To share a little of my background, I came from the ERP world. When I first moved to Colorado over a decade ago, I worked for a large company that went through an ERP selection and implementation. I worked for them for a good amount of time and was able to get to know many people in the ERP industry, where I learned a lot about the implementation process.
When I came to JRF Ortho, we largely knew we needed a more CRM-focused system. The system we had at the time was largely lacking in that and I suspected the recommendation was going to come back that we needed to look at a whole new system. Because of my background, I had a good grasp on what we were going to need as well as a fairly good idea of the options that were going to come back. Ultimately, our business is not that complex, and I knew we had more ERP than we needed and were using. I had a feeling we were going to need to scale back.
Initially we looked at doing much of the work with one particular company that was an up-and-comer. One of the things we did well was ISV development, so we were thinking of doing a build out for them. But knowing I had no idea how to prepare a team for demonstrations and the whole discovery process, we brought in ERP Advisors Group.
We completed our needs analysis and are currently in the middle of the selection process. Quentin helped get so much information on our business that helped prepare for the demonstrations. We’ve done our first round of mini demos, with the next round coming up in the next few weeks.
With the help of ERP Advisors Group, I also learned that the demonstrations were going to be way less effective if I did not know what to tell the vendors what we specifically wanted them to show us. I don't know what's too much information or too little information, and it was a huge value added by ERP Advisors Group to help us filter that out. Being able to get the demonstration script out—I almost liken it to if I was selecting a new audit firm. Not knowing how to write an RFI, it was so helpful having someone help us who did. Quentin was great when he was sitting down with our team to gather all that information and compiling it. He made sure we were closing the gaps between the different departments, making a few tweaks here and there. It was a very efficient, very helpful process.
From experience, I’ve learned that one of the massive failures of an implementation is if you expect the new software to fix all your problems. If you approach an implementation with this idea, you're going to be in for a world of problems. We looked at bettering our internal processes by saying, “Oh, we want to do this, but our system won't let us,” as opposed to, “We're just going to get this software and it's going to fix everything.” So, we are going into this process with that mindset, and Quentin has reinforced that is the best approach. I think people who have seen the successes and failures of ERP implementations know that going into a new system, it isn't going to fix everything. It is a tool to align your processes to technology, not fix your processes.
We know that the financial reporting piece is also important for our company, even though I wouldn’t say it is the big driver of going through this process. The way our data is currently structured isn't ideal for our business. There is a lot of massaging of data that needs to happen to get good metrics, and there were many issues causing even basic information to be inaccessible. We are focusing on reporting that assigns quantities and basic items that were not implemented with the original software. As I mentioned, I told Quentin that our goal was to fix the big gap in our CRM functionality, which is running our business; however, the finance and the reporting tools in more real time will be good to have.
Quentin did an amazing job with our team to get everyone in a good mindset for this process. He encouraged them that the goal was to shift some staff away from doing the development themselves, and have them lead working with ERP Advisors Group through the enhancements and upgrades. He ensured that employees knew they were still adding a ton of value just in a different way—more high level. Quentin really helped reinforce that point. He naturally was able to be on the same page as us, it was huge.
I have nothing but good feedback from our team on the interview process. Carly has been great to work with, as well, even though a little bit more in the background. I would say the way Quentin interacts, the way he listens and is able to pull all of the information together, with minimal work on our end and minimal revisions, is remarkable. The initial RFI came out and we had some tweaks here and there, but it was largely things that I thought of after I was reading through it. They weren’t specifics we talked about that he got wrong, but things that could be added on. Honestly, it's been a pleasure to work with Quentin and Carly and the ERP Advisors Group team.
I would absolutely recommend ERP Advisors Group! I think working with an independent group like ERP Advisors helps provide more of a filter and more checks when it is going through someone outside your own organization. That was one of the reasons why I selected EAG and even went with an outside consultant in the first place. If anyone asked, I would definitely recommend that they use a consultant, and I would be more than happy to recommend ERP Advisors Group. And, if needed, I’d also be happy to be a reference for ERP Advisors Group, too.
Further Feedback from Implementation Phase:
Quentin sat in on our initial sessions with the vendor over the last two days and I can honestly say the input he provided was invaluable to the process. He kept us on track, made sure all of our needs were addressed and even provided the vendor with options on how they could design solutions for our unique needs. This is all because he took the time to understand not only our needs, but our processes, vision and overall company. I can’t even imagine how much time he saved us on the project by likely eliminating lots of back and forth between JRF and the vendor team.