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Comparison of Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management (F&O) and Business Central

Originally published on August 8, 2019 

Dynamics 365 is a platform that combines intelligent business applications to connect all aspects of your business. It includes CRM, ERP, Office, analytics and other tools that work together to create a unified, intelligent and adaptable solution. However, within Dynamics 365, you have two options for ERP systems: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management – F&SCM (Former F&O) and Business Central (BC). Although, the best fit for your business may not be obvious without a deep understanding of Microsoft products and ERP knowledge:

In this article, we are will making a comparison of Dynamics365 F&SCM and D365 BC and their key differences, that are the core factors when considering a new ERP for your company.

So, what do you choose: Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management or Business Central?

The answer were looking for could be quite straight and simple – it depends on your business needs, goals, requirements and future vision.

The essential difference is that Dynamics 365  for Finance & Supply Chain Management does have a lot more built-in “enterprise functionality” than Business Central. This is the key driver to consider Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management for companies which need a deep and comprehensive ERP solution.

The best way to choose between F&SCM and BC is to understand your business needs, goals, requirements, and future vision. Different businesses have different needs and preferences, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. 

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What are the key differences?

There are some general differences between the two ERP systems that can guide you in your decision:

  • Target market: F&SCM is designed for medium and large that need a powerful and comprehensive ERP solution that can handle complex and global operations. BC is tailored for small to medium-sized enterprises that need a flexible and scalable ERP solution that can support various business processes.
  • Deployment options: Both D365 F&SCM and D365 BC offer cloud and on-premises deployment options, giving you the freedom to choose the best option for your infrastructure and preferences.
  • User interface: BC has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and adapt. You can read more here about using Business Central in practice. While F&SCM offers a more sophisticated and complex interface, that offers advanced features and functionalities, our experience suggests that the complexity is mostly visible only while looking at the whole picture. Everyday functions performed by different people are more concentrated and easier to navigate for employees. Both integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365, Power BI, Teams and others.
  • Functionality and modules: BC covers the core business functions, such as finance, sales, purchasing, inventory, warehousing, manufacturing, as well as distribution, and project management. In addition to core functions, F&SCM covers more extensive and in-depth functionalities and modules, such as finance, supply chain, manufacturing, warehouse, transportation, asset management, human resources, and commerce. It also has more industry-specific capabilities, such as automotive, public sector, healthcare, and education.
  • AI  capabilities: BC cloud deployment has the possibility to use several AI powered  solutions such as Cash Flow Forecast, Sales and Inventory forecast, Late payment prediction, image recognition,  generation of marketing product descriptions and, bank account reconciliations and more. D365 F&SCM can provide Intelligent insights that generalize multiple data points in the system and Predictive Analysis for finances and inventory, and more.

Compare the differences

In the table below, we present a deeper analysis of the variations of these two ERP systems.


Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management

Business Central

Positioning

Integrated enterprise business platform for mature, growing, ERP-educated companies

The next level for organizations that have outgrown their entry-level accounting software

Type of companies

Medium to large organizations. Tailored for international business development.

Fit for small to midsize enterprises.

Manufacturing Industry

Supports approx. 95% of manufacturing management functionalities. A great option for discrete, lean, and process manufacturing,

Recommended for discrete manufacturing industry.

Capabilities

Fully covers traditional back office processes, as well as integrates seamlessly with CRM, HR, Talent, Customer Service, Marketing and other Dynamics 365 apps.

Core capabilities: connects financials, sales, purchase, inventory, projects, service and operations. Additional capability available in service management and manufacturing with the Premium package.

Minimum # of users

20

1

Number of Transactions

Recommended for businesses processing hundreds thousands of transactions

Recommended for businesses processing thousands of transactions

Inventory Traceability

Recommended for manufacturers that require a high level of traceability. Offers additional functionality in the form of pallet number and ‘license plate’ tracking functionality. 

Provides serial number, lot number, package tracking.

Business Analytics

Embedded Power BI – rich analytical and reporting functionality.

BI tools include reporting, dashboards and ad-hoc analysis.

Localization (read more about localization here)

Localized for 53 countries, however, most standard localizations do not cover all legal requirements. Most localizations have to be supported or done by a MS Partner.

Localized by Microsoft and Partners in 172 countries of which 24 are provided by Microsoft and others by MS Partners.

License cost per user, per month

From 160 to 200$ 

From 60 to 100$ 

These are some of the main differences between F&SCM and BC systems. Both are reliable and effective ERP solutions that can help you optimize your business operations and achieve your goals. However, they are not better or worse than each other, but rather different and suitable for different types of businesses.

This table probably will not answer all your questions. Therefore, the best approach would be to discuss YOUR business needs and ERP vision with your Dynamics 365 partner. 

Don‘t have one? Contact us for an initial discussion.

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