Gafford: Well, back in 2019, we did a major implementation of Oracle. I can talk about that in a moment. But back to your question that why that was really defining for us was, I can remember for two or three, actually more years, we would get together and there was just so much complaints about our technology. And, if we were to go back half a dozen years ago, we had 20 separate applications, some on-premise, some cloud.
But we had so many challenges. We were lacking middleware in a lot of areas. We didn’t have documentation. And the output of all that is it seemed like something was always broken.
We were always doing an implementation. Something was always broken. I remember one time where I had to go to the CEO and go, “We might not make earnings. These technology platforms, they’re giving us. The movement, there was a defining moment, actually out of a couple respects. One, I can remember us talking about this for a few years, where everybody was just complaining about the technology. And then we had a strategic meeting, and it really came around to me challenging the team, like, “Okay, so are we going to just continue to complain about this, or are we going to do something about this?” Long story short, that was the genesis of us really moving onto a complete cloud solution. One of the best things that we’ve ever done. I hope I don’t have to do another one of those, but it’s really nice to have at this point in time.Read More
We replaced over 20 separate applications in one year. We were encouraged to be a little more conservative, but we were trying to also balance the risk of the project with the risk of not moving forward. You heard about some of the challenges that we’ve had, and that really set the stage for us not only to have that foundation in place, but to innovate in many other ways.
But if we fast-forward today, and say, “What results have we gotten?” We’ve produced a 40% return on investment out of that, which it’s harder to do with back office operations. Right? You don’t have the revenue component to help you out, so a lot of this is cost, quality, efficiencies. That’s been really big for us. Our finance costs are down 20% since then. Our employee engagement scores are up 14 points. Actually, our employee engagement scores, we are leading the company for years now in employee satisfaction. And our customer satisfaction has also went up by equal measures, which is really great, because if you’re in a leadership position you’ve got to ask yourself, “What are you really here to do? What’s your purpose?” And hopefully somewhere in that answer is about making life better for employees.
I’ve never heard an employee talk about they went home and had dinner with their family and talked about how many transactions they processed. But I do hear people talking about being something that they’re part of that makes a difference. And at the end of this, we’re taking routine tasks out of the hands of our finance professionals so they can focus on higher value work. That’s good for the company. It’s also great for people, because 70% of people find real meaning in the jobs that they do. I think that’s one of the things that gets missed by technology. You’ve got a real opportunity to actually make people’s lives genuinely better. We spent a lot of time at work. Right? That was definitely a career point that was important to me and to our company.
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