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Harkraft had gone from a DOS system to Epicor to Microsoft Dynamics GP and yet still didn’t have a workable ERP solution.
President Warren Eck said the Epicor system “never really did what we wanted it to do.” When he attempted to withhold final payment due to those unmet expectations, the partner simply quit working and left Harkraft with a patchwork solution that could not be updated as needed.
The GP implementation went nearly $100,000 over budget and was still too cumbersome and sluggish due to the way it was configured. No more than two or three people could work at a time — and never at the same time as the company’s bookkeeper, Judy Hardie. Hardie had been with the company 40 years and longed for the days of their old DOS system when they weren’t trying to limp along with poorly implemented solutions.
They decided to try once more, this time with a Microsoft cloud solution. Eck hoped that a cloud solution would be faster and better — and crash less often — than their locally hosted GP system. He interviewed a couple Microsoft partners and was most impressed with Jack Boyer’s willingness to listen and give him time rather than push any one solution.
“The fact that he didn’t want to sell me anything was nice. He told me he wanted to build a relationship … instead of just forcing something down our throats,” Eck said.
Their existing GP partner, meanwhile, was putting on the pressure to upgrade immediately. Boyer assured Eck that he had time and gave him the option to stay on Dynamics GP and upgrade when he felt ready or move to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud. Ultimately, Harkraft went with the cloud option.
As the saying goes, the third time was the charm for Harkraft’s ERP implementations. The move to Business Central went smoothly, came in at budget and does the job well.
Eck said part of the issue with their GP implementation had been a misunderstanding of what all they needed in the system to handle the company’s complex processes.
“There’s a lot of parts and pieces to what we do,” he said. “Boyer figured out (the system) didn’t need to be as complex as we were told it needed to be.”
Boyer helped the company simplify some of their processes, clean up their data and get rid of unnecessary customizations or add-on solutions. For example, they were able to get rid of two-thirds of their part numbers. As a result, they no longer needed Horizons, a manufacturing and inventory management add-on for Dynamics.
Eck said the biggest benefit with Business Central is increased productivity. Multiple people can work in the system at one time without causing crashes, and they can work from home as well.
“It’s much faster and we can post while other tasks are occurring. The interface is much better for any work-from-home activities as well,” he added.
Eck noted that the Boyer team was very knowledgeable and helpful throughout the process.
Overall, his team — including Hardie — is pleased with the new solution.
“I am left with good feelings about our project and it is well-liked by our team. This is the first time that’s happened,” Eck said.
5 ERP Selection Tips from a Peer
After two poor implementations and — finally — a successful one, Eck was full of tips for companies looking to change out their ERP/accounting system. Here’s what he suggests:
- “Ensure that you know what your actual needs are and question all of your current processes.”
- “Make sure the discovery process is detailed and you feel assured that the provider truly understands your organization.”
- “Make sure the provider is truly comfortable with the budget they have set and hold them accountable for sticking to it — with clarity around anything that is out of scope.”
- “Clean your data and consider changing your processes to meet ‘out of the box’ functionality. Customizing is rarely as necessary as one thinks.”
- “Be sure you can trust your provider. Boyer does a great job of building trust.”