Boyer’s newest Business Central consultant has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. We’re thrilled to have Amanda Simmons join the team.
Simmons graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Her ability to speak both Spanish and Russian landed her an internship at Walt Disney World in guest relations. Part of the job included compensating upset customers, but sometimes employees gave away more than corporate wanted.
“They had in-house, homegrown software, and there were a lot of holes in it, and holes to them meant money walking out the door,” Simmons said. “I found holes in the system and ways for people to cheat.”
When she brought the issue up to her supervisor, she quickly found herself in charge of the software system and with a new title — controller. She stayed at Disney for seven years, enjoying company housing and paying off student loans.
In 2000, Simmons decided to “get a real job” and move to Atlanta to be near her recently-retired parents. She immediately landed a job as controller at a sporting goods company that was looking for new accounting software.
After doing some research, Simmons got the green light to select Microsoft Dynamics NAV. She spent the next 18 months overseeing the implementation project and getting her feet wet with Microsoft ERP software.
“Basically, I was an end user, and that’s how I got my start,” she said. The partner in charge of the implementation saw her aptitude for learning the software and at the end of the project, asked if she wanted a job with them. She’s been a business analyst and software consultant ever since.
Seeing how companies come up with a new product to sell is Simmons’ favorite part about being a consultant. Through implementing software, she worked with a company that creates prosthetics for women with breast cancer, another that makes chassis for 18-wheeler trucks and so many more.
“For me it’s really cool to go into a company and to see what widget or thing they’ve come up with to make a whole company work. Every company is different,” she said. “I love to see how they came about and how they found their niche in the market.”
Perhaps her favorite project involved a video gaming company that created limited-run gaming systems based on vintage games. They sought out original developers of such classic games as Donkey Kong to request rights to the code. Then they updated the code for current systems and released a limited number of pre-sold copies. By the time the product hit the market, the word was already out and the product was an immediate hit.
“That was the neatest thing. What a concept!” Simmons said.
Simmons spent most of her early years in the industry working with NAV, the same on-premise solution she had first seen. Like many consultants and companies, she has since switched her focus to the platform’s cloud version, Dynamics 365 Business Central. She misses the ability to write her own code in NAV’s object designer, but she’s glad to get away from the need for VPN hookups.
“It just got so frustrating when you were trying to help clients live,” she said. Assisting a client remotely is much easier in the cloud ERP.
At one point, Simmons created her own company and enlisted the help of two work friends to complete a three-year implementation project for a manufacturing company in Tennessee. Working with the same coworkers at multiple companies is nothing new for the veteran Business Central consultant.
“I really learned quickly that you don’t ever burn bridges in this industry because it’s so small, you will work with the same people again in the future,” she said.
In fact, Boyer reached out to Simmons with a Business Central consultant job opportunity based on the recommendation of two employees who knew her from previous jobs.
“Then I ended up here,” she said. “It was crazy, and it was perfect timing for me.”
The ever-busy Simmons was starting to run out of things to do at her last position, and if there’s one thing she doesn’t like, it’s being idle.
“I go nuts when I have nothing to do,” she said. That hasn’t been the case at Boyer. On her first day, she started working on five different projects. Now she’s staying busy with work — and getting to know her new teammates.
When she’s not busy working, Simmons enjoys doing construction projects with her dad. The two have remodeled and flipped several homes over the past few years.
“It doesn’t take your mind to think about (construction),” Simmons said. “I’m always thinking and typing, even in my sleep.”
Simmons also has a side hustle selling freeze-dried candy, mostly Skittles. She and her parents ship roughly 150 orders a day.
Simmons lives just north of Atlanta in Flowery Branch, Ga. She and her parents sold their respective homes and bought a lake house together. Her three children are grown, but her two dogs keep her and her parents company.