ERP Questions

So the company I work for has recently merged with another. As the organizations start to merge operations they’re looking to go with either Epicor or the ERP the other company uses, Navision ERP (Nav). I’ve been looking into Nav myself, as I think that’s the direction we’re headed here, but would like to know if anyone here has had experience with Nav so please share your thoughts, opinions, experiences.

Yeah, but do they have a sweet site like this one to help with all of your problems? (don’t go Randy, don’t go!!!)

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Hi Randy,

I do not have personal experience with Microsoft NAV other than my company didn’t select to go with it before I started here (2009). I like this site hyperlinked below for reviews. Reading the Epicor ones, they ring fairly true except I’m surprised there’s not more complaining about trying to get support. The reviews are all fairly recent too. Maybe these will help you, they seem believable.

Nancy

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At least at one time, the MS products (well, Great Plains in the early years) were sold by dealers, so they were your first line of support rather than MS. There are pros and cons to that approach. If your dealer sucked, you could change. My wife worked for a GP dealer for decades, and their success centered around being better at annual services rather than the initial sale.

Not sure NAV is done the same way, but I might be able to find out more about it.

Ray Zorz
IT Manager
Arizona Correctional Industries
3279 E. Harbour Drive, Phoenix AZ 85034
RZorz@azcorrections.govmailto:RZorz@azcorrections.gov
602-447-3160 - direct
602-515-7010 - cell

I just confirmed the company my wife now works for (owner retired, sold company to larger company) supports NAV, so it appears you’d have the same option to shop around for a dealer.

Ray Zorz
IT Manager
Arizona Correctional Industries
3279 E. Harbour Drive, Phoenix AZ 85034
RZorz@azcorrections.govmailto:RZorz@azcorrections.gov
602-447-3160 - direct
602-515-7010 - cell

Very interesting reading some of the reviews on the web page link. Some of those do not seem to really understand the software.

I would recommend you define what you really want the ERP system to do it, and then compare each product head to head since you have both and can take each into a good testing environment to compare. Then, make your decision and commit a team to learn and understand their responsibility in the software.

IMO - The internal team can make or break an implementation. You need to have a team that is ready to own the software. Do not always rely on the consultants and support to help you figure an issue out if the software states it solve a particular issue for you. Test, test, test, and test again in many different ways.

Finally, I always ask for people to check and see if the competitors software lets you write BPMs or customize the database and screen inputs like Epicor does.

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Thanks for the responses everyone! @RayZ, that makes sense as when we asked how many times they had to contact “Microsoft” for NAV support in all the years they owned it they said only once, but they contact their “Partner” more often. Not a direct compare to Epicor since they support the product themselves.

@Nancy, thanks for the links I’ll check them out!

Sounds about right. In theory, the local dealer should know more about your operation. A significant number of support calls are relatively simple, which is why many companies have multiple tiers. Microsoft basically pays the local dealers to be Tier 1 (and hopefully even better than that) support. The dealers would call MS if they’re stuck.

One final note. According to my wife, MS tends to have their “darlings”, ie, products they seem to be most excited about for whatever reason. NAV is now that product. Of course, that could just mean MS will end up screwing it up.

Good luck.

Ray Zorz
IT Manager
Arizona Correctional Industries
3279 E. Harbour Drive, Phoenix AZ 85034
RZorz@azcorrections.govmailto:RZorz@azcorrections.gov
602-447-3160 - direct
602-515-7010 - cell

In this case it appears that this is a merger, with one company using NAV and the other using Epicor. I’m sure both products have their plusses and minuses. The MS Dynamics family has several ERP’s, some of which seem to do better in various industries due to their “pedigree”. I don’t think GP (the old Great Plains), for example, was going to be a great manufacturing ERP. From what I understand, AX and NAV are better solutions for manufacturing.

Ray Zorz
IT Manager
Arizona Correctional Industries
3279 E. Harbour Drive, Phoenix AZ 85034
RZorz@azcorrections.govmailto:RZorz@azcorrections.gov
602-447-3160 - direct
602-515-7010 - cell

@RayZ,

Agree with the Dynamics assessment but I always thought that AX (the old Axapta) was a closer match to Epicor than Nav (or Navision) which is the middle tier of the Dynamics ERP solutions.

Mark W.

Could be. I’ve never looked into alternative solutions, and there’s very little chance we’d ever look at a more expensive solution.

Ray Zorz
IT Manager
Arizona Correctional Industries
3279 E. Harbour Drive, Phoenix AZ 85034
RZorz@azcorrections.govmailto:RZorz@azcorrections.gov
602-447-3160 - direct
602-515-7010 - cell

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I have worked with NAV quite a bit.

My best opinion is that it’s limited compared to Epicor.

Pros:

  1. Great CRM if integrated with 365.
  2. Good Financial Management, if using Standard Costs.
  3. The basic package is very customizable, but you must be a C# guru and some of the third party modules may not be customized as explained in Cons.
  4. Easy to use and understand. Makes training a snap as it resembles the Microsoft model
  5. You can easily transport oData feeds to Excel, PowerBI, Access, etc…

Cons:

  1. Very little direct support. You must use your partner.
  2. Tons of third party options for every add on module. For example if you want a Configurator you have several to chose from. This makes it very hard to support if you have issues that your partner can’t help you with.
  3. Some third party modules can only be customized by the vendor.
  4. Manufacturing was not the greatest priority when building this system as it lacks a lot of features

I would give the ERP system a 3 out 5 stars. If you’re looking to go to an ERP system that’s main focus is on Sales and Finance, easy to setup and ease of use, it’s great.

If your a custom manufacturer that needs all of the tools that Epicor offers for Production and Material Management, you’re going to be VERY sad. Your new nick name will be “Code Bunny”.

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Microsoft is now selling GP and AX as a service and I thought you could get a discount if you are using Office 365 as well.

I have two clients currently doing selection projects where both Epicor and NAV are finalists. Both are good packages.

The differences are very much what others have said - for NAV, your success is dependent on how good your VAR is; find a VAR who has recent successful implementations in companies like yours. The latest version looks very good. NAV also uses 3rd party solutions for many things that Epicor sells as a module.

Personally, I like having support in the same place where the software is developed - “One throat to choke” :slight_smile:

I strongly agree with Josh’s comment about the internal team being critical to the success of the implementation. This needs to be seen as YOUR system, not the vendor’s. The consultants should go away at some point (I say this as a consultant…). Also, having the internal team made up of people from both companies will help greatly with overcoming resistance to change. I had a merger like this where the team was from only one company (the acquirer) which caused much unneeded pain.

Lastly, map out all your major processes (Quote to Cash, Procure to Pay, etc.) and critical functional requirements first. Then compare each system to these. This really helps minimize the decision being made because of the loudest voice.

-Jeff

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The choice of which ERP isn’t mine, I’m not even on the team that’ll make the choice. With my 10 years of experience with Epicor, I’d stick with Epicor! I’m not opposed to learn new things though

@Jonathan_Lang thanks so much for your review.

I feel we’re go with Nav, first because they already use other Dynamics packages and have already integrated with Manhattan SCALE, which is the WMS system we’ve been looking into. Second, we’re a manufacture, but our BOMs and MOMs aren’t too complex so even NAV should be able to keep up.

IF we go Nav I’ll have to learn a lot more C# and non-BAQ SQL Query building to be a “Code Bunny” LOL

Could be I’m just being nervous too.

It’s a big change. At least it isn’t SAP!

Best of luck - NAV is a good system, just different from Epicor. And it’s a chance to learn new things!

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Staying out of specifics but this point - So does E10 since 500 :wink:

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@Bart_Elia Transporting oData in NAV is very nice. Epicor recently got that feature and I like it as well, no complaints. What I left out was that the company we bought that uses it will be coming over to Epicor 10 in December. There’s not a single sad face in the group.

The up side to Epicor 10 is miles ahead of NAV, but I do appreciate the ERP system and it’s simplicity to bring over data to Epicor 10. It was the easiest conversion I’ve ever done from one ERP to another.

With that being said, Randy we’ll miss you. I think you’ll be fine with NAV. I even think you’ll like it a lot, as I do. My only advice to you is you must fight the urge to turn it into Epicor. As you start working in it you’ll know exactly what I mean. Keep the processes fast and don’t bog it down with too much code.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Jonathan