June 30, 2020 | Larry Goldman | Senior Director, Product Marketing
In this post in our employee spotlight series, we are pleased to introduce you to one of our Oracle Functional Solutions Architects.
Spinnaker Support is proud to recognized by analysts as one of the largest and most effective global vendors of third-party support. Our Oracle team members deliver “follow the sun” service and average 19+ years of experience with Oracle products.
This past spring, our Oracle support team received recognition as a “Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year” at the 2020 International Stevie® Awards. These professionals are a trusted source of assistance to our customers, and each year earn high customer satisfaction ratings (98.6% in the most recent survey).
Hi, Tom. Tell us about your role at Spinnaker Support.
I work with clients who use Oracle Supply Chain Applications, resolve their functional issues, perform root cause analysis, and work with developers to provide technical solutions to both standard and custom functions. I also work as an Account Support Lead (ASL) for several customers. In this role, I’m a liaison between the customer and Spinnaker Support regarding issue resolution and serve as a point of escalation for specific issues.
What is your background?
I came to Spinnaker Support almost three years ago following 20+ years as an Oracle consultant with several large firms. Prior to that, I spent twenty years in a variety of private businesses and industries as Operations Director, Operations Management, and Material Management Director.
When and why did you first get involved with Oracle technology?
After I graduated with BSBA and MBA (Operations Management) degrees, I entered the private industry for a time. One company where I was working was implementing Oracle 10.7 SC, and that was my start. After the implementation, I went to work for a consulting firm and have focused on Oracle ever since.
Do you have an Oracle specialty?
I work in the Supply Chain arena and provide solutions for manufacturing and material planning issues. The Oracle supply chain and manufacturing applications are highly integrated and dependent on other modules in order to perform properly. I specialize in ASCP, MRP, Inventory, BOM, WIP, and Purchasing. These cover the beginning-to-end processes of procuring material in order to meet demand.
The dependencies of each module on one another are unique by customer and makes every issue a little different and challenging. My experience as a consultant as an implementer for each of these modules over twenty years has provided a broad and deep knowledge base and allows me to share those experiences both good and bad.
What do you most like about working with Spinnaker Support customers?
I appreciate the range of industries our customers represent and seeing the ways in which they’ve designed their environments to meet their needs. Oracle provides many options for each module, and there are so many ways to “skin a cat” that every instance is unique. I most enjoy the challenge of understanding how each customer has configured their system in order to meet their need for producing items.
Do you have a recent example of going “above and beyond” to help a customer?
In my opinion, the idea of “above and beyond” is meaningless, because we always do whatever it takes to get the job done. We offer our customers a unique service: a partnership in optimizing their Oracle footprint based on their chosen configuration options.
Sure, this can be a challenge at times. Customers that have developed customizations that generally involve additional effort such as time-intensive research on the effects of their particular configuration decisions. These support issues require active collaboration between our Spinnaker Support team members – both technical and functional – and the customer’s user community. Together, we determine how the existing process needs to perform to meet the needs of the customer, and then we offer and test a solution.
What is one piece of support advice you would give to an Oracle customer?
Engage with us sooner than later. With respect to manufacturing customers, a good example is the monthly process for closing the books for the period that the financial team prepares. In the best of all worlds, you have addressed any issues that have accumulated during the month as they occur. But this doesn’t always happen. Instead, as the date approaches for that process, these problems remain unsolved and cause much more trouble as time runs out. The earlier we’re called to assist, the faster we can mitigate any delay of the month-end and closing processes.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family. With four kids and nine grandchildren, my wife and I enjoy watching our grandchildren’s sports, music, and drama activities. One family tradition is that we all gather together to celebrate everyone’s birthday, so with nineteen birthdays, we get to meet frequently! We enjoy seeing our kids raise their kids.