Tag: real estate crm software

dynamics 365 business central

Learn how an electronics manufacturer unifies data and gains agility using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Bel Fuse designs, manufactures, and markets electronic circuits products at 24 manufacturing locations across North America, Europe, and Asia. The company’s existing enterprise resource planning solution was highly customized and expensive to maintain, so it decided to deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Bel Fuse unified data and can now more easily manage its supply chain operations and finance processes, gaining more agility to respond quickly to changes in the market or its suppliers.

Essential step in the supply chain

A typical consumer might interact with Bel Fuse products and not even know it. The manufacturer makes the components that power, protect, and connect electronic circuits in products we use every day. Bel Fuse is usually in the middle of the supply chain, relying on smaller parts from its suppliers before passing components on to the manufacturers that create finished products.

Founded in 1949, the company has grown significantly in the last 20 years through acquisitions. It has seven business groups, including Bel Power Solutions, which it acquired in 2014. Bel Power Solutions makes the power conversion products for server and storage networks at large server farms and in industrial products like the power sources in hybrid electric vehicles and trains.

To manage its enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes, Bel Power Solutions used a legacy version of Oracle that was highly customized and difficult to update. The version was outdated and the month-to-month costs and support for the solution were expensive.

With different business units using different ERP systems, Bel Fuse wanted to find an affordable solution to unify the company’s finance and operations processes, starting with Bel Power Solutions. Bel Fuse also needed a solution that would support its material requirements planning (MRP) process, a production planning, scheduling, and inventory control system to manage its manufacturing processes.

“Our MRP processing goes in both directions—we require a full dataset and forecasting of what’s coming to us and what’s going out,” says Scott Hasterlik, Director Global IT at Bel Fuse. “We have power assets with 500 components and 65,000 SKUs, so we needed a robust solution to share nonstandard information quickly.”

An integrated solution for finance and operations

After careful evaluation, Bel Fuse found that Microsoft Dynamics 365 had the right capabilities at the right price for the company’s needs. With Dynamics 365, Bel Fuse had a single system for the first time, the ability to report globally, and a solution that was intuitive to use and easy to add users.

Bel Fuse uses Dynamics 365 Finance to automate its financial operations, monitor performance in real time, predict future outcomes, and make data-driven decisions. For operations, the company deployed Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, which includes an MRP function and AI to improve visibility across its global supply chain and to improve manufacturing productivity.

To aid the quick, seamless deployment process, Bel Fuse worked with Flintfox, a Gold competency member of the Microsoft Partner Network. “Flintfox jumped in, understood what we wanted to accomplish, and helped us move forward on budget,” says Hasterlik. “Flintfox has been a fantastic partner and is still our partner of record.”

A wide range of Bel Power Solutions employees now rely on the Finance and Supply Chain Management business applications. Users include staff in customer service, quality assurance, demand and product returns, manufacturing and supply chain ordering, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and engineering. “From decision makers to factory floor managers, everyone is working in Dynamics 365, staying connected and accessing valuable data,” says Stefan Naude, General Manager, Slovakia, at Bel Fuse.

Reduced costs, disparate systems eliminated

Bel Fuse accomplished its central goal—to reduce the high costs of its previous ERP system while bringing data together in one solution. The company built the capacity it needed without a lot of customizations, helping ensure that the solution would stay flexible in the future. “With Dynamics 365, we save nearly USD2 million per year in IT service and support fees compared to our previous, highly customized solution,” says Mark Hodkinson, Vice President of Finance for the Bel Power Solutions Group at Bel Fuse.

Bel Fuse also reduced costs because it now has the tools to fulfill more of its own finance needs internally. For example, a Bel Fuse engineering and distribution site in Italy previously paid an outside firm to do its accounting. “It was easy to move the Italy site into Dynamics 365 and transfer all that work internally to our team in Slovakia,” says Hodkinson. “Now our own team manages the facility’s day-to-day finances even though they aren’t located in Italy. With a common system, we have better access to our own internal talent.”

Increased visibility and agility

With Dynamics 365, Bel Fuse gained a more global view of financial data and can perform more accurate forecasting. “I always view orders and revenue from a global perspective because the locations are all connected and have so many intercompany transactions,” says Hodkinson. “I rely on Dynamics 365 to help me make sense of complex financial histories to stay on top of complicated billing and payment processes at multiple sites.”

With ERP data now centralized and easy to access in the cloud, Bel Fuse can respond with more agility to complex, changing circumstances. When employees in Italy, China, and other countries needed to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, the company was able to effectively run remote finance and supply chain operations. “We kept all our finance functions moving forward even though we don’t have anyone physically in the office,” says Hodkinson. “We were impressed that our team was able to get everything done while working from home for the first time, and I think that speaks to how intuitive Dynamics 365 Finance was for our team.”

As a mid-chain supplier, Bel Fuse is committed to continuing its operations on time and not becoming a bottleneck in the process. With the MRP functionality in Dynamics 365, the company has a deeper, more precise view into its supply chain and more flexibility when its suppliers face disruptions. Employees use self-generating reports to review sales orders and purchase orders and to track factory production.

“Our system quickly shows us when parts haven’t arrived on time, and we can pivot to load our production with parts that are available,” says Naude. “With Dynamics 365, we streamlined our planning and have flexibility to adapt to our vendors and adjust our inventory—all while remaining a reliable supplier.”

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Customer Story : CRANE Worldwide Logistics centralised their sales platform with Microsoft Dynamics 365

As it approached its 10-year anniversary and its first billion in revenue, global logistics and freight company Crane Worldwide Logistics looked for a modern platform that brought all its sales tools into one place. With the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, which brings together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, its salespeople have the tools to drive more meaningful engagements with customers, convert opportunities faster, and create more revenue.

 

A global sales team

From a startup created in the risky business climate of the 2008 recession, Crane Worldwide Logistics has become a major player in the global transport and logistics industry, on track to hit USD1 billion in revenue in 2019. Created by former Eagle Global Logistics executives and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Crane Worldwide aims to provide customers with full transparency into its supply chains by coupling talented people with game-changing technology.

But with salespeople spread across the globe, Crane Worldwide found itself with a visibility problem.

“We weren’t all working on a common platform, so we were lacking in visibility,” says John Jergens, Vice President of Global Sales at Crane Worldwide. “We knew we had a vast sales pipeline out there, but there wasn’t much data available on it—so we couldn’t see how robust it was.”

From data silos to connected visibility

A key part of the Crane Worldwide ethos is providing customers with meaningful interactions—and that relies on having a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that salespeople can use to build and maintain relationships and convert opportunities more effectively. But, with a seven-year-old siloed CRM system that it had simply outgrown, the company lacked the tools its salespeople needed. “The previous system never had very good adoption,” Jergens adds. “It just wasn’t very functional.” So, the team went looking for a platform that could replace it.

With implementation support from Microsoft Partner Network member PowerObjects, Crane Worldwide deployed the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, a powerful combination of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to support personalized, meaningful customer engagements. The team was already using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Office 365, so Dynamics 365 for Sales was the ideal addition to the Crane Worldwide ecosystem.

“We saw how Microsoft Relationship Sales could help us focus on being easy to work with from a customer’s perspective,” explains Jergens. “So this whole deployment was part and parcel of becoming easier to do business with.” Now, just six months into deployment, Crane Worldwide has 300 Microsoft Relationship Sales users in its ranks, including 150 direct sellers along with employees from its marketing and account management teams.

New processes, simpler sales

Using the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, Crane Worldwide salespeople have already changed the way they work. And they’re reaping the benefits of the visibility they’ve gained into the sales pipeline.

“Once we rolled out Microsoft Relationship Sales, the overwhelming response was that it’s really easy to use, and it doesn’t take much time,” says Jergens. “We created a very simple weekly routine where our sellers spend about 30 minutes adding new data into Dynamics 365 for Sales. That’s just six minutes a day to keep everything up to date.”

With faster processes freeing up more time for the sales team, sellers can focus their energy where it matters most—building the customer relationships that turn into revenue. And, at the end of each week, management can analyze activity through a global dashboard, which combines CRM and customer interaction data into detailed executive reports that show how salespeople are turning relationships into revenue.

“With Microsoft Relationship Sales, we can generate KPIs that tell us what a healthy pipeline should look like. We look at the number of prospects and targets, how long the sales cycle takes, and the time from when we close an account to the time it generates revenue,” explains Jergens. “And if the pipeline isn’t where it should be, we can support the sellers with the resources that they need—it’s more productive all around.”

A centralized sales platform

Because Microsoft Relationship Sales brings together so many sales capabilities, Crane Worldwide sellers have everything they need to do their jobs in one place. Previously, they had to manage a relationship from scoping to sale across disconnected tools and platforms, far from an efficient process.

“It’s difficult to put a number on what it’s like to manage 30 or 40 customers with an email folder and a spreadsheet,” says Jergens. “Now, once the salesperson finds a prospect using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they use Dynamics 365 for Sales to easily track those conversations. Instead of creating and referencing a lot of notes, they can quickly link activities and discussions through Microsoft Relationship Sales.”

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales together, salespeople can start building the context they need to deliver a meaningful interaction before the first contact even occurs. Insight into potential prospects’ roles, connections, and priorities through LinkedIn Sales Navigator is fed straight into Dynamics 365 for Sales—increasing conversion chances from the very start. “It’s had a direct impact on the time it takes to develop customer relationships, because we have true visibility into those opportunities now,” explains Jergens.

A built-in assistant also sends prompts to help sellers accelerate the sales cycle, reminding them to contact a lead that might go cold or nudge an opportunity as it approaches its estimated close date.

A roadmap for integration

In businesses the world over, sales and marketing teams struggle to communicate and collaborate effectively. As the sales team adapts to Microsoft Relationship Sales, Crane Worldwide is already adopting more of the solution’s capabilities to help sales and marketing stay on the same path.

“The marketing teams are able to work in tandem with the sales team to help them understand how marketing activities can help nurture their prospects,” says Jergens. “They’re really starting to get up and running, using Microsoft Relationship Sales to communicate with the customer base and help convert contacts into leads and then into opportunities.”

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, Uncategorized

Advancing Azure service quality with artificial intelligence: AIOps

We are going to share our vision on the importance of infusing AI into our cloud platform and DevOps process. Gartner referred to something similar as AIOps (pronounced “AI Ops”) and this has become the common term that we use internally, albeit with a larger scope. Today’s post is just the start, as we intend to provide regular updates to share our adoption stories of using AI technologies to support how we build and operate Azure at scale.

Why AIOps?

There are two unique characteristics of cloud services:

  • The ever-increasing scale and complexity of the cloud platform and systems
  • The ever-changing needs of customers, partners, and their workloads

To build and operate reliable cloud services during this constant state of flux, and to do so as efficiently and effectively as possible, our cloud engineers (including thousands of Azure developers, operations engineers, customer support engineers, and program managers) heavily rely on data to make decisions and take actions. Furthermore, many of these decisions and actions need to be executed automatically as an integral part of our cloud services or our DevOps processes. Streamlining the path from data to decisions to actions involves identifying patterns in the data, reasoning, and making predictions based on historical data, then recommending or even taking actions based on the insights derived from all that underlying data.

 Infusing AI into cloud platform and DevOps – with AI at the center of Customers, Engineering, and Services.
Figure 1. Infusing AI into cloud platform and DevOps.

The AIOps vision

AIOps has started to transform the cloud business by improving service quality and customer experience at scale while boosting engineers’ productivity with intelligent tools, driving continuous cost optimization, and ultimately improving the reliability, performance, and efficiency of the platform itself. When we invest in advancing AIOps and related technologies, we see this ultimately provides value in several ways:

  • Higher service quality and efficiency: Cloud services will have built-in capabilities of self-monitoring, self-adapting, and self-healing, all with minimal human intervention. Platform-level automation powered by such intelligence will improve service quality (including reliability, and availability, and performance), and service efficiency to deliver the best possible customer experience.
  • Higher DevOps productivity: With the automation power of AI and ML, engineers are released from the toil of investigating repeated issues, manually operating and supporting their services, and can instead focus on solving new problems, building new functionality, and work that more directly impacts the customer and partner experience. In practice, AIOps empowers developers and engineers with insights to avoid looking at raw data, thereby improving engineer productivity.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: AIOps solutions play a critical role in enabling customers to use, maintain, and troubleshoot their workloads on top of our cloud services as easily as possible. We endeavor to use AIOps to understand customer needs better, in some cases to identify potential pain points and proactively reach out as needed. Data-driven insights into customer workload behavior could flag when Microsoft or the customer needs to take action to prevent issues or apply workarounds. Ultimately, the goal is to improve satisfaction by quickly identifying, mitigating, and fixing issues.

 

AI for Cloud: AI Ops and AI-Serving Platform showing example use cases in AI for Systems, AI for DevOps, and AI for Customers.

Figure 2. AI for Cloud: AIOps and AI-Serving Platform.

AIOps

Moving beyond our vision, we wanted to start by briefly summarizing our general methodology for building AIOps solutions. A solution in this space always starts with data—measurements of systems, customers, and processes—as the key of any AIOps solution is distilling insights about system behavior, customer behaviors, and DevOps artifacts and processes. The insights could include identifying a problem that is happening now (detect), why it’s happening (diagnose), what will happen in the future (predict), and how to improve (optimize, adjust, and mitigate). Such insights should always be associated with business metrics—customer satisfaction, system quality, and DevOps productivity—and drive actions in line with prioritization determined by the business impact. The actions will also be fed back into the system and process. This feedback could be fully automated (infused into the system) or with humans in the loop (infused into the DevOps process). This overall methodology guided us to build AIOps solutions in three pillars.

AIOps methodologies: Data (Customer/System/DevOps), insights (Detect/Diagnose/Predict/Optimize), and actions (Mitigate/Avert future pain/Optimize usage config/Improve architecture & process).
Figure 3. AIOps methodologies: Data, insights, and actions.

AI for systems

Today, we’re introducing several AIOps solutions that are already in use and supporting Azure behind the scenes. The goal is to automate system management to reduce human intervention. As a result, this helps to reduce operational costs, improve system efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction. These solutions have already contributed significantly to the Azure platform availability improvements, especially for Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs). AIOps solutions contributed in several ways including protecting customers’ workload from host failures through hardware failure prediction and proactive actions like live migration and Project Tardigrade and pre-provisioning VMs to shorten VM creation time.

Of course, engineering improvements and ongoing system innovation also play important roles in the continuous improvement of platform reliability.

  • Hardware Failure Prediction is to protect cloud customers from interruptions caused by hardware failures.  Microsoft Research and Azure have built a disk failure prediction solution for Azure Compute, triggering the live migration of customer VMs from predicted-to-fail nodes to healthy nodes. We also expanded the prediction to other types of hardware issues including memory and networking router failures. This enables us to perform predictive maintenance for better availability.
  • Pre-Provisioning Service in Azure brings VM deployment reliability and latency benefits by creating pre-provisioned VMs. Pre-provisioned VMs are pre-created and partially configured VMs ahead of customer requests for VMs. As we described in the IJCAI 2020 publication, As we described in the AAAI-20 keynote mentioned above,  the Pre-Provisioning Service leverages a prediction engine to predict VM configurations and the number of VMs per configuration to pre-create. This prediction engine applies dynamic models that are trained based on historical and current deployment behaviors and predicts future deployments. Pre-Provisioning Service uses this prediction to create and manage VM pools per VM configuration. Pre-Provisioning Service resizes the pool of VMs by destroying or adding VMs as prescribed by the latest predictions. Once a VM matching the customer’s request is identified, the VM is assigned from the pre-created pool to the customer’s subscription.

AI for DevOps

AI can boost engineering productivity and help in shipping high-quality services with speed. Below are a few examples of AI for DevOps solutions.

  • Incident management is an important aspect of cloud service management—identifying and mitigating rare but inevitable platform outages. A typical incident management procedure consists of multiple stages including detection, engagement, and mitigation stages. Time spent in each stage is used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to measure and drive rapid issue resolution. KPIs include time to detect (TTD), time to engage (TTE), and time to mitigate (TTM).

 Incident management procedures including Time to Detect (TTD), Time to Engage (TTE), and Time to Mitigate (TTM).
Figure 4. Incident management procedures.

As shared in AIOps Innovations in Incident Management for Cloud Services at the AAAI-20 conference, we have developed AI-based solutions that enable engineers not only to detect issues early but also to identify the right team(s) to engage and therefore mitigate as quickly as possible. Tight integration into the platform enables end-to-end touchless mitigation for some scenarios, which considerably reduces customer impact and therefore improves the overall customer experience.

  • Anomaly Detection provides an end-to-end monitoring and anomaly detection solution for Azure IaaS. The detection solution targets a broad spectrum of anomaly patterns that includes not only generic patterns defined by thresholds, but also patterns which are typically more difficult to detect such as leaking patterns (for example, memory leaks) and emerging patterns (not a spike, but increasing with fluctuations over a longer term). Insights generated by the anomaly detection solutions are injected into the existing Azure DevOps platform and processes, for example, alerting through the telemetry platform, incident management platform, and, in some cases, triggering automated communications to impacted customers. This helps us detect issues as early as possible.

For an example that has already made its way into a customer-facing feature, Dynamic Threshold is an ML-based anomaly detection model. It is a feature of Azure Monitor used through the Azure portal or through the ARM API. Dynamic Threshold allows users to tune their detection sensitivity, including specifying how many violation points will trigger a monitoring alert.

  • Safe Deployment serves as an intelligent global “watchdog” for the safe rollout of Azure infrastructure components. We built a system, code name Gandalf, that analyzes temporal and spatial correlation to capture latent issues that happened hours or even days after the rollout. This helps to identify suspicious rollouts (during a sea of ongoing rollouts), which is common for Azure scenarios, and helps prevent the issue propagating and therefore prevents impact to additional customers.

AI for customers

To improve the Azure customer experience, we have been developing AI solutions to power the full lifecycle of customer management. For example, a decision support system has been developed to guide customers towards the best selection of support resources by leveraging the customer’s service selection and verbatim summary of the problem experienced. This helps shorten the time it takes to get customers and partners the right guidance and support that they need.

AI-serving platform

To achieve greater efficiencies in managing a global-scale cloud, we have been investing in building systems that support using AI to optimize cloud resource usage and therefore the customer experience. One example is Resource Central (RC), an AI-serving platform for Azure that we described in Communications of the ACM. It collects telemetry from Azure containers and servers, learns from their prior behaviors, and, when requested, produces predictions of their future behaviors. We are already using RC to predict many characteristics of Azure Compute workloads accurately, including resource procurement and allocation, all of which helps to improve system performance and efficiency.

Looking towards the future

We have shared our vision of AI infusion into the Azure platform and our DevOps processes and highlighted several solutions that are already in use to improve service quality across a range of areas. Look to us to share more details of our internal AI and ML solutions for even more intelligent cloud management in the future. We’re confident that these are the right investment solutions to improve our effectiveness and efficiency as a cloud provider, including improving the reliability and performance of the Azure platform itself.

 

Note blog reference: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/blog/advancing-azure-service-quality-with-artificial-intelligence-aiops/

Uncategorized

Reduce supply chain disruptions with AI, IoT, and mixed reality

Disruptions in global supply chains have significantly increased over the last decade, fueled by a myriad of triggers ranging from trade wars, demand surges from social marketing, natural disasters, and most recently, the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management in the 2020 release wave 1 help organizations proactively transform every aspect of manufacturing and supply chain operations to reduce disruptions. These new and updated capabilities drive automation and reduce downtime using IoT and mixed reality, and provide the agility to re-plan production in real time to dynamically changing demand. In fact, the agility enabled by Supply Chain Management is currently being leveraged by a consortium of major UK industrial, technology, and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors that has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS.

Reducing the risk of supply chain disruptions

As the threat of disruptions increase, companies are pressured to ask if the supply chain is ready for the next event, pushing them to build a more resilient supply chain to ensure business continuity for them and their customers in the most cost-effective manner. More companies will start buffering for risks and move from a “Just-in time” mentality to a “Just-in case” mentality. Factories will need to transform rapidly to adapt to change, serving a wider range of products produced in smaller batches with lower set up time, faster throughput, and the ability to quickly respond to fluctuating demand and customer expectations. Companies are likely to move from single supplier to multi-supplier and single location to multi-location models for mission critical parts even if it is cost prohibitive in order to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions.

To reach this optimal state of agility and delivery speed, manufacturers need to adapt every aspect of the supply chain to enable tools, equipment, and people to become instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent—a state of persistent adaptive learning and optimization as more data is available to tighten links between manufacturers, suppliers, and customers.

The latest release from Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables customers to reach this optimal state by proactively transforming their manufacturing and supply chain with predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality—across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, and transportation management—to maximize operational efficiency, product quality, and profitability.

Train workers faster with integrated mixed reality learning experiences

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Dynamics 365 Guides to help mainstream mixed reality for manufacturing. Companies can deliver a faster ROI by getting the workforce trained sooner with fewer trainers and with an interactive learning experience. Workforce efficiency can skyrocket with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations, available at a glance on a Microsoft HoloLens device that keeps their hands free to do the work.

Dynamics 365 Guides can not only eliminate costly errors in production but also improve workforce safety. Companies can significantly reduce asset downtime by making asset maintenance skillset-agnostic and avoid costly waiting time for a specific expert to perform maintenance on an asset. The guides are extremely easy to author and do not require any coding. A guide can be authored by simply writing the step-by-step instructions on a PC followed by picking and placing the holographic parts and inbuilt icons on the machine where the work is happening.

Learn how to use Dynamics 365 Guides
Introducing Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2

Dispatch the right resources at the right time

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service. Customers can significantly reduce downtime of geographically dispersed mission critical assets by automating field service operations so that the right resources—workforce, machines, parts, and tools—are available at the right place, at the right time, to proactively maintain them.

Companies can improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of their geographically dispersed mission critical assets by performing predictive maintenance based on real-time performance data from IoT and field data from Dynamics 365 Field Service. Traditionally, disparate systems hinder the ability to accurately forecast demand for critical and expensive parts frequently used in both service and new production. Due to lack of forecasting for service demand, companies constantly take parts from production to fulfill the service demand, and vice versa, to deliver good customer service. This often creates a shortage for new production and significantly impacts on time delivery to new customers. As a result, the company is unable to deliver a delightful customer experience on both fronts. This integration will eliminate the need for disparate systems and significantly improve the forecast accuracy of these mission-critical parts due to real time tracking in the service supply chain.

Seamlessly integrate IoT capabilities

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management now offers out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverage Microsoft Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. Manufacturers can improve uptime, throughput, and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock. This will significantly reduce costly downtime of business-critical equipment by performing predictive maintenance before disruptive failures occur. There is no coding required to implement these out-of-the-box IoT scenarios on your manufacturing floor today.

Learn more on how Majan is using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and IoT Intelligence customer spotlight with Majans

Improve on-time delivery with real-time production planning

The Planning Optimization Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables companies to improve on-time delivery by performing production planning in real time, accounting for dynamically changing customer demand, material availability, and capacity constraints across multiple sites and warehouses. It also enables customers to improve inventory turns by right-sizing inventory levels based on dynamically changing customer demand and capacity constraints. This helps eliminate excess and reduces slow moving inventory. Planning Optimization Add-in for Retail and Distribution is available and Production planning is currently in preview.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

New AI features connect and extend insights across the organization

Today we’re unveiling new and enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications, as well as a new solution to help project-centric services organizations transform their operations.

Joining more than 400 new and updated features in the 2020 wave 1 release, these new capabilities expand a fast-growing set of applications powered by AI-driven insights, and further propel our vision to empower every organization to unify data across the business and use it to power personalized customer experiences and processes.

Personalize customer experiences with unified data and unmatched time to insight

Customers expect personalized and consistent experiences across every touchpoint. Many organizations, however, struggle to modernize the customer experience, often due to disconnected systems and data siloes that can’t deliver the full picture of the customer’s journey across websites, purchases, service calls, and mobile apps.

Updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP), will help solve these issues. We’re introducing new first and third-party data connections to further enrich customer profiles that can be updated and activated in real-time, as well as enabling deeper insights with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.

Customer Insights will now uniquely enrich profiles with a combination of proprietary audience intelligence and 3rd party data sources such as demographics and interests, firmographics, market trends, and product and service usage data. Customers can also integrate Microsoft Forms Pro, the simple, powerful enterprise survey solution, to bring in the valuable voice of the customer across channels, allowing organizations to act on insights based on changing customer behavior and perception. All of this comes together to create a holistic, 360-degree view of a customer and to update those customer profiles and activities in real-time enabling organizations to know their customers and improve engagement.

Customer Insights is built on a powerful and flexible platform that enables full extensibility. Organizations can derive deeper insights by using Azure Synapse Analytics, which combines customer data with enterprise and streaming data to improve data completeness, run high-speed analytical processing, and build custom machine learning models. This allows organizations to predict customer needs with insights and get guidance on the next best action to reduce churn and capitalize on revenue opportunities for the lifetime of a customer relationship. Organizations can act upon these insights in real-time across multiple destinations through prebuilt APIs to enable onsite clienteling, website personalization, dynamic marketing campaigns, and effective ad targeting.

As part of the wave 1 release, we’re expanding the availability of Customer Insights to government cloud computing (GCC) environments helping to improve the citizen experiences essential to modern government. This means our government and public customers with higher compliance needs can now leverage Customer Insights to better understand and interact with citizens, empower employees, and transform cities at scale.

Automate sales forecasting with predictive analytics

In addition to expanded AI capabilities on our customer data platform, we’re extending the ability for sales professionals to forecast sales more accurately and introducing a new, unified engagement center for inside sales representatives.

Available now for Dynamics 365 Sales and for Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, new manual and predictive forecasting capabilities empower sales organizations to have a better understanding of the pipeline, more accurately predict results, and gain visibility into future performance.

The predictive forecasting capabilities enable the proactive decision-making needed to meet sales goals. Dynamics 365 does this by extracting patterns from customer relationship management (CRM) data, current and historical leads, won or lost opportunities, contacts, accounts, customer interactions such as emails and calls, and more data sources, and then projecting these patterns into the future. Best of all, anyone can access the insights, no data scientists or tech experts needed (a big change from some other forecasting systems).

Dynamics 365 Sales dashboard with sales forecasting for FY2019 per quarter.

With a new engagement center designed to accelerate sales, we’re giving each inside seller a streamlined way to quickly triage, research, and engage new leads or opportunities. This provides them with their own prioritized work queue to take action on the highest priority leads and tasks based on built-in predictive scoring from Dynamics 365 Sales Insights and new, configurable sales cadences.

The experience helps sellers stay in the context of Dynamics 365 and quickly move from one lead or opportunity to the next in an AI-prioritized work queue, without needing to switch views to take the next best action. Additional embedded AI capabilities offer sellers a path to a warm introduction, and guidance from the assistant.

Dynamics 365 Sales Insights customer Regina Murphy profile.

Transform the back office with AI-infused finance insights

Not only are we expanding AI capabilities for customer and sales insights, we’re also bringing the power of AI to the finance department.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance Insights, coming to preview in May, accelerates your digital transformation by bringing the power of AI into your finance processes. As organizations look to make decisions rapidly, reduce risk, and focus on strategic initiatives, it’s critical to free finance from repetitive, time consuming and low value daily activities. Leveraging the power of AI, Finance Insights enables you to not only quickly understand and act on your company’s cash position, but also to take proactive action to improve it. Menial tasks are automated or removed, the barrier of developing or hiring AI-expertise is bypassed, and you’re left with insights to move your business forward.

Dynamics 365 Finance AI-infused Finance Insights daily cash on hand graph.

Our continued investment in expanding AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 helps your organization accelerate digital transformation initiatives while empowering employees with insights to drive better business outcomes every day.

Optimize project success and profitability with the ability to drive operational excellence across service-centric organizations

How people work today has changed, as has the way organizations run their business operations. Companies across all industries are innovating business models to support project-centric service offerings. And while business optimization has gotten easier with the rise of mobile and cloud technology, organizations continue to stitch together systems and struggle with managing data across disparate systems. These data silos within project-centric businesses and teams are negatively impacting business model transformation, customer acquisition, employee retention, project delivery, and business profitability.

Today we’re announcing a new Dynamics 365 application that connects cross-functional project teams, providing the visibility, collaboration, and insight needed to drive the success of project-centric organizations. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operationswhich will be generally available on October 1, 2020, delivers everything needed to optimize operations from prospect to cash, all in one application.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations timeline of 10 day project in task view currently in discovery phase.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations is built on our unified business cloud and leverages our rich-history across front and back office, as well as project management. We’re in a unique position to connect project-centric teams around actionable data. By applying the power of Microsoft Project together with Dynamics 365, Microsoft is developing the next generation of tools to reinvent how project-centric organizations operate.

Connect with us for Dynamics CRM Solution at info@tridentinfo.com

Blog Source: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/02/19/new-ai-features-connect-and-extend-insights-across-the-organization/

Uncategorized

When do you know that your business needs a CRM software?

Customer Relationship Management is a process of managing or organizing prospects throughout the sales life cycle. The more the advancement in serving the clients, the more will be the payment stream for the Company. Trident’s CRM software solutions happen to be one of the most effective and efficient CRM software that could easily cut overhead costs and give highlights which demonstrate helpful to different business firms.

Many CRM software programs available have several features that can be used or restricted – so in effect a business can modify to make their own CRM software. However, utilizing CRM software gives various advantages to both organizations and customers and that is the reason each genuine business has implemented some of the other CRM applications.

So who can opt for Trident’s CRM software?

A simple response to that question would be “Any business with customers would utilize CRM“. However, in the real world, it is not just as simple as that. Choosing an appropriate CRM software solely depends upon the business process along with a range of profitable features. Below are the type of Businesses that could gain benefit from using Trident’s CRM software solutions.

1- The business that uses any form of Marketing: 

For any business that uses marketing campaigns to promote, sell or advertise their products or services in the market through various communication mediums such as phone, email, etc. Reaching to customers in bulk within a short period as well as recording the response on the go makes it more effective to manage the marketing process.

2- A business that deals with B2B and B2C Sales:

For any business that tends to cope up with the Customers to sell or cross-sell the products. Maintain relevant sales data such as documents, communication records, etc. Identify the process flow starting from Lead up to the deal gets closed.

3- A business that creates Quotations & Invoices: 

Built-in invoicing module to track the quotations and invoices generated against an opportunity. Efficiency to merge the billing details into the document which can further be mailed to the customer right from the CRM software without any need to switch between the applications.

4 – A business that deals in Customer Service: 

For any business that believes in increasing customer satisfaction by helping them in tracking as well as resolving the issues completely. Managing the cases within CRM as well as auto – escalations triggered on a timely basis not only guarantees better customer satisfaction but at the same helps the Management to track resource performance.

5- A business that wants to increase efficiency: 

Well-organized business results in better output which can be ultimately tracked with the help of various Reports, Dashboards, etc. Well-improved or say the advance level of features incorporating in CRM with the latest release of versions has enhanced the CRM which has ultimately proved beneficial for Business growth.

Thus using CRM software gives you numerous benefits to enrich both Business and Customer Relations by serving your customers better with stronger service and support. To know more about how can CRM software help you, you can check out our CRM software solution on https://www.tridentinfo.com/microsoft-dynamics-crm-software-solution/ and contact to our experts on https://www.tridentinfo.com/contact/.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Turn prospects into engaged customers with intelligent sales and marketing

The selling landscape is undergoing fundamental changes, many of them driven by the effects of B2B customers’ experience as everyday consumers. Many retailers have created personalized, nearly immersive, online experiences for each customer. Consumers shopping for goods and services continually experience fresh and delightful interactions, from highly customized offers and recommendations to frictionless channels to 24/7 interactions. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales organisations are improving  their profit margins.

The impact of B2C on B2B

Today’s B2B buyers have high expectations, and those expectations will not be met if B2B buyers are accustomed to sophisticated consumer interactions in their personal lives. Executive B2B buyers are not impressed by marketing driven by large, relatively impersonal data analysis that leads to inconsistent and conflicting interactions or sales outreach that doesn’t cater specifically to their needs at the right time.

The source of the problem may be largely invisible to the companies perpetuating this issue. Many organizations believe themselves to be customer-centric, while their buyers may not agree. That’s a significant disconnect. Clearly, B2B has much to learn from B2C companies.

Customer experience – the rewards for getting it right

Many B2C organizations have strategically embraced modern technologies like customer data platforms (CDP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain a 360-degree view of their customers and follow through on those insights to optimize customer engagement.

The rewards for getting this engagement right are substantial. Many buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In terms of the potential benefits a great experience can have on sales success, a McKinsey study reported that organizations can expect:

  • 10-15 percent lower customer churn
  • 20-40 percent increase in the win rate of offers
  • Up to 50 percent lower service costs

Take a new approach

B2B companies must move away from their legacy approaches based on large, relatively impersonal data analysis and move to solutions that unify relationship data across the full customer lifecycle. That way, they can gain insights that help build credibility and trust with buyers. They can run multi-channel campaigns to increase sales-ready leads, create personal experiences, and use guided process and AI to anticipate and respond faster to customer needs. They can build the ongoing, high-quality relationships that are necessary for long-term success.

Four principal goals

Turning prospects into engaged customers is a process. In order to achieve these goals, organizations must focus on 4 key priorities:

  • Nurture more demand
  • Personalize buyer experiences
  • Build relationships at scale
  • Make insight-driven decisions

Each of these drives results by using deep reservoirs of data in making technology feel more human.

Nurture more demand

Relying only on conventional, basic email marketing as the primary source of leads is simply not effective enough. In fact, the more focused and demanding the customer universe is, the more essential it is to gain deep insights into what those customers expect. Northrop & Johnson,  a leading global yacht brokerage, competes for multi-million dollar customers using technology its industry has been slow to adopt. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing has created a decided competitive advantage: Vital insights into their customer base have helped to drive a 70 percent increase in charter sales.

In any industry, companies need to generate leads across multiple channels, nurture large numbers of leads while prioritizing each one, and use data-driven insights to deliver leads that are sales-ready. Nurturing more demand is critical to growth.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing helps generate, nurture and prioritize sales-ready leads.

Personalize buyer experiences

It’s time to end friction, inconsistencies, and the “do you know who I am?” part of the customer experience. Companies can acquire a holistic view of buyers, predict buyer intent, and orchestrate a connected, personalized journey for customers.

In an era where guests have more choices than ever for leisure and entertainment, Tivoli delights its guests by using Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to stay one step ahead of expectations and transform the guest experience. With its deeper understanding of guests, it can add new chapters to its long tradition of imagination and innovation.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing enables you to personalize buyer experiences and predict buyer intent.

Build relationships at scale

Mutually beneficial relationships don’t simply happen with more data. Companies need to build credibility to establish and grow relationships with customers.

Together, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn enable the company to have increased information about, and impact on the sales relationships that are added to its sales pipeline, even as that pipeline experiences exponential growth month over month.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing helps you build relationships at scale.

Make insight-driven decisions

Here’s where sales and marketing can truly align: utilizing data to uncover insights that lead to better-informed decisions throughout the sales process. This can improve performance, empower employees, and enable the company to gain increasingly effective strategic insights.

With more than 1,500 pubs serving guests throughout the UK, Marston’s launched a business transition by bringing together guest data that was scattered across multiple systems into Dynamics 365. With their locations’ guest data now unified, Marston’s will gain a complete view of guests, which can be harnessed to generate customer satisfaction and strategic insights. This approach helps drive improved performance throughout the company, including the opportunity to empower employees – an often-overlooked aspect of a company’s success.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing enables you to make insight-driven decisions to improve performance, empower employees and gain strategic insights.

Aligning sales and marketing: The intelligent way to succeed

It’s possible to create exceptional experiences, drive more qualified leads, and increase revenue if an organization has the vision, process, and technology to harness all the data available. This requires high-level technology with well-defined business goals and sales and marketing applications fueled by keen intelligence. We have a compelling offering to accomplish just that with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Get in touch with our representative to request a demo for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales & Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Blog Reference : https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2019/09/19/turn-prospects-into-engaged-customers-with-intelligent-sales-and-marketing/

Restaurant Management ERP

Slash costs in your restaurant with the right software system

How do you manage costs in your restaurant business? Are you operating as efficiently as you could be?

We know how difficult it can be to maintain optimal efficiency and make money in a time of razor-thin margins and intense competition. By their very nature, restaurants are characterized by predictable, seasonal factors as well as by unpredictable ones, including changing customer preferences and fluctuating running costs. But there are ways to get a better handle of your business, helping you to plan ahead more effectively, become leaner and reduce costs in the process.

For many restaurant owners, the answer lies in choosing a modern unified technology platform that provides a complete overview of your business operations from Point of Sale (POS) to back office. Indeed, research by the National Restaurant Association in the US found that over 80% of restaurants are turning to technology like online ordering and reservations and restaurant analytics to help them run their business successfully and efficiently.

The same report found that four in five restaurant operators agreed that:

  • Technology helps increase sales
  • Technology makes their restaurant more productive
  • Technology provides a competitive advantage.

If you’re in two minds as to whether a restaurant management system could help your business grow, rather than simply cost you money, here are some specific areas in your business where the right technology can make a real difference:

Optimize staff management

If your staff schedules are currently handled manually, in spreadsheets or even on paper forms, you could be missing out on a trick. Staff management software has the capabilities you need to ensure rosters correspond with table bookings and helps you plan for the right amount of labor you need. The result is optimized schedules, which means you don’t have too many employees at work during quiet periods, and yet you have enough on hand to see you through the busy times.

If you select a unified system for your restaurant, the staff management functionality can be part of the same platform used to manage the rest of your business. This allows you to make truly informed decisions using historic sales data and drilling down by location, day of the week and time to see patterns emerging and better determine when you will be busy or quiet.

Another factor to consider is how you can use the software to keep track of your budgets and make sure you’re not paying out more than you should be. We know how difficult it can be to check and confirm the hours worked by each of your employees, especially when you are likely dealing with so many. But a staff management system can automate this for you, confirming actual hours worked are the same as those planned and highlighting any discrepancies for you to follow up on, minimizing errors and costs. With the functionality to analyze how much you are spending by employee, work code, shift and role, you can compare actual costs and performance against your business plan, and minimize unnecessary extra expenses, such as overtime.

Simplify staff training

In this industry, we know that workers tend to be transient – maybe you have lots of students or temporary workers on your payroll. High staff turnover can be a real pain point and loss maker for your business, especially as recruiting and training staff is both time consuming and costly. But there are ways technology can help you control this better, and reduce the costs and pain of getting new staff on board.

If the systems you use are intuitive and easy for all employees to understand, you won’t have to spend as long training them on how to use them in the first place. Some retail management systems allow you to set up your POS so it mirrors your menu, making it far simpler for staff to find their way around while also helping to reduce mistakes. To simplify training even further, it could pay off to choose a system that uses a logic your staff is already familiar with. The LS Retail restaurant solutions, LS First and LS Central, are built on well-known Microsoft technology. This means new employees can be up and running quickly, as any experience with Microsoft software such as Office or Windows means they already know where to find menus and information in the system.

Having one enterprise-wide platform, rather than multiple software solutions strung together, also means you only need to train your staff up once. This not only saves time and cost but gives you greater flexibility too. If you need to move staff from the bar to the restaurant floor, you can do so with ease. No extra training required to use a separate system; no time wasted.

Increase table turnover and order value

Is your restaurant floor running as smoothly as it could? There are some steps you can put in place to subtly speed up the process, allowing you to serve more customers without making your diners feel rushed. Mobile POS devices are a great way of doing this. As they connect your servers directly to the kitchen, kitchen staff can act on orders as soon as they are taken at the table, speeding up food preparation. Your waiters can get an alert on their POS devices when orders are ready, and they can also take payments on the device as soon as diners are ready to leave – no waiting for card readers or an available cash register.

If you select the right mobile POS, your staff can also handle conversational ordering, where they take orders in the same way that customers reel them off – extra cheese on their burger and no mayo, with large chips, for example. Everything can be quickly inputted into the POS, speeding up service time and reducing errors. At the same time, because staff have all menu information right in front of them, they can improve their upselling potential by suggesting upsell items and upgrades as they take orders.

Streamline kitchen operations

A unified platform complete with a kitchen management system could help your restaurant serve up food more quickly and efficiently than ever.

In the kitchen, having Kitchen Display System (KDS) screens connected to the system can guide staff through the entire food preparation process. The system can automatically route orders to the correct preparation stations, organizing dishes according to urgency and preparation time. The system can also flag meals that are late, and point out if there are any extra requests, cooking preferences, or allergies to pay attention to. And if you choose a system like LS Central where the KDS are connected in real time to the Point of Sale, your front of house staff can always keep track of the status of each order without having to disrupt work in the kitchen.

The result is a streamlined operation where staff turn out high quality meals quicker, and have less chance of making mistakes and causing customers to complain.

Cut down on waste

Are you making the most of the stock you have? A unified restaurant management platform gives you the functionality you need to monitor perishables and track stock levels by recipes and portions, helping you to keep a close eye on your inventory and reduce the amount of waste you’re putting in the garbage can every day.

Some managers look through their daily waste to determine consumption patterns and check if produce is being used to its fullest, but a restaurant management platform can do all that for you, quicker and more precisely than you could. It doesn’t end there. The best ones on the market can track food production and monitor what is thrown away to identify waste patterns. If the trash is full of fries, it’s likely that your kitchen staff have been making up too many. Or maybe it’s full of half-used vegetables: is there any way you can optimize the waste of fresh produce? From use of food to menu design, there are many ways you can make your restaurant more efficient. A good restaurant management system can help you pinpoint the areas of improvement, so you can plan ahead more effectively and make smart buying decisions.

Reduce IT costs with a unified platform

If your business is struggling along with outdated technology that hinders you, rather than helping you succeed, then now is the time to rethink what you’re doing. Today, modern restaurant management systems integrate all parts of the business, from kitchen to POS to head office and more, into a single platform. This way you get a complete picture of your business, understand your strengths and weakness, and can more easily streamline your processes.

We know that the idea of ripping out and replacing your old systems can daunting. Many restaurateurs worry about escalating time frames and costs. But if you choose the right partner, they can guide you through the process and help you realize a fast return on investment.

 

Blog Source : Ls Retail – https://www.lsretail.com/blog/slash-costs-in-your-restaurant-with-the-right-software-system