ERP Basics for the CFO

April 25, 2018 Greg Williams

Implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a daunting task for any Chief Financial Officer (CFO). An ERP system spans the entire organization and therefore requires a high level of coordination and collaboration. With so many options available, the task of figuring out where and how to start can be confusing. At Western Computer, we offer our insights and experience with the ERP implementation process so you can benefit from the best industry practices. Whether you have begun, are just beginning, or merely contemplating a change, let’s take a look at a few common questions we get from our CFO customers.

What is ERP and how will it benefit my company?

If you haven’t followed the recent evolution of ERP, you may be surprised to find out just how comprehensive a solution it can be with newer functionality such as connecting to mobile devices and partner systems. As a suite of integrated applications, your organization can use ERP to collect, store, manage and interpret data. ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes and helps you track resources and commitments. This helps facilitate error-free transactions and production and can enhance your organization's efficiency. ERP systems typically include the following advantages:

  • An integrated business and financial management system
  • Real-time operation and analytics
  • A common database that supports all applications
  • A consistent, familiar look and feel across applications

 

How do I select and deploy ERP?

Some companies have skilled resources in-house and want to take on most of the tasks that are necessary to choose and successfully implement their ERP solution. At Western Computer, we adjust to our customer’s resource availability and do as much or as little as needed.

Other businesses may want more attention and may require more services and functionality. In that case, you might need a full deployment. It’s best to meet with an implementation partner and leverage their experience to determine your best ERP implementation strategy. You might check out our quick ERP comparison chart to learn more about the differences between some of the leading Microsoft ERP systems.

Are there people and change management issues I should consider?

Absolutely. As a CFO, you require an ERP solution that enables your business to grow, boost productivity and profitability, and improve customer satisfaction. One of the biggest barriers to achieving these results is often lack of preparation for the impending changes. Your solution can only deliver these benefits through knowledgeable users. Users who are fully trained and prepared from the beginning of the ERP implementation project are more efficient and comfortable using the ERP system when it goes live, increasing utilization and ROI.

For example, at Western Computer, we create training programs tailored to each client’s  particular requirements, including:

  • Training needs analysis
  • On-site instructor-led training
  • Classroom materials
  • Train-the-trainer services for your Champions of Change and other key leaders
  • ongoing training and support services including troubleshooting and upgrades
  • online customer support web portal for quick answers and resolutions

What is the next step?

Western Computer is here to help you make your business more productive, more intelligent, and more adaptable. We can talk through your goals and show you ERP options that align to your goals and budget today, and allow you to add applications as your business needs evolve, revolutionizing ERP productivity. Contact us today to learn more and to arrange for a personalized demonstration. 

About the Author

Greg Williams

As Western Computer's Dynamics Practice Manager, Greg Williams is responsible for aligning the company's product and service offerings with the specific needs of its customers. Greg's 15 years of experience with ERP implementations in the manufacturing and distribution industries allows him to identify potential risks and immediately mitigate them with creative solutions.

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