Visual Manufacturing was a very popular manufacturing ERP in the late 1990s through to the mid-2000s. It was born in the era of “all in one” ERP solutions, back in the day when “addon” was a four-letter word. By 2008, technology had begun to change dramatically, and Service-Oriented Architecture designs changed the way ERP products interfaced with 3rd party products. In fact, in 2008 Visual was supposed to be upgraded to an SEO-enabled version – but that release was never successful. Through the Great Recession, manufacturing companies held back on upgrades to their ERP solutions, and as such, there is a glut of companies now that are looking at either upgrading Visual to a new version or replacing it with a different product. I will look at the top reasons you should consider replacing Visual with Dynamics NAV rather than upgrading it!
Reasons You Should Replace Visual Manufacturing with Dynamics NAV
- Technology Dead-End Dynamics NAV is written as a Service Oriented Architecture, something the authors of Visual wanted to do in the late 2000s. The Visual technology platform was incapable of doing that in 2009, and it’s no different today. Visual is in a technological dead-end.
- Cloud Being in a technology dead end means that Visual can’t run natively in the cloud. This is important if you want to move to the cloud in the future – and there are good reasons to have a cloud ERP even if you’re not planning on being in the cloud in the near future.
- Add-ons and Applets Dynamics NAV is available with a huge number (over 1000) add-ons and applets available from third parties. Today the idea of being able to go to the Microsoft (iTunes, Google Play) store and buy an App for your device is so obvious nobody questions it. Why should your ERP be different?
- Your business changed Since you bought Visual, your business has changed. The fixed design of Visual makes it very hard to adjust to those changes. Dynamics NAV is well regarded in many industries and verticals and can support those changes much more readily.
- Reports, Reports, Reports Dynamics NAV has been designed to be easy to report out of and has many addon products to make reporting easier (such as Jet Reports – one of our favorites). No more struggling with Crystal Reports – Yikes!
- Features you Need Visual and NAV Compare very well for features, but NAV is designed to be lightweight and easy to use. Also, you can add on many functions to NAV with 3rd party tools – which means you can easily expand it in the future.
- Modify Don’t Compromise The most common complaint with Visual is that customers constantly need to compromise and “run their business the way the ERP needs me to” rather than run the business in a way that is the most efficient. Dynamics NAV is really, surprisingly easy to modify. With new tools for upgrading – the upgrade costs are very reasonable, even if you have made multiple modifications to the system.
I wrote a blog with an in-depth breakdown of
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