Last week my team and I took part in the LinkUp Expo, a regional technology event in Altoona. The event has been hosted by our friends at the Link Computer Corporation, one of our local technology partners.
At the event I had the chance to see some folks that I haven’t seen in years, to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and threats facing the IT industry, and I (hope) was able to provide some insightful responses to questions I received regarding ERP software.
My three key takeaways were:
- IT professionals have more external threats to manage than ever before and that landscape continues to evolve more rapidly with each passing year.
- All customers want – and need - a real partner, that they feel can be relied upon, trusted, and who understands their business.
- With all the enhancements in business software over the last decade plus (Cloud, etc..), it still remains an uphill battle for people to make a systematic changes to their business.
Point number 1 furthered my respect and admiration for the IT community and how many complex problems they are hit with on a daily basis. From telecom systems, to cybersecurity, to hardware purchases, to managing a mobile workforce, it’s abundantly clear that their job and responsibilities are constantly evolving.
Point number 2 really hit home for me. It’s something I preach and have genuinely believed since I founded the company in 1989. I asked a lot of the attendees one simple question: “how long have you worked with Link?” Their responses gave me a great sense of satisfaction. Each one told me they had been working with Link for years, and that it was the people at Link that made the difference for them. Many told me they had the same account manager for over a decade, who knew their business inside and out. The consistency of the partner and the trust built created a lasting relationship.
I know that if asked, this is a point Empowers customers would also make. The average employee here has been with the company for 10 years. Our lead business consultant, Kraig, and our top programmer, Leroy, have both been here nearly 20 years. Our lack of employee turnover, the care with which we take to implement a business system, and the advice we provide have always been the differentiators of the Empower team. Our customers want a local, trusted advisor that knows their business, and that is what Empower provides.
Point number 3 is one that cuts a little deep for me (haha!). Empower has installed numerous ERP systems throughout the years, but we’ve spoken with many more companies over and above that, which considered changing their business system. During the event, I spoke with two gentleman who work at a large local company that I never dreamed could still be using QuickBooks – but they do! I’ll admit, I was floored. Then I remembered it’s the same story I’ve heard for nearly 30 years! Although the “writing is on the wall” for companies using a basic accounting system like QuickBooks, they pull back from implementing a true ERP system because it feels safer using what they have.
Changing your ERP system is a major step, but is staying on the same system really any better for the company? Let’s talk and find out.