Situation

Our client was a company that provides liquid filtration bag products that are used in a multitude of industrial applications. This organization provides new or refurbished liquid filter bag systems. The company has over 50 years of success serving the manufacturing industry and is growing. The growth is driving the need to integrate information system and communication technology to increase productivity, profitability, and overall business performance for a competitive advantage.

Requirements

Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to assist the organization in choosing the right enterprise resource planning software, using a structured approach to analyze business requirements and match them to a solution to support operations today and for the next 5 to 10 years. The approach taken included:
• Analyzing key functional areas and activities within the client organization
• Conducting requirements workshops to elicit and prioritization of business requirements
• Conducting solution provider industry research
• Delivering a vendor long list and short list
• Delivering formal request for proposal documentation including high-level workflows
• Request vendor proposals and manage the competitive bidding process
• Evaluate and compare vendor proposals for best fit for client
• Score vendor proposals and evaluate costs
• Delivering an unbiased system selection report

Challenges

The main challenges faced on this project included:
• Very tight timeframes to analyze requirements collected between and during visits to client
• A limited amount of time exposed to the client environment
• A limited selection of vendors within the desired price range
• Limited client subject matter understanding of their business requirements
• A changing client environment through the course of the system selection process
• A tight timeline to craft a custom Request for Proposal (RFP) narrative

Actions

After analyzing the project requirements, our consultants addressed the challenges presented and performed the following actions:
1. Conducted a Requirements Workshops & Site Walkthrough – Conducted a kick off meeting to set expectations, reviewed the client current state and conducted a site tour, interviewed executives on their business and growth strategy, obtained approval for an additional day of on-site requirements sessions, conducted functional requirements workshops, created a Request for Proposal and obtained client signoff. The approach involved employees throughout the process to ensure that their needs were being met and that they would take ownership of the new system once selected.
2. Identified Potential Vendors – Researched possible industry solution and assessed vendors against business goals, budget and current product version industry ranking and reputation, obtained vendor contacts, and validated their interest to participate in RFP process.
3. Managed RFP Process – Distributed the RFP, answered vendor questions, reviewed and consolidated vendor responses, analyzed and compared compare vendor responses, created an analysis report for the client, presented results to the client, and supported the discussions on next steps.

Results

Through this approach, Schroeder & Schroeder delivered Request for Proposal documentation and guidance for selecting an ERP solution, including:
• A list of existing technologies, problems with the current systems and opportunities for improvement.
• Guidance on a “needs assessment” along with a requirements importance weighting, employee training, and re-engineering of the client’s business processes to support the future vision.
• A detailed business requirements document, including high-level workflows
• A scored analysis on how well the vendors met each requirement, and determined the total cost of ownership of each proposal, including the costs for licensing, professional services and maintenance
• Documented an ERP system selection report to provide a side-by-side, apples to apples, comparison, highlighting each vendors’ strengths and weaknesses to support the client decision process.

Upon conclusion of the project, all key success factors had been achieved, and the client was highly satisfied with both the project deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.