Independent ERP Software Evaluation and Process Mapping Leads to Successful Selection and Implementation
Industry: Manufacturing & Distribution
Services: Software Evaluation & Selection
Challenge: Foam Supplies, Inc. is the largest independent polyurethane systems supplier in the U.S., located in Earth City, MO. They own two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and five international offices and were utilizing an ERP system with more than 50 users globally.
In 2015, Foam Supplies replaced its existing character-based ERP system. They engaged an outside provider to customize the software to fit their process requirements and conduct the system implementation. Despite their need to track serialized tanks and lots for both outbound shipments and returns, there was no warehouse management capability that utilized barcodes, QR codes or RFID tags to automate the process. The client invested over $1.5 million in this effort and was extremely dissatisfied with the results. Ownership noted that it would have been preferable to stay on the older DOS system because the newer ERP system:
- Didn’t tie results together
- Didn’t automate accounting
- Contained no executive dashboards, so there was no added business insight
Solution: Foam Supplies met with three local IT providers. Each of them recommended the same ERP software solution; however, none of them were independent consultants. The manufacturing team at Foam Supplies requires specific functionality to accommodate specific needs of production, distribution and vessel management. No formal set of specifications were documented to determine if this software would satisfy the process requirements our client needed.
They engaged Brown Smith Wallace as an independent consultant to conduct an ERP software selection and process mapping project. Our Software Evaluation & Selection team worked with the client on a comprehensive approach to selecting a new ERP system, which included examining the organization and producing business process maps to fully document all business requirements. This discovery process promoted internal discussion and employee collaboration that helped overcome reluctance to change.
Our structured methodology helped the client select a software solution that worked for their process manufacturing environment, without major modification to their system. The newly selected ERP software will not only allow their organization to operate more efficiently, but at a much lower price than they were paying previously. The client appreciated our collaborative approach that helped satisfy all their requirements and guided them through a successful selection and forthcoming implementation.