Business Process Review
As an activity before implementation, a McLeod Business Process Review is designed to make sure our clients are going to use their trucking software investment to its full potential. The business process review is conducted by a senior McLeod consultant to identify business challenges in our customer’s current operation, and then leverage our experience to suggest the best way to deploy the functionality our products can deliver in support of those crucial business processes. Sometimes our customers will elect to make changes to their current business processes to take advantage of industry best practice process models built into our transportation management systems. For most customers, this discovery step will form the blueprint for how the McLeod solution is going to be configured and tailored to help them reach their business goals.
Customized Trucking Software Solutions
Some of our customers have unique needs or business practices that are not addressed by simple configuration work in their McLeod application software. If this is the case, we have a proven process to identify and deliver the most cost-effective solution for addressing those needs. First we establish and document the business requirements that define those unique customer system requirements. If the determination is made that the customer’s requirements will require special programming, McLeod will deliver an estimated cost for the customized software solution so each customer can make an informed business decision on whether to adjust the software or their business process.
The architecture of McLeod applications has been structured to allow us to keep any unique programming done for a customer separate from the underlying standard software package. This allows all of our customers with customization to continue to access regular system updates. It also means each McLeod customer with customization has an easier upgrade path to new versions of their software in the future, while allowing the customer to keep that investment in customization.
For both initial system installations and system upgrades, our customers may select McLeod to deliver all systems hardware, or purchase the hardware themselves based on our recommended specifications. Regardless of who purchases our customer’s hardware, McLeod’s Systems team can assist customers with the full life cycle of hardware system implementation, including hardware staging at our location, on site installation, and even setting up remote third party system hosting. Post implementation, McLeod provides ongoing hardware support for many of our customers that often includes:
Monthly Performance Analysis
Virus protection update verification
Disaster Recovery testing
Long Term Planning and 90 Day Review
One of the things we try and help our customers with during implementation is the development of a comprehensive technology strategy for making the most of their capital investment in a McLeod software solution. This often includes planning for hardware, software, networking and ongoing team training/education. For our larger customers, sometimes we need to dig in and help the customer’s IT team understand or plan the care and feeding of a McLeod system that has been implemented in a complex IT environment full of other enterprise systems.
For each project, the McLeod project manager will schedule and conduct a review and assessment meeting on site 30 days after that customer’s Go Live date. Another review is strongly recommended at three months post-Go Live to determine the follow-up training needed for each customer’s advanced LoadMaster and PowerBroker software features. At this time we also help our customer build their long term plan for expanding and growing their capabilities for using the McLeod software applications they have implemented.
Data Migration and Conversion
McLeod software has a robust set of tools, utilities, and templates to help our clients migrate the valuable data from their current systems into their new McLeod systems. We can perform this work on a turnkey basis, collaboratively with our customer, or we can coach/train the customer’s IT team on how to use our tools to accomplish this important task in systems implementation.
McLeod software offers our customers the most robust EDI offering in the trucking or brokerage industry. We have built a whole range of services around this product offering to help our customers succeed with EDI. We can go so far as implementing and executing the EDI management tasks our customers need, like setting up new customers, new VAN’s, new transactions, modifying existing transactions, and monitoring the status of transactions. We are happy to train, coach, and mentor our customer’s EDI team to learn and do it themselves. Our EDI team is experienced and knowledgeable about every aspect of EDI in the trucking and brokerage business, and they are ready to help in any way our customers need them to, for as long as we are needed.
Business Process Automation and Business Process Management
McLeod Software has the strongest suite of products in this industry to support business process management and automation. In addition to the dozens of out of the box templates we routinely help our customers apply for automating business processes, our experienced consulting team works with our customers to analyze and automate their unique business processes. Then, we can then help customers deploy more of our business process automation and management product tools to begin to monitor, manage, and continuously improve those business processes.
3rd Party Integration
McLeod Software supports standardized off the shelf software application integration solutions with products from over 75 different companies ranging from taxes and mileage to mobilecomm and maintenance. While all of this off the shelf integration is tested and supported, we continue to develop new integration points on a regular basis. No matter how many integration products we have, we will always stand ready to deliver new ones, especially unique or proprietary integration solutions that our customers need. Our experience, methodology, and disciplined approach to QA and testing insures that our customers will get the same robust level of performance in their custom systems integration solutions that we build into our standard off the shelf integration products.
One aspect of every systems implementation project that cannot be overlooked is the work done to get the people who will use the system ready to succeed at the same time we are getting the system itself ready to go live. McLeod is ready to help our customers implement this type of “change management” program through training, internal marketing of the system project, skills evaluation, and other work that is needed to insure your people are ready when the new system is.
Document Formatting & Creation
When McLeod customers deploy our operations and financial management solutions they always create a variety of new customer and supplier centric documents like invoices, quotes, acknowledgements, purchase orders, and dozens of others. While standard templates for those documents are built into the system, many customers want to customize their documents and build unique versions for themselves and specific customers or suppliers. McLeod has a team that specializes in helping customers learn how to do this and we can even take on this task as a turnkey delivery item for users of our systems.
McLeod Accounting Support Services
Both McLeod PowerBroker and LoadMaster Enterprise trucking softwares were built from the ground up with a full set of accounting functions including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Settlements, and Payroll. This means our customers are not forced to go out and purchase separate bolt on financial management and accounting systems from a different company and then integrate those functions with their operations management system. We have a team of real accounting professionals, McLeod employees, who help our customers implement our financial solutions and provide ongoing support for those financial elements of our application software products.
While all McLeod solutions are delivered with an abundance of standard reports and unmatched inquiry features, we often find customers need additional reports as well as some non-standard reports. Our implementation team is skilled at not only helping our customers learn how to build these reports themselves, we are ready to work with the customer’s team to define and build them on a turnkey basis as needed in each project.
Planning each and every implementation project in collaboration with our customers is essential, no matter how large or small the project. McLeod places a high value on only using project managers with real skills and experience in project management to work with our customers for this important task. While we have great templates and tools to serve as the starting point for each customer project plan, we expect to work with each customer’s team to build the right plan for their project. This means we have to understand the customer’s goals and constraints so that we can build a plan that will succeed in helping each customer go live with a McLeod solution that delivers the business outcome that customer expects, on time and within budget.
System Architecture and High Availability Systems
Many McLeod customers want to implement sophisticated hardware redundancy solutions to insure that their application software has the greatest uptime and availability possible for their users. McLeod has experience in helping clients understand their options and the trade offs in building this type of infrastructure and systems architecture as part of the customer’s implementation. We are ready to put these senior McLeod system architects on any project where their contributions to this effort are needed.