Dynamics ERP for Craft Beer Production

Craft brewers have a number of system requirements that are typical of many manufacturers looking to deploy an ERP system: material planning, cradle to grave lot traceability, bar-codes for materials handling, production scheduling, etc. However, there are many business processes that are very unique to this burgeoning industry. As breweries begin to grow in size and sophistication, they encounter an increasing need to start managing and controlling their unique processes within the ERP system, as opposed to relying on manual and home-grown systems.

With eight years of experience working in this arena, Tridea has partnered with our clients to solve a number of these unique challenges by utilizing tools available within the Dynamics ERP software systems.  Below are a few examples of requirements that craft brewers may face, along with the solutions to those challenges. 

Tracking Barrel Aged Beer

Small batches of special beer creations are often aged in barrels, which may be stored in a warehouse for extended periods of time and even transferred to different locations prior to being packaged and made available for sale. As the size of a “barrel program” grows, it can be challenging to keep track of:

1) What beer is currently stored in which types of barrels?

2) Where the barrels are located?

3) What types of beer have passed through a given barrel in the past? (thus establishing a “flavor profile”)

With Dynamics AX, we have used the concept of “License Plate Numbers” (LPNs) to assign a unique ID to each of these barrels. We can then track the beer that is assigned to an LPN, track the location and movements of the LPN, and also see a history of how many times a barrel has been used and what types of beers were stored in the barrel.

 

Blending of Batches in a bright tank (“brite tank”)

Bright tanks are where clarified beer is stored after it has been filtered and before it gets bottled or placed in a keg / cask.  It is not uncommon for a quantity of beer from one production batch to remain in a bright tank when a new production batch is added to the tank. As a result, two separate batches of beer that would ordinarily be tracked with two distinct lot numbers, have now effectively become blended into a single “combined” batch, which is then packaged and sold to customers. We have developed an automated routine to merge these batch numbers to reflect the blending of the beer in the bright tank, allowing for a more accurate and true lot traceability.

 

Batch Processing Resulting in the Production of Both Filtered Beer and Unfiltered Beer

In some cases, during the course of producing a filtered beer, a quantity of unfiltered beer is taken out of the tank prior to filtering. Sometimes, this might even be a last-minute decision that is made after the production order has been started. This unfiltered beer might then be barrel-aged or have special ingredients added to it in order to produce a batch of a special limited offering product. Because the process manufacturing functionality within Dynamics AX allows for the creation of co-products on a single production order, we can easily use one production order to produce both the unfiltered and filtered beer, and accurately track them as two distinct products.

 

Integration to Brewing Systems

Because brewers need to swiftly make decisions about which brew systems, fermentation vessels, and bright tanks to use, it is important for them to interact directly with the ERP system if we are to maintain timely and accurate information about the production process. Leveraging MS Dynamics’ strong integration tools, we have been able to build integration points that can take direct feeds from the brewing system (example: quantities of malt that flow into the brew system from a silo can feed directly to the ERP production order, quantities of filtered beer flowing through a filter outlet into a bright tank are fed directly to the production order). We have also built touch-points allowing for brewers to manually record transactions in the brewery floor systems that then get integrated to the ERP system.

 

This article was written by Matthew Boese, Partner at Tridea Partners, a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner serving Southern California.

9 New Service Management Enhancements for CRM 2013

Discover the new service management enhancements for CRM 2013

  1. Automatically create cases from support emails, or posts from Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Define and manage Service Entitlements and Service Level Agreement’s (SLA’s).
  3. Create dynamic routing and queuing rules to ensure you hit your service targets.
  4. Create child cases related to a parent case.
  5. Merge duplicate cases to decrease redundancy.
  6. In the updated Case Form:
      • Review entitlements
      • Review merged cases
      • Review child cases
      • Add a timer to ensure you do not exceed/breach your SLA’s
      • Show a running counter displaying remaining time by when SLA KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) need to be met

Service Management Enhancements for CRM 2013

7. Visual icons (web, phone, email, Facebook, Twitter) provide quick insight on case origin.

8. Service Management Center – Easily manages the configuration of all the Customer Service Options in one place.

Dynamics CRM 2013

9. Unified Service Desk – To learn more go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43110

Here is a quick Youtube video providing insight on these 9 new enhancements in Dynamics CRM 2013.

This article was written by Var Galpchian, Dynamics CRM Technical Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a Southern California based Dynamics CRM Partner.

 

 

Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012

Positive Pay (commonly called SafePay) functionality from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 allows for the transmission of an electronic file to the bank to provide a list of paper checks which have been approved for payment. The bank then adds this list of sanctioned checks to their master file. Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012 process ensures that checks which are fraudulent will not be paid. The functionality is available out-of-the-box and multiple electronic file types are supported.

Once the functionality has been set up, the user need only generate the file by selecting the file format, company, bank account and the cut-off date for the checks.

Positive Pay for Dynamics AX 2012

The positive pay file is then generated and submitted electronically to the bank. A simple inquiry can be run to view the Positive Pay files which have been generated and the details of each file.

Positive Pay

 

If the file needs to be corrected, it can be recalled and re-submitted to the bank. If the bank sends a confirmation number to confirm that the file was received and processed, the confirmation number can be entered on the Positive Pay line.

Dynamics AX 2012

 

With the latest release of AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 7, AX 2012 now offers separate Positive Pay statements for Payroll bank accounts.

This post was written by Robin Ellsworth, AX Application Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a Microsoft Dynamics AX partner serving Southern California, Utah, Colorado and surrounding regions.

Connector Error Between GP Sales Invoice to CRM Invoice

During a Dynamics GP Sales Invoice to Dynamics CRM Invoice sync using the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics, it failed on a number of records with the error “A record level exception has occurred for record 00011111. Error text: Business object not found”. The error details mention checking the TaxScheduleKey, the order/line price list or the customer’s billing address.

Connector Error Between GP Sales Invoice to CRM Invoice

While trying to re-sync the addresses, they failed stating it was unable to retrieve the customer address with a certain id. I cleared the More Addresses from the CRM Account and tried clearing out the Address 1 and Address 2 information in order to have a fresh sync. But when trying to clear out the Address Integration key fields, CRM failed saving the record.

In order to get around this problem, you can create a new Account and merge it with the problem Account. Select the newly created account as the master and then select all the fields from the old record except the address information.

Microsoft Dynamics Connector Error

With the new Account, you can first run a Connector integration to add the Address Integration keys and then a full Customer to Account sync.

With the addresses correct, the invoices successfully sync to CRM.

Written by Derek Finlinson, Dynamics CRM Technical Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a Southern California based Dynamics CRM partner.

Take Advantage Of Your CustomerSource Benefits Today

Included as a benefit of your organization’s annual service plan for Microsoft Dynamics, CustomerSource is a secure site that allows you to access job-tailored productivity tools including unlimited training courses and self-support resources like the knowledge base which can help reduce support costs. In addition it provides access to downloads and updates such as timely tax and regulatory releases that may be necessary to help your organization remain compliant. CustomerSource is a valuable and efficient way of accessing information you can use at your convenience 24 hours a day.

 CustomerSource features and benefits at a glance: 

Account Management – track and update company information, retrieve registration keys, service plan information

Training and Certification – Unlimited eLearning training to all Dynamics users with access to CustomerSource

Resources – Online product documentation, Solution Finder, Reports Library, Tax Updates etc.

Support Resources – Submit an online support request directly to Microsoft (based on your renewal plan, KnowledgeBase (online support resources), automated solutions, hot topics etc.

Communities – Connect with other Dynamics users and stay current with user blogs and articles

Visit the CustomerSource sign-in page and enter your Windows Live ID username and password to access the site. If you do not have access to your organization’s CustomerSource account, please complete the following steps:

  • Contact your company’s CustomerSource administrator or Tridea Partners to grant you access to the site. If you don’t know your CustomerSource administrator Tridea Partners will be happy to assist.
  • Go to the Windows Live ID site to create a Windows Live ID. If you already have a Windows Live ID, skip this step and proceed to Step 3.
  • If you’re a first-time CustomerSource user, link your CustomerSource profile with a Windows Live ID. For more information, watch the CustomerSource Sign Up topic in the Learn how to use CustomerSource demo.
  • Sign in to CustomerSource. Watch the Learn how to use CustomerSource demo and Take a Tour of CustomerSource Features and Benefits to learn more about getting the most out of CustomerSource.

Written by Lisa Rosenzweig ,Operations Manager/CSM for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a Microsoft Dynamics partner serving CA, UT, CO and surrounding regions.