Laurie Millington joins team as ERP support expert
Boyer & Associates is pleased to welcome Laurie Millington to the team as our newest consultant. She will serve as a consultant and ERP support technician for the company’s Microsoft Dynamics solutions.
Millington brings a range of experience, including software support and business analysis. She got her start in the 1980s doing data entry for Lutheran Brotherhood.
She grew tired of the monotonous work and looking for a challenge, asked a coworker in charge of the computer systems to teach her how to write programs for reports. She was a quick learner and by the time her coworker moved departments, Millington knew enough to take her place.
“I kind of learned by trial and error. It just grew from there with each position I had in the company,” she said. During her 18 years at the nonprofit, she learned a lot about IT work, the early PCs and Lotus software.
“Back then the roles were smaller,” she said. “The systems support person wore so many hats and did so many pieces. … I had to do it all.”
When the company started panicking over Y2K concerns, Millington took on the job of testing and troubleshooting to make sure her division was ready.
At the same time, she had gone back to school to get a more formal education in what she was already doing on the job. She earned her bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Augsburg College in 2002.
“I was going to school full-time, working on Y2K and raising 3 kids,” she said. “It was fun. It never overwhelmed me because I just took one day at a time, one step at a time.”
Millington worked at Lutheran Brotherhood (now part of Thrivent) for 18 years before moving in 2001 to a corporate setting at American Express (now Ameriprise Financial).
“That was a corporate culture shock,” she said. The company had offices in Phoenix, Ariz. as well as India, and it was her job to support all 300 users — via telephone. She quickly learned how to pick up on tone of voice to better support her coworkers.
Supporting software users and solving their problems has been a part of Millington’s job since 1987. She’s overseen a lot of change management throughout her career, all the way from green ledger paper to cloud ERP software.
“Quite a few people I worked with were afraid of computers and they weren’t system savvy. … Getting them to move from one world to another was something I always enjoyed doing,” she said.
She recalls one CFO in the late 1990s who preferred his green paper records over a computer and needed help getting into his email. When the company wanted to switch from terminals to PCs, she gently suggested that he “had” to move to get ready for Y2K.
“I loved helping my users and making sure they’re supported so I’m really excited about the [Boyer] team. … I think it will be a good fit.”
– Laurie Millington, new ERP support consultant
Walking people through those tough changes has always been a passion of hers. She said she enjoys “assuring them that we can get them there … and gently training them until they finally accept that change.”
Millington enjoys change herself and wants to help others. She focuses on listening to her clients’ concerns, understanding their needs and helping them through the sometimes painful process of changing.
“I’ve done a lot of user support and I do enjoy that, helping them and helping make their jobs better,” she said.
ERP support will be a big part of Millington’s job at Boyer, and she’s excited to be joining the Boyer team in that role.
“Boyer has a really good support network with each other. They seem to all work together and they’re always there to help the users. I loved helping my users and making sure they’re supported so I’m really excited about the team, and I’m excited about the opportunity to learn two more systems,” she said. “I think it will be a good fit.”
Millington has known some of the Boyer staff since 2014 when her company at the time, Data Recognition Center, hired Boyer to implement their Dynamics SL software. She credits the Boyer team with teaching her the ins and outs of SL.
“They have given me guidance and helped me learn how to support the system and how to troubleshoot some of these things,” she said.
Millington enjoys learning new financial systems and seeing how each navigates the necessary functions to complete a task. She is already familiar with mainframe software, PeopleSoft (now owned by Oracle), Microsoft’s Dynamics SL and SmartStream, as well as several third-party products.
With her new job at Boyer, she’s looking forward to the opportunity to learn Dynamics GP and 365 Business Central. Her long-term goal at Boyer is to streamline ERP support across all the Dynamics applications the company sells. She will start with SL, and then add GP and finally Business Central. She expects to help transition Boyer from SL to Business Central eventually.
“I’d just like to see as much as I can before I retire,” she said.
Millington noted one significant change between Dynamics’ on-premise and cloud software: editing capabilities. In Dynamics SL and GP, she said, companies can modify SQL in ways they can’t with the cloud alternative. She believes the cloud option will force companies to follow a more structured way to deal with errors and will be a positive change in the long run.
“I think the environment is ready to go to cloud. I don’t know if companies are ready to pay for that, but I think it’s exciting,” she said. “I’m on board. I never thought I would be!”
When companies first started talking about the notion of cloud software and hosting, she could not fathom the idea of someone putting sensitive data on someone else’s database. Now, she sees it as a positive opportunity.
Outside of work, Millington’s life revolves around her children.
“My life has been a hobby of raising kids or working,” she said. That was never an issue for her though. She has always enjoyed her work and when coworkers suggested that she take a vacation, she never quite understood why she should take a break from something she loved.
Besides work, she spent a lot of time in those early parenting days chauffeuring her youngest around the country for taekwondo competitions.
At age 10, Kyla was already training six days a week and by age 12, she was fighting adults. A third-degree black belt, she won third place in the 2007 U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships and second at the 2010 Junior World Team Trials and is now going into graphics design.
Kyla is the youngest of Millington’s three grown children, all of whom live in the Twin Cities. Millington’s oldest son, Jonathan, works at the Target Distribution Center and is a talented landscaper on the side. Jeremy, her middle son, is a sports producer for a local TV station.
Millington recently built a house in St. Francis and is busy turning it into a home. She also takes care of her elderly mother. When she has spare time, Millington loves taking road trips, especially to Oregon where she has some family.
“I love the ocean and the wild beauty of the west coast,” she said.
To contact Millington and welcome her to the Boyer team, email email@example.com call 763-412-4304.