Balancing multiple best of breed (BoB) systems with a non-compatible enterprise resource planning (ERP) system was inhibiting a midsize Midwestern city from using real-time financials to best inform operating functions. The community required a new ERP system that would integrate with its existing BoB systems for human resources, parks and recreation, and fleet functions. In addition to reducing data entry redundancy, the city also needed increased real-time reporting abilities so department directors and program managers could better manage financials and identify future budget needs.
Baker Tilly’s state and local government specialists assisted the city in selecting a new ERP system through project planning support, best practice advice and insight into industry norms throughout the vendor selection process. Through an onsite needs assessment, our dedicated team worked with the community to document more than 5,000 functional requirements for the ERP system. We incorporated these requirements into the requests for proposal (RFP) to ensure vendor responses would focus on the city’s priorities — from detailed reporting and interface needs to community-specific concerns and functional needs. The experienced professionals at Baker Tilly also infused requirements validation questions into the ERP vendor demonstrations and client reference checks.
Through Baker Tilly-scheduled client reference conversations and system demonstrations coupled with lab sessions where employees got to test-drive functionality and workflow capabilities, the city assessed the prospective vendors’ full range of functionality, usability and customer service. Another decision point was the “total cost of ownership” analysis prepared by Baker Tilly, which projected the community’s five-year costs related to implementation, staffing and maintenance. The city selected a new ERP system that integrated with its existing department-specific BoB systems and offered the real-time reporting capabilities essential for its financial and budgetary management.
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