The deployment of any enterprise application always presents challenges. Making sure the technology works and ironing out the bugs are obviously important. But you also have to get buy-in from your team and train them on how to use the technology to get widespread adoption. Only then can the solution deliver its full value.
For some businesses, the difficulty in achieving a successful enterprise application deployment rose to a new level in 2020 as Coronavirus hit—wanting to eliminate in-person visits by their IT partners and avoiding as much contact as possible among internal team members. While getting together face-to-face has traditionally been the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands what’s going on, many businesses have teamed up with IT partners who were already proficient at managing virtual technology implementations—where everyone works remotely to iron out configuration issues and to document business workflows.
Ability to Collaborate Remotely Driven by Trust
That’s what LD Products did this past spring when senior management wanted to generate financial reports as each month progresses—rather than waiting for the month-end close. The online retailer of printer supplies (one of the largest in the United States) also needed to streamline processes for its geographically-dispersed accounting teams, which included personnel in the U.S. and the Philippines.
To achieve these objectives, LD Products decided to turn to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and move certain ERP functions to the cloud—where the IT team knew it would also benefit from better stability, elasticity and scalability. For help in designing and deploying the solution—knowing a partner who was willing and able to work remotely was mandatory—LD Products selected Western Computer.
Western Computer proved to be the ideal partner because we have successfully designed and implemented solutions for customers remotely for many years. Long before COVID hit, our processes, systems and teams were already built for virtual deployments.
Our ability to collaborate remotely was supported by the level of trust established during a partnership with LD Products that goes back to 2012. We understand the LD Products business model and are a proponent of empowering clients to take an active role in software implementations. This approach was particularly important in working together on a virtual basis.
Financial Data Accuracy Increases While Manual Processes Decrease
For LD Products, we dedicated the required resources to every phase of the project—from discovery to design, implementation and support—helping LD Products optimize the use of Dynamics 365 Finance.
The proficiency of our collaborative effort during the project was pointed out by Aaron Leon, the LD Products CEO: “Western Computer programmers are adept at customizing software and helping us figure out what to do when there’s something we can’t fix on our own. Just as important are their project management skills. They keep projects on budget and on time, and do a great job at providing regular updates on the status of projects.”
The project featured strong collaboration between LD Products and Western Computer, and with the new ERP solution, LD Products has increased financial data accuracy while eliminating manual report generation processes. The LD Products management team also now has access to financials to assess opportunities for improving operational efficiencies, and the accounting team has accelerated invoicing, accounts payable, and bank reconciliation processes.
Leon appreciates that he and other senior executives can now easily and quickly access reports, including P&L, cash flow, the balance sheet, and financial ratios: “All of this used to be done manually through pivot tables. Now, we get all the financial information automatically, and the ability to look at financials throughout the month makes it easier for us to react sooner to anything we need to adjust.”
A Great Partner for Bringing ERP Components Together
Members of the internal LD Products team managing the deployment have also taken notice of the benefits of the ERP solution. “The way Dynamics 365 Finance is set up, it helps us make sure we follow accounting procedures correctly, such as cleaning up bank reconciliations,” says Martin Micheelsen, a Project Manager. “Before, our system gave us more flexibility in handling processes, and we sometimes strayed from best practices.”
And with Dynamics 365 Finance fully deployed, LD Products continues to work with Western Computer to further fine-tune the system. “As we select a new warehouse management system, Western Computer will play a key role in integrating that solution with Dynamics 365,” says Senior Developer Troy Swanner. “They are a great partner to work with to make sure all the components of our ERP environment work well together.”
To find out more about how Western Computer worked remotely to help LD Products deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance so management gets fast access to financial numbers and to accelerate accounting processes, download the full customer success story. We would also be glad to schedule a call to discuss how we can help your organization achieve similar benefits. Feel free to contact us to start the conversation.
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