5 Things I’ve Learned in Microsoft Dynamics GP Consulting
I’ve worked with Dynamics GP for eleven years now. I started in the office, moved into a junior GP consulting role, up to a more senior consultant role, up to project manager status, up to managing one of the applications teams and finally to my current role of VP of Finance.
I have had the opportunity to work with over 200 clients, in 50+ industries, and on close to 100 Microsoft Dynamics GP implementations. This has included 100’s of individual Microsoft Dynamics GP users and around 30 great Dynamics GP consultants. The sum of all of these unique experiences is a rich and exciting career that I have enjoyed for many years thus far.
I’d like to share five things I’ve learned during this period around Dynamics GP consulting and ERP implementations:
1. No problem is ever exactly the same as an issue I have seen before.
I may have experience dealing with a similar process in Microsoft Dynamics GP or a similar reporting requirement or a similar modification, but there are always changing variables that can potentially contribute to different solutions to the same issue. Don’t assume anything – the customer understands their issue the best, they know their company and know what they want. I need to get Microsoft Dynamics GP functioning in such a way to support their vision, while offering best practice advice along the way.
2. The client/Dynamics GP consultant relationship is based on trust.
When I give a solution, it needs to be right. When I say I will follow up, I need to do that. When I have a deadline, I need to hit it, or mutually agree why we are not able to. This is a partnership between the client and I and ultimately based on building trust.
3. Change is hard, even for the willing customer.
I have worked with a large variety of client personality types over the years – some customers are excited, motivated and pro-active about the new system. Others can be insecure, anxious or just plain anti the new system. Every single one of them will have at least a short period of discomfort as they convert large parts of everyday routines to a new way of doing things. Learning the new processes can take from a few weeks to a year, depending on the customer. Understanding this, it’s my job to support my client through this change.
4. I’m not the client’s accountant or auditor.
The majority of consultants at are Certified Management Accountants. We need to know accounting well to be able to understand our clients’ needs and recommend on best practice as asked. But, at the end of the day, we are Microsoft Dynamics GP consultants whose job it is to leave happy, self-sustaining, GP-using customers in our wake. We are not there to do the books or audit the books.
5. You have to like what you do – this is the most important thing I have learned.
I genuinely care about my clients, I am excited about my Microsoft Dynamics GP projects, and I am just as happy as my customer when we have a successfully implemented system. Even when the going might get tough, clients are motivated by a constant, solid team of knowledgeable consultants who love what they do and are as committed to the system as they are to their long term relationship with the customer.
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