Mills CNC is the sole distributor for Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland. One of the country’s fastest-growing machine tool companies, it sells and leases equipment to customers in manufacturing sectors including aerospace and defence, power generation and motorsport to oil and gas, medical, automotive and general precision components.


The Dynamics Navision and 365 enterprise resource planning platforms are central to Mills CNC’s day-to-day operations. “Navision is used primarily by our finance and warehouse teams for accounting and invoicing, stock control and pre-delivery inspections,” says IT Manager, Birger Schaathun. “It’s basically the bible for our customer accounts.” Synchronisation tools enable data sharing with Dynamics 365, which supports the company’s CRM system. “It’s all our customer data: contacts, sales leads through our website, emails and calls,” says Digital Marketing Manager, Steve Archer. “And if we ever get a GDPR query, we can easily locate and export everything we have on a particular customer.”


Mills CNC had been running Navision 13 for some time, but by 2017, it was clear that an upgrade was both necessary and inevitable. “It was coming to the end of its life and we knew we had to migrate to Navision 18,” says Birger. “Our challenge was that we were using a non-standard version. Over the years we’d made a large number of modifications, mainly for finance and accounting purposes, and these all needed to be transferred across.” Steve adds: “We also had to ensure that all the customer information was translated correctly and that the two systems would talk to each other as we needed them to.”


Acora embarked on the migration project in September 2019; the new Navision 18 solution finally went live on 1 June 2021. “We had some internal issues here that caused delays; and then of course there was the pandemic. There was a lot of time spent writing and testing the modifications before we could go live. All in all it took about 18 months, but we got there in the end!” says Birger.

The new Navision 18 has around 25 active users, with a further 70 on Dynamics 365. “We thought getting the CRM information translated correctly could have been a challenge, but it’s all worked fine,” says Steve.

Microsoft has now released Business Central, which means another upgrade will be required in the future. “There’s no real appetite within the business for it yet, and with 18 we’re good for at least another year or so,” says Birger. “The next change will probably be more complex; we need to look at our warehousing system, and we’ll aim to keep things as standard as possible.”

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