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Optimize production processes with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

It is imperative for organizations to create agile, connected, and sustainable manufacturing processes to customize products and services for their customers, accelerate innovation, and adopt to new business models like offering products-as-a-service. This requires hyper-automated processes and enhanced visibility across production floor and supply chains. In addition, more standardization and interoperability of software across plants…

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It is imperative for organizations to create agile, connected, and sustainable manufacturing processes to customize products and services for their customers, accelerate innovation, and adopt to new business models like offering products-as-a-service. This requires hyper-automated processes and enhanced visibility across production floor and supply chains. In addition, more standardization and interoperability of software across plants is a critical capability to support more remote management and control.

Our latest investments in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management are enabling organizations to innovate with intelligent manufacturing operations by easily adapting to new business models, improving planning agility, enhancing visibility of your shop floor, and ensuring round-the-clock uptime and business continuity.

Manufacturers can now seamlessly work with any manufacturing execution system (MES) and eliminate data siloes. They can optimize production processes with enhanced visibility of the shop floor and improve throughput and quality.

Priority-based planning

One of the challenges that manufacturers face when it comes to supply planning occurs when multiple orders for the same items land simultaneously, and there is not enough stock on hand to fulfill all demand. Which distribution center or store orders should be filled and in what order? Which is most important, and how should manufacturers set priority? While it is relatively easy for someone to manually review and determine planning priorities in these situations, manufactures have lacked a systematic process to automate these decisions at scale.

Master planning with Planning Optimization is changing the situation for manufactures. The Priority-based planning feature can be utilized to configure optimal replenishment based on priority, instead of by date only. This enables businesses to increase service levels, reduce on-hand inventory, and optimize their supply chains by prioritizing replenishment orders to ensure that urgent demand is fulfilled before less important demand.

The planning priority is automatically calculated based on a flexible setup that considers inventory levels for minimum, reorder point, maximum, and projected on-hand that includes planned receipts and distributions. This data can be used to compare the importance of any orders across products and locations.

With priority-based planning, organizations gain the capability to:

  • Calculate, manually edit, or default on planning priorities.
  • Control replenishment by setting reorder point parameters.
  • Split and optimize distribution orders using planning ranges.
  • Group planned orders at firming.
  • Utilize customizable planning priority ranges.
  • Apply planning priority capabilities to intercompany orders.

With the introduction of Priority-based planning, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is helping organizations to eliminate stockouts by automatically prioritizing replenishment of high-demand items in near-real-time based on order priorities, current stock levels, and projected inventory. Watch the on-demand session on Innovate with Intelligent Manufacturing Operations to learn more.

MES integration

Recent decades have seen manufacturers invest heavily in two automation layers: production lines and equipment and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. MES resides between these two layers and manages manufacturing’s unique operational requirements. One challenge that manufacturers have faced when it comes to these two separate automation layers is how to keep data synchronized as transactions occur across both.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management’s MES integration solves this problem by providing the means to keep data and transactions synchronized between both systems. Plus, it offers manufacturers a path to realizing their Industry 4.0 ambitions by making it faster and easier to integrate Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management with common manufacturing execution systems.

By integrating a third-party MES solution with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, data exchange is fully automated in near real-time. This is important for manufactures not only because it keeps data current in both systems but also because it eliminates the need for error-prone, manual data entry. For example, when material consumption is registered in the MES system, the integration ensures that the same consumption is also registered in Dynamics 365. This keeps inventory records up-to-date in support of other essential processes such as planning, sales, and so on. This is one reason that manufacturers, particularly those with advanced manufacturing requirements, can benefit from MES integration.

For instance, here is the benefit of integrating Dynamics 365 with Aegis Factorylogix—one of the MES software that it integrates with:

“Aegis’ IoT-based MES platform orchestrates execution of ERP work-orders in real-time, across highly complex and technical assembly, test and inspection stations, with exact material, product and process traceability that satisfies the most stringent quality assurance requirements. The feedback of live operational data enhances ERP by providing detailed, accurate and timely information related to completions, material consumption and much more.”—Jason Spera, CEO and co-founder, Aegis Software

Other benefits of MES integration include enhanced visibility of the production floor, improved throughput and quality by unifying data across ERP and MES, and the ability to track, trace, troubleshoot, and resolve issues by contextualizing MES data. Also, the MES integration solution offers business event interfaces to support key manufacturing execution processes and a centralized dashboard where the event processing history can be monitored.

With the introduction of MES integration, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is reducing overall implementation and operating costs and helping manufacturers to establish end-to-end visibility and control over the production floor. At the same time, we are providing a faster, easier, and cheaper means of integrating Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management with third-party MES systems. Watch the on-demand session on Innovate with Intelligent Manufacturing Operations to learn more.

Total economic impact

Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the business impact of deploying Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. To understand and quantify the economics of implementing the solution, Forrester interviewed six senior decision-makers from five companies ranging in size from $100 million to $1 billion in revenue that had experience using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.1 The purpose of the study was to discover the decision drivers and financial benefits and compare the cost of implementation to the realized value.

Value drivers

Users reported increased production volume of $24.3 million, reductions in equipment downtime worth $1.5 million, improvements to production quality that reduced costs by $6.8 million, infrastructure cost reductions valued at $11 million, and increased developer productivity of $0.7 million, for a total of $44.33 million in financial savings over a three-year period.

Customers also experienced numerous other unquantified benefits to their organizations. These included increased flexibility to adapt, improved ability to deliver on time, improved customer satisfaction, better forecasting capabilities that improved supplier collaboration and planning, and improvements to team members’ day-to-day work realized by breaking down siloes between teams and functions.

Average payback in under two years

The Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management investment cost an average of $23.27 million, took 22 months to pay back, and produced a return on investment (ROI) of 90 percent and net present value (NPV) of $21.06 million across the three-year benefit study.

Customers also noted an overall streamlining of their supply chain due to the unification of systems, processes, and data. Plus, they were able to scale much faster and far cheaper than their previous environment would allow.

See the full details in the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study to understand how your organization might benefit from a move to Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Read the full report: A Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

What’s next?

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is an agile and composable ERP solution. It enables manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to create a connected, resilient, and digital supply chain by enhancing operational visibility, improving planning agility, and maximizing asset uptime. In addition, it unifies data from almost any source in real-time and generates intelligence by leveraging AI and machine learning to proactively detect opportunities and develop a long-term competitive advantage.

If you are ready to see what our modern, cloud-based supply chain management solution can do for your organization, we invite you to start today with a free Dynamics 365 trial. Or you can learn more about the benefits of a digital supply chain in our recent e-book: Four Pillars of the Digital Supply Chain.

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Sources

1Forrester, The Total Economic ImpactTM of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, August 2021

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Facebook: Recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day

As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page…

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As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page to spread awareness and share local recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

In addition to providing community to people with disabilities, we’re also working to make the digital world more accessible. 

We will demonstrate our latest accessibility features today at our annual Accessibility Summit. Join us at 10:00AM PT for this livestream on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page. In addition to product demos and updates, we will host an interview with Molly Burke, a digital creator and blind advocate.

Through a video series on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page, we’re highlighting how people with disabilities connect and build communities through our technologies, much like Carly. We’ve created both the captioned and audio described versions of these stories.

Today, we’re recapping advances we’ve made over the past year to make our technologies more inclusive. 

Meta Quest

  • Audio Accessibility
    • Audio balance: This option enables you to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels for comfort, and to better match your ability to hear in each ear. 
    • Mono Audio enables you to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers on your headset. 
    • You’ll find both features under the Accessibility tab in your headset’s Settings menu.

Product mock of audio accessibility on Meta Quest

  • Adjust Height  
    • This feature allows you to experience VR from a “standing” vantage point even while reclining or seated. This can improve the VR experience for people who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility or are unable to use the Quest headset while standing. 
    • We first introduced this as an experimental feature (called Raise View) last June and have now made it permanent after receiving positive feedback from the disability community. 
    • You can find this feature in the Accessibility tab in Quest’s Settings menu.

Portal

  • Video relay service (VRS)
    • In December, we began supporting video relay service (VRS) applications on Portal  for people who use American Sign Language (ASL), through a collaboration with ZP Better Together.
    • Through the ZP apps on Portal and human interpreters, people who use American Sign Language can now easily communicate in both English and Spanish. 
    • Portal’s unique AI-powered camera always keeps you in frame and in focus, even when you’re moving, so your face and hands can always be seen.
  • Captions
    • We’ve also added customizable closed captions for streamed content on TV and Touch, as well as added support for live captions into integrated work productivity apps Zoom and Workplace Live.

Instagram

  • Auto-generated captions for Feed videos
    • In March, we introduced auto-generated captions for Feed videos on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi and Japanese to start. 
    • More importantly, captions are automatically turned on by default when a creator uploads a video to their Feed. Over 140 million videos were created with auto-generated captions in the last 30 days.
    • Creators retain the ability to turn captions off when they choose and viewers can turn captions on or off using on-screen controls.

Product mock of Instagram auto-generated captions

Stickers on Facebook and Messenger

  • We added alt text descriptions to the more than 10,000 stickers available on Facebook and Messenger, making it possible for people who are blind and visually impaired to understand and use them. 

Avatars

  • Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to have your same avatar across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Quest. 
  • There are also new avatar options, including over-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants in addition to more face shapes, skin tones, expressions, and stickers. 
  • Wheelchairs are now available as stickers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so your avatar can better represent who you are or who you want to be.

Product mock of accessibility features of Avatars

Open Source

  • Lexical is a JavaScript framework built to improve text editing on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Workplace, with accessibility as a priority. 
  • In April, Lexical was released into open source to allow the rest of the world to benefit from these improvements. 
  • With this new framework, people can express their ideas in text via dictation, and readers can experience character-by-character navigation — a feature previously unavailable in similar editors.

Reality Labs Research

  • We’re exploring how improvements in audio quality can enable more realistic presence and perceptual superpowers in augmented and virtual reality— technological advancements that can also help us hear better in noisy environments. 
  • Our team of hearing scientists is also exploring how to reencode sound and present it through closed captioning.
  • While this is still early research, we are excited to learn more about how emerging audio technologies can improve the lives of people with hearing loss. 

Image showing audio research

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Facebook: Announcing New Products to Make Business Messaging Easier

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural…

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The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural business messaging event, we discussed how messaging is transforming interactions between people and businesses, and announced new products to make conversations easier.

Introducing Cloud-based API on the WhatsApp Business Platform

Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced we’re opening up the new, cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business Platform, hosted by Meta, to any business across the world. With this new API, we’re offering free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and increase their response time for their customers. So now, whether a business wants to work with one of our 100+ partners or access our service directly, it will be much faster to get up and running on WhatsApp.

When growing a business, you need smart, robust and easy-to-use conversation tools. For smaller businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, we’re building tools so it’s easier to handle an influx of chats as they grow their customer base. 

Launching Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Today we’re announcing a new way for businesses to keep the conversation going with Recurring Notifications. As businesses acquire new customers and begin to scale operations, there’s incredible opportunity to build loyalty and trust — and we believe this is where the value of messaging really shines. This new capability makes it easy to re-engage people right in the messaging thread and deliver tailored messaging at the best time for customers, whether to hear about special promotions, new product drops or tips and tricks.

You can choose the topics you’d like to let people opt-in to, how often customers can hear from you and shape your content, so your messages are always on-brand and relevant. Recurring notifications will also be available for businesses on Instagram this fall.

We also highlighted our click-to-message ads to help customers immediately start conversations with businesses, our CRM platform Kustomer and Meta Business Suite for higher volumes of messages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Read more about our product investments in business messaging on our Meta for Developers blog.

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Facebook: Introducing New Members of the Oversight Board

Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin. Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to…

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Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin.

Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to support and work with the board to select additional members. The new members reflect a wide range of views and experiences, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the board’s existing expertise.

The Oversight Board represents a unique model for social media governance. From its inception, we knew its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and processes. In the time since they began hearing cases and issuing decisions and recommendations, they’ve been playing a bigger role in setting precedent and direction for our content policies and how we enforce them.  We look forward to welcoming the new board members into this process.

We will update this Newsroom Post as additional members are appointed. We are grateful to all board members for lending their expertise to our content moderation efforts.

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