Points to Consider When Selecting an ERP System

By Open Door Technology

Choosing an ERP system can be overwhelming when trying to match up features with key requirements identified by all departments of your organization. Finding an ERP system that will not only meet your needs, but also improve your business is paramount. We’ve identified some key considerations when selecting a new ERP system.

Evaluate your current operation processes

  • A new ERP system will not solve flawed processes within your organization if you don’t first identify the issues and how to resolve them. Make a list of specific system requirements by department so you will be ready to match those requirements to ERP systems that will improve your current operations.

Choose your customizations carefully

  • Highly customized ERP systems can become quite costly not only during the initial implementation, but during future upgrades as well. Although customizations add an additional expense there are circumstances where the benefits of having a flexible ERP system to match your unique processes could be a game changer in your industry. The key is choosing an ERP system that has impressive core functionality with the ability to quickly add customizations if and when needed.

Determine your resources and commitment to the project

  • The success of your ERP implementation will depend on adequately planning your time and resources. The buy in of your team to learn and adapt to a new system is crucial. When implementing a new system you must provide the necessary time and resources for training. You might also consider providing extra training for your employees with strong technical skills so they can become experts and resources for assisting fellow employees.

Consider appointing an ERP champion and product expert

  • Select an employee who can act as the champion and project manager for the new ERP system. They should concentrate on learning the system inside and out so he or she can be the point of contact for the vendor and the employees.

Make sure you factor in change management

  • Change Management may sound like a fancy buzzword, but do not underestimate the importance of planning out the finer details of how your organization will deploy its new ERP system. The implementation of a new system brings about a lot of changes and can be a stressful time for staff as they learn a new system and business processes. Many implementations fail because of inadequate planning and lack of buy-in from staff. You can minimize issues by deploying communication plans and workshops to ensure a positive reaction and adoption to the new ERP system.

How many companies are using Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft recently released the number of companies using their various Dynamics products and, once again, Microsoft Dynamics NAV tops the list with the most new additions and the highest number of customers worldwide. The Microsoft Dynamics products gained market share as a whole with GP and NAV having an increase of 30% more customer ads and AX having over 30% license growth in North America over the last 6 months.

Dynamics NAV is the most popular mid-market ERP system in the world, which gives it significant momentum when it comes to driving innovation and product development. One of the reasons for its success is Dynamics NAV’s ability to quickly integrate to virtually any industry across multiple languages and currencies. The result is a strong worldwide user community and significant growth year over year.

The Dynamics NAV product has undergone some significant updates with the NAV 2015 release and continues to implement new improvements and technology improving its flexibility and scalability.  In addition to Windows, browser, and SharePoint clients, users now have the option of a client optimized for a variety of tablet platforms, offering great mobile flexibility.

We look forward to seeing how the world-wide customer base will continue to push innovation in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The 2015 breakdown of the Microsoft Dynamics customers worldwide by product is:

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 20,000 companies (formerly 19,000 companies in 2014)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP 47,000 companies  (formerly 47,000 companies in 2014)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 110,000 companies (formerly 102,000 companies in 2014)
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL 13,500 companies (formerly 13,500 companies in 2014)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 40,000+ companies and 4.4 million users (formerly 40,000 companies and 4 million users in 2014)

Why Convergence is an important event for Microsoft Dynamics users

Microsoft Convergence is the time when the Microsoft community members gather to network with other users and get inspired by exploring and sharing new technology and business solutions. Leaders in Microsoft technology will share new innovations and product updates and attendees can also connect with peers and experts. Attendees will walk away feeling energized and confident about their long-term investment in Microsoft technology.

Open Door Technology will be heading to Microsoft Convergence to exhibit Open Door Rental Software, a solution built in Microsoft Dynamics NAV for equipment rental companies or equipment dealers. Join us at Booth #8 to learn more about our complete system for rental and service management.
This annual event is being held this year on March 16-19, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. Find out more about Convergence.

Find out some tips for maximizing your time onsite at Convergence.

See Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 at our Client Open House

We want to help our clients get the most out of their Microsoft Dynamics NAV system and so we are hosting a Client Open House on November 20, 2014 to view the newest release of Dynamics NAV.

Clients are invited to join Open Door Technology’s annual Open House to see the new features of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015, which includes a new tablet version and other applications such as Jet Express for Word, which allows you to design NAV document templates right in Microsoft Word. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend the hands-on labs following the presentation in order to see these exciting new features firsthand and chat with Open Door Technology staff one-on-one.

The Open House will take place in Calgary, AB and out-of-town clients are given the opportunity to attend by webinar.

If you are a client of Open Door Technology, please register today!

Attendees can expect the following:

  • 1:00 Begin Arriving
  • Refreshments served through out
  • 1:30 Presentation Begins
    • Overview of new features of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
    • Improvements to user interface and simplified upgrading
    • New tablet client
    • New ‘Small Business’ Role and simplification options for some businesses/users
    • Power BI Reporting Concepts and Report scheduler
    • Jet Express for Word for designing NAV 2015 document templates in Microsoft
    • ZetaDocs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
    • Microsoft Social Listening
    • Plus more topics!
  • 3:45 Hands On Labs:
    • Technical Sessions on how to install/manage NAV Web Client
    • Tablet Clients available for review/training on various tablets (Surfaces/iPads)
    • Jet Reports 2013 Update 1 and how to upgrade

See Jet Express for Word and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Jet Express for Word is a free feature of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 to allow users to create and customize their own document templates for Dynamics NAV right in Microsoft Word. Jet Reports and Microsoft have partnered together to give end users an easy to use system to design templates in the familiar environment of Word.

Once a template has been created in Word, it can be imported into NAV to use when creating documents such as Credit Memos, Invoices, Orders, and Quotes. Jet Express for Word gives the user the ability to design a template from scratch or customize templates from Jet Reports or Microsoft. Jet Express for Word will only pull available data from NAV and will not perform calculations.

The interface of Jet Express for Word allows users to search available NAV fields in plain text and double click to add anywhere in the Word document. Logos and graphics can also be easily added and the font and type can also be formatted.

Join us on October 29 for a webinar as we present Jet Express for Word and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015.

  • Register Now
  • Wednesday, October 29 at 9:00 am – 10:00 am MDT

Download Jet Express for Word

Software Requirements

• Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
• Office 2013 Desktop Edition

Malcolm Roach now President and CEO of Open Door Technology

Please note that effective immediately Wilton Damas is no longer employed as the president of Open Door Technology. Malcolm Roach, the CEO and founder of the company, will assume the dual responsibilities of being the CEO and president.

“We do thank Wilton for his four years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors. I personally have learned many things from Wilton about project management and product life cycles, in particular, while he was here,” Mr. Roach said.

Mr. Roach founded Open Door Technology in 1992 to support ERP solutions capable of integrating people, processes, and technology. Since that time the company has developed specialized solutions for equipment rentals and oilfield service based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics CRM. Open Door has grown into one of the largest Microsoft Dynamics and ISV development partners in North America with staff and customers located throughout the United States and Canada.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 at Directions 2014

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 – We’ve seen some sizzle, where’s the beef?

I’m writing this after day 2 of the Dynamics NAV 2015 Directions conference.  As you might expect, the sizzle came out on day 1 and day 2 began to fill in the details.  I was able to attend some sessions on sales and marketing and was able to gather some interesting insights that I thought I’d share.

The new importable Word templates in Microsoft Dynamics NAV are even more impressive in detail than shown in the introduction on day 1.  There are some applications requiring complex invoices where this may not be applicable and a SQL RDLC report may be more applicable.  For the vast majority of customers, this feature will be extremely useful and save significant effort and dollars from customizing invoice formats while putting this control in the hands of the users.  Users can select the correct format at the time of running the report.

I was able to attend a thought-provoking marketing session based on the premise of generating 1 lead per day, refusing to do demo’s, and avoiding RFP’s (Request for Punishment) like the plague.  An important supposition was the shift of importance from Sales to Marketing.  A comment was made that you can get four marketing people for the price of one salesperson.  Keep in mind that the sales quota for a salesperson in this environment is around $4,000,000 per year.  Salespeople become highly efficient processing of qualified leads delivered by an integrated and automated marketing system.

There is now a Mini App option included in Dynamics NAV that is intended to replace the C5 product in Denmark, a solution with 85,000 customers and targeted towards the lower end of the market.  While the screens have been “dumbed down” for entry level customers, that is only one component.  The system also provides enhanced tool tips, embedded instructions, dismissible dialog, etc.  Very promising for anyone looking to move new customers from entry level systems such as QuickBooks and Simply.

There continues to be emphasis on the Cloud and Microsoft Azure.  It seems that Cloud partners are coming out of the woodwork, each striving to come up with a unique value proposition.  There are some excellent technical classes that others in our firm were able to attend  and I will share more information from their experiences as we share notes.

Read here for my notes on Day 1 of Directions 2014 and the exciting release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Features Announced

Okay, as an accountant, perhaps I am too easily impressed by new releases of software, but Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 continues its path of incremental improvement in functionality, but with very impressive advances in technology and integration to the Microsoft stack.

An ongoing challenge in Dynamics NAV 2013 has been the need to utilize SQL Server reporting services for all reports and documents. While it is very capable, the SQL Server reporting environment cannot be accused of being a rapid development environment and this is especially true when creating complex documents such as invoices. Dynamics NAV 2015 offers the spectacular ability to take a Word invoice format from the Microsoft online repository (or other sources) and use Word to map Dynamics NAV fields into the document. This new invoice format can be modified using the Word style templates and is then easily imported into NAV for immediate use. This functionality is also included with the new tablet client. This ability is available without using a development toolkit and can be done by the customer without the assistance of the reseller. A utility available with Jet Express allows the available fields to be viewed and dragged onto the Word template.

While this was the most visual of the many improvements, there were significant advances in other areas. A small business version is now available with simplified screens and functionality to smooth the transition of users new to ERP from Simply, QuickBooks, and other entry-level systems. The new Web Client is 30% faster and requires four times less bandwidth. A very capable and smooth Tablet Client was introduced for Android, IOS, and Windows tablets that is easily configurable to meet the unique requirements of customers using the Dynamics NAV development toolkit. It includes dashboarding and transaction processing capabilities. It should be noted that the tablet client can run only in online mode and is not meant for use on smartphones. User testing of the Tablet Client produced a 92% approval rating, which is quiet impressive for a first generation product. The new Dynamics NAV Role Center has much improved business intelligence capabilities with the ability to define business rules that automatically show positive or negative trends in the activity cues. Users for example, can define a limit for the amount of overdue invoices before notifying the user of a problem. Anything over this will trigger a red flag on the activity cue on the Role Center.

The Jobs module will also be moved to the Base Pack so that less complex organizations will no longer need to purchase the Extended Pack. As a promise of better things to come, the next release of Dynamics NAV is to include a configurable workflow engine. There has been a lot to see at day one of Directions 2014 with promises of more. In one session presented by a Cloud sponsor, it was noted that 50% of new customers consider the Cloud but so far 95% are still choosing to implement in-house. That same provider noted that they had over 2,000 hosting clients, which is an impressive total.

Microsoft Dnnamics NAV 2015 will be available beginning on October 1, 2014 for new customers and October 6 for existing customers.

By Malcolm Roach, CEO of Open Door Technology, writing from Directions 2014

Microsoft Dynamics NAV for a VP of Operations

Now that the sales department has sold the company’s products and services, your group has to deliver. Maintaining a careful balance between supply and demand and watching costs is critical to the success and profitability of your organization.

In today’s business environment, a powerful and reliable management information system is the foundation piece you need. Costing, quality control, scheduling, access to scarce resources, expediting and optimization of operating practices are just a few of the things you need to consider on a daily basis.

Microsoft Dynamics® NAV solution available from Open Door Technology provides a real-world answer to your company’s issues.

With standard modules for manufacturing, warehouse management, and job cost, it also allows you to configure the system to match your unique business requirements.

This flexibility offers your company access to significant competitive advantages and operational efficiencies through the use of a rapid application development toolkit that delivers high-quality code with a minimum of time and cost. Some of the more unique features available to assist you in your role as vice president of operations include:

  • Real-Time Operations and Financial Data – Your information is as up-to-date as the last posted transaction. This allows operational and financial decisions to be made based on current data and that be easily displayed in a dashboard format using a number of different products.
  • A Comprehensive Supply Chain Management System – The wide functionality available within Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows a company to meet its needs right from marketing through to receipt of the payment from the customer.
  • Manage Demand Planning and Minimize Inventory – The flexible manufacturing, distribution, advanced warehousing and service management modules allow the software to be configured to match your company’s requirements.
  • Enhanced Warehousing Capabilities – Microsoft Dynamics NAV offers a number of warehousing modules including portable bar code readers to enhance receiving, stocking, picking, shipping, warehouse optimization, and returns functions, among others.
  • Accessibility of Information – All information is immediately available from a summary report level down to the detailed transactions underlying the report.
  • A Completely Integrated System – Never again will precious resources and time be wasted on trying to integrate a variety of third-party systems. Information is immediately available to all users. System upgrades become much simpler as well.
  • Configuration to Fit Best Business Practices – The system can be installed as an off-the-shelf solution or configured to fit best practices available for your organization.
  • Low Total Cost of Ownership – Microsoft Dynamics NAV is priced as a mid-market package and saves significant amounts in the cost of the software, the initial implementation and the ongoing software assurance program.
  • Guaranteed Software Investment From Microsoft – As one of the key applications from Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics NAV continues to be enhanced through a significant portion of a $1B research and development budget. As long as a customer remains current on their annual software enhancement program, Microsoft guarantees a free software license upgrade to any new technology it brings out.
  • Web Portals – The system allows web portals to be easily configured to match the unique requirements of your salespersons or customers.
  • E-Commerce – A powerful e-commerce solution is available, which allows all customer, item, and vendor information to be maintained directly within Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Web maintenance is significantly reduced while still maintaining the security needed for today’s Internet environment.

Read why Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the most popular mid-market ERP software system in the world with over 100,000 customers. Contact us with any questions you have about getting started with a Dynamics NAV system in your organization.

Why Your IT Department Needs Dynamics NAV

As the senior technology officer within your organization, you are responsible for a wide variety of functions, including strategy and operations. Implementing a new business software system can be a daunting task and in a time of shrinking budgets and increased competition, risks need to be minimized and results optimized wherever possible.

Your responsibility is to provide advice and assistance to other senior managers on information technology, and at the same time, develop, maintain, and facilitate implementation of a sound and integrated IT architecture.

A Microsoft Dynamics® NAV (formerly Microsoft Navision) business software system from Open Door Technology can help to minimize risk and optimize the final business solution.

Some of the more unique features available to assist you in your role as the chief information officer include:

  • Obsolescence Eliminated With the Use of Microsoft Technology – Microsoft Dynamics NAV is built on Microsoft technology including Microsoft server and database products. The program has the look and feel of Microsoft Office applications, significantly reducing the learning cycle for new users. Integrations between the system and other Microsoft applications improve user productivity.
  • Stability and Performance – Microsoft Dynamics NAV has earned an enviable reputation in the mid-market for minimal support requirements and high performance.
  • Scalable – The use of Microsoft technology and its efficient design allows Microsoft Dynamics NAV to be scaled up for virtually any mid-market requirements. The software is currently in use by over 100,000 customers in the world and provides an excellent alternative to packages such as SAP, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Oracle when they attempt to come down into the mid-market space. The concurrent power user count may exceed 200 concurrent users and many more if distributed processing is utilized.
  • Three-Tier Architecture – The three-tier architecture makes Dynamics NAV far more scalable utilizing a SQL Server database and provides for a services layer with web services that can be utilized to connect to virtually any third-party application over either a network or the Internet.
  • Real-Time Operations and Financial Data – Your information is as up-to-date as the last posted transaction. This allows operations and financial decisions to be made on current data.
  • Access to Dashboards and OLAP Technology – The real-time system with virtually unlimited transaction history provides an excellent foundation for a number of analytical tools to be used to provide key operating and financial metrics.
  • A Comprehensive System – The wide functionality available within Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows a company to meet its needs right from marketing through to receipt of the payment from the customer.
  • A Completely Integrated System – Never again will precious resources and time be wasted on trying to integrate a variety of third-party systems. Information is immediately available to all users. System upgrades become much simpler and allow you to retain any customizations.
  • Configuration to Fit Best Business Practices – The system can be installed as an off-the-shelf system or be configured to fit best practices available for your organization. The configuration of the system does not eliminate the upgrade path to future versions.
  • Low Total Cost of Ownership – Microsoft Dynamics NAV is priced as a mid-market package and saves significant amounts in the cost of the software, the initial implementation and the ongoing software assurance program. Implementation quotes are often a small percentage of the cost to implement a Tier One package such as SAP or Oracle, but provide for comparable functionality and performance in many situations.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the most popular mid-market ERP software system in the world with over 100,000 customers. Read more about why Dynamics NAV is so popular. Contact us with any questions you have about getting started with a Dynamics NAV system in your organization.