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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Spotlight: TotalDynamics Solutions (TDS)

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 into full gear, one area of focus that is very important, when it comes to the total solution is around, what TotalDynamics Solutions, calls EBM®. This is Enterprise Business Management. This offering is split up, with the following major concepts:

This offering from TDS, mixed with the great flexibility and power of AX 2012, can help further extend and maximize your ROI from your Dynamics AX investment.

I had the chance to, virtually, sit down with Chris Rogers, and talk with him a bit about what value his company, TDS, brings to a Dynamics AX investment.


1. What value does TDS bring, with it's EBM® Tools and offerings?

A: Our business was created by former CEO’s, CFO’s and general managers, who had a common belief that Great Results Come From Disciplined Actions. Our Enterprise Business Management – EBMTM tools and approach capture that principle. Most software applications focus on creating efficiencies in terms of making it easier to perform specific job duties and tasks. Similar to what lead to the creation of ERP systems, we have taken a “business process first” approach to software development but focused it against the management of the organization versus transactional processing. When done properly, organizations achieve better visibility into their operating performance, they have accountabilities properly aligned within the organization and they improve their cross-functional coordination. Our experience has been when you combine the benefits of visibility, accountability and coordination a company can achieve competitive advantages in the market place and drive extraordinary financial results.

2. With your Planning and Forecasting offering, as part of your Finance Portal, for EBM®, can you give us some details about what makes this a great offering, and compare to other tools out in the market space? Also does this build on the AX 2012 out-of-the-box budgeting?

A: Other planning and forecasting systems usually serve a single purpose, which is to function as an aggregation tool for various data inputs needed to create the projected financial statements. As a result, these tools are generally geared only toward the Finance and Accounting functions in an organization. Since we take a “business process first” approach to our software, our web-based Planning and Forecasting tool was developed to really engage the rest of the organization in the planning/budgeting and forecasting process. This approach means that those closest to the activity do the planning and forecasting, so they become accountable for delivering the results. With other tools, Finance/Accounting typically has to perform all the inputs and too often become the only group accountable for delivering the results.

The reality is that there are multiple functions that should be accountable for the planning and forecasting processes. In other words, if Sales and Marketing are accountable for selling products/services, they should also be accountable for planning/forecasting sales volumes and/or sales dollars. And if procurement is responsible for purchasing the necessary components at the right price, then they should also be accountable to plan/forecast component prices. Therefore, we developed our web-based Planning & Forecasting tools in a way that makes it easy for users across the organization to input, track and manage their functional plans and forecasts.

For example, we have a Volume Planning Screen that allows sales volume and/or sales dollar forecasts to be built by customer by product line and/or by SKU…the way someone in Sales would typically think about their business. Having functional owners, like Sales, interact directly with the system accomplishes two important objectives:

1) It creates a layer of accountability for the Sales organization – they own the number;

2) It removes a large administrative burden from the Finance team freeing them up to do more analytical, value-added work in support of the planning and forecasting processes versus being just a data collection function.

Although AX 2012 has made good improvements in the usability of their budgeting applications, we do not believe that it has accomplished the objectives I just described.

3. For your Sales Order Entry, also part of your EBM® - Sales Portal offering, how exactly does it simplify the order entry process? What other functionality does this add that AX 2012 might be missing?

A: The web-based order entry functionality of our Sales Order Entry application is not overly enhanced when compared to AX 2012, but it is a nice improvement over other AX versions and it is very intuitive for the end-user. However, when coupled with our other web-based Sales Portal tools like Planning/Forecasting, Reporting, Order Management and Profitability, and Pricing/Trade Agreement Management, we think it creates a “one-stop shop” for field sales people. All combined, our Sales Portal’s one-stop shop approach, not only delivers more sales efficiency/effectiveness through easy to use web interfaces, it may also help lower total licensing costs.

4. Give us a few points about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, that you and TDS are excited about.

A: First of all, we really like where Microsoft is heading with Dynamics AX. This new release of AX 2012 is going to allow them to compete at an entirely new level. We particularly like the improvements in the user interface, which we feel is important to getting faster adoption of the system. We also like the changes in price agreements, which have been simplified and are now more flexible than they ever have been.


I would like to take the time and thank Chris for sharing a little bit about what TDS can offer the Dynamics Ecosystem with it's Trademarked Enterprise Business Management offering. I would highly recommend giving them a look, to see how they might can help extend your AX investment: TotalDynamicsSolutions.com. We are very proud to have TDS as a sponsor of this blog, and believe they have a great product offering that can really help extend AX for customers.

That's all for now, till next time!

The following's is a short Bio about Chris Rogers:
Chris is President and co-founder of Total Dynamics Solutions. He is a results oriented executive with a background focused in Finance. The majority of his career has been leading varying Finance functions such as CFO for a $1 billion division for a Fortune 100 company, Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Planning & Analysis and ERP implementations.

Chris' passion is working with organizations to achieve new levels of success. In his career he has achieved turn around business results by designing and implementing technology solutions that enable strategic thinking, sustainable market driven growth and sound financial management & discipline

Chris began his career with Trans World Airlines starting in Audit and eventually leading their International Marketing and Strategic/Economic Planning group. From there he joined ConAgra Foods where he spent 15 years in various Finance positions supporting Operations, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and IT. Chris has a B.S. in Finance from Northwest Missouri State University and an M.B.A. from Creighton University.

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