Spotlight on Karl Minahan – Senior Consultant
Karl Minahan is Cloudsolve’s Senior Implementation Manager. He’s worked in the supply chain industry for almost 20 years in a number of different roles and he has been part of the Cloudsolve family for almost 2 years with dozens of implementations under his belt.
Karl, what does a typical day look like for you?
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at Cloudsolve. If I’m working on an imminent implementation, my day will be ensuring the data, processes and training are working in synch. Other days can be spent checking in on clients, keeping myself up to speed on the new product releases and technologies. One of the most exciting aspects of working in this industry is that it is always evolving, there’s always something new to explore and implement for our clients.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Process improvement. I like to see clients improve their day to day operations. I’ve always enjoyed dismantling existing processes and seeing if there is an easier, better or smarter way to accomplishing a task or job. I have always enjoyed analysing systems and business processes and have an interest in technology, so it’s easy to enjoy what I do. I’m also a bit of a clean freak so it’s much cleaner than tinkering with cars!
What are some of the day to day challenges inventory based business regularly face?
A lot of businesses aren’t aware of how much capital and cash flow is tied up in Inventory. Having too much stock on hand or not enough stock on hand, is a delicate balance. Get it wrong and you either have obsolete items you can’t move, but have paid for, sitting on the shelf or bad customer experiences when you run out of stock and can’t deliver to them in a timely fashion. Customer expectations and demands are constantly growing, and you need to stay relevant. Obviously inefficient processes are also a bug bear of mine. These simply lead wasted time can take up valuable employee resources, when they could be doing more productive jobs and adding greater value within the business.
What outcomes do you typically expect after implementing new systems for client?
Improved visibility on inventory, streamlined processes which frees up time to work on the business not in it for business owners. You’ll see a significant reduction in double handling of data and spreadsheets and a more efficient operation leads to a more productive environment. It’s a false economy to say you don’t have time to implement new systems. The question is can you afford not to?
What benefits are there in migrating clients to cloud based software?
Great question and a common one in the past 7 or 8 months! As a result of Covid-19 more are working remotely, and cloud based software enables visibility of operations wherever you are. Cloud systems means you have access to your data in real time anywhere and anytime. You can see real time sales, and with the spike in online shopping our clients have been making great use of B2B and B2C modules of inventory management software.
Of course there’s also the reduction in expensive server equipment, at a time where cost savings are paramount, not maintaining a server room and all the associated costs is a great way to save some bucks.
How do you approach an integration with a client?
Implementation is unique for each and every customer – they’re all different, with varying requirements, personalities and cultures. Initially I tend to observe the clients, their products and business and develop an engagement strategy for each client. Also I take my implementations personally, so I see the outcome of an implementation as a reflection on me.
With privacy and cyber security being so important these days, I always ask – How is client data managed? We take data security very seriously; we understand that data is king and apply 100% privacy and confidentiality to every single job.
What kind of support do clients typically need after an implementation?
Sometimes there are one off processes unique to each business that may not have covered in typical product training, other times its just reassurance that what they are doing is right. In can take time to adjust to new systems and learning this whilst operating a business, isn’t easy. One of the best things about the apps we implement, they’re very intuitive and user friendly. At the end of the day, our job is make life easier not harder for our clients, so we take a case by case approach.