When it comes to selecting software it helps to have good sources of information on the choices you are evaluating. Gathering data from a variety of sources is a good way to ensure you are viewing the options from a variety of perspectives. A mix of raw information and actual use cases will help you make a well informed decision that makes sense for the long term.
If you are looking at Microsoft Dynamics NAV, here are three good sources of information you can use in your research process. Having worked with hundreds of companies on selection, implementation and upgrade projects, we highly recommend using all of these resources during your evaluation process.
- NAVUG – the Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group – is made up of people with direct experience with NAV: www.navug.com. This is a great way to learn from others who are actively using the software and operate in business environments similar to your own. It is also a great way to pare down the list of potential implementation partners; those who are actively involved in industry groups are likely to be some of the better options in terms of knowledge, commitment and reliability.
- The Microsoft website for detailed information about products, features, functionality details, and online demos. If it is raw product details you are after, the Microsoft site can be a wealth of information. Combining this with the situational information you’ve gathered from other users helps you create a complete picture of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV options.
- Conferences and software showcase events where you can see live product demos. Seeing the software live is a must in your evaluation process. Events where live demos are offered create an opportunity for you to mix the value of seeing it with real-time discussions with product experts and other users. This results in a far more customized experience than online recorded demo videos.
Once you’ve had a chance to do your own research, getting together with an implementation partner is a great next step. Next week we’ll look at specific questions you should be asking a potential implementation partner to make sure they are a good fit for your organization and your project.
Yes, it’s true, we are well past the ½ way mark of 2014 which means the summer is winding down, kids are getting ready to go back to school, and budgeting season is upon us. The good news is, that there is still enough time to do a good projection on the financial requirements of that ERP/MRP/CRM software purchase or upgrade you’ve been planning for 2015. Here are a few tips for making sure that you are putting together an accurate projection of financial requirements for your project.
It’s not just the cost of out-of-the-box software that needs to be considered in your projection. Most companies require at least a minimal amount of customization or add-on options in order to optimize the software for their unique environment. Make sure to account for additional software costs that can come in the form of customization work, extra modules, additional licenses, and maintenance fees.
Take a good look at other software and systems that will or could integrate with your ERP/MRP/CRM. Chances are you will have at least a couple that will need to have a direct link. Make sure the versions and options you have in place will facilitate the desired integration.
Implementation isn’t free, nice as that would be, make sure that you don’t forget to account for costs associated with getting you up and running. Spend time talking in detail with your implementation partner now to make sure they fully understand the project scope and can provide you with an accurate estimate of the implementation costs.
This is a project that (if done right) you only do once every several years. Get hooked up with a partner who does it every day. Bringing in a strong consulting and implementation partner can save you big time in the short and long term. They will know just the right questions to ask to make sure you have everything you need for a successful transition right from the start. Getting it right the first time will eliminate slow-downs and double work, or worse yet having to scrap what you do with one vendor and starting all over with another.
Explore this topic further during our September software showcase event.
You already know that Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a powerful business management software offering full functionality at a fraction of the cost of other enterprise solutions. Did you also know that you can take your NAV environment to even greater heights with a few simple upgrades?
At Solution Dynamics, we spend a lot of time working with clients who are happy with NAV and want to expand on their use of the program and the data it holds. Here are three of our top picks for upgrading NAV.
Advanced Reporting for Group Collaboration
Take your reporting farther with advanced real-time reporting, KPIs and dashboards. Integrated reporting tools provide unparalleled access to your data without the need to understand complex database structures, and without the need for highly specialized programming skills.
Do in one report what used to take several by consolidating data from multiple locations or companies for streamlined reporting. Because the advanced reporting program is integrated, you are able to pull in budget balance, credit and debit information from any general ledger account within Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
With fully integrated e-Commerce functionality you can get online quickly with an affordable program that provides all of the functionality you need to get started and scales as your business grows. If you already have an e-Commerce site, make it better by having it connected in real-time to your NAV system.
Because your e-Commerce is fully integrated within Microsoft Dynamics NAV you get real-time stock and shopping cart calculations with orders processed instantly. Best of all, there is no cumbersome transfer of data from system to system which means everything moves faster and more accurately.
Sales Tax Management, Reporting and Compliance
Reduce the time it takes to manage, report and comply to almost nothing with a seamless integration of sales tax management, reporting and compliance program. At the same time you will improve your payment amount accuracy and eliminate the risk and costs of non-compliance.
Now you can automate the process of calculating, and reporting sales tax within Microsoft Dynamics NAV removing the work of entering each individual location into which your company sells, or creating detailed jurisdictional records for each known tax code. Leveraging the power of the integrated sales tax management reporting and compliance system, you will save time and ensure greater compliance and accuracy with sales tax rules and regulations.
Learn more about these Easy NAV upgrades and more at our free Software Showcase event on Tuesday, September 23rd from 10:00am - Noon in Bloomington, MN.
If you thought the R&D Tax Credit was just for big companies, you are not alone. Many companies who never explored the R&D Tax Credit because they didn’t think they qualify are learning that isn’t the case.
Join us for lunch on September 23rd in Bloomington, MN where we will take a closer look at the R&D Tax Credit and how many more companies are eligible to take advantage of it.
Visit the event page for details and to reserve your seat now.
Because of its very specialized nature, large numbers of small and mid-size manufacturers are not taking advantage of the R&D Tax Credit. Companies of all kinds, including those that make their own products and those that make parts for their customers often mistakenly believe that they DON’T have R&D taking place. You could potentially be missing out on immediate and substantial amounts of cash, as well as reducing future tax liabilities and improve cash flow.
Since Congress enacted the R&D Tax Credit in 1981, the majority of users have been big businesses even though it was fully intended to be used by companies of all sizes. The R&D Tax Credit can apply to a variety of areas including manufacturing, engineering, software development, quality assurance, and information technology. Any companies who manufacture products, improve products, develop prototypes, design specialized tools, apply for patents, perform specialized testing, develop new technologies, build facilities, improve processes, and more should explore the R&D Tax Credit opportunity.
Costs that qualify for the tax credit include; wages, supplies, contractor research and more. When you join us on September 23rd we’ll cover more details on the R&D Tax Credit while you have lunch on us.
We are excited to announce our Software Showcase event to be held September 23, 2014 in Bloomington, MN! The fall event is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with everything Microsoft Dynamics NAV can do for your company. If you’ve been thinking at all about ERP, MRP, CRM, E-Commerce, Sales Tax, Reporting or Dashboards you will not want to miss this information packed 2½ hour free event. Stick around after the information session for lunch on us!
See how it really is possible to have all the functionality you need, including:
- Sales Tax
All this in one system - delivered by the most successful implementation company in the Midwest. Find out why over 100,000 companies use this software!
Last week I talked about how selecting an ERP, MRP, or CRM software solution is not a one person job. Which got me to thinking more about the time that gets put into that decision and the team buy-in process. Fact is that planning well in advance of your desired implementation date makes the whole process much more efficient, effective, productive and fruitful.
While 2015 seems a long way off, if you are considering integrating ERP, MRP, CRM, E-Commerce, Sales Tax and easy to use Dashboards at the beginning of the year, or in time for the start of the year, now is the best time to get the evaluation, selection and buy-in process started. Keeping well ahead of the software implementation date gives you time to have substantive discussions and allows team members to really digest the information and think through how it will work in their respective areas of the company.
Compressed timelines lead to stress and apprehension. If you are not allowing enough time to fully understand what your ERP, MRP, CRM, E-Commerce, Sales Tax and Dashboard software can provide and what needs to happen for successful implementation it is a recipe for disaster. Compressed time lines mean you may risk making sub-optimal decisions, which may lead to bumpy or botched implementation, lower user acceptance, and longer more costly implementations with lower than expected results and value.
Taking a long-view to integrating ERP, MRP, CRM, E-Commerce, Sales Tax and Dashboards in 2015 does not mean a languid approach. Working backwards from your ideal go live date, set a timeline with clear definition of steps that need to be completed before that date. Here are some to consider:
Identify a small core team to lead the selection and schedule time together to discuss requirements of the software and what needs to happen internally for success.
Explore a broad base of options with your core selection team.
Define a few key requirements with the selection team.
Allow time for everyone to reflect on what they have seen and think through how the options will fit in their areas.
Meet to discuss opportunities, challenges and other thoughts from the group that will help ensure the software selection you make is a good one.
Schedule time for vetting potential implementation partners, and for the selection and contracting processes.
Make time for development, transition and implementation – keeping in mind your schedule constraints and those of your implementation partner.
Advanced planning and scheduling makes sure everyone has time to feel comfortable with the process, and will payoff in the end with a more positive implementation and transition process as well as higher/faster user acceptance.
Solution Dynamics has the people with the experience and expertise to help you manage every step of the process. We can help you analyze and document your current situation and desired outcomes – we can create a report that will be meaningful and valuable to your organization that can be used by any software implementation company you select. Less stress is better for everyone, so don’t delay – call Solution Dynamics today and start the process now.
Selecting an ERP, MRP, or CRM software solution is not a one person job. Because this is a decision that touches every part of your company, most companies try to collaborate and get buy-in from all the end-users. But interestingly enough, studies show that the key to successful implementations and higher ROIs is the participation of senior management in the selection and implementation processes.
Simply put – senior management leadership is essential to ensure proper adoption and long term use, and results in faster, better and more valuable outcomes.
Select a small core group of executives and key users to collaborate on the initial scope and final decisions and broaden participation to include that core group and more end-users in the demonstration phase. This will ensure that you gain input from the appropriate areas and understand what is important to all of them while keeping the final decision process efficient.
Here are the operational areas that should be included along the way:
- Executive Management
- Distribution & Supply Chain Management
- Service Management
- Sales & Marketing
- Account Management & Customer Service
Your business may have some or all of these departments and maybe more. The key is to make sure that somewhere along the line, when you are choosing ERP, MRP, CRM software, getting what management and the business needs won’t take a back seat to end-user buy-in.
Software should help you run your business more effectively, more efficiently, and increase revenue/profits while lowering costs. Management understands these issues better than anyone else in the organization – it is how they are measured.
Executive involvement in software selection and implementation will ensure that the new system is aligned with your organization’s short and long term goals and initiatives as well as daily processes and activities. When your executives participate in software selection and implementation, the software delivers what the end-users need and what the management team needs. Management participation and oversight sets your organization up for implementation success, broader adoption, and greater value realization.
Bringing in an outside implementation partner early in the process can help objectively bring end-user and management priorities together for faster agreement and smoother transition to your selected solution.
Microsoft NAV is a fully-integrated, enterprise-wide software solution that can be used in every department of your company. Deciding if it is the right solution for your company is an important decision, here are some of the factors to consider.
Distribution & Supply Chain Management
If distribution and supply chain management are important to your business, Microsoft NAV can help you save money and improve efficiency. With an easy to use interface, Microsoft NAV can be used by all of your employees who can interact with the system through personalized web portals. Click for a complete list of distribution & supply chain management functionality.
If you are a manufacturer, you need software that has broad feature functionality and is flexible and able to adapt to change quickly. Microsoft NAV is a great fit for manufacturers because it covers their production management requirements and much more with a quick return on investment. Click for a complete list of manufacturing functionality.
Microsoft NAV includes fully integrated CRM. This is important because it means that your entire team has access to real-time customer information. From basic contact management, to scheduling and tracking activity and service, NAV CRM can be tailored to your unique needs. Click to learn more about Microsoft NAV CRM functionality.
With service management functionality built into Microsoft NAV, you bring the full-circle customer experience under a single solution. This means that your team is able to provide faster, better service because they aren’t wasting time jumping between systems and using out of date information. Click here for more information on NAV service management functionality.
Solid financial management is critical to the success of your business. Microsoft NAV streamlines all of your financial processes and improves your ability to see what is happening with your business. Linking all of the previously discussed functions along with the financials means no re-keying of data and eliminates re-entry errors. Click for additional detail on Microsoft NAV financial functionality.
Microsoft NAV’s e-Commerce solutions is robust and ties in with all of the above elements of the NAV system. So, if eCommerce is important to you – now or in the future – NAV is your best choice. Click here to learn more about NAV E-commerce.
It happens… Bad software implementation partners sneak through the cracks… Formerly good software implementation partners fall apart… Whatever the situation, there is no reason to stay with a software consulting partner who doesn’t understand you and can’t deliver.
No matter how bleak the situation may seem, rest assured there is hope! When you’ve got a great software platform like Microsoft Dynamics NAV to work with, switching to a new consulting, implementation and support partner that better fits your needs is far less painful than you might think.
Case in point, we recently worked with a new client who had already worked with a different software implementation partner with high hopes of taking their business to a whole new level. Unfortunately, their initial implementation was far from spectacular. The client’s installation was done poorly with many unnecessary, customized modules were expensive, and in the end, weren’t necessary.
The client’s team was ready to give up by the time they got in touch with us. After talking through their business and their current situation, we were able to formulate a corrective implementation plan that would get them back on track. The client decided it would be better change implementation partners and fix their software, than get new software. The client selected Solution Dynamics and we went to fix their problems and get them back on track.
The client’s decision paid off. In just a matter of weeks we got them to a place where the software truly fit their business needs and made sense for them. Once they were back on track they were able to start moving forward and gaining the advantage they had been looking for with the software.
Their story isn’t unique; unfortunately, this happens to more companies than it should. The key is that they recognized they had an implementation vendor who couldn’t deliver to their standards and it was time to change. Suffering with the headache and hassle of a struggling ERP, MRP, CRM implementation vendor isn’t worth it and it isn’t saving any money. Making a change to a partner like Solution Dynamics who has the experience and expertise to help you achieve your goals is the smart thing to do.
Ban bad software consultants/implementation and support vendors from your organization and invest in partnerships that make you successful. The time and agony you’ll save are worth their weight in gold – and so are the business improvements you’ll see when the software you chose is set up to deliver what you need and want.
The numbers are growing every year: from 94,000 in 2012, up to 102,000 in 2013 - companies by the thousands are choosing Microsoft Dynamics NAV to run their businesses.
Microsoft NAV is a full function ERP/MRP/CRM software solution that comes at a fraction of the cost of comparable “tier-one” products. With this many companies on board and the solid backing of Microsoft, you know this product is getting the development support it takes to serve your needs now and well into the future.
NAV has the features that leave its competitors in the dust. That means robust options that allow you to tailor the software to meet the needs of your specific business. Think of that, more than 100,000 companies and each one can have a system that is unique to them.
Solution Dynamics installs, implements and supports NAV systems. For 35 years we’ve been streamlining business processes and helping our clients reduce costs, increase sales, and grow revenue. More than 95% of Solution Dynamics’ NAV clients renew annually – because they know with Solution Dynamics they have great software and an outstanding technology partner committed to our clients’ success.
If you feel like you are on your own, or that you are part of a shrinking group of users, or if it’s just time to upgrade/replace your current software, we invite you to get in touch with us to learn more about how Solution Dynamics and Microsoft NAV fit your business. There is no reason to feel like you are on your own when it comes to your software platform – join Solution Dynamics and the 102,000+ companies on NAV and enjoy the safety and peace of mind that comes from going with the most widely used software in the industry.