Even the best information systems come to an end of their life cycle at some point. This was the case with Haminan Energia, whose old financial administration and payroll processing systems no longer met today’s requirements and failed to provide sufficient information to support business decisions.
‘The usability of Haminan Energia’s financial systems did not meet today’s requirements. They were not easy to maintain, which posed challenges,’ says Arto Sopanen, the manager of the project from Project Business Oy Finland. ‘The purpose of the upgrade was to ensure that the company’s financial and human resources data remain in order and up-to-date.’
Haminan Energia decided to introduce Microsoft Dynamics AX and Mepco HRM. Microsoft Dynamics AX was introduced in March, and the HR solution will be introduced in January.
Careful preparation is key
One of the most significant benefits of the upgrade was the decrease in manual work, which saves the employees’ time. The new systems also reduce the need of paper work.
‘The new systems facilitate the everyday work of the employees,’ explains Sopanen. ‘But not necessarily right from the beginning though, as it takes a little time to learn the new tools and methods,’ he continues.
Even though new systems will pay themselves back over time, such an extensive implementation project is always a significant investment for a company. That is why it should be planned carefully. Thorough preparation is key to successful implementation.
‘When acquiring a new system, it is important to prepare well, i.e. to analyse the needs in the various business operations within a company’, explains Sopanen, who has over 15 years of experience working in ICT projects. ‘You should also carefully consider the various selection criteria for the overall solution, and decide which features are the most important.’
Select your supplier carefully
Naturally, the choice of supplier is also significant for the success of the project.
‘For instance, the Dynamics AX solution can be used for financial management tasks in many different ways’, says Sopanen. ‘If the supplier does not have sufficient expertise regarding how to best apply the system to the needs of a specific company and industry, the objectives of the project may not be met.’
‘We considered the selection of the supplier as one of the most critical tasks in this project,’ continues Sopanen. ‘We wanted to find a supplier who thoroughly understands the opportunities offered by the solution it delivers, and also understands the customer’s needs. This time we succeeded better than expected, at least from a project manager’s perspective.’
It pays off to analyse appropriately
The suitability analysis carried out before the actual co-operation started was the most praised part of the project. ‘During the suitability analysis, which lasted 1–2 months, the suitability of the system for the needs of Haminan Energia was thoroughly investigated with the supplier,’ explains Sopanen. ‘We learned a lot and found common ground during that stage.’
A suitability analysis benefits both parties. During that stage the customer will get factual information about how the system will be applied to meet their needs. The supplier will get a better understanding of the kind of project it is committing to if the client decides to select them as a partner.
‘It is very important to carry out an analysis of this kind before acquiring a system in order to manage risks,’ says Sopanen. ‘Without such an analysis, the objectives and deadlines are often based on insufficient information, which may lead to the project deadline being too tight. This may compromise quality, even when the planned budget and schedule are met.’
Flexibility is valued
Surprisingly, size may matter in the selection of a supplier. ‘Mepco turned out to be the right size supplier that was willing to adapt to changes during the project,’ says Sopanen. ‘Some unexpected issues and changes will occur in all projects. When this happened, Mepco managed to find the correct solutions in a flexible manner. The client valued this tremendously.’
For further information, contact:
Accountor Enterprise Solutions: Hannu Lyytikkä, sales manager, at +358 40 387 0480 or hannu.lyytikka(a)accountorhr.fi
Haminan Energia: Pekka Raukko, Deputy Managing Director, at +358 40 592 6024 or pekka.raukko(a)haminanenergia.fi
Accountor Enterprise Solutions was founded in January 2017 when Mepco Oy divided into two new companies.