Introduction to D365 F&O and Workflows
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management (or “D365 F&O”) are two of the most critical modules in Microsoft’s flagship Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform.
Built-in the cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations was designed to streamline operations and improve productivity for manufacturing and distribution companies. Dynamics 365 gives businesses access to modern tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that help enhance supply chain processes with real-time visibility into several areas of your business. With D365 workflows, your company can accelerate financial reporting, gain more control over inventory, and optimize production processes from start to finish.
In today’s fast-paced business world, time is of the essence. Companies constantly strive to optimize processes to improve efficiency and save valuable time. Integrating digital workflows into everyday tasks is one of the best ways to achieve these results. Utilizing workflows in MSD365 helps companies save time, enabling employees to focus on more critical tasks. Not only does this increase productivity and compliance, but it also leads to a higher return on investment (ROI) for your business.
Integrated workflows are one way to ensure consistency in key performance indicators (KPIs) such as employee productivity, customer satisfaction, and on-time delivery (OTD). With the help of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and a Microsoft Partner, workflows can be easily integrated into existing systems, making transitions easy. In short, workflows revolutionize how businesses operate, enabling increased efficiency, accuracy, and success.
In this blog series, we will explore workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain (F&O), their benefits, use cases, how to create them, and the various stages they go through. We will look at one common workflow, Purchase Orders, and discuss how workflows help with compliance and regulatory issues. By the end of this series, we hope you walk away knowing how powerful workflows are and how they can benefit your organization’s efficiency.
What are Workflows in Dynamics 365?
Microsoft defines workflows in one of two ways: as a system or as a business process. In either of these contexts, a workflow is a series of steps or tasks executed in a specific order to complete a process.
A recent article by Getisoft describes workflows in Dynamics 365 as automation implementation for simple or complex tasks that one can manage within Dynamics 365 as a series of sequential methods or functions called stages.
No matter how they are defined, workflows in Dynamics 365 are used to automate business processes like invoice approvals, expense reporting, and purchase order processing. They are helpful with utilizing team member time efficiently and can be customized to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Have you ever wanted to skip the monotonous tasks you find yourself performing daily? Using workflows in D365 lets you automate those routine tasks. Besides eliminating the monotony in your daily routine, workflows significantly reduce manual errors and improve department communication. They can be created for critical business processes such as sales orders, purchase orders, customer service requests, etc. Automating these routine tasks for most businesses leads to improved response times, enhanced customer satisfaction, and an increased bottom line.
With a user-friendly interface and customizable options, workflows configured in D365 can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each business, making it a versatile solution for organizations of all sizes. Using built-in workflows, your company can streamline operations and gain a competitive edge in your industry.
Workflow Stages in D365 F&O
In D365, there are several workflow stages that a document or process can move through. The specific stages may vary depending on the type of workflow and the business requirements, but some common workflow stages are:
- Draft: The document or process has been created but has not yet been submitted for review or approval.
- In Review: The document or process is being reviewed by one or more approvers. During this stage, comments or changes may be made and the document may be returned to the creator for revisions.
- Approved: The document or process has been reviewed and approved by all necessary approvers.
- Rejected: The document or process has been reviewed and rejected by one or more approvers. The creator may be required to make changes or resubmit the document.
- In Process: The document or process has been approved and is now in progress, such as a purchase order being sent to a vendor, or a project being initiated.
- Completed: The document or process has been fully executed and completed.
- Cancelled: The document or process has been cancelled or otherwise terminated before completion.
Benefits of Workflows
In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, companies of every size are looking for ways to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve productivity. Implementing workflows is a powerful solution that enables organizations to streamline and automate complex business processes, resulting in significant benefits. Here are some key advantages of using workflows in D365.
Figure 1:Benefits of Workflows in D365 F&O
- 1.Streamlined Automation: Workflows allow businesses to automate tasks and approval requests, ensuring they are automatically routed to the right individuals or teams. Eliminating manual handoffs and reducing the risk of errors lets workflows help companies save time and resources while improving operational efficiency.
- 2.Enhanced Visibility and Monitoring: With workflows, organizations gain visibility into the status of each process. This visibility is particularly crucial in addressing regulatory and compliance issues, as it enables better tracking, monitoring, and auditing. Businesses can ensure that processes are adhered to consistently and identify areas for improvement.
- 3.Consistency and Standardization: Workflows promote consistency and standardization across business operations. By defining standardized processes, companies can eliminate variations and ensure that tasks are executed consistently and compliant. This improves the quality of output and enhances customer satisfaction and trust.
- 4.Cost Reduction and Increased Productivity: Through automation and standardization, workflows help businesses reduce costs and increase productivity. By eliminating manual and repetitive tasks, employees can focus on more strategic and value-added activities, resulting in improved efficiency and higher outputs at the same time.
- 5.Customization and Scalability: Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a flexible and scalable solution for organizations. With D365’s workflow capabilities, your business can customize workflows to fit the organization’s specific needs, ensuring that processes align with your company’s unique requirements. This adaptability can enable your company to evolve and grow without the constraints of rigid systems.
Implementing workflows helps provide companies with more than just the benefits discussed above. The customizable and scalable workflow capabilities of D365 can also help your organization achieve greater operational efficiency and competitiveness in today’s dynamic business environment.
Common Workflow Use Cases
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is revolutionizing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in many ways, one of which is the ability to support powerful workflows designed to automate different business processes.
These workflows can be customized to suit your organization’s specific needs, as mentioned above, and also to meet the needs of specific departments within your organization, such as accounting, sales, operations, purchasing, marketing, human resources, customer service, and more.
Here are some common use cases for workflows in D365:
You can create a workflow in your finance or accounting department to automate the customer invoicing process. This workflow includes things such as the generating invoices, tracking payment status, and sending reminders for overdue payments. By automating this process, businesses ensure timely and accurate invoicing, reducing the risk of missed payments and improving cash flow.
The purchasing team can create a workflow to automate the inventory management process. This workflow can include tasks like tracking stock levels, generating purchase orders when stock reaches a specified threshold, and managing supplier communication. Automating these tasks helps businesses minimize the risk of stock-outs and overstocking, optimizes inventory levels, and improves supply chain efficiency.
In the sales department, a workflow is designed to automate the sales management process. This workflow may include lead qualification, assignment to sales representatives, sales activity tracking, and updating the opportunity status. This workflow ensures that you manage sales opportunities efficiently, improving conversion rates and overall sales performance.
Human resources teams can create a workflow to streamline the employee onboarding process. This includes collecting and verifying employee information, assigning necessary training, scheduling orientation sessions, and generating required documents. By automating these steps, businesses accelerate onboarding, ensuring compliance with company policies and regulations and enhancing the employee experience.
Service Request Management:
Customer service departments benefit from workflows designed to automate service request management, including receiving and categorizing service requests, assigning tasks to appropriate team members, tracking request progress, and notifying customers of updates. By automating these processes, businesses can improve response times, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline service delivery.
Overall, workflows in D365 equip businesses with the right tools to modernize processes and increase operational efficiency across the board. In this first part of our D365 Workflows Series, we went into the stages, benefits, and use cases for workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain.
In the next part of our Workflow Series, we will walk through how to create a workflow and discuss how workflows help companies keep in line with SOPs and compliance.