Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Process efficiency sits at the core of business profitability through proper decision-making and better productivity. Enterprises rely primarily on the data to guide them through the dynamic market demands. It helps them enhance their day-to-day processes through insights and predictions into various operations from manufacturing to distribution.

The challenge, however, lies in consolidating all the business-critical data in one place for valuable insights. This is precisely where Microsoft Dynamics NAV helps. It helps businesses eliminate data silos, operational blockheads and integrates your multiple teams for seamless collaboration.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know to start with Dynamics NAV.

What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

MS Dynamics NAV is a robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform built to help businesses manage their end-to-end processes from one place. It centralizes all your business operations into one cohesive platform to streamline daily happenings.

It provides a unified hub to consolidate your financial data, manufacturing processes, sales, supply chain activities, inventory details, and customer interaction. It gathers all the business-critical data to help you make insights-driven decisions for profitability and operational efficiency.

Some of its key benefits are listed below.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics NAV

MS Dynamics NAV empowers you to efficiently manage your operations across departments, including accounts, manufacturing, supply chain, warehouse, and customer service, to improve productivity and enhance data management.

  • It gives you all the capabilities to handle your business accounts, finance reports, budget planning, and cash flow management.
  • With Microsoft NAV, you can optimize inventory management by minimizing carrying costs and ensuring you have enough stock to meet dynamic customer demands.
  • Microsoft Navision supports you in creating a strong sales discipline by automating sales management, including lead tracking and managing customer interactions.
  • It allows you to generate insightful reports through an intuitive dashboard so that you can stay on top of your business operations and make data-driven decisions.
  • Dynamics NAV can be customized to suit your business use case so that you can maximize its capabilities. It is also configurable for scalability and other changes as and when required.
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central offers you the flexibility of multiple deployment options in the cloud and on-prem.
  • Through a Dynamics 365 partner like Dynamics Square, you have access to reliable vendor support for NAV implementation, updates, and other development needs.

Below we discuss some of the core features that make the NAV ERP system a must-have for companies with a primary goal of streamlining their processes for overall efficiency.

What does Dynamics NAV do?

1. Financial Management

With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, enterprises gain better control over business accounts and cash flow which helps them maintain financial hygiene. Further, you can use this information to identify customer behavior and market trends. It allows you to

  • Maintain and analyze your financial data
  • Keep track of your payables and receivables
  • Manage the health of your cash flow
  • Ensure compliance with tax regulations

2. Supply Chain Management

A major chunk of your supply management activities, like managing inventory, reporting stock details, and planning distribution routes, can be automated using Microsoft Navision. All of these activities that become operational overhead can be automated to

  • Improve order fulfilment rate with optimal inventory levels
  • Eliminate bottlenecks in procurement workflow
  • Streamline order management, pricing, and deliveries

3. Manufacturing

In setting uninterrupted manufacturing flow, Dynamics NAV helps you draw up realistic production plans to optimize costs, enforce consistent instructions, and manage resources for enhanced productivity. For manufacturing, the NAV ERP platform allows you to

  • Manage product assembly instructions and BOM (Bill of Materials).
  • Control manufacturing progress through data-driven plans

4. Reporting and Analytics

Dynamics NAV allows you to collect and analyze business data, such as sales numbers, purchase orders, operational costs, and budgets, to identify trends and customer behavior that will help in forecasting growth rates.

  • Customize your reports to unlock insights for a specific use case.
  • Generate granular analysis reports and visualizations through Power BI integration.

5. Project Management

You can perform common project management tasks like assigning jobs to resources, setting task schedules, managing budget allocations, and monitoring progress.

  • Configure, assign, and track the progress of jobs from one place
  • Manage HR operations such as employee information management
  • Optimize expenditures and other cost-related operations

6. Workflow Automation

MS Navision eliminates delays and mistakes in your daily operations by automating several tasks like approvals and notifications by assigning conditions and associated actions.

  • Increase efficiency by automating repetitive tasks
  • Keep track of progress by configuring reminders

Evolution of Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Microsoft NAV has a history underscored by multiple upgrades and enhancements to make it a solid ERP platform. It was first launched in 1984 as Navision by a Danish software firm.

It was built to simplify finance management for small and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft acquired Navision software to create its ERP platform. Navision was rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics NAV in 2004.

Over time, Microsoft Navision saw new capabilities like RTC (role-tailored client) for user-specific interface and seamless access through web browsers.

Microsoft added Navision software to its Dynamics 365 ecosystem as Business Central and offered a cloud-based ERP solution. With this, businesses could choose from two deployment options for their ERP platform - on-prem or cloud.

The constant refinement of Navision software to turn it into a holistic Dynamics 365 Business Central solution has made it a go-to ERP option for many enterprises.

Business Central vs. Navision

Dynamics NAV and Business Central are more or less the same ERP platform. However, Microsoft's advancements in Business Central make it a part of the Dynamics 365 suite. Below are some of the differences between these two ERP systems:

Deployment Options: Dynamics NAV is traditionally an on-premises solution, which means the software is deployed on the company’s private servers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, however, offers cloud-based deployment to extend SaaS-based experience to customers.

Licensing Model: For the NAV solution, you need to buy a license upfront in a perpetual model, while Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a subscription-based pricing model.

Update and Release Cycle: Dynamics NAV represents a typical enterprise solution with fewer and less frequent upgrades or feature updates. The Business Central constantly enhances the platform with improvements and features through a regular update cycle.

Dynamics 365 Integration: Although a product of Microsoft, Navision is a standalone solution. That’s not the case with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. It offers seamless integration with the Dynamics 365 ecosystem, enabling CRM and AI-driven functionalities.

UI Adaptability: While Dynamics NAV has a classic but old-fashioned client interface, Business Central provides a role-specific and customizable UI.

Platform Target: Dynamics NAV is designed to cater to the operational needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft Business Central is a relatively modern SaaS-based ERP platform for new-age enterprises.

Regardless of how it fairs against Dynamics Business Central, Dynamics NAV remains a popular choice for small and medium-sized companies. It gives enterprises a comprehensive solution to handle their entire operations from a centralized platform. It breaks down departmental silos so that you can efficiently use data to drive your profitability.

Make Microsoft Dynamics NAV your own with the right Implementation

More than a value-added ERP platform, MS Dynamics NAV is an essential tool for enterprises today. One of its core advantages is the ability to tailor the solution to suit specific business requirements.

You can do that through automated workflows and integrations. However, it is easier said than done. For successful implementation of Dynamics Navision, you will need the expertise of Microsoft Solutions Partner like Dynamics Square.

Our expertise in configuring NAV solutions for small and mid-sized businesses spans decades with over 500 customers. With our expertise, you will have a tailor-made Dynamics NAV platform that your team can easily adapt to from day one.

Contact us for more information.

Arish Siddiqui

Arish Siddiqui working with Dynamics Square and helps SMB/Enterprises in USA & Canada to use Dynamics 365 ERP/CRM, Power Platform and other Solutions with full of its capabilities which ultimately cut businesses costs and improve efficiency.


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