As a client, you have the choice to hire a relatively cheap and independent resource (with only few years’ experience) to configure your Dynamics NAV system. In such an implementation, the focus would be on the product – Dynamics NAV – rather than you as a client or your business; it would surely be cheap and the system will be somewhat workable.

From the same perspective, you can have a commercial arrangement with a NAV partner, who might claim to be able to solve all your problems at heavily discounted prices.

Unfortunately, you get what you pay for! The focus simply on NAV will ignore the business processes and the business vision that drives Information Technology (IT). A junior person can answer the question: ‘How do I setup inventory prices in NAV?’ but he or she may not be able to give you any advice when you ask ‘How do I separate accountability among sales and production teams to maximise my gross margins?’

As a senior consultant, I have seen implementations managed solely by junior consultants and I have seen the cost and efficiency consequences on businesses of using the resulting under-optimised systems and processes. In most of these cases, such relationships don’t last long.

According to an article published by the Economist (22 March 1997 – Trimming the Fat), 60% to 70% of projects in the area of consulting management services are repeat work carried out as a result of lasting connections between organizations.

The questions is – how do these long lasting relationships get created?

Technical Dynamics NAV knowledge and problem-solving skills alone are not enough; long lasting relationships are created based on great listening and communication skills, business acumen and big-picture thinking, and solution strategies that go beyond solving the problem at hand. It’s the emotional intelligence, in addition to NAV knowledge that’s the real value-add. The Fenwick approach is to build a lasting relationship; concentrate on creating business benefits; become a trusted advisor; and ensure that risk is minimised by having several people who know your company and its systems.

So next time someone promises you great solutions with cheap dollars – think twice!

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Written By Ruby Usman

Having completed a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, Ruby spent several years working in I.T. before becoming a NAV specialist in 2000. Ruby has worked on numerous implementations involving finance, manufacturing, warehousing and service. She joined Fenwick Software in 2010. Ruby manages the blog and is a mentor to some of our junior staff.

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