“Shout-Out” is the US movie industry’s shorthand for saying a person, product, or task is skilled, well-made, or well done. In our universe of sales and product configuration software, Dynamics AX 2012 deserves a shout-out for being an ERP system packed with capabilities that benefit manufacturing, distribution, and retail. AX deserves an even bigger shout-out for not overstating its capabilities—by design, Dynamics AX makes adding partner and ISV industry-specific tools as straightforward as possible. One motto is that it covers 80% of the needs, with 20% open to solutions that take care of critical industry tasks.
We’ll hone in on the example that’s the topic for this blog: AX product information management (PIM) extended with a sophisticated and fully integrated configurator solution.
Dynamics AX offers solid PIM capabilities for defining and creating products and product variants for items and services used in sales, purchasing, and operational processes. We won’t complicate this blog by detailing the scope and details for product-related information that PIM gathers, organizes, and manages–you likely know that PIM capabilities cover a huge and complex landscape.
We’d like instead to zoom in on an essential opportunity Dynamics AX PIM holds out to companies that produce, distribute, or sell custom goods. Here’s the scenario we want to focus on for a configurator solution like e-Con. Companies can rely on AX PIM to organize and integrate information for a product master. At that point, users can create configurations and variants manually or work with the built-in AX Product Builder. Or, in the case of most companies that provide goods requiring many variants, custom options, media, languages, heavy time/cost pressures—it’s a really long list–Dynamics AX can welcome configurators like e-Con as an integrated part of the company’s business system.
Making custom the rule—shout out to configurators like e-Con
Simply put, product configurators are rules engines that rely on PIM as the background for the product configurations and variants it drives. One of many advantages that configurators like e-Con bring to AX is the ability to create thousands of interchangeable product composites, configurations, and variations and incorporate them into a standard process. That process can move flawlessly from initial quote through ordering and production processes. e-Con’s standard process even includes generating the BOM and routing that has its roots in PIM. The integration capabilities built into e-Con and Dynamics AX enable a shared pool of information, the ability to literally drag and drop information managed in AX into e-Con for modeling and configurations (and vice-versa), and then system wide updates when any of that shared data is changed in either tool. Data can be written and read across any table or form in either solution.
User-Friendly Collaboration rather than solution collisions
Bringing together product information management in AX and a product configurator like e-Con is the opposite of the painful cobbling together of solutions and workarounds. It’s the efficient, cost-effective choice that Dynamics AX wants for its customers. e-Con can actually reduce the pressure on PIM by taking over essential processes such as model versioning. The integrated solutions optimize processes, ease the complexities of managing vast volumes and types of data, reduce errors, and super-important—give companies the agility they need to meet needs of business customers who demand as much “custom” as today’s consumer. Dynamics AX is designed to ensure your business works with a rich, industry-specific business systems by integrating ISV solutions like e-Con. Explore the potential by visiting e-Con for Dynamics AX page or contact us.