Connex International, located in Burnsville, Minnesota, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Milestone Systems based out of Denmark. Milestone Systems is an international company that sells video surveillance management software in many countries around the world. Their software is distributed and sold through an authorized partner channel. Connex International provides the curriculum, content creation, and training for Milestone’s partner channel.
Milestone has been a long time user of Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) and needed Connex to adopt the system as well. Milestone’s internal support department didn’t have the time or infrastructure to handle the NAV installation for Connex. Connex wanted to find a local vendor who could augment Milestone’s internal support department and help them implement a hosted, or “cloud” version of NAV quickly. Connex found Business Automation Specialists of Minnesota (BASM) on-line and engaged them for the migration to NAV.
A hosted solution was critical for Connex. They had not budgeted for new hardware and software. Thanks to NAV’s support of the Cloud platform, Connex was able to move ahead while using their current technology.
Kevin Renner, Controller at Connex, stated that, “We were excited to move to Microsoft Dynamics NAV because of the capabilities it had that we didn’t have with our current system. We saw that it would greatly enhance our reporting capabilities and eliminate our heavy use of spreadsheets. BASM configured the cloud version of NAV to support our parent company’s data structure but also made it work for our complicated accounting processes. They were also able to bring all of our old data into the new system so we had instant accesses to our prior data.”
In addition to their accounting system, Connex uses a standalone CRM system to manage class participation, profitability and budgeting; as well as an attendee
management system. BASM recommended Jet Reports, an integrated Excel reporting tool, to integrate the data from the three separate systems. This tool, once fully utilized, will save significant time and reduce errors by eliminating data-rekeying.
Prior to NAV, Connex was double-entering data to manage profitability of classes, and monthly reports had to be done manually. Now Microsoft NAV does the monthly reports automatically, as needed. Connex is able to use Jet Reports, an integrated feature within Microsoft Dynamics NAV, to create a CRM reconciliation report which provides them revenue and cogs by class and in under 5 minutes.
With 18 – 20 trainers traveling the world using a combination of pre-paid expenses, reimbursable expenses, and expenses drawn from a corporate bank account with a debit card, the accounting department tracked a complex reimbursement system with spreadsheets. Expenses needed to be matched to receipts and tagged to the appropriate class. Accounting had to keep a spreadsheet of receipts, itineraries, and more; items that were received but hadn’t cleared the bank yet. Once a transaction cleared the bank, they then had to rekey it into the accounting system.
All this is done in NAV now, using native Purchase Journal and Dimension functionality. Accounting can now key the transaction directly into NAV, eliminating the spreadsheet, and when it clears the bank, accounting simply finds it in the Purchase Journal and posts it. If the bank transaction isn’t in the purchase journal, accounting will know that they didn’t receive a receipt and will be able to follow-up appropriately. The ability to auto reverse entries was also a key benefit to the accounting department.