, and compliance.

Here are a few tips to help you get started

  1. 1.Determine if you need more than just business process automation – this is where Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used for other use cases such as supply chain optimization or digitizing field services.
  2. 2.Understand that any IT project takes time, so start planning early by partnering with a company that has experience working with manufacturers and knows how to consider your specific needs.
  3. 3.Consider if what is being offered will integrate well into the business processes you currently have in place or if it will require additional resources for training or customizations to make it work seamlessly within your existing systems.

Next Steps

There may seem like a lot of things to consider when you start optimizing your manufacturing processes but taking the time to understand the challenges can make all the difference to the future of your business. While Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful tool that can help you streamline your operations – it’s often more about working with a partner who understands your industry and unique requirements.

Do research, ask peers for referrals, and know what you want. With the right partner, you can optimize your manufacturing processes and take your business to the next level.

Contact us today to learn more!

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

The Changing Landscape of BI tools and Microsoft D365 F&O in Manufacturing

The Changing Landscape of BI tools and Microsoft D365 F&O in Manufacturing

The Changing Landscape of BI tools and Microsoft D365 F&O in Manufacturing 700 500 Xcelpros Team


We’ve seen quite a few changes in manufacturing over the past two decades, with the next two promising to bring even more exciting things to come. As manufacturing continues to evolve, there are several trends that manufacturers need to be aware of that can either help or hinder the success of their business in the future. Business Intelligence software and tools will play an important role in the future of manufacturing. Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O plays an important role in how this type of business intelligence information can be analyzed and used to guide business decisions for years to come.

Change in Operations

In today’s business climate, the ability to make data-driven decisions is more important than ever before. This means having access to the right business intelligence (BI) tools for manufacturers. With the right BI tools, manufacturers can gain insights into their operations that would otherwise be hidden. For example, they might discover an increasing trend of machine failures due to a manufacturing defect or determine which materials are most profitable at which price points. With so many BI options available on the market, it can be difficult for companies to figure out which ones will provide them with the best ROI.

Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O provides a comprehensive solution for any size company looking for a comprehensive BI toolset. Specifically, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has four modules designed to meet the needs of manufacturers across all industries: Operations (also known as Production), Sales, Financials/Accounting, and Customer Service. These modules provide everything from real-time data visualization tools to automated dashboards – all designed with specific manufacturing needs in mind.

A Change in Dynamics

As the world of business intelligence (BI) changes, so does Dynamics 365. This is especially apparent in the manufacturing industry. Microsoft Dynamics F&O provides users with access to data that can help them understand what is happening in their business and take corrective action when necessary.

The software has become an increasingly important tool for manufacturers as they seek to understand their operations and make decisions to improve their bottom line. But, as new technological developments bring a shift from relational databases to machine learning algorithms, it becomes essential for these companies to find a BI platform that can evolve with them. With Dynamics 365’s cloud-based solution being constantly updated; it offers just that functionality needed by these businesses.

How people use BI tools also shifts over time, and with Dynamics 365’s modular design, there are no limitations on how you interact with your data. For example, you can use graphs or tables to show certain information at different times depending on the needs of your business. Suppose a user wants more advanced analytics like neural networks or deep learning capabilities. They are available through add-ons such as Azure Machine Learning Studio or R Server Developer Edition. There is no need to switch systems when you need more advanced analytics; all the options are right within Dynamics.

Business Analytics Tools

Today, data is more important than ever before. This is why more manufacturers are turning to Business Intelligence (BI) tools to help them make sense of the information they’re collecting. BI tools can help you track key performance indicators (KPIs), understand trends, and make better decisions for your business. And this will only become more important as regulations change, competition intensifies, and customer needs evolve.

As things continue to change, it’ll be essential for manufacturers to remain agile enough to adapt quickly – and that means looking at what Business Intelligence tools they’re using now and how their needs might shift over the next few years. For example, there’s been a significant shift from big Data Analytics over recent years as IoT (Internet of Things) solutions become more ubiquitous. As a result, analytics solutions designed for analyzing small datasets have fallen out of favor with larger manufacturing companies.

Industry Challenges

Tools aren’t the only important factor, either. The manufacturing industry is under constant pressure to improve productivity while reducing costs. To stay competitive, manufacturers must adopt new technologies where they can. With so many options on the market, it cannot be easy to know which BI tool is right for your business. Luckily, this question has been answered by a study from International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC’s 2018 Worldwide Semiannual Manufacturing Smart Machines Spending Guide revealed that artificial intelligence-powered analytics would become increasingly important over the next five years.

Figure 1:The Growth of Artificial Intelligence-Powered Analytics

The Growth of Artificial Intelligence-Powered Analytics

According to a report from, The global AI-powered analytics market is projected to grow from $10.5 billion in 2021 to $28.1 billion by 2026 – at a CAGR of up to 21.7% over the forecasted period.

What does this mean for manufacturing? Manufacturers need data about their performance – not just about their products or services but also about their employees and processes. Using intelligent systems like augmented reality or virtual reality combined with artificial intelligence-powered analytics will allow manufacturers to better predict outcomes and make data-driven decisions that drive profitability while improving employee engagement levels.

One organization already doing this is Caterpillar Inc., who implemented digital transformation into its retail stores through an AR application called CatAdvisor. CatAdvisor uses computer vision and 3D point clouds to help retailers sell more products, identify inventory gaps, analyze customer preferences and monitor store traffic patterns. And now Caterpillar is piloting sensors in stores using machine learning and IoT technology to get even more granular insights into customers’ preferences. With these AI-powered solutions available today, there really isn’t any excuse for a manufacturer not to embrace advanced analytics!

The Changing Role of Operations Management

Even operations management in the manufacturing industry is going through significant changes. In the past, the focus was on production efficiency and cost reduction. Today, the focus is on customer needs and market demand. To meet these new challenges, manufacturers are turning to business intelligence (BI) tools and Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O. Together; these modern solutions enable better insight into product quality, reliability, compliance, and any other KPIs that impact the end customer experience.

Manufacturing companies can also use BI tools to gain insights into their operations with real-time data analysis that can be used for decision-making, such as material sourcing or capacity planning. These solutions allow manufacturers to increase throughput and reduce downtime. For example, a manufacturer may have a bottleneck at one part of the process because they can’t produce enough parts quickly due to the limited availability of materials. With BI, they could track down the problem by looking at lead times, inventory levels, and component dependencies. With this information, they could find alternative suppliers or renegotiate with existing suppliers to free up those materials so they can increase production volume.

The bottom line is this: Manufacturers need to know more about their supply chain than ever before – which means being able to access real-time data at any time in any location.

Power BI Connectors

Business intelligence tools are nothing new. They’ve been around for decades. But what is new is how manufacturers use them to gain a competitive edge. With the rise of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are turning to business intelligence tools to help them make sense of the vast amounts of data generated by their factories. And with the help of included Power BI connectors, integrating these tools into different systems has become incredibly easy.

Power BI Connectors are an innovative way to enhance manufacturing business intelligence data with minimal coding. Rather than manually inputting data into your business intelligence software, connectors automatically export data from other sources directly into Power BI without extensive development. This saves time and money by minimizing any manual processes and gets you up and running faster than ever before. You can choose from various pre-built connectors for industry-leading applications like Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Twitter, and many more. You can even build your own if needed.

These pre-built connectors make it easy to create dashboards and reports that analyze and display information from multiple data sources simultaneously. With the advancement of these connections, more and more enterprises have access to enterprise-grade business intelligence capabilities for whatever ERP solution they use.

Contact us today for more information to get the ball rolling in your favor.

Putting it All Together

At least for the rest of the decade, the manufacturing industry will undergo some big changes. One of the most significant will be the increased adoption of modern business intelligence solutions, giving manufacturers a view of their operations that was previously unavailable. We should also see Microsoft Dynamics F&O become a more integral part of manufacturing operations. This cloud-based solution will allow manufacturers to manage their business processes more efficiently and effectively.

As manufacturing evolves towards smart factories and advanced automation, keeping up with the latest trends will require a constant commitment to learning new skill sets. This includes expertise in coding and digital engineering design and mastery of traditional engineering disciplines like materials science and mechanical engineering. For the best support, companies should look for partnerships with consulting firms that specialize in training employees across all levels of skill sets needed for today’s manufacturing environment.


As the manufacturing landscape changes, so do the business intelligence (BI) tools that help manufacturers make data-driven decisions. To stay competitive for the rest of the decade, manufacturers should consider ramping up the adoption of modern BI tools that can take advantage of the available wealth of data. Microsoft Dynamics is one of the best tools available to help manufacturers streamline their operations and better use their data.

Partnering with an experienced provider who understands the manufacturing industry and can help you get the most out of your investment with full visibility is important. By working with the right company, manufacturers can better understand their customers’ needs and drive efficiency across all departments. A complete Business Intelligence solution should allow manufacturers to collect, store, analyze, and share information on every aspect of their business.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

Streamlining Production Process in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing banner

Streamlining Production Process in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Streamlining Production Process in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 700 500 Xcelpros Team
  • There’s a consistent demand to scale capacity when it comes to pharma manufacturing as healthcare demand continues to rise globally.
  • Cost-savings, shorter turnaround time, and enhanced productivity are some of the key criteria for top executives in pharma manufacturing companies.
  • Automation of production lines, minimizing raw material wastage, stakeholder synchronization, optimized resource allocation, etc. are some of the ways with which pharma manufacturing can be streamlined.

Around the world, we continue to see rising demand for access to quality healthcare. Side-effects of the recent pandemic significantly added to this demand. This has placed a lot of pressure on pharma and biotech manufacturing companies, who are finding it difficult to:

  • Streamline research and development (R&D) processes.
  • Reduce overall costs and improve time to market.
  • Ensure 100% safety and regulatory compliance.
  • Enhance production capacity.
  • Expand market reach.

Pharma manufacturers must constantly upgrade their game regarding R&D, operations, production, and distribution with newer technologies and strategic business moves. With signs indicating the industry is poised for extraordinary growth, it’s becoming a given that manufacturers will need to invest in leaner, more agile production processes.

According to the 2020-2027 Pharmaceutical Market Size Report, by Grand View Research, the global pharmaceutical manufacturing market size was valued at USD 324.42 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.74% from 2020 to 2027.

These growth stats put focus on the need for ramping up production without compromising on safety, all while ensuring consistent profitability.

Key Factors in Pharma Manufacturing

Before we look into how manufacturing in pharma companies can be streamlined, we must consider some key processes involved.

1.Robust R&D: For pharma and biotech companies, continued investment in laboratories is essential in ensuring long-term success. With Robust R&D comes increased chances for innovation, which can define a pharma company’s overall market position in terms of being the first to manufacture a ground-breaking formula. The strategic movement towards streamlined manufacturing begins with ensuring superior, quality research in the labs.

2.Raw Material Acquisition and Distribution: Whether it’s small-molecule or biological drugs, pharma companies typically depend on an intricate network of raw material manufacturers and distributors to acquire safe and superior-quality products. In addition, complex formulations require compounds manufactured across multiple facilities to be stored and transported in optimal conditions. Manufacturers could be dependent on multiple different suppliers for raw materials globally.

3.Managed Production Lines: Today, pharma companies are more dependent than ever on fast-paced production lines backed by technology-enabled batch manufacturing, serialization, and traceability. Bridging the gap between hardware and software for streamlined drug production can make a huge difference in speed to market.

Manufacturing Process Issue/ Roadblocks How Technology Can Help
R&D Prone to human error, slower processes Automated data integration and analysis, AI for molecular identification
Supply Chain Highly complex, data discrepancies or duplication, missing information, stock-outs Centralized SCM for real-time visibility, centralized data access, real-time stakeholder communication, inventory management in ERP
Drug Manufacturing/ Production Shop floor to top floor communication glitches, communication time-gaps, human errors in reporting/ record maintenance Automated production lines, report generation in ERP, real-time communication between shop floor and top floor
Quality Control Counterfeits, fake drugs, human errors, formulation errors Computerized serialization, use of blockchain to ensure drug safety

4.Competent Supply Chains: Healthcare is a global business and, now more than ever, pharma manufacturers are dealing with complex supply chains involving multiple stakeholders spread worldwide. Ensuring that these supply chains are competently managed is critical to ensuring the overall streamlining of pharma manufacturing.

5.Quality Checks: When it comes to drug manufacturing, anything less than 100 percent is often unacceptable. Pharma companies are well aware of the perils of lawsuits, license cancellations, and other dire consequences regarding quality management. At every stage of pharma manufacturing, quality checks are paramount to ensuring drug safety and compliance with all required healthcare regulations.

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How Can Pharma Manufacturers Streamline Their Production Processes?

Pharmaceutical companies are embracing newer and newer technologies for quicker results, better process management, and enhanced productivity. Still, there’s a lot more that pharma manufacturers and their CDMOs can do to enhance the overall pharmaceutical production process for significantly better results.

  • Integrating new technology in the lab is proven effective in accelerating research and innovation. Leveraging Big Data and Analytics for data collation, integration, and insights generation from clinical trials can expedite the process and ensure accuracy and transparency. Similarly, computational permutations are effective in molecule identification for a particular drug. Gene sequencing, digital record maintenance, computerized medical equipment, etc., are becoming game changers in strengthening R&D and the production process typical in pharma manufacturing.
  • Pharmaceutical shop floors can and should be well-integrated with the IT infrastructure on the top floor. By embracing software-managed production lines, manufacturers can leverage automation for faster and error-free processes. Similarly, production supervisors can benefit from the automated data flow from an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to and back from the production lines. This software can manage tasks like reporting and serialization to save time and cost.
  • Newer technologies and software for SCM are becoming pivotal in helping pharma companies stay on top of complex supply chains and distribution networks. IoT solutions are leveraged in pharma manufacturing and distribution for real-time monitoring and communication. Better shipping times and inventory management become possible through effective data analysis. Many companies also use blockchain to ensure data security and encryption while managing complex supply chain networks globally.
  • The use of blockchain and comprehensive ERP software (for serialization) are also helping manufacturers ensure drug safety. Since these tools and technologies provide the option of complete traceability (from production to patent), drug counterfeits become extremely difficult, if not impossible. Drug quality and safety are major concerns for manufacturers, and optimal use of technology can ensure quality checks, thereby saving efforts, costs, and time.

Final Thoughts

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are embracing newer technologies for better production and profitability. With these technological advancements, companies could achieve their manufacturing goals without compromising quality and safety.

  • Newer technologies and software such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, SCM, and ERP play important roles in streamlining manufacturing processes in pharma.
  • Pharma companies need to reinvent themselves technologically to keep up with the complex and ever-expanding canvas of global healthcare.

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

The need for data to transform industrial operations

How Data Management Helps Optimize Manufacturing Process

How Data Management Helps Optimize Manufacturing Process 700 500 Xcelpros Team


What side of the Covid-19 divide is your company on? Are you still trying to do business the same way you were before the pandemic? Or are you adapting to a more modern world, ready to use technology to help your business grow?

Either way, it’s clear the effects of the pandemic are still being felt throughout the business world and were likely to see the same results for much longer.

45% of respondents were dealing with sudden materials shortages

41% percent saw sharp drops in demand

30% percent were experiencing worker unavailability

Source: McKinsey

Each of these effects adds increased strain to supply chains worldwide. One such issue saw 111 cargo ships off Long Beach, California, on November 10, 2021. No matter what your company produces, odds are some of your products were stuck on those ships. Newly enacted—but not imposed—“container dwell” cargo container fees reduced the line of ships.

Four foundational technologies can be applied to the value chain, according to McKinsey:

  • Connectivity, data and computational power, which includes the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and blockchain
  • Analytics and intelligence in the form of advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Human-machine interactions using virtual and augmented reality plus robots and automation
  • Advanced engineering, which includes using renewable energy and additive manufacturing

Some companies are using these technologies to drive growth through process optimization.

Benefits of Process Optimization

Process optimization in manufacturing covers three vital areas:

  1. 1.Improved machine uptime. Using a data-based approach, companies can reduce downtime and increase the overall use of their equipment, Machine Metrics states. Using advanced analytics, companies can determine the causes of unplanned downtime. Clean, clear data lets manufacturers attack the worst offenders first.
  2. 2.Faster responses to issues at the machine level. Analytics looking at alarms and where workers are when they occur helps improve training, equipment layout, and other issues.
  3. 3.Improved maintenance. Using IoT sensors, the equipment can be used until it nears—but does not reach—the point of failure. Parts are replaced when needed instead of too early or only after a key machine is shut down.

Each of these steps involves digital manufacturing operations applied to the overall manufacturing process.

Book a consultation to learn more about the use of data in transforming manufacturing operations.

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Digital Equipment Is Critical

The only way to achieve these goals is by collecting and thoroughly analyzing data. Objectively analyzing data lets managers discover where bottlenecks are occurring and what’s causing them.

Downtime analysis lets managers analyze why some machines are down more often than others. Are they not operating because of unplanned maintenance, a lack of personnel, jobs, or machine setup, or is it something else?

Having computers perform predictive analysis, companies estimate when a tool will need replacing before it damages a machine or wipes out products.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is another way of looking at the production process. Lean manufacturing looks at a plant’s current process and asks: how can it be done more efficiently? How can the company’s goals be achieved while paying less for energy, such as by using energy from renewable sources, and also generating less waste? How can waste items be used to lower operating costs?

Examples include using “waste” to create new products, replace existing packaging, or fueling an on-site power plant.

Companies following a lean strategy seek to reduce and ideally eliminate waste, improve quality, cut costs and reduce time, according to TWI Global.

In an online article on Lean Manufacturing, TWI Global states there are now eight “wastes” in lean manufacturing:

  1. 1.Unnecessary transportation
  2. 2.Excess inventory
  3. 3.Unnecessary movement of people, equipment or machinery
  4. 4.Idle people or equipment
  5. 5.Over-production of a product
  6. 6.Making a product overly complex by adding unneeded features
  7. 7.Defects that are expensive to repair
  8. 8.Unused talent and ingenuity

While lean manufacturing has three benefits—saving time and money, being environmentally friendly, and improving customer satisfaction—it also has three disadvantages. These are:

  1. 1.Placing employee safety and wellbeing below achieving company goals
  2. 2.Focusing on the present and not on the future
  3. 3.Lacking a standardized method

Companies will want to balance the benefits and the costs to see if lean manufacturing works for them.

Recycling and Green Manufacturing

Green manufacturing seeks to reduce environmental impacts while still producing quality products. This includes source reduction to reduce the waste initially created. Recycling—using or reusing wastes as ingredients in a process or as a substitute for original feedstock—and green product design are key components.

In a report by two Carnegie Mellon researchers, the top waste minimization actions cited by large hazardous waste generators include:

  • Improved maintenance schedule, recordkeeping or procedures: 8.9%
  • Other changes in operating practices other than different equipment: 8.0%
  • Raw materials substitution: 7.1%
  • Unspecified source reduction activity: 6.5%
  • Stopped combining hazardous and non-hazardous waste: 5.1%
  • Ensuring materials were not in inventory past their shelf-life: 4.1%

Each of these green methods involves cost. They provide opportunities to expand a company’s supply chain in terms of raw materials sources while opening the door for new and different products.

Determining What Works Best

Ultimately, companies must find a combination of production process optimization methods that work best for them and their customers.

One common requirement shared by Industry 4.0, process optimization, lean manufacturing, and green manufacturing, is a requirement for data: the more accurate the data, the more accurate the forecasts and predictions.

Obtaining this information requires sensors that can measure flow and wear. On top of that, you need software that aligns the entire operation, from executive suites to the shop floor. It requires a digital network to help ensure consistent product quality, integrates with the shop floor, control waste, and spot opportunities.

Final Thoughts: Five Ideas to Spur Innovation and Growth

Competing in today’s technological world requires a willingness of top management to examine the production process and ask:

How can we do more with less? Consider these five ideas that may help your company achieve its goals.

  1. 1. Work with an innovation partner that can help your company gather the data it needs to grow.
  2. 2. Create a plan that covers your immediate needs while allowing room for growth, including in unexpected directions.
  3. 3. Include training existing employees and hiring new ones with the skills you need not only today but will require in one, two and five years. These people can help ensure you grow the way you want.
  4. 4. Invest in IoT sensors, especially at critical points in the production process. The sensors provide the data you need to make the hard decisions.
  5. 5. Spend the money now on modular software that provides the necessary control and data analysis. A modular system lets you start with one piece, such as Supply Chain Management, and then add others when the budget permits.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

Grow Your Manufacturing Company With Microsoft Dynamics 365

Grow Your Manufacturing Company With Microsoft Dynamics 365

Grow Your Manufacturing Company With Microsoft Dynamics 365 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

The top enterprise application companies in terms of market share are:

  • SAP: 8.05%
  • Microsoft 7.18%
  • Oracle: 5.6%
  • Salesforce: 3.48%
  • IBM: 2.51%

Towards the end of 2020, Microsoft reported 258 million monthly active business users. Today, 1.2 billion people in 140 countries speaking 107 languages use a Microsoft product.


Very few businesses decide, “today is the day we shrink.” Instead, most small and medium businesses focus their attention and resources on growing their market share or expanding into new markets.

Successful companies use every available tool to get an edge on their competition. This is especially true in a world where the success of a supply chain can rest on a single freighter or a lack of manpower at a key port. All leaders need to do is look at what happened in the Suez Canal and the One part of the problem impacted goods going to Europe, while the other continued to affect products going in and out of the US.

One tool many companies use is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The top-tier versions of these products go beyond looking at spreadsheets and mountains of data. One of the world’s most used ERP platforms is Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 line of products, which is used on 73 percent of all computer systems.

Modular Design of Dynamics 365

Figure: 1Microsoft Dynamics 365 modules

Dynamics 365 module designs

Dynamics 365 has been designed as a modular solution with five main sections. Each module has its own unique functions and depending on your company’s needs, one module may be enough.

Dynamics 365 Finance

Dynamics 365 Finance is Microsoft’s flagship ERP that includes artificial intelligence designed to help assess the health of your business, improve financial controls, optimize cash flow, and make strategic decisions faster. The result is driving growth by using real-time, unified global financial reporting, embedded analytics, and predictive insights.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is designed to accelerate inbound and outbound processes such as put-away and pick-pack-ship, and identify potential machine issues before they occur.

Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central can manage all core business functions and help deliver projects on time and under budget.

Dynamics 365 Sales

Dynamics 365 Sales is designed to improve responses, conversions and win rates, helping you provide more personalized, meaningful engagement. It also helps examine your sales data, delivering insights with the power of AI.

Dynamics 365 Marketing

Dynamics 365 Marketing creates seamless customer experiences through marketing automation, shared data and business processes connected to Dynamics 365 Sales. It increases lead generation.

Preferred solutions like Integrated Chemical Management (iCM) and Integrated Quality Management (iQM)—add insights to pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies.

These programs work seamlessly with Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. Azure provides a key link when manufacturing companies want to use the Internet of Things (IoT) and share information across far-flung enterprises.F

D365 Finance: The Heart of Microsoft’s Modern Solutions

Sitting at the core of Microsoft Dynamics 365 builds on the company’s history of creating multi-user accounting software, which began nearly 30 years ago. Dynamics Release 1.0 made its debut in February 1993.

Since its debut as 32-bit software, Dynamics 365 Finance—previously known as Finance and Operations—has grown significantly with the times. Artificial intelligence is now part of its ability to examine financial reporting, analyze data and provide meaningful insights.

For midsize to large companies, the finance module is designed to be used, especially by people who are already familiar with Office products like Outlook and Excel.

Accounting elements of D365 Finance are:

  • General ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and bank reconciliation
  • Asset management
  • Month and year-end closing
  • Budgeting and planning

The Finance module also includes management functions covering operations, sales and service, projects, and reporting and analytics.

Get a consultation to learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can boost your manufacturing operations.

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Automating Payment Processing is Part of D365 Finance

Many companies are adopting D365 Finance because of its ability to efficiently automate payment processing, allowing you to “create a predefined schedule with a combination of payment proposal criteria to create payment journals with less user intervention,” according to MSDynamicsWorld.

Process automation in D365 begins by setting a schedule under Accounts Payable > Setup > Payments > Process Automations.

The most interesting and advanced feature lets you schedule automation across companies (payment journals would be created in respective companies) without changing the company’s day to day activities of using Dynamics 365 Finance,Source: MSDynamicsWorld

Users can set up batch jobs, define alerts, set amount limits and include invoices from other companies using the included Centralized Payments option, where filters are easily set.

D365 Finance payment process automation lets you:

  • Schedule payment process using different requirements for each day or time of day
  • Reduce manual journal creation
  • Monitor activity with a dashboard view, which informs you of any errors so you can resolve them

Integrating Finance with Supply Chain Management

Keeping track of your products is critical, especially in today’s highly regulated world. Pharmaceutical and chemical companies are under a microscope in terms of regulations. When it comes to shipping medicines or chemicals, the word “complex” doesn’t come close to managing and meeting these requirements.

One important feature in Supply Chain Management (SCM) is its ability to store information related to hazardous materials. Information on these materials is stored in the Product Information section.

  • ADR: Covering the international shipment of dangerous goods by road
  • CFR 49: Regulating dangerous goods by road in the US
  • IMDG: The International Marine Dangerous Goods code
  • IATA: The International Air Transport Association dangerous goods regulations

Handling hazardous materials is a comparatively minor feature in D365 Supply Chain Management, though. Its primary functions relate to inventory management and automating inventory controls.

For example, SCM lets companies create barcode labels for individual products and license plates for pallets and larger shipments. These barcodes can be read by handheld scanners and cellphones letting workers know exactly what is in each container.

In terms of warehouse management, knowing precise quantities of each item allows management to order exactly what it needs. This information management ensures enough materials for production runs without running out of storage space. SCM helps companies walk that fine line between having too little inventory to meet customer needs and tying up funds on extra products. Built-in stock and inventory management functions provide a wealth of data for manufacturing companies.

When dealing with shipping finished goods to customers, SCM’s same labeling and tracking functions, combined with business intelligence, helps route shipments.

Imagine you need to get two pallets from a factory in China to Los Angeles. When shipping by sea, this would normally take about 16 days. That time frame normally works for the product’s 30-day shelf life. However, problems related to Covid-19 mean the delay at the San Pedro docks is now 36 days. When adding Power BI (business intelligence) to your software solution, you are warned about the delay in finding another route.

The Bottom Line

Today’s business world is much different than it used to be. It is running not on gears, widgets and gadgets but big data and mountains of information. Bytes and bits in the form of 0’s and 1s provide insight that today’s organizations rely on to grow. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 line of modular ERP products includes essential information on when it can do its best: before a situation becomes critical.

These robust, modern products offer different functions but share a common goal – helping your company stay competitive in today’s digital world.

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

How a pharma CDMO can manage the serialization challenge banner

How a Pharma CDMO can manage the Serialization Challenge

How a Pharma CDMO can manage the Serialization Challenge 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Today, serialization has moved from being a luxury option to a necessity.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are hiring contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) to develop solutions that maintain drug quality while avoiding supply chain problems.
  • Pharmaceutical serialization lets manufacturers keep accurate track of their inventory wherever it may be.

As more pharmaceutical and chemical companies move to digitize their operations, they’re looking for ways to track raw materials and finished products through the manufacturing cycle. One way to track these products is through serialization.

“Serialization is the assigning of a predetermined coding type to each product item, assigning it a distinct identity” for tracking and tracing its location in the supply chain,” states. A simple definition calls serialization, “the process of assigning a unique identity to each saleable product item,” according to

Pharmaceutical companies that have gone digital are starting to use serialization to track and trace their products throughout the supply chain. The industry is constantly looking to improve its tracking systems to combat counterfeiting, theft, packaging and storage errors. Companies are also worried about their products being altered after leaving their plants.

Pharmaceutical companies often hire contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). Using digital labeling methods such as barcodes and QR codes (a type of barcode) helps serialize the supply chain, making tracking raw materials and finished goods easier.

30-40% of all medicines circulated in the developing countries are counterfeit.
5-7% of all medicines circulated in the developed countries are fake. Source: WHO Report

Counterfeit drugs pose a serious threat to the public’s health. They also damage the reputations of legitimate companies and the pharmaceutical industry globally.

CDMOs worldwide face challenges when implementing a robust pharma serialization solution. Streamlining manufacturing and distribution processes while understanding their client’s unique requirements is challenging.

Serialization Challenges Faced by CDMO

Some of the challenges a CDMO faces while implementing pharmaceutical serialization for track and trace functionality include:

Seamless Serialization for Multiple Clients

CDMOs typically prefer to operate globally, providing comprehensive drug manufacturing and supply services to many pharmaceutical companies. Catering to a diverse client base has its unique set of challenges, especially when it comes to the serialization of individual drugs.

CDMOs need to equip themselves with the right technology to be able to modify their production or manufacturing lines and seamlessly label multiple drugs for different clients.

Regional Compliance

Every country around the world can have different regulations for exporting drugs. Labeling—or serialization—is part of that compliance. CDMOs are expected to take responsibility in terms of drug quality of drugs and compliance with various government rules. Being in compliance is challenging for CDMOs, especially considering the volume of information required to achieve it.

Figure: 1Key Serialization Challenges Faced by CDMOs

Key Serialization Challenges Faced by CDMOs

Picking the Right Labelling Solution

When it comes to drug serialization, a “one size fits all” approach to labeling solutions doesn’t always work. Assuming a CDMO has a preferred labeling software, there’s still the important decision of choosing:

  • Printer types such as thermal inkjet, thermal transfer, lasers
  • Printing materials such as paper, film or holograms
  • Special formulas to make counterfeiting harder

In terms of label design, everything must meet government codes and regulations. This applies to label layout, orientation, barcode configuration and other design elements. Every label must be printed in time to avoid delaying shipments. CDMOs are pressured to make the right choices for coding and labeling products.

Understanding Market Requirements

While larger pharmaceutical manufacturing companies use an in-house team of analysts and marketing specialists, smaller firms often rely on CDMOs for market intelligence.

When it comes to labelling client drugs, CDMOs need to understand the different markets and their requirements. Using market analysis, CDMOs must decide how many drugs need to be labelled for a particular market, including whether they’re choosing to label randomly or with a centralized approach.

Get Started to learn more about Pharma, request a consultation. CDMOs Can Handle All of Your Business’s Serialization Needs

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Overcoming Serialization Challenges

No two CDMO clients are the same and neither are the challenges each CDMO faces. In terms of how each company deals with its serialization issues, they should consider:

  • Equipping their workforce with the technical knowledge and details of serialization hardware and software
  • Making use of advanced technological applications like Big Data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT and advanced analytics)
  • Understanding how enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 line of modular product, can help them maintain and monitor client data

With the right software and people skilled in its use, a CDMO can manage multiple production lines while meeting drug production requirements for different clients.

Investing in the right partner with experts that understand global pharmaceutical regulations will help CDMOs label and locate their products no matter where they are in the world.

Since CDMOs are not only vendors but also producers, they need to be in constant contact with their clients and suppliers. This includes dealers, wholesalers, packagers and transporters. Using the right ERP will help them maintain transparency at every level while avoiding recalls or stock-outs.

CDMOs benefit by developing flexible templates for their serialization solutions. These templates serve as a blueprint for any pharmaceutical client. Making them flexible lets a CDMO adjust a process to meet the client’s requirements, saving time, effort and money.

Final Thoughts

Drug serialization and labelling pose several challenges for CDMOs around the world. However, managing these challenges is an excellent opportunity for an organization to show its technological skills. When a CDMO has the right team and solution, it can overcome any challenge.

Taking advantage of products like Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 suite of solutions gives pharmaceutical companies access to powerful tools. Included is a way to track serialization, such as customer onboarding and lot traceability to toll manufacturing, from start to finish.

Using a powerful and effective ERP to enhance serialization will help a CDMO combat counterfeiting and theft while ensuring government compliance. At the same time, good software can also help a CDMO establish a more efficient supply chain.

Meeting serialization requirements for pharmaceuticals pose many technical and skill-based challenges. CDMOs worldwide are constantly looking for more efficient ways to handle these challenges. Investing in the right partner can make a big difference.

With the help of cutting-edge applications, a skilled team and a systematic approach toward serialization, CDMOs can establish themselves as leading end-to-end manufacturing and distribution partners.

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

Best Practices in Quality Management and Control

Quality Management and Control – Best Practices

Quality Management and Control – Best Practices 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Reducing the percentage of defective products saves manufacturers money by cutting raw materials waste, using labor and equipment more efficiently and reducing returns from unhappy customers. Boosting quality control in manufacturing can also lead to an enhanced customer experience, supercharging your brand while lowering the need for more raw materials to replace that which is wasted.

Three common ways any industry can improve quality control include:

  1. 1.Reducing human mistakes by automating repetitive actions. Automation also improves accuracy and increases visibility. Combined with internet of things (IoT) sensors, automation creates data that can be analyzed for hidden incremental improvements.
  2. 2.Inspecting through measurements, testing and comparing products to defined standards. Products that meet those standards are shipped. Those that don’t are recycled. Adding computerized sensors in the inspection and quality control phase also provides an opportunity for insights into ways to create and build quality control standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  3. 3.Tracing inventory from the material supplier through warehouses and production to the end customer’s door. Accurate labeling lets manufacturers trace everything from essential ingredients to sub-assemblies and completed products. Using barcodes combined with automated and hand-held scanners provides a third data entry point into your firm’s network, ensuring most of what goes in comes out as salable products.

Using these three primary quality control methods in production helps companies create an efficient production cycle that reduces machine downtime, defects, waste rework. The result is better merchandise and less waste, which benefits end customers and manufacturers alike.

Quality Control Starts with Quality Planning

For many, focusing on quality control(QC) means creating an efficient, repeatable manufacturing process to produce the same results, time and time again. The only way to ensure you get this consistency is with a well-formulated quality plan.

Any manufacturer or company looking for a contract manufacturer will focus on two critical elements: quality and cost. The best way to deliver the highest quality at the lowest cost is to start with quality planning. The American Society for Quality defines these plans as “A document or set of documents that describe the standards, quality practices, resources and processes pertinent to a specific product, service or project.”

A quality assurance plan for manufacturing ensures:

  • Conformance to your customer’s requirements, which may include meeting government standards.
  • Verification of your own standards while confirming your internal procedures work as expected.
  • Traceability of every product from the moment raw materials or sub-assemblies enter the factory to their delivery at your customer’s door.
  • Objective evidence your quality control methods in production work as designed and as expected.
  • Deficiencies in worker training are identified, allowing them to be corrected.
  • Insights into ways to further enhance your quality control standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Major components of a quality plan are stated and defined:

  • Responsibility for distribution in terms of which manager or department ensures each step in the process conforms to the companies goals.
  • Process steps and individual procedures for each step in the overall production process.
  • Responsibility distribution in which manager or department ensures each process step conforms to the company’s goals.
  • Testing requirements vary by the industry and the amount of government oversight. For example, medicines have much more significant oversight than furniture.
  • Methods of tracking changes and modifications, regardless of the cause.
  • Quality process measurement in terms of value provided by the quality plan.

The final and most essential components of a quality plan are standards: What practices and procedures must be followed in your quality assurance plan for manufacturing to meet your customer’s needs, demanding requirements, and government oversight?

The Value of SOPs

A key part in quality control in manufacturing is having repeatable standard operating procedures (SOPs). Each step in every procedure that makes up the entire production process is checked, re-checked and confirmed by workers following it. The final test is having a new hire follow a procedure and reviewing their work. When the work of new hires is able to meet set production quality control standards, the SOP can be considered a success. When it doesn’t, the fault lies with the document, not the worker.

“SOPs establish a systematic way of doing work and ensure that work is done consistently by all persons who are required to do the same task. SOPs must be well written in order to provide an effective control of GCP and prevent errors from occurring, thereby minimizing waste and rework. Poorly written SOPs are a source of misinformation,” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health.

These documents must be user-friendly and written in a way that prevents errors. Preventing errors improves quality, reduces waste and when written with input from people involved in the actual manufacturing process, boosts efficiency.

The Role of Quality Assurance

In manufacturing, quality assurance (QA) refers to “the processes manufacturers utilize as part of a quality management system to maintain consistent, expected quality levels on the items they produce,” according to Machine Metrics.

When paired with QC, QA works to ensure customers receive products that meet specific standards in terms of defects and tolerances. QA is a proactive method that works with team training, defining processes, writing SOPs and selecting the right tools for each job. QC looks at the results and determines if a product passes or fails.

Having effective quality control and quality assurance plans, plus quality auditors to ensure standards are met, results in:

Figure: 1 Role of Quality Assurance

Role of Quality Assurance

  • Cost savings in terms reduced waste
  • Efficiency boosts, such as using equipment more effectively
  • Boosting customer satisfaction, which aids in word of mouth marketing

Quality standards vary by the industry though one of the most common is ISO 9000. ISO 9000 is a set of international quality standards covering many different industries and approaches within them.

Book a consultation to learn about the best practices in quality control.

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Quality Management Systems

The ASQ defines a quality management system (QMS) as “a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. A QMS helps coordinate and direct an organization’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and continuously improve its effectiveness and efficiency.”

An effective QMS helps manufacturing companies:

  • Define production processes
  • Reduce waste
  • Prevent mistakes
  • Lower costs
  • Engage staff
  • Set an organization-wide direction
  • Communicate a readiness to customers that it wants to produce consistent results

In today’s digital world, QMS doesn’t stand alone in a silo: it’s part of a company’s overarching software linking QA and QC to inventory, sales and other departments. One example of a versatile QMS, which is part of a modular enterprise resource planning package, is Quality Management for Business Central from Microsoft. Part of its Dynamics 365 ERP, iCM works with Dynamics 365’s Business Central to provide a scalable, easy to use overarching management tool. Business Central helps deliver products on time and under budget, providing a host of measurements and reports.

When merged with internet of things (IoT) sensors on production machines, iCM and Business Central manage and massage data. Among the results are ways to make incremental quality improvements that long-term boost overall quality scores, resulting in more sales.


For any company, producing higher-quality products takes forethought, patience, and serious effort. This means having a documented quality assurance plan that includes step-by-step directions for every procedure and every part of the production process. It includes having quality assurance inspectors watch the production process from start to finish, finding ways to boost efficiency, and reducing waste.

When it comes to manufacturing, an effective quality assurance plan also looks at quality control, examining and testing various stages of the production process to ensure everything meets your demanding standards.

Helping measure these results is a modern quality management system like Integrated Quality Management from Microsoft. When used as part of an overall ERP software plan, iQM helps companies find ways to improve quality while reducing costs. For many, this leads to an overall effect is a boost in profitability, helping power additional growth.

No one knows how long the coronavirus crisis will last. Taking the time to plan how to function in these uncertain times is essential. Using software tools like the Microsoft Power Platform and its many apps will help companies continue to operate in rapidly changing conditions.

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