NAV or AX: Which Microsoft Dynamics ERP product is the best strategic fit for your international organization?

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June 10, 2015

Dynamics ERP software come in multiple variations, and deciding on the proper one for your organization presents a complex challenge. Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV function up to a certain point, but these do not provide enough because every organization operates differently, so organizations will eventually require programming specific for them.

To help companies determine which product best fits for them without going through expansive and time-consuming analysis of product and functional features, a 17-point analysis models exists, shown below. This model first identifies the long-term fit of the business strategy, and then it identifies process functional fit, a project phase rather than a pre-project phase, at least at a detailed view.

Management must get involved in product selection to ensure the correct product choice for the organization. The right solution requires deep understanding of the current business strategy, management requirements, expectations of market development & drivers, organizational behavior, and the desired future state scenario. After all, this task falls to management to drive into motion – a task that involves management in all aspects.

As a traditional product selection approach, the model would evaluate software solely based on a thorough functional fit & vendor analysis. However, this method consumes too much time and resources, and it does not guarantee the correct choices due to the complexity of the ERP process. Instead, the model focuses on the strategic fit between NAV, AX, and the company’s business strategy in regards to how to manage and service subsidiaries or affiliates.

To determine the correct ERP software, businesses should investigate six key areas.

* Strategy: Identify the company’s business strategy, geographical coverage, and growth plans, and global processes. See how they compete, and determine which process should remain local and which should go global.

* Functionality: Identify the major gaps in products and the key requirements on the company’s side, since that side may contain additional specific requirements. Doing this will also identify the need for shared or integrated operational data.

* Organizational structure: Identify the centralization of the organizational structure, and the direction it heads in. Determine if the company has the management, delegation, structure, processes, and organizational behavior necessary to sustain a platform to support the future state vision.

* Performance: Identify the volume of data, number of users at every site, and how the data volume will develop over the course of five to ten years.

* Geographies: Identify the countries currently in the scope and in the future. Identify if localization applies to the organization. Identify the availability of local partners to provide support.

* Investment: Identify the size of the investment, and how long it will take to accomplish.

Author: Johnny Duong