Have you ever been to a restaurant that is a hidden gem? The perfect combination of quality and service. You can tell the loyal patrons have been coming there for years but you have never seen it advertized or on any local Top 10 Lists. That is what I call a hidden gem! I found a hidden gem this weekend and while I was sitting there listening to the acoustic guitar player and sipping my fine Merlot, I started to “wax poetic” (to my very patient husband) about why the Dynamics GP consulting company I work for could also be considered a hidden gem . This was no doubt prompted by the fact that this week I have to complete an RFP (Request for Proposal) for Microsoft Dynamics GP detailing all the “stats” of our company. How many people do you have, how many awards have you won, how many certifications do you have etc…? Now I agree that those are all important considerations, but I honestly don’t think that they are the biggest differentiators. They don’t help you to get to know the true spirit of a company. It can sometimes just show who has the largest marketing budget and best PR firm. In my experience, the largest Dynamics GP Partners with the most awards are not always the ones you would want to work with. So the longer I sat there (with my glass of wine) the more strange parallels I started to form in my mind between this restaurant and CAL Business Solutions.
Small & Casual: This restaurant was small and casual – nothing pretentious. CAL is a small partner (19 people) in the small state of Connecticut. Our team is casual and unpretentious. You will never see anyone dressed up in a suit and tie, but we have just as much GP expertise as any other partner out there.
BYOB: I love restaurants that are BYOB because I feel like they want to help me save money (instead of charging me $10 for a glass that I know costs $6.99 a bottle). At CAL Business Solutions we honestly do try to find ways for our clients to save money. This could be by replacing GP licenses with less expensive ISV users. Or recommending the Business Essentials version vs. the Advanced Management version. Or simply by not padding our bill with unnecessary time. Again and again, clients have told us that they choose to work with us because we are fair and we don’t try to oversell or overcharge.
Live Music: Restaurants don’t need to offer live music. But sometimes they do because they know it will make their customers happy. CAL Business Solutions doesn’t need to offer monthly GP Tips & Tricks newsletters, thank you referral gifts or annual GP user events – but we do it because we feel that it adds value to our customers and makes them happy.
Owner Involvement: Throughout the evening the owner of the restaurant came over to our table to ask if we were enjoying the meal. The owner of CAL Business Solutions, George Mackiewicz, is personally involved with every client. We don’t have a sales team, George sells the product and then stands behind it himself to make sure it is delivered as he promised. And he checks regularly to make sure our clients are happy.
Amazing Employees: The staff at this restaurant was friendly and they seemed to have a good time working with each other. At CAL Business Solutions, our team members are genuinely nice people who look out for our customers. You can’t figure that out by reading an RFP – you need to get a taste for yourself by meeting the people personally. We invite prospects to come to our office or attend our user Dynamics GP events so they can see our team in action.
So when it comes to choosing a Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP/accounting software partner, remember that it is not always the biggest partner with the flashiest marketing campaigns and the most awards that are the best choice. Dig a little deeper and look for the “hidden gem”. Not only will you have a great experience, you will feel compelled to tell other people about it too.