Case Study: How we help a global MNC company improve its’ efficiency


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Productivity.

Managers always crack their heads on how to increase productivity and efficiency of the employees.

Bosses and business owners know that ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is one of the best solution to this problem. Yet many are still skeptical and aren’t very willing to spend that kind of money.

Well, we thought it would be a good idea to conduct an interview and do a case study on one of our client, to share with you how an ERP software has positive effects on his company.

This January, we were contacted by a global MNC company:

Email conversation with Life Tech

Let’s name it “Company T”.

Company T is a global MNC in the life science industry. They have numerous operations worldwide, notably in the U.S and Europe. They also have a presence in Singapore, focusing on providing analytical and laboratory products and services.

Like many companies, Company T was interested in optimizing their manpower management.

Company T operates in a project basis. A single project could have many people working on it.  What makes things worse is that, there could be many projects running concurrently. Which will be quite a headache as they need to make sure projects have to be completed within deadline and also, not to overworked their employees.

Before they found us they were using a one-size-fit-all enterprise solution (from SAP) and also……Excel!!!

Here are some screenshots of their Excels.

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LT5

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Its looks like a nightmare.

The guy who came up with this Excel is also the same person whom we liaised with throughout the whole project. Let’s call him WX.

We don’t know if we’re more impressed with his Excel skills or the fact that he probably spent countless nights to come up with the Excel. (These 4 screenshots were just a mere 10% of the full Excel!)

WX was interested in getting a customized Web Application. Although operations are working out fine with Excel, there are many blind spots he could not “see” with Excel.

So we met WX to understand more about the project and how we could help solve Company T’s problem.

He was confident in what we could do and proceed on with the project with us.

Here’s a glimpse of the new ERP we had developed for Company T.

ERP - Dashboard
ERP – Dashboard

Definitely looks cleaner and slicker than Excel. (Will be showing you more screenshots of the new ERP later in the article.)

This is probably one of the smoothest project we ever undertake, WX was very quick and concrete on his feedbacks which contributed to the success of the project.

We asked WX if it would be okay to have an interview session with him, and he was very cool about it. Here’s a short interview with him:

Web Imp: What is the problem you face in your previous workflow that makes you decide to look for a tech company?

WX: We undertake a lot of projects in our department. Our department primary role is to develop instruments for life science diagnostic and research. Why we want this solution is because, when we take up projects, they do not come sequential and sometimes there are an overlap in the projects. It So we want to manage our projects in such a way that we have a feel of what is our manpower loading across projects. Because when we have 6 or 7 projects running concurrently, it will be very messy to manage via Excel,  and we want to know what is our loading in terms of manpower across these projects.

Another thing is, the department operates on a budget. We get funding by doing development projects for other departments within the same company. Sort of like, our internal customer. We will give them a quotation, how much it cost to develop this project, in terms of manpower cost, operation cost. Once a project is committed, we will receive the money. These money will be used to develop the project, and also to sustain the department in terms of salary wise. So when all the funding and expenses added up, we will know if the department is sustainable in this current year.

We also want to keep track of our spending, so we do not overspend our budget. And we want to plan our finances for next year, given all the projected projects.  For MNC like us, we need to plan ahead so we will know how much projected funding we will be getting next year.

This is the reason why we wanted a new ERP solution.

The existing enterprise solution is from SAP, errr…powerful, but not customized. We need it to be highly customized to suit our requirements.

What I feel about the SAP solution is, it is a one-size-fit-all. SAP have a general product, and you have to adapt to that solution. However if you look at operations, there is manufacturing, quality assurance, development, etc. Every cost and spending is different. This creates a lot of inefficiency and makes it difficult in tracking the things we want to see.

You can’t have a one-size-fit-all solution to run a department.

The other issue is, we still need to use some part of the SAP. So the new ERP needs to work with the current SAP solution. Which is why we need a customised ERP, so when we pull out data from SAP, it can fit it into the new ERP.

This is the reason why we’re looking for a company to develop this new ERP.

I saw your portfolio that you have done customised solution, which is what we wanted. I met a few companies, most of them claimed that they are customized, but in actual fact, they just have a system that is modular, but not fully customised.

We also wanted a solution that I’m able to access anytime and anywhere, a cloud based ERP. So it doesn’t limit our use to only when we’re in the office.

ERP Manpower Management
ERP Manpower Management

Web Imp: How many vendors did you speak to regarding this? And how did you end up choosing us?

WX: I speak to a total of 3 companies, including Web Imp. Because I know what I needed and required in this new ERP. I’ve talked to 3 different companies and explained to them the whole process flow.

One of the company, came down and show me their solution, what it can do, etc. But after 2 appointments, they never gotten back to me, and died off. Haha.

The other company did a brief mock up and presented to me. It’s functional, but what was lacking was an intuitive UI (User Interface), which your side is strong at. You have usability, they don’t.

There was a few things I looked at before deciding which company will be doing my new ERP. When the second company presented their mock up, they basically replicated my Excel into an ERP. Because we also do R & D, so usability to us is very important. Even though the mock up works, but it has poor UI and usability.

I also assessed the company based on the conversations we had. When I talked to your side, I know that you fully understand my needs and requirements, and I was confident that you can develop my ERP.

You also guided me through what is going to happen throughout the whole development; workflows, designing wireframes, database structure, user acceptance testing, etc. From all these I was confident that you know what you’re talking about and will be able to do what I want.

I also saw the whiteboard animations in your website, which is quite cool, and I know that your company is serious in doing a business.

ERP Dashboard - Actual vs Projection
ERP Dashboard – Actual vs Projection

Web Imp: There are bound to have hiccups in all projects. In your perspective, what are some of the hiccups faced during the project? (BE FRANK) and how do you feel about the way we handled it?

WX: I think there were only a few minor hiccups during the initiate phase of the development. However, to me, I look at the overall timeline of the project. As long as the project is on track and within the timeline, I’m okay with it.

There were a few bugs here and there, and your side also fixed it, which was fine to us. That is just part and parcel of development.

ERP Project Managemen
ERP Project Management

Web Imp: What are the positive experience while working with us?

WX: I get to talk to your development team, which I think is great, because it allows me to straight away explain to them what I want in more details, and they understood my requirements. Because what I’m impressed is that, you guys do not do what we do. So your side will need to decipher what we do and my requirements which, frankly speaking, wasn’t easy if you’re not in my industry.

Your team has been very accommodative to make these changes.

ERP Dashboard - Income vs Expenses
ERP Dashboard – Income vs Expenses

Web Imp: If you were to summarize the working experience with Web Imp, what will it be?

WX: Good mix in team, people with the right technical knowledge, as well as refreshing ideas. You also provided me inputs which I never thought of. One word “Transparent”.


From this…

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To this!

ERP - Dashboard

 

We were very pleased with our team on what they had designed and developed. Special thanks Iffah (Design) and Lawrence (Development). Good jobs guys!

We hope you enjoyed the case study and interview as much as we did doing it – please leave your feedback in the comments below.

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