Are you part of an organization built on monitoring, planning, and delivering projects? If you’re dealing with the challenges of running your project-based business, read further to understand how To-Assistance and Microsoft solutions can help you and how you can choose what best suits your needs.
Before we dive into the solutions, let’s take a look at some of the prominent challenges that project-based companies face.
- Lack of a 360-degree view to track progress, delays, overheads and individual project expenditures.
- Lack of a complete view of project coherence – either within projects or across multiple projects.
- Ineffective management of key project operations, such as project initiation, revenue recognition, billing, and collection, due to unstructured communication and mismatch between project managers and project accountants.
- Inability to make personnel and inventory allocation decisions due to competing projects and limited resources.
- Significant manual work during project start-up and updates due to offline systems and dedicated processes around project cost control, progress, billing, WBS management, subcontracting, etc.
Due to the challenges outlined above, project-based companies are constantly looking for effective solutions to improve business performance. Several business solutions have emerged to meet the growing demand for project management solutions across industries. However, this blog will focus on two leading solutions for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform:
- to increase APM
- Microsoft . mailbox
The infographic below provides a quick understanding of the solutions against their platform compatibility.
Often a point of confusion for customers and suppliers is that even the historically standard D365 F & SCM capabilities within Microsoft are called project operations. Hence, Microsoft project processes are of two types – project processes (F & SCM) and project processes (CE). For ease of understanding and differentiating between the two solutions, we have used Project Operations (F & SCM) and Project Operations (CE) in this blog
to increase APM To-Zia has over 12 years of experience in the project life cycle from start to finish. Launched in 2009, To-Ex’s APM solution adds missing key strategic features to standard Microsoft Dynamics 365 project capabilities and brings an industry-specific flavor. Embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (D365 F & SCM), APM helps manage end-to-end project-based business needs in a single system.
Microsoft Project Operations Microsoft has historically had core project management capabilities within the Microsoft D365 F & SCM. In late 2020, they launched Project Operations (CE) by combining capabilities from their products – Microsoft Project and Project Service Automation – into a separate business application built on the Dataverse.
How do you choose the right solution for your business?
If you’re in the Microsoft Dynamics or Azure cloud space and are thinking about how to simplify and improve your project-based business, read on.
To determine the correct solution, you must decide based on two dimensions:
- Project lifecycle flavor for your organization
- Your existing project management tool
Let’s take a look at each dimension.
Project lifecycle flavor for your organization
The first thing to consider when choosing your project management solution is the nature and complexity of your project lifecycle. Companies such as professional services and software do not have inventory or physical products to sell. The project life cycle of these companies is less complex and can be managed using the project management tool and the ERP system. In Microsoft terminology, this is called an integrated deployment scenario, where resources are on and inventory is not included.
Companies such as manufacturing industrial equipment, aerospace and defense, biotechnology, and life sciences focus heavily on inventory. The project life cycle for these companies is more complex because inventory adds several new components to it. In Microsoft parlance, this is called a stored deployment scenario, where both inventory and resources are involved in the project.
Existing project management tool
When selecting a solution, it is important to consider whether you are already using capabilities within the D365 F & SCM. The choice of your solution also depends on whether you want a best of its kind or an all-in-one solution. Additionally, restrictions related to the migration path may also affect the tool you choose (see decision tree below).
Based on the above two dimensions, you can use the following decision tree to determine the most appropriate solution for your needs.
As shown in the decision tree, APM is more suitable for inventory-based companies with a complex project lifecycle, or companies that already use capabilities within the D365 F & SCM. In contrast, Microsoft PO is more suitable for companies that have a simple project lifecycle and do not use D365 F & SCM.
How APM Enhances Project Operations
To-increase has a large install base of clients in stock based businesses, such as manufacturing, construction and engineering. We have worked hard with our broad customer base to add key strategic features to our products for over 11 years. The deep knowledge of customers in this industry has made our product the market leader in the D365 scene. This is also the reason why To-Increase is in the best position to complement Microsoft’s new and emerging offerings – project operations – in this area.
While Microsoft Project Operations targets non-inventory-based and less complex project-based scenarios, To-Zoom’s APM software is designed to handle more complex inventory-based project management needs. Depending on the nature of your business, level of complexity and ERP, you can choose the most suitable solution for your requirements.