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Adam Jenkins

Easy 1099 Filing with Dynamics 365

By | ERP, Webinar

Easy 1099 filing with Dynamics 365 for your independent contractors, get step-by-step instructions for Dynamics AX 2012.

The IRS requires businesses to file 1099s whenever an individual is paid more than $600 in a tax year, whether the payment is for:

  • Services
  • Awards
  • Prizes
  • Rent
  • Or any other miscellaneous payment

The exceptions are that you don’t have to file 1099s for your own employees or for money you pay to another corporation.

Filing Deadlines & Penalties

You don’t want to miss a deadline in filing 1099s or sending the 1099s to your independent contractors.  You also don’t want to have to do a ton of legwork and paperwork in the beginning of the year to stay in compliance with the 1099 rules.

Use Dynamics 365 to Manage Vendors

Sending out your 1099s can be a breeze if you have your vendors configured properly in Dynamics 365. Each invoice can automatically reflect the proper 1099 amount, and be automatically sent to your contractors and electronically filed with the IRS.

How to set up vendors and generate 1099s in Dynamics AX 2012.

Watch the Recording

Author: Stacy Black

Stacy Black, Sr. Financial Consultant for MCA Connect, shares her tips and walks through the vendor setup and 1099 generation procedures in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 during this on-demand session.

JUMP! Ready…Set….Oh…The struggle of ERP implementations

By | ERP

You just have to BELIEVE!

When I was six years old, I broke my arm in a heroic attempt to prove that I could fly.  The plan was simple.  Climb a chest of drawers and jump!  I reasoned that if I moved fast enough, I wouldn’t be able talk myself out of it.  With ONE BIG JUMP I expected that by necessity, I would learn to fly.  I believed my success at flying was nothing more than a simple matter of choice.  That perception remained with me right up until I attempted my legendary leap.

BOOM!!!  That painful experience proved otherwise.

Magical Thinking is Dangerous

It’s not just adventurous 6-year-old boys who close their eyes, leap and hope for the best. And the results can be far more disastrous than a broken arm.

Project teams at major companies often toy with the idea of implementing new business methodologies or large system implementations like Microsoft Dynamics AX often assume that by “JUMPING” into such a change, the stars will magically align perfectly to achieve future goals and objectives.  The team is too smart and capable to fail.  They will save time and money by skipping the boring upfront planning, and instead just “build their parachute on the way down” and it will all work out. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Lack of ERP implementation planning is one of the main reasons why many ERP implementations take much longer than originally planned – and/or the company is dissatisfied with the end results.

Feeling Brave vs. Assuring Success

Just as I found out with my legendary leap, it may FEEL brave to jump and assume luck will rise up to meet you….but success is not a simple matter of choice. It’s also not about being smart or talented. Assured success comes from jumping only after you have developed a clear team vision and plan that positions you to achieve your goals.

Preparing to Jump!

How do we find our footing for creating a project with minimal impact and optimal positioning?  It is done through properly performing a Rapid Opportunity Assessment as part of the overall change.  A Rapid Opportunity Assessment takes an in-depth view of the organization’s readiness to take on a business methodology change and/or system implementation, and looks at areas like:

  • Preparedness & timing – team availability & capability
  • Financial proformas
  • Manufacturing maturity
  • Discrete or lean manufacturing readiness
  • Current vs future state market positioning
  • …and so much more, dependent on the company and the type of project initiative….

Eliminating the Luck Factor

Taking the time to engage in a Rapid Opportunity Assessments is the bridge that eliminates luck as a simple matter of choice while providing a real framework to achieve the desired outcomes.

The concept of “Jump, Ready, Set” vs “Ready, Set, Jump” is normal in a 6-year-old, and even fine for smaller grown-up decisions.  But major projects have major risks. That same impulse to jump instead of planning is short-sighted and may be way more painful to an organization’s bottom-line than a simple broken arm.

Ready to Jump into an ERP Implementation?

If you want to be the project hero on your team, bring in a team that’s had years of experience implementing new business processes, changing methodologies and implementing systems like Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  We will help you put together a rock-solid project plan with firmly defined timelines.  Your project begins by assessing where you are today – and where you’d like to be tomorrow.

Schedule a Rapid Opportunity Assessment with mcaConnect today!

Written By:  John Cowden

Is your organization ready for a new ERP o CRM system?

Find Out

Squeezed

By | Lean, Manufacturing

Why is it that every time I am out with customers I end up with something new to blog about? Probably because I am insanely curious about each customer as I look to creatively help them to improve their manufacturing processes in their specific business context.

Meet our customer: A highly engineered automotive manufacturing parts supplier

Our customer is a high mix manufacturer, a Tier 1 supplier in the automotive manufacturing industry. While some Tier 1 suppliers are extremely large companies in their own right, this company is actually pretty small. They supply highly engineered products specific to particular OEM brands and models.

Their automotive customers sent all their high volume work off-shore, which leaves our poor client scrambling to do more production runs, with lower volume and a wider range of products.

Low Volume, high mix, no forecast visibility

Many of our customers handle low volume, high mix manufacturing processes. What’s challenging here is that their customers aren’t doing a good job of forecasting. (Surprise, surprise!)  In this case, customer forecasts and firm orders are changing substantially from week to week – often within our customer’s purchasing lead and sometimes within our customer’s contractual lead time.  In effect, they are being taken advantage of by their much larger customers.

What’s a little guy to do?

Their goal was to reduce lead time as much as possible by  developing a highly responsive supply chain to adapt to all these last-minute changes. They decided they could become world-class at new product introductions and rapid changeovers. Easy, right? Problem solved?   Not so fast!

To get the lowest unit price, they had to rely on large, off-shore suppliers. While the pricing is great, there are a number of downsides.

  1. The large suppliers produce at scale, and require full container orders.
  2. Off-shore means long, sometimes unpredictable, lead times.
  3. In many cases, they’ve become locked in with these suppliers for a variety of reasons.

As they described their situation, I wrote down one word on my notepad. “SQUEEZED

Squeezed from both directions

They are getting pressure from their customers to meet their ever-changing demand and pressure from their suppliers to abide by their long lead times and larger batch sizes.  Since they are a not-so-big company, they have no leverage in either direction. They inevitably have too much inventory of the wrong things and a supply chain that is slow to respond. This is eating into their profits and causing stress and frustration.

How did this happen?

You can see how they may have gotten there. Originally, they probably made much of their end-product themselves, using commodity level items. Along comes a supplier who can handle some of their manufacturing at a lower unit cost – which sounds like a great deal! So they outsource a portion of their manufacturing to the supplier.

The supplier then gets bought or relocates their own manufacturing overseas, increasing the lead time and minimum order size. Since our customer has already eliminated this part of their own manufacturing capabilities, they are locked in to this supplier.

This situation happens over and over again. I often see production equipment idled and collecting dust because that work has been outsourced.

What should they do now?

Since they can’t turn back the clock, the only way forward is to get through it. Here are some ideas.

  1. Start enforcing contractual lead times. Customers are notoriously difficult to manage, but they need to start taking a stand for what’s acceptable and what they can deliver.
  2. Start re-shoring their supply chain as much as possible, potentially even bringing some of the work back in house.
  3. Re-establish vertical integration. Increase use of commodity-level components and reduce dependence on sole suppliers.
  4. Understand the financial and risk tradeoffs of local vs. remote suppliers.

Understanding the tradeoffs of local vs. offshore suppliers

Traditional landed cost considers only duty and transportation in addition to unit cost. The reality is that manufacturers need to factor in other costs and risks to understand the impact of off-shore sourcing. These include:

  1. Carrying cost of inventory due to large inventory levels required
  2. Storage cost
  3. Risk of inventory obsolescence
  4. Risk of inventory shrinkage
  5. Expediting costs for emergency situations
  6. Demand volatility
  7. Demand risk

I worked with one company with a target for a certain level of inventory turns and broke down the turns by country of origin and then projected turns based on shifting the country of origin.  This gave them some strategic targets to march towards.

If you are “squeezed” it’s time to think outside the vice.

Written By: Phil Coy

Microsoft & MCA Connect Form Program Offering AX4Lean

By | ERP, News

Integrated solution addresses lean manufacturing challenges

Denver, Colorado, United States — September 23, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and mcaConnect, LLC today announced a technology partnership to offer AX4Lean. This joint program is designed to help large manufacturing companies address complex lean manufacturing challenges, lower total cost of ownership, improve operations and optimize lean manufacturing processes across the enterprise. By formally creating this joint program, manufacturing companies on a lean journey can leverage Microsoft’s vast technology resources, software solutions and services team coupled with mcaConnect’s industry consulting expertise and intellectual property for a low risk, high reward industry solution.

“Manufacturing companies that build complex products in a high mix, low volume environment need lean manufacturing concepts to be woven within the fabric of their operations. Historically, technology has not been aligned with lean deployments. Microsoft and our team of professionals have changed that paradigm. Our combined offerings allow our clients to accelerate and stabilize their lean journey with leading technology from Microsoft and mcaConnect within their environments,” said David Huether, vice president of sales with mcaConnect. “By partnering with Microsoft in a combined delivery model, companies can turn to us to integrate lean design and planning, value stream mapping, and manufacturing execution into their business system implementation.”

“Microsoft is a global leader in developing manufacturing-centric solutions and in providing expert project management and change management services for deployment. By aligning the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform with mcaConnect’s industry expertise, lean solutions and client services, we have a very compelling value proposition for complex manufacturing enterprises,” said Terry Birdsell, Director of US Services Business Development and Partnerships, Microsoft Corp. “Effective deployment of lean concepts and technology tools requires a partnership with a company that is capable of addressing the complexity lean manufacturing operations entail. Together, Microsoft and mcaConnect are committing to a path of bringing new ideas, best practices and proven solutions designed to help organizations take a low risk, high reward approach to apply business-aligned consulting and technology in the enterprise.”

Through mcaConnect’s participation in the Microsoft Industry Partner Program, the companies plan to deepen the integration between the mcaConnect solution and deployment services and the Microsoft Consulting Services implementation delivery program as a way to lower implementation risk for large manufacturing companies. Microsoft will manage the SureStep Implementation methodology and Lifecycle Services. mcaConnect will provide their solution Areteium on Azure to assist in the lean planning process, and leverage their seamless integration to Microsoft Dynamics AX – working hand-in-hand with Microsoft Consulting Services to ensure successful deployment and adoption of the technology is achieved.

mcaConnect and Microsoft are currently releasing to market the following initiatives:

Deliver industry standards and best practices for lean manufacturers. The companies have created an integrated delivery model. The effort is designed to leverage mcaConnect’s Areteium solution, domain expertise and industry assets and have Microsoft oversee the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Industry Messaging between Microsoft and mcaConnect will allow potential clients to clearly understand that through this joint partnership, Microsoft and mcaConnect will be able to assist them with value stream mapping, incorporating forecasted demand in the value stream, creating valuable what-if scenarios for supermarkets and reorder points, creating time-phased sales forecasts, running profit analyses by value stream and analyzing change in demand patterns.

About mcaConnect

mcaConnect is a Global Systems Integrator and Microsoft Dynamics Partner (AX & CRM) that delivers and supports operational transformation to help customers achieve competitive advantage. By combining product and industry expertise with proven strategic alignment methods, mcaConnect is able to consistently deliver innovative solutions that help clients realize their vision, as evidenced by our repeated recognition from Microsoft and the millions of dollars we’ve helped customers add to their bottom line. In 2015, mcaConnect was named Microsoft Dynamics U.S. Manufacturing Partner of the Year, Microsoft Enterprise Resource Partner of the Year and was a finalist for the Microsoft Customer Relationship Management Partner of the Year.

For additional information:

Shawnee Parris
mcaConnect, LLC
866-622-0669
media@mcaconnect.com
www.mcaconnect.staging.wpengine.com

*Product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Squeezing the Most Value from Your CRM Consulting Team

By | CRM
Your CRM consulting team wants you to get exceptional results from your CRM implementation. The dream project is where everyone in the company is eager to start using the solution and business booms as a result of the CRM implementation.This ideal scenario can only happen if the client is as engaged (if not more engaged) than the CRM Consulting Team. A good external CRM Consulting Team will bring together a blend of skills – a technologist, a project manager, a business analyst, and often an industry expert. Sometimes these skills are all wrapped into one person.The client needs to line things up internally so as to maximize the value received from the CRM Consulting team. The 5 most valuable areas to concentrate on are:

  1. Identify your business pain points. What are the specific problems that CRM will solve for your company? Gather insight from multiple people. Having clear objectives will help create the business case and also help identify key success factors for your CRM application.
  2. Document your current processes. To make the most of your consultant’s time get your processes documented; these include roles, tasks, checklists, responsibilities, hand-offs, approvals, decision points, deviations etc. This exercise will not only help architect an application that meets all of your business requirements, but it also helps you identify any process gaps and improvement opportunities before your consulting partner is engaged.
  3. Get employees engaged and excited. It is vital to have all your key internal stakeholders identified and engaged before your CRM project begins. These stakeholders include, subject matter experts (SMEs), project sponsor, project champion, super-user candidates etc. If you’d like to go a step further, you could also provide your consultant with a hierarchical organization chart of all the potential CRM users.
  4. Understand your technology tools and touchpoints. Every business functions on a multitude of tools that are used to capture data. The most common tools are Excel, Access, shared drives etc. By taking stock of all the current tools and what they are used for, you will have a clearer picture of where you need to create integrations and what tools can be retired/replaced.
  5. Clean up your data. Data is the life blood of your business. Keeping data clean is vital for your reports and actions and helps you make informed business decisions. Starting to clean up your data before you migrate it to a CRM application will help you derive return on investment from day 1.

These five simple steps will give you clear visibility of your business and good grip of your data but most importantly, it’ll help you achieve a successful CRM implementation keeping it on time, in budget and effective.

Want to learn how you can drive company sales through CRM? Download our FREE whitepaper 10 Direct Ways CRM Helps You Grow Company Sales!


Written by Nawal Mohsina

Principal Consultant, mcaConnect

International Microsoft Dynamics AX Implementations

By | ERP
If you have ever been involved in an international Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation, you know the importance of having local consulting talent in order to achieve success. The process of
finding the right local talent can be difficult and costly.

Picking an AX Partner

In the past when I needed to find an international partner, I traveled to each country armed with 3 recommended names and then I would vet each partner on different criteria important to mcaConnect and its customer. From this interviewing process, I would pick a partner, further educate them on our approach, and then work side by side with them to ensure our customer’s expectations were being met. This approach has worked very well for us and as a result we have some very strong strategic alliances with other Microsoft Dynamics AX partners around the world.

As you might imagine, however, flying across the world and hand-selecting partners is a time-consuming process and carries with it some inherent risks. Even with the best of vetting process, the alliance could prove wrong for us and then we are back to the drawing board searching and selecting a new partner, causing delays and increasing the costs associated with our customer’s projects.

Growth of International Projects

Today nearly all of our new customers have global operations spread across multiple countries. We needed a more efficient way to expand our alliance network quickly without sacrificing quality of partner and process. We needed to minimize the risk, finding partners who not only knew the product, process and geography – but who were willing and able to manage the complexities of an international collaborative project.

As a result of this need, we are pleased to announce our membership to AXpact, an international alliance of Microsoft partners. AXpact is comprised of 30 partners in 80 countries. We are proud to represent AXpact here in the US and also in Brazil through our branch office in Sao Paulo. This membership immediately expanded our international network of partners and with AXpact’s stringent evaluation criteria, solidifies that we have access to the best partners around the world. AXpact constantly monitors this network to ensure the quality that is expected is consistent throughout the membership. In addition, all members follow the same implementation methodology insuring quality and consistency throughout all of our global implementations. If you wish to learn more, I encourage you to check out their website, www.AX-Pact.com.

Have questions about how Microsoft Dynamics AX can work for you?

Why CFOs Choose Microsoft Dynamics AX & MCA Connect

Learn how you can leverage technology to transform your business, finding hidden profits and creating bottom line results.

Download the Whitepaper

Author: John Spencer, Vice President of International