In 2022 I wrote my first article reviewing the best Business Central manufacturing partners. Some things have changed since I wrote my first article, some new partners have entered into my list and some old ones have dropped off. I am constantly asking colleagues, addon vendors and customers for their input into this list and as the year begins I’ve decided to update the list for 2024.
Prospects will ask me “who other than Sabre should I get a quote from?” What they want to know is who other Business Central manufacturing partners are that I would recommend. It is a weird question (since Sabre is obviously a Business Central manufacturing partner) but it is a fair question.
I am not worried about competitors. I believe we are the best at what we do and I stand behind that. That said, we don’t do everything.
There are a LOT of business central implementation partners who list manufacturing along with 6 to 10 other industries that they specialize in. I don’t believe that any partner can “specialize” in 7 different industries. Partners like that are not in this list.
To make this list I have to know from personal contact that the consulting team at the partner have real-world manufacturing experience. They know the use cases and have experience in the manufacturing world, not just as accountants who have learned the software features. They have walked production floors and pulled hundreds of steel shavings out of their boots or shoes (or worn safety glasses, or hair nets or whatever 100s of times).
No. 1 – Tecman (aka Technology Management)
Europe’s Top Business Central Manufacturing Experts
As I have interacted more with James Crowter and his team at Tecman, I recognize someone who has “game” in Business Central manufacturing implementations. James is involved in the European Business Central community extensively, and shares his time and expertise openly with the community.
Tecman as a business know their stuff. I can tell from my discussions with their team that like Sabre, they do a LOT of manufacturing projects. Tecman also has an affiliated ISV software team operating as Clever Dynamics, and like InsightWorks is creating the tools needed to fill in the gaps in the Dynamics 365 Business Central manufacturing implementors toolbox.
James is one of those consultants that has walked manufacturing floors and “gets it” when you discuss the actual real world problems manufacturers have.
If you are in the English speaking world, Tecman are among the absolute best Business Central manufacturing partners.
Contact Tecman here: https://www.tecman.co.uk/get-in-touch
No. 2 – Innovia Consulting
Experts in Business Central Batch Manufacturing
Reprising their number 2 spot this year is Innovia Consulting.
The folks at Innovia are among the few experts in manufacturing with Business Central that I can exchange war stories with about manufacturing. Manufacturing is unique among industries because (in general) the way you manufacture is a “secret sauce” and not shared broadly. As a top Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation partner you need to have seen lots of examples of those secrets to do a great job for your customers.
Since writing this outline the first time, I have realized that Innovia’s specialization is with mixed-mode manufacturing, especially involving batch or process. This is an area Sabre avoids, because the complexity and regulations are a big challenge.
I also know from experience that their background in rescuing failed implementations is great experience. Sabre began as a business over 25 years ago doing the same thing. These rescues are the result of a bad fit between the partner and the customer.
Innovia are extremely good at the very large, very complex, very costly manufacturing implementations that even Sabre feels are outside our comfort zone. I would highly recommend contacting them if you want some advice or a competitive quote for your complex manufacturing project.
Contact Innovia here: https://www.innovia.com/contact
No. 3 – Stoneridge Software
Up and Coming Business Central Manufacturing Experts
Stoneridge Software has been on my radar for a couple of years. They were primarily a Dynamics GP partner prior to the 2020s. They are on the list as I’ve noticed their increasing presence in the process and batch manufacturing ecosystem with Business Central.
Stoneridge has a large team and has been rapidly building their Business Central manufacturing practice. They are developing experience and skill with Yaveon, a Business Central manufacturing addon for the process manufacturing industry space.
I put them in the list because several trustworthy people that I have spoken with (who I respect greatly) have mentioned them, and we have a mutual customer (where Sabre provides advanced cloud networking and IT services). I will keep my eye on Stoneridge in 2024.
Contact Stoneridge here: https://stoneridgesoftware.com/
Aside about Batch Manufacturing
For the last 2 partners I highlight their Batch Manufacturing expertise. There are technically two broad categories or modes of manufacturing, Batch and Discreet. Discreet Manufacturing is the specialization of Sabre and several of the other partners listed here. An easy way to understand the difference is to compare making soup to making toys. You are limited by how much soup you can make (at a time) by the size of the pot. With wooden toys you’re limited only by how much wood you have (and your time).
If it takes all day to make soup, and you have only one pot, then that’s all the soup you can make. Want to make more soup, you need more pots.
You could make many more toys than you can make soup pots- also because you don’t need pots to hold toys – but you do to make soup.
No. 4 – Accent Software
Experts in Manufacturing
I came very close to adding Accent Software to the last list of top Business Central Manufacturing Implementation partners in 2022, but left them off because (to be honest) their marketing was pretty bad. I had the pleasure to run into Ben Baxter at Community Summit and I quickly realized “here is a guy with some chops.” Despite the less than exciting marketing of their website, I am not confident that Accent Software knows what they are doing and has that expertise that I value in a manufacturing consultant.
Ben comes with some great pedigree as a candidate for best Business Central manufacturing partner. His family owned and operated Cost Control Software. When I first was introduced to Business Central (then called Microsoft Dynamics NAV) it was immediately clear that Cost Control Software was considered the top addon vendor for manufacturing in NAV.
Access Software, like Sabre, is hyper focused on discreet manufacturing projects, also often for the small manufacturing customer. I have happy to highlight them in this list for the first time as I do believe they deserve to be here.
Contact Accent Software here: https://www.accenterp.com/
No. 5 – DSWi (formerly Dynamics Southwest Inc)
The Other ETO and Project Manufacturing Partner
I’ve known of DSWi as a partner for a long time, but did not add them to the list as they had too many “vertical solutions” areas. As I mentioned above, when a partner says they are experts in too many categories, I feel they can’t be experts in any.
DSWi made the list this year because having spoken to their COO AJ Ansari at a Microsoft event in Europe, I gained a better appreciation of what they are doing and that these multiple areas might make more sense than I thought.
DSWi have selected ISV addon products that are highly oriented to specific modes of manufacturing, and as such they stick to what they are good at. One of these areas is Dynamics Business Central ETO manufacturing, which frankly most partners are terrible at.
Having a long conversation with them, I realized these people know what they are talking about when it comes to ETO. For that reason, I think it’s fair to add them to the list. I can’t speak to other discreet manufacturing projects, but for project manufacturing and engineer to order they know their stuff. They also sell a competitive product to our Sabre ETO which I know for a fact is a great fit in this type of manufacturing.
If you are looking for a great engineer to order manufacturing partner for Business Central, I would definitely contact them.
Contact DSWi here: https://www.dswius.com/about-us
Honorable Mention – InsightWorks
The Best ISV Addons for Business Central Manufacturing
I want to mention some ISV addons this year, as most of the best Business Central manufacturing partners rely on great addon products to support their business. InsightWorks is Sabre’s number one product partner for manufacturing customers. Almost every one of our customers have at least one of their products, whether it’s the Shop Floor Insights MES (Manufacturing Execution System), The Dynamic Shop rate shopping software or the Warehouse Insights mobile warehouse management tools.
InsightWorks is affordable, built for manufacturing, and the owner Mark Hamblin has forgotten more about manufacturing than 99% of Business Central partners will ever know. This is a must have honorable mention.
Contact InsightWorks here: https://dmsiworks.com/
Honorable Mention – Netronics
The Best ISV Addons for Business Central Manufacturing
Netronics is an addon Business Central manufacturing partner laser focused on one thing, scheduling. The Netronics VAPS (Visual Advanced Production Scheduler) is rapidly becoming the go-to scheduling system for production manufacturing customers using Business Central. Although InsightWorks has their own product (which is also great) the Netronics product along with their top tier support has to make our list this year.
Contact InsightWorks here: https://dmsiworks.com/
Conclusion of the Top 5 Business Central Manufacturing Partners
When I think of Dynamics 365 Business Central manufacturing partners, these five (plus the two honorable mentions) come to mind. These companies are professional and have been doing what they do either for a long time (eg: Innovia) or are up and coming and impressing me (eg: Stoneridge).
If you found this helpful and want to speak to someone at Sabre, we’d be happy to talk with you one on one. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill in our Contact Us form or give us a call at (519) 585-7524.
Book a 30 minute meeting with the author, Rob Jolliffe to discuss this article in more detail or ask any questions you want answered.