Extend Microsoft 365 BC and NAV with Smart IP&O

Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC and NAV can manage replenishment by suggesting what to order and when via reorder point-based inventory policies. The problem is that the ERP system requires that the user manually specify these reorder points and/or forecasts. As a result, most organizations end up forecasting and generating inventory policies by hand in Excel spreadsheets or using other ad hoc approaches. Given poor inputs, automatic order suggestions will be inaccurate, and in turn the organization will end up with excess inventory, unnecessary shortages, and a general mistrust of their software systems.  In this article, we will review the inventory ordering functionality in BC & NAV, explain its limitations, and summarize how Smart Inventory Planning & Optimization can help reduce inventory, minimize stockouts and restore your organization’s trust in your ERP by providing the robust predictive functionality that is missing in Dynamics 365.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC and NAV Replenishment Policies

In the inventory management module of NAV and BC, users can manually enter planning parameters for every stock item. These parameters include reorder points, safety stock lead times, safety stock quantities, reorder cycles, and order modifiers such as supplier imposed minimum and maximum order quantities and order multiples.  Once entered, the ERP system will reconcile incoming supply, current on hand, outgoing demand, and the user defined forecasts and stocking policies to net out the supply plan or order schedule (i.e., what to order and when).


There are 4 replenishment policy choices in NAV & BC:  Fixed Reorder Quantity, Maximum Quantity, Lot-For-Lot and Order.

  • Fixed Reorder Quantity and Max are reorder point-based replenishment methods. Both suggest orders when on hand inventory hits the reorder point.  With fixed ROQ, the order size is specified and will not vary until changed.  With Max, order sizes will vary based on stock position at time of order with orders being placed up to the Max.
  • Lot-for Lot is a forecasted based replenishment method that pools total demand forecasted over a user defined time frame (the “lot accumulation period”) and generates an order suggestion totaling the forecasted quantity. So, if your total forecasted demand is 100 units per month and the lot accumulation period is 3 months, then your order suggestion would equal 300 units.
  • Order is a make to order based replenishment method. It doesn’t utilize reorder points or forecasts. Think of it as a “sell one, buy one” logic that only places orders after demand is entered.



Every one of BC and NAVs replenishment settings must be entered manually or imported from external sources.  There simply isn’t any way for users to natively generate any inputs (especially not optimal ones). The lack of credible functionality for forecasting and inventory optimization within the ERP system is why so many NAV and BC users are forced to rely on spreadsheets.  Planners must manually set demand forecasts and reordering parameters.  They often rely on user defined rule of thumb methods or outdated and overly simplified statistical models.  Once calculated, they must input the information back into their system, often via cumbersome file imports or even manual entry.  Companies infrequently compute their policies because it is time consuming and error prone. We have even encountered situations where the reorder points haven’t been updated in years. Many organizations also tend to employ a reactive “set it and forget it” approach, where the only time a buyer/planner reviews inventory policy is at the time of order–after the order point is already breached.


If the order point is deemed too high, it requires manual interrogation to review history, calculate forecasts, assess buffer positions, and to recalibrate.  Most of the time, the sheer magnitude of orders means that buyers will just release it creating significant excess stock.  And if the reorder point is too low, well, it’s already too late. An expedite is required to avoid a stockout and if you can’t expedite, you’ll lose sales.


Get Smarter

Wouldn’t it be better to simply leverage a best of breed add-on for demand planning and inventory optimization that has an API based bidirectional integration? This way, you could automatically recalibrate policies every single planning cycle using field proven, cutting edge statistical models.  You would be able to calculate demand forecasts that account for seasonality, trend, and cyclical patterns.  Safety stocks would account for demand and supply variability, business conditions, and priorities.  You’d be able to target specific service levels so you have just enough stock.  You could even leverage optimization methods that prescribe the most profitable stocking policies and service levels that consider the real costs of carrying inventory. With a few mouse-clicks you could update NAV and BC’s replenishment policies on-demand. This means better order execution in NAV and BC, maximizing your existing investment in your ERP system.


Smart IP&O customers routinely helps customers realize 7 figure annual returns from reduced expedites, increased sales, and less excess stock, all the while gaining a competitive edge by differentiating themselves on improved customer service.


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Smart Software and ArcherPoint Team Up to Launch Smart IP&O for NAV

Collaboration Provides Smart Inventory Planning, Forecasting, & Optimization for Microsoft NAV

Boston MA., June 5, 2018 – Smart Software, Inc. is excited to announce the successful integration of its cloud-based Inventory Planning and Optimization software with Microsoft Dynamics NAV to create Smart IP&O for NAV.  Smart Software partnered with ArcherPoint Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics ERP Gold Partner and full-service provider for Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 to build the connector.

Smart Software is a global provider of next generation 100% web-based demand planning, forecasting, and inventory optimization solutions. ArcherPoint created the connector to integrate Smart Software’s tools with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The new integration brings the cloud-based Smart IP&O (Inventory Planning and Optimization) into the latest version of Microsoft’s ERP solution. By seamlessly integrating strategic planning in Smart IP&O with operational execution in Dynamics NAV, business users can continuously predict, respond, and plan more effectively in today’s uncertain business environment.

Jim Benson, sales executive from ArcherPoint says, Smart Software helps our customers by delivering insightful business analytics for inventory modeling and forecasting that drive ordering and replenishment in the latest version of Microsoft NAV. With Smart IP&O, our customers gain a means to shape inventory strategy to align with the business objectives, while empowering their planning teams to reduce inventory and improve service. In today’s supply chain, it is no longer enough to simply manage inventory. It must be optimized.”

The Smart/NAV integration makes all transactional data in NAV, such as shipments, sales orders, receipts, inventory on hand, and more, available in Smart IP&O’s data model. Smart IP&O brings this data to life leveraging field-proven analytics and forecasting methods. This enables executives and their planning team to identify operational inefficiencies, accurately forecast demand, model the financial and customer impact of current and proposed inventory policies, and return optimal planning parameters and forecasts to drive replenishment.

Greg Hartunian, CEO of Smart Software stated, “Businesses that leverage inventory optimization and forecasting technology are able to better understand their operations, lower costs, improve customer service, and outperform the competition. We look forward to working closely with ArcherPoint to help our joint customers achieve these key benefits.”

To learn more about the Smart IP&O for NAV and how it can help your business, please join us for a free webinar, Wednesday, June 27 at 2pm ET. We will provide a demo on the software, uses, and benefits of the product.  To register for the webinar please visit: https://www.archerpoint.com/events/lunch-and-learn-archerpoint-smart-inventory-planning-and-optimization

About Smart Software
Smart Software, a leading innovator in demand planning and inventory optimization software, offers Smart IP&O, an integrated suite of web-based demand planning, inventory optimization and supply chain analytics applications.  Smart Software has collaborated with ArcherPoint to develop an automated integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, enabling the transparent flow of data and results to drive Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning.  Founded in 1981, Smart serves a wide range of manufacturing, distribution, and transportation organizations including The Home Depot, FedEx, SCIEX, DisneyLand Resorts, MARS, BC Transit, Metro-North Railroad and many more.  Learn more at www.smartcorp.com.

About ArcherPoint
ArcherPoint has built a business around adaptive innovation. Regardless of industry, companies look to ArcherPoint as a business solution provider and partner they can depend on to deliver results. Our history with Microsoft Dynamics NAV dates back to the product’s beginnings. Today, our team includes experts all over the world, not only in Dynamics NAV solution designdevelopment, 24/7 support, and upgrades, but also in accounting, manufacturingretaildistribution, and other key areas of business. With a commitment to quality service, ArcherPoint is dedicated to helping companies realize true business value by giving them access to world-class ERP solutions that will grow with them to meet their needs now and in their future.

For more information, please contact Smart Software, Inc., Four Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478.
Phone: 1-800-SMART-99 (800-762-7899); FAX: 1-617-489-2748; E-mail: info@smartcorp.com