Efficient business management and personalized customer service experiences are major keys to success in today’s business world. Small and medium-sized businesses need an intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to help optimize efficiency for their everyday business processes and maximize their overall investment.

Microsoft Dynamics Navision (NAV) is the solution for you!

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a comprehensive enterprise resource planning solution designed to help small to medium-sized businesses manage and optimize daily tasks and facilitate better employee performance across the board.

Read on to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics NAV and where our Microsoft Dynamics consultants can come in to help.

What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

Microsoft Dynamics Navision (NAV) is an enterprise resource planning application that assists with finance, E-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, and business intelligence analytics to help small and medium-sized companies manage back-end operations.

Dynamics NAV is a component of the complete Microsoft Dynamics suite, which includes CRM and ERP applications and functional tools to improve business efficiency and performance.

The Dynamics suite was first introduced in 2003 and comprises five core enterprise products:

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL

Dynamics NAV is Now Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft revamped its Dynamics suite in November 2016, which combined all of its CRM and ERP tools under an umbrella Microsoft Dynamics 365 brand.

While Dynamics NAV was historically a well-liked, on-premise business management system for small and mid-sized companies, Microsoft has flipped the script in recent years, converting users to their cloud-based Business Central replacement.

Business Central makes connecting users to the applications and services required to manage everyday operations easier by working with Office 365 and other services in the Microsoft Cloud. With improved connection across the entire Microsoft landscape, users can monitor company operations, sales, customer support, and financial management tasks all in one location. Users can also access business-critical data from any location on any device with mobile app capabilities and connections.

Differences Between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV

Like Dynamics NAV, Business Central is divided into two levels and offers all the capabilities of its previous version. Users can start with the essential features of the solution and add optional extensions, like intelligent service management, manufacturing, and security tools, as needed.

One key distinction between NAV and Business Central is the availability of third-party add-ons or extensions, which can be installed and uninstalled as needed. While the Microsoft Navision application can be customized through development, Business Central offers a specific set of in-built functionality with limited customization.

Business Central receives updates every eight weeks and new features every two years, while older Dynamics products only receive annual system upgrades.

Features of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 

The possibilities are endless with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV application.

Here’s a look at the key modules it provides for business users:


This module helps manufacturing and distribution teams keep track of all orders and deliveries across their system and provides users with real-time data updates.

Marketing and Sales

The Sales and Marketing component makes managing all customer-related information, like contracts, agreements, customer questions, and marketing efforts easier.


Intelligent financial management functionality aids in helping users seamlessly manage all financial and accounting procedures, whether they’re related to business assets,  currencies, or other finance operations.

Service Management

Users can leverage the Service Management module to track and manage client inquiries, create service tickets, handle purchase orders, and generate reports under service management.

Supply Chain Management

This module helps organizations manage all aspects of their supply chain, including inventory control, potential for new products, product delivery, and returns.

Project Management

The Project Management module offers intelligent tools that help companies facilitate more efficient resource allocation, budget planning, automated billing, report tracking, and resource maintenance functionality across the entire organization.

Human Resource Management

In the Human Resource Management module, business users can manage personnel data, keep records, monitor attendance, and provide reports to ensure accurate and efficient employee management across teams.

Data Insights

True data insights are provided in this module, reports are produced, real-time data is made available, and users’ budgets are managed. This module provides enhanced data insights and helps users produce intelligent reports, access real-time data, and manage budgets over time.

Warehouse Management

With correct inventory data and advanced insights, the Warehouse Management module can help users streamline order management, including creating, sending, receiving, and approving product orders.

Benefits of Dynamics NAV

Here’s a look at some of the main advantages of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution:

Increased Visibility

The cloud-based NAV system allows users to connect with their business-critical databases at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection. Vendors, suppliers, users, and workers can also share data across teams and systems, facilitating 24/7 process work and better system performance.

Seamless Reporting and Data Entry

Centralized data management makes it easier for users to extract, manage, and share data with the appropriate people when necessary. The Dynamics NAV solution streamlines the data management process by leveraging automation to eliminate manual data entry and reduce the risk of human error across teams.

Low Maintenance Cost

Upgrading and implementing technology requires significant asset investments, and it’s a major concern for small and medium-sized businesses. Unlike cloud deployment, which operates on a monthly subscription basis, on-premise deployment has substantially greater installation and maintenance expenses.

Adaptability and Scalability

With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, there is no need to upgrade server hardware as your firm expands or implements new technologies to keep the company up-to-date. When it comes to adding or changing system functionality to meet evolving business needs, NAV helps users automate change management processes without interfering with current business operations. This frees up internal employees, allowing them to concentrate on expanding functionality and utilizing cutting-edge technology to serve your clients better.

Best Practices for Moving From NAV to Business Central

Here are some things to consider when migrating from NAV to Business Central:

Support Lifecycle: If your Dynamics NAV version is close to the end of its extended Microsoft support lifecycle, it might be a good time to make the move to Business Central. And, if your company currently operates on NAV 2013 R2 or any earlier versions, Microsoft no longer extends continuous support for your applications.

Compliance and Security: In Business Central, the latest updates are automatically applied to your system, helping reduce your risk for security breaches and maintaining compliance. If your company requires advanced security and regulatory needs, you may need to consider the move to Business Central.

Up-to-date Functionality: Business Central offers advanced workplace flexibility and in-built compatibility with other Microsoft products, including Excel, Power Automate, and additional feature enhancements like built-in process approvals. When choosing the best time to switch to a newer ERP, keep in mind how relevant these characteristics are to your specific business procedures.

Changing Business Requirements: Since they first deployed Dynamics NAV, many businesses have undergone significant changes, sometimes to the point where their current NAV setup no longer meets their demands for bank, warehouse, or inventory information. When you start the transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you will be able to work with an experienced Dynamics Partner to customize the system to meet your current and long-term business needs.

Two Methods Migration: Upgrade and Reimplementation

There are two main approaches when migrating from NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central: upgrade and reimplementation. An upgrade is faster and migrates historical data to Business Central, while implementation provides more opportunities to revamp and optimize your ERP system.

The upgrade process leverages advanced development tools to extract data from Dynamics NAV and mold it into the right format for their new Business Central solution. Customizations are the only thing that doesn’t need to be recreated, but it’s suggested that most customizations can be left behind because of all the added functionality in Business Central. While it’s suggested to leave most of your existing customizations behind and leverage advanced functionality in Business Central, any customizations that are brought to the new system don’t need to be recreated.

On the other hand, when you reimplement, you begin a fresh implementation process from scratch. Your master records, GL balances, Open A/R, and Open A/P are all moved, but your historical data and customizations are not. Despite improvements to the user interface and new functionalities, making the move to Business Central is referred to as a “re”-implementation because its code is based on concepts from NAV.

How Long Will It Take to Migrate?

Switching from your old ERP system to a Business Central setup takes more than just money. Instead, choosing to migrate to an upgraded system involves investing a significant amount of time for team members across your entire organization. Organizations switching from legacy ERP systems like Dynamics NAV to a new Business Central solution face the potential for disruption during the migration and other risks associated with the lack of a one-size-fits-all solution.

The length of the migration process relies on several variables, including the size of your company, your internal technical staff, your technology partner, and your historical ERP system.

It’s critical to ensure a clear line of communication between your company and any technology partner brought on to assist you with the migration process. Why? Because unambiguous communication can speed up the migration process and eliminate any misunderstandings about deliverables and objectives.

Who Uses Dynamics NAV?

Due to its wide production control features, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution is particularly well-liked by manufacturing, distribution, and service companies. Organizations also value its user-friendly interface and relative simplicity, as it simplifies growth strategies and makes it easier to add new users over time.

Dynamics NAV is also incredibly flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of any organization or industry. NAV has gained tremendous popularity in the corporate world over the past 20 years because of its cost-effectiveness and scalability and is often the logical next step for expanding businesses moving from traditional accounting software, like Quickbooks. NAV also supports several currencies and is available in more than 40 different languages.

With pre-built integrations for Microsoft Office and other widely-used business technologies like SharePoint and Outlook, businesses can further consolidate their activities and collaborate with other departments and businesses more easily.

Additionally, the software seamlessly integrates with the Power BI platform, another well-known Microsoft tool. With Microsoft’s robust, state-of-the-art business intelligence platform, the Power BI and NAV integrations help users leverage company data more efficiently, improving data visualization and providing AI-driven advice on next steps and potential areas for improvement.

How Can Dynamics NAV Help Businesses Grow?

Without accurately assessing current business operations, businesses cannot expand their operations. Dynamics NAV allows businesses to increase internal visibility, gain a holistic picture of their critical business processes, and identify areas for improvement.

Using an intelligent ERP solution, such as NAV, improves record accuracy on the most basic level, ensuring that every user has access to the data they need. This saves valuable time and enhances the quality of a company’s engagement with its customers, further improving customer satisfaction and fostering long-term loyalty.

With Dynamics NAV, businesses can gain comprehensive insights into production costs through a single repository for operational data, allowing budgets to be reviewed and reevaluated frequently and improving overall spending.

The NAV solution also helps businesses improve efficiency by automating critical operations and allowing staff to focus more time on value-added initiatives.

Real-time analytics give companies the ability to see patterns in their data, making it easier to react quickly to market developments and produce projections that guarantee they’re always prepared to meet demand.

Mobile ERP App

The Microsoft Dynamics NAV mobile app is the cellular version of the ERP software solution and is available to anyone who uses Dynamics NAV.

The app is easy to implement, easy to customize, and user-friendly. It can work on most platforms and mobile devices which means that the app provides reliable, remote access to your Dynamics NAV solution.

Pricing of Microsoft Dynamics Nav

Your business should contact a licensed dealer to purchase Dynamics Nav. Expenses include the cost of paying for the software as well as:

  • Business customizations
  • Implementation consulting
  • Workforce training
  • Integrations

How Can We Help?

Whether you need a dynamic ERP system to help manage your everyday business processes or you’re just looking to get started with Microsoft Dynamics in general, Surety Systems can help.

Our senior-level Microsoft Dynamics consultants have the functional skills and experience needed to help you successfully implement any Microsoft Dynamics application and maximize your technical investments in the long run.

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