Dynamics NAV consultant Jan Løvendahl
– 9 questions for the expert
Jan has 25 years of experience from the IT industry, and has since 2012 worked as a self-employed ERP consultant, with a focus on Dynamics NAV project management
1. Why did you choose to work as a self-employed Dynamics NAV consultant?
Because I wanted the free life. A lot of NAV partners are too small and don’t have the necessary competence, while the few big ones are too fixated on money.
2. What is the most interesting project you have worked on, and why?
I prefer working with projects where I am involved from the moment the idea is created to the project is completed.
3. What is the most prominent professional trend in Dynamics NAV?
That clients increasingly seek out information themselves, and don’t team up with a Dynamics NAV partner until the last stage of the purchasing process.
4. Which abilities do you think set the most skilled Dynamics NAV or ERP consultants apart from the masses?
The good ERP consultant provides good customer service based on the client’s challenge, and recommends the best solution, also if the project moves outside his own field. A lot of Dynamics NAV partners try to sell what they can do, even if it’s not necessarily the best solution for the client.
The good consultant has excellent communication skills, and can translate the client’s challenges into a technical solution which suits their situation. It also means being capable of handing over the solution to the employees who will end up working with the ERP system, because if the functionality is not utilised in the real world, it is essentially worthless.
5. What is vital for the success of an ERP project, and what increases the risk of failure?
Once again, the vital element is that you understand the client’s challenges, and that you create a solution in accordance with this.
6. What competencies do you expect to gain in the next year, and why?
None. I have what I need, and at 62 years old, I don’t need to evolve any further, but rather use my knowledge in a better way. I do that by employing people with specialised competencies in niche areas to help me in my business, for example within the fields of economy, integration, production, advanced logistics or CRM. No Dynamics NAV consultant is an expert in everything, and my strength is being able to see which core competencies the clients need for their projects, and recommending an expert in that particular niche.
7. Who or what is your greatest source of professional inspiration? How do you keep updated in your field?
My network. I have worked with Dynamics NAV since 1988, and I know 73 NAV partners. When I face a professional challenge, I always know who to call to get the knowledge I need, or to discuss my thoughts with an experts in precisely that niche area. That’s also how I learn and get inspired. I use my network at least once a week, typically more.
8. What is your best piece of advice for other consultants who are considering becoming self-employed?
When you are self-employed, you cannot get enough tasks if you don’t have a sales channel to generate them from. Just like with the professional technical knowledge, it is necessary to cooperate with people who know about the market and can communicate the tasks offered by the client.
9. What is your best piece of advice for companies who are considering hiring a self-employed consultant?
You have to know what you need, or you will easily end up with the wrong consultant. As a client, you rarely know exactly what you need, and you have no way of knowing for sure what a new system can offer.
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