Manufacturers: Prepare for a Successful implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365


In today’s manufacturing industry, companies are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting the needs of demanding customers with many options available to them. Business practices that served manufacturers well for many years may not be enough to see them through when intense competition from disruptive industry entrants can eat into margins and customer relationships, when a talent shortage threatens to decimate the workforce, or when transformative opportunities for generating revenue with innovative products and valuable services are ripe for action.

For some manufacturers, at least part of the answer to these challenges is modernizingthe business management infrastructure with more powerful, robust, and scalable technology. Technology providers have stepped up and delivered manufacturing and business management solutions that can meet the needs of large enterprises as well as medium-sized companies.


Manufacturing companies have to choose a software solution that fits the way they work and that supports their strategy. Because acquiring and deploying an ERP system or comparable modern technology will likely require significant work and expense, they need to find a way to control the effort and make sure the outcomes justify the investment.

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eBook cover for How Manufacturers Can Prepare a Successful Implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Manufacturers can and do have successful technology experiences, generating substantial ROI and reaching strategic objectives. Newcomers to ERP as well as implementing consultants can learn from their example. Many of the criteria and metrics such companies use to validate the effectiveness of their business roles and processes— both before and after a technology deployment—are included in the detailed check list you find below. It’s designed to help you prepare and think about your implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, a cloud-based, versatile, and powerful business application.

When you decide to go with Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can set your expectations high. The software is well-proven in many manufacturing scenarios, is extremely secure, and is continuously enhanced with updates from Microsoft. Sikich has many years of expertise in helping manufacturers translate project potential into tangible benefits. Our own manufacturing solutions integrate with Dynamics 365 to bridge functionality gaps and help you achieve better outcomes, sooner. When you engage with Sikich, you gain a business management foundation that can take you far into the future while addressing today’s issues first.


You can work through the check list on your own, reviewing business operations tactically to identify how you could use solutions and expertise from Sikich and Microsoft to take the company to the next level of generating value and running productively. It might be even more valuable to use it as the basis for an initial engagement with Sikich. We would then use the document to structure a Sikich Business Value Assessment. We gather detailed data about your operations to determine how well the current state of the business can help you reach your goals, what improvements would be to your advantage, and how you can best realize them. Together with you, we review the applicable business areas of focus from the check list along with the tactical activities associated with each of them. That effort yields practical, actionable insights that help you bring about beneficial change, along with metrics to assess the outcome of any software implementation and other measures you take.

Reviewing operations to achieve the best outcomes

A Business Value Assessment will follow your priorities, and we will always ask you to validate our insights and recommendations and to share your ideas and impressions. In our collaboration with you, we emphasize tangible results that you can measure in your operation. You could use other tools to assess such metrics as the total cost of technology ownership or your return on investment. The unique value of Sikich is that we understand and appreciate manufacturing in the context of today’s rapidly changing digital era. We hope to enable you to make the best decisions for the health of the company, based on realistic assessments and projections. We also like to make sure that Business Value Assessments are fast and simple.

Putting our industry expertise to work

You can rely on us as your advocates who are committed to your success in becoming the most profitable, productive, and competitive operation possible. In our successful assignments, we have proven many times how to use our industry experience to achieve the best possible outcomes. Sikich manufacturing and technology experts know what it takes for you to outperform the competition while providing an outstanding customer experience.

Creating the value of Microsoft solutions

When it’s time to go a step further, Sikich and Microsoft will work with you to deliver a comprehensive envisioning experience related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other solutions. This workshop, structured flexibly to meet your priorities and the availability of your stakeholders, can help you establish the business value of Microsoft technologies to become more efficient and productive in your management of production, supply chains, financials, procurement, human resources, and other important activities.

Business Area: Production and Supply-Chain Management

For the purposes of this check list, the least restrictive and most intuitive way to list goals, focus areas, activities, and metrics was to group them under the notions of increasing revenue and reducing costs. Because manufacturing companies are by definition value creators, these are very broad categories. You generate revenue by meeting both existing and new customer needs at the right time, at a quality that meets or exceeds their expectations, and at a cost that is competitive yet allows you to remain profitable. You reduce financial costs and resource overhead by operating as efficiently and transparently as you can. On a modern business management platform, you can ensure that customer-centric, valuedriven operations are pervasive, encompassing all aspects of production, distribution, and supply-chain management.

Goal: Increase Revenue

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



Product quality is the result of many decisions and activities, involves key roles and teams in your operation, and also depends on the effectiveness of your investments in industrial machinery and facilities. This critical value helps you track and enhance how the elements of your business contribute value.

  • Reduce quality issues with item sampling rules, non-approved inventory blocking, quality-driven orders, configurable test options, and acceptance criteria definition.
  • Reduce return turnaround times with non-conformance management, tracking per problem type, and visibility into past issues and corresponding solutions.
  • Meet customer specifications with same-batch reservation and configurable-tolerance batch balancing.
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer retention
  • Market share


Measuring how well you meet committed customer delivery times has two advantages. For one thing, it’s relatively easy to gather the facts and compare them to agreements and promises. Second, delivery time is an important metric for your ability to produce and improve the outcomes customers expect.

  • Prevent delivery delays and missing items with order promising, delivery alternatives, direct deliveries, order entry deadlines, and customer and vendor backorder visibility.
  • Reduce delivery delays with sales linked reservations of inventory with configurable policy options (FIFO, backward from ship date) and cross-company visibility of inventory on hand.
  • Average delivery time
  • Number of delays and missing items
  • Penalty redcution for missed delivery SLAs
  • Cuts in returns, credit memos, and other penalties


An ERP project could be an opportunity to streamline your portfolio on the most valuable and competitive products. That may also increase the measurable impact you have with customers and help make operations more efficient.

  • Increase average gross margin by improving your response to market changes with demand forecasting and analytics.
  • Increase up- and cross-sell conversions with product replacement suggestions.
  • Optimize promotions with configurable trade allowance agreements, fund allocation, claims calculation, approval and processing, and promotion analytics.
  • Revenue per customer
  • Average gross margin
  • Revenue from up- and cross-selling
  • Revenue generated from promotions

Goal: REduce Cost

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



Accurate tracking of unit cost can be challenging, because so many factors play into it. However, once you identify and document all unit cost elements in your ERP system, you can more easily track and manage them. Relatively minor process and management changes can add up to significant unitcost improvements.

  • Optimize unit cost with deployment of multiple production modes and criteria-based production routing.
  • Protect unit margins with support of costing BOMs, BOM approvals workflows and configurable and material substitution rules (for out of stock replacement).
  • Track process waste with co- and by-product and catch weight management.
  • Improve visibility of over product cost deviations with granular definitions for inventory and manufacturing costs, valuation method options, and cost analysis.
  • Detect inventory wastage and shrinkage with cycle counting, tag counting, reason codes.
  • Optimize transportation costs with load building, hub consolidation, route and rate selection, fuel surcharge configuration, multiple-stop routes, and driver check-in and check-out.
  • Gross margins
  • Gross margin visibility
  • Percentage of maverick spending
  • Cost associated with inventory and production
  • Scrap and rework reductions
  • Cost of mistakes and waste
  • Delivery route efficiencies
  • Expedited delivery savings
  • Fuel costs


Many times, labor costs are assumed to be determined by market and industry conditions a manufacturer cannot fully control. However, there are many ways to accelerate the progress toward your business objectives by reducing labor costs with greater transparency and more efficient management

  • Control unit labor cost with time and attendance registrations (clock-ins, clock-out, job time, absence, overtime, indirect activities), and supervisor or manager review and approval.
  • Reduce idle worker capacity with demand forecast, forecast reduction, and integrated outsourcing management.
  • Optimize warehouse workforce costs with configurable workload capacity scheduling, projection volume, and weight limits.
  • Idle time workers spend between assignments
  • Unit labor and warehouse worker costs
  • Outsourced labor costs
  • Accuracy of staffing demand forecasts
  • Cuts in returns, credit memos, and other penalties


Your revenue and profitability suffer when working capital is tied up unproductively. However, there are many solid measurements—each of them in turn connected to observable, manageable conditions—to help you assess the state of capital in your operation and unleash its productivity.

  • Reduce lead times and inventory with facilitated setup of lean approach in mixed- mode production, flow modeling, configurable kanban withdrawal rules (fixed, scheduled, event), integrated inventory transactions, and activitybased subcontracting.
  • Optimize inventory levels with demand forecasting.
  • Reduce credit risk with order-hold management.
  • Lead times
  • Passive inventory and funds tied up in it
  • Losses through bad credit
  • Days sales of inventory (DSI)
  • Days sales outstanding (DSO)
  • Inventory holding and lead times
  • Cash-to-cash cycle time


When it comes to efficiency, stakeholders in the business groups can easily skewer perceptions. You will probably achieve the best results from improving process efficiencies when you let business priorities take the driver’s seat. Some efficiencies may directly impact the customer experience, product quality, or profitability. Others may be “nice to have,” but not as essential. Measure the differences and come to the right decisions.

  • Reduce planning efforts with drag-and-drop approach for configuring ML-based forecasting models.
  • Speed up product costing with multiple BOM types (draft, engineering, planning, production, costing) and improved BOM editing
  • Reduce unnecessary internal movements with configurable warehouse policies regarding finished goods putaway, co-product and byproduct putaway, and raw-materials picking.
  • Reduce payroll processing efforts with integrated time and attendance data.
  • Control unit cost variances with periodic consolidation of production flow costs.
  • Simplify production management with formula version management (products, co- and byproducts), consolidated batch orders.
  • Reduce efforts of compiling and analyzing cost information with dedicated dashboards, integrated calculation engine, and support for multiple cost versions.
  • Reduce efforts of setting up and maintaining accuracy with integration with or import from PLM/PDM/PIM systems, shared product definitions and dimensions (such as color, size, style, configuration) across legal entities, product master-based creation of product definitions, bulk releases, and release monitoring per legal entity.
  • Streamline warehouse management with work templates and location-directive policies, automated output orders and shipments, inventory reservations, pickingdriven adjustments, and handling of reduced quantities with on-hand inventory.
  • Reduce transport management tasks with support of transportation rate engines, bill-of-lading creation, automatic containerization.
  • Simplify administration of sales and distribution with quotation-to-order conversion, automated purchase order creation, return order management, delivery schedules, mobile access to sales orders, automatic search for applicable sales agreement, mass sales quotations, commission calculation and tracking.
  • Time spent planning and product costing
  • Reduction in internal movements
  • Time and effort of payroll processing, production management, cost compilation and analysis, warehouse management, transport management, product management and definition, and administration of sales and distribution
  • Supply-chain management savings
  • Warehouse savings
  • Returns handling
  • Worker efficiencies

Dynamics 365 FOR FINANCE AND OPERATIONS Capabilities: Production and Supply-Chain Management

Your cloud-based business management platform includes a complete arsenal of capabilities to help you modernize and control the many interdependent processes that need to take place between incoming sales orders and product shipments to customers or trading partners. When you deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations in a configuration that complements the way your company works, your operation can become more agile and increasingly responsive to customers.

Sales Orders

  • Order promising
  • Delivery alternatives
  • Direct delivery
  • Delivery Schedules
  • Order holds
  • Purchase orders from sales
  • Return order management
  • Price simulations
  • Sales and trade agreements
  • Trade allowance management
  • Discount claim processing

Product management and costing

  • BOM version management
  • BOM cost calculation
  • Production variances
  • Total cost allocation
  • Production order cost analysis


  • Mix-mode planning
  • Demand forecasting and forecast reduction
  • Project based manufacturing with product lifecycle profitability measurement
  • Dynamics and static plans Planning simulations
  • Lead times and safety margins
  • Forward and backward scheduling
  • Kanban job scheduling
  • Gantt-based scheduling
  • Outsourcing management
  • FTE payment agreements
  • Co/by-product management
  • Active-ingredient management
  • Alternative ingredients
  • Catchweight management
  • Activity-based subcontracting
  • Lean organization modelling
  • Shop-floor device management
  • Registration and payroll calculation

Batch Management

  • Batch disposition, attribute and shelf-lifemanagement
  • Continuing batch, batch balancing, and customer-specific batches
  • Batch traceability and vendor info
  • Lot inheritance (batch merges)

Quality management

  • Quality tests and orders
  • Inventory blocks and quarantine orders
  • Non-conformance handling
  • Certificate of approval

Inventory Management

  • Product and inventory dimensions
  • Stock reservation policies
  • Batch and serial tracking
  • Pick, pack, and ship processes
  • Intercompany transfers
  • Cost policies and calculations
  • Settlements and closes

Warehouse management

  • Warehouse configuration
  • Work templates
  • Location directives
  • Labor standards
  • Cluster picking,
  • Wave templates
  • Cycle counting
  • Cross docking
  • Packing
  • Containerization
  • Replenishment strategies
  • Mobile access

Business Area: Financial management and procurement

Finance management administrates, optimizes, reports, and plans the economic aspects of your manufacturing operation. It relies on highly accomplished, skillful professionals performing myriad activities, many of which occur at regular intervals. In many successful production companies, the efficiency and productivity of financial roles and processes receives minimal consideration as long as the business thrives. But, even when the company is healthy, you can likely make it even more valuable and competitive by practicing streamlined, goal-driven finance management with greater transparence and assurance. Regulatory compliance is generally either complete and flawless, or fails; it does not tolerate partial outcomes. However, achieving compliance is typically the result of various activities performed by collaborators in finance, operations, and the executive team. You can assess the effectiveness of compliance workflows much like you validate other processes.

Goal: Increase Revenue

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



Multiple financial dimensions play into profitability, a cornerstone in assessing business performance. You can fine-tune the tracking and reporting in your ERP system to reflect the categories that matter to your specific business, so you can continue to drive profitability in line with your unique value proposition.

  • Optimize overall margin and cashflow generation with higher, company-wide adoption of realtime analytics applied to sales, operations, and finance data.
  • Address business segment underperformance earlier with granular, reliable, and up-to-date cost accounting.
  • Avoid foregone profits because of lacking raw materials (or equivalents) in production, resulting from underpaying vendors.
  • Gross margin
  • Margin visibility
  • Sales discount reduction
  • Sales discount reduction

Goal: Reduce Cost

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



Optimizing cash flow and accounts receivable and payable management can clearly improve your financial performance. It can also highlight improvement opportunities in many business activities where a relatively minor adjustment may yield significant results in terms of employee and team productivity, and the customer and partner experience.

  • Reduce the labor of invoice processing with vendor self-service collaboration, electronic invoices, invoice matching rules, automated approval workflows, and centralized payments
  • Optimize financial discounts with payment date optimization, support for taking cash discounts outside of period and discounts “above the calculated.”
  • Reduce underpayments with improved review and approval workflows.
  • Reduce invoicing efforts with automated invoice creation from packing slips
  • Reduce collection efforts with customer pools, agent specific customer pools., and a unified customer collection view.
  • Reduce debt days with a unified view of collection cases, collaborative collection approach, and support for direct debit and credit card payments.
  • Recover interest with support for waiving, reinstating, and reversal of interest notes and fees.
  • Days sales outstanding (DSO)
  • Days payable outstanding (DPO)
  • Cashflow
  • Bad debt reduction
  • Procurement margins
  • Time and cost savings in invoice processing, collections, and banking management
  • Liquidity
  • Forecasting accuracy


When you increase the efficiency of financial management processes, you can save costs and help the finance team become more agile. Finance can become a strategic partner to the business once you empower it with productivity and transparency.

  • Optimize operating and capital expenditures (and minimize variance-to-budget) with a combination of top-down and bottom-up methods, and plan-to-registry.
  • Reduce planning and control efforts with spreadsheet-base budgeting, pre-populated justification templates, review and approval workflows, budget consolidation, and simplified what-if scenario comparison
  • Improve visibility of business segment performance with access to relevant cost accounting with support for configurable custom dimensions, accounting structures, fixed and variable allocation methods, journal entry control restrictions, and spreadsheet-supported cost analysis.
  • Reduce journal processing labor with approval workflows, default value support (offset accounts, currency, financial dimensions), and automatic reversals.
  • Speed up cost accounting review with fixed and variable allocation methods and improved spreadsheet support for cost-center and product-group analysis.
  • Shorten close periods with configurable workflows to organize tasks (including dependencies), close-period templates, and dedicated workspace for progress tracking.
  • Length of closes after the end of reporting periods
  • Timeliness of response to losses
  • Fraud reduction
  • Accuracy of staffing demand forecasting
  • Time and cost savings by finance team members
  • Deferred capital spending
  • Cost base optimization


Don’t let long-established practices and relationships stand in the way of a financially healthy business. Many manufacturers have long been accustomed to paying too high a price for convenience and quality. As you centralize and streamline spending in your ERP system, you can also implement policies and processes that can make procurement less costly and more controlled.

  • Optimize procurement margins with automatic determinations of applicable prices and discounts, purchasing policies, and RFQ scoring criteria.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending with product catalogs, requisition approval workflows, configurable spending limits, change reapproval policies, and vendor invoice matching.
  • Reduce vendor and catalog management efforts with support for vendor-driven catalogs and by giving vendors access to part of their master data, which they can update.
  • Reduce RFQ management efforts with creation from requisitions and planned orders, email templates with reply sheet, vendor replies in a collaboration portal, and scoring criteria.
  • Reduce PO processing workloads with simplified purchase inquiries, prepopulated vendor fields, document-driven POs, portalbased collaboration, and PO approval workflows.
  • Simplify vendor invoice processing with journal-based invoice entry, multiple invoice posting, vendor invoice pools
  • Percentage of maverick spending
  • Procurement margins
  • Cash-to-cash cycle time
  • Cost and time savings in vendor management
  • Cost and time savings in RFQ and PO management
  • Timeliness of invoicing
  • Invoicing accuracy


Without efficiency and consistency, expense management can become self-defeating. However, several granular, easily recorded metrics based on straight-forward measures will help you align this foundational discipline with your financial objectives

  • Reduce expense management efforts by submitting, tracking, and approving expenses with mobile receipt scan submission scans, credit card integration, and automatic approvals and reimbursements.
  • Minimize the employee effort of submitting timesheets with automated record creation based on a journal.
  • Reduce expenditures with suggestions for lower-cost alternatives and configurable policies for mileage and per diem for each expense type.
  • Savings in travel expenses
  • Journey reductions
  • Percentage of timesheet accuracy
  • Employee time for maintaining and submitting timesheets


You don’t know it unless you can show it. With your cloud ERP, you gain the ability to manage your financials and business operations management and decision-making in an evidence-based manner and, at the same time, reduce the cost and effort of reporting. Data will confirm the effectiveness of your efforts or help you redirect them.

  • Reduce financial reporting efforts with direct support for account segments and dimensions.
  • Reduce internal reporting workloads with drag-and-drop design of interactive reports with infographics.
  • Reduce audit, tax, regulatory, and quality standards compliance reporting tasks with configurable reporting templates.
  • Costs of creating reports
  • Time and expense of compliance reporting


Some manufacturers are afraid to ask this question: Is your IT advancing the business or generating waste? You should be fully in control of IT-related costs and activities, and be able to link them directly to the value creation in your manufacturing business. On a centralized, cloud ERP platform, you can more easily verify and boost the productive contribution of IT.

  • Minimize the costs of implementations and upgrades.
  • Reduce the costs of IT administration, software, infrastructure, support and other services, hardware, and networking on a consolidated, cloud-based platform.
  • Avoid spending on alternative or third-party compliance solutions.
  • IT staffing levels
  • Hardware and software expenses
  • Cost savings of managed and cloud services
  • Savings on specialized compliance solutions

Goal: Manage Risk

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



You owe it to your customers and employees to run a compliant, ethical business—and to be able to demonstrate that this is the case. As you ensure regulatory compliance and address the risks of penalties and other consequences of flawed compliance, you can also make business processes and roles more productive.

  • Ensure full adherence to evolving regulations like IFRS, GAAP, Sarbanes-Oxley, and others with comprehensive compliance framework.
  • Improve financial controls, information auditing capabilities, and reporting.
  • Augment data-investigation capabilities and monitoring to prevent fraud.
  • Realize GDPR compliance with robust data privacy and more effective data management.
  • Penalties for compliance shortfalls
  • Fraud reduction
  • Time and cost of managing audits, data, and reports

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Capabilities for Financial management and procurement

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, financial and procurement managers can be strategic business partners for the entire organization. They can help leadership understand financial milestones and drive performance, and they can gain and share the intelligence that makes it possible to pinpoint and respond to financial trends, risks, and opportunities. Streamlined, role-optimized finance administration can become fully transparent and flexibly support an organization’s evolving policies and compliance mandates.

General Ledger

  • Multiple chart of accounts
  • Consolidation and roll-ups
  • Automatic distributions
  • Tailored data entry
  • Dimension-based ledger
  • Foreign currency revaluation
  • Period close yearly and monthly
  • Elimination rules
  • Intercompany accounting


  • Budget register and control
  • Position forecasting
  • Budget policies
  • Analysis and reporting
  • Apportionments

Accounts Payable

  • Mobile invoice approvals
  • Vendor invoice automation
  • Automated three-way matching
  • Payment proposal management
  • Centralized payments
  • Invoice settlements

Accounts Receivable

  • Recurring invoices
  • Credit cards
  • SEPA direct debit
  • Bills of exchange
  • Credit management
  • Aging and default Predictor

Credit and Collection

  • Dedicated workbench
  • Letter management
  • Collection agents
  • Customer pools

Cash and Bank Management

  • Advanced bank reconciliation
  • Discounts
  • Settlements
  • Letters of credit
  • Guarantees
  • Reimbursements
  • Disbursements

Financial Reporting

  • Report designer and components
  • Report types
  • Electronic reporting


  • Procurement and Vendor Catalogs
  • Requisition Workflows
  • RFQ Creation, Scoring, Bid Registering,
  • Comparison and Award Contracts
  • Automated PO Creation
  • Return Order Management
  • Purchase Policies and Vendor Rebates
  • Vendor Collaboration Portal
  • Vendor Account Management, Approvals
  • Onboarding

Time and Expense

  • Mobile data entry
  • Policies and approval workflow
  • VAT/GST management
  • Travel requisitions
  • Per diems and mileage
  • Credit card import

Business Area: Human Resources

In a manufacturing organization’s human-resource management, you need to ensure the most productive synergy of workforce talent, process efficiency, and customer focus. As robotics and digital production tools become more common and employees learn how to work with sophisticated machinery, some roles that once relied on relatively basic skills demand more knowledge and accountability from workers. Even traditionally manual jobs like warehousing become more rewarding and autonomous with digital tools that help workers be effective in pursuing the organization’s goals. Improved role design and increased process optimization also make it possible to apply more meaningful metrics to workforce building and labor management.

Goal: Increase Revenue

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



Can your HR team recruit and hire enough workers to meet your changing labor needs, and can they do so at costs and efficiencies that serve the business? Once you know how HR performs, you can introduce optimizations and course corrections to ensure the workforce aligns with your goals and customer commitments.

  • Enlarge the applicant pool with applicant sharing across legal entities.
  • Meet seasonal and other spikes in workforce demand with large hiring projects.
  • Reduce time-to-hire with internal job posting (on employee self-service), application routing, applicant interview scheduling.
  • Meet customer specifications with same-batch reservation and configurable-tolerance batch balancing.
  • Time to hire
  • Open headcount
  • Time to productivity
  • Consultant billing utilization
  • Timeliness and completion percentage of project hiring


In a full-employment, highly competitive market, it can be difficult to hire and retain the right people. However, if HR can work from tangible, measurable goals, that task can become more manageable and achievable, and you need to verify HR successes and improvements to keep the team on track.

  • Improve candidate fit with skill mapping and skills profiles.
  • Promote top performance with company-wide access to training courses, goal definition, competency tracking and rating, skill gap analysis, ongoing feedback, and performance reviews
  • Employee retention
  • Average billing rate
  • Revenue per consultant
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Workforce optimization

Goal: Reduce Cost

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



In some manufacturing companies, lacking awareness of the data and cultural resistance may prevent HR managers from aligning with business performance goals. However, your ERP system can provide the needed information without the unwanted friction. It usually pays off to review recruiting and hiring processes and eliminate needless financial drains.

  • Reduce time spent on candidate search and screening with accurate skills mapping and internal job postings across all legal entities.
  • Make offers faster with automated interview scheduling and a unified view of ongoing projects.
  • Improve screening with a skills-based approach.
  • Simplify application tracking with a centralized view of recruiting projects, internal job postings, employee self-service, and automated application routing workflows.
  • Reduce recruiting efforts with mass hiring projects, correspondence templates and actions, application circulation lists, and optimized applicant interview scheduling.
  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire as percentage of annual FTE costs
  • Recruiting costs
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • New-hire retention
  • Time and costs associated with recruiting and hiring efforts


Even highly motivated employees become discouraged when onboarding and training are poorly managed, and the costs to your business can be enormous. On the other hand, making productive changes based on real evidence and experience can take productivity to a higher level.

  • Reduce onboarding times with optimized workflows, dedicated collaborative workspaces, and task guides.
  • Boost training effectiveness with access to relevant material in a dedicated employee portal and offer multiple training types.
  • Streamline training management with centralized course information, agendas for multi-day courses, associated course tasks, internal portal posting, and participant registration approval workflows.
  • New employees’ time to productivity
  • Time and costs of onboarding and training
  • Frequency of repeat and refresh training
  • Costs of producing and delivering training content


You can be a fair, generous employer of a talented, committed workforce at the same time that you operate a lean, profitable manufacturing business. It takes the right mix of policies, real-time analytics, and management infrastructure to bring this about.

  • Ensure top performer recognition with merit increases and recommendations for award amounts.
  • Avoid compensation discrepancies with compensation levels, reference points, compensation grids, out-of-range tolerance limits, and eligibility rules.
  • Reduce compensation management efforts with fixed and variable cash or stock compensation plan design and flexible enrollment eligibility.
  • Simplify compensation processing with variable compensation calculation rules, compensation processing parameters (calculation period, new compensation effective date), process event review, adjustments, and recommendations.
  • Voluntary employee turnover
  • Internal promotion rates
  • Consistency of compensation for roles across business entities
  • Time and costs of compensation and talent management


When was the last time you documented the costs of benefits management or the loss of equipment the company provides to employees? With the tools in your ERP arsenal, you can assess these expenses and plan the right steps to mitigate them.

  • Reduce inventory shrinkage with tracking of physical items (phones, computers, cars) that belong to the organization.
  • Reduce benefit management efforts with centralized view of benefits (types, plans, coverage levels) and eligibility rules.
  • Inventory losses
  • Time and costs of traditional benefits management and manual data entry


There are many ways to gain the benefits of modern technology while reducing acquisition and management costs. Experienced ERP consultants can help you improve the economy of your technology purchasing and measure the savings.

  • Reduce software and support costs through consolidation of infrastructure and applications as cloud-based services.
  • ROI of OPEX compared to CAPEX spending
  • IT maintenance costs
  • Infrastructure expenditures

Goal: Manage Risk

Areas of Focus

Tactical Activites



The risks and costs of managing contractual and regulatory compliance can be intimidating. But that will change when you clearly document them and implement the right practices to ensure that compliance does not rely on ad-hoc decisions but is a matter of policy.

  • Reduce risk exposure with process-driven regulatory compliance.
  • Increase transparency with accurate, traceable, and automated task tracking.
  • Ensure GDPR compliance with robust data privacy and better control over data.
  • Compliance shortcomings and associated penalties
  • Time and costs associated with compliance management


People want to join, contribute, and leave your organization at the right time and without acrimony. You can greatly reduce needless friction and avoid dissatisfaction by empowering employees with information, accountabilities, and resources. The difference in organizational productivity can be astounding.

  • Improve employee satisfaction by providing easy access to information and resources that encourage an equitable workplace and encourages participation and commitment.
  • Reduce the risks of letting people go for cause by making performance data traceable.
  • Frequency of acrimonious separations
  • Time and costs associated with performance management

Dynamics 365 Capabilities for Human resources

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, financial and procurement managers can be strategic business partners for the entire organization. They can help leadership understand financial milestones and drive performance, and they can gain and share the intelligence that makes it possible to pinpoint and respond to financial trends, risks, and opportunities. Streamlined, role-optimized finance administration can become fully transparent and flexibly support an organization’s evolving policies and compliance mandates.

Applicant and employee insight

  • 360-degree candidate view
  • Skills mapping profiles
  • Questionnaires

Process optimization and automation

  • Mass recruiting projects
  • Recruiting correspondence templates
  • Application routing and circulation lists
  • Interview scheduling
  • Compensation design for fixed and variable plans
  • Compensation levels
  • Reference points
  • Out of range tolerance parameters
  • Compensation eligibility rules
  • Self-service portals for employees and managers
  • Training course management with course types, agendas, and enrollment workflows
  • Performance management with journals, goals, and reviews
  • Payroll integration
  • Talent integration capability
  • Skills mapping and rating


  • Scalable, elastic cloud-based operation
  • Mobile and global access
  • Integration with legacy systems instead of complete replacement
  • Configuration-based system with high degree of standardization


Sikich is a national consultancy that delivers a vast portfolio of technology and business advisory services. Most of our manufacturing experts have spent years in the industry, managing companies, launching products into markets, and ensuring the success of their customers. Everyone at Sikich is deeply committed to the success of complex manufacturing companies.

We are a long-standing Microsoft partner and have privileged access to Microsoft directions and innovations for Dynamics 365, the Azure cloud, and the manufacturing industry. We have helped hundreds of companies implement Microsoft Business Applications and other solutions to their benefit. Sikich also has its own solutions for manufacturing to help you accelerate deployments, reduce risks, and achieve your hoped-for outcomes faster. 

Sikich HEADSTART – An optimized installation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for Manufacturers

To ensure predictable, repeatable deployment success and a short time-to-benefits, we deliver cloud ERP with a preconfigured set of industry-best practices. These represent more than 1500 operational parameters and over 500 business process model flow charts, all embedded into Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services.

Ready to move your manufacturing company forward with dynamics 365 for finance and operations?