Boyer is pleased to welcome our newest Dynamics 365 Business Central consultant, Joe Cristoforo. Cristoforo has a combined 33 years of consulting and industry experience. He has in-depth experience performing ERP assessments and implementations within manufacturing and wholesale distribution environments. Cristoforo is excited to be a part of the Boyer team.
“I like working directly with people, defining processes and coming up with solutions to make their business better,” Cristoforo said.
His main goal as a consultant is to save his clients time and stress. Often, it takes time for the client’s staff to see the disruption of an implementation project as a good thing. Cristoforo said people aren’t initially thrilled to be giving up valuable work time for an implementation project, but when they start seeing how the new system could save them time and money, they start getting more excited about the project.
Cristoforo earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s University in 1987 and started his career by working for various Minneapolis-based manufacturing and wholesale distribution companies. He launched his software consulting career in the late 1990s with McGladrey & Pullen (now known as RSM). When the company decided to move away from consulting in 2000, he moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In the midst of an ERP implementation for Twin Cities-based Mackay Envelope Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers made the strategic decision to exit their middle market consulting line of business. Cristoforo asked Mackay’s CEO for a reference and instead landed a job with his former client.
“They teased me as I was going through the implementation,” he said. “You know one day you’re going to work for us, right?”
Cristoforo served as the VP of quality and process improvement and director of IT at Mackay Envelope Company for 10 years. “I wore many different hats. I was the ERP guy, the IT guy, the quality guy,” Cristoforo said.
Cristoforo worked for Mackay’s Minneapolis-based corporate office until 2007, when the company asked him to move to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where their largest manufacturing facility is located. Dwindling volumes in the paper-based communications industry led Cristoforo to move back into consulting, and he landed a remote job with his former employer, RSM.
“Business Central has all the same functionality as NAV. I think it’s the future. I like the fact that it’s a pure cloud product.” – Joe Cristoforo, consultant
At RSM, Cristoforo delivered ERP assessment projects and started working on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. Although he enjoyed the consulting work, he was not quite as thrilled with the amount of travel the job required.
“I was all over the place. … There’s a point in time where you want to see your wife more than you see the inside of an airplane or hotel room,” he said. “I like doing what I’m doing but I’d would rather do it with the ability to see my wife and daughter more.”
Cristoforo has known Jack Boyer for more than 20 years. When Boyer approached Cristoforo about joining his Plymouth-based ERP consulting company, the thought of working with a smaller team and moving back to Minnesota where his wife’s family lives intrigued Cristoforo.
“I’m not convinced big is always better,” he said. He’s worked with large employers and said it’s often more difficult to get things done because there are so many layers of management. He’s looking forward to working at a smaller company where he can do his job better, faster and more to his clients’ satisfaction.
“I’m a firm believer in growth but controlled growth and keeping clients happy,” he said.
Based on his experience, Cristoforo expects to see a mass migration to the cloud in the next five or 10 years. For Boyer & Associates, he believes that means more clients moving to or upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
“Business Central has all the same functionality as NAV. I think it’s the future,” he said. “I like the fact that it’s a pure cloud product.” “The SaaS model — It’s the wave of the future. It’s what everybody is talking about,” he said. “Companies want to get out of the IT business and let the experts handle it. Many companies simply want to utilize software to run their companies and not worry about all the infrastructure-related issues.”
When he’s not at work, Cristoforo prefers to be digging in the dirt. He has four acres of land where he grows beans, tomatoes, corn and pumpkins.
“I consider myself to be a pseudo farmer,” he said.
His biggest joy is growing giant pumpkins. His largest pumpkin to date was a whopping 832 pounds! That beauty won him seventh place in the 2012 Iowa State Fair’s largest pumpkin contest.
Cristoforo said giant pumpkins can put on 40 pounds a day during their peak growing season so while the winning pumpkin that year was 100 pounds heavier, that only meant the difference of three days’ growing time. His pumpkin wasn’t quite as big but it was deemed the prettiest, earning him a TV spot, plaque and a ribbon.
Cristoforo and his wife Nancy plan to move back to the Twin Cities once their youngest, Maggie, graduates from high school in the spring of 2020. Their two older children, Tony and Genna, both live in Iowa.
To contact Cristoforo, call 763-412-4337 or email email@example.com.