Unfamiliar with Microsoft Dynamics? You aren’t alone. Fifty per cent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees do not use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as Dynamics.
But what is it?
Microsoft Dynamics is a cloud-based software solution touted as being able to transform a number of processes, from consumer relationships to internal resource planning. As well as being CRM, Microsoft Dynamics offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools.
If you’re not using Microsoft Dynamics, you’re missing out on some arguably business-changing benefits. While 50% of small businesses aren’t using software like Microsoft Dynamics, 91% of larger businesses rely on the technology.
So, what exactly are the benefits that big businesses are reaping so unanimously?
Microsoft Dynamics Can Form the Foundations of Your Business
Dynamics is built to be a universal utility that covers all the essential bases of customer relationship and resource management. It’s ground-level support software that forms the foundations of successful operations. It’s not industry-specific software that helps specialised markets, but broadly-applicable general-use applications fundamental to almost all businesses.
These applications cover marketing, sales, supply and distribution, finance and HR.
What’s more, Dynamics — as a Microsoft brand — is well-known for its simplicity, with ease-to-use and intuitive dashboards that promise familiarity to anyone who has used Microsoft software in the past.
The message here is that, if you’re not using Microsoft Dynamics, you may not only be missing out on a whole range of software that could help form more stable footing for your business, but also an easy-to-use system that can improve productivity through its user-friendly interface and “dynamic” features.
Dynamics can be a powerful building block; a launchpad for your business’ IT systems that many IT consultants would recommend.
Integrated, Centralised Technology
Microsoft Dynamics is, on its most fundamental level, a suite of software applications that mesh together to form a complete CRM and ERP platform. On the surface, this sounds like total jargon, but dig a little deeper, and you begin to understand exactly why this is more than a tangle of corporate buzzwords.
Dynamics is a linked set of technologies. From sales and marketing to HR and operations, software exists within the Dynamics framework to help you better manage your departments and areas of business.
In real terms, this means that Microsoft Dynamics can form a bedrock of software applications that help facilitate all your basic business needs. You can manage your supply chains from the same set of software that also lets you handle your marketing. It’s all integrated. You don’t have to switch between different technologies when accessing different resources.
As a member of the Microsoft family, Dynamics interconnects with the full product offering of the software giant. Azure, Office 365, Outlook, SharePoint, etc. — all these tools can be integrated within Dynamics to centralise a range of data sharing for both internal and external connectivity.
Because Microsoft Dynamics is integrated, it’s also adaptive.
You may start out needing only a subset of the total range of available applications under the Microsoft Dynamics umbrella, but as your business develops, your demands will grow. Dynamics allows you to pull new management software into your operations without having to establish new systems.
Take, for example, your need to manage customer service through Dynamics. You may not require any of the other Dynamics products at the time. But, as your business operations develop, suddenly you need systems to better process sales and plan your projects.
There is no need to search for a new service, no need to familiarise yourself with a new set of technologies. Microsoft Dynamics is almost a “plug and play” solution. Once you’re set up with one of the Dynamics products available, adapting your business to use more of them — or perhaps all of them — is simple.
Automation Cut Back on Mistakes and Aids Compliance
Swapping between applications and software to complete different tasks increases the risk of human error influencing results. When people have to move data manually, details can be missed, forgotten or improperly handled.
In a suite of software tools that are interconnected, this isn’t a problem.
Automation is deployed to share data across dashboards and workspaces. Providing the correct details have been input originally, there is no risk of human error hampering work efforts. With personal consumer data and the data of suppliers and partners handled automatically, the chances of mistakes resulting in a data breach are also much lower, thus improving business compliance with data protection laws.
Comprehensive Consumer Understanding
Part of the Microsoft Dynamics toolset is the Customer Insight software.
Customer Insight is a consumer-management tool that provides comprehensive data on your buyers. Thanks, once again, to the complete cross-application integration of the Microsoft Dynamics framework, Customer Insight pulls data from all other connected applications that your consumers have engaged with.
Wherever they’ve been involved in the sales and marketing process, their information is flagged, recorded and added to the unique consumer profile. From here, you have a complete overview of their relationship with your business, from a history of contact to purchase orders. This overview means anyone on your team who needs to work with a customer can access all their information easily. It also allows for a top-down look at consumer-engagement analytics across your business, allowing you to identify workflow problems or consumer patterns.