Ten Questions with Doug Volz

Posted in EBS Financials, Interviews

EBS Answers Virtual Conference speaker Doug Volz from Douglas Volz Consulting, Inc. answered 10 questions for eprentise. Read our interview below to find out why he thinks you should strive to work for yourself, when hiring cheap resources is a bad idea, and what you will learn about discrete and process manufacturing after attending his presentation.

  1. What’s your morning routine like?
    Depends if I’m at the client site or not. While at the client site, it’s: exercise first thing at the hotel, breakfast, and then out the door to the client. At home, it’s a bit more relaxed: breakfast, exercise and then lunch in one or two hours, then follow-up with clients and with work-based projects in the afternoon.
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  
    Work for yourself and be your own boss. Working for oneself can be highly rewarding, especially if while doing so you are helping your clients and friends be successful at the same time.
  3. What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
    I tell all my clients how much time they can save by avoiding the slow web-based forms, by using MS Excel as the primary interface to download, change and upload information, across the EBS applications.
  4. What’s your best time-saving tip or shortcut?
    Hire the best people you can find. They will know what they are doing, and you will not have to do it twice.  This will save you time and effort. Don’t hire the cheapest resources you can find.
  5. How did you get into the EBS space?
    Oracle hired me in 1990, directly into Manufacturing Cost Development, based on interviews after responding to classified ads in the San Jose Mercury News (remember those?). Prior to this, as a Cost Accountant, I was always active in improving my company’s ERP systems, whether PICK English systems or custom mainframe systems.
  6. What do you think are the biggest challenges that EBS customers face, and what do they do about them?
    Really, this is two-fold.  First, keeping up with the constant upgrades and changes; but more importantly, using Oracle to your best advantage, and looking for both business process improvements and system features to support these improvements. Oracle is just another hammer and nail, a tool to help you drive your business. But your business processes have to work in conjunction with your business EBS solution, not against it.
  7. Based on your experience, what is the most critical success factor in an EBS implementation?
    1. Willingness of your upper and mid-management to make the necessary business process changes and improvements which help make the EBS implementation successful (don’t try to keep on doing what you did on your old systems).
    2. Instituting a policy of continual training for your employees, not only at time of Go Live, but continually afterwards. Post implementation, see what went right and what could be improved. Don’t stop training at implementation.
    3. Lastly, craft a successful reporting strategy; don’t rely on the standard Oracle Reports, as in most cases you cannot run your business using them. Much of the work I do is helping my clients create efficient, global Cost Accounting Reports, across all of their inventory organizations, operating units and ledgers. For example, in my area of Cost Accounting I’ve witnessed efficiency improvements exceeding 50 percent because of reporting improvements for inventory valuation, reconciliations transactions, variances and profit in inventory tracking.
  8. What projects were your most successful, and why? 
    When we have excellent teamwork and have solved problems together. Also projects when the client and consultants trusted each other, worked together, and pushed through the implementation issues that inevitably arise.
  9. Can you give us a sneak peak and tell us what we can expect at your speech/presentation at the EBS Answers Virtual Conference?
    If you use both Discrete and Process Manufacturing you will learn about how you can integrate the two costing architectures using custom reporting, reporting which combines all of the inventory and manufacturing activities for these two different costing architectures on to common reports. If you use Discrete or Process but not both, you can find out more about how significantly different Process Costing is from Discrete Costing.
  10. Who should attend this speech/presentation?
    Business analysts, cost accountants, business managers and IT directors responsible for business operations.
    Bonus: Anything else to add?
    Enjoy the presentation, and get information you can’t find in My Oracle Support or anywhere else.


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