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Case Study: Dynamics NAV Upgrade for an Engineering Services Firm

Canyon Technical Services is a Calgary, Alberta-based company providing engineering services in the oil and gas industry, including hydraulic fracturing and other well-stimulation services. The following snapshot outlines how Canyon leveraged their Dynamics NAV upgrade as an opportunity to deliver specific improvements to report quality, procurement processes, and data quality and security.

Canyon - Dynamics NAV Upgrade case study

Since their last Dynamics NAV upgrade (from NAV 5 to 2009), the company has grown both in size and complexity. Motivated by a need to accommodate growth and manage risk, Canyon decided to upgrade to Dynamics NAV 2013. Rather than simply performing a straight technical upgrade, they focused on ways to improve their business and processes.

After analyzing the steps to move forward with a NAV upgrade, Canyon chose a hybrid upgrade path (a technical upgrade combined with a partial object merge) because, while they wanted to re-envision many processes and retire a number of customizations, they still wanted to bring forward some custom objects which were still serving their business. As part of this process, they focused on creating improvement in the following areas:

Dynamics NAV Upgrade Objectives

  • Improving financial and operational performance reports
  • Introducing more structure and governance in the procurement process
  • Managing data security by establishing better controls over user permissions
  • Cleaning up data and going with a more standard version of Dynamics NAV moving forward


Improved Reports and Data Quality

In Canyon’s NAV 2009 environment, dimensions and GL structures were complex and many of these dimensions captured the same information. The upgrade included a consolidation of the existing dimensions as well as an extensive data cleanup process. Now, due to the improvements to data structure and quality, key reports are more efficient and focused, providing value-add rather than over-abundant classification.


Process Improvement

Prior to moving to NAV 2013, Canyon was not using NAV’s purchase order functionality extensively and they wanted to introduce more controls over purchase approvals. The entire procurement function was overhauled and resulted in improve­ments in vendor management, better control over costs, and improved management / approval oversight.


Better Data Security

Prior to upgrading, security options weren’t consolidated, which opened up the company to potential risks. For example, in the old system, two users in the same role could have completely different security positions. The move to NAV 2013 provided opportunities to tighten up user permissions by implementing advanced security levels using Mergetool and ensuring role-based security access tailored to specific functional needs.

Canyon’s ERP system now enables them to meet regulatory compliance standards for public companies.


A System for the Long-Term

When they upgraded from NAV 5 to 2009, Canyon brought forward a number of customizations without analyzing whether or not they continued to bring value to the system. This time around, Canyon was able to analyze which customizations they were no longer leveraging and retire many custom objects. Working with a more standard version of NAV will allow for simpler upgrades in the future.

Through the upgrade process, Canyon met their objectives while also developing a NAV solution that they can continue to build on.

A New Upgrade Philosophy

Re-thinking the basic upgrade philosophy to focus on business outcomes allows organizations like Canyon to choose an appropriate upgrade path and methodology – one that sets them on the path to realizing true business value.

How have you approached upgrades in the past? What specific business improvements are you looking to develop in your upgrade? Our Dynamics NAV Upgrade eBook presents a methodology for helping you to plan a successful NAV upgrade.

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