You may not be a retailer, but you don’t have to be. You can still take advantage of these retail functions to improve your manufacturing operations.
The Microsoft Dynamics AX R3 Release added quite a bit of functionality for retailers. Most of us who are not in retail initially ignored these enhancements. But digging deeper, some of this retail functionality actually is a great fit for manufacturing and distribution companies. For example:
1. Preserve Your Sales Margins
Manufacturers on Microsoft Dynamics AX can calculate sales margins and have the system highlight sales orders and sales order lines that exceed a targeted margin. Then you can set up different user roles, such as a sales clerk or a sales manager, to have permissions to override the prices but make sure they don’t go below targeted item or margin percentages. For example, a sales clerk can change the price on an order but may be limited to no less than a 25% margin while the sales manager can change it to not go below a 20% margin.
2. Identify Why Sales Orders are On Hold
If you want to put a sales order on hold, you now have user-defined order hold codes that you can tie a color to it. You could have a credit hold colored red and a ‘waiting for signature’ hold be yellow. Then when you see a list of orders on hold, you’ll quickly know the reason why. Of course, security is tied to these hold codes so that each hold code is tied to a role like the credit manager for the credit hold.
3. Get Repeat Orders Faster
You can create a product list based on what the customer has ordered in the past to help with repeat orders and faster order entry.
4. Manage Rebates, Discounts and Deductions
For those that sell to the Wal-Marts and Home Depots of the world, there is a new Trade Allowance Management module which sets up processes for rebate agreements, lump sum discounts (off invoice) and deductions. Too often, we see the Accounts Receivable department managing customer claims and chargebacks outside their existing ERP system. With the Trade Allowance Management module in Dynamics AX, claims processing is handled through a workbench with reason codes and the ability to allow or disallow the claim.
5. Manage Royalties
In a similar vein, there is the ability to track and pay royalties. Royalties can be earned based on fixed amount or an amount per unit then paid through Accounts Payable. And then on the order, with the proper permissions, you can see how the royalties and rebates affect the profitability on the order.
6. Track Rebates from Vendors
Conversely, there is the ability to set up and track rebates on the vendor side, ensuring you either receive the money or the credit that is due to you.
And for those that don’t know, when you license Microsoft Dynamics AX, you license all the modules just as different user types. So you get the functionality and elect to turn it on and implement it. No need to go back and license new modules; you’ll get them when you move to the new release.
So there you have it. This is why manufacturing and distribution companies should care about Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail.
Written by Michelle Monnin
mcaConnect Solutions Consultant