How Growers Combine Dynamics 365 with Excel to Streamline Production

Do you need help running your production operations more efficiently? Read on to learn why SilverLeaf could help streamline production!

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    As plant growers experience success, expand, and streamline production capacity, they often discover the Excel spreadsheets their managers use to run operations simply can’t keep up with the pace of business. Information is difficult to find quickly and share with the production team. Customer orders take longer to process, and the opportunity to increase sales goes out the door.

    Part of the answer to this challenge comes from moving to an enterprise ERP system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Running in the cloud, Business Central streamlines the analysis and management of financial data—while also centralizing plant production data to create a single source of truth that everyone can rely on to be accurate.

    The production team also has real-time access to current KPIs, available inventory, and sales orders. With this information, managers can make sure the production floor runs smoothly so more plants are available to customers. Managers can also see how future resource availability (labor and equipment) compares to projected orders—by the week, month and quarter.

    Easy to Integrate Spreadsheets with ERP

    The flip side, however, is that production managers and their teams are used to working with spreadsheets and may balk at giving them up. Fortunately, it’s easy to integrate Business Central with Excel. Your grower business can benefit from the strengths of both solutions. The streamlined integration allows for all of Excel’s top-line analysis tools to be applied to data stored in Business Central.

    Connecting to Excel is simple. For example, once users search for and bring up the relevant list in Business Central, an <Open in Excel> tab appears. Clicking this icon launches Excel, followed by the Dynamics 365 add-on, which creates a live link to Business Central. This imports the relevant data into Excel.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365, in partnership with SilverLeaf, provides a modern ERP solution with end-to-end functionality designed specifically for horticulture/greenhouse growers, allowing them to streamline their business management processes and eliminate outdated and manual procedures.

    Once the data is imported, Excel charting and graphing tools are available to users. This allows for the creation of everything from charts of sales trends to pivot tables. These graphs help users analyze data, view trends, and forecast future plant production needs. Users can also edit the Business Central data in Excel to update fields, and then sort by and graph the updates.

    The changes users make are also reflected inside Business Central, thanks to the live data link. This link ensures the graphs, tables, and reports created in Excel are always updated with the correct data. It also eliminates the need for users to update them weekly or daily.

    An ERP Solution Designed Specifically for Growers

    SilverLeaf from Velosio, powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, is an ERP solution designed specifically for growers of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. We built the solution to include real-time decision support systems created with the Microsoft Power Platform that turn Business Central into a comprehensive horticulture ERP for managing, tracking, scheduling, and measuring production.

    SilverLeaf Agribusiness for D365 BC

    SilverLeaf solves the challenge of plant production analytics and reporting accuracy, which is difficult when relying on spreadsheets. The solution provides comprehensive and user-friendly nursery management software configured to fit your business requirements while accommodating future growth.

    One of the SilverLeaf features growers appreciate most is the product availability matrix, which can serve as a replacement for multiple Excel spreadsheets. The matrix allows your production managers to see which plants will be available in the coming weeks to sell, or where they will be in the production process—such as growing, budding, and cracking color.

    The matrix also shows availability by various attributes, such as product line, time of year, day of week, or by month. You can see what’s available by strain and specific attributes—smell, taste, and color. You can also drill into quantities that are available for specific customer groups or locations, which sales orders that availability is allocated to, and if any production orders will increase that availability.

    Immediate Access to Real-Time Accurate Information

    By deploying SilverLeaf to run your plant production processes more efficiently, your teams can still use Excel, if needed, to import orders, inventory and other key information. And by using SilverLeaf as a single source of truth to manage production, everyone’s job will be a lot easier. They’ll always have immediate access to real-time, accurate information.

    To learn more about how Business Central can integrate with Excel reports, check out this blog. And if you need help with running your production operations more efficiently, contact Velosio today


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