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Copy into legal entity data projects (DMF) - Onboarding of new companies

Often, ERP implementations cover multiple legal entities such as for example holding companies, subsidiaries and/or franchisees that require similar base configuration amongst them. While there are global forms and configurations, many parameters as well as configurations are legal entity specific and need to be maintained separately per legal entity. This leads not only to a possible risk of manual user error but also to large manual work efforts during the implementation and even after go-live when configurations need to be adjusted across legal entities or in case new subsidiaries are added and/or franchisees are onboarded.

In that context, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations uses Data Management Framework (DMF) and Entities for data migration. Within DMF there is a copy company data project type that can be leveraged to copy data elements and configurations via entities from one legal entity to another. Entities are a flat view of fields from one or multiple tables within Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. As of data architecture within Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, sequencing of those entities is essential as underlying data elements need to be loaded first to successfully import data projects.

To accommodate the above-mentioned, I introduced a copy company methodology that specifically addresses this scenario. Hereby, we differentiate between global entities that by nature do not need to be copied, legal entity specific entities that will be copied via copy into LE data project, and global as well as legal entity specific entities that need to be manually updated with company specific values first. For example, logically, sites, warehouses and inventory location are legal entity specific and thus need to be manually updated via DMF excel template first prior being imported via DMF import project. As of that, such can’t be just copied from a template legal entity and via copy into legal entity data project by nature. Lastly, I structured and sequenced entities for the copy into legal entity methodology in a certain way compliant with Dynamics 365 for Finance and operations data architecture. As every implementation has its unique essence of master data maintained, processes and modules implemented, our standard approach accommodate standard OTB entities at first. But, custom entities for unique scenarios can be added if needed.

As an outlook, while the above mentioned is orchestrated via Data Management workspace within Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations by default, if required, I am able to accommodate and bring this approach to the next level by handling and orchestrating the legal entity copy via PowerApp what increases the user experience even further. This would be an applicable use case of retailers or franchising companies that regularly onboard new companies.

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