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Celebrating Dynamism Within the IT Industry

Posted on 5 February 2013 by Meryl Malcomess

Celebrating Dynamism Within the IT IndustryWith the festive season just past, it got me thinking about a friend and colleague who in my opinion encapsulates the very essence of a human firecracker! I’m referring to Trudy Deuchar, Group Business Operations & Information Manager for the Jasco group of companies, who over the last two years has played a pivotal role in completely modernizing, and indeed revolutionizing Jasco’s information systems.

I often speak about Seekers of Value – that key person in an organization who drives change and bridges the gap between the ERP supplier and the business; reducing costs, optimizing return, and giving the organization greater control over its destiny. Trudy is a shining example of such a Seeker, and her energized, dynamic personality is propelling amazing change within her organization.

The Jasco Group is divided into three verticals, namely: ICT, Industry and Energy. Within each vertical, there are many different businesses, each with their own unique product lines that synergistically deliver end-to-end solutions spanning these sectors.

Trudy, with a well-established background in finance, joined a company in 2010 that was acquired by Jasco that same year. Her initial role was an analytical one – breaking down data and looking at it from an operational perspective. But because the necessary data did not exist, she found herself migrating into the role of designing and creating a new system, one able to produce the information she required. And so Trudy made the transition from Finance into IT. In fact she did such a good job that she soon found her responsibilities expanding to include the overseeing of the entire Group’s internal IT needs. Her core goal was to make it possible for management to draw meaningful data in order to make business decisions across the entire group.

Trudy has described the past 18 months as all about understanding the synergies that exist among the products, within the different companies within the group. This knowledge has provided the opportunity to centralize the accounting function across the group – resulting in one general ledger, one debtor’s book structure and one creditor’s ledger, ensuring much easier information consolidation for the group CFO.

Trudy had no previous SYSPRO experience when in January 2011 she embarked on a group-wide IT audit. She soon discovered that 90% of all the businesses in the Jasco group were already running SYSPRO. This made the decision to stick with SYSPRO an easy one. Trudy taught herself the software by reading and asking many questions.

She and her team engaged with a SYSPRO Value Added Reseller, EOH Applications, and began the project by running workshops using SYSPRO Process Modelling (SPM) to identify and document the business and system requirements. This allowed them to integrate all the existing and new SYSPRO systems across the group, as well as to accommodate the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which would share data with the SYSPRO ERP system through a central SQL database using an integration tool from K3 SYSPRO. They also included Microsoft’s SharePoint to enable ease of document sharing and version control. Trudy was really impressed by the first phase roll out of ERP within the Jasco group, calling it a ‘great success.’

With over 600 IT users group-wide, and more than 60 SYSPRO users, this has not been a small task. But Trudy, a proud mom of four, has successfully managed this, whilst maintaining a good work/life balance.

On the topic of her personal management style, Trudy says that her strong protective maternal instinct continues through to her approach to her team, and has enabled the team to work together as a tight unit – proving vital when meeting project targets.

Trudy insists on a constant rotation within her team of seven to ensure the necessary transfer of knowledge and skills. As well as extolling the virtues of practical ‘on-the-job’ experience, Trudy encourages her team to take advantage of the depth of in-house skills and training available through the many companies in the group’s ICT vertical. Trudy is passionate about the energy that exists within this area of business as well as the continuous opportunity to learn, thanks to the constantly evolving landscape of the industry.

What an honor to be associated with such a passionate and dynamic person. At SYSPRO, we look forward to partnering once again with Trudy and her team at Jasco, as we embark on another exciting year in the IT industry.

Topics: projects, continuous improvement, Business software, business process modeling, ERP, seeker of value


Meryl Malcomess

Meryl is Marketing Director at SYSPRO. She has been with SYSPRO for more than 18 years and is involved in determining the strategic direction of its marketing activities.

By the age of 21 Meryl became both the first female and the youngest Financial Manager at a large financial company. Since her early beginnings, she has accumulated experience in commodities and advertising; and ran a family trucking and airfreight business for some time.

Meryl is quick to point out that she loves any challenge life throws at her. She consistently achieves success by monitoring market forces, including customer behavior patterns and trends highlighted by industry analysts. She also liaises closely with SYSPRO group marketers world-wide.

She recently championed the Soil to Palate initiative – a SYSPRO philosophy for the food and farming industries that believes there is a happy middle ground between providing healthy, sustaining food and being a profitable business.