Interview: How ERPA Optimizes Its Workday Financials
ERPA is not just a Workday partner, we're also a Workday customer. In this series, we share our Workday Financials story and who better to talk about ERPA's journey with Workday Financials than its CFO, Sabrina Stover? This Q&A focuses on the optimization; click here to read about deploying Workday Financials.
ERPA: Once Workday was deployed – did you start thinking about optimization?
Sabrina Stover: In all honesty, optimization was initially not an area of focus. We were heads down focused on deployment, and even after going live, we were still focusing on getting it right. I think we'd forgotten that go live is not the finish line, it's the starting line. So we hadn't planned for much beyond “get it done!” And at the time we weren't a Workday partner, so we did not have an internal team to support or guide us. In our stabilization period we were discovering all the different and little ways things need to change, whether things were functioning as imagined, where people need more training, and so on. From what I've heard with other Workday clients, this is especially common with Launch. Optimization actually can be part of your stabilization period, but no, for us, it wasn't.
When were you able to start thinking about optimization?
It was a situation where the trees started to become a forest – the pieces came together to form the picture and I could start identifying the areas where we'd need to apply more focus in order to get the most return out of our Workday subscription. That approach – knowing that you're going to find the gaps and then build a plan – is a great way to prioritize optimizing what matters most. So we lucked into it, but it wasn't part of the initial plan.
What sort of things ended up on your list?
Reporting and dashboards, for example. We did not build custom dashboards out of the gate and then when we had time, we realized that custom reporting and dashboards were critical to utilizing Workday in the strategic ways we wanted to.
Do you have any longer-term optimization projects?
Absolutely, but that plan has really only come together after we started building our Workday practice. That's when I was exposed firsthand to all the possibilities and best practices that were available through optimization. I'm really grateful we have such a talented team; they've been critical in ensuring that our Workday tenants are properly optimized. So much to the point that we're now contracting with ourselves for AMS; there's just always so much to do and if people leave or your company grows, it's infinitely better to have an AMS partner to rely on than scramble to cover it internally. And, of course, we don't want to sap our team to the point that we cannot be excellent partners to our clients, so we've created our own contract and have a AMS subscription we utilize for support and roadmapping because we don't want to the system to become stagnant. With their help, we plan to add Adaptive so we have budgeting and forecasting in the system. And we always have an eye to the upskilling we need internally to utilize Workday as intended.
ERPA is Here to Help
You can read about how Sabrina and ERPA deployed Workday Financials here. If you're interested in speaking with us about how we can help you with Workday Financials, fill out the form below to contact us today.