My ERP A-Ha! Moment: How the team that builds ParagonERP understands its value

March 9, 2022
Kaily Hirsch

"What is an ERP?" It may surprise you that this has been the first question that many Jonar employees ask after being hired to work here, at the company that builds ParagonERP. Why would a company hire people who don't actually understand their product? This is a complicated question, but it really has to do with the nature of ERP systems. Ever-changing and expanding, the more you learn, the less you know. Even experts who have spent their whole lives working with ERP likely won't be able to tell you exactly what an ERP is. But most Jonar employees, no matter their previous experience with software systems, have come to 'get it.’ Not necessarily by becoming technical experts, but by understanding the critical role that ERP systems play in almost everything we buy and do. 

Costa: Junior Javascript Developer

Costa didn't know much about ERP systems before working here, but says his understanding has gone from "zero to something." We'd say his knowledge is far greater than just "something." Costa plays an integral role in ensuring that Paragon works for our customers and their unique needs. "Once you get an understanding of what it is, you start to acknowledge how people can use it," he explains. Now that he's grasped how these systems help people, Costa is becoming an expert in their functionality. The thing he finds the most rewarding about working with ERP is that “so many companies use our software, and probably all ERP systems, in a different way. There is never a limit to what you can learn and do."

Kayley: Senior Product Manager

As Senior Product Manager, few people appreciate and understand ERP better than Kayley. Before coming to Jonar, she knew these types of systems existed but had never actually heard the acronym ERP before. Now she's a total expert. Kayley learned to love ERP when she realized almost everything we touch had to pass through one to get to us. "These systems are everywhere in society; from picking up food from the grocery store to going to Sephora, it's freaking everything." You can feel Kayley's appreciation for ERP when she talks about them, "Not to toot my own horn, but when I talk about managing inventory, I think people are engaged." Her passion and expertise makes chatting with her about this "boring" tool pretty interesting. 

Dimitri: Product Development Team Lead

Dimitri had an idea of what ERP was but didn't "comprehend the behemoth it truly is" until he began working at Jonar. As a developer, Dimitri's responsibility is to build the functionality inside Paragon. By constantly being exposed to the versatility of ERP systems, he's come to appreciate "how vital an ERP tool is at orchestrating so many moving pieces in industry. Without it, I imagine the modern world would be very different." Dimitri is constantly working on building new features for Paragon. His understanding of these systems is always changing: "the possibilities do seem endless, the tool is very powerful and very grand."

Nolan: Business Development Specialist

If you have recently booked a demo or asked a question about Paragon during a free trial, Nolan is probably the guy you talked to. So, it would likely surprise you that he didn't know what an ERP was before working here. He just thought the job description seemed "light-hearted and down to earth" and decided to apply for an internship. Now, he's responsible for showing Paragon off and getting potential new customers excited about the functionality. "When Paragon is set up right, I get satisfaction from seeing things click and connect." He is continually working to help small and medium-sized companies understand how a system like Paragon can help them. "Historically, ERPs have just been for enterprises; it was like a locked-up ERP club. But we’re trying to remove those barriers." Because he spends so much time learning about different businesses, Nolan knows that "every business is unique and complex." By seeing how ERP helps growing companies, Nolan really understands why they matter. 

Marion: Quality Assurance Team Lead

Before new Paragon features and fixes can be released to users, they must pass through Quality Assurance. That's where Marion comes in - she is part of the team that tests our system and makes sure everything is working perfectly. By constantly being in the mind of a business owner or software user, Marion gets how these systems help businesses. "The high level of customization we have and the process automation we can implement is literally an incredible time-saver for businesses." Marion sees firsthand how every part of this system comes together to help people. "I think our system is very powerful and enables you to do amazing things." 

Kaily: Content Marketing Specialist

Before joining Jonar, Kaily had no idea what an ERP was or that software could do so much. "I'm not a technical person. So, I seriously questioned if I would ever understand this tool enough to write content about it." Thankfully marketing director, Beth, explained the critical role ERP plays in one of Kaily's favorite activities: online shopping. "My director told me that stockouts, slow shipping, and other mistakes are usually caused when stores aren't using an ERP or when their ERP isn’t working properly." This helped Kaily put ERP into context, and now she's responsible for writing about all of the awesome things it can do.  

Let’s be honest - it's difficult to understand ERP. They are vast and complex systems that are continuously updated to fit new and emerging needs. No one will ever know everything about this software because as markets change and business requirements change, ERP needs to change with it. The key to better understanding these systems isn't knowing about all of their features, it's about understanding the intrinsic value they have in our modern world. So many things are made possible by an ERP working in the background. Once Jonar employees make this discovery, they don't only 'get' ERP, they understand why their jobs are so critical.

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