New Video Release: Color Coding in Advanced Order Management (2 min 43 sec)

This brief video demonstration is for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics AX seeking an enterprise solution to assist order management and tracking.

Processing and fulfilling orders are two of the main functions of a distribution firm. If distributors cannot properly fulfill a customer’s order, that customer will turn around and take his/her business elsewhere. Thus, why order management, especially tracking, is critical to a successful distribution firm. But, wait… order management isn’t that simple. How do you know which orders are in process, in fulfillment, shipping or on hold? When you have hundreds, even thousands, of orders in your system, an order can easily get ‘lost’. Lost orders make for angry customers; nobody wants that. AXIO for Distribution powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX helps distributors avoid this problem.

AXIO for Distribution has a powerful Advanced Order Management module that allows users to have real-time data at their fingertips. Order inquiries and status updates are able to be answered quicker and more accurately than before through simple color coding. What does that mean? Well, it means that a user can sort orders by the various colors attributed to different stages or order issues. For example, if an order is green, it could mean that the order is currently being shipped. Now just search by green and the user will see all the orders currently out for shipping. No more need for users to go on a wild goose chase trying to find what stage an order is – it’s right there at their fingertips.

Watch how a Microsoft Dynamics AX expert navigates an advanced order management scenario using the AXIO for Distribution module.


Want to see more AXIO videos?

Videos of Microsoft Dynamics AX with AXIO Distribution

Increase Profits with Consignment and Vendor Managed Inventory for Dynamics AX

Few things, if any, make more difference in a distributor’s business model than efficient inventory management.

The right inventory drives your sales. The right inventory to sales ratio makes you profitable (not taking anything else into account). Too much inventory – you lose money. Too little inventory you lose customers and money. So theoretically, ensuring you always have the right amount of inventory is a major key in profitability!

So how do you manage your inventory?

We are familiar with inventory management methods dating back to WW2 logistics such as re-order points, safety stock and so forth all the way to MRP, Gordon Graham Principles, JIT, Lean Methods and more. All of these methods have one purpose in mind – manage your inventory to sales ratio for maximum revenue.

Not so long ago, everyone started working together – collaborate – to keep inventory stock at a minimum but at maximum customer satisfaction and availability. So along comes Consignment Inventory and Vendor Managed Inventory.

Consignment Inventory (CI): The inventory I (distributor) keep at my customer site(s)

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI): The inventory my vendor keeps at my (distributor) site(s)


Advantages of Utilizing CI and/or VMI

CI – I (distributor) can increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by agreeing to place inventory in a customer location at no cost to the customer until they use it. There are major advantages for both the vendor and the customer.

  • What better way to meet JIT (Just in Time) delivery requirements than by having my inventory on site at the customer location?
  • Having inventory on site and available to my customer as they need it – no chance he will order from a competitor.
  • The inventory is still owned by me and – after discussing with my customer – I can still move as necessary.
  • I have total visibility into usage and can avoid returns due to lack of sales as I will be managing this inventory location as one of my own.
  • As part of agreement, ensure that the customer reviews and updates forecasts regularly for more accurate requirements.
  • Agree to inventory cycle counts at regular intervals – our customer can perform them or I may send my sales person – direct regular access to my customer’s procurement department.
  • Negotiate better margins with customers for 100% inventory availability.
  • Negotiate with your vendor to ship replenishments directly to the customer location and save on transportation costs, receiving and stocking costs and pick, pack ship costs to send the inventory to your customer – if the quantities warrant this process. This process alone can make a huge impact on margins for you or a combination of price reduction to your customer and still positive impact your margins.

VMI – I (distributor) can increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by agreeing to let my vendor place inventory at my location at no cost to me until I use it. There are major advantages for both myself and my vendor that can lead to positive results in my margins and inventory carrying costs and turns for me (distributor).

  • Since the inventory is not owned by me – not invoiced yet – until I use it then the inventory carrying costs are not affecting my profitability or are reduced.
  • I (distributor) do not reflect this inventory as mine my inventory turn ratio is affected positively.
  • Immediate availability will have a positive impact on my lead times.
  • Immediate availability will improve my customer satisfaction.
  • I can negotiate a better price with my vendor as I am managing the inventory and will commit to certain level of guaranteed usage.

Vendor to Customer Inventory Management

Why is this becoming more prevalent?

It’s easy.  The process itself is logical and simple to understand.  Execution is often another matter altogether.  Taking advantage of CI and/or VMI requires having software in place that is capable of automating much of the process.

  • CI – Customer shows usage, distributor system (my system) accepts the usage, creates a SO, created the pick/pack/ship documents to support the shipment and update the distributor inventory, creates an invoice to transfer ownership to customer and request payment, planning system plans to replenish the customer site based on forecast and consumption. Customer now owns the inventory.
  • VMI – Distributor advises vendor of usage so vendor forwards invoice. The distributor system (my system) creates a purchase order, a receipt is automatically created and executed on, the distributor (my) system is updated, vendor invoice is now ready to be accepted and paid. The distributor system recognizes the inventory for planning, allocation and consumption. Ownership is now mine.

AXIO for Distribution Supports Both CI and VMI Inventory Management

AXIO for Distribution provides a complete distribution solution that enables and automates standard processes to support both VMI and CI.  These processes have training and implementation documentation to help you roll out both or either one of these inventory management methods.

Of course, AXIO for Distribution is much more than inventory management.  It is an end-to-end advanced supply chain management software for both small and large distributors. We’ve extended the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX to include industry-specific functionalities that cover all the important processes a modern distributor needs: sales and operations planning, demand planning, revenue management, order management, inventory management, business intelligence, procurement management and more.

AXIO Distribution Features

Built by industry experts, AXIO for Distribution goes beyond traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to tackle the complex needs of today’s distributors and enable business gains.

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about how AXIO for Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 can help your distribution business operate more efficiently.

Dominic Telaro CFPIM, CIRM
Vice President Industry Solutions, SBS Group

Dominic Telaro brings over 35 years of Manufacturing, Distribution, Software and Dominic Telaro 001 IBIS DT 110113Consulting experience. Half of his professional career has been in Manufacturing and Distribution from shop floor and warehousing positions to management. During this time he implemented ERP, DRP and Logistics solutions as internal Project Leader. The second half of his career has been in consulting, product management, product development and both consulting and software sales. He has held positions as VP Of Industry Solutions, VP of Product Development, VP of Sales and Marketing and Global Practice Leader for companies like IBIS Inc., IBM, Janis Group, Metamor, Marcam Corp. and more. Presently he is responsible for Industry Product Vision for multiple ERP solutions at SBS Group USA.

APICS Fellow and Certified in Integrated Resource Management, Instructor at Universite de Montreal, Vanier College and Granby CEGEP for APICS certification; Lead instructor for internal APICS training at Bell Helicopter, Avon, Le Groupe Hamelin

5 Pillars of the Modern Distributor Whitepaper


SBS Group Named One of Consulting Magazine’s Fastest Growing Firms of 2016

SBS Group was named No. 36 on the list of Fastest Growing Firms.

consulting-mag-awardSBS Group, a leading technology firm and industry innovator, was selected by ALM’s Consulting Magazine as one of the fastest growing firms in the consulting industry. At the Inaugural Awards Gala at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, October 13, 2016, SBS Group was named as the No. 36 Fastest Growing Firm.

Selection as a Fastest Growing Firm is attributed to SBS Group’s commitment to evolution and expansion. As evidence, SBS Group has experienced a three-year growth rate of 103%. This growth rate is a direct result of SBS Group’s focus not only on accounting and ERP solutions, but also business intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud technology spaces. Over the past year, SBS Group has launched a cloud marketplace (, built new cloud solutions and positioned themselves to take advantage of the new release of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“To be honored as a Fastest Growing Firm by Consulting Magazine is a great testament to our commitment to evolve as a business,” remarked James Bowman, President and CEO of SBS Group. “The impending release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 signals a major opportunity for us to continue our growth by delivering innovative, cloud-based business management solutions to the market.”

This year, 61 firms qualified for the ranking, which requires a minimum growth rate of 20 percent to be eligible. The Fastest Growing Firms will also be featured on, as well as in the November issue of Consulting Magazine.

“With off-the-charts growth, there’s absolutely no doubt these consulting firms are shaking up the industry from the bottom up—they are the profession’s Fastest Growing Firms for 2016,” says Joseph Kornik, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Consulting magazine.

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at Follow us on LinkedIn at, on Twitter at and find us on Facebook at

About Consulting Magazine
Consulting® magazine is the flagship publication of the consulting profession featuring the latest information on consulting careers, thought leadership and corporate strategies. In addition to providing industry insights, Consulting® hosts award dinners as part of our Achievement Awards series – honoring Women Leaders in Consulting, The Top 25 Consultants, Social & Community Investment and Rising Stars of the Profession.

About ALM
ALM, an information and intelligence company, provides customers with critical news, data, analysis, marketing solutions and events to successfully manage the business of business.
Customers use ALM solutions to discover new ideas and approaches for solving business challenges, connect to the right professionals and peers creating relationships that move business forward, and compete to win through access to data, analytics and insight. ALM serves a community of over 6 million business professionals seeking to discover, connect and compete in highly complex industries. For more information, visit

To read the full release, click here.

SBS Group Announces Ray Cardonne as Chief Financial Officer

Cardonne to play pivotal role in advancing SBS Group’s scalable infrastructure to support organic growth and acquisitions.

SBS Group, an information technology industry leader and innovator, announced today the appointment of Ray Cardonne to the position of Chief Financial Officer. The announcement was made by James Bowman, President and Chief Executive Officer of SBS Group.

“Ray brings a great deal of experience to SBS Group. He has a unique background that blends a host of experience in business process, finance and executive-level management. We are excited to have him on-board and to start contributing to our strategic goals and vision,” said Bowman.

Cardonne joins SBS Group with over fifteen years of experience and leadership working as a Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure as a Chief Financial Officer, Cardonne has been responsible for managing all financial functions, including accounting, financial reporting, treasury, budgeting and investor relations, human resources, risk management, legal and business information systems. Cardonne also has extensive merger, acquisition and divestiture experience, and substantial business and management experience to supplement his strong finance background. He previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer at DLB Associates, a global engineering firm specializing in the design and construction of web-scale data centers and institutional projects worldwide. Prior to working at DLB Associates, Cardonne held various executive level positions at Berliner Communications, Inc., Refac Optical Group, and Technology Management & Funding, L.P.

Cardonne is a graduate of Lehigh University where he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Finance, a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

“I am very excited to be joining the outstanding team at SBS Group in this exciting period of growth,” said Ray Cardonne. “SBS Group has a terrific reputation, tremendous capabilities and market leadership positions, which is driven by the dedication and talent of its people. I look forward to working with the team to enhance the supporting infrastructure to handle the growth while simultaneously developing financial strategies to execute on new opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem.”

As Chief Financial Officer, Cardonne will be primarily responsible for the management of the Finance and HR teams as well as the development of SBS Group’s IT systems. He will be executing on aligning people, processes and systems to scale with SBS Group’s strategic goals and vision.

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at Follow us on LinkedIn at, on Twitter at and find us on Facebook at

To read the full release, please click here.

Microsoft Unveils the Next Chapter of Dynamics Cloud Business Apps, Dynamics 365

With the launch date now getting near (1st November 2016), Microsoft unveiled the First look and shared more information regarding Dynamics 365, the next generation intelligent business apps in the cloud. Right now, there are obviously a lot of excitement, questions, confusions, concerns among existing customer and user base of the legacy On-premise applications (GP, SL, NAV & AX) as well as prospective customers and the partner community. All of us probably are wondering how our investments in Microsoft Dynamics is going to shape up in the new Dynamics Cloud era.

In this post today, let us understand and decode some of the key facts about Dynamics 365, that were unveiled and discussed in Summit 2016 held in Tampa, FL.


Microsoft unveiled the First Look of the next generation cloud business apps, all under one unified platform called Microsoft Dynamics 365. Below are some of the key take away from the first look.

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform. These applications unify CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications that work seamlessly together to help manage specific business functions across Sales, Customer Service, Operations, Financials, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Marketing, and Customer Insights.
  • This perfectly aligns the Dynamics business segment with the Cloud First, Mobile-first strategy of Microsoft and puts the Dynamics platform and business applications in the forefront of the Cloud and mobile innovation by Microsoft. This means customers will see faster and continuous innovations in the business applications and will get feature updates frequently, and get capabilities connected to the entire breadth of Microsoft Cloud apps such as Office 365, Azure, Cortana Intelligence Suite, Power BI, PowerApps, Flow, IoT, Machine Learning and more.


  • Dynamics 365 integrates the Dynamics CRM and ERP products into one unified Cloud Service and delivers end to end business application functionality as a SaaS service in the Cloud. These apps can be consumed separately and together based on your needs. So you pay only for what you use.


  • Let us now understand what each of these business apps really  is under Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 For Sales: It is the Sales component/module of Dynamics CRM Online.

Dynamics 365 For Customer Service: It is the Customer Service/module component of Dynamics CRM Online.

Dynamics 365 For Field Service : This is the Field Service component/Module of Dynamics CRM Online.

Dynamics 365 For Project Service Automation: This is the Project Service component/module of Dynamics CRM Online.

Dynamics 365 For Marketing: Microsoft recently announced that it fully will integrate Adobe Marketing cloud with Dynamics 365 and make it the preferable marketing app for Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 For Operations: This is the New Dynamics AX (AX 7) ERP that we all are familiar with. This is where most of the customers/prospects might get confused. The name “Dynamics 365 For Operations” misleads a little bit. This business app  is really  targeted for the enterprise customers and obviously includes full advanced Financials functionality as well of AX 7. With this app, customers do NOT need to buy other Financials apps such as “Dynamics 365 for Financials”. “Dynamics 365 for Operations has everything you need to manage your Operations, including Core Financials. Hopefully, Microsoft will rename this app to “Dynamics 365 For Operations & Financials” at some point🙂.

Dynamics 365 For Financials: This is the new Financials app of Dynamics 365(Earlier known as Project Madeira) and is primarily targeted for SMB customers in most cases. This does not include any of the advanced Operations functionality such as Manufacturing, E-commerce(Retail), advanced supply chain etc.   When we say, this is targeted more for the SMB customers, we might argue whether Microsoft thinks that SMBs do not have “Operations” ? Of course, some of them do and Microsoft is probably thinking those customers should choose Dynamics 365 For Operations app instead of the Financials app. We will have to wait and see how this shapes up.

  • Dynamics 365  provides a unified user experience across all different apps and seamless transition. So you don’t have to spend more time navigating between systems. These apps are also seamlessly integrated to exchange data and play nicely with each other. For example, when a Sales rep creates a Sales order from a confirmed sales quotation in the Dynamics 365 for Sales app, it will create the Sales Order automatically in the Dynamics 365 for Operations app. Very powerful. I am excited to test more scenarios and how the data flow looks between these apps!



  • A brand new HOME page showing you a view of all apps you own under Dynamics 365 and a direct access to Microsoft Appsource. Appsource is where you can go explore more purpose-built industry solutions(Apps) built by various Microsoft partners. When you discover new business apps, you can also see partners that are capable of implementing those apps.


And Probably a new LOGO for Dynamics ? The Dynamics platform is most certainly getting a new logo which may look something like below.


  • Power BI is embedded throughout the Dynamics 365 experience. As a result, you will get business insights for each of your business areas at one central dashboard page, still powered by Power BI.


  • Dynamics 365 is inherently MOBILE with full offline mode support! (For Windows, Android and iOS). This is probably one of the biggest feature updates of Dynamics platform. With Dynamics 365, Customers can have mobile apps (Several Out of the box) and can create apps literally for any area/App. You can check my earlier post HERE to learn more about the mobile apps framework of Dynamics  365 for Operations (Dynamics AX).



  •  Integration of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 Better than ever before. Traditional On-premise business apps (NAV, AX, SL etc) always had integrations with Office 365 and could exchange data with Microsoft word, excel outlook. But the scenarios and capabilities were somewhat limited. With Dynamics 365, the integration goes to a whole new level and provides users a full-blown integration. For example, you can drill into the details of a customer record of Dynamics 365 from within your Outlook email and even see further details such as associated sales opportunities, and launch the Dynamics 365 for Sales app/Other apps from within the email. Sleek !! A lot to explore and learn.


  • Artificial Intelligence in Dynamics 365. Microsoft and other big companies like Google, Amazon and more are betting their future on Artificial intelligence. With Artificial intelligence built-in in Dynamics 365, you can now get product recommendations, have your office 365 data(Such as email communications and more) automatically populated into Dynamics 365 Sales or even get proactive automated personal sales assistance with warnings and recommendations when needed . This certainly involves a good learning curve for me and understand what are various things we can do with it.



  • New SaaS service called “Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights announced under Dynamics 365. This app/service is built on top of core Azure and Cortana Intelligent data services and it can connect to your Dynamics 365 data and literally any other data source, to help you build a 360 view of your customer and better understand and engage with your customers in real-time.


Question: Do customers need to pay to use this Service ? I do not know and we will need to wait and watch.

  • What will happen to the existing customers using AX 2009 or AX 2012 On-premise versions: There is no immediate impact for these customers. Microsoft will continue to support AX 2009 until 2018 and AX 2012 for even longer time(2021, Find more info on my earlier post). There may also be feature updates released for AX 2012. However, Microsoft also revealed upgrade plans for existing customers. You can learn more in detail at the blog post by HERE.

Long story short, customers using AX 2009 can start evaluating their upgrade options with assisted upgrade tool for AX 2009. These tools are in preview now and when released, it will have the capabilities to do the heavy lifting for you for the upgrade. I assume, while the tool can help these customers to a great deal, there will still be a good amount of work that needs to be done to make these upgrades successful.

For Customers using AX 2012, the upgrade path will be comparatively easier given the fact that schema and underlying business logic of AX 2012 and AX 7 are pretty much same. The upgrade assisting tools for AX 2012 may be available around March of 2017. Need to wait and watch.

  • More news on Common Data Model and surrounding Apps: Many of us probably know what is the Common data model and the role it has to play in the new Dynamics era. CDM basically is intended to surface data that is stored within Dynamics 365 across all the different business apps (Sales, Marketing, Operations etc.) into a set of data entities that can model the data between these different apps. It can also connect to entities outside Dynamics 365 such as Office 365 and more. As Microsoft clarified further at the AXUG conference, think of CDM as a parallel data repository and will sync with Dynamics AX and other databases of different business apps of Dynamics 365.Then services like Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow can use this to create powerful events automation and business apps connecting multiple applications and services.


  • What is coming in Dynamics 365 For Operations and it’s roadmap: There are a whole lot of new features and capabilities coming to the Dynamics 365 for Operations(Dynamics AX 7) app in the fall release (November 2016). Below are some of the key features that you will see in the fall release.

Courtesy : Dynamics 365 for Operations: Microsoft reveals AX 2009, 2012 upgrade tools, roadmap plans


Hope this was a good summary of Dynamics 365 announcements at Summit this year. We all have  a long way to go and learn the cool new features and services and be ready to sail through the cloud era.



View the original blog here!

Sandeep ChaudhurySandeep Chaudhury is a Dynamics AX enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in functional consulting, Solutions architecture and systems integration, with expertise in the areas of Professional services automation(Project Management and accounting), Financials Management, Services Management, Sales and Marketing, Human resource management, Travel and Expenses Management and Procurement & Sourcing modules of Microsoft dynamics AX ERP. He has experience working with the new Dynamics AX (AX 7), AX 2012 R3, AX 2012 R2 and more.

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