When CFO Dag Straumsheim at A Bygg started looking for a new business system, he was determined that it should be cloud-based. Addressing the challenges in this regard, he expressed, “The future is cloudy, and I have no desire to own or operate a server. In fact, I know nothing about running servers, and I want someone who can do it for us.”
A Bygg soon found the solution at Columbus which introduced them to Microsoft Dynamics 365, combined with SharePoint and Office 365 Suite, which are continuously updated and operated securely at Microsoft.
Dag Straumsheim had been looking for a modern solution for a long time before he read about the offer from Columbus in an article in Finansavisen. “I had almost given up before I found Columbus. Much of what is made for our industry does not really suit us because A Bygg operates slightly differently. At A Bygg, there are no craftsmen and skilled workers employed, the contractor buys all the services externally from other suppliers,” he stated.
“We needed a suitable module for purchasing. A solution for follow-up of subcontractors in terms of contracts, invoices, and finances; something that the industry solutions lacked,” Straumsheim said. He was familiar with Microsoft Dynamics 365 but considered the ERP system too extensive for a company of A Bygg size.
When the contact was established with Columbus, a collaboration was initiated, and they together decided to keep improvising and working on the solution eventually during the course of action. “I have great faith in this method. If we had designed a requirements specification, it would probably have lacked relevant expertise and the risk of being structured based on our old solution.”
The CFO stresses on the importance of working with a partner who knows about the available opportunities. “We had to talk to someone who can look far ahead than us and give us the required advice to choose the right solution.”
Straumsheim also emphasizes the significant value of Dynamics 365 easy accessibility: “All our solutions must be available to all employees regardless of where they are. For example, we have many employees on construction sites and others who are parents of small children who may have to go home in case of emergencies. They must reach our systems wherever they are at all times. This is possible only by implementing a cloud-based solution."
When asked about the challenges A Bygg encountered during the implementation of Dynamics 365, Straumsheim expresses that putting too much focus on getting data into the solution has taken the attention away from extracting data. “Being able to track the status of finances is crucial for our project managers, which we have not achieved well enough. That said, we continuously had open communication with the specialists at Columbus and solved the concern with the help of Power BI.”
The CFO is generous with praise for Columbus as a supplier and a competent partner. “I think the collaboration has been great, and I appreciate the people at Columbus. They are competent in their subject areas. We communicate and work well together, and it makes me feel like we are a team across companies.”
He also adds: “I think the implementation process has been excellent. At Columbus, the consultants come with years of experience in diverse industries and business functions. As a result, they have the expertise to understand your industry-specific challenges and help you serve your customers better.”
For companies that are considering acquiring a new cloud-based business system, Dag Straumsheim advises: “Think outside the box! It is tiring, but it is important to go as far as you can to use standard solutions instead of asking for customizations. By this, you can save a lot. The second piece of advice is to make sure you have enough resources internally. If it requires implementing a new business system, it is necessary to have the capacity in-house.”
The CFO says that A Bygg is now focusing on completing the implementation of management systems that is underway. “This is a foundation that must be laid before you can move on. When the management tool is entirely in place, A Bygg will collaborate and use Microsoft solutions for better communication in projects. We still spend too much time on email and searching for the latest version of documents. Email usage can be reduced, and document management can become more efficient with the help of tools such as SharePoint, One Drive, Teams and Groups.”
Dag Straumsheim is a technology optimist who is excited about new solutions developed within Microsoft Office 365. He believes that many companies can operate more efficiently with the help of good collaboration tools.
“The needs we have at A Bygg are not unique. I think almost all project organizations need solutions for more efficient project management and communication,” he concludes.
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