Serving Excellence & Celebrating Wins: A Spotlight on Our ERP Practice
A Q&A with Ana Lambe and Jared du Plooy
Only one year ago, Accordion acquired ERP provider ABACI – and with it, a top-notch team of practitioners that knows how to deliver solutions and drive success. We talked to Senior Directors Ana Lambe and Jared du Plooy, two of these ABACI-turned-Accordionites who have helped turn our ERP Practice into the robust force of NetSuite gurus it is today.
Here’s what they said about the Accordion experience:
Q: At Accordion, one of our values is “coach and be coached.” How have you expanded your expertise in ERP here?
Not only have I had the opportunity to expand my technical knowledge, but I’ve gotten to work with and learn from other practices outside of the CFO Tech space, such as the Transformation and Advisory Teams. Through this collaboration, I’ve gained deeper knowledge and expertise in accounting and digital transformation — which in turn has made me a better consultant in the ERP space.”
Through my time at Accordion, I’ve had the chance to work with a variety of exciting clients across industries. I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned is how flexible ERP technology can be in order to adapt to each unique business case. Most of our clients’ “pain points” can be satisfied through ERP and the like, and you’ll never stop learning new techniques and approaches to complex problems. At Accordion, I’ve had to chance to explore these new perspectives daily.”
Q: Something that sets us apart is that Accordion consultants work on all stages of the project lifecycle. What is that experience like?
One of the first projects I worked on at Accordion was for a business in the life sciences space. Many of their pain points were familiar to me from a high level; however, as we began defining the requirements, I knew I’d have to learn some new solution techniques to deliver a comprehensive design. I had the chance to bring in senior-level SMEs who helped me navigate the solution thought process. Throughout the lifecycle of the project, I led all client relationships from CFO down, building rapport through our transparent solutioning approach and delivering a product that both satisfied their needs and made us proud. All in all, I flexed my skills in building strong client relationships while also learning the power of teamwork – especially when we needed to pivot on solution design. ”
There’s one multi-phase project that stands out: we conducted a “health check” to analyze the state of a client’s current NetSuite environment, optimized to improve the usability of the NetSuite environment, and helped execute an M&A migration where we assisted in migrating the company’s newly acquired subsidiaries onto NetSuite. We had the opportunity to see everything from start to finish and help guide the client to the best possible solution within their ERP system. Having the ability to act as a trusted advisor first and a NetSuite implementation specialist after allowed me to make better design and architecture decisions, and it was a really cool learning experience overall. ”
Q: We always say we take an “execution-oriented” approach to our projects. How does that come to life for you?
Our team is not afraid to get our hands dirty. There are so many instances when projects need more resources, and no one – regardless of seniority level – ever hesitates to jump in and get to work. There’s no work that’s “below us” and no new problem we won’t band together to try to solve as a team. ”
On the ERP team, we make decisions based on what is best for the client; our goal is to put ourselves in our client’s shoes to ensure that we are taking the best approach, unique to the needs of their business. When designing and architecting a solution, we look at customization as a tool to achieve efficiency and look to incorporate thoughtful and well-crafted solutions into our projects. It’s a creative, in-the-weeds process that is super rewarding. ”
Q: What’s the ERP Team culture like?
At Accordion, the ERP team feels like family. We meet at offices to work together, have team lunches, and support each other both personally and professionally. We’re always cheering each other on, and I’m always excited to share personal milestones and achievements with my coworkers. ”
At Accordion, we’re humans first and “project resources” second. The firm fosters a culture that makes us all feel like we’re working alongside real friends. Not only does this make work more fun, but it strengthens our comradery during client engagements and enables us to problem-solve as a cohesive team.”
Q: Tell us your favorite Accordion memory.
One of my favorite memories at Accordion was the Formula One party at our firm-wide offsite in Austin, TX. It was so much fun to see everyone come out of their shells and show off their racecar-themed outfits and dance moves.”
When we travel on-site to clients, our teams are always working hard to ensure that all of our solutions are delivered with excellence. One of my favorite onsite travel memories actually happened on a night when our team was working late and fast approaching our deadline. It was stressful, but it was awesome to see how the team came together to get the job done. And in true Accordion fashion, we made a late night even later by going out for a celebratory dinner that lasted until the early hours of the morning. It was the perfect example of what our team is all about: owning our work together and celebrating our wins together. ”
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