Case Study:

New Enterprise Implementation: Utility Trailer

Situation

Utility Trailer Manufacturing had selected an enterprise software app from Infor to manage employee time and cost allocation.  They wanted to the app for flexibility that it offered.  It is known to be  more extensible than alternatives, and demos supported that.

However, the CIO and project manager were both reluctant to implement with the vendor’s professional services team, which would have made cost of implementation the same or more than the license feel, and the timeline would have been compressed since the vendor’s professional services team would have been fully staffed but engaged only for 3 to 6 months.  There was no way the Utility Trailer team could keep up with a fully staffed vendor project team.  It was clear the vendor project team would be more than needed, and therefore under-utilized, a waste.  The project would also be rushed, meaning fewer iterations and missed opportunities for learning how best to configure the app into a higher value solution at Utility Trailer.

These were the issues:

  • Utility Trailer didn’t want to use vendor professional services to implement the app.
  • They were concerned that implementation could cost as much as the software.
  • They didn’t want a rushed project to leave them with an app that didn’t work for the company and they couldn’t manage themselves.

Backstory

Utility Trailer wanted to take shop-floor employee time and labor cost tracking to the next level and selected a new app.  The next step was to implement it.

During the selection process, the vendor sales executive arranged a site visit with an existing client who had already implemented the software.  During that visit they learned of this alternative approach to implementation which not only reduced overall cost of implementation, it could proceed at a pace that fit team capability at Utility Trailer.

Tension 1

Constraint: Client had narrowed their interest to one app because no other solution offered the flexibility and configurability that this app did.  This app had capabilities used by the largest of enterprise corporate users.

However, their company size was somewhat smaller than other corporate accounts and therefore they didn’t need a large project team to implement it.

Tension 2

Risk: Both the project sponsor and the project manager knew from previous experience, that the implementation project could easily cost as much or more than the software itself.

They also wanted to implement at a much slower pace, so they could learn by doing.  The knew, the best way to integrate the app into their operational environment was to learn it themselves and then implement as much as possible themselves.  This would avoid rushing through an implementation, causing larger change management issues throughout the organization, as well as relying to heavily on the vendor implementation team to interpret their needs.

Quest

From the site visit, the client heard about the independent team who implemented the app at the company hosting the site visit.  Through this referral, Utility Trailer now had an implementation team willing to work with them

Client had an excellent in-house project management and enterprise app support capabilities.  They only needed consultants with experience in their new app, not an entire project team.

Breakthrough

There was an initial conversation to confirm this was the right consultant.  Then a more detailed conversation with the project sponsor and project team manager.  Finally a third exchange to set-up vendor details and enroll the consultant.  Credentials were issued and evaluation began.

Solution

Utility Trailer Manufacturing now runs this application on their shop floor and throughout the company to report employee time (labor cost) by job function, customer order and manufacturing station.

Their initial pilot implementations went in fairly quickly.  The internal team iterated through the remaining implementation in about twelve months.  With external support having been engaged through Free Agent Source on an as-needed basis, budget was preserved by the greater efficiency of NOT engaging a full-time external professional services team.

It gets better. The project didn’t stop after initial implementation.  The Utility Trailer project team viewed this application and implementation, not from a perspective of a project that would be “done” and no longer updated.  Instead it is a continuous improvement initiative that continues to increase ROI.  They have internal expertise to manage the app themselves, and they have external on-demand support from Free Agent Source.