For organizations, growth is almost always a good thing. But the way rapid growth strains and breaks internal systems and processes is not.
“There are good problems to have when it comes to growth, but they’re problems nonetheless,” said Heather Long, CFO of CapTech, an IT services and consulting company, in a recent converation.
For CapTech, a national expansion threw its issues into sharp relief—which included the significant effort ensuring the accuracy of its financial data and forecasting, inefficient organizational silos, and outdated legacy systems.
“We decided to open four new offices in one year,” said Long. “And we realized that we can’t continue our manual operational systems and processes office by office anymore.”
We spoke to Long about CapTech’s journey moving to one system for managing project workflows and data across her organization. She also discussed the integration process and best practices when implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Can you share more about what CapTech does, and how it operates?
CapTech is a national IT services and consulting company. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary in April and have expertise in technical engineering, customer experience, and data and analytics, among other areas. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, we have a physical presence in eight locations across the country and employees in about 35 states.
We’re definitely a technology-first company. The underlying piece of DNA that separates us is that we’re technologists, engineers, and integrators doing cutting-edge and custom work. We also live and die by our core values of being resilient and flexible. This has served us well in adapting over the past couple of years.
How has CapTech grown over 25 years? Were there any issues due to that growth?
There are good problems to have when it comes to growth, but they’re problems nonetheless. If I could name the issue in one word, it’d be “disconnection.” We evolved from a local, mid-Atlantic firm to one with a much larger national reach. Our tools were designed, however, to support an organization with everybody located in one area.
Prior to Workday, the time spent verifying data was challenging. Our HR systems were separate and distinct from other areas of the company, such as financial, payroll, and operations. We all had our own data and our own methodologies for calculating different metrics and tracking different performance values. We did a lot of things manually, including HR processes. We kept stuff in SharePoint, Excel files, and Word documents.
We couldn’t move faster because our tools required manual inputs. Even simple things became an issue. We spent the majority of our time making sure data was correct across multiple tools and systems.
We couldn’t help the organization determine what that data meant across silos so it could make real-time decisions. There had to be a better way.
Was there a specific impetus to begin looking for solutions?
We decided to open four new offices in one year. And we realized that we can’t continue our manual operational systems and processes office by office anymore. We can’t run performance processes for employees in Denver, Atlanta, and other places without an actual tool to help us connect and run the business. As we rapidly expanded, things became even more complex—keeping things simple became harder.
As we’re a services organization where people are your product, we needed an enterprise system that was fully integrated end to end so that the people, information, and governance processes were married to the financial and project processes. We looked at the full competitive landscape and realized that a single solution was the best scalable platform for growth.
We eventually selected Workday because of the architecture. We liked the single solution, but we homed in on the architecture most of all. I could also visualize where I wanted to go from a reporting point of view for different dimensions of our business.