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CPQ: The ultimate sales enabler for Microsoft Dynamics users

by Lou Washington
Blogger and Senior Writer, Cincom Systems,

There is a temptation to describe ERP as software that does everything. It's even understandable why people might think this is true. ERP has evolved and changed dramatically over the years, mainly increasing the scope of its footprint within the enterprise and assuming a larger role in the operational systems driving the organizational functions.

The reality of ERP is that it must be not just bigger, but also more flexible. Companies are doing more things and different things than they were 10 years ago. Consider something like 3D printing. It's a process manufacturing technique that makes discrete products. In short, you start with a recipe-based goo and turn it into a widget.

Another new world-order process is cloud-based services and particularly manufacturing as a service.  How does that fit in your shop floor, your supply chain or bill of materials?

New processes, new products, new sources and new customers. This kind of variability can play havoc with any ERP system, even the most full-featured system.

Some ERP solutions strive to be all inclusive, covering every single operational area within every vertical industry. That's a very tall order indeed. Almost any user is going to find areas where the big solution just isn't adequate to their needs. Microsoft Dynamics AX - now available as Dynamics 365 for Operations - offers a great advantage in terms of their solution partner community. These third-party providers develop plug-compatible functionality, which effectively tailors the offering to more fully adapt to the specific and unique requirements of the customer.  

However, within all of this variability, there is one constant - someone has to sell whatever it is you are making. If you can keep the selling process under control, you can do a lot ...

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About Lou Washington
Lou Washington is a blogger and senior writer for Cincom Systems, a provider of CPQ, CCM and other business technology solutions. Lou draws on his combined 45 years of manufacturing and business technology experience to offer businesses insight into improving their most critical processes.
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