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Manufacturers have long been reducing waste and improving product yield and quality by rolling out lean and Six Sigma methodologies. However, considering the complexity and quantity of production activities for most manufacturers, a granular approach is required when optimising processes. That’s how to ensure any new methodologies and process adjustments are the best course of action for your business.

This is where big data (and advanced analytics such as those provided by Microsoft’s Power Platform) comes in. But today, we’re not going to be talking about how data can help you optimise your production processes. This time, we’re focusing on how data can help you modernise your global financial operations, ultimately streamlining them.

Here’s how a solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance can help you improve financial efficiency for your manufacturing business and drive growth.

How to improve financial efficiency

1. Predicting customer payments becomes an easier and more reliable process

Predict customer payments more reliably as you can better understand if and when customers will pay their invoices. This is thanks to built-in AI, machine learning and predictive analytics which analyse customer payment history and allow you to predict invoice payments.

This feature can help you proactively reduce write-offs and improve your margin.

2. Make accurate cash flow predictions

Thanks to an intuitive, customisable cash flow-forecasting solution, you can make more accurate cash flow predictions. Review cash flow in real-time, identify trends to make better informed decisions (backed with data), predict customer invoices (mentioned above) and more.

3. Boost productivity and efficiency

how to improve finance department efficiency

The right solution will come with automated functionality. Certain manual tasks can be automated, for example, consolidating and analysing historical data, which saves you time that you can then spend on higher value-added projects.

Then there are subscriptions, such as automated recurring billing, which make it simpler to adapt to new revenue recognition standards, reduce audit costs and create more accurate financial statements. This makes it easier to comply with varying revenue standards.

4. Integrations with key business systems

In addition to automating various manual tasks, the right solution will also integrate with your core business systems. This is another way you can see boosts in workforce productivity and process efficiency.

Dynamics 365 Finance, for example, integrates with Office 365 so it’s easier to customise documents like invoices as per changing business requirements. This integration with your internal productivity tools also facilitates cross-team collaboration and offers predictive insights so you can prioritise tasks for more productive use of time.

And because specific financial functionalities (e.g. planning and analysis, budget control and encumbrance) are centralised, you can reduce operational expenses, as running your business across multiple global locations becomes more efficient overall.

5. Reduced global financial complexity and risk

Thanks to consolidated information and functionalities, it’s easier to:

  • Adjust to the ever-changing global financial requirements using a flexible, rules-based chart of accounts and dimensions
  • Manage changing regulatory requirements with code-free configurable tax, e-invoicing, payment and other formats
  • Comply with local and global business requirements. With Dynamics 365 Finance, you can ensure your business complies with regulations across 37 countries and 42 languages out-of-the-box

Want to read about these features in more depth? We’ve got a short factsheet explaining the features and functionalities of Dynamics 365 Finance. Download it below.

The benefits of D365 Finance

The right technology is the first step towards cost efficiency

If you’re wanting to become a more cost-effective manufacturing business, the fact that you’re thinking about investing in the right technology is a good thing. The right solution can transform your financial capabilities (as you’ve learnt in this blog), from consolidating your data and improving visibility to enhancing the accuracy of your cash flow predictions and ensuring compliance.

But that’s not the only way you’ll become a more cost-efficient business. You’ll need to make sure the technology you choose will fit in with your current processes. And of course, you need your team to buy into your vision of an innovated, cost-efficient future.

Want some tips on where to start and how you can ensure success? Check out our guide to improving cost efficiency for manufacturers below.

Are your manufacturing operations cost efficient?

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