Microsoft Navision ERP Explained

Microsoft Navision

Navision is the original ERP system for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  More specifically, “Navision” was the name of a Danish accounting package that was founded in 1983 in which Microsoft acquired in 2002.  Microsoft has 4 business management systems that are part of a category of “Enterprise Resource Planning” systems or ERP that are designed to connect many different business units under one system.  Microsoft “Navision” has had several name changes over time including “Navision Financials”, “Navision Solutions”, “Navision Attain”, and “Microsoft Business Solutions”.  In 2005, Microsoft re-branded this ERP product and called it “Microsoft Dynamics NAV”.  People call this system “NAV” as it one word, however, the correct terminology is spelling out the words “N, A, V”.  Frequently, users today, still call it “Navision”, though.

Enterprise Software, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, are designed to handle the complex inter workings of a company’s financials, inventory, warehousing, sales, purchases, manufacturing, ect. under one system to streamline supply chain operations and get a much better idea of trends and business data through advanced detailed reporting.

Through its history, Dynamics NAV, has been released with many editions to help gain access to this vital business intelligence and to make it both easy-to-use and customizable to adapt to an organizations unique business needs.

Improvements have been made to NAV along the following areas just discussed:

Business Intelligence:  By utilizing a robust data base, such as Microsoft SQL reporting service, business data can be generated and shared for analysis across the enterprise.  The latest version include a connection as part of the ERP solution to Power BI (Business Intelligence), which is a Microsoft business analytics service.  More specifically, Power BI is a collection or suite of business information and analytics tools to both share insight within the organization and analyze data.   There are different options to access this information such as PowerBI Desktop and the Power BI Mobile App. As part of this information analysis includes data retrieved from SQL and data collected from other sources.

User Interface:  A “RoleTailored” User interface was introduced in 2008 to increase productivity by having employees log onto their user interface screens that corresponds with their work title to access task that are most relevant to their position.  There are 21 “out-of-the” box roles such as Accounting Manager, Bookkeeper, IT Manager, Machine Operator, President, Purchasing Manager and Sales Manager to give some examples.  All of these RoleTailored Client or RTC roles are customizable and new roles can be added in addition.

Customization:  Also in 2008, part of the RoleTailored Client user interface design was part of a new ERP architecture called the Three-Tier Graphical User Interface or “GUI”. In this configuration, the data resides in the SQL data base (called the Data Tier), and the top tier accounts for the RTC User Interface called the Client Tier.  The middle tier, is called just that or sometimes the Server Tier.  This Middle Tier is a multi-tiered environment that is designed to host and execute all the business logic and makes a significant departure from the previous 2-tier ERP architecture. Having this additional layer makes NAV more scalable and customizable with the addition of NAV’s Web Services which makes it easy for other authorized programs and systems to Integrate and tailor the ERP solution to meet the unique requirements of each business.

Collaboration:  Latest improvements with Dynamics NAV “Navision” increasing include the ability to share vital information across the enterprise for better decision making. and knowledge sharing.  This is accomplished through better business intelligence such as PowerBI that was discussed earlier, and other Microsoft connected applications such as Microsoft CRM (now called Dynamics 365 for Sales) Office 365 and PowerApps which are individual, unique business functionality used to connection information without the need of custom software development.   This tight integration with other useful business applications enhances Dynamics NAV’s ability to easily allow the accessibly of relevant and actionable information.

New Versions:  Microsoft Dynamics NAV continues to be updated and released on a more frequently basic.  The current version is called Dynamics NAV 2018 and has improvements in financial management, document management, enhanced business insights, expanded cloud connectivity with other cloud-based services, plus deeper integration with other Microsoft applications. This solutions can be deployed either On Premise or In-The-Cloud.

The latest ERP release is now taking the Microsoft Dynamics NAV information, along with enhancements, to a new Cloud ERP deployment and is called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.  Business Central is a cloud solution built on the rich functionality within Microsoft Dynamics NAV and adaptable to extend business applications to other Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and PowerApps. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Solution can grow as your business requirements change while taking advantage of the the latest technology-a modern digital business management solution.

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics “Navision” NAV:

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Inventory Management Improvements

Inventory Management

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 has been released with many new features in Enterprise Functionality for Small to Mid-Sized Wholesale Distribution and Manufacturing companies. Microsoft Dynamics NAV comes with a wide set of functionalities including new ERP functionality in mobility, business insights and cloud services which provide some great opportunities for deployment, supporting business processes, and enhancing business productivity within the organization.

Its due to Microsoft’s continued commitment and development of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) has resulted in is a robust business solution that continues to be enhanced which is quick to implement, easy to use and has the power to support your business ambitions.  Key for Dynamics NAV 2018 is integration and simplicity. This latest ERP solution offers significant enhancements to the core application, as well as deeper integration with familiar Microsoft Application such as Office 365, Power BI, Dynamics 365 (CRM), Cortana Intelligence, and Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Inventory Management Improvements include:

Surcharge Calculations: In a new enhancement to inventory management, surcharges based on gross weight and volume can now be assigned. Gross weight and volume are taken from the item card and units are converted based on this information.

Image Analyzer: The Image Analyzer extension uses powerful image analytics provided by the Computer Vision API (Application Programming Interface) for Microsoft Cognitive Services to detect attributes in the images that you add to items and contact persons, so you can easily review and assign them.

For example, Image Analyzer can identify attributes such as if an item is table or car: or red or blue, ect.  The technology suggests attributes-based tags that the Computer Vision API finds with a confidence level.

Another example is the ability to recognize a contact person’s age or gender. After you enable the extension, Image Analyzer activates each time you add an image to an item or contact person. You’ll see the attributes, confidence level, and details right away, and can decide what to do with each attribute.

Robust Inventory Management Functionality:  Building off NAV 2017, NAV 2018 continues with advanced inventory management functionality such as:

  • Drop Shipments
  • Multiple Locations
  • Assembly Management
  • Location Transfers
  • Campaign Pricing
  • Cycle Counting
  • Warehouse Receipt
  • Warehouse Shipment
  • Warehouse Management Systems
  • Internal Picks and Put Aways
  • Automated Data Capture Systems (ADCS)
  • Bin Set Up along with many other inventory management functionalities.

Learn about about the New Features of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

Download the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Product Guide


Video-HighJump WMS to Dynamics NAV Integration


Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a mature, robust and proven Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.  Dynamic NAV’s broad functionality ranges from Financials, Supply Chain Management, Payables, Reporting,Sales, CRM, Project Management and Warehousing.  However,frequently companies with complex warehousing require even more capabilities and advanced inventory management in their warehouse operations.

This is where Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), such as HighJump Warehouse Edge can greatly help to be part of a total end-to-end supply chain solution for the requirements both your company and customers demands.

The HighJump WMS to Dynamics NAV interface framework leverages the advantages of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and its out of the box web services functionality.

The HighJump integration framework is configured to communicate directly with both the HighJump WMS and Dynamics NAV. This is accomplished through the mapping of data sent via web services to each system. This allows both systems to maintain accuracy and share information very efficiently.

Click the below video to get an overview demo of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to HighJump Warehouse Edge Integration.

Learn more about HighJump WMS for Dynamics NAV

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. A Microsoft Dynamics NAV to HighJump WMS Integration Partner

6 Key Supply Chain Analytics Measurements

Supply Chain Analtyics

KPI’s in Supply Chain Management:

Whatever your industry, key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you make the best short-term and long-term decisions for your business. But that’s easier said than done. In fact, according to supply chain industry analytics, challenges with implementing metrics are often the result of not having a clear understanding of what to measure.

In addition to uncertainty around what to measure now, we find that many companies are very aware that certain metrics will likely change in the future. In other words, being prepared for what comes next is just as important as knowing what’s happening today – and will also help you maximize the cost and use of your analytics technology.

It’s beneficial to measure both short-term and long-term KPIs: Long-term helps you understand the trends so that you’re not making drastic changes to your operations on account of a few bad days; and knowing your short-term analytics via real-time data informs the smaller adjustments you should make on a case-by-case basis.

Other benefits of tracking and measuring your operations with supply chain analytics include:

  • Increase efficiency: Pinpoint stumbling blocks and how to remove them
  • Maximize labor resources:Track productivity and compare your teams
  • Quickly identify errors: Fix little problems before they become big ones
  • Meet customer demand: Know where you can make adjustments that keep costs in line while meeting customer expectations for speed and accuracy.

What to Measure:

The answer to the common question “What should we be measuring?” is twofold: At its core, a supply chain analytics solution should provide an enterprise-level view of warehouse operations, empowering your team with timely, meaningful information that drives process improvements. This should include a set of industry-standard, best-practice KPIs for your operations. But to maximize your investment, your supply chain intelligence software should include tools that allow you to create metrics based on your company and its own way of doing business.

Let’s first look at the foundation of metrics you may consider as a starting point. Metrics should generally fall under dashboards that address a specific area of your organization, such as inbound or outbound operations. In some instances, the dashboards have drill-down capabilities where a more granular layer of information is presented.

Any software provider should offer, at a minimum, the foundation for best practice analytics. Compare these to what you’re already tracking, and consider which ones to add or remove.

6 Key Supply Chain Analytics Measurements should include:

1. Inbound
2. Outbound
3. Order Accuracy
4. Customer
5. Quality
6. Capacity and Utilization

1. Inbound
a. Dock-to-Stock
b. Percentage of Supplier Orders Received Damage-Free
c. Orders (POs) and Lines Received per Hour
d. Suppliers On Time

2. Outbound
a. Line Fill Rate
b. Order Fill Rate
c. Fill Rate Percent
d. Lines Picked and Shipped per Hour
e. Orders Picked and Shipped per Hour
f. On Time and Ready to Ship

3. Order Accuracy
a. Order Pick Accuracy
b. Order Pick Accuracy by Type
c. Orders Shipped Complete
d. Cases Shipped vs. Cases Ordered

4. Customer
a. Percent of SKUs In Stock
b. Cycle Time Percent (Internal versus External)
c. Back Order Percent
d. On-Time Shipments

5. Quality
a. Percent Unsaleable
b. Inventory Count Accuracy
c. Inventory Shrinkage by Month
d. Inventory Shrinkage by Type

6. Capacity and Utilization
a. Honeycomb Percent
b. Days on Hand by Inventory Type
c. Days on Hand by Item
d. Percent Capacity Used by Storage Device
e. Shelf Capacity Used by Inventory Type

Download your copy today of Supply Chain Analytics

Learn more about Warehouse Management Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. A Supply Chain Management Technology Solution Partner