Business Central ERP for Discrete Manufacturing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a powerful all-in-one ERP solution that can be implemented to streamline discrete and process manufacturing operations. It comes with all the essential tools and capabilities required to supercharge a business with simplified processes and accelerated growth. Before understanding the core benefits of Business Central for Discrete Manufacturing, let's understand why it is essential.

The origin of ERP systems starts in the manufacturing industry. In 1964, an IBM engineer, Joseph Orlickly, developed a MRP (material requirements planning) solution to track inventory and production.

In 1970, MRP became more capable of handling manufacturing processes, and Gartner named such systems as ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution. With time, ERP became capable of tracking a product throughout the process, from purchasing raw materials to producing a finalised product.

The sole aim of building an ERP system is to manage and track discrete manufacturing with 100% visibility of processes. With an ERP, manufacturing businesses can manage different functions that include materials management, purchase order management, supply chain management, sales order management, and financial management.

What is Discrete Manufacturing?

On the ground level, there are two kinds of manufacturing processes: discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing.

Process manufacturing is the process of producing a final product using a predefined format by combining different elements. It's like making a dessert with a fixed set of elements.

Discrete manufacturing is the process of producing products or items on an individual basis and counting them as whole units. This manufacturing process consists of producing separate and identifiable units based on specific requirements. Some of the goods that we can manufacture using discrete manufacturing are automobiles, furniture, computers, and household appliances.

There are different aspects that define discrete manufacturing, including:

  • Order-Based Production: It is defined as the manufacturing of a product using a specific configuration and quantity.
  • Frequent Product Changes: It is defined as the manufacturing of a product based on frequent changes in specifications and resources over time.
  • Varying sequence of work centers: It is defined as the systematic process of production routing that can be simple as well as complex to take advantage of a network of operations.
  • Sub-assemblies: It is defined as the storage of components until other parts of a product are being manufactured to shorten the delivery time.
  • Status processing: It is defined as the process of updating the status of products and reporting consumption throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Low volume with high complexity: When production quantity is low but the manufacturing complexity is high.
  • High volume of low complexity: When production quantity is high but the manufacturing complexity is low.

Major Industries in Discrete Manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing is generally used in different important industries, among which some are:

Make to Stock

The Make to Stock companies manufacture and stock products in their warehouses. This methodology is generally used by industries with fast-moving product lines. Like a fabric manufacturing company.

Assemble to Order

The Assemble to Order business stores the resources of a product and builds it whenever there is a new order. Like a furniture manufacturing company. It assembles some furniture once a new order is received.

Configure to Order

Configure-to-Order businesses manufacture a product based on some specific configuration. Like, a computer manufacturing company builds a CPU upon receiving an order of certain specifications.

Make to Order

The Make to Order companies manufacture a product after receiving a confirmed personalised order from the customer. Such companies run based on customer demand rather than forecasting product demand.

Engineer to Order

The Engineer to Order companies build the complex product on specific customer demand. Like construction works, personalised machinery, ships, and more.

The Core Components of Discrete Manufacturing in Business Central

The premium licencing of Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a specific manufacturing module to tackle complex manufacturing processes and scenarios. Regardless of production type, we can customise Business Central to meet specific production needs.

To deal with discrete manufacturing, Business Central offers various functionalities. Some of them are listed below:


BOM (Bill of Materials) is an essential element of manufacturing businesses. It is used to track, manage, and plan the different components required to manufacture a product. It is a kind of list that contains different components like raw materials, parts, machinery, resources, and quantities of products.

Business Central offers the functionality of detailed BOM management that pushes the business towards accurate assembly and production.


Routing is the combination of different operations in a production cycle that specifies a path to produce a product. Business Central offers routing features to define the production workflow, determine the sequence of the production cycle, link the machines for product production, and optimise the entire process for enhanced efficiency.

Production Orders

The production order contains the entire details of an order, including specifications, volume, timeline, producer, and place. It helps the business create and manage production orders based on available machinery and resources. Also, it lets you get full visibility across the manufacturing process until the production of the final product reaches optimal quality.

Inventory Management

Manage, track, and control the entire inventory of a manufacturing business, whether it is related to raw materials or a final product. It enables you to track parts and components required to manufacture a product, including stock levels. Business Central for discrete manufacturing comes with accurate inventory levels that eliminate the chances of overstocking and understocking to minimise waste or excess inventory levels.

How can Dynamics Square help you streamline your manufacturing operations?

With 12+ years of experience and 150+ Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultants, Dynamics Square is available to simplify your complex manufacturing business and build new opportunities by leveraging the power of cutting-edge solutions. We have sufficient resources and infrastructure to follow a successful Dynamics 365 implementation, including personalised system customisations.

We have specific manufacturing experts that understand the current scenarios of the manufacturing business and offer a sustainable solution for a better future. Regardless of your manufacturing complexity, we are just a call away from you.

In case of need, write us an email at or call us directly at +44 207 193 2502 to get instant help.

See Also - Microsoft Business Central For Manufacturing

Vivek Gururani

Vivek is a Digital marketing expert at Dynamics Square, specializing in crafting compelling content on advanced tech topics such as ERP, CRM, cloud computing, AI, ML, BI and more. His profound passion for the digital landscape has led him to explore and master diverse fields including SEO, SEM, content strategy, and data-driven marketing.


Join our newsletter

Engaging stories and exclusive data, designed for our best customers. We only send one issue each month, so we try to make it useful.


Book a Free Consultation

See How Dynamics Square Can Help Transform Your Business With Microsoft Business Applications.