Ed Ruddy joined the CBO family in June 2017 as part of our Academy programme, partnered with Sunderland University. Since successfully completing the Epicor certification process, he has proven himself to be an integral member of the CBO team, providing specialist support to Epicor customers and our consultants.
In this interview, Ed reveals his appetite for all things technology as well as why he is a firm believer in the power of Epicor ERP software and how it empowers manufacturers and distributors to continuously grow and improve.
Tell us a little about your degree, place of study and how did you hear about the CBO Academy Scheme?
In 2013, I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Engineering at City University London. As much as I had enjoyed this course, I felt as though the subject was very niche and far away from I wanted to do. I wanted to expand my skill set and move more into the computing industry and become more of an influencer of technology, rather than a user. In 2014, I moved back up north and began working at Apple as support on the Genius Bar. Alongside working at Apple, I completed my Masters Degree in Computer Science at Newcastle University which really enabled me to dip my toes into all sorts of areas including; networking, databases, programming and software development.
It was after I had completed my masters that I heard about the CBO Academy scheme. Even though the Academy is led by Sunderland University, it’s advertised across all the North East universities which is a fantastic opportunity for graduates who want to get into the world of work.
What did you know about ERP before applying?
I’ll be honest – I knew little about the term ‘ERP’ when I first applied to CBO, however it’s something that I have always been involved with whilst working at Apple, without even realising it!
Working with Epicor ERP has been a fantastic eye opener and learning experience for me. I love the fact that Epicor is used for industries such as engineering, manufacturing and distribution – which is all very new to me. I’m the type of the person who wants to delve in and research anything and everything about that topic to become a real expert.
What attracted you to ERP?
I was attracted to the huge advantages that Epicor ERP brings to the above industries and its customers. I see Epicor ERP not only as a software solution but an empowerment tool for businesses. This software has the capability for most business processes to sit under one umbrella; enabling to companies to be more efficient and streamline their processes.
What attracted you to join the CBO Academy?
What really attracted me to join the CBO Academy was the fact that CBO allowed graduates, like myself, to gain experience of different specialisms across the Epicor ERP product suite. For example, if I wanted to know more about the financial modules within Epicor, an opportunity would be created for me, which is really refreshing as it enables me to see what I’m good at and where my strengths lie. Also, working for a SME like CBO provides opportunities to be hands-on as well as the chance to work with a team of people who are approachable and value my opinion which is really uplifting.
How does CBO support you with your learning?
In a variety of ways! One of the major elements that supports the CBO Academy programme is that we have access to relevant Epicor learning resources via the online Epicor University portal to assist with exams and certification modules furthermore; our exams are funded by CBO which as you can imagine is another great advantage.
There are also opportunities to visit customer sites and shadow CBO consultants within the field. For example, I attended a site visit for a company that designed digital inkjet printheads, it was amazing to see the automated machines in action… it was a like a sci-fi film!
What projects have you had the opportunity to work on so far?
What I would really like to highlight to new people who are potentially interested in the Academy programme, is that I started in June 2017 – completed all my initial training and an exciting opportunity arose around November 2017 for me to get involved with a live customer project.
I was contacted by Neil Holdsworth (Consulting Director) about an opportunity to work alongside a CBO consultant, to create valuable documentation for software that had just been developed. The faith that CBO had in me at such an early stage gave me a big confidence boost!
What’s the best thing about working at CBO and with Epicor software?
It’s difficult to pin point one element as there are so many! Firstly, the CBO team, they are so friendly, approachable and there is a big emphasis on team collaboration. I’m privileged to be working within an industry that has so much range and variety in terms of customer and companies as I’m constantly learning new things. Finally, the opportunities that come with working at CBO are really beneficial for my career and have really shaped my aspirations for the future.
What’s your favourite part of Epicor and why?
My favourite part of Epicor is the customisation element. As I said before, I see technology as a way of empowering companies, and what better way to empower than being able to customise your systems to suit your business.
What’s the hardest/most challenging thing about working at CBO and with Epicor software?
I’m going to have to think about think about this one!
This stems from my personality but I want to have all the answers to help our customers and I don’t, which is frustrating for me. Epicor is such a big product that we have dedicated consultants to cover each aspect, so although I want to know everything, it’s just impossible!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the CBO academy?
With the CBO academy, you are on a journey. It is so important to take a step back and not to be phased by the size of the Epicor product as the knowledge comes in time. Also, our CBO consultants have so much expertise and are very passionate what they do and are keen to spend time with you to help you learn and understand. Don’t be afraid to tap into their expertise and ask questions.
Where do you want to be in your career in 5 years’ time?
I would like to be a technical consultant, but I also want to be in a position where I have acquired enough experience via working with the Epicor software etc that I am able to impart wisdom and mould new trainees and aspiring consultants.
Are you interested in joining the CBO team or applying to our CBO Academy? Get in touch!