Geomotiv’s Custom ERP Development Project Journey

Discover how Geomotiv managed scattered business processes by implementing a custom ERP system.

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About the Client

Custom ERP system development is Geomotiv’s internal project aimed at resolving a series of challenges typical of an IT company – integrating, managing, and optimizing the manifold of business processes under one unified management system.

Technologies Used

Goal

Our company faces widespread concerns bothering numerous companies trying to bring together critical data siloed in disconnected sources. Geomotiv uses a combination of spreadsheets, paper invoices, local folders for media files, and different third-party software to manage the core workflows. Such workflows are non-automated, manual, time-consuming, and inefficient due to the lack of satisfying functionality and the commercial nature.

The accounting department faces a lot of manual work, spending around ⅔ of the month on processing invoices, monitoring project budgets, and maintaining a record of corporate assets. Ideally, end-of-month financial adjustments should require minimal manual intervention so that our employees can focus on more critical goals.

The high-level project’s goal is to embrace ERP development and deliver a full-scale system that will automate and integrate all business operations and departments within any IT company that uses a hybrid approach for staffing: employees, direct contractors, and third-party vendors. The main objective of the initial product scope phase of ERP software development is to develop a software product that will allow the tenant company to manage the most critical day-to-day business operations, such as time and project management, human resources management, and accounting operations, including financial reporting.

Work Description

Project Initiation

Team Involved: BA and Stakeholders (1-2 sessions).
The project initiation phase of bespoke ERP development started with deep market analysis and research of the company’s internal processes and tools. We aimed to define areas that are most critical to automate. Rather than adapting internal processes to fit within a ready-made solution, we came up with the idea of embracing custom ERP software development. When implemented, it would allow our company to create a tailored solution that aligns with its unique goals and requirements.

As a custom ERP development company with extensive experience, we follow the latest niche trends and have a general understanding of what major boxed ERP applications offer. Presented on the market, relatively affordable time tracking and invoicing solutions don’t allow for automating all underlying business processes. They’d instead fit small businesses with straightforward business rules that can be adapted to system possibilities. 

Another factor to mention is cost considerations. The licensing prices of boxed ERP solutions like SAP or Oracle start at a bare minimum of $100 per user per month for a basic feature set. For example, a basic Oracle Cloud ERP service license costs $625 per month per user, translating to an annual price of $7,500. Therefore, the minimum annual cost for 100 users is 100 x $7,500 = $750,000. On the other hand, Oracle requires a 3-year contract by default. This means the total cost over the three years is 3x$750,000 = $2,250,000. 

Such a system would still require customized ERP development and business analysis efforts to implement and adapt it to specific business requirements. Along with that, adding extra services will be reflected in the price tag as well. Solutions like Oracle might be a good fit for large Enterprises with extensive resources. Say their complex processes can undergo quick digitalization without giving a second thought to the budget.  

The above considerations showed that in-house ERP application development best fits our case. Ultimately, Geomotiv envisioned a custom system that we could modify and scale. This way, it serves an IT company’s processes and requirements at a much lower price than existing Enterprise solutions.

Business Analysis

Team Involved: BA and Stakeholders (duration: 3 months).

  • Requirements elicitation and MVP scope definition;
  • Requirements documentation and wireframes prototyping (BPMN diagrams, user stories with acceptance criteria, prototyping in Axure).

The second phase of the ERP development process was detailed business analysis which included requirements elicitation and documentation. Each session with stakeholders resulted in new wireframes, which made the high-level requirements approval process much more transparent and faster.

Design
Team Involved: BA, Designer, Stakeholders (duration: 1.5 months).

  • Software design using Figma;
  • Iterative design approval process involving BA and stakeholders.

The third phase was the design process. As a result, we finished this phase with a detailed prototype of the future product. Our team also prepared over hundred pages of project documentation, which made the development process polished and time-saving.

Development
Team Involved: PO/PM, 1 BE, 1 FE, 1 FS, 1 QA (part-time), 1 DevOps(part-time).

  • Team onboarding; 
  • Defining app architecture and infrastructure; 
  • Software delivery using scrum methodologies and artifacts.

The fourth phase involved transforming and coding static prototypes into a working product. Our company organized the development process around the Agile project management methodology – the Scrum framework. Regular backlog grooming, demos, planning meetings, and an iterative approach allows us to quickly adapt changes in business processes derived from dynamic product requirements. 

The development phase started with microservices architecture design. A microservice approach allows us to scale our system as it grows and enables seamless updates without disrupting the software system’s functioning.

Our team established a cloud infrastructure using Google Cloud Platform.The platform has many advantages, such as affordable price compared to other solutions, which enables you to pay only for requested services. Google Cloud also lets you scale up and down quickly, which is challenging with other cloud service providers. Looking ahead, after this pivot, our ERP software development company became a certified Google Cloud Partner upon successful product launch. This strategic partnership will help our company gain the edge it requires and make our ERP development services even more efficient, advanced, and transformative for our clients.

Testing
Beta Testing and Data Migration (in progress) – 2 months.
We reached the beta testing phase after we released the initial scope of custom ERP application development. Our team received user feedback and tested the system’s capabilities with real-life cases. New findings made it possible to expand system functionality and enhance the UX.

Release
The system is in the transition period as we are in the ongoing data migration process. Once we finalize this process, we plan to introduce the ERP in our company.

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Modules within the Initial Product Scope

The initial product scope presented by our ERP development company contains the following functional modules:

The Time Tracking Module This module includes work time logging, absence tracking, and a two-step approval flow of benefits requests. 

The Clients and Projects Module It allows for storing client and project profiles, banking details, as well as information about contract types of client and tenant companies. Other functions enable you to assign employees to selected projects and store and track changes related to rates, benefits, and other conditions.

The Vendors Module It has a rate card feature that allows one to store and track changes related to rates, benefits, and other underlying relations between employees and the company.
The system allows asymmetrical benefits and different contractual conditions for clients and vendors. Our unique rate cards and a benefits approval feature will enable other companies to easily automate and track historical changes for clients, direct contractors, and partner contractors. 

The Users Module’s functionality The User’s module makes it easy to create new employees and assign roles to them. The module has user permissions control functionality. These permissions dictate what users can do within the ERP system, such as viewing and editing data in this module. 

The Reporting ModuleIt allows building time and attendance reports for a selected period and generating financial statements. 

The Billing ModuleThe billing module keeps track of legal entities that the tenant company works with and allows the accounting department to associate employees and clients with those entities.

The Role Management ModuleIt facilitates flexiblе configuration and creating new custom user roles. 

Data Migration Module This module allows migrating historical data to the system.
During the data migration process, the team faced the challenging task of system optimization. The aim was to facilitate users to enter historical data across projects and employees from multiple data sources. The developers added the necessary tools to reach this objective and implemented the envisioned features. The functionality helped users to upload files with timesheets, enter vacation and attendance data, and submit chronological changes under the terms of contracts.

Work Stages

  1. Project initiation
  2. Business Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Development (10 months)
  5. Beta Testing and Data Migration (in progress, 2 months)

Results

The results provisioned during the beta-testing stage have shown that the product is worth consecutive development. The project backlog contains prioritized features planned for subsequent releases. Those include automated generation of P&L statements, implementation of the equipment purchase process, automation of sales and marketing department processes, deployment of a notification system, etc.

It is already evident that upon the completion of the transition period, the system will serve as a single point of truth for all internal departments. Already implemented features will significantly reduce the load on the accounting department and allow the company to save costs by discontinuing the paid project and time-tracking tool. 

Overall, from-scratch ERP development has been an enticing journey that makes us an experienced ERP development company in USA and beyond. We gained valuable first-hand experience, learned the nuances of ERP software development services, and upskilled the technical level of our developers and other specialists. Moreover, during the development journey, we acquired a strategic partner. Geomotiv and Google Cloud will jointly prioritize and focus on digital transformation projects, including ERP development and other Enterprise solutions.

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