Our part-time CIO helped this flour milling and animal feed business in developing and implementing a technology transformation.
Marriages, a fifth and sixth-generation family-run business in Essex, specialises in flour milling and animal feed. Historically slow in adopting technology, the company primarily relied on manual processes and paper-based data analysis. With no dedicated IT staff, they depended on a small service provider for tactical IT support.
The board aimed to implement a new ERP system but faced challenges due to unclear requirements and poor supplier management. Recognising the need for skilled IT leadership, they sought to drive improvements and support through technology transformation. The directors and staff also desired enhanced IT support but lacked the expertise to evaluate service providers. Key goals included achieving a stable platform to support growth without increasing labor costs.
- Smoothly withdraw from the failed ERP project.
- Conduct a structured evaluation of requirements, product capabilities, and manage a tendering process with stakeholder involvement.
- Oversee the implementation of the selected ERP.
- Provide guidance on technology to enhance business efficiency and growth.
- Tender and select a more suitable managed service provider.
- Later, assist in recruiting an internal IT manager for operational management.
What the CIO Did
The CIO terminated the previous ERP contract without penalty and established a Steering Group with key stakeholders for requirement gathering. This led to a multi-stage tendering process, filtering suppliers to meet key requirements. The final selection involved detailed demonstrations from two suppliers, consistently referring to the agreed functional requirements.
ERP Implementation and Technology Transformation
Acting as the company’s representative, the associate maintained supplier accountability. They addressed emerging needs like reporting by sourcing external resources, ensuring project continuity.
Improved Operational Support and Management
After evaluating support and infrastructure management needs, the associate recommended suitable service providers. Following a brief tender process, a provider was chosen. Under the associate’s guidance, they conducted a complete audit, improved documentation standards, and established SLAs and regular service reviews.
Ongoing Advice, Opportunities, and Planning
The director leveraged the Steering Group and stakeholder meetings to identify process and technology transformation opportunities. These were incorporated into an improvement roadmap, with the associate managing the improvements and project budgets.
- Microsoft Dynamics Finance and Operations ERP fully implemented covering the full supply chain.
- The system and processes allow for substantial growth without increased headcount.
- Infrastructure upgrades to improve reliability and performance.
- Implemented new more economical leased lines for improved performance.
- Technology management is under control.
- Recruited the internal IT manager to manage operations ongoing.