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Last month, we hosted a series of webinars featuring live demos from four top ERP vendors. Our ERP Vendor Showdown provided attendees with a high level overview of some of the ERP software available for the manufacturing and distribution industry. Each vendor presented their system’s user interface, dashboards and role centers, workflow toolsets and manufacturing and distribution functionality.

Day two of the Vendor Showdown featured Microsoft Dynamics AX. The demo revealed an easy-to-understand user interface and screens that can be modified to fit user preference. The dashboards and homepages are configurable for different roles and can be easily personalized for each user. Using AX’s drill-capability, users can quickly get the information they need with multiple levels of detail available.

AX’s workflow toolset provides great capability for automating business processes. The graphical interface makes it simple to quickly construct and test workflow configurations. One of Microsoft’s main goals with the 2012 version was to make customers more self-sustainable by turning a very technical application to a user-friendly interface. The AX workflow toolset also reduces the cost of implementation and future automation projects.

In terms of manufacturing capabilities, AX supports bill-of-materials configuration, routing, planning/scheduling and shop floor control. The graphical planning toolset is very strong and the planning board is configured in a way that is intuitive for end-users. Users can quickly adjust schedules to see repercussions of a machine breakdown or ‘hot shot’ order for a highly important customer. Scores from Panorama clients and demo attendees position the AX planning board as one of the top products available.

On the distribution side, AX’s capabilities are fairly deep, including receiving, put away, pick/pack and shipping. The out-of-the-box functionality is strong compared to some ERP systems that rely heavily on third-party products for warehouse management requirements. Typically, most companies implement standard functionality first and then address additional or advanced functionality if truly needed.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a deeply functional ERP system that plays well in the Tier I and Tier II marketplace. Because of its scalability and price structures, AX is has much success in the Tier I marketplace and is often used by start-up companies with high growth rates.

When looking at any ERP system one of the key factors to consider is how well ERP vendors know their ERP system and, most importantly, how they show functionality that is relevant to the end-user.

To learn more, watch our free, on-demand webinars of our ERP Vendor Showdown. If you would like to attend a live Infor demo, Panorama will also be hosting an in-person Vendor Showdown as part of our 2014 ERP Boot Camp

Written by Chris Devault, Manager of Vendor Relations at Panorama Consulting Solutions.