Situation

Our client was a 40 year old made-to-order manufacturer delivering retractable roof technology projects world-wide. A 100% Canadian owned family-run business, the company was experiencing growth pains. Out of date systems were driving a need to update and integrate information system and communication technology in order to increase productivity, profitability, and overall business performance.

Requirements

Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to help the company choose the right enterprise resource planning software for the next 5 to 10 years. The approach taken included:

  • Analyzing key functional areas and activities within the organization
  • Conducting requirements workshops to elicit and prioritize business requirements
  • Conducting solution provider industry research
  • Delivering a vendor long list and short list
  • Delivering a formal Request for Proposal, including high-level workflows
  • Requesting vendor proposals and managing the competitive bidding process
  • Evaluating and comparing vendor proposals for best fit with the client’s requirements
  • Scoring vendor proposals and evaluating costs
  • Delivering an objective system selection report
  • Delivering demonstration scripts and facilitating vendor demonstration sessions
  • Delivering decision-support tools to help the client select a vendor
  • Reviewing vendor contracts and providing negotiation recommendations

Challenges

The main challenges faced on this project included:

  • Staff vacations, large projects and conflicting schedules – resulting in a very long requirements gathering phase
  • Limited client subject matter understanding of the business requirements
  • Out dated systems that created perceptions around solution functionality along with limitations in possible solution capabilities
  • Client processes that were changing through the system selection process
  • A tight timeline to craft a custom Request for Proposal

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 the executives on their business and growth strategy, conducted functional requirements workshops, created a Request for Proposal and obtained client signoff. The consultants also involved the company’s employees throughout the process to ensure that their needs were being met and that they were taking ownership of the new system once selected.
  2. Identified Potential Vendors – Researched possible industry solutions; assessed vendors against business goals, budget and current product version industry ranking and reputation; obtained vendor contacts; and validated their interest in participating in the RFP process.
  3. Managed RFP Process – Distributed the RFP, answered vendor questions, reviewed and consolidated vendor responses, analyzed and compared vendor responses, created an analysis report for the client, presented the results to client, and supported discussions on next steps.
  4. Facilitated Demos & Contract Review – Organized and facilitate proof-of-concept demonstrations, facilitated vendor selection discussions, reviewed the selected vendor contract and provided negotiation recommendations to the client.

Results

Through this approach, Schroeder & Schroeder delivered Request for Proposal documentation and guidance for selecting an ERP solution, including:

  • A list of existing technology problems with the company’s current systems, along with opportunities for improvement.
  • Provided guidance on the development of a “needs assessment” – along with requirements importance weighting, employee training and re-engineering of the client’s business processes to support the future vision.
  • Detailed business requirements document including high-level workflows
  • Analysed and scored how well the vendors meet each requirement, and determined the total cost of ownership of each proposal – including costs for licensing, professional services and maintenance
  • Documented an ERP system selection report to provide a side-by-side, apples to apples, comparison – highlighting individual vendor strengths and weaknesses to support the client decision process.
  • Communicated with the client and potential providers throughout the process
  • Provided Demo Scripts covering the specific requirements to be addressed during vendor presentation.
  • Developed contract improvement recommendations

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.