Interior Contractor – Michigan
The company felt it had lost control of technology. One of the remote offices had a small network and was using a multiplexer to link a few users over a dedicated phone line to the central computer. The other offices, including the headquarters, had a few PCs but no network. Modules on the central system were not being used. Users had not been well trained on the system and had certain beliefs about its workings that were not necessarily well founded. Additional software had been purchased and was being used to various extents, though none well. Management felt that before it spent any more money upgrading or replacing hardware or software a complete review was needed and a plan put in place so that future expenditures would be moving toward a well-conceived system goal.
BCG had conducted a planning workshop with key management personnel and conducted interviews with employees to determine information system needs. At the end of the interviews it was clear that the company faced a significant decision. Major changes were needed to the hardware infrastructure if the company was to consider any new software. Other short-term software initiatives were also rather urgent. Further, there was a perception by the users that the core accounting software was inadequate. Replacement of all systems was warranted and the potential for improvement was high; however, the total cost of all of the initiatives was more than the company could afford all at once.
BCG conducted a second planning workshop with key management personnel, presenting them with the facts and assisting them in working through the alternatives and prioritizing the options. As a result, the decision was made to install an entirely new infrastructure and to delay software selection for one to two years. BCG also assisted the client in planning the implementation of other short-term initiatives to produce a healthy return on a small investment. In the course of planning, BCG also discovered some procedural issues and helped improve workflow for purchasing, receiving, and invoice processing.
The client has upgraded to the entire hardware infrastructure with a Citrix Winframe core and a network to accommodate home office and remote users without upgrading the desktops. As a result of specific training and upgrades, there has been a significant increase in the use of the existing system. AP invoice processing has been cut from several weeks to a few days.
- If you can’t afford to do everything on your list, it is important to develop the list and let your user community help prioritize.
- New procedures can sometimes result in significant improvements of old systems.