NAV multi-company support vs. AX implementation overhead

[cross-posted from the MSD official forum]

We’re a mid-size French real estate developer (€200 M, 250 FTE’s) with over a dozen legal entities. We have a very clear project-based management approach – each RE program is a profit center, consolidating at the regional, then corporate level. However, each RE program also involves at least three business entities (typically, one company for land prospection/acquisition, one for selecting/managing construction subcontractors, one for sales/financing).

We only work in France, and have no expansion plans outside of France.

Is NAV multi-company support strong enough for project-based forecasting/P&L reporting/accounting across every project in light of the above?

If not, wouldn’t AX implementation overhead threaten implementation success, given our size (IT dpt = 3 FTE’s)?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Henri

I think that this is a very hard one to answer.

Most responses you will get will be biased. Clearly out of the box Navision doesn’t do what you need, so the question there is how much work is required to build the functionality. I have done this a number of times, and in all cases the complexity of creating inter-company / multi-company functionality generally depends on the ability of the users to accept the way Navision works. Don’t believe anyone t]hat tells you that Navision Inter Company will do what you want, IT WONT. But its a very solid grounding to create the functionality, especially using NAS or Web Services your needs can be met.And don’t believe those that tell you you can do all this with Navision dimensions, that is just sales talk to try to close a deal.

On the other hand, from what I know of Axapta it has much better Inter company ability. Though I am sure you will still need customizations. The issue as you point out is that the complexity in implementing changes in Axapta is far more complex, BUT it has the tools to manage it better.

Your best option is to find a partner that can show a good balance of Navision and Axapta implementations. And thus can make an unbiased decision for you. The only issue there, is that an Axapta sale is going to mean A LOT more revenue to the partner than a Navision sale, so tey may push Axapta for the wrong reasons.

Just don’t rush this decision, and contact a number of partners and find a good one, In the end the success of your project will have very little to do with which product you chose, the success is mostly dependent on YOUR ability to work with the partner, and the skills and experience of that partner. I always say that its better to buy the wrong product from the right partner than the right product from the wrong partner.

if you are lucky Adam Roue will add his comments. He is one of the extremely rare people that is able to make unbiased honest comments about both Axapta and Navision in comparison to one another.

I am not greatly experienced in multi-company or projects in either offering however I would suggest that The projects module in AX and the ability to virtualise database tables has the potential to give you a better starting point than NAV and Jobs. However this is a dangerous statement given the little information we have here. Therefore I would suggest you take David’s advice and get a partner to present both of those to meet the business scenario required.

I would however feel confident in stating that neither offering would give you the project based inter-company transacting you require out of the box, elements yes, but probably not what you actually require it to do.

My issue is the NAV jobs module, and whether this would meet the needs of your business, or actually how close it is. I am not sure where you interpretation of the AX overhead comes from, I can assure you now I have been involved in AX implementations in much smaller businesses than yourself and 1 IT department FTE. On the basis of it business 1/5th of your employee and turnover size implement AX successfully. That of course does not mean it is cheap, but given the daily rates and SureStep philiosophy the NAV and AX project plans are not so dis-similar today as they were 10 years ago, and therefore I would say you need to buy the offering that is the closest fit to your business requirements to reduce the potential modification costs. To do this you need to see and assess both.