Building a Real-Time Enterprise

Mar 20, 2023

Every business transaction involves multiple steps. The challenge is to connect them all in Real-Time.

Workflows – The processes that fulfill an order are called a workflow. Historically, most business workflows were managed by paper. Technology has eliminated much of the paper, but the systems that manage a transaction live in different silos. Order processing, production management, financial transactions, and customer service are often managed within separate applications. These silos create gaps.

Plugging the Gaps of the ERP – Whether there are four or five steps in a workflow, or hundreds, coordinating the tasks. Most business activities (making calls, sending emails, taking orders, searching data, holding meetings, processing transactions) are actually “gap plugging” to get workflows to flow efficiently.

ERP systems promise to automate this big picture. ERP vendors promise a “real-time enterprise” where everyone is connected, information is visible, and the functions work together. ERP systems rarely deliver a true real-time enterprise.

One-Size Doesn’t Fit All – Manufacturers and product service companies don’t fit into one-size-fits-all solutions. Every industry has a unique way of doing things. Whether mixing concrete, cooking donuts, printing billboards, or manufacturing medical devices, each workflow is unique.

OUTDOOR IMAGE – Accelerating the Dynamics GP Workflow – Outdoor Image is a leading supplier to the outdoor advertising industry. Each custom billboard order must be fulfilled in hours and days, not weeks and months. The company needed a way to deliver accurate, real-time information to internal staff and external customers integrated with its Dynamics GP ERP system.

Workflow Requirements – Requirements included making real-time schedule modifications and notifications for critical events and integrating it into Dynamics GP, FedEx shipping, and barcoding systems. Ultimately, the solution would link marketing, sales, customer service, and shop floor activities to customers and their orders.

Filling Gaps – The TwinEngines leveraged its unique platform and ready-to-run accelerators to fill multiple ERP gaps by developing several custom-specific modules that connect to the ERP via the TwinEngines platform:

  • Job manager module captures job information and scheduling data.
  • Jobs detail module integrates job configuration into the ERP.
  • Graphics management allows users to check-in graphics documents specific to a job.
  • Order history offers a simple method to configure new orders from past jobs
  • Facility module provides facility and printer information, and links with the customer master view in Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Shipment module manages all shipment activity, and supervises Fedex and other carriers.
  • Operator interface lets printer operators manage print orders, log machine activities and receive performance measures.
  • Notifications module manages e-mail notifications based on specific order criteria.

Our Realtime Approach – It would be cost-prohibitive to build a real-time enterprise from the ground up. Instead, TwinEngines follows a disciplined approach where we audit every process within the workflow. We document every gap and every bottleneck that stands in the way of a seamless workflow. Next, we model a real-time system that reflects the way you do business — but without the bottlenecks. Finally, we use custom and proprietary modules powered by our industry-leading platform to connect the business systems, operational processes, industry-unique functions, and staff positions within your organization.

The bottom line is that you get your ERP system to perform how you do business.

ERP vendors promise a “real-time enterprise” where everyone is connected, information is visible, and the functions work together… but they rarely deliver a true real-time enterprise.


Discuss your operational goals with a digital transformation consultant.

TwinEngines, Inc.
154 Krog Street NE, Suite 140
Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: 404.522.4262