We all know that an ERP selection and implementation project is a about as large as a project can get. Costly, time-consuming, stressful, and burdensome are just a few of the adjectives often associated with this undertaking. On the other hand, a successful ERP implementation can be rewarding in many ways. It can bring organizational efficiencies, more accurate information, better decision-making, reduced operating costs and strong return on investment result when done well.
Hats off to Boise, Idaho for completing Vision 2020, a comprehensive and well-integrated ERP solution supporting finance, human resource, and procurement. A strong city team supported by Ciber implementation services completed implementation of Infor/Lawson technology late last year. The system is already beginning to provide excellent dividends.
One of the strongest motivations and a primary goal of a new ERP implementation is improving systems integration. Garry Beaty, CIO at the city of Boise, ID states, “I’ve always said I’d favor integration over functionality, the best-of-breed approach is interesting, but it’s hard to do right, as I think a lot of people have proven.” As Idaho’s largest city, government officials were looking to replace a costly and poorly integrated system with a seamless software approach. “The new system improves current business processes and enables better decision making citywide,” adds Beaty. “We will save money and have instituted operational improvements, which positions us for the future and ultimately improves services to our residents.”
Now that the implementation dust settles and the city’s departments are in alignment, Beaty said he is looking forward to rolling out some new initiatives externally. “I’d say the past focused on baseline systems, but now we want to turn our attention to the citizens,” he said. “This ERP implementation will last 10 or 15 years. We’ve changed things up internally, and now we want to focus outward.”
From the beginning, well before the formal procurement began, the Boise team focused on all the right elements. Change management, business process analysis and recalibration, training needs, and executive involvement provided the foundation for the Vision 2020 project. After forming a core team, the city invested in formal change management training, solicited lessons learned from other organizations, established a strong governance structure and secured executive commitment. Boise did it the right way, they will continue to reap and compound benefits as the return on investment grows. This achievement is as good as it gets.
For more information about this project, please visit: