Bespoke Solution for Unique Business Requirements
Company: Mesa Associates Inc.
Location: Headquartered in Madison, Alabama, with over 15 offices across the US.
Profile of Mesa Associates Inc: Full-service engineering, procurement and construction management firm; over 450 employees; over 30 years of experience.
Software: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, CEM add-ons for HR and Payroll, Creation of a 9/80 payroll system.Founded in 1988 in Madison, Alabama, Mesa Associates Inc. is a full-service engineering, procurement and construction management firm with multiple offices across the US, and a team of over 450 employees. The company is led by CEO and President Ranjana Savant, with daily operations and strategy managed by Executive Vice President Tim Cutshaw.As Mesa began to expand, the company pieced together an ERP system from numerous in-house, custom-built systems. With growth came bigger needs and challenges and Mesa understood that they had to move beyond their home-grown solutions to bring in a single integrated software solution for all their business needs.
Tim Cutshaw, Executive Vice President, and Greg Solomon, Director of IT, sat down with the IT department to evaluate the company’s options and brainstorm for a solution.
Among Mesa’s home-grown tools and software systems was a time-keeping system they chose to call ‘the intranet’ – which had been built out, piece by piece, to resemble a pseudo ERP system. However, there were multiple systems, databases, and silos of data across the company – incongruent systems that limited visibility about ongoing projects.
This situation resulted in several inefficient business processes. Mesa’s project managers also lacked a unified bird’s eye view into how their projects were performing. It was also difficult to provide stakeholders with real-time information on the projects, resources, and employees.
All this negatively impacted the company’s characteristically high degree of service excellence and integrity.
Finding an ERP solution that was flexible to meet Mesa’s unique client-driven requirements figured prominently in their software evaluation. “We wanted a customizable system to ensure that we weren’t forced to completely adapt to how the new software worked,” said Greg Solomon, Director of IT, Mesa Associates Inc.
Partnering with CEM Business Solutions was an important move step in the process. “Every business is unique, and CEM Business Solutions knew what Mesa needed. Mesa gave us the perfect HR and Payroll solution we have been looking for. CEM Business Solutions put a value-based solution in our hands that addressed all our requirements,” said Greg Solomon, Director of IT, Mesa Associates Inc.
The goals set by Mesa and CEM Business Solutions were:
Implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to manage Mesa’s finances, projects, clients, and resources in a single integrated system
Implementation of CEM add-ons for HR and Payroll to manage Mesa’s Payroll, projects, and employees in a single integrated system
Creation of a 9/80 payroll system to accommodate Mesa’s payroll schedule
Initially, Mesa’s Human Resources department found it difficult to move to AX, as their homegrown intranet system had been built exactly to their specifications. Extending the native Microsoft Dynamics AX capabilities to meet Mesa’s unique client-driven requirements was key in Mesa’s Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation. Since ‘off-the-shelf ’ AX solutions did not have all they needed, CEM chipped in with unique add-ons for HR and Payroll. CEM Business Solutions and Mesa’s management collaborated to create a new HR system in AX 2012, which met their specific needs as well as the previous system – while still being part of AX.
Mesa follows a 9/80 work schedule for all its workers. CEM Business Solutions worked with Mesa to customize the AX 2012 payroll to run a 9/80 payroll. Microsoft initially said that AX 2012 could not do 9/80 Payroll but CEM Business Solution took the challenge head on and successfully customized AX themselves, to run Mesa’s 9/80 payroll. CEM Business Solutions had the flexibility to customize the solution Mesa needed for the HR and Payroll module.
Mesa’s talented IT department and other teams were a valuable resource in facilitating this development. “Our team is used to customizing software to meet our unique needs,” said Greg Solomon, Director of IT, Mesa Associates Inc. “When you look at other ERP systems in the market, they’re not nearly as flexible as Microsoft Dynamics AX. Dynamics AX was in a league of its own in this regard,” added Solomon.
A number of training sessions were conducted and workflows were configured in AX to ensure a smooth transfer between the two systems. CEM Business Solutions’ consultants worked onsite multiple times with Mesa’s IT team to make the HR transition happen as planned.
Having all the modules in one software enhanced the business process of timesheet entry, and data flow to payroll. Timesheet and leave management were now connected to payroll, and the project costs posted were actual labor costs from payroll.
Initially, the Finance and HR Departments used to verify data from two different systems, which caused delays and errors. With Dynamics AX and CEM Business Solutions’ customization, Mesa has saved about 40 percent time and cut costs substantially.
“If I can describe CEM in three words, I would say they are committed, innovative, and executers,” said Greg Solomon, Director of IT, Mesa Associates Inc., “CEM Business Solutions is fully committed to what they do, with consultants readily available to troubleshoot any issues we face, at any time. CEM ensured that the processes were executed and delivered according to plan. After Mesa went live, CEM’s technical team resolved our problems quickly and efficiently,” he added.
Mesa is now live with the Human Resources and Payroll add-ons, and their payroll is running accurately with very minimal support.
50 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Suite 103 Montvale, NJ 07645