March 25, 2021

Case Study: Fractional Leadership for a Manufacturing Company



Published on March 25, 2021 by Tracy Deuell

 

Untitled-3Problem

After multiple attempts to solve their IT issues with different vendors, an equity backed manufacturing company was referred to Solvaria to help turn around IT operations and service management structure. The company was struggling to gain traction on many fronts concerning technology, specifically upgrading their aging GP Dynamics environment which was having significant impacts on operations, as well as poor service quality and visibility in the IT service organization. Insufficient IT leadership and a lack of formalized procedures in place resulted in the organization having no vision of what IT should be providing from a services perspective. This translated into poor service quality to the internal customers and zero visibility for senior management on what IT actually cost. Even with fairly new and up-to-date core infrastructure, the company’s internal capability to effectively support the environment was inadequate. Solvaria was brought in to provide an objective, unvarnished assessment and serve as experts who could lead the improvement efforts.

 

"Even with fairly new and up-to-date core infrastructure, the company’s internal capability to effectively support the environment was inadequate."

 

Untitled-3Strategy

Solvaria identified two distinct problems that needed to be solved through separate, but integrated efforts. First, the company needed to select and align with a GP Dynamics (ERP) partner that could complete a major upgrade of their ERP platform and processes. Second, they required a dedicate leader to drive improvements in the IT team itself and create an effective strategy for the IT operations. We recommended a dedicated consultant from Solvaria to lead the GP Vendor Selection/Project scope, and another to lead the IT operations turnaround effort. The company felt this was the correct and most pragmatic approach as there was a significant amount of work to be done, requiring different areas of focus.

Our consulting lead knew the GP Vendor Selection/Project had direct impact across all manufacturing processes, so they helped guide and prioritize which processes were to be addressed in the upgrade plan. They made sure to work closely with the executive team and each operations group to map out requirements and facilitate the appropriate conversations for a consensus. Our IT operations lead then performed a deep dive assessment on the specific infrastructure, IT managed services, and staffing needs for the company. With this information, developed an IT strategy roadmap that included a process to:

  • Identify and review vendor billing
  • Implementation of a ticketing system and
  • Realignment of staff for more effective service delivery

Solvaria’s IT operations lead was then hired by the client to remain on as a fractional CIO to oversee implementation of the roadmap over the course of the next year.

 

Untitled-3Results 

By implementing basic change management processes, Solvaria was able to improve the company's business processes and help them build a strong foundation of IT service management best practices. Senior management now has increased visibility and understanding of IT costs and needs, which creates accountability in the business to provide requirements and allows IT to prioritize work based on business impact. With the new ticketing system implementation, the company is now also able to gain visibility into volume and quality metrics that did not previously exist. The GP vendor selection resulted in a trusted partner that achieved the company’s upgrade goals and took over their overall support. With these changes, the company’s new IT Director was able to be trained to carry forward the further development of the IT roadmap.

Overall, the company received tremendous value from the level, diversity, and experience of leadership that Solvaria was able to bring and the improvement results delivered.

 

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