General Contractor – Ohio
The contractor had an older system that had been installed for some time. The contractor and vendor had been ignoring each other to an extent. The contractor was not aware of the vendor’s latest enhancements because the system had been customized and had not been updated in some time. The vendor assumed the contractor was satisfied with status quo because there was seldom any discussion about client satisfaction, vendor direction, or user requirements.
The company had not been using systems all that effectively so most of the users really did not have a good feel for what was realistic to expect. The old system had chiefly been used for accounting, so some members of the accounting department users who were good friends with the vendor didn’t want to change software. The project managers all had differing ideas about what they needed to do their job better. The company was resisting the notion of project managers’ spending all their time on the computer and becoming data entry clerks.
BCG assisted the client by conducting a planning project initially, involving a significant cross section of the company to help determine needs and establish direction. Following the planning session, a series of needs analysis workshops were conducted with the users and a specification was developed for the requirements. The specification was presented to the existing vendor for review. The vendor responded and a series of meetings ensued resulting in upgrading the software, reworking necessary custom programs to carry forward, scheduling additional training, and developing an integrated project administration package based on the contractor’s requirements.
The contractor re-implemented his old system with renewed interest from the vendor. The implementation went very well and the users are now satisfied with the new system. The overall benefit to the vendor was saving a good client and the benefit to the contractor was obtaining a new system, substantially tailored to its unique needs for substantially less cost than an entirely new application.
- Vendors and their clients sometimes take each other for granted.
- Staying abreast of software development is important.
- Vendors should not assume a contractor is satisfied just because they have stopped complaining.