Serious Business, with Family First
Located in Madison, AL, Mesa Associates, Inc., has operations in locations across the United States and over 450 associates which contribute to their full-service engineering, procurement and construction management firm. Mesa’s efforts have been met with great success. Heavily invested in its employees and its customers, Mesa’s motto “Excellence by Design” is further evidenced by the fact that 85% of their revenue is generated by repeat customers. Led by CEO and President Ranjana Savant, with daily operations and strategy managed by Executive Vice President Tim Cutshaw, Mesa Associates has just celebrated its 25th year in business.
Growth Creates a Challenge
Mesa Associates does what it does very well, with an eye toward the long term and with a company culture that promotes self-sufficiency. With equal dedication, Mesa takes care of its own – employees and customers - like family.
Mesa’s organizational tools and software systems were, by and large, home-grown. In particular, a time-keeping system they called “the intranet” had been built out, piece by piece, to ultimately resemble a pseudo ERP system. However, across the company there were multiple systems, databases and silos of information - disparate systems that limited visibility into ongoing projects. This situation resulted in a number of inefficient business processes, and Mesa’s project managers lacked a single, comprehensive view into how their projects were performing. Moreover, it was difficult to provide key stakeholders with real-time information on the performance of their projects, resources and clients.
As the company grew, it became necessary to change in order to maintain its characteristically high degree of service excellence and cultural integrity.
New Solution to Grow the Family Business
To improve their performance and to position the company for the future, Mesa would have to do things differently moving forward. A culture shift was needed to begin adopting packaged software applications that were developed outside of the organization. And they would need a new partner to help them through the transition.
Executive Vice President Tim Cutshaw and his IT team evaluated their options carefully, knowing the solution they chose would have to be a good fit for Mesa’s very specific business and customer needs. Partnering with Microsoft Dynamics AX consultancy, SAGlobal, was an important step in the process. Says Tim Cutshaw, “Every business is very different, but SAGlobal came in with a knowledge base that, quite frankly, surprised us in terms of how well they actually understood what we do as a project-based engineering services firm. What we’re selling is our people and our expertise, not widgets. There was no learning curve necessary for SAGlobal; they put a value-based solution in our hands that addressed our most important requirements.” That solution was Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Mesa Associates, along with SAGlobal, is in the process of deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX throughout their organization. SAGlobal and Mesa Associates are working together to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to manage Mesa’s finances, projects, clients, and resources all in an integrated system. This includes support for Mesa’s project based manufacturing and procurement operations, as well as their human resource management and payroll functions. The overall solution will also include a number of integrated Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint and the Microsoft SQL Server BI and reporting toolset, which both augment the capabilities of the core Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP application.
Flexibility is Key
Finding an ERP solution that was flexible enough to meet Mesa’s unique client-driven requirements was a key in their software evaluation. Explains Cutshaw, “We wanted a customizable system, and needed to ensure that we weren’t forced to completely adapt to how the new software worked.” Therefore, extending the native Microsoft Dynamics AX capabilities to meet Mesa’s unique client-driven requirements was a key element of Mesa’s Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation.
Mesa’s talented internal IT department and other staff members have become a valuable resource in facilitating this development. “Our team is used to customizing software to meet our unique needs”, explained Cutshaw. “When you look at other ERP systems on the market, they’re not nearly as flexible as Microsoft Dynamics AX. Dynamics AX was in a league of its own in this regard.”
Bigger Family, Brighter Future
With the adoption of Microsoft Dynamics AX as their core ERP system, Mesa Associates and its implementation partner SAGlobal have enabled a strong foundation that will support Mesa’s continued growth into the next 25 years, and beyond. Says Cutshaw “We are confident that Microsoft Dynamics AX will play a key role in the long-term growth and success of our business, and couldn’t be more excited about this new world of possibilities.”