Migrating to a New ERP is a Team Effort
Luke Wade is the Director at WDJ Industrial. When he started in October of 2018, his first mission was to help WDJ migrate to Viewpoint Vista and ensure that the stakeholders were getting the most out of the elaborate ERP.
"We’re able to run with a leaner, more efficient team, which keeps our overhead costs lower and our resources focused on tasks that move the business forward."
“Whenever you’re transitioning to a new ERP system, the two biggest challenges revolve around culture and training with your personnel.”
WDJ has offices all along the Gulf Coast and throughout the Southeast Region, so organizing face-to-face training around the ERP was difficult (even before the nation was crippled by COVID-19). But Luke and his team were determined to train their team members, because they knew that Viewpoint Vista was going to be the lifeblood of their financial department, and thereby, the business.
I asked Luke about their goals and objectives as they migrated to Viewpoint Vista from SAP. Luke and the team at WDJ put an emphasis on starting with the end goals in mind, then working backwards from there.
“It was important to us to get buy-in from everyone out on our job sites, since they were the ones that were going to be asked to start following some new procedures.”
Start with the End Goal in Mind
WDJ decided to leverage some outside consultants and partner with their internal staff along the way to make sure that they were gathering accurate feedback about how their training was progressing.
“Our primary goal was to make sure that we were taking full advantage of the project controls and operational tools that are available through Viewpoint Vista. One thing was for sure... we were not OK with underutilizing Vista.”
For WDJ, the general ledger packages and invoicing functions were the obvious benefits, but they wanted to make sure that they were using the construction analytics tools and that their end users fully understood the ERP’s functionality.
“We have some reports that help us manage our construction business through value tracking and project completion percentages as we’re progressing in our field work. Making sure that we were able to get that data out of the system was very important for us.”
As part of the migration decision to Vista, it was also important for WDJ to know that their new ERP would work well with Concur Expense.
“Our parent company had been utilizing Concur Expense since 2015, so by the time I started at WDJ, many of our team members were familiar with the tool. Most of our credit card users were already in the software, so it was an easy option for us.”
Make Sure you Fully Understand How Your Solutions Interact With Each Other
Without disparaging Viewpoint Vista’s expense solution, Luke was able to articulate why WDJ felt that SAP Concur offered a superior solution.
“We initially reviewed Viewpoint Vista’s integrated expense solution and found that it was lacking a few of the features that SAP Concur was bringing to the table; namely, approval routing. We have some individuals in our company that report to our holding company. The ability to have our credit card and expense approvals was something that needed to exist outside of Viewpoint Vista. So, we have multiple instances under the same Concur Expense account that govern all of the entities that sit underneath our holding company.”
With that complexity baked into the expense processing requirements, Luke says that the integration between Concur Expense and Viewpoint influenced their decision to implement Viewpoint Vista.
"Our sales engineer at Viewpoint had been talking to us about the Viewpoint Expense module, and made a compelling case for the integration between Concur Expense and Viewpoint in the early going.”
An Investment in Dataflow is an Investment in Time Back
In retrospect, Luke gladly emphasizes the critical nature of the dataflow between Concur Expense and Viewpoint.
“Having our credit card expenses automatically job-costed in a timely fashion is absolutely critical to our success. The automated dataflow between Concur Expense and Viewpoint has saved us a substantial amount of labor that would otherwise be spent manually keying data into Viewpoint Vista. As a result, we’re able to run with a leaner, more efficient team, which keeps our overhead costs lower and our resources focused on tasks that move the business forward.”
Luke surmises that WDJ has saved about 360 hours per year with the integration between Concur Expense and Viewpoint.
“Considering the size of our credit card user list and what it takes to put the details of those credit card statements directly into Viewpoint Vista; it’s time-consuming. When there’s a tool that does it for you at a fraction of the cost, it’s foolish not to take advantage of that.”
Unify Your Team Around the Most Important Goals
At the end of the day, while the quality of the solutions you leverage matters, that’s secondary to the approach you take to mapping your goals and strategy to get there. If you ask Luke, their success can be attributed to their approach to the migration in 2018.
“Think about your end goals. For us, ease of use for the end user, timeliness of data recognition, and cost-effectiveness all mattered to us. The integration has delivered a savings offset that makes for a pretty cost-effective solution.”