Ability Information Technology

For all your ERP implementation and Project Management requirements

Ability Information Technology
6 Coghill Street
VIC 3730
Ph: (03) 5744 2271
Mbl:(0468) 647179

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The prime purpose of consultancy support is to provide an extension to the client's management team, in the form of time, experience and expertise.

The activities and tasks included in a typical project plan fall into four main phases:

1. Business Review
2. Specification of Requirements
3. System Selection
4. Implementation

Significant benefits arise from the use of consultancy support in all four phases.

Business Review
Prior to the Specification and Selection of a computer system the company must review its current methods and procedures, to establish where systems can be most beneficial. In many cases the implementation of a new computer system is an appropriate time to dispense with outdated, inefficient procedures that may have developed over many years.

This internal review, takes a clinical look at all methods and procedures, and is normally followed by a series of recommendations for streamlining and/or changing.

The method employed to conduct a business review by AIT is as follows:

  • Structured meeting with; Directors/Managers, Departmental Heads, Key Users
  • Define the current flow of data
  • Examine departmental and interdepartmental communication
  • Examine current procedures and methods
  • Produce a SWOT analysis of the current situation
  • Build a model of new or revised procedures

Once the “old map” has been analysed and understood, a “new map” can be formulated, hence setting the direction and objectives of the computer system.

Specification of Requirements
The next generation of computer systems in your organisation will be required to play a major role in achieving the company’s business objectives. It must provide users with the appropriate system functionality to support the business procedures, both at a departmental and individual level. It is therefore essential that the Specification of Requirements is:

  • Comprehensive
  • Precise
  • Unambiguous
  • Reflects current and future requirements

The Specification will be based upon interviews with directors, managers and key users, together with our observation of methods and procedures employed in your company. In addition, our experience and involvement with many other similar projects allows us to enhance users’ stated requirements with our own suggestions, since it is inevitable that these requirements may be restricted by their lack of knowledge of systems outside their organisation.

The principle benefits of the involvement of external support in the preparation of the Specification are likely to be:

  • The importance of the project is raised in the eyes of the user
  • There is less risk of ‘assumption’ of knowledge on the part of the user, which can be the case if the exercise is conducted by your own management team
  • The requirements are interpreted and expressed in terms recognised by the computer industry, ensuring a higher quality of tender response
  • User stated requirements are enhanced and supplemented by our knowledge of current “best practice” and technology
  • Omissions and duplications are less likely than if the Specification is produced “in-house”
  • The document can be produced in a shorter timescale
  • The Specification is incorporated into a formal Request For Proposal (RFP). The RFP is constructed to enable a methodical evaluation of responses and proposals from suppliers and an objective analysis of the options available

System selection
Suppliers’ resources to an Invitation to Tender are, by their very nature, ‘Selling’ exercises.

The supplier’s objective is to ‘maximise the positive’ and 'minimise the negative’ aspects of their solution. The role of the consultant in this phase of the project is as follows:

  • Evaluate and analyse responses
  • Recommend shortlist
  • Assist in identification of preferred supplier

The principle benefits of using the services of external specialists are as follows:
The format of the Specification of Requirements and Request For Proposal allow the evaluation exercise to be both QUANTITATIVE and QUALITATIVE

Well planned and managed demonstrations and user reference visits will further assist in the objective qualification and selection process

As consultants, AIT are experienced in the methods employed by system suppliers in conducting demonstrations of their products

Our experience allows us to ensure that the user is provided with a balanced view, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses of the suppliers’ offerings

Our knowledge of the computer industry also allows us to research beyond the information submitted by the supplier. This is particularly relevant in evaluating the future viability of a potential supplier, and his ability to provide on-going support and services to the client

Standard contracts for the supply of computer systems usually favour the supplier. Our collective experience and qualifications in this field allows us to negotiate on your behalf a contract which is even handed, yet protective to you, the client

The benefits of carefully specified and selected computer systems can only be achieved when these systems are fully implemented. This requires careful planning and appropriate training for all system users.

Our experience of many system implementation projects has shown that the planning process identifies the potential problem areas and resource demands which are often the cause of inadequate and incomplete implementations. Professional support in this area maximises the benefits which can be gained from your investment, and helps to achieve an early pay back.

The Conference Room Pilot (CRP) provides the basis for the final contract, and is the first step towards a successful implementation. Whereas the earlier stages of System Selection include DEMONSTRATIONS and PRESENTATIONS by the short-listed suppliers, the CRP takes the form of a SIMULATION of your business run with the preferred system supplier.

This is usually undertaken in your conference room, where the supplier installs the proposed software on suitable hardware. Using examples of your data, the users will simulate your business procedures using the proposed software. Effective use of the Conference Room Pilot eliminates the requirement for parallel running.

This process allows the client to confirm the software modules required to support your business procedures, and serves to highlight any areas where modifications or bespoke work may be required, or in fact eliminated. This minimises the potential threat to the implementation plan and capital budget, by eliminating any potential surprises.

A Comprehensive Training Needs Assessment and training plan further enhances your investment in systems and people, and can assist in more effective deployment of skills when and where the need arises. Furthermore, we as consultants can assist you in securing grant aid which may be available to defer the cost of training schemes.