Implementation at the basic

Hi, We’re about to implement Navision into our company. I want to know which problems we could experience during this implementation. As an end-user (key-user) will I be able to control all of its software, however I’m very realistic when I say that no software is implemented without problems. I hope that U can help me here…

Hi Arno Teurlings, Problems depends on the “Modules” being implemented … but we always find solutions for these problems … [:D] All the best with the Implementation ! Best Regards, Srinivas Shetty

You will be able to control the software if you a) buy an “application builder” or “solution developer” license (the latter is quite expensive) and b) invest enough time and training to build up internal knowledge. Navision is a great platform for developing database applications, but finding your way through all the tables and routines takes its time. Good luck! PS: “Possible problems” - it depends upon too many factors to give a definitive answer… Your implementation could range from “superb” to “nightmare” [;)]

Nightmare [:0] hmmz… I don’t want to think about that. I understand that it depends on so many things, but what could I do to eventually prevent it becoming a nightmare ? I will have the demo on my PC at home and I will have the booklet of how Navision normally works… What further preparations could I take to control[;)] the implementation proces ? BTW, our software supplier will take a month developing special modules for us… maybe there’s a tricky thing ? Are there any known problems during conversion (from EXCEL to Navision) ?

ONE month? [:0] This is either excessively optimistic, or your company/installation/requirements excessively small, or your NSC excessively good at programming [:D] You should browse this forum a bit, there are quite a few threads where people describe their experiences with Navision. And yes, some of those implementations seem to have turned into a nightmare…[xx(] Controlling the implementation process is crucial, as are a good specification and an understanding of your needs and business processes. However, this is far too complex a topic to describe here. There are tons of manuals on this issue, both general and Navision specific. Erm… what do you mean with “conversion from Excel to Navision”? Are you saying that you are currently using Excel as an ERP and want to import all this stuff into Navision?[:0][xx(]

As long as you have done a good job choosing your NSC, then they should be able to make sure you avoid the Nightmare. It is impossible to avoid minor glitches, but the nightmare should be out of the picture. One of the biggest things to remember is that your are implementing a new piece of software…Don’t spend all your time trying to make it work/look like your old system.

No, we will use Excel for the importing and exporting of data, which is now stored in Omnivers (our current financial software). We will import the data in Excel, and via the conversion tool in Navision we will import it there… This is scheduled to take several hours/days, but no one is sure about that.

Well, maybe you could say a few words about your company’s size (number of Navision users) and whether you require a lot of non-standard Navision functions and modules. I’m asking because an estimated effort of “a few hours/days data import” and a single month of adaptation work sounds far too optimistic to me. Unless, of course, we are talking about maybe 5-10 users using mostly standard functionality and a few custom reports. Otherwise this is asking for trouble once the first deadline will not be met. Even if you (and your NSC) think you understand all your business processes and eventually come up with a specification you think is complete, your users will find many, many potential “improvements” once the system is installed and being used. Believe me. [:D] Disclaimer: I’m talking out of my experiences as an end-user and programmer working at a large construction company with a lot of Navision users. I have not done Navision implementations at customers myself, but I’m pretty sure some NSC folks in this forum will confirm my statements. [;)]

Ok here it comes… We will work with about 20 people in Navision. We will have some standard modules but as of my experience, our procedures how we cope with certain problems in our business, we will have to adappt Navision to these procedures… and not 1 or 2 of em but I guess 10 or 15 procedures will have to be adapted. Our reports will use the database of Navision completely. Completely means also : every day… I want a full backup of the database on our windows NT network which will be updated after the backup every night (by use of a batch-command). Especially I will have to develop reports. Every month we will have to print certain reports concerning the sales en stock per debtor and per group. This means that in the database the tables must be searched from the bottom (newest records) to the top (oldest records). Our service department will be using the special made module. Our software supplier have been taking a look into our current procedures of how the must make that module, but I guess it will never work, until the chief of the service department will have certain influences in it (during development). Maybe this will be enough information till now…

BTW, we will have the following Win server : Proliant ML350T03 model 6/2400 (1 Xeon cpu/512kb cache/256MB) with : - 768 MB of memory - a Smart array controller - 36GB HD (10k/Ultra320/hp) - internal 40/80GB DLT drive - 20/35/40GB DLT drives (7 pcs.) - DLT clear cartridge - Windows server standard 2003 Englisht OLP NL - Windows server diskkit - Windows server User Cal 2003 English Maybe some one can give his opinion about the reliability of this system or u can give any ideas of improvements. We will have Navision 3.xx for use…

Hi, the hardware server for 20 concurrent users looks fine. Windows 2003 should not be a problem. For 20 con users, I would suggest you run Navision database instead of SQL2000 DB simply because of stability. Back to the realism of 1 month customization for 20 users with 15/20 processes, my personal opinion is that it will not work for sure. You need at least 3 months plus you mention that you have a service management module to “make”…Navision 3.7 actually has a service module but of course may not meet your requirement. Really, from an NSC standpoint, our fastest record of implementing Navision for financials only with 5 users is 3 weeks but that is because we have only less than 15 documents to customize. Anyway, best of luck.

Hi Arno, Believe it or not, most of your problems will not come from the technical end. I think the best time I have implementing a new client is when the client absolutely knows every aspect of their business process; from start to finish without any assumptions. The worst thing you can do is try to implement a business solution without first understanding the business. You’d be surprised how many people who are working in a company for x number of years and still don’t know how things work. One other aspect is understanding the politics of the company. Know the key decision makers and the key people who actually do the work. Too often do I see the MIS staff thinking they have power to tell people what to do, or business owners thinking they can just lay a bunch of orders and expect them to be fulfilled. If you truly understand what your own company’s processing is, you can easily translate that into Navision. Be open minded and LISTEN to your consultant on providing you with their expertise on how things can run smoother and more efficient. Of course, use your best judgement on the advice received and make sure it makes sense on what you’re trying to do. If you understand what you need, Navision will be your “bestest” friend. If you don’t understand what you need, Navision will be your “worstest” enemy. Anywho, good luck. Alex

Hi Alex, Yeah, I know what you mean by that last phrase. I have ordered to our key-users (chief of the different departments) to describe their main processes. They will be made as a text, but also - and this is very important to Navision - as a stream-diagram (in Word we can use the command “Drawing” to produce these diagrams. This may be a lot of work, but everyone in the IT-business knows what we’re talking about[:o)]. I will post our progress in the implementation proces, so that other users AND developers can see what may be wrong…[;)] I thank [:D]all of you for your great understanding, and I can see that there are many users that are very confident about using Navision !

Hi Arno, some key challenges we usually face will be changing the “mindset” of the end-users. Programming, Navision, features…etc will not coz you any BIG problem …but the HUMAN does!! not sure whether you guys agree?? Just spend a bit more time to change the ppl mindset and adopt a new system!! Good Luck.! SASA Singapore

I am sure that I agree with you. We now use software which runs under Unix, with a Power Terminal. This means that the software is based upon a DOS-minded environment. Next will be Navision… A Windows-minded software. Now we are already working with Microsoft Office 2003 / XP, so we are a tiny bit ahead of the use of a Windows-minded software. But still remains the change. People surely must think otherwise. They will state regularly this way : ‘In the pas we did it this way’… and ‘How can I use this program, when I do not UNDERSTAND why this or that is done’… It will be a great opportunity for them to realize that software is always under development and that work can always be better processed… if they give themselves the chance and TIME to rethink it.

Software-wise the biggest problems occur when your supplier is building a complete new module. I understand you’re getting a new service module. Does this mean that the standard service module from Navision doesn’t fit your needs? It works when you service products. I suspect therefore that you also do projects and need to service them. We use an Navision add-on for that. You will probably find that reporting in Navision can be quite complex. Since you’re a financial controller I assume you use Excel as well. Maybe you should consider Jet Reports, an Excel add-in that allows you to acces Navision data in Excel. So you can basically build your reports in Excel using Navision data.

Jet-Reports is known to me. But when Navision 4.0 will be operational, probably some Excel-relatef stuff will be integrated in it, so Jet-Reports may not be needed.