Case Study: Software Selection – Heavy Highway Contractor – Massachusetts
Highway and Precast Concrete Contractor
Over $50M to $200M
Although not planning significant growth, the company was looking for stability and the potential that growth could be accommodated without again replacing the software. The company had older customized accounting software running on proprietary hardware that had limited functionality. The two divisions had each resorted to various procedures to accommodate missing features in the existing software. There was no consensus on the capabilities that were needed in the new software. The two divisions were convinced they needed different systems to meet their needs. Compounding matters, the estimating software was internally developed and ran on the same proprietary hardware as the accounting system.
Since many of the processes had been off line and ill defined, it was necessary to reconcile the needs of the two divisions while developing the software requirements. Since estimating software also needed to be replaced, two software selection initiatives needed to be conducted simultaneously.
Burger Consulting Group guided the client through two system selections, one for estimating and one for accounting software. During the process, it was discovered that two departments used different methods to accomplish the same task. Burger Consulting Group also helped the client build consensus around a purchasing process that was more efficient that their existing off-line process. The situation involved resolving purchasing differences between their two business units so that both could use the same software without drastically compromising the needs of either. A decision was made to acquire a new Unix based accounting and job cost system along with a Windows based estimating system.
Through the Burger Consulting Group system selection and implementation planning, procedural differences were resolved and the systems were effectively implemented. The Unix based core accounting system has been tied into the existing PC network. New estimating software has also been implemented and linked to the job cost accounting system. New procedures have improved the purchasing and invoice processing. Other manual procedures have been replaced with the new software.
- Each operating division’s unique requirements must be considered carefully
- Management should stay in touch with the selection and implementation process to ensure full organizational participation