Gradient assist Buoyant with their ERP System Selection Project
Having taken over the business as part of an MBO, the Buoyant management recognised the risks associated with running a 15 year old “green screen” system particularly in view of expansion plans for the business and therefore decided to undergo a an ERP system selection project. Any shortcomings of the system were resolved by the use of several increasingly complex spreadsheet applications which were heavily dependent on key personnel. The system, whilst able to assist with most of the functional requirements of the business represented a significant risk to the growing business as support was in short supply and complexity in the business was growing.
New state of the art integrated ERP system with proven history of solutions for the upholstery industry. The new system must handle all facets of the business from product design and change management, planning through to product configuration of orders, scheduling of shop floor on “make to order” basis, dispatch/transport planning, handling of customer issues and accounts. The new system must also offer the ability for access from the field both for agents to enter configured orders and for Customers to progress chase their own orders.
How we helped
A full business analysis was undertaken. All key management in each department were interviewed and the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current systems discussed/analysed. As a result of this exercise a Specification of Requirements was drawn up. Key questions were isolated so that prospective vendors could provide their responses.
- A steering committee was formed including key personnel from the various areas of the business.
- Key measures of success were identified against which the success of the project can be ascertained in due course.
- The statement of requirements was issued to a number of potential ERP vendors who would be able to satisfy clients requirements within the overall project budget both in terms of functional fit against the specification and reputation in the market place.
- The responses were assessed and tabulated so that Buoyant management were able to select a shortlist who were then invited to the next stage in the process. These vendors visited the site to perform their own in depth study of the process and to demonstrate their product with particular regard to the key points previously identified.
- A preferred supplier was selected to return to site and run an in-depth workshop showing how the full process would be catered for using their solution.
- Using Gradient to perform an objective analysis enabled Buoyant management to quickly identify vendors who would not be able to provide the solution and avoid wasting time and effort assessing their suitability.
- Gradient’s expertise in the marketplace, particularly having recently undertaken another similar project in the same market sector, allowed Buoyant to gain insights into the ERP system industry which assisted Buoyant’s management to negotiate a satisfactory contract for the supply and delivery of their chosen system and associated services.