As a rapidly growing business, Larpen Metallurgical Service could no longer maintain their growth on their legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The company runs lean, but their employees were losing efficiency by having to spend far too much time on manual processes.
Larpen’s leadership wanted to build a robust technology system on which to grow the company and regain efficiency, but they also wanted to make sure they chose the best ERP solution for their business. For experienced help with the software vetting and selection process, they came to Wipfli.
Wipfli takes a very structured approach to helping clients choose the software best suited for their business. Preparation, of course, is key.
The first step was to send a detailed list of probing questions out to Larpen employees to understand their business, what their day-to-day looked like, how their work connected to other’s work in the organization and how they used technology. Then the Wipfli team built off those answers through two days of on-site workshops, where they dug deeper through a process-oriented discussion around Larpen’s critical value streams.
This allowed the team to capture Larpen’s full ERP technology requirements, and the result was a request for proposal (RFP) document that listed the elements important to the business — ranked high, medium and low. The RFP also contained narrative questions around higher-level business-critical processes, such as how the vendor’s ERP system could increase visibility around tracking incoming shipments, as well as streamline transactions.
Based on vendors’ answers to these questions — plus the information they gave around their product, its history, and the pricing and implementation costs — it was then time to determine which vendors fit Larpen’s needs the best. The Wipfli team assisted Larpen with grading the RFP responses and choosing three vendors to perform a demonstration.
To ensure Larpen got the most out of the demos, Wipfli put together a demo script for the three vendors to follow and a related scorecard for Larpen to fill out during the presentations. The script ensured the vendors presented a customized demo that covered what was important to Larpen instead of coming in to perform a very flashy yet standard demo.
After the demos, Wipfli led wrap-up meeting to talk about next steps, address open actions and outstanding items, and ensure Larpen leaders had all the information they needed to make their decision.
The most critical result of the software selection process was Larpen’s ability to feel confident in the solution they’ve chosen. They feel they have thoroughly vetted the ERP marketplace and identified the ERP system that will not only meet their needs but also allow them to continue growing.
Now they are gearing up for a technology implementation with both a solution and a provider they feel comfortable with, are excited to work with and know they’ll gain a beneficial and long-term return on investment from.
A family-run business founded in 1962, Larpen Metallurgical Service is a world-wide supplier of graphite and carbon additives to the foundry and steel industry.