Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
IT Consulting FAQ
Nearly all of BCG’s staff, especially the consulting team, have construction industry backgrounds. Often, engagements with BCG begin with a process or system evaluation. This diagnostic process leads to the identification of various processes and systems which are not optimal for the organization. Recommendations around improvement can include upgrading an existing system, better implementing an existing solution, or integrating disparate solutions. Because we are objective, the firm is not wedded to any one vendor or product, but rather chooses to assist clients with the development of an overall technology-stack suitable to the firm. Further, with background in Heavy/Civil, GC/CM and specialty contractors, BCG can bring very specific insight and recommendations to the unique processes of each type of contractor.
Historically, BCG clients have always valued and appreciated two things: construction process knowledge and independence from the vendor community. Cost is sometimes a consideration. Location/proximity can be considered sometimes if a firm is looking for regular on-prem support. Finally, knowledge of the software solutions can be a consideration. A certain broad knowledge of many solutions is helpful in strategy and selection where deeper specific knowledge is needed when implementing.
This can include one or more of the following:
- A review of IT organization structure, including individual roles and responsibilities, to ensure that areas of responsibility and skills available align with the overall needs of the company.
- A review of the underlying technology infrastructure from networking, security, data centers, management tools, IT service management, cloud, data and/or integration strategies, end-user devices, etc. to ensure that these are sufficient to support the applications and technical initiatives that drive the business. This also includes the identification of areas that introduce technical risk to the company.
- A review of the applications in use to ensure that these are being used to their maximum potential, that they support best practices and the current business processes, and that end-users are adequately trained in their usage. Where risks and inefficiencies exist, these are identified, rated and recommendations prioritized.
- A review of the overall IT strategy to ensure it aligns with industry trends and the long-term goals of the business.
Our job is to provide the best advice and recommendations for our clients without bias toward any one vendor or platform. We can’t do that effectively if we have a financial agreement with specific software vendors for the selection of their product. That would be a disservice to our clients and would eliminate certain vendors from participating in product selections. By remaining software-agnostic, the vendor community knows that when we help clients select a specific solution, it is done on a level playing field. This ensures our clients receive the best solution for their needs based on what is available in the market.
Business Process Improvement FAQ
Process consultants in general help organizations evaluate, automate and streamline business processes. They often bring strong knowledge of an industry’s business processes to the engagement but also have considerable experience in moving organizations toward a vision of best practices rather than simply a dogmatic view of “this is the best way”. Streamlining business processes is a process in and of itself where the consultant must listen carefully, engage with the process team(s), and drive them carefully toward a better way. They should also be aware of enterprise technologies so they can bring those to bear as needed (e.g., middleware, ECM, Low-Code/No-Code) as well as state-of-the-art solutions that can handle an entire process from end to end.
Any firm should take a hard look at their business processes from time to time. An outside firm can be helpful in this situation by bringing new and fresh ideas to process improvement, whether it is simply a more efficient workflow or the addition of technology to speed a process along. By looking at processes comprehensively, rather than in silos, organizations can often find ways to integrate systems, improve processes, and create efficiency across an entire workflow (e.g. procurement to payables).
Software Implementation FAQ
Software implementations can be complex and overwhelming for any organization. However, here at BCG, we have in-house resources to assist you through your endeavor. The services we provide are management of software implementations, design, configuration/setup, integrations, data migration, testing, documentation/training, readiness assessment, and Go-Live support.
Viewpoint is a construction software company. They operate under the Trimble umbrella, after being acquired in July 2018. The company offers software solutions to help better manage end-to-end construction management. Construction software is used to automate processes, streamline day to day tasks and provide real-time business insight. Viewpoint is often used to reference one of their main products, Vista, which is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) construction solution. They offer a number of ERP solutions (Vista, Spectrum and ProContractor) to fit companies’ sizes and business complexities, along with specialty products to address specific construction needs (e.g. project management, field services, etc.).
BCG partners with clients to ensure smooth and successful client implementations. Our services can augment the professional services offered by software vendors. Our approach uses a proven implementation methodology, the ‘Playbook’ to prepare and manage our clients throughout the lifecycle of the process. This includes incorporating change management principles to foster organizational buy-in and successful adoption by team members and end-users. Expert consultants conduct highly valuable design workshops with your team to build future business processes, delivering ‘future-state’ process documentation and workflows that align with your organizational objectives and industry best practices. Each engagement includes a dedicated Project Manager that works directly with you. Our Project Management team utilizes a hands-on approach to manage both business and technology needs to mitigate risk and deliver projects on time and within budget. The Project Manager services can address the needs of integration workflows, data migration, testing of processes within the new solutions, and training and documentation.
This question depends upon the availability of resources internally. If you have a Project Manager that can dedicate 100% of their time for nine to twelve months on managing an implementation, you probably don’t need to hire a full-time external Project Manager. However, if you don’t have a resource readily available, we would highly recommend thinking about hiring someone who has experience in this area.
Software testing ensures that the software being implemented is configured and set up correctly based on either existing or newly defined processes. It is necessary to document the steps of each process (and all the outcomes of each step) that can be anticipated before going live in the system. We have never encountered a system that didn’t require tweaks in some manner before going live and having end users work in the system. This is a critical step in the implementation process and can be expected to take at least several weeks to work through several iterations of testing.