Convergence 2007 Diary: Microsoft Dynamics NAV in Retail

Out of personal interest, I attended a session about NAV and Retail. It is a small interactive "Chalk & Talk" session, so I don't know what it's going to be ... And either do they Smile.

First, there was a presentation about Denner. A supermarket chain that uses NAV as integrated full ERP system. Well, actually not full ERP, because the shops itself didn't use NAV, but a custom made application (based on MS technology) Wink. Typical stats:

  • They have 1000000 transactions / day... .
  • The stock of the different shops couldn't be seen online, but is updated to all shops twice a day.
  • No performance issues
  • 70 concurrent users

Why not NAV in the shops? Basically because about all POS products (like LS Retail) are based on "fashion". LS Retail was too big and too expensive as well.

Now, they have online handheld PC which also have 100% offline capabilities. This is used for inventory stuff... . Everything is controlled within NAV.

Apparently (after hearing customers and partners), in general, performance is quite a problem. Also there is the need for partners that understand retail business. These two conclusions came from 20 minutes discussion of saying two thing about twenty times... [8(].

One good remark I remeber was about the fact that in the retail world, they like the adaptebility of NAV, but it can't realize every wet dream of every user Wink.

Denner, for selecting partners: most important thing is references! I think this counts for every customer in every sector... . Also language was very important for them. The users don't speak English, so it had to be a Suiss or German partner.

Finding resources was also an issue that was pointed out. We all know this. NAV is growing, but the resources/consultants slower. Microsoft should do something about that.

Next point: what product is better: AX or NAV. Well, we all know it's NAV, but anyway ... Wink. The customers were wondering if AX isn't better for Retail. It was a typical C&T, because no clear answer or opinion on this was stated. In my opinion, it has not much to do with verticalisation (may be except for manufacturing) ... but I don't know AX well enough.

It was interesting to hear from a customer point of view what he thinks of NAV for retail. Off course, Microsoft invited this customer, so the positive story shouldn't be "generalized". The comments in the room also sounded more like personal adds instead of real comments... (at least some of them).

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