Software Review & Recommendation

The number of ERP and CRM solutions have grown tremendously over the last 10 years. The options will continue to increase as development platforms make it easier for companies to roll-out new products.

At Anthony Thomas Consulting, we don’t “sell” ERP and CRM solutions. Instead, we spend the time to learn and understand your business needs, and then we find the perfect solution that fits into your business.

ERP & CRM Implementation

Anthony Thomas Consulting specializes in ERP and CRM implementations.

The implementation of a new ERP or CRM system is a challenging project for any size company. Every aspect of your business is affected when a new system is put into place, and every employee feels some sort of impact. With careful planning, adequate training, and a cohesive game plan, a new implementation can be extremely rewarding. At Anthony Thomas Consulting, we take the needed measures to make your implementation a success.

Success measures include:

Your implementation’s success or failure is largely decided during the first phase of the project, project planning. This is the most important part of the implementation and cause be the most exciting. This is period in which you can dream big and envision a system that can help boost revenue, decrease cost, improve employee morale, and deliver real-time analytics that help business owners drive their business.

At Anthony Thomas Consulting, we understand the extreme importance of the planning phase. We take the time to perform proper due diligence with each stakeholder of your company. The more precise planning that can be performed, the higher the chances of staying on budget and on time for the implementation.

ERP and CRM systems can be extremely complex and contain multiple modules that perform a wide array of functions. For example, an ERP system will have a Financial Suite or Financial Module that contains a General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Bank Management, and Fixed Asset sub-section. Each of these sub-sections will contain dozens of different windows to process data transactions, enter master records, perform inquiries, and run reports. In each of these windows, the users will have several options on how to enter data and perform transactions. It’s no wonder that a typical user manual for each Suite/Module can be over a hundred pages each! In addition, these lengthy manuals are usually only to describe the standard features.

Even though the standard features in an ERP/CRM system can be enough to run your business, it’s those additional features and tricks learned from years of experience that make your business stand out. That is where we come in.

At Anthony Thomas Consulting we bring the value-added knowledge obtained over years and years of experience, and incorporate it into the fabric of your company.

It is imperative to include employees or managers with tribal knowledge of each department for an implementation. Tribal Knowledge is the deeper understanding of how a business process runs, developed over a long period of time. In an ideal world, every bit of information on how each business process is performed would be well documented and easily trained on. However, in reality, it is rare that everything is documented. We rely on those individuals that have been there the longest, or the ones that originally helped design those processes to provide insight so the company doesn’t run the risk of not discovering a key element in their business process. These oversights can lead to issues during the development phase of the system when the missed element is finally discovered

Anthony Thomas Consulting has the tribal knowledge of all the systems we implement. Working together with those that possess the tribal knowledge of your business makes for the most dynamic team. We take pride in developing power users during an implementation and always enjoy seeing our clients have that “ah-ha!” moment, when things begin to click in their mind and they develop a new excitement for the system

Training is not only important for the performance of the new system, but it is also the driving factor for employee buy-in. A new system is intimidating for most users. They get comfortable with the system they currently use, and learn to work around the pitfalls. A new system interferes with their routines, which can cause distress and ultimately affects their work performance.

Through the years of performing implementations, we have realized the importance of an employee’s buy-in with the new system. The buy-in is more than just acceptance of a new system, it is taking ownership of the new system and the processes they helped build. These employees show the initiative to troubleshoot a problem and come up with a resolution on their own. However, a buy-in from an employee can never happen without proper and adequate training.

Anthony Thomas Consulting strives to obtain each employee’s buy-in through on-going, hand’s on training.

Training & Support

The more passionate you are about something, the more you want to share it with the world.

This is the type of excitement all of our consultants share about the products we support. We are constantly learning new features of our current products, and researching new trends and software development. When we learn something new and exciting, we want to share it with our clients immediately. This also goes back to one of our core values at Anthony Thomas Consulting, our long-term commitment with our clients. In this very fast-paced technology market, a well-executed implementation today, may be an obsolete solution in 5 years. We work very hard to stay proactive with our clients to make sure this doesn’t happen. Our clients invest a lot of money into a new ERP/CRM system and with proper maintenance, these systems should last for the long haul.

We feel that proper training at the beginning of the implementation sets the tone on how your employees adapt to the new system. The better the training, the quicker the employees can begin to trust the new system.

We also understand the value of on-going training. Even power users can benefit from refresher courses, or from an overview of new and exciting features. The stronger your power users are, the more knowledge they can pass on to the other end users. We favor this “train the trainer” approach. It allows us to dedicate one-on-one time with the best users, which, in turn, saves you money on overall training expenses.

With our long-term commitment to our clients, we strive to provide the best support possible. After an implementation is complete, we make sure we are still there to help if any issues arise.

We understand the significant impact your ERP/CRM system has on your business, so we work diligently to make sure any issues are resolved as quickly as possible.

KPI & Dashboard Reporting

Many of our consultants are CPAs, including the founder of Anthony Thomas Consulting.

As former Financial Analysts, Controllers, and CFOs, we fully understand the tremendous value in KPIs (Key Performance Indictors). KPIs help companies benchmark against budgeted goals and industry averages. They give executives a strong pulse of their business by delivering a wealth of information in a very streamlined report. Each KPI is a very powerful piece of information, but it is only a piece of the story. Without all the pieces, you cannot fully understand the story they are trying to tell. As former accountants, we have the ability to transfer the data into a customized KPI report telling your unique story.

Dashboard Reporting’s popularity has been on the rise for years. Everyone wants that one simple screen that can show them everything about the business. Most ERP and CRM systems have built-in dashboard reporting and BI (Business Intelligence), which provide some useful information. However, these default reports were built as a generic template for all businesses to use. They were not tailored to tell your story. Just as the KPIs, when we develop Dashboard & BI reporting, we work directly with your executives to provide the most meaningful information benchmarked against your goals.

Custom Programming

Many ERP/CRM systems are being developed on more sophisticated platforms that allow user to customize the system with a few simple clicks. In older legacy systems, it was difficult, time consuming, and expensive to make modification to the business logic or a data entry form. Because of this limitation, it was very rare to find a solution that worked out-of-the-box. You were required to hire a developer to customize the system to fit your needs.

Now, many ERP/CRM solutions have extended this out-of-the-box restriction by enabling users to make modifications directly on the platform the software was built on. In other words, an end user now had the ability to make custom workflows, create custom fields, and modify the look of a window. However, sometimes these custom “builders” still are not adequate enough to obtain your goals. This is where Anthony Thomas Consulting can step in and help build the perfect solution.

As former Controllers and CFOs, we can appreciate and see the bigger picture for any custom solution. Combined with our in-depth knowledge of these platforms, we can help deliver a solution that is truly one of a kind.

Business Process Review

Our project approach gives us a unique advantage when it comes to conducting a Business Process Review (BPR). We take the time to understand how your business functions and we learn the inner-workings of your company while implementing the ERP and CRM system. This combination gives us a very balanced view of your company’s pulse and enables us to provide recommendations on how to eliminate wasteful processes and streamline your operations

During the BPR, we conduct interviews with key personnel and document all current business processes. With the help of your team, we will come up with recommendations (either process or system) that will increase the productivity of your current resources. After a review of the recommendation, we help to implement and document the new processes.

In addition to the review, we develop success measures that will be defined during the BPR. These success factors determine how well each implemented process is working. We will continue to analyze and monitor each new process to determine if any modifications need to be made. We will also recommend any new technology or solutions that have potential to increase your productivity.

Project Management

Project Management is an area that commonly gets overlooked or undervalued. However, it is the most important part of any project. It is the glue that keeps all the pieces together.

Many implementations can vary in length, especially if you are dealing with multiple locations and complex business process. Without constant and accurate communication between team members, a project can lose traction and fall off track.

At Anthony Thomas Consulting we believe very strongly in providing the best project management with every engagement from beginning to end.

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