This article will zoom in on budgeting and forecasting solutions for Retail organizations using Microsoft Dynamics NAV looking to expand their planning processes.
No matter if you are budgeting, forecasting, or looking at different scenarios as they could play for your company, actual figures and projected numbers are requisite so you can plan specifically for your retail organization, getting over, through, and around obstacles in the coming periods. There are several modern software options on the marketplace that can help retail corporations in upgrading their planning tasks with Dynamics NAV, whether you choose to design your own homegrown process, rely on NAV’s native budgeting functionality, or opt for an independent software vendor (ISV) solution. In this article, we’ll discuss your best choices for today’s budgeting, forecasting, and modeling, specifically to meet your retail planning objectives with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Let’s start by pinpointing some of the thematic criteria you should be shopping for in a planning tool. This might seem like a given, but ease of use for your business end users should be your #1 priority. Business user friendliness translates to native accounting logic, efficient processes, and templates you can reuse. Since budgeting is typically the result of teamwork, ease of use is imperative. Relatedly, collaboration should be an important functionality offering in a modern planning tool. The software should enable you to eliminate the annoying back-and-forth of e-mail threads with separate spreadsheets attached, sometimes clogging your inbox – and rather than attempting to stitch all of this data together, you can facilitate true teamwork via modern technology. Collaborating on a budget requires robust security due to the sensitive data included, like payroll. Security should empower users to access budgets without confidential information getting in front of the wrong eyes. Today’s security invites you to distribute real ownership to budget contributors because they can safely assist in shaping the budget that they have to manage through the year. Sound good?
Not every “solution” is going to help you solve your budgeting “problems,” so it’s important to be informed. We’ll use ease of use, collaboration, and security to see how the following planning tools stack up against each other for retail organizations using Dynamics NAV: homegrown Excel process, Microsoft Forecaster, IBM’s Cognos TM1, Oracle’s Hyperion, and Solver’s BI360.
It might be best to start with the finance world’s most trusted application, Microsoft Excel. Around 90% of modern businesses still utilize Excel for manual budgeting tasks. This tool is easy to use due to its ubiquity over the past couple of decades, but Excel doesn’t offer you the database necessary for collaboration – or security measures for that matter. Because Excel has static input forms, plenty of problems can pop up when you have to manually link spreadsheets together for a complete budget. You also have Microsoft Forecaster as an option, which focuses exclusively on budgeting.
To continue learning more about Retail Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article