Gradient assist Branston with the selection of specialist software

The Client

With sites in Lincoln, Scotland and the South West, Branston supply retail, wholesale and food manufacturing customers with fresh and ready prepared potatoes. They do all this with the help of dedicated and professional potato growers who deliver the high standards demand, day in, day out.

Branston initially asked various functions across their business to create a set of statements on their wants and needs regarding deliverable functionality from a new ERP.  These MoSCoWs could then be used as the raw material for a Statement of Requirements document.

The Problem

Gradient were asked to review the created MoSCoWs and give assistance regarding the overall process of identifying potential vendors / solutions and matching Branston with the most appropriate ones.

The Solution

Although Branston were clear on what they wanted from a new ERP solution, Gradient was able to bring a methodology to the process of selecting a preferred supplier.


  • For Gradient, this was a different approach to that typically followed, as we were presented with detailed documents outlining the requirements against a number of functional threads.  As such, it was key to recognise the effort involved but, at the same time, to adapt the individual MoSCoWs into something against which vendors could respond.
  • Once complete, Branston were provided with a mapping document so that there was full traceability from the MoSCoW to the related question within the Statement of Requirements document produced.
  • After responses had been received and scored, three vendors were called to demonstrating against a detailed script, which ultimately enabled the business to select their preferred supplier.  Further exploration of the potential new system led Branston to determine which of their requirements would be satisfied from the initial project phases and those that would come later.


As Branston considered various external consultancies it was clear that there was a desire to re-visit what had already been done, but Gradient did not take that approach.  Instead, we worked with each of the thread owners to ensure that we understood what they were trying to achieve, before simply adapting the requirement into a format that each potential vendor had to respond to.  This led to a number of benefits:

  • The thread owners were fully involved in the process and invested in the final decision
  • There was complete clarity in the requirements, which enabled Branston to set priorities as well as to ensure that all requirements had been addressed by the chosen vendor
  • We were able to “translate” what the business needed into terminology that the vendor could understand and also educate the Branston team in ERP terminology and what to expect from standard functionality and what would likely be bespoke, and hence avoided
  • Finally, the effort through the specification process will ensure that both the selection of the correct ERP system and partner, as well as the ultimate implementation will be fit for purpose and focused on delivering significant business benefit.

What the Client Says

“It was refreshing to work with someone prepared to take on board what we had already done and where we wanted to go – rather than force us to work ‘their way’. This allowed Gradient to seamlessly join and positively influence a running project.”