The Best ERP Solution for Your CFO Type
Over the last year, the role of the CFO has been discussed a lot in regards to the Enterprise Resource Planning System selection. As ERP systems are maturing and evolving, so is the vested interest a CFO now has in this system within their organization. I recently read a blog series published by Epicor ERP, and I thought the series was intriguing for the fact, they no longer are just talking about what a CFO may want to look for in this system, but now they are breaking down CFOs into 6 groups and discussing what type of ERP would work best for that type of CFO. If you are a CFO, have you ever stopped to consider what type of CFO you are? If you are a business owner, you should stop and reflect on what type of leadership style your CFO adopts and how that could apply to the type of ERP solution you select. Here are the breakdown of CFO styles:
- Traditionalists. These guys are known as the strict enforcers, not one to go off policy. They are tough in ERP adoption, because they are typically resistant to change and rather inflexible. Typically this type of CFO is a big reason why an organizations systems are outdated, as this person doesn’t want to spend the money and doesn’t want to have to learn a new system. Lacking innovation, their reserved nature and lack of adoption of new things typically don’t result in much profit for a company. The best ERP solution for the Traditionalist is a system that has cutting-edge technology, but is extremely user friendly. If a system is very easy to use from the start, you will get less push back from them and they will adopt new systems that can improve their job, without them feeling like their work life was overturned.
- Revolutionaries. The complete opposite of the Traditionalist, this type of CFO is a risk taker. They aren’t afraid to make decisions based on their gut. This usually works for them, as these types of CFOs are most likely to lead their organizations to large profits. Unfortunately, they are not very structured and typically work outside formal systems and processes. Because of this, they are usually critical of IT and spending money and are not going to embrace ERP easily. To sell them, you should focus on certain features of the system like the social ERP and collaboration tools. Since they are risk takers, they will be willing to try a modern day ERP if they find modules that appeal to them. You will never win them over with a traditional ERP, they need to see a modern, robust system, with the latest bells and whistles.
- Politicians. The most common type of CFO who is cautious and methodical in their thinking. They are a team player and understand the importance of accurate data and collaboration. The trouble with Politicians is they tend to delay a decision until they have the buy-in of everyone involved. So they tend to keep outdated systems and can cost the company profits due to their slow decision making. The best ERP system for this type of CFO, is one that has adaptable dashboards and can allow them to easily access accurate data at the right time. They will be interested in Social collaboration and communication tools, since this will aid in their cross departmental approach.
- Carers. This group is extremely methodical and slow-moving, they carefully think through things and plan for a wide array of options. Accuracy of data is their priority and they need that before they are comfortable making a decision. For this reason, they are slow in making decisions if they do not feel 100% informed. When evaluating an ERP system, they will look for a system that can pull data from all departments and analyze it quickly and in various ways. This allows them to consult with various groups in making decisions, giving them the confidence they need to pull the trigger.
- Conductors. Best known for working outside a formal system, they are quick to make decisions because they do so on gut, rather than actual data. They like to be challenged, and don’t like to be slowed down. They like to make decisions alone, without consulting data or other parties. For this reason alone, they usually believe their IT systems are easy to use since they don’t actually use it. They need an ERP system that is fast and accurate and can give them a snapshot of the relevant information they need to make an informed decision. This will allow them to have better decision making skills, without having them feel slowed down at all.
- Visionaries. This group are known for their flexibility. They pull from their experience, creativity, and intuition to make decisions for the organization. They value timely information and believe in team based decisions. They need an ERP platform with strong social and collaboration tools. The need to quickly engage with each other and share information is key for this type of CFO, as they want the group to assist in making decisions. They will engage the fact they need to keep their IT systems updated and will only select a system that can be easy for every department to use.
If you are a CFO, you should take time to evaluate what type you are and understand what would best work for you individually, as well as for your entire organization. If you are a business owner, you need to understand what tools will work best for the CFO of your organization, but also keep in mind they are just one person in your business. You must also make sure you are selecting an ERP system based on the needs of your team as a whole. You should discuss your needs with an ERP Consultant and together land on a solution that makes the most sense. 2W Tech is happy to be an Epicor Certified ERP Partner and would be happy to discuss their solution and if is the best for your organization.