Luminis is a fast-growing software and technology company with multiple branches in the Netherlands and the UK. Luminis' services are on the cutting edge of technology, specializing in offering cloud services through developing its products and consulting. However, the technology that is used internally is not optimized, and much time is spent on manual tasks. We spoke with Laurens Miedema, CFO of Luminis, regarding the choice of moving from Exact to Microsoft Business Central.
The reason for this project is simple; a fast-growing, decentralized organization needs more insight and faster access to (financial) data. Due to the multiple locations, remote working is quite common within Luminis. This means that it is essential that the holding company and the branches themselves have insight into this data. Laurens’ goal is to improve the quantitative awareness of his colleagues. According to him, this can only be achieved if there is good information available. “With Excel, it is still a bit clumsy, and we also want to be market leaders internally when it comes to technology,” Laurens explains.
“More automation.” That is the explicit goal Laurens has set for Luminis. To eventually spend less time on input in order to spend more on output. And thus, Laurens wants himself and his colleagues to be able to get more out of the software. The ambition is to build out all components within the selected system, Microsoft Business Central. From expanding the CRM and improving marketing efforts to developing the forecasts and cash planning.
During the selection process for a new Financial ERP software, choices were not made based solely on Laurens and the financial department; multiple stakeholders across the organization were involved. As Laurens explains, “The most important consideration is that our employees have a good system to fill in their hours on time.” Thus, during the selection process, a high priority was accorded to the requirement that the system is suitable for the needs of the finance department and the needs of the rest of the organization. In addition to time registration, the software’s data gives insight that is highly relevant for (project) managers. A clear overview with which everyone can work is critical – and that involves more than “simply” financial information.
When Laurens and his colleagues had decided that a new financial system was needed to stay ahead regarding technology, he decided to do some research himself regarding the various options available. The overload of information and options available resulted in the decision to involve an external party; 2-CNNCT was brought in to help with the software selection process. “You shouldn’t be too stubborn; we are not familiar with every single software,” according to Laurens. During the selection process, Laurens’s first choice fell upon another software – however, he took the advice of 2-CNNCT; “Our first choice looked nice and was similar to what we currently use. But the advice of 2-CNNCT to select Microsoft turned out to be more suitable for the future of Luminis.”
The domain-specific knowledge 2-CNNCT has, and the external perspective on Luminis’ situation resulted in the best choice for a future-proof system. “In the beginning, we thought, can’t we do this ourselves? But it has been very valuable for us.”
Laurens indicates that he would have started earlier by thinking about the various functions the software must fulfill next time when he looks back at the selection process. The advice Laurens would give to colleagues is: “Treat the selection process as a job interview; once a choice has been made, it is challenging to undo it.” The checking of essential requirements the system should have is crucial – also, the ones that you might assume are included by default. “Check the ‘obvious’ and avoid surprises” is the message Laurens would like to leave us with.
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