In LCC’s case, Argos lifted that pressure.
“We actually just reorganized our staff based on what we know using Argos,” Ashbrook says. “It’s just changed the way we work…It’s funny, it’s sort of stabilized us in a way because we want to do a “double check” [with data], we want to make sure that we understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and it’s a really neat tool because the interface allows you to have data right next to summary-types of information. Financial aid in particular is so transaction-driven, but all of our decisions are made by summary information – how much, how many, all those things people across campus want to know.”
As the years go on, Ashbrook says Evisions touches base with LCC regularly, and provides them with updates with Argos.
“It’s really been rolling,” Ashbrook says. “It’s a snowball down the hill – it just keeps getting bigger and bigger…I don’t know if we would have chosen another solution. We’re really happy with it. We keep growing with it. We keep getting updates from Evisions, so the tool itself keeps improving, which is a bonus.”
Tips to Handling an ERP System
1) Partner up with a team player
Before deciding on a solution, Ashbrook says colleges should look at a company’s background.
A good vendor will have a healthy clientele, provide flexibility and customization with their products, and are active in the higher education community.
“I think that’s important – either they have a presence, or they don’t,” Ashbrook says. “Do you have the flexibility to do what you need to do based on your business area of the college, or are you restricted to the way the company wants to give you the data? That creativity, the ability to develop the way you want to see it is one…of the reasons why we went with Argos.”
2) Define your requirements
McLellan says colleges should know what their requirements are before investing in a solution.
Having requirements nailed down helps a company play a role in solving a college’s data or organizational problems, and increases the likelihood of a successful implementation.
“What problem are you trying to solve?” McLellan says. “We see a lot of colleges that try to get a tool to cover things that one tool just can’t do very well. If you’re very specific about what problem you’re trying to solve, then you can make sure you have the right tool for the job.”