City overhauls system, service
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Jul 11, 2002
San Antonio is spending 30 months and nearly $90 million to implement a
new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with customer relationship
management (CRM) and development services applications.
The integrator is Deloitte Consulting, which will assume responsibility
and liability for the integration and "success of the project," said Milo
Nitschke, the city's finance director. SAP AG is providing the ERP and CRM
software, and Hansen Information Technologies is providing the development
Nitschke described development services as "a putting together of building
inspections, code, planning, safety. It's a variety of services that if
you were going to build a house and business coming into town, you go to
a place and you get your permitting, you get all your planning. And what
we are doing with the electronic approach is you can do that from wherever
you're sitting right now once we get the system up."
In 1998, the city (www.ci.sat.tx.us) the
ninth largest in the country began looking at updating or replacing its
28-year-old financial management system. During the next two years, it budgeted
$500,000 and investigated what other cities were doing. He said cities such
as Phoenix and Minneapolis took a more progressive approach to improving
"Financial management actually became the basis for creating a system
that provided better services to its citizens," he said.
The project's first phase, completed last October, involved "a needs
assessment, a to-be assessment that is, where we are today, what we've
got and where we'd like to be in three years, and then developing a business
case and why we should proceed," Nitschke said.
The process included input from several hundred city workers from 30
departments for across-the-board buy-in. "All were in support of us going
about and implementing the new system," he said. "There were lots of questions
and properly done with respect to what is our selection process, how are
we going about protecting ourselves from risk, what is the time frame, are
we sure this isn't too much money."
The system will be implemented in phases and will be completed no later
than January 2005. Employee training involving about 4,500 people over
the course of the 30 months is also built in to the system. "It's a complete
redo of what we have," he said. "We're changing the way we do business."
Although the project costs are $87.6 million, productivity gains over
a 15-year period are estimated at $140 million, Nitschke said.