The management team at Phoenix have a strong engineering heritage, combining backgrounds in manufacturing, large scale project management and software development. They developed a unique approach for estimating and tracking the work involved in large projects to build complex industrial plant. It is their key competitive differentiator, and they guard the details of this approach very carefully.
Thinkers first helped Phoenix with a project to adopt a powerful encryption technology to help them keep their trade secrets secret. Through this project, Phoenix learned that Thinkers could both challenge the business constructively and make them think, and could be trusted with sensitive commercial information.
To enable them to grow rapidly, Phoenix wanted to choose and adopt a new core software system to run their expanding business, commonly known as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Many ERP systems have construction industry modules, but Phoenix needed confidence that the selection process would be detailed enough to ensure that the system that would not just support the industry norm used by all their competitors, but would support their unique approach. They also needed confidence that the sensitive information that would be used in the decision making process would be carefully guarded. So Phoenix engaged Thinkers to run the ERP vendor selection process.
Phoenix were adamant that the net should be cast as wide as possible, rather than just evaluating “well-known” ERP systems. We worked closely with Phoenix to develop the insight necessary to rule vendors in or out at the early stages. We then created an unconventional RFI which, rather than asking dozens or hundreds of questions, focussed on the key differentiating issues. Six vendors were selected for final workshops.
Thinkers designed detailed workshop agendas that ensured that each vendor tackled the same topics, ensuring that Phoenix were able to compare like-with-like. We briefed the vendors and helped them prepare for the workshops so that they were very time-efficient. This enabled Phoenix to send all the key decision makers to these intensive workshops, which were conducted in Edmonton, Canada,
Two leading contenders were chosen, and Thinkers brokered the negotiations which led to a final choice and contract.
The project started on 18 April, and the vendor workshops were concluded during July, which is a very short timespan for tackling a selection of such importance and intensity.