Why VISION Matters for ERP Implementation and Sales Tax Compliance
- Avalara News
- October 6, 2014 | Avalara
We caught up with Barry Krick, Account Manager at RCM Technologies, and learned why automotive manufacturers should look to their solution provider to offer guidance on maximizing operation performance, even when it comes to sales tax.
Barry, one of RCM’s smart solutions is QAD ERP, and you partner with 35+ automotive manufacturers to assist them with implementation and ongoing support. That’s obviously a significant endeavor. How do you begin that process?
Well to start, RCM provides business solutions to maximize operation performance through technology services. “Maximize operation performance” is what I focus on, and we can’t know where we’re going until we know what we’re working with. At RCM, we begin each implementation process with what we call a “VISION” meeting; the goal is to understand our client’s strategic and operational plan first. Then we craft a three-year implementation plan that works best for their business. But we don’t stop there – each year we return and meet for an update VISION session. We understand that business needs change from month-to-month and year-to-year, and it’s important that we’re constantly listening and adapting to our customer’s needs.
What is the most memorable question a client has asked you during the VISION meeting?
I once had a client ask me, “How can I get my hands on that 10x5 poster that QAD used to have in the 1980’s that diagramed out the system in the flow chart?” I laughed and told him, “upgrade your software and you can use the Process Maps!”
Well, who doesn’t love 80’s posters? Not a bad request! Now back to the changing business needs you mentioned: how often do your auto manufacturers ask about sales tax compliance?
Honestly, not nearly as often as they should. I’d say sales tax comes up in 5% of our VISION meetings. Most of our clients believe they don’t have sales tax compliance issues, but we see a real value in them working with Avalara when it comes to certificate management and tax returns. We’re all about process improvement and efficiency at RCM, and most auto manufacturers do not have a streamlined, effective process for managing exemption certificates.
Tell us a bit about how RCM is different?
We understand that the value assessment and the business justification is key. If we can’t tell our customers how an implementation or upgrade is going to directly impact their business, we don’t recommend it. We look at each functional area the software could touch and uncover any pain the software can alleviate. For example, almost all of our clients could benefit from reducing inventory, and we look at very real ways our software can help them do that.
What is most important when it comes to building customer loyalty?
We want our client to think of us as their trusted advisor for all kinds of technology solutions, whether that be recommending the best ERP for their business or reminding them that sales tax compliance is something they should be thinking about. In order to be considered a trusted advisor, we absolutely must understand our client’s business needs and plan their technology to meet those needs. Together, we have to develop a plan that works. That’s the way we bring value to the table.
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