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November 30, 2023


Getting the Most Out of Your Business Central System: 5 Tips & Tricks 


By Hazel Jeffs

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive ERP platform that manages key business functions. With capabilities that touch finances, supply chain, manufacturing, sales, reporting and more, Business Central can be incredibly valuable. However, realising the full potential takes knowing where to focus and how to tailor it to your workflows. 

In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into five features that can boost productivity for project managers if leveraged fully. Whether you’re new to Business Central or have used it for years, these tips can help streamline your work and save valuable time. 

The Pin Feature 

This simple yet powerful feature enables you to bookmark key pages and information directly on your Role Centre for instant access. Instead of clicking through menus, you can pin everything you need regularly right at your fingertips. 

For example, your main Project Management role centre likely has links to overview KPIs, calendars, approval requests and other modules you frequently use. But you also probably jump to the Project Pages, Task Pages, Resource Pages, and Project Manager Role Centre often as well. Pin these pages for one-click access without hassle.

Combined with custom-developed Power BI dashboards, this bookmarking makes digging into details easier. Say you have a dashboard highlighting project budget vs actuals, pending approvals, and tasks nearing deadlines. Pin this multi-dimensional view right on your Role Centre too. This puts essential project insights directly in front of you whenever you log in. 

Read our blog on top business central features for manufacturers 

Page Inspection 

Ever explored a page and wondered where certain fields, actions, or visual elements come from? Page Inspection reveals these details with a simple hover.  

Just highlight any section of a page and a tooltip pops up listing specifics: 

  • The Source Table where data fields originate 
  • Any Codeunits powering background functionality 
  • The Source Type (Table, Report, Codeunit etc.) 
  • Other metadata like names and IDs 

Review key pages like Project Management role centres and Customer Card through inspection. You’ll gain visibility into the layers of complexity in Business Central. 

This trains you to consider the holistic ecosystem of relationships between tables, pages, reports, and more. With this lens, you work smarter by understanding the impacts of changes across integrated systems. 

Scheduling Reports 

Reporting is essential for monitoring project health. While you likely check the status manually, scheduled reports eliminate this task. Automate delivery of key financial, resource allocation, and progress reports daily or weekly. 

For example, set up your Project Manager role centre to email: 

  • Project Status Reports each Monday morning 
  • Project Budget vs Actuals reports every Friday 

This moves insights like budget burn rate, completion percentage, margin analysis, and more directly into your inbox. Act faster on trends before small issues become problems. 

In seconds, you can also save reports directly to your Role Centre by date. With this capability, you can come in each morning and quickly scan yesterday’s reports available on your dashboard for instant access. 

Spend less time digging through menus to print reports. Instead, focus energy on strategic analysis - where managers provide the most value. 

Editing Notifications 

Staying informed on a project team is critical, but notification overload causes stress and distraction. Business Central’s My Notifications tab allows you to filter down to what actually matters. 

As a Project Manager, tailor alerts like: 

  • When tasks pass their due date 
  • When budget deficits hit 10% 
  • When certain change orders are requested 
  • When RFPs are approved and move to begin execution 
  • When certain project phases kick off 

Strip away noise and zero in on events needing your attention or input. Protect the hours otherwise lost reacting to a flooded inbox. 

Inputs to Filter Dates 

Across reports, Business Central enables filtering data by specific or relative date ranges. Beyond selecting manual start and end points on a calendar, you can type phrases like: 

  • “This Week” 
  • “Next Month” 
  • “Previous Year” 

Some other useful shortcuts for inputting dates on Business Central include: 

  • w - Work Date 
  • T - today 
  • m, tu, we, th, f, s, su - Monday, Tuesday, etc. 
  • D, W, M, Q, Y - Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year 
  • P1, P2 - Accounting Period 1, 2 
  • CW, CM, - Current (last day of the) Week, Month 
  • -1M+CM+1D, - first of current month 
  • -1Y - same date last year 

Quickly pull data on established periods rather than calculating exact dates each time. Cycle through relative ranges to spot trends over weekly, monthly, or annual cadences.  

Conclusion 

The tips here reveal only a sample of how Business Central can save you time and accelerate project workflows. While learning the platform takes investment upfront, mastery pays off tremendously via smarter direction of resources. 

Consider supplementing internal expertise with an outside specialist to tailor Business Central and unlock maximum benefits companywide.  

Our team at Spidergroup has years of experience guiding businesses through Dynamics implementations, customisations, integrations and more. Reach out for a consultation on where Business Central can take your organisation. 

 

 

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