6 Questions with Ryan Higaki

Technical solutions architect Ryan Higaki is one of our back-end technical experts, and his #1 favorite artist is an EDM producer called Illenium.

1. What is the number one sign that a business is ready for an ERP?

Flintech has clients in a range of different sectors, and the number one sign I see that tells me a business is ready for an ERP is when it reaches a critical point in its journey and needs to change the way it does things to move on to the next stage. It might be that they are running into constraints with their current software solution, or have identified that bringing on an EPR will free up time or financial resources to allocate elsewhere, but the common thread is reaching that ‘tipping point’.

2. What are the top pain points you help businesses with?

Pain points can very often be process related, and we find that businesses are running into challenges by using the wrong process for the job from an optimization standpoint.

Another area we help businesses with is data warehousing and reporting, ultimately helping them get the right subset of data into the upper management view to make business decisions. There is so much data, so being able to turn it into useful information is absolutely critical.

3. What do you think is the key benefit that a business can gain from integrating a bespoke stack with a company like Flintech?

As a boutique partner, we’re really focused on creating meaningful connections with our customers, really getting to know them and acting as an extension of their team.

At the same time, we service a wider range of industries than most other smaller partners, so we’re able to couple our deep sector expertise with a macro view of the landscape to bring fresh thinking and ideas to an implementation. 

4. What is the number one challenge for retail businesses looking to undergo digital transformation?

Without a doubt, it is buy-in from the end user. With technology these days you can do just about anything under the sun, but ultimately what makes a project successful is engagement.

We know that the people we’re working with at the customer all have day jobs to be getting on with, so instead of viewing an implementation as ‘more work’, we hope to be able to show them that it’s a great opportunity to be freed up from some of the more monotonous aspect of their jobs, and given back the time to focus on other things.

5. How can retailers benefit from the increased data provided by an ERP?

The major advantage of an implementation is having one database for your entire business. Having to grab your warehousing, transportation, or finance data from different places, often in different formats, makes it hard to do meaningful reporting, and hard to get a big-picture view.

With Microsoft Dynamics, you’re able to build reports to make critical decisions that can help grow your business, gain market share, or whatever your focus might be, purely as a result of the ERP implementation.

6. What is the one thing you wished every customer knew about systems integration and ERP before embarking on an implementation?

That planning is absolutely everything! If you make a plan, you’re able to make decisions with confidence and follow a process to your end goal, making the implementation exponentially easier. And the key to a good plan is that it’s flexible, it doesn’t have to be rigid, and it can change as you move through the steps, but a plan is definitely the common denominator in successful implementations!