by Peggy Faulkner
Debits and credits. Accruals, depreciation, amortization. Terminology that cures insomnia for most, but also the nuts and bolts of keeping track of a company’s day-to-day operations and, ultimately, feedback on its state of health and a roadmap for strategic planning.
As Cimetrix emerged from the economic downturn, management decided in mid- 2010 the time was right to upgrade the unsupported financial system used in daily operations and reporting. The Great Plains system had been state-of-the-art when it was implemented, but in recent years was like an old family car driven for years, its better days behind, not able to deliver the performance or features of newer models.
Features, cost, implementation, and support analyses of several ERP systems led to management choice of an updated version of Great Plains, acquired by Microsoft in 2001. As autumn days became crisp and short, the finance team experienced many things—anticipation...long hours scrubbing old files and laying groundwork... occasional frustration…trial and error….testing, more testing, and more testing—all hallmarks of implementing a new accounting system. By January 1, 2011, a new era had dawned—we were live, and using our new financial system! Since that “go live” date, new financial reports and delivery processes have been developed and implemented, giving executives and managers more comprehensive, efficient and varied details of operations for strategic planning.
During the financial implementation process, it became evident that the integrated Project Accounting portion of Great Plains fell short in meeting Cimetrix' needs, and implementation of that portion of the project was delayed. Instead of retrofitting a bad fit, CFO Jodi Juretich set out to find a more comprehensive Project Accounting package. Demos and testing of potential Project Accounting software partners are currently underway, as is staging for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) integration. The CRM integration will play a significant role in how we manage our relationships with customers, and ultimately leads to delivering higher quality service.
Also on the drawing board is a re-design of our website — which has always contained great information, but has been in its present format for many years, and would appreciate a makeover.
As my friend Mr. Dylan once crooned, “Well, the times, they are a’changin’…”.
A’changin’ indeed. Exciting times for us!