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  • Writer's picturePeter Joeckel

8 Manufacturing Modes and Microsoft Dynamics Business Central (BC)

I have started a list of manufacturing modes I have seen advertised that Microsoft Dynamics Business Central (BC) can automate. 

Here is the list so far: 

  1. Job Shop Manufacturing: This mode involves custom manufacturing, where each product is made to individual specifications, often in small batches or one-off productions. 

  2. Repetitive Job Shop Manufacturing: This is like a job shop but involves repeated production of the same custom products, allowing for some efficiency in setup and production. 

  3. Make-to-order Manufacturing: Products are manufactured only after an order is received, allowing for customization, and reducing inventory costs. 

  4. Configure-to-order Manufacturing: This is a more flexible version of make-to-order, where customers can select from a range of features to configure their products. 

  5. Make-to-Stock Manufacturing: Products are made in anticipation of demand and kept in stock, requiring accurate demand forecasting. 

  6. Process Manufacturing: This mode is used for bulk production, which creates the product through chemical or physical operations. 

  7. Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing: Products are designed, engineered, and built to customer specifications, often for complex items like machinery or large equipment. 

  8. Mixed Mode Manufacturing: Combines various manufacturing modes to meet diverse product demands and production requirements. 

Each mode has advantages and challenges; the choice depends on the product, market demand, and customization level required. 

BC is an excellent ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform when implemented in the right company. However, my thirty years of selecting, implementing, and fixing ERP manufacturing software gave me pause about this claim. 

Let us look at a recent real-life, data-driven example. 

Late last year, I had the opportunity to consult with a company that builds large, extraordinarily complex machinery that combines the following requirements: 

  • Engineered to order industrial systems. 

  • Manufacturing combines a mix of standard equipment, unique components, and process manufacturing lines. 

  • Once completed, the business installs and services its machinery. 

The business posed the following question, “We are one year into implementing Microsoft Dynamics Business Central (BC), but some recently hired resources are questioning if that is the right solution for us.” 

After asking a couple of detailed questions regarding their manufacturing requirements, I knew immediately that they were headed for severe challenges with their implementation that would result in many of the typical ERP implementation problems caused by poorly aligned requirements to the selected software. Here are some of the issues that misaligned requirements and software create: 

  • User frustration blunts enthusiasm for implementing a new system because a new solution does not meet critical business requirements. 

  • Excessive customization to fix the gaps between business requirements and software capabilities. 

  • Excel and other external software are required to run critical business functions. 

  • Cost overruns or, worse, complete implementation do-over. 


The challenge, of course, was how to quantify that analysis so that team members already invested in the BC implementation would have fact-based, data-driven analytics on which to base their decisions. To deliver that highly granular, non-biased, data-driven analysis, I turned to GYDE365-Discover. 

GYDE365-Discover is the best tool for customers like PriceSmart to develop a data-driven, non-biased business requirements software strategy and roadmap. 

GYDE365-Discover is an online application that: 

  • Helps you define your business processes. 

  • Captures your business requirements. 

  • Analyses the fit and gap of alternative business software solutions.  

  • Estimate the project cost and timeline for implementing a new business software solution. 

  • Build an intelligent business case for moving from your current business applications. 

It also saves time and money compared to traditional requirements-gathering methods and system validation. 

In a matter of days, not weeks or months, I delivered a detailed analysis to the business comparing the fit of core BC functionality against the critical manufacturing requirements. In a detailed report of more than one hundred pages of thorough analysis, here was the key takeaway: 

Company-wide, for critical must-have requirements, BC was a fit for 52% of those requirements. 

Of course, the devil is in the details, but drilling down into the missing requirements revealed that BC, with its current feature set, is a sub-optimal fit. 

By contrast, comparing BC to the more enterprise-ready ERP solution from Microsoft: 

Microsoft Dynamics Finance and Supply Chain Management (FSCM) fit was evaluated at 89%. 

Suppose you need a fact-based, unbiased analysis of your manufacturing operations requirements compared to BC, FSCM, and any other ERP solution. In that case, a GYDE365-Discover Survey is the best methodology I have seen. 

Let us show you how and why with data, not opinions. 

HandsFree ERP  

We are dedicated to ERP project excellence with experienced people, innovative processes, and innovative productivity tools like GYDE365-Discover.  

Experience - over one hundred years of combined experience selecting and implementing strategic ERP platforms.  


Peter Joeckel, CEO of HandsFree

With an IE/OR engineering degree and enterprise software implementation experience starting at Price Waterhouse, Peter Joeckel has been in the business application selection, implementation, and challenged project turn-around business for over thirty years. He credits his industrial engineering degree with his search for better processes and tools to implement complex business application platforms.  

Most recently, he was the lead HandsFree client advisor in the Circle of ERP Excellence lounge and speaker at the Community Summit North America.  

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