What situation made the client reach out to you? Or why was the client referred to you?
Our client was using an outdated accounting system which was modular and didn’t integrate very well.It had been customised to meet the client’s needs, however the client had outgrown the software and it wasn’t producing the kind of reporting they needed to achieve full transparency for their business.
Our client was aware that mta optima has significant experience and expertise with Business IT Systems and requested our opinion on their best road forward.
What trouble or pain was the client/client’s organisation dealing with?
Double entry of data
Non reliance could be placed on reporting
Systems that didn’t integrate
Reliance on spreadsheets with associated errors
Customised systems that couldn’t be upgraded
System wasn’t user friendly
Loss of user knowledge when key personnel moved on
Only one IT provider in town that could provide support
Couldn’t drill down on transactions to get a full picture of the transaction detail after it had been posted.
How did the client feel about the situation?
Felt like they didn’t know the full picture of the financial side of the business
Felt like things were all over the shop
Time consuming and unwieldy
Couldn’t find out any timely information
How did you begin working for the client?
Once the clients frustrations had been noted, mta optima scoped out an engagement to help the client to migrate to a fully integrated system that would support their business processes and enable them to grow and flourish.
What assessments and/or tools were used to provide solutions?
Document the business requirements of the proposed new software which provided clarity on the following:
Needs of stakeholders
Set and managed expectations about what will and what will not be delivered
Help the business understand and articulate what they are looking for and provide a framework for them to make an informed purchase decision
Help manage the scope of an internal IT development or external purchase
Provide a mechanism to communicate to a technology service provider what the solution needed to do to satisfy the business needs
Enable different products to be compared when buying off the shelf solutions
Inform cost and product pricing decisions
Provide a basis for testing the functionality of the available products.
Spoke with other businesses in the industry and found out what they used and their experiences in using the systems they did
Researched products that matched the business requirements and put together a matrix of specifications that matched identified needs
Organised demonstrations with all providers that matched the specifications
Requested quotes from the selected providers
Negotiated the best price and implementation service with the top three providers, then recommended most functional and cost effective solution to the client
Once the client was happy with a provider, we negotiated a contract for implementation and supported the client through this process
What was the client’s initial reaction to the early results?
The client was excited by the number of products that had been identified that could meet the full list of business requirements.One of these products if implemented correctly and used correctly could meet the businesses every need – both now and in the future.
How did this process improve the client’s business operationally and/or financially?
Once the new system had been fully implemented there was of course the initial frustration of learning to use a new system and getting all staff trained on the new system and different systems and processes.However within several months of operation, the client could see the benefits.With a fully integrated system the client could see what was happening in the warehouse, assess the packing and procurement, manage customers’ needs and suppliers from the one location.The new system provided clarity, increased efficiencies, made jobs simpler, allowed staff to concentrate on growing the business rather than just data entry.
The return on investment didn’t happen overnight, however with less staff needed for data entry and with more transparency around the operations and finances of the business it became a lot easier to make fully informed/better decisions and the software package paid for itself over two years.
Comments from the client’s perspective re overall experience?
To have a full day concentrating on software demonstrations and meet and greets with software providers, this ensured the process was fast and not drawn out.Also, not having to negotiate price and contacts with the final choice of software provider made things easy for them – they could concentrate on doing what they did best whilst MTA Accounting dealt with the details.
Where is the company today because of this process?
The company now has a fully integrated system which is upgraded with new functionality all the time and has fantastic support.They have gone from one end of the spectrum to the other and are very satisfied with the results.