Profiles in Leadership: A Conversation with Joel Stangeland
Hi, I’m Joel Stangeland, CEO of Trek Global. I’ve been involved in financial software projects for mid-sized companies for twenty years. I began to work with ERP in 1997 with the implementation of SAP at an international not-for-profit publishing organization. We achieved a successful implementation because of an excellent team of dedicated, hardworking volunteers, and in spite of poor leadership from the team of consultants. Over the years I’ve learned that poor leadership in ERP implementation is commonplace, and that the success of that first project was a real anomaly.
Since then I have led more than 40 ERP implementations for small to mid-size businesses, always refining and honing our team’s skills at guiding companies through this difficult process.
An Introduction to Open Source ERP
In 2004 I was introduced to Compiére, the first competent open source ERP system. I was immediately impressed by the power of Compiére for customizing the user experience through the application dictionary, backed by a reliable accounting engine. I was used to this in SAP, but was awed to find it in an application that could be downloaded for free. I immediately joined a team of systems integrators that was involved in enhancing Compiére and implementing it for customers in the United States.
The Value of Open Source ERP for Mid-Sized Business
I had watched one project after another spend exorbitant money on software licenses and fail because of poor understanding of the product and the goals of the project. So I was thrilled to be involved in the creation of an open source financial software framework. Finally there was an opportunity for entrepreneur sized businesses to get the software they needed. The missing ingredient was adept guidance in the implementation project so that the company could achieve its goals.
My mother is an educator and the director of a Montessori school. I was raised in an environment where the value of creativity, experience and education was always made clear to me. That’s why it is a passion of mine to improve the experience of implementing, customizing and using ERP. Open source ERP, with its design flexibility and lack of licensing fees, is a crucial part of this improved experience. A proven implementation method is the other. Essentially, Trek Global can provide free ERP software to businesses. The business gets the system they need while investing money in their people and processes rather than in software licenses. At an end of an engagement with us, businesses are stronger and more profitable.
Changing the World, One Open Source ERP Implementation at a Time
ERP is not sexy. But what open source ERP can do for a company with the right implementation guide is pretty hot. Trek Global is revolutionizing ERP and ERP implementation by giving robust ERP software away for free and letting companies invest in competent leadership, experienced guidance, and excellent training of their own employees. I’m proud to be part of a company that truly is changing the world one ERP implementation at a time.