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The pandemic has forced manufacturers to make rapid adjustments, like changing factory layouts and bringing plants online with inexperienced staff while trying to maintain quality and safety standards. To address these challenges, manufacturers will need to focus on reskilling and cross-skilling to augment a worker’s knowledge. Today we’re announcing new updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management aimed at solving these challenges, enabling frontline workers to adapt to increased complexity and fast-changing business needs.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides is now integrated with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to provide interactive work instructions and guided workflows for frontline workers right at their workstation on the factory floor. The integrated scenarios enable the frontline workforce to adapt to increased business complexity and fast changing business needs by giving them interactive instruction on daily procedures so they can make the right decision at the right time even when working with complex and dangerous machinery.

Within Dynamics 365 Guides, frontline workers can take multiple guided workflows or paths to complete a job—useful in make-to-order scenarios or when encountering issues, such as an abnormal reading on a gauge. Content can be updated easily, without coding, helping ensure the workforce is safe and compliant by adhering to the very latest standard work procedures.

In addition, organizations can reduce asset downtime by integrating Dynamics 365 Guides with Microsoft Power Apps and IoT data, enabling frontline workers to proactively detect and prevent equipment failure and reduce costly downtime.

“This new technology will bring a more engaging opportunity to unleash creativity of our employees as it provides something that the manufacturing industry has not seen or imagined yet.”Geneviève Bertrand, VP of Information Technology, Kruger

Simpler UI for greater agility and productivity

The integration of Dynamics 365 Guides with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is enabled by the new production floor execution feature in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. It provides a modern, touch-friendly UI that is extremely easy to use. This new interface works great in poorly lit spaces like a factory floor and helps frontline workers manage multiple jobs at the same time.

The new production floor execution feature in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management provides a modern UI that helps frontline workers to be more agile and productive.

“The production floor execution user interface has found the perfect balance between shopfloor-style navigation and visibility of upcoming production jobs.”—Evert J Bos, Technical Fellow, Sikich LLP

Overcome disruptions to keep production running without interruptions

Manufacturers require strong product data management, version control, and engineering change management to succeed in a world of constantly shrinking product lifecycles, stricter quality and reliability requirements, as well as an increased focus on product safety.

The new Engineering Change Management add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables manufacturers to bring structure and discipline to the product data management process and enables products to be defined, released, and revised in a controlled manner.

Through product revisions and engineering change management, it is possible to document and assess the impact of applying engineering changes throughout the entire lifecycle of the product.

Companies can ensure compliance and achieve on-time delivery by quickly responding to changing customer or supplier specifications, regulations, and safety standards. They can overcome disruptions due to quality issues and obsolete parts by quickly resolving them to ensure that production lines are running without interruptions.

Manufacturers are enabled to bring structure and discipline to the product data management process.

Avanade, a Microsoft partner, helps manufacturers around the world in their digital transformation using Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies. Conrad Volkmann, Director ERP Global Competence Center at Avanade, explains the impact and outcomes customers can expect from the new Engineering Change Management add-in. “Engineering change will be supported natively in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management with a comprehensive and well-integrated functionality,” says Volkmann. “The new capabilities complete the offering for discrete manufacturers. The time and resource consuming process of managing engineering change with all the related master data is becoming more transparent to manage with full documentation and traceability of all changes. Especially when the same or similar products need to be managed for multiple or many production sites, the new engineering change capabilities will help manufacturers becoming more efficient in their engineering change processes.“

With engineering change management capabilities, companies can reduce manual errors and job and material cost variances when setting up bill of materials and inventory in the system whenever new parts are activated and old parts are made obsolete. This will help create a smooth end-to-end business process flow between the engineering and operations teams.

Enhance visibility and scale operations for your supply chain

During Microsoft Ignite, we disclosed new capabilities that will help enhance visibility and scale operations for your supply chain. Read the announcement blog to learn about the new Cloud and Edge Scale Unit add-ins for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management which brings the power of the intelligent cloud to the edge, as well as the new Inventory Visibility add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management that enables retailers and manufacturers to easily handle a large volume of transactions every minute and determine cross-channel inventory accurately in real time.

Learn more today

Learn more about what’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management this fall or contact us to today to see a demo or start a free trial.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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