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System Selection, Contract Negotiation, and Installation

    A 3-location distributor of custom-designed and manufactured building products, and commodity building products, was using an ERP system that had not been updated in many years. Rather than just obtain the vendor's latest software product, the owner wanted to find out what other systems might be cost-effective. He retained us to help define long-term needs for new software, solicit proposals from several vendors and select the most cost-effective new software.

    A large distributor of paper, packaging and janitorial/sanitary supplies wanted to get a new ERP computer system that supported such functions as integrated FAXing, e-Commerce, and warehouse management. But, the principals didn't know what features  to look for and which systems to examine. We helped them get the most cost-effective system for their specific needs. We sent them a checklist of potential features applicable to that industry; discussed their answers to the checklist; created a needs-definition; researched available systems and identified possible suitable ones; sent vendors the needs-definition and evaluated vendors responses; conducted scripted demos; modified the selected  vendor's contract by adding specific performance guarantees, and negotiated it; monitored installation.

    A two-plant contract metal stamper was examining three MRP systems, but didn't know how to select the most cost-effective one or how they were going to install the system -- none of the managers had the knowledge or time to do it. We thoroughly evaluated the candidates, and made the recommendation based on cost and intangible yet critical factors. And we amended and negotiated the contract with the system vendor. Then we actively participated in the installation: organizing installation teams; examining procedures and controls, and defining changes needed to accommodate the system; monitoring software modifications; determining the configuration for a shop floor data collection system; developing a plan to implement JIT principles (to increase plant efficiency and part quality)

    The president of a 25+ location distributor of plumbing, A/C and electrical supplies wanted to replace the old, batch-processing system, but didn't know whether to get one computer for the entire company, or one computer at each location. We conducted a feasibility/justification study, and recommended the arrangement to use. Then we sent them a checklist of potential features applicable to their industry; discussed their answers to the checklist; created a needs-definition; researched available systems and identified possible suitable ones; sent vendors the needs-definition and evaluated vendors responses; conducted scripted demos; modified the selected  vendor's contract and negotiated it; monitored installation.

    A multi-location Mexican distributor of paper and converter of paper into retail packs wanted to replace its ERP system, but wasn't sure if there was anything in Mexico that would meet their needs. We conducted a study that identified several potentially suitable systems.

   A multi-location distributor of wood and engineered materials wanted to interface a 3rd-party WMS to its ERP, but was concerned that an interface  would violate its contract. We studied the contract, and provided guidance on the propriety of the interface (which was made).

   A 3PL that provides frozen, refrigerated and dry storage wanted a WMS that could interface to their ERP, but did not know how to get the right system. We helped them get the most cost-effective system for their specific needs, which was not the system they initially favored. We sent them a checklist of potential features for a 3PL; discussed their answers to the checklist; created a needs-definition; researched available systems and identified possible suitable ones; sent vendors the needs-definition and evaluated vendors responses; conducted scripted demos; modified the selected  vendor's contract by adding specific performance guarantees, and negotiated it; and monitored installation.