Expert Interview Series: Bud Price, IT Director at Brown Strauss Steel

Bud Price is the IT Director at Brown Strauss, a distributor of structural steel — including everything from steel beams for houses to large buildings and bridges.

We decided it was time to make an update to our software because we were at a point where we were having trouble hiring people. We took a look at the amount of people out there with the skill set that we needed for our current ERP system, which was a homegrown system, and realized it was diminishing rapidly. Most people had retired, and we knew that in the next couple of years a lot more were going to be retiring. We saw that as a risk, and we also knew that it was a system that wasn't meeting a lot of the needs that we had.

The things that we were looking for in an ERP consultant included a company with a local presence, that wasn't so big that we would get lost in the shuffle. We also wanted a company that didn’t represent a specific ERP product or a shortlist of ERP products. ERP Advisors Group met all the criteria for us.

We knew ERP Advisors Group had done a lot of ERP implementations and were knowledgeable about what was available, who the leaders were in the industry, what decisions other companies were making and why. We relied heavily on EAG because of that.

ERP Advisors Group did an analysis and interviewed department heads and subject matter experts on an individual basis, going through every area of the company. It wasn't a huge process, but they were able to get down to the issues and score our company as a whole. EAG came up with some red flags that indicated we needed to move onto a new system. This was made very plain to us and was quite an eye-opening process. The method EAG followed, the documents they came out with and their presentation showed us the specific reasons why our company was at risk if we kept our current software.

We were grateful that ERP Advisors Group took the time to ask the right questions, learn about our business, and find out what our needs were. Nearly every person on our Executive Steering Committee had something different that they were hoping to get out of the new software. Some of those needs were easy, some of them were harder but ERP Advisors Group guided us to the point where the list was down to 3 that fit us well.

Once we had made our choice, ERP Advisors Group assisted us with the contracts and helped us manage the project with the implementation team. We made a conscious decision to work with EAG throughout each phase of the project and I think we're going to use them for the whole product lifecycle.

ERP Advisors Group helped us throughout their entire implementation process, they made it easy to understand, gave the presentations that we needed to see, asked the right questions, talked to the right people. EAG were excellent about giving their opinions and I'm confident we made the right decision with their help.

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