Our client was a company with more than 40 years of experience in successfully delivering print and graphics publication products and services. As a 100% Canadian owned independent printing industry leader offering quality web offset and sheet fed printing, the company was facing new challenges and opportunities within the print industry. Although the print industry was losing business to online content, print provider consolidation and a return to print by some companies meant that the company needed to update and integrate its information systems and communication technology so as to increase productivity, profitability, and overall business performance.
Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to help the company choose the right enterprise resource planning software to support the company’s operations 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
The main challenges faced on this project included:
- Very tight timeframes related to the analysis of requirements
- Limited print industry specific ERP solutions that were within the required budget range
- A tight timeline with a hard completion date associated with a funding grant
- Limited client understanding of the differences between a print management information system (MIS) and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution
- Existing customized stand-alone non-integrated databases/systems that created preconceived limitations around the requirements
- A changing client environment throughout the system selection process
- A tight timeline to craft a custom Request for Proposal
After analyzing the project requirements our consultants addressed the challenges presented and performed the following actions:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.