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Enabling Companies to Scale with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations



Strategic Solutions NW’s Journey with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Implementation


Planar, a global leader in display and digital technology, provides premier products for retailers, educational institutions, government agencies, businesses, utilities, and energy firms. When Planar acquired Natural Point, which produced state-of-the-art motion tracking used in VR, most famously used in Disney, Planar wanted to unify its operations on a single ERP platform and needed assistance moving their newly acquired business to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (now Finance and Supply Chain Management).  

 

The initial project for Strategic Solutions NW was involved as Natural Point’s previous technology had gone out of support and hadn’t been consolidated putting the company’s technology and data at substantial risk. Up until SSNW’s involvement, Natural Point would experience common software crashes, placing unnecessary burdens on their finance team and requiring manual reentry of lost data and tedious reporting processes. There was two-fold pressure to not only implement the technology that would best suit Natural Point’s business processes and requirements, but also to mitigate risk for the fragility of their current systems.

 

Collaboration


From the outset, Natural Point’s operations needed to be able to utilize the tools and technology that Planar used to enable the company to scale and maximize its growth. This included their investment in Microsoft’s ERP platform Finance and Operations.

 

Using basic accounting software and disparate legacy systems to handle their complicated operations of manufacturing, supply chain, and finance, Natural Point wasn’t able to cull rapid, real-time data for their reporting. Closing month-end books took weeks and gathering manufacturing reports was a painstaking process that required tedious review from various software interfaces. Natural Point also wasn’t able to scale their operations having to hire new personnel whenever they made a change to their operations.

 

In the midst of the implementation with D365 Finance and Operations, it was key that Strategic Solutions NW remain agile and adaptable during the process to perform an efficient implementation that limited customization, utilized D365 to peak efficiency, and maximized Planar’s ROI.

 

Strategic Solutions NW’s Actions in Dynamics 365 Implementation


  • Implemented Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations for Planar’s wholly-owned subsidiary Natural Point

    • Integrating their shopfloor manufacturing, supply chain, and order management to Finance and Operations

  • Migrated their data from manufacturing legacy systems to the cloud

  • Integrated their custom website to manage sales in D365 Finance and Operations.


Software Plan

Planar wanted to give its newly acquired enterprise the ability to scale. Having found success with many of the ISVs used for their implementation, SSNW naturally integrated the following software into Natural Point’s D365 configuration:

 

(AvaTax) from Avalara

  • Integrated with the Microsoft Dynamics platform. 

  • Automates tax calculation and filing


SalesForce

  • CRM software to store, track, and manage customer information

  • Cloud-based to enable communication between teams


Enovia

  • Product Lifecycle Management software for data-driven project management

  • Connect critical partners with contextual workflows

 

Outcomes of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Implementation

 

  • ERP consolidation enabled Planar to standardize business practices and processes across their organization

  • Natural Point cloud-based ERP platform would protect data loss from outages and crashes

  • Rapid access to real-time data to make informed decisions regarding cost and production models

  • Automated numerous tedious processes freeing up AP and AR resources for more strategic work

  • After successful implementation, Planar could readily extend its tools to Natural Point to enable growth and scalability

 

Structured Implementation


SSNW’s team was kept small and organized around Microsoft SureStep’s standard gated implementation methodology. This allowed for a clear, staggered timeline with well-defined stages. Within these stages, the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) methodology was used, involving users and Business Systems Analysts in the tooling process.


Additionally, SSNW stayed on to refine the D365 Finance and Operations integration, continuing to enhance the features and functionality of the software.


Streamline your business operations


It’s a big undertaking for any business to upgrade their software systems, little alone set out to initiate dual implementations. However, with the right partners, it’s possible to increase your ROI by optimizing your technology to reflect the best version of your business.


Strategic Solutions NW is a tight-knit business and technology consulting company headquartered in Beaverton, OR with clients around the world. We specialize in integrated software implementation and recovery, applying every solution with a business-wide approach. Our repertoire includes creating and managing the accounting function for 500 million-dollar manufacturers, specialized forest product experience, and longstanding partnerships with a swathe of major software vendors. Led by three partners with decades of experience in software and business solutions, we approach each client with a long-term relationship in mind, providing continued support and communication beyond project timelines. Contact us if you’re thinking of introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to your enterprise.


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