Nightmare Navision implementations

Hello, I am interested to know if anyone has had any experience of Navision implementations “gone wrong”? I work in a small company that is (hopefully) approaching the end of an implementation that has been a nightmare from start to finish. About 15 of us use Navision directly. However, this encompasses CRM, sales, service and the accounts areas of Navision - quite a wide scope to get up and running. Poor planning and a very superficial understanding of our needs initially by our solution provider, plus a lack of experienced staff on our side has now led to us considering if we have received any benefits - or indeed will do at all. We are months behind schedule, and as soon as we solve one problem it seems like another 2 or 3 come along - things which I believe should have come to light if at any point our provider had sat down at the beginning and run through every process in our company in detail as it relates to how it will work in Navision. We were given no implementation schedule or methodology, and I do not believe there ever really has been a plan set down in writing. At times I have had to write dataports myself (with no training in this) just to pick up the pace implementation so that we can start using the system. If you have had any similar experiences to this it would be great to hear some feedback (without mentioning names). As a product I think Navision is very good, with a broad range of areas and options. However, I think that this requires a very detailed and comprehensive plan for implementing, and one which encompasses everything - not just looking at one area at a time. I would also be interested if anyone had any advice as to what would be appropriate to do in a situation such as this? As you can imagine we have spent a lot of time and money (above what we initially wanted to spend - it appears that certain granules were not taken into consideration when we were quoted) and are becoming increasingly frustrated. Thank you for your time.

Sounds to me like you are the first installation of this Navision provider. I have been installing systems for 25 years and although your complaints are all too common with most products, Navision is a very solid platform. We who do this for a living have all had problem installations. But the short answer is that your experience is not typical.

Hello, I would have to second John’s comments. Most Navision implementations go very well. While there is no such thing as a painless “go-live”, you do sound like you are having a very rough time of it. I am surprised that a 15 user site is having such problems. The problem is that to be honest the quality of providers varies greatly. Once in a while a good NSC might be caught out by an unforseen problem by a client with complex requirements but you do not sound like your situation is like this. Normally I would suggest that you put down your concerns in writing, request a meeting and tell your provider to get their house in order, but they sound so disorganized that you might want to speak to MBS about getting someone else to sort things out for you. Once you get Navision in you will be very happy you did go with it - You just need someone organized to impement it for you.

Hi From my perspective the best thing to do is to sit down with a business and get the best possible picture of the processes they currently undertake and wish to undertake. I would further prefer this was an implementor or consultant and not a salesperson. Unfortunatley as this process can be indepth and take time it is genreally charged for by the NSC. Additionally an NSC can offer to project manage the whole implementation, but again at a cost. In many circumstances companies on small budgets or tight timescales see no value in the needs analysis, so decide not to take it. From an Implementation perspective this makes things more difficult - more emphasis is laid on the customer to investigate Navision. once training commences the trainer will have a very limited knowledge of the business or processes (let alone the issues) because the customer has not provided this information - in some respects how can they, they do not know Navision so how can they see where problems could potentially exist. This can mean MAJOR issues that should have been identified during a needs analysis come to light in training, and naturally delay the implementation. From the project maanagement perspective the customer will require a strong knowledgable individual who understands the project and has resource committed to it to help get deadlines met and actions actioned. I cannot say if your NSC offered a needs analysis, if they did not it is poorly planned, but if they did and you decided to go without these benefits then you have made your task more difficult from the outset. I would advocate what Edward has suggested. Sit down with your NSC, or put it in writing. From this position you can sort out the issues and air frustrations - they may come from both sides. This meeting will also allow a basis of a plan forward. I would hope you have picked the NSC to build a future relatoinship with and hopefully this can still happen. If it cannot you can always change NSC’s, but this also is not an easy path, and at your stage probably more difficult (or costly). I would also like to say that when implmentations go badly or fail, you can usually find blame lies on both sides to some degree.

I am currently employeed because of an implemeentation gone bad. The NSC I previously worked for is responsible. About a month before joining the NSC, they implemented Navision here. They were not very responsive to the needs of the company, and instead placed the blame upon them. The programming was sloppy and not thoroughly tested. I was assigned to work at this company by the NSC, but things had already gone too far South. The NSC did not live up to their promises, and charged exhorbiant fees to fix the things they had messed up. The company and NSC parted ways after a lot of bickeringand finger pointing. After I left the NSC, I came to work here. By doing such a poor job on the implementation, the NSC created a job here for me. We now deal with a different NSC on a very limited basis. My advice is to dump the NSC.If they haven’t done a good job of taking care of you in the past, they probably won’t in the future.

Thanks for the responses so far. I actually like Navision a lot - I’ve been researching the product now for a long time, plus lurking here which has given me lots of tips on little things we can do to improve our installation. Out of the 10 or so different packages we looked at, Navision was and still is the best purchase for us - and as a product im very happy with it, and I’m sure my experiences are very unusual. In our case, the problem stems from two areas. Firstly, as sbweaver was talking about, a strong project leader on the customers side is necessary. Being a small company our answer to that was myself - someone not around all the time, but capable of understanding the product. We were given assurances that this would be fine, and to some degree it is, but we would definitely have been better off with someone managing the project inside the office all the time. Secondly, I know that our NSC has had a few problems inside their own organisation. Around the time of when our needs analysis was supposed to be carried out, we lost our project manager on their side, and I don’t believe a proper analysis was ever carried out although it was supposed to. For our part, I carried out our own internal one as well to give them a hand with this. I think that both these problems are accenuated by a definite lack of organisation - to be honest I just think that they are stretched with the amount of resources they can put up, which unfortunately has caused major problems for us. Anyway, enough of the moaning. We are working through it, and the guy responsible for our implementation is spending more time in now than before. The end is in sight! In response to those who suggested changing NSC’s, I don’t think this is really an option. I think the cost would be prohibitive, and to be quite honest I would like to think that our best option is to work through it with them at this stage. Thanks.

I concur with Mr. Bloomfield’s advice. I have been an end user for many years and more recently with a NSC, so I have been on both sides of the fence. In my experience, installation of Navision has succeeded best when project- managed by accountants ! I say this because there are lots of developers who are wizards with C/Side code but have little experience of how a business functions. [}:)][}:)]

Hi John I have also seen accountants poorly manage implementations, they have bent everything to give perfect accounts and give no consideration to sales, purchasing, inventory, service, manufacturing etc. Ultimately the person, and preferrably team, have to be balanced and knowledgable to help the cusomter have a successful implementation.

Good Team work is the key for all kind of software implemenations and Navision is not an exception.

Well, its late, otherwise I’d spend more time on this [:D] Of my many years in Navision, nearly ten of them have been fixing up implementations that went bad, and believe me there is no sign of me having a shortage of work. Having said that, let me clarify a few things. Firstly I specialize in fixing problems, so I actively seek this work, and obviously I see far more bad implementations than good ones. Some of these are implementations that are falling apart at the seems, others are ones where there is just a little help needed to get them ticking along. Normally, if an NSC calls me in it is a pretty minor issue, if it is the end ser that calls me it is probably going to be bad. Really though, there are bad implementations, but percentage wise there are very few. Of the really bad ones, in slightly more than 50% of cases, the client has stayed with their current NSC, and worked a solution. This is always the “less expensive” option. Please take a look at some of more earlier posts on this topic, specifically this one … Unfortunately I though no one was interested, so I scrapped this, but now there is suddenly a lot of interest, so I am completing the question list. If you have specific additions, please comment to that posting.

David, thats interesting - I didn’t realise there were people like you doing this. Does anyone in the UK do anything similar to David - ie. fixing / helping problematic implementations? As a follow up to this, does anyone know or have any experience in the legal proceedings following completely failed implementations (in any software). I was just wondering whether its possible, when an implementation fails and it can be demonstrated that it was effectively the seller’s fault (through either methods, overselling or something similar) for the end-user to recoup back the cost of the software. Cheers.

Having experienced what sounds like similar situation over the last 6 to 9 months I should be able to help. Please contact me directly on email so we can discuss further.

Hi Monk There are obviously other NSC’s that can help, but this can be tricky - the current NSC may not see it in a favourable light! You can get freelance consultants to come in, and this would cause less tension, they are another three letter abbreviation N?? sure I read a thread about this recently I am losing my mind! As for the legal standpoint, the license agreement you signed with Microsoft, the IPLA, will be tight. The contract, and T&C’s you signed with your NSC will be another matter. From your earlier comments it sounded like you were building bridges - this sounds like you are about to place a very big bomb on all of the bridges left! The overriding factor must be to get Navision working for you. Get one of these specialists in, or sort it out with your NSC. When your support is due for renewal (3/4 months prior) contact MBS and express your preference to change your NSC, they will give you a list of potentials you can contact. However as stated previously this wil lbe expensive, the first thing they wil lneed to understand is your business and all of the modifications you are running, and they will “probably” ([:D]) not do this FOC.

I’ll put my 2 cents in on this subject! The group that implemented my software stated they have installed Navision for many years. I believed them. They never fully designed a kit mod for us properly. Our Sales order header took forever (up to a minute) to generate a new sales order number causing sales staff to complain immeasurably to the boss. SO’s copied would create a duplicate PO locking the new order up. I can go on and on and on! The NSC stopped talking to me (I’m the lead on the project) and instead did whatever the subordinants requested. I had hardly any training and I cracked open books to learn MORE THAN THEY KNEW!!! Turns out we were the first company they implemented the software with. I ended up in a hospital with a heart condition that I need to take medicine every day to control. The NSC company kept firing their employees and hiring new ones that had little to no experience! I ended up using this forum to answer questions and clear up the mess they created AND my subordinants created. All mods were created outside my immediate area. My area has NO MODS AT ALL AND WORKS PERFECTLY (General Ledger and financial reporting)! In addition, I found a company that within one month has cleared up and fixed every mistake created by the NSC I fired. Plus the work was done at a very reasonable price. An example of the old company price gouging, we wanted a hotkey implemented for sales. We were quoted $1,000. I said not now. I researched what was needed to create the hot key. IT TOOK ME ONE MINUTE AND FORTY FIVE SECONDS TO CREATE THE HOT KEY!! This forum pointed me in the right direction on how to do it. The point is, you may want to fire your NSC and go with a company with a PROVEN track record. I am so glad I did. Now all I have to do is convince the boss the software is the right choice and is worth the investment. I have nothing but bad things to say about my old company and nothing but good things to say for the new company. Dave, I know you wanted me to try to work it out with the first company, but that would have been the second worst decision I would ever make with the Navision software. The worst mistake was believing what those people told me about how good they were!! Buyer beware…

It is to late for some, but for those of you reading to glean insight into the world of Navision. My two cents is, spend more time up front. Document your needs and business requirements. Create an RFP, have vendors bid on it, select the finalists, check D&B reports, interview references. Etc,etc… Everything depends on the Vendor you select. -Doug

I’m doing an implementation of Navision 3.70 just now. The problem with our NSC is the same, poorly trained consultants with absolutely no real world experience. As a result I kicked them out. I’ve been in IT for almost 20 years and done a lot of implementations as a consultant/developer and decided I could do far better than they can. Navision is a really great product and certainly one of the best ERP solutions. It is really tune-able to every need. My advice to you is find a consultant/developer with real life experience and one who’s willing to listen. Any person who can’t roughly give you an opinion within the our about your company and processes will not be good for you. Of course you will have to know what you want and put your demands on paper. (Just a couple of A4’s) Good luck and you may always mail me directly.

Any Hospital implementations, specifically VisionPay, that went Good / Bad? I am looking at Visionpay and need a Hospital Reference. Many thanks

Hi Guys Lets not pile all the blame on the NSC’s without any facts. Looking at the original post the Customer is as much to blame, expecting the NSC to walk through thier business process in Navision, is not that what the joint “NSC’s and Customers key staff” Analysis workshops and proof of concept sessions are for?. This could be just an under quoted or cut price implementation. A small implementation 15 users could have a complicated business model. We do not know how much time was allocated or cut from the budget for the analysis stage, it may well have been design and build. we do not know how much training was allocated or cut from the budget. we do not know the quality of the NSC’s resources or the Customers or how much time was taken in requirement workshops and user acceptance testing by both parties, how often does a quick and dirty fix come back and bite you later on, because you have missed a function that was affected by your fix? If the customer does not allow enought time, or you do not build in enough time to understand the business flow how do you apportion the blame when things go bad? How many customer are willing to pay for proof of concept workshops and documentation, before even placing the software Order with a VAR? I am a developer/Consultant and have worked on Implementations that have gone both ways, but all have been driven by the Customers expectation often the salesman has shown them the all singing all dancing demo solution, the Customer then expects all the functions they have seen as standard to be adjusted for there business quite often not understanding how much resource and testing they are resposible for to make a good implementation. You cannot get a Lexus for the price of a lada!! I am freelance contracting now but have worked in Navision for 8 years.

Hey, I was quite surprised to see this topic has been resurrected from the murky depths of this board! After seeing it here again I thought I would reply and give you some more details, plus respond to some comments. Firstly, David - I understand a lot of what you are saying, although a lot of it isn’t actually true in our case. However, I’m not sure I understand the first paragraph completely. I would expect the NSC to walk through our business process in Navision, otherwise why would we use an NSC at all? We also had similar things to proof of concept meetings, but again the end result and experience is a very different thing to a couple of meetings looking at software we barely knew, and we certainly didn’t go through much to do with exact processes in the system. Anyway, we spent £25,000 on software and £25,000 on services - so £50,000 in total - initially, until we realised our NSC had “forgotten” to add on a few modules I’d specifically stated were needed in the analysis document -I- drew up. Since then we have spent at least another £20,000 on fixing days, training and further modules. In my opinion it was not a “budget” implementation, although I would be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on that. It was over a year after buying before we even saw the software, and that wasn’t just because of modifications being done to it. We later found out that some of the so-called modifications were actually standard anyway. Our NSC was basically a cowboy outfit, and proved that by going bust after the first implementation failed (this has all happened since my postings on here!). Just as well - there was a point in time I was considering shopping them for running us on their license for months (don’t even ask…) The NSC then got taken over, and we had a very good guy who came in and tried to resurrect the project (if he sees this, I’m sorry you got lumbered with it!). The additional coding in the system was horrendous, we spent days debugging the thing which we were also paying for. After another failed implementation (and actually another somewhere - it was 3 in total) we decided enough was enough and we’ve stopped the whole thing now. So no more Navision for us, and dare I say it, we’re a lot better off than we were - although we do miss quite a few things about it as well. Doesn’t stop me checking these boards though as you can see. You know, and this is somewhat off the point, really the only thing that annoys me now is the fact that both our NSC’s expected us to have a bottomless wallet. There are, in my opinion, so many extra costs that you will not take into account if you haven’t dealt with implementing stuff like this, and people need to be aware of this. We deal with a Swedish company who has Navision as well and has found the same thing, so this isn’t just my opinion. As soon as something fell just slightly outside the scope, or the NSC felt they had done the basic level to meet something, it would start to incur cost. “Your implementation failed? Oh, you need someone to make it succeed. Have someone from our company for three months…at cost. Oh, and while you’re reading this letter, you owe us for all those days we spent implementing it before, and the training you haven’t had. This should be an incentive for you to stay with us, because we know you like throwing money at this situation.” I know a lot of you guys on here work/run NSC’s yourselves, so I’d like to point out I’m not having a go at any of you. Or Navision as a product, actually. I’m just a very frustrated ex-customer. Oh, and a Lada would be a considerable step up from the brown Skoda with no wheels we have at the moment.