Implementing Dynamics 365 BC but don’t know whether to go with assembly functionality or manufacturing functionality? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you find the right choice for your production needs.

Depending on your manufacturing requirements, you might have wondered whether 365 Business Central’s management functionality is too much for your needs.

Before you make the change, read this: The truth is that Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC manufacturing and assembly modules are both exceptionally useful, but it’s the unique needs of your business that will dictate which solution is best for you.


Background basics

The manufacturing module in 365 BC is an industry standard. It provides users with control of everything from the creation of production orders, BOMs (Bill of Materials), MRP (Material Requirements Planning), capacity planning and much more.

365 BC’s assembly management functionality, however, gives companies with basic assembly operations everything they need, but in a simpler format compared to the manufacturing functionality. The assembly module is also a great option for businesses with products that need to be configured in customer-specific ways, or for ‘build-to-order’ instances.

So far, so good, but the real question when implementing 365 BC is this: what about both at the same time?


So, what if you use Assembly for top level ‘assemble to order’ items, and manufacturing for the lower-level parts that are ‘made to stock’, for example?

It’s possible, but there are pros and cons to this approach.

365 BC’s assembly module brings together sales orders and assembly orders in a nice interface, showing availability, automatically creating assembly orders and calculating prices and more. In that sense, this might be a good approach.

The downside however is complexity, with distinct sets of functionality needing to be managed in tandem. At Acumen, we think most users would, at the end of the day, be better served by selecting the single approach best for them but talk to us if you feel you’ll require both.


 So how does one decide just which option is best for the business in question? There are plenty of things that can be taken into account when planning manufacturing or assembly processes, and every project is different. Get started determining your manufacturing or assembly requirements by answering these questions:

Q: Is it important to have a high degree of control over the shop floor (such as the careful managing of resources or workstation capacities?)

A: Manufacturing might be the way to go

Q: Do you need capacity planning?

A: You might be better off with 365 BC’s assembly module

Q: Does your sales team need to configure sold items at POS or do you offer other kinds of custom configurations?

A: Look to 365 BC’s assembly module

Q: Does scrap need to be planned for?

A: You might be better off with 365 BC’s assembly module

Q: Are you trying to manage complex maximum retail price (MRP) requirements (such as the careful timing of inventory purchases)?

A: Choose manufacturing

Q: Are you operating under long lead times?

A: Go with 365 BC’s assembly functionality

Q: Do you need to produce phantom BOMs, or will multiple versions of production BOMs or share those BOMs across items?

A: 365 BC’s assembly module

Q: Are you going to be dealing with subcontractors during the process?

A: Look at 365 BC’s assembly module

Q: Do you want a solution that is fast and easy to implement, with the option to bring in full manufacturing functionality at a later time?

A: Choose 365 BC for its assembly functionality

Think of your future

In 2021, it’s a dynamic economic landscape out there, and things can change quickly. Given this supply chain uncertainty, it’s easy to get caught up satisfying the demands of today, while ignoring what may happen tomorrow.

When deciding whether 365 BC’s assembly or manufacturing functionally is a better match for your business, consider where the company is going, what its growth plans are for the future and where the business needs to be, 12, 18 and 24 months from now.

If you’re managing a rough and ready start-up – with plans for rapid expansion and production demand to match – your requirements might quickly eclipse what’s available in assembly functionality. In this instance, starting as you mean to continue (with full manufacturing functionality in place) might make more sense for your business.


Don’t make things harder than they need to be. With so much functionality on offer, it’s easy to over-complicate things, so decide what are the must-have capabilities that you need to drive processes and actually add value to your operation, and don’t get side-tracked by things that don’t add to the bottom line.

If you’re running a small to medium sized operation, do you need full manufacturing functionality? It’s not always the obvious choice, but in this instance, sticking to the simpler options offered by 365 BC assembly might make the most sense, saving the complexity for more challenging jobs down the track.

Talk to the team at Acumen about which option you think is the right fit for your business. We specialise in recognising the unique requirements of your operation and providing you with advice that takes future scalability into account.

TAGS | Dynamics 365 Business Central

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