In today's ever-changing world of business and digital development, it is imperative to embrace technologies that allow the most effective and efficient results. As manufacturing businesses adjust to industry shifts, companies are also simultaneously faced with traditional challenges, including cost-efficiencies and product quality. Companies must now consider solutions across the board. Thanks to recent advancements in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), many have turned to these technologies to meet integration challenges and take greater advantage of this service.

At Hannover Messe in Germany, Microsoft previewed the manufacturing foundation in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, an ERP solution for global organizations. One of the most anticipated new components is that it contains pre-built capabilities for five industries:  manufacturing, distribution, public sector, professional services and retail. Including this functionality directly in the solution offers customers a great deal of flexibility, and it isn't something most ERP solutions can deliver. The goal of the service is to provide global manufacturers with the capabilities they need to succeed by delivering a powerful and agile solution that is simple to use and easy to manage.

While many ERP applications force discrete, lean and process manufacturing to be managed in separate systems, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 enables businesses to run all three processes in a single solution.  This removes limitations and helps users simplify operations and increase flexibility in production, planning and execution. The service also includes an update to the Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX which provides organizations with ways to identify cost-savings opportunities and options for lessening their environmental impact by tracking energy consumption, gas emissions and related costs. 

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will be interoperable with Microsoft Office 2010's applications providing familiarity and comfort for users. New interactive touch-based capabilities create convenience for shop floor operators. These features are just a few of the ways users can make a smooth transition and successfully implement any ERP solution. The ease of integration allows manufacturers to see fast results - in cost savings, resource utilization, production planning and execution among other business solutions.

Building on the success of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, the company revealed a path for its ERP customers to move to the cloud with the next major releases of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, which will run on the Windows Azure platform. Customers will be able to move to the cloud on their own terms. The Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions will bring the same benefits in the cloud as they do on-premises.

The new Dynamics ERP solution, which will be available in August 2011, provides a revolutionary system for manufacturers and we are excited to see how it helps with growth and productivity. To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, see the full release here.