Wiser Technology Advice Blog
- CASE STUDY GARON PLASTICS ERP
Case Study: Garon Plastics ERP
In April 2021 Wiser Technology Advice was engaged to provide advice to Garon Plastics, to clarify needs for a suitable enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for the business as it expanded and matured.
We provided Garon Plastics with guidance for the entire technology procurement journey, from project inception right through to implementation of the new ERP system. Garon Plastics is a manufacturing business located in Edwardstown, South Australia, which provides customised plastic injection moulding for a wide range of clients, from small-batch jobs to high-volume production.
This family business started from small beginnings in the rear of an Adelaide residential property with one machine and only handful of employees. Garon Plastics is now a trusted plastic injection moulding company in the Australian manufacturing industry, producing award-winning plastic components which are exported and used around the world.
The technology procurement journey
The world of information technology can be complex and overwhelming. Procurement of information technology is a journey that needs wise advice to be navigated safely.
At Wiser Technology Advice we guide you through the journey by following these stages of procurement of software systems:
1. Requirements analysis
Our consultant facilitates one or more workshops and documents your requirements, with diagrams that clearly illustrate current and proposed processes, data flows and system architectures. Understanding the requirements gives clarity on whether a new software system is needed, and if so, what type of system and what is required of the software.
2. Vendor selection
Wiser Technology Advice is your liaison with vendors, managing the process of selecting software that meets your needs, comparing vendor experience and service and comparing the total cost of ownership of each alternative.
3. Project governance
You work closely with the vendor to ensure the implementation is achieved in a timely fashion and your data is correctly migrated into the new system. We provide ongoing advice through membership in a project steering committee to ensure good governance of the implementation project.
4. Acceptance testing
Wiser Technology Advice is your liaison with the vendor to conduct acceptance testing. Does the software implemented by the vendor meet the requirements they said it would fulfil in their tender response? A well-run user acceptance testing phase give you the confidence that issues have been addressed before going live with the new software.
The problem facing Garon Plastics
With intentions to grow the business but still retain the ability to provide flexibility and support to customers, no matter the size of the project, Garon Plastics current systems and processes were inadequate to its needs.
Whilst the injection moulding machines are highly automated and were linked to a manufacturing execution system, the business relied on manual processes for stock control, printed standard operating procedure instructions for manufacturing and hand-written notes about production runs.
In 2021 Garon Plastics gained approved funding through the Australian government Entrepreneurs Programme and sought the services of a consultant, to ensure the requirements for an ERP system were clearly understood and specified prior to selection of a software system.
How Wiser Technology Advice helped
1. Understanding the requirements
We started our engagement with Garon Plastics by conducting requirements gathering workshops in May 2021. These workshops were attended by management and operational staff, to gain agreement at all levels on what would be needed from new software to run the operations of the business.
The outcome of the workshops was a business requirements document that included diagrams of the current and proposed data flows, business processes and system architecture. This document also listed the issues and risks that the business wanted to tackle, encompassing ordering, purchasing, inventory management, production, sales and financial control.
2. Selecting a software vendor
Once the requirements document had been reviewed and finalised, the next step was to approach selected software vendors on behalf of Garon Plastics. We prepared a request for proposal document providing information vendors needed to understand the needs of Garon Plastics, without sharing internally confidential information.
We approached five selected vendors in August 2021, providing each vendor with a template to respond with their proposals in a standard format. Vendor responses were compared on the basis of how well the requirements would be met, vendor experience, industry reputation, support level agreements, project management and total cost of ownership (upfront and ongoing costs) over 5 years.
The outcome of the vendor response comparison was a report we prepared for consideration of the Garon Plastics board, which detailed the comparison of vendor proposals and included recommendations on the preferred vendor and implementation project management.
In March 2022 Pronto Software was selected as the software vendor, to implement ERP system Pronto Xi and its integrated Business Intelligence reporting.
The implementation project commenced in August 2022.
3. Project governance
Garon Plastics engaged our services to provide ongoing support during the implementation project. This included attendance at monthly project steering committee meetings and provision of ad-hoc advice to the project team during the implementation project.
Engaging the services of an independent expert provided a sounding board for Garon Plastics when questions arose, and confidence that the project was well governed throughout..
4. User acceptance testing
When the project reached the stage of training end users in its use we prepared user acceptance test materials, providing test scenarios which simulated every-day use of the system for Garon Plastics, aligned to the business process maps from the requirements document. Our test scenarios were used in conjunction with Pronto Software’s user acceptance test scripts.
The staff of Garon Plastics and Pronto Software consultants both reported that our test scenarios were very helpful in engaging the end users. Having our services for user acceptance testing gave Garon Plastics and Pronto Software confidence that the software met the needs of Garon Plastics and that users understood the system and were ready to proceed with go-live in August 2023.
In Brian’s own words
We asked Brian Scheel, Operations Manager at Garon Plastics, to provide us with feedback. Here’s how he responded:
“We were facing significant challenges with our outdated systems and processes at Garon Plastics, hindering our growth potential.
Sonya from Wiser Technology was an absolute game-changer for us. She led us through the entire process of selecting and implementing a new ERP system seamlessly.
Sonya's meticulous requirements analysis ensured that our needs were crystal clear, and her vendor selection expertise helped us choose Pronto Software, which has been a perfect fit for our operations. Her user acceptance testing materials were spot-on, making the transition smoother than we could have imagined.
What I appreciated most about Sonya was her unwavering commitment to project governance. She was our trusted advisor, providing valuable insights and ensuring everything ran smoothly.
I wholeheartedly recommend Sonya and Wiser Technology to anyone looking for top-notch IT advisory services. Thanks to her, Garon Plastics is on a path to even greater success.”
Download a copy of the case study here: Garon Plastics case study.