IT Leader Profile: Upgrading ERP During a Pandemic

Mukul Agrawal serves as international head of ERP and IT providers at Vistaprint. This is a have a look at what he is finished and what he has been engaged on recently.

Expertise and enterprise acumen are a typical thread amongst IT leaders throughout all varieties of corporations. However how they apply these applied sciences and enterprise processes may be as particular person as the corporate or the individual. That is one among an occasional sequence of IT chief profiles that takes a more in-depth have a look at the people behind IT and the initiatives they’re engaged on proper now.

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The worldwide head of ERP and IT providers at Vistaprint, Cimpress USA, Inc. Mukul Agrawal has been climbing the company ladder on the firm for eight years. This is a have a look at his work and his present focus for this enterprise card and customized printing firm, a part of the Cimpress holding group that features greater than a dozen different customization manufacturers.

Mukul Agrawal

Describe your technique

The expertise technique I am main at Vistaprint is organized into three essential pillars: expertise, individuals and course of. The expertise pillar is targeted on constructing a platform for a contemporary period that equips our enterprise companions with the instruments they should drive worth for his or her clients. Many IT leaders are sometimes challenged on this regard, particularly when IT and the enterprise function in silos or when the enterprise is not enabled to take full benefit of the expertise instruments at their disposal. This a part of our technique is targeted on constructing this cohesive relationship between IT and the enterprise, one that permits the enterprise to make important choices that help near- and long-term objectives.

The second side of our technique is targeted on individuals. Worker engagement is a important driver of optimistic cultures and enterprise efficiency. Your staff should see that you just’re invested of their careers, growth and engagement as they help your mission. Our individuals have helped Vistaprint change into the high-growth firm that it’s right this moment, and we reached this level by offering development alternatives for our staff and a transparent sense of goal in our firm mission. 

The final element is all about course of, inspecting when and the place we are able to simplify, streamline and improve. Are there pointless silos that we are able to take away leveraging expertise? Can we make the method of recruitment or monetary reporting simpler for our staff with an built-in platform? It is a vital a part of our total expertise technique and can proceed to be important as we develop additional as an organization.

First job

I bought my first job 20 years in the past, serving to a small enterprise in India develop their enterprise by figuring out and interesting the precise markets, clients and areas. This expertise helped form how I method my present function as a result of I used to be in a position to help a wide range of operations and get expertise forming firm methods. It additionally helped that I had the chance to satisfy and work with individuals with completely different personalities, views and approaches to innovation.

Most vital lesson you discovered out of your mentor/a trainer/a boss

I’ve had the privilege to work with a number of distinctive mentors in my profession that gave me the recommendation on learn how to construct high-performing groups which might be empowered to drive success with out micromanaging. Individuals should be allowed to develop of their roles and there are at all times quite a lot of methods to get a job finished.

The pink thread within the recommendation I’ve obtained from mentors over time is that entrusting your groups with autonomy and suppleness can have lasting impacts in your group and drive unimaginable worth creation. Belief and accountability are a number of the finest working rules for leaders to instill with their groups.

Greatest problem for IT organizations right this moment

Maintaining with the tempo of innovation taking place every day (and even hourly). If COVID-19 has taught leaders something, it’s that digital transformation is an ongoing course of that should be prioritized and, at occasions, accelerated to establishing resilience and create alternatives to develop.

Innovation is important to establishing and sustaining a aggressive edge, and there’s no such factor as “I am finished with innovation for this 12 months.” For that reason, worth stream-based funding fashions have gotten an increasing number of efficient in comparison with conventional project-based funding fashions.

Moreover, IT leaders should have the ability to reply how every funding will make their firm higher and allow development for years to return. With the acceleration of cloud and vertical trade options, IT leaders might be anticipated greater than ever to continually monitor the newest improvements coming to the market and decide the place it is sensible to activate.

Picture: totojang1977 –

Massive challenge you’re engaged on

We’re targeted on two massive efforts proper now: realizing the worth of the SAP S/4HANA implementation we simply led and optimizing our knowledge group in a manner that makes evaluation straightforward for the enterprise. We simply applied SAP S/4HANA and are specializing in worth creation throughout finance, analytics, manufacturing and provide chain. We have already seen early return on this challenge and now we’re driving capabilities utilizing the answer that we could not do earlier than, comparable to superior warehouse administration. The second effort revolves round knowledge lakes — publishing our knowledge so the enterprise has extra real-time entry to insights and self-service management.

Greatest accomplishment of 2019/2020

The one I am most happy with is Vistaprint’s profitable, international implementation of SAP S/4HANA throughout COVID-19. We made the strategic choice to implement SAP S/4HANA because the spine of our digital transformation journey and cloud technique. What makes this outstanding is that we efficiently applied the answer in a really quick interval of seven months, managing the manufacturing cutover, stabilization, and modifications with a workforce of 120-plus members and enterprise companions — and all whereas working remotely. There is a huge false impression proper now that enormous enterprise initiatives cannot be profitable on this distant work atmosphere. In actuality, all it takes is collaboration and companions with expertise delivering digital implementations. Because of SAP S/4HANA, we have optimized our ERP panorama and at the moment are in a position to proceed driving new improvements throughout our group.

Greatest e-book or on-line course you advocate

Flip the Ship Round by David Marquet. It tells the story of how Captain David Marquet efficiently reworked the usSanta Fe from the worst-performing submarine to one of the best of the fleet in lower than a 12 months. He presents a unique method to management. His “leader-leader” mannequin is fascinating.

Recommendation for newbies or mid-career IT professionals

First, middle all the things you do and the initiatives you lead as an IT skilled with the shopper’s expertise on the core. Put yourselves ultimately consumer’s footwear and don’t make assumptions about options and capabilities that you just imagine the shopper will react positively to. Embrace suggestions loops and do not forget that your objective is to ship viable merchandise that you may iterate additional, not good options. Second, discover any and all alternatives to broaden your experiences throughout the enterprise. Tackle duties throughout provide chain, finance, operations and extra that offer you further views.

Attention-grabbing or distinctive passion

Cooking! I discover it provides me a possibility to continue learning, unwind, experiment with completely different cuisines and make scrumptious meals.

The rest you wish to share

Simply an statement concerning working on this new atmosphere. Particularly for IT leaders, 100% distant work environments are a problem, however they are often finished very effectively if in case you have the precise expertise technique in place and the precise mindset with regard to tradition. You may deploy collaboration instruments to assist your groups coordinate but it surely’s far more a couple of optimistic, team-based tradition. Micromanaging is just not a tradition. For instance, continually following up along with your groups on the place a sure ticket is would not assist efficiency; in actual fact, it in the end hurts retention and morale. Concentrate on open communication, discover methods to optimize your collaboration (e.g. workforce conferences earlier within the day) and supply flexibility to your workforce on learn how to get the job finished.

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Jessica Davis has spent a profession protecting the intersection of enterprise and expertise at titles together with IDG’s Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Expertise’s MSPmentor. She’s passionate in regards to the sensible use of enterprise intelligence, … View Full Bio

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