Case Study 1
Human Resources and Payroll Software Assessment for Large National Utility
SoftResources was recently engaged to assist a large publicly traded utility with an assessment of Human Resources and Payroll systems and make recommendations for the HR systems strategy moving forward. The utility provides water and wastewater services to approximately 3 million people in 12 states and employs approximately 1800 people.
This utility was using separate Payroll and Human Resources systems from different vendors. They were looking to determine whether they should remain with the systems as is, or whether they should implement the HR capability built into the payroll system in order to complete an integrated Human Capital Management (HCM) system, and reduce the number of systems in the organizations.
SoftResources utilized its proven software assessment methodology to objectively evaluate three main options: 1) remain with the current system, 2) remain with the system but improve integration, or 3) implement additional HR functionality.
SoftResources successfully identified the utility’s key requirements, conducted a fit/gap analysis, and did 5-year cost/benefit and return on investment (ROI) analysis for the three options. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis was also conducted for implementation and organizational readiness. A Needs Assessment Report was presented to executives along with SoftResources’ conclusions and recommendations.
SoftResources’ recommendations helped the client move forward with a global Human Capital Management (HCM) software strategy to improve business processes, reduce manual effort, improve integration, and realize cost savings.
Case Study 2
Regional Permit/Community Development System Selection
eCityGov Alliance, an inter-local agency with a mission to provide Web-based services to its constituents, and six Washington State cities engaged SoftResources to develop a Regional Permit System request for proposal (RFP) and to conduct software selection for a new common permitting system or systems.
Many of the stakeholder cities (with populations ranging from 25,000 to 85,000) were operating with permitting systems that were nearing the end-of-life. The level of automated integration between the eCityGov Alliance web portal, MyBuildingPermit.com (MBP.com), and the automated permitting systems used by stakeholder cities varied from email integration to nearly seamless automated integration.
SoftResources helped all participating stakeholders to successfully achieve the project goals through the following services:
- Captured the key functional and technical requirements unique to each individual stakeholder through on-site requirements interviews and compiled into a single requirements document.
- Brought all individual stakeholders, in a timely manner, to consensus and adoption of a single RFP
that was issued to the software vendors.
- Mitigated the risk that a potential vendor might not hear of the RFP through creation of a vendor long list. The Alliance received 14 vendor proposals.
- Narrowed vendor responses down to a short list of vendors and products that could most closely meet the needs of the Alliance and of the participating cities.
- Enabled individual stakeholders to knowledgably select a software vendor partner to support its permitting needs.
- Negotiated successful contracts for the protection of the individual cities to procure the final selected vendors.
As a result of the Regional Permit Systems selection, eCityGov and the six participating cities achieved the following:
- Through the best practices selection methodology that SoftResources provided the Alliance and all six participating cities successfully identified permit systems that supported the individual needs of the cities and would interface to MBP.com. Two systems were selected based on the population size of the cities.
- SoftResources assisted with the contract review and negotiations and these cities were able to achieve contracts that would provide protections and savings through the implementation costs and the life of the software.
- The Alliance, who facilitated the project, was able to find a vendor partner where they could use the service and sell to other interested cities. Also, because of the inter-local agreement in place other interested cities were able to utilize the results of the RFP process and take advantage of the same terms negotiated with the final selected vendors.
- Interaction between participating cities allowed for sharing of gained experience from each other and sharing of ideas for approaches and philosophies for land and asset management, ideas for improving on business processes and taking advantage of best practices.
- Shared knowledge and lessons learned by cities who have implemented the permit systems.
- Because multiple jurisdictions chose the same vendor, cost savings (similar processes, timing, etc.) and discounts were achieved.
Case Study 3
Multi-National NGO Successfully Selects New ERP Financial Management Software
SoftResources was engaged by a large humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) to prepare a business case and conduct a selection project for a global ERP financial system. This organization is one of the leading humanitarian NGO’s in the world – dedicated to fighting poverty and social injustice. With over 9,000 employees worldwide (2,000 named users) throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Asia, they assist more than 122 million people in 84 countries through support of more than 1,000 humanitarian projects annually.
The financial management system had become outdated and required significant manual effort for reporting and grants management. With increasing competition for grants and donations and more specific compliance regulations from donors/grantors and governments, the organization’s systems were not meeting their financial reporting needs. Many of their field operations were in remote locations with little IT connectivity. This made for a challenging selection project to find a system that would provide real-time performance information for project tracking and grant management.
With an aggressive timeline to complete the project, SoftResources got right to work using our proven software methodology to assess their systems and prepare for the vendor analysis. SoftResources conducted requirements interviews (both on-site and via conference phone - sometimes on calls in the middle of the night US time) with 99 key system users in the United States and overseas in many countries. We then had the information necessary to establish the key requirements for the Business Case and selection project. Unique requirements included remote access issues, multi-lingual, multi-currency, and grant management requirements.
During the analysis, SoftResources uncovered broken processes and made recommendations that could be implemented with a new system to improve operations. This information was presented in the Business Case to the executive team. The report included an assessment of risk, best practice recommendations, cost estimates, and other information the client needed to prepare for the implementation of a new financial system.
SoftResources then conducted analysis of software vendor solutions and determined a recommended short list of three vendors. SoftResources developed a software demonstration script and facilitated on-site software demonstrations with the short list vendors. The demos were held in the US with client personnel flying in from all around the world to participate in the demo’s and make a unified vendor evaluation.
After the demos, SoftResources guided the client through due diligence and final decision activities, enabling them to get the data necessary to make a final decision. Because the client selected a Tier 1 ERP solution, SoftResources conducted an implementation partner selection, enabling the client to select an implementation partner that had the right experience with both the software selected and implementation with NGO organizations. Finally, SoftResources provided contract review and negotiation services to ensure the client had a contract that would protect their investment.
The client was able to bring the organization together for the selection of both a qualified software solution and implementation partner in a rapid timeframe of just 5 months.
Case Study 4
Food Manufacturer Selects ERP Software System
Harry’s Fresh Foods, a Northwest manufacturer and distributor of fresh, wholesome prepared foods needed a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. They chose SoftResources LLC, an unbiased software selection consulting firm, to help them select with the project. Founded in 1978 Harry’s Fresh Foods, of Portland Oregon, manufactures and distributes fresh, ready-to-eat foods including soups, chilies, stews, sides, entrees, sauces, gravies, and desserts for the retail and food-service industries.
Harry’s Fresh Foods had outgrown their ERP software application. They desired a new system that would improve their manufacturing planning process and keep pace with 30% annual growth rate. Harry’s Fresh Foods wanted to do a thorough search of the many products in the marketplace to find the right solution at an economical price. As a company they recognized their limitations to dedicate the time and personnel necessary to accomplish the job.
Modules in scope: General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Purchase Order, Sales Order Entry, Inventory, Production Planning, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Reporting.
Harry’s Fresh Foods engaged SoftResources to conduct an ERP software selection project. SoftResources provided the following services; 1) identified Harry’s key requirements, 2) using the key requirements or “differentiating criteria” performed a thorough search of ERP software narrowing the options to four vendors who were the closest match, 3) assisted Harry’s Fresh Foods’ project team with the development of a Demo Script used to evaluate and compare the four vendors, and 4) advised the project team through the vendor demos and the final decision process.
Harry’s Fresh Foods was able to chose an ERP software package that was the right fit for their unique processes in a fraction of the time it would have taken them to do it on their own. The project was delivered on time and within budget.
“I’ve used SoftResources for two of the three ERP searches that I have conducted. I have found their methodologies to be efficient and to the point. They know how to quickly narrow down requirements into the key differentiating criteria that matter. Their reputation in the industry fosters quick and accurate communication with ERP vendors. As a result, they can conduct thorough research in a fraction of the time it takes other firms. Combine that with their singular focus on ERP searches and you get the most efficient, thorough and independent software searches that I have found. It’s a great model, I would use them again!” – Brad Paris, Director of Supply Chain and Finance, Harry’s Fresh Foods
Case Study 5
County Selects ERP Financial Management System
Mesa County: Software Selection and Contract Negotiations for an Integrated Financial Management System
Mesa County is located in Western Colorado and is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. with the population expected to double over the next 20 years.
Mesa County needed a new integrated ERP financial management system. It was important that the selection process be fair and result in the best solution to meet their needs. Although the County desired to do a lot of the work in-house, they wanted an expert to assist in defining their functional requirements, finalizing their RFP, and providing guidance throughout the software selection process.
Modules in scope: General Ledger, Grant/Project Accounting, Budget, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable & Invoicing, Cash Receipting, Requisitioning and Purchasing, and Fixed Assets
Although Mesa County had already compiled a list of detailed requirements, they wanted them tailored to their environment. SoftResources conducted requirements interviews with system users, IT, and senior management and used this information to identify key requirements unique to the County. These differentiating requirements became the foundation of the County’s RFP for an integrated ERP financial management system. SoftResources was able to streamline the RFP based on our experience doing software evaluations and selections with other government clients. We also identified a long list of software vendors for the County.
The response rate to the RFP was excellent. The County conducted the initial review of the responses and selected a short list of vendors to continue due diligence with. SoftResources was asked to review the short list to see if there were any areas of concern. SoftResources developed a customized demo script for the County, facilitated the demos and provided guidance throughout the evaluation process. We advised the County through the final due diligence process and assisted with contract negotiations.
Mesa County was able to conduct an effective software evaluation and selection process including development of a focused RFP that protected their interests, garnered a significant vendor response, and enabled them to obtain the information necessary to make an informed decision. They were able to make an ERP vendor decision with high confidence that it was a good choice for the county, and negotiate a contract that was fair to all parties and protected Mesa County for the life of the software.
“The response rate to the RFP was excellent. The County conducted the initial review of the responses and determined a short list of vendors to continue due diligence with. SoftResources developed a customized demo script for the County, facilitated the demos and provided guidance throughout the evaluation process.”