Dynamics 365 Business Central Vs D365 Finance & Supply Chain Management

"If you want to stop guessing and start making the most out of your investment in Dynamics 365 ERP apps like Finance and Operations or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, this blog can be worth a read.

Discover how different Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management are. Also, learn how Dynamics Square can help you find the right ERP for your business and make an informed decision."

Over the past several years, Microsoft ERPs have evolved to accommodate business needs, tech trends, and business opportunities. It is helping organizations with advanced automation and gaining business-critical insights for informed decision-making. Further, with it, one can share reports at a fast pace by accelerating the use of AI/ML, cloud computing, and R&D.

Many businesses are coming out of their shells and moving operations to cloud ERPs from their legacy ERP systems.  They are leveraging it to avoid the need to manually update the software. Business organizations that have a quest to secure data are ready to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced cloud-based capabilities in a modern ERP solution. They are keen as this comes to them at a lower cost.

Dynamics 365 Suite is a complete pack that contains customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. This business suite gives business owners the flexibility to choose between ERPs like Business Central and Finance and Operations (F&O) - now rebranded as two separate D365 modules: Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM) and so much more.

Let's dig deep and analyze which is the right finance ERP for your business.

How Different are Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERPs: Business Central vs Finance and Operations (D365 F&SCM)?

Both Business Central and D365 F&O have almost the same ways of working, but they do differ at various stages.  Let’s see how!

Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one, cloud-based ERP system that seamlessly connects operations across small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Businesses can implement this cloud ERP solution to comprehensively manage their operations such as sales, customer service, finance, supply chain, payroll, and other business-critical operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly, Dynamics NAV till Oct. 2018) helps business owners help people working for them work smarter, adapt faster, and perform better.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Important: Microsoft has rebranded D365 F&O as Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

If Microsoft Dynamics 365, Quickbooks, Sage, NetSuite, or Excel are your pals to manage your finances, you may need help selecting the best Dynamics 365 ERP solution for your business.

For larger organizations with complex sets of operations, the best fit is the combination of Finance and Supply Chain Management modules from Dynamics 365. Business Central is a better fit for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that have basic requirements.

Note: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management are used together as Dynamics 365 F&SCM for complete finance and operations management. Connect with your Dynamics 365 Partner for further details.

Let’s see how Dynamics 365 F&O, Dynamics 365 Finance, and Dynamics 365 SCM differ.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Comparison Chart: Business Central vs F&O vs Finance vs Supply Chain Management (SCM)


Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Dynamics 365 Finance

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management (D365 SCM)

Pricing Model
Team Members: From $8 per user/month  Essentials: From $70 per user/month  Premium: From $100 per user/monthPrices are available for D365 Finance and D365 SCM.  Note: Consult with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner like Dynamics Square for accurate info, and next steps.

$180 per user/month 

$180 per user/month

On-premises, Cloud, HybridCloudOn-premises, Cloud, HybridOn-premises, Cloud, Hybrid
Financial ManagementYESYESYESYES
Sales and Customer ManagementYESYESYESYES
Purchasing and Vendor ManagementYESYESYESYES
Inventory ManagementYESYESYESYES
Project ManagementYESYESYESYES
Warehouse ManagementYESYESYESYES
Service ManagementYESYESYESNO
Human Resource ManagementNOYESNONO
Retail ManagementNOYESNOYES
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Dynamics 365 CopilotYESYESYESYES
Power Platform IntegrationYESYESYESYES
Machine Learning (ML)YESYESYESYES

What to choose between Dynamics 365 F&SCM and Business Central for my business?

In the words of Dennis Chiu - Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Specialist and Microsoft Sales Solutions Leader, "Both Business Central and Dynamics 365 F&SCM" are in a different league."

With that in mind, choosing to replace or upgrade your legacy ERP system with the right ERP solution that best fits your business environment can be overwhelming at times.

So, to ease up your decision-making, here are the key takeaways you can adhere to while making a choice between Business Central accounting software and D365 F&SCM.

Why and when choose Dynamics 365 Business Central?

If you own a small to medium-sized business, you should consider the following:

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central or D365 BC is a more cost-effective option to unlock the potential of your small business.
  • D365 BC has a lower price point per user compared to F&SCM
  • Implementation of Business Central is quicker and less complex than Dynamics 365 operations or the Finance and Supply Chain Management
  • Though BC comes with less depth of functionality, there are numerous options to ramp up its features to meet your evolving business needs.
  • Business Central is a more user-friendly solution than Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management

Why and when choose Dynamics 365 F&SCM?

If you're an owner of larger enterprises with complex operations spread across multiple locations, consider these:

  • Dynamics 365 F&SCM is a more comprehensive and powerful finance and ERP solution for the efficient management of your supply chain than Business Central
  • D365 F&SCM has a higher price point per user compared to Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (or its separate modules) takes longer and is more complex even if your business model is small.
  • D365 F&SCM comes with a greater depth of features, including production control, advanced warehousing, barcode emulator systems, and other supply chain-related tasks.

Factors Influencing Your Decision About Dynamics 365 ERP Apps

When choosing the ERP solution that solves your business problems, there are a few key business-critical factors that you can get help from. These include:

The Complexity of Your Business Operations: For organizations that have a complex set of operations (like in manufacturing and supplying OEM parts) spread across the globe, a solution like F&SCM may be necessary due to its reach and capability to provide effective business solutions. Whereas Business Central is flexible and can be configured to meet the basic business needs of small-sized organizations.

Assigned Number of Users: The number of users is an important consideration when figuring out which ERP solution best suits your operations. If you have many users (more than 300, or so) and a high transaction volume, F&SCM is the most likely choice. In addition to that, F&SCM has a minimum user requirement of 20, compared to just one user for Microsoft Business Central (with max # of users = 300).

Implementation Timeline: The implementation schedules can vary significantly due to the size and complexity of these two ERP modules. The Business Central can be implemented in 6 to 8 months, while F&SCM may take months of labor, time, and extra resources. However, since both are cloud-based ERP solutions, both are scalable and can grow with you.

Growth Objectives: It's crucial to plan your business goals for growth while choosing a modern ERP solution.

Dynamics 365 Business Central may be the right choice for your business now, but you may need to activate added features as business demands. A trusted Microsoft Dynamics Partner can help support your goal by adding on software products (more than 5000 in total) available on the Microsoft AppSource, from third-party vendors or by suggesting a different package from Dynamics 365 family, which will be scalable for the next 5 to 10 years.

Note: Revenue/ROI (return on investment) cannot be used as a key indicator when selecting an ERP solution. Revenue can be misleading, depending on the dollar value of what you sell. Instead, focus on the above-listed factors to ensure that you choose the right cloud ERP solution for your business.

What is the benefit of choosing cloud-based ERP Software?

Companies opt for modern ERP solutions if they've outgrown their existing system. Or the current ERP solutions partner may not offer the required support to help the company achieve its peak level performance and compete.

If you're here to secure and upgrade your legacy ERP software and would like to govern your operations through the trending business management solutions, here are some of the most valuable takeaways for Businesses:

Deeper Visibility into Your Data: With Dynamics 365 solutions, business decision-makers have Power BI dashboards, reports, and big data visibility at their fingertips. Also, the ability to transform complex data sets into visual insights is easier today than it used to be.

Remote Work Enablement: Earlier ERP solutions cannot cope with today's ways of doing work. With business apps like Business Central (online) or D365 F&SCM in the Microsoft cloud, teams do not have to worry about working from the office settings only. Rather, employees can work from anywhere, anytime.

Savings On Involved Costs: It is a fact that on-premises infrastructure costs way more than a cloud-based solution like Business Central or D365 F&SCM. These solutions are hosted in Microsoft Azure to keep your business continuity and become less worried about business continuity disaster recovery which is expensive in the case of manual management of data using the hard drives.

Data Security: Microsoft is a leader in cyber security and is second to none among the FAANG. This software giant offers a higher degree of security since your data is stored and protected in high-grade data centers located across the United States and the world. Not only that, but Dynamics 365 apps also come with built-in data protection and encryption features that can identify and block cyber security threats.  It can enforce security protocols like multi-factor authentication and access privileges.

Flexibility and Scalability: If you're out for easy-to-learn and manage ERP solutions, there seems no alternative than choosing cloud-based ERP that is easier to customize and scale. Meaning, a cloud ERP grows as your business grows and does not affect your business continuity in any way. Plus, you get automatic updates, add-ons, and third-party solutions for the latest functionality.

Which Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution is best for your business?

There is no specific answer to this question, rather it is about the question - what are the priorities you're looking to manage for your business?

For example, are you stumbling across partner to partner to accelerate your sales and services, facilitate project success, or optimize the supply chain so that your manufactured products reach the distribution points, and that too in-time?

If so, you need to bless your people close to your business with either Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

But remember, for the basic business needs, D365 BC could be the best fit. It is so because, with this cloud-based ERP is for SMBs/SMEs to easily connect your sales, service, finance, and operations and enable your workforce to work smarter, adapt and learn faster to perform better.

Whereas, if you come from an enterprise that has a complicated set of operations (even if the size is small) to manage like an automobile company that assembles various parts brought from different vendors or a manufacturing company that needs easy resource planning and a smart supply chain for efficient distribution of its products, Dynamics 365 SCM may be the right choice.

Note: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is implemented along with Dynamics 365 Finance. Contact your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner for more information.

How can Dynamics Square Help You Decide the right Dynamics ERP for you?

Dynamics Square is a top-tier cloud technology provider that works in 1:1 meeting setup to right-size the requirement of an ERP solution that fits your organization, so that you move forward with your heads high.

You can get in touch with our certified Microsoft consultants and get a FREE Demo to determine which system - Business Central or Finance and Supply Chain Management, or Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations - is best for your business.

Important: Check and learn about the end-of-support plans for different Microsoft Dynamics 365 products for the next several years.

Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain is a seasoned Digital Marketing specialist renowned for his expertise in harnessing the power of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to propel business growth. With an impressive track record spanning more than four years, he has cultivated fruitful partnerships with numerous SaaS enterprises, driving substantial brand recognition and unlocking revenue potential.


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