Is AX (formerly Axapta) your best Microsoft Dynamics ERP option? Use the "Rule of Multies" to find out.
The question often arises as to when it is appropriate to go with Microsoft Dynamics AX as opposed to another ERP offering in the Microsoft stable of software solutions.Of course the answer is complex and requires a detailed analysis of not only your functional business requirements and ability to implement what is essentially now a tier one business solution, but also a willingness to make the major financial investment required for this type of system. But what if you just want a "rough idea" of whether or not to go the AX route? In my years of evaluating ERP solutions I have found that a useful method of deciding if AX is a potential solution is the "Rule of Multies".
Each of the following “Multies” that you can check off of your functional requirements list is another step towards AX being the best solution in the Microsoft ERP world:
- Multi Company
- Multi LOB (line of business)
- Multi Location
- Multi Country
- Multi Language
- Multi-Dimensional Inventory or Financials
The more line items you check off the more certain it becomes that AX should seriously be considered and in some instances AX will turn out to be the only logical solution.
While there is endless debate in the reseller community as to the relative merits of Microsoft Dynamics AX versus NAV (and in some cases even GP) anyone with a real understanding of the functionality, technology and most importantly the relative resource commitment of Microsoft to the various ERP offerings, understands that AX is the premier product in its ERP line of products, the flagship ERP solution. To insist otherwise indicates a complete lack of understanding of the ERP products and of Microsoft’s direction.
The "Rule of Multies" as outlined above will rapidly begin to differentiate the field between product lines, and in some cases decide on a clear direction.
Multi Company and multi-location can go hand in hand but do not necessarily have to as in the case of a business that runs multiple lines of business or companies out of the same location. Especially noteworthy is the case where there are multiple production facilities or warehouses that create a supply chain.
Multiple currency, country, and language often go hand in hand but of course do not have to. Business regulations and tax considerations are usually found to be critical in companies with these requirements.
Not as straightforward or common is the requirement for multidimensional inventory or financial reporting. In many ways I find these to be the most challenging of the "Multiess" to understand and therefore the most difficult to implement. A case study based on one of these scenarios will highlight my next post.
Peter Joeckel is the President and Founder of