Highway Contractor and Aggregate Producer – Pennsylvania
The contractor started with a vendor supplied core accounting system and had modified it significantly over the years so that it bore no resemblance to the core system, and all maintenance of the system was done by internal staff. Many separate systems were in use, none connected to the core system. Data was being entered redundantly in several different systems and no attempt was being made to tie them all together. Programming backlogs were severe.
The company was in need of a complete replacement system but pride of authorship made it difficult to walk away from those systems that were working. Notwithstanding that some of the software worked adequately, the lack of integration and myriad of missing elements made the operation inefficient. The vested interest of a few key people meant that changes were difficult and had to be handled delicately.
BCG conducted a series of workshops and interviews that resulted in a set of strategic initiatives. The company computer committee prioritized the initiatives and BCG helped guide them through the process of budgeting and developing realistic plans so they could gauge their progress. BCG also educated them on the state of existing software compared to their own so they would be able to keep the alternatives clearly in mind as they moved forward.
The client is proceeding to implement the initiatives and is moving forward on the strategic plan. Further IT expenditures will be made with a knowledge of the marketplace and with clear targets and budgets.
- Developing software in house is a significant effort if it is done properly.
- In-house development does not ensure that the user community will be any happier than they will be with a system purchased from an outside source.
- Development in house should be approached like a business, not as someone’s hobby.