Choosing an ERP system can be daunting enough so, once you’ve decided to go with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, choosing a partner to deliver it can seem like one decision too many. There’s good news—it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Whether you’re implementing an ERP system for the first time, moving from another platform, upgrading your existing Dynamics NAV software or simply looking for a new support partner, we’ve compiled this simple 5 step process to help you find the best NAV partner for your business. It also comes in infographic format so you can save it to your preferred device, share it with colleagues and keep referring back to it as you progress through the process.
The first and most important stage is to take some time looking into your own business. Talk to each department to understand your business processes, struggles, goals and priorities and devise a wishlist that reflects these. Decide what your ideal NAV Partner would look like and give each attribute a score from 1 to 5 depending on how important it is to your business—5 being a deal breaker and 1 being an added bonus. For example:
Do you require your partner to be physically close to your offices and, if so, how close? What would be the maximum time you could wait to have someone on site in an emergency?
Do you need a partner with previous experience in your niche or are your business processes pretty standard? Either way, you need to decide this before you start assessing your options.
The next step is to compile a short list of NAV partners to speak to. Now you have some key requirements down on paper, this should be much easier. A quick Google search for “Dynamics NAV (your region)” or “Dynamics NAV (your industry)” should bring up the key players in the market. Also, consider reaching out to peers in other businesses who may have already gone through this process or tap out a quick post to your connections on LinkedIn asking for recommendations.
The next stage is to make that initial contact with each of the partners you found in your research. This can be done with a quick email or phone call, just to make the partner aware that you are interested in talking more. Let them know whether you’re looking at a new implementation, upgrade or service offering and how many users you have. Then set up a 30-minute phone call where you can discuss further details and ask more questions.
At this stage, you need to bring your wishlist back out. Talk with each partner to understand which of your requirements they meet and how. Give them a score from 1 to 5 depending on the extent to which they satisfy each requirement—5 being totally satisfied and 1 being not satisfied at all.
Note: If you’re upgrading your existing NAV implementation and want a quote or proposal as part of your comparison, you’ll likely need to send a copy of your NAV object file to each partner so they can see exactly what’s going on in your system. Don’t worry, this doesn’t share any of your data—the object file simply shows any changes made to the original software, giving an indication of how simple or complex an upgrade might be.
While you’re chatting, keep a mental checklist of the questions below. If something doesn’t feel right, try to work out why. Your gut feeling is usually right.
- Do they clearly understand your objectives and requirements?
- Are they genuinely excited to work with you?
- Do they keep their commitments and promises?
- Do you feel comfortable discussing your most critical business processes with them?
- Are the resources advertised during the sales cycle the same resources that will be assigned to your business?
- Can they recommend ways for your organisation to improve based on best practices and experience?
- Are they invested in the success of your organisation?
- Do you have direct access to key individuals in their organisation?
- Are you confident that they would pick up the phone at midnight if your system was down?
- Would they be willing to withdraw from the selection process if it was in the best interest of your company?
Now to make your final decision. Multiply the importance of each requirement by the partner’s ability to satisfy it, then total them up to give each partner an overall score.
However, we’re not suggesting that you make such a huge decision based on a numbers game. Sit with your internal team and talk through the benefits and drawbacks of working with each Partner, starting with the highest scoring, before making your choice.
Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect NAV partner for your business! Now’s the time to give your chosen partner a call and let them know you’d like to work with them. Then order your favourite food for lunch and have a solo celebration.
If you’d like to talk more about finding your perfect NAV partner, please get in touch. Our advice is always impartial and no-obligation.
This post is part of #12DaysOfNAV, our challenge to share a new blog post every day from 1st-12th December.