Expert Interview Series: Chris Carpenter, Director of IT

Meet Christopher Carpenter

Hi, I'm Christopher Carpenter and I work for Epilog Laser. We are a global leader in the laser engraving, marking, and cutting industry. I am the IT Director as of November of 2015. As the Director of IT, I'm responsible for all things related to our Enterprise Technology Solutions.

What made you decide to change software or decide to implement a new ERP software?

Upon my hiring in 2015, my primary objective from ownership was to assess our current ERP Application and if it met the needs of our company's goals and objectives going into the future. After a 30 day assessment period, it was concluded that the current software did not support our future goals and objectives and we decided at that point that we needed to do something different. What we didn't know at the time is if we could just upgrade our current system or if we needed to fully evaluate a new system. At that point, we knew that we needed some help in making that extremely important decision for the business.

What made you choose ERP Advisors Group? How did you hear of them?

ERP Advisors Group was referred to me by a mutual business contact that I had met during the initial assessment period. When we started to discuss their area of expertise I really found that there could be a good fit between what they provide and what we needed to fill the gaps that we had within our company. Choosing ERP is a huge decision and responsibility and I felt that it was important to bring some experts in. So I reached out to them and after a few discussions with Shawn and his team felt that the partnership was right to move forward.

What did ERP Advisors group do for you? (Selection, Implementation, etc)

Initially, ERP Advisors Group was contracted to run our requirements gathering and selection process. They really came in and were very thorough and worked with us on evaluating our needs and helping us ultimately end up with what I felt was the best decision for the company. Once we were done with the selection process, in talking with Shawn and his team, he mentioned the implementation services that they also provided. I felt that at that time when we started to plan out the implementation phase and realized how big of an effort that was going to be, that it was in our best interest to go ahead and use ERP Advisors Group and their expertise, their resources to help us implement the new ERP solution successfully.

What were your goals or objectives for this project?

So the primary goals and objectives of the ERP project, for me, one is, it's a key foundational technology for the company. Without building this foundation, IT would not be able to support future business initiatives. One of my primary goals from an IT perspective is to not be a roadblock to business success and the opportunities that the business may have. Having a key foundational system like an ERP system allows us to hopefully get in front of these business opportunities and not be, again, a roadblock to business success down the road.

How did ERP Advisors help you meet those goals and objectives?

What ERP Advisors Group was able to do was really capture the vision that I had laid out for them related to the ERP project and implementation and really drive the execution. I think that's where a lot of these projects tend to fail: there's a great selection process, the requirements are laid out yet the project will fail because, when it comes to execution, it just falls apart. There are gaps. What ERP Advisors Group did for us was  fill those gaps and allowed us to really focus on what we were good at internally and all in all it turned out really well. I think it was a great partnership and we successfully implemented an ERP solution that is really providing benefits for the company.

How has the new ERP software helped your business?

So being live on the new system now for six months we've seen many small wins that have really benefited the company. Again it'll take us many years to fully realize, I think, all the benefits that we can get out of the system but there are a few key areas of the business that we've addressed with a new ERP system that we couldn't do a year ago. So from an IT director perspective, I feel like it was a success and we're moving in the right direction.

 

RELATED