Advanced Filters

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Are you ever looking at a grid in AX and want to filter for specific information but aren’t quite sure how to do it.  Well you are not alone, and thankfully there are some nice filters built into AX that you can use to quickly parse out the information you need.

mcaConnect Recognized as Finalist for the 2017 Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning Award

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June 1, 2017 (Denver, Colo.) – Microsoft today announced that mcaConnect has been named a finalist in the 2017 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Award. Finalists were selected over almost 2,800 Microsoft partners in 115 countries worldwide. mcaConnect was awarded among top Microsoft Partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.“We are honored to be awarded a Finalist for ERP Partner of the Year again in 2017, after also being awarded as a Finalist in 2016 and Winner of the award in 2015”, says Claude Watson, Chief Executive Officer of mcaConnect. “Our history of being recognized by Microsoft as a top ERP Partner shows our proven track record for providing outstanding solutions and services to our customers.”The Enterprise Resource Planning Partner of the Year Award recognizes a Microsoft partner that excels at providing innovative and unique sales, services, solutions and support based on Microsoft Dynamics ERP. Those selected for this award have demonstrated exceptional business leadership and success, with strong growth in new customer additions and revenue while maintaining and growing their existing customer base. Finally, the award recognizes a Partner that has made significant progress in shifting their business to the Microsoft Cloud.

“The outstanding innovation and expertise the Microsoft partner community continues to provide is demonstrated by this year’s award winners,” said Ron Huddleston corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft Corp. “We applaud mcaConnect on achieving Finalist of the 2017 Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning award.”

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognize partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year.

About mcaConnect
mcaConnect is a Global Systems Integrator and Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner (ERP & CRM) that delivers and supports operational transformation to help customers achieve a 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. Founded in 2002, mcaConnect has grown into one of the largest US-based Microsoft partners with offices throughout the United States.

Kelsey Tranchina (281) 638-1025

Journal Control

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Journal control works along with account structures to enforce more stringent rules for a specific journal. Using journal control we can restrict the posting types on a journal; for example we may want the journal to only be allowed to post to the ledger and vendor.

In this Didjano (a play of words on Did You Know) video Madeline Hayes, mcaConnect Application Consultant, will be discussing Journal Control combined with vendor default accounts. So now let’s get started!

mcaConnect Named 2016 Microsoft ERP Partner of the Year Award Finalist

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mcaConnect has awesome news to share! We are a 2016 finalist for Microsoft’s prestigious Partner of the Year Award for the Enterprise Resource Planning category as a result of our manufacturing focus and Dynamics AX best practices. This year Microsoft chose winners across multiple categories from a field of more than 2,500 entrants in 119 countries worldwide.

The ERP Partner of the Year Award recognizes a partner that excels at providing innovative and unique sales, services, solutions, and/or support based on Microsoft Dynamics ERP – including the Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, or SL product lines. Successful entrants for this award must demonstrate consistent, high-quality; predictable service to Microsoft Dynamics customers, helping to ensure significant business benefits from their Microsoft Dynamics ERP investments. The successful nominee will also demonstrate business leadership and success, with strong growth in new customer additions and revenue while maintaining and growing their existing customer base.

Accepting this year’s award on behalf of mcaConnect is Vice President, Doug Bulla, who thanked Microsoft and referenced our dedication to delivering innovative solutions to the manufacturing and energy companies we service and expressed his excitement around building the future for manufacturing together with Microsoft using the Azure IoT toolkit and Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Thank you to all of our employees, customers and partners who stand by us and beside us!  You can read the entire press release here.

Lean, Microsoft Dynamics AX and the Internet of Things

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One of the big “buzzwords” in the past couple of years is “the internet of things” or IoT. IoT joins that elite group of breakthrough ideas popularized as “this changes everything.” In fact the potential market related to IoT is routinely in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Big enough that all of the biggest players are circling and spinning.

The Internet of Things Defined

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with software and sensors with network connections enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. It is estimated that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

Low-Cost MES Everywhere

Manufacturing has long had technology on the shop floor from individual controllers for PLCs to very sophisticated SCADA systems controlling entire production facilities. Up until now, manufacturing execution systems (MES) have been point solutions for particular stations, limited to a specific type of manufacturing equipment, requiring a proprietary architecture, and generally expensive. The breakthrough that’s happening now is due to the dramatically low price point of sensors and network-enabled computers.

Actual size of Raspberry Pi

In 2012, Raspberry Pi introduced a credit-card sized computer with I-O ports and wi-fi network connection for $30. In November 2015, Raspberry Pi Zero came to market for $5. These can run open source Linux or Windows 10 IOT Core, a free version of Windows 10 for low-cost IoT applications.

Cost is no longer a limiter.

IoT meets Cloud Computing

With the ability to capture sensor data from manufacturing equipment at very low cost, where do you put all this data? Cloud services leaders Microsoft and Amazon and others provide unlimited and scalable architectures to store sensor level data from manufacturing devices. Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub is a complete solution of IoT device registration, data storage, and security.

Integration of IoT with Lean Manufacturing in Dynamics AX

Microsoft is on the leading edge of IoT integrated with ERP. This fall, I was invited to attend an introductory demo presented by Microsoft’s Alex Anikiev integrating sensors with lean manufacturing in Dynamics AX. The simple idea was to create an “intelligent location” so that when a bin was placed into a location, a transfer kanban would be automatically received and when the bin was removed from the location, a transfer kanban would be created to replenish it. The demo worked but wasn’t really a practical real-world scenario. I challenged Alex to create much more realistic scenarios. Over the next several weeks, a much more robust collection of sensors and integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX showed kanban completions based on RFID, component issues based on weight, and sensors for temperature and color went far beyond simple on/off switches. These all used Raspberry Pi’s running Win10 IoT Core connected directly to Dynamics AX via drivers in X++ that Alex has developed. The hardware for all of this was probably under $200.

Limited only by Creativity

Clearly the hurdles of cost and universal access have been overcome. What’s needed now is the vision to begin to unlock the potential of this level of integration. That’s where lean thinking comes in. The time needed to record transactions even if only a few seconds to pick up and scan a card is entirely non-value add. A number of companies I’ve worked with have limited the amount of data that they are willing to require their operators to capture. As a result, they have limited their visibility into their own operations. Simple physical movement captured by IoT devices can now drive business transactions.

Continuous Learning from IoT-enabled Visibility

The exciting prospect of linking IoT data capture with lean thinking is to develop systems that help to identify opportunities for kaizen improvements. For example, if failure frequency is higher on second shift than first, might that indicate a training issue? Or if a line consistently is falling behind takt time when a certain product is run, might that indicate a process or design issue specific to that product? Every ERP presumes some level of buffering for the inevitable variation in real-world processing. If the buffering is isolated as planning parameters, can we compare our actual experience and then automatically adjust those factors based on demonstrated performance? This is the world of machine learning – to learn from our experience, identify opportunities, and adjust our operation as a result.

That’s how IoT complements our vision of Lean Transformation Software to design and plan our operation, ERP as the execution system as we run our lean operations, and Business Intelligence to learn from our actual experience to drive continuous improvement.

Written by Phil Coy
Director, Strategic Services – mcaConnect

Phil leads mcaConnect’s Manufacturing Excellence practice. With a passion for putting lean manufacturing principles into real-life ERP implementations for bottom line results, Phil regularly brings the credibility of his 35 years of in-the-trenches experience to conference stages.