How Talan helped the City of Trois-Rivières optimize its operational capabilities by implementing S/4 HANA Cloud, Private edition
The City of Trois-Rivières recently called on Talan’s expertise to modernize its management systems. The primary goals of this collaboration were to standardize and enhance financial and procurement processes while striving to improve operational capabilities. Find out how Talan helped the City of Trois-Rivières achieve their ambitious goals by implementing the S/4 HANA Cloud, Private edition.
Trois-Rivières, a city rich in history and innovation
Trois-Rivières is a dynamic city located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Maurice rivers, in the heart of the Quebec province. Founded in 1634, it’s the second oldest city in Quebec.
Known for its culture of innovation, it’s the first medium-sized municipality to implement the SAP solution. The town is also renowned for its many collaborations and initiatives with other cities.
The need to overcome technical challenges and adapt to future changes
The City of Trois-Rivières needed a more efficient IT system to standardize and optimize its finance and procurement business processes. Their in-house IT systems (over 40 sub-systems) developed over the past 4 decades had become costly and with limited extensibility. The estimated cost of updating the system was several million dollars, making the switch to an ERP system much more cost-effective for the city.
“With the old system, we always had issues with our invoicing processing times. None of our supplier payments were electronic, and everything was done by cheque. We had a lot of optimization to do in terms of supply systems, and the old system was somewhat the poor relative of our systems”, reveals Marc Catudal-Gosselin - Division Manager • Information Systems for the City of Trois-Rivières.
Trois-Rivières aimed to implement a SaaS cloud computing system, centered around an ERP.
They wanted a market system that was interoperable with other projects (HR System). This need for renewal was also born from the city’s need to maintain its technological advances in the market, and it was looking for a partner who would provide a strike force to support their teams.
Another factor influencing Trois-Rivières’ desire for change was the Covid-19 pandemic. This unusual situation highlighted the fact that the municipality needed a configurable, agile platform that would enable it to meet future challenges over which it might not have control.
To remedy all these difficulties, Trois-Rivières targeted the following main objectives:
- Optimizing operational capabilities
- Standardizing processes
- Replacing technical debt
The call for tenders that changed everything
After identifying its needs, the City of Trois-Rivières issued a call for tenders, which Talan won in September 2021.
“We worked for a year to identify and document our business processes, with the aim of moving towards the best solution without positioning ourselves on a technological choice”, says Marc Catudal-Gosselin.
Over the course of interviews and demonstrations, Talan’s SAP solution emerged as the best suited to the city’s needs. With over 20 years’ experience in the field, Talan has developed an in-depth knowledge of its customers’ business challenges and industries, which have set it apart from the competition. The company has a proven track record of successful SAP implementations and migrations. Talan’s expert consultants in SAP systems and their in-depth knowledge of these solutions demonstrated how they could support the city during the ERP implementation, while taking into account the needs of Trois-Rivières.
S/4 HANA Cloud, Private edition, Rise with SAP, OpenText, SAC and Concur were the solutions proposed by Talan to meet the objectives of the City of Trois-Rivières to modernize its management systems. The implementation of these tools has optimized the management of finance, public accounting, procurement, expenditure management and contracts. Change management and organizational impact were also taken into account.
The project began over two years ago and has followed the steps recommended by Talan, including preparation and exploration.
One of the biggest challenges for the city in this changeover was converting data from the old system to the new one, but this went smoothly thanks to the collaboration between the city’s internal teams and Talan’s experts.
“The exploration phase was a big challenge for us because we were really changing languages. We opted for more technical terms, but at the same time more in tune with the industry, whereas for over 30 years we had been developing a customized system with our own way of communicating”, says Marc Catudal-Gosselin.
Already promising results
It’s still too early to talk about the results of the project, but the first success has been the successful implementation of the system and the continued normal operation of the city. After the third year, the expected gains are as follows:
- Reduction of spreadsheets
- Increased speed of execution
- Improved payment process
“Another of the positive effects we’ve seen is the facilitation of communication between city departments using the solution. This is partly due to the fact that we trained 25 super users and supported our teams in this digital transition”, explains Marc Catudal-Gosselin.
System benefits include improved debt management, supplier relations, quality and ease of integration with other systems. The municipality also invested in change management resources, which helped democratize the tool and reduce resistance to change. Decisions were made quickly, and Trois-Rivières was very responsive throughout the project. The project was well governed, with good collaboration between the committee and Talan, who managed to adapt and provide good support along the way.
A future full of opportunities
The municipality’s projects are in line with the solutions put in place and the objectives announced. The city plans to upgrade its human resources system to include modules compatible with an existing ERP. The city also wants to develop satellite systems and become more attractive for the labor market.
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