Proactive, 24/7 Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations Monitoring Service Helps Sleep Product Manufacturer Rest Easier

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You’ve been running your business on a legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for years. You have a streamlined, automated, and FAMILIAR system. Your employees are comfortable using it — from front-office to back. By now, your costs are predictable. So far, you’ve avoided any devastating malware attacks. You believe you have control of your data, and you don’t rely on outside providers.

If this sounds familiar, maybe you are a bit too comfortable with your ERP solution status? During Hitachi Solutions’ recent Customer Conference, Keynote Speaker and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Leadership Associate Dean Bernie Banks said, “A leader’s job is NOT to make their people comfortable. …Organizations and people thrive over time because of adaptation.”

We know change isn’t easy. Adapting to new technology and solutions — like a cloud-based, data-driven ERP system — can seem daunting. But, have you considered the scalable capacity that migrating to the cloud.

Optimizing ERP

This manufacturer of specialty sleep products is always looking to be on the cutting edge of the bedding market — delivering innovation, quality, and comfort. But the company’s old ERP system was a nightmare. It was inefficient and outdated and had limited support options. This drove up their operating costs and left them more vulnerable to unplanned downtime.

Wanting to grow and continue to support customers at a high standard, the company decided to replace its on-prem ERP system with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (D365 F&O). This gave them a modern system to optimize operations. And moving to the Azure cloud gave them the scalability they wanted for future expansion. They trusted Hitachi Solutions to implement because of our industry experience and Microsoft expertise. In fact, their CIO had used Hitachi Solutions at another company and was completely on board to work with us again.

The migration was successful, eliminating manual tasks, automating order management and distribution processes, and providing greater inventory visibility and insights. D365 F&O provided a solid foundation to support the company’s aggressive growth strategy, revenue earning opportunities, and customer service goals.

Ensuring Maximum Performance

While D365 F&O can transform the way a business operates, it’s not without its challenges. Batch jobs and integrations are critical to fast, streamlined operations, but can affect performance. Deadlocks and blocking can cause slow-running systems. These issues are common and can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive for internal technical teams to handle.

Monitoring is the key to staying on top of performance issues. But for this company, finding the right resources to do this was keeping them up at night. Wanting to ensure peak F&O performance at all times, the company, once again, reached out to trusted partner Hitachi Solutions.

We have a skilled and knowledgeable Managed Services practice that was able to instantly augment their IT support with a unique D365 F&O monitoring service.

Through 24/7 batch job, performance, and integrations monitoring and customized alerts, Hitachi Solutions proactively detects long-running and failed batch jobs before they become problems that can negatively affect performance. Even if there is a performance problem, they are able to act quickly to minimize the impact to business operations, employee productivity, customer service, and profitability.

Subscription-based, our monitoring service is an easy and cost-effective way for this company to keep a watchful eye on the health of the system and avoid the cascading effects of stuck and failed batch jobs in D365 F&O. There are very few service providers who can offer this critical coverage for its clients.

Monitoring in Action: Deadlock Detection

Performance monitoring and enhancement activities are key to D365 F&O system optimization. But as a background service, how do you know if it’s working? Here’s a real-world example of monitoring in action.

After enabling logic monitoring to the company’s production environment, we observed a heavy flow of deadlock alerts. Deadlocks are when multiple operations are trying to update the same table — the first process essentially gains a lock on the table, and the second process sits waiting. Often the batch can get into a loop, and neither process completes successfully, hence the deadlock.

While some deadlocks are typical in a healthy system, if they become excessive they can begin to degrade business activities. Upon investigation, we noted 1,994 deadlock alerts that occurred one week and more than 1,500 alerts the following week! This was alarming.

We immediately raised the issue with Microsoft, who identified it as bug. They ended up resolving the issue by adding an index to the BatchJob table to increase performance. Post fix, we have not detected any more deadlocks to date.

What’s so important about this event is that we were able to identify a potential issue before it created any impact to the business. We were the ones who brought the incident to their attention, not their users or customers.

The company now has solid proof of the value D365 of Hitachi Solutions’ F&O Monitoring solution, and peace of mind that it is working in the background to keep their system healthy and performing at maximum efficiency. Everyone can rest easier!

We Can Help

As a member of the monitoring support team, I’m proud to be helping ensure the productivity and performance of this company’s D365 F&O system. If you have any questions about what we’re doing or want to learn more about our D365 F&O Monitoring solution, please contact us.

For more about Hitachi Solutions Managed Services practices and other support offerings, please visit us on the web.