Case Study: Software Selection – Utility Contractor – Connecticut


Small Utility Contractor with a large number of small projects and several large maintenance contracts

Client Size

$10M to $50M
(Annual Revenue)

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The existing software, while adequate in some respects, did not meet the needs of the company as a whole. It was geared more toward a general contractor or small subcontractor and did not really fit the needs of a utility contractor, particularly one with plant sales. Much of the accounting process was conducted manually and off line, as the system did not meet all their functional needs. A separate software package was used for equipment maintenance, not integrated with accounting. Billing was manual. Scale tickets were processed manually. A stand-alone Human Resources database had been developed and implemented.
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Unique Challenges

There were certain aspects of the core accounting system that were meeting the company’s needs. Those employees whose needs were met were loyal to the product and did not want to see changes. There was also a comprehensive, though non- integrated, equipment system in place. Each of these requirements needed to be managed to ensure a successful system selection. In addition, the quarry had been managed manually, so there was little consistency in billing procedures and the belief existed that no system could meet these needs.
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Burger Consulting Group guided the client through a system selection that included a series of detailed interviews with personnel from each department. A system, especially developed for the highway and utility industries, was selected that would meet the needs of each of the divisions. Each group was allowed to participate in the selection presentations so that they had a part in the final selection and could approach the implementation with confidence. Though everyone compromised a little, there were improvements in the overall efficiency of the system that everyone saw.
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The contractor has a new system with modules that were not available in their former software system, giving them greater functionality, more automation, information on a more timely basis, and less manual effort from individuals.
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Lessons Learned:

  • If your business is very specialized, you may have a limited selection of vendors to choose from
  • With an adequate selection process, you can find good software even if your needs are somewhat unique