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3 Secrets to Digital Transformation Success
At the 2018 Bridgepoint & KPMG Spring Knowledge Forum, I had the pleasure of speaking with Rey Stroube, CFO of Baylor Genetics, about his organization’s recent digital transformation project.
Baylor Genetics is a Houston-based pioneer of genetic testing and research that was shifting away from its academic roots toward a for-profit model. To successfully make the transition, the company needed a scalable financial ERP system that would streamline and automate their business processes and provide consistent data through real-time KPIs.
During our panel presentation, we dug into three secrets that made it possible to bring this ambitious project to go-live in just 81 days: careful planning, securing buy-in from staff and stakeholders, and assembling the right team.
Here are a few key take-aways from our discussion.
MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE
To ensure the success of the implementation, Rey created his own team, selecting people who had experience working in dynamic environments and had expressed a willingness to embrace rather than resist change.
Once Baylor Genetics engaged Bridgepoint, we worked with Rey and his team to help map their system architecture and processes to gather requirements. A key aspect of the project was completing the necessary research and groundwork during the system selection process. Without this due diligence – and without the clear requirements and complete plan that resulted – Rey believes the project would have been a disaster.
The company had a strong motivator for creating a robust plan up front: they had watched as their sister firm went through an implementation that was ultimately unsuccessful because they had not put in the effort to select the right ERP and complete all planning early enough in the project – a consequence Baylor Genetics was eager to avoid.
ENGAGING STAFF AND STAKEHOLDERS
Rey and his team took the time communicate with company staff and get their buy-in on the project. They also identified and involved the stakeholders whose day-to-day work would be most affected by the implementation and made sure their teams were represented. Rey explained that a major reason for taking on the project was that they had been relying on spreadsheets and manual work to keep track of financials, and as a result were functioning as a data-poor company from an accounting and finance standpoint. Their goal for the system implementation was to develop better visibility into operations and get their inventory, purchasing and financial systems in order to support the company’s transformation into a profitable business enterprise.
Watch Baylor Genetics Video Case Study
SELECTING THE RIGHT EXTERNAL PARTNER
Rey and his team determined that the company didn’t have the expertise to complete a system implementation in-house, and decided to find a consulting partner to help lead them through the process. They wanted someone willing to roll up their sleeves to learn the business, to be forthcoming about the underlying issues and to identify where they would need to make changes.
They also lacked the bandwidth to complete the implementation on such an aggressive deadline. By leveraging the experience of an external partner who had worked with a range of different ERPs, Baylor could take the guesswork out of the process and be sure the solution they ultimately selected – NetSuite SuiteSuccess – would be the right match for their specific needs.
Related: How SuiteSuccess Helps Companies Experience the Benefits of NetSuite Faster
A consulting partner could also take on a great deal of the heavy lifting, including architecting financial application design, managing the implementation and migrating data into the system at go-live. Additionally, they could meet with vendors to ensure they can meet the new requirements.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
While there were inevitably challenges along the way, the project went very smoothly, and Rey said he and his team experienced a real sense of joy at go-live. As a result of the implementation, the company reduced their close process by a day and has significantly increased its ability to evaluate and manage the key financial drivers of the business. Baylor Genetics now also has a single source of truth, enabling them to accurately identify and manage costs with real-time transactional visibility across operations. Ultimately, the company is now in a much better position to drive future profitability.
Wrapping up our conversation, Rey noted that while implementing the right technology was critical to meeting their goals, he believes that good planning, communication and relationships laid the foundation for that success.
If a digital transformation project is in your organization’s future, be sure to keep these three keys to success in mind:
- Plan the process. Develop a thorough project plan that maps out the implementation and have it firmly in place before you get started.
- Get buy-in from stakeholders. Involve people who will feel the most impact from the project, and make sure they understand how and why those changes will affect the way they work.
- Hire the right partner. Get external support to be sure you have the expertise, guidance and help you need throughout the project, so your team can focus on running the business.
BRIDGEPOINT CAN HELP
For more details on this system implementation and its results, watch the Baylor Genetics video or read our case study. And if you are considering a project of your own, get in touch! Our experts can help you from strategy to execution, working with you to develop the data and insights you need to accelerate your business. Learn more about our comprehensive technology consulting services and solutions here.
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