Dimitar Iliev, GM of Navtech Group and Barry Kattestaart, Managing Partner on Their Collaboration, the New Benelux Office, and the Shared Vision for Success

We engage in an interesting conversation with Dimitar Iliev and Barry Kattestaart who tell us more about their partnership, the birth of NavTech Benelux, their work methodology, projects and vision for the future. 

How has NavTech Group been expanding their business?   

Dimitar: We have come a long way, starting in 2010 in Bulgaria, then Switzerland and now a new office in Rotterdam, Netherlands. To the HOW in your question there seems to be only one answer. We highly evaluate the hard work and dedication from everyone in Navtech Group, feeling the continuous passion and we certainly celebrate our successes! Faith, Vision and Loyalty allow us to grow together globally.     

Barry: Absolutely! I see this from every individual. All of them are looking forward to actively approaching Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) market challenges and harvesting larger Global Business. Fully supported by Navtech Group’s resources, we are confident we can deliver high-quality solutions in our focus areas: Retail, Hotels, Restaurants, Fashion, Manufacturing, but certainly not limited to those. We love challenges!  

“We highly value the hard work and dedication from everyone.”


How did you come to partner with each other?    

Barry: Well, we have always fancied that from our first collaborations where we served IKEA in Bulgaria. Dimitar personally took care of the most complex localizations and fiscal stuff, while I was responsible for the overall delivery of the ERP project. Everything went smoothly and I was really impressed by the pragmatic approach and deep understanding of ERP in Retail. We met many times at conferences and at some point, it just seemed the right time. In 2023 we decided to get into business and from 2024 we are welcoming customers to Navtech Benelux B.V.  

Dimitar: We are driven by the same desire for growth and innovation which made our collaboration extremely effective. Ever since our teamwork on the IKEA project and the initial discussions about potential partnership opportunities, it was clear that our joint efforts will be the foundation of many remarkable success stories. Barry’s expertise has broadened our capabilities and has brought a fresh new perspective, which is crucial in this dynamic business environment.

Dimitar and Barry officially turning Navtech Benelux into reality 


As a Microsoft and LS Retail partner, can you share more about Navtech Group’s future business growth strategy?   

Dimitar: As I like to say: for Navtech Group, the sky is the limit. Our services suit various industries – Retail, Hotels and Hospitality, Manufacturing, Pharma, GMP– and we are adding more to that list. We always strive for excellence, and this is why we offer tailor-made solutions specifically adapted to our clients’ needs. Whatever the challenge is, we embrace it fearlessly. Right now, we are evolving Hospitality industry as we have already successfully improved the all-in-one software LS Central for Hotels in Hotels Chains worldwide. We are proud to say that we have more than 80 successful projects all around Europe and we plan to expand our business even further.  

Barry: Navtech Group has always aimed to be a Global Business. Now with the Group at full force and having built relationships in various places, we are ready to realize this step. Global Business means you will have to ensure the 24/7 availability of your company's services. We have the resources willing to go this extra mile and our strategic partnerships in Asia and America allow us to provide quick response times at any given time. Distance is not a challenge anymore; we aim for all environments to be cloud-native and accessible from anywhere in the world. Downside is that holidays turned into workcations…   

“Distance is not a challenge anymore; we aim for all environments to be cloud-native and accessible from anywhere in the world.“

What are some upcoming projects that Navtech Group has been working on?    

Barry: To be honest, we are about to take some time to breathe again. During the festive season, the team had been working hard to get ready for the Go-lives from January 1st. Not just one project. No, we took the challenge of 3 Go-Lives at the same time and not the least challenging projects. But the NavTech team showed its agility and underlined the motto: “Success or nothing!” once again.  

Dimitar: As Barry said, we have already started the year on a high note with 3 Enterprise Go-Lives. With such a strong beginning, we are certain that 2024 will bring many exciting new opportunities and achievements. We are also already welcoming our first clients in the Benelux office, so we are on the lookout for new collaborations there.  

NavTech Benelux logo

NavTech Benelux Logo

Dimitar, last year you celebrated the 13th anniversary of Navtech Group. What do you consider the most significant accomplishment of the company over the past 13 years?  

Dimitar: I can’t classify just one significant accomplishment. All our success stories are an essential part of our progress and improvement. We are proud of every single project, regardless of the size or industry. Our team has worked on some truly challenging large-scale projects and on some smaller ones, but we are always consistent in our values and work methodology. This is why NavTech Group delivers custom-built solutions with great attention to detail and a customer-centered approach, no matter what. 

“We are proud of every single project, regardless of the size or industry.”  

How do you measure success? 

Dimitar: Success can be measured only through our customers’ feedback and the outcomes after implementing our solutions. If the ones who rely on the system in their daily tasks are not satisfied, then what is the point of our services? Microsoft and LS Retail have already designed the core systems as industry leaders, but it is the people with their inherent needs that create our solutions. 

The Navtech team attending Directions EMEA 2023 in Lyon
NavTech's team attending Directions EMEA 2023 in Lyon 

And what has changed in these 13 years?  

Dimitar: Except for the expansion of our business to Switzerland, and Benelux, we have welcomed many valuable additions to the team and built many long-term international partnerships. We started with a team of 2 and now, there are 38 of us. Being a Microsoft and LS Retail partner has opened many doors for us as we have embraced innovation and introduced new services, attracting customers from various industries and regions.   

Barry, you have a wealth of experience in ERP implementation and consulting. Where does this passion come from?  

Barry: I have been working globally for the last 15 years and over those years, I have seen many implementations with various customers and end-users. I have worked with many different consultants and developers on these implementations, and I can surely say that it is never a one-man job; always teamwork. With many of them I have built great relationships and I even dare to label some as friends.  

“It is never a one-man job; always teamwork.” 

So, what customers are you talking about?  

Barry: I am not keen on putting names and numbers on paper for commercial reasons. I am happy to talk you through but for now, please believe that they are great companies. From smaller stores to huge enterprise retail organizations, representing over 200 brands in multi-country operations; well-known world-famous brands and entrepreneurs in Retail, Wholesale and Fashion.

What would you say about the assumption that ERP is old-fashioned? 

Barry: No! ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is the backbone or spinal for every organization. This is where it comes altogether, and it is all united in an end-of-year figure - your profit. I do understand your question since ERP is not the fanciest tool compared to all the nicely shaped and modern applications out there. But trust me, ERP is open for integrations with any of those Apps!   

NavTech's team at Directions EMEA 2023
NavTech's team at Directions EMEA 2023

Can you share a bit more about these Apps? 

Barry: Well, just like we want to simplify our daily lives with new apps for the AppStore, in the same way businesses want to boost their efficiency further by integrating Apps into their ERP system. This is why Microsoft AppSource is a "gold mine” - there are so many additional applications on top of the Business Central ERP, and they are very easily integrated into the platform. As we want to respond to all needs of our clients, we collaborate with various interesting Apps, for example WMS Scanning, Bank Integrations, Dashboards, etc. Also, with the API technology, it is fairly simple to connect external custom-built Apps with your ERP, where in the good old days, we were trying to solve everything within the ERP (Yes, I did allow that too...and we have come a long way since then!) Now with these Apps, the functionalities of the ERP system are even further expanded. On top of that, we also develop our own Apps as an extension of Business Central, so stay tuned for what's to come! 

Dimitar: We have established a lot of partnerships and have collaborated into creating Apps that significantly optimize our customers’ work. For example, our newly released app is NavFlo Auto Fleet Management, now available with a free trial on AppSource. Together with our partners from Techflo, we developed this app to help users boost their fleet efficiency and reduce manual work. We are also partnering with a bank interface app – Bankfeed, which we have already leveraged in one of our success stories and have observed great benefits and efficiency improvement. Microsoft AppSource is the perfect finish touch to our solutions as there are plenty of Apps, corresponding to each customer's specific needs. We have also been working on developing our own apps for the Hotels and Hospitality industry, but we will share more very soon! 

To wrap up this interview, can you share your favourite methodology? 

Dimitar: Our methodology is a combination of our team's 20 years' experience and Microsoft's Sure Step Methodology, which is comprised of 5 stages: Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment, and Go-Live. We start with a kick-off meeting to outline the specific requirements of our customers, and then proceed to design the project aligning with these needs. Our team sets up and tests the system, expands the functionalities if needed and in the Deployment phase, we conduct any last additional changes before the End User Training. And of course, we finish off with the Go-Live phase. 

Microsoft Sure Step Methodology for ERP system implementationMicrosoft Sure Step Methodology

Barry: Sure Step Methodology by Microsoft is the approach we have observed fits best our projects. In my experience through the years, I have worked with many teams that incorporated the Agile-Scrum implementation method and thus neglected many important aspects of a project. In a project I always consider the "Iron-triangle" of Quality where Cost, Scope and Timeline are the variables to play with. In general, I think that Agile suits pure software development tasks very well, but for the kind of projects we do with customers I prefer the Sure Step Methodology. Some practices we adopt come from our own experience – after all, each project is unique, and the methodology should be suited to the customer's needs. A methodology serves a project and not the other way around. 

Come and meet up with Dimitar and Barry at Connexion 2024 in Reykjavik, Iceland from May 13 - 15!

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