Driving Transformation in Transportation

Outdated technology impeded a US transportation agency’s ability to effectively and efficiently carry out its mission of maintaining the state’s roads. BCG helped.

A US transportation agency had more than 10,000 employees charged with maintaining nearly 200,000 lane miles of road and $85 billion in infrastructure assets.

However, managing those assets was challenging because of the agency’s continued reliance on multiple inflexible legacy applications, which were first built in the early 1980s and used code that was no longer taught or supported. As such, the system required a lot of manual intervention; was extremely resource-intensive; provided no single system of record; and posed significant business continuity, audit, and legal risks to the agency.

To modernize its systems and business practices, the agency initially deployed a new, state-sponsored PeopleSoft-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution known as the Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS). The solution promised to provide agency administrators with an easier, more flexible, more efficient, and more reliable way to process and manage the agency’s monthly payroll, biennial budget, and contracts.

Kicked off in 2009, the effort soon ran into issues when the complexity of the project overwhelmed the existing budget, and the initial vendor was dismissed.

The agency tried again in 2012. This time, officials asked BCG to first review the ERP plan and produce an implementation readiness assessment. The agency also asked BCG to provide additional support during the design/plan, implementation, and go-live phases.

A Better Plan for ERP

Rolling out an ERP solution can be fraught with difficulty at the best of times. But this project was even more challenging because it had to meet an extremely aggressive implementation timeline—faster than any ERP implementation to date in a state environment.

The team enabled the agency to meet its ambitious goals by taking proactive, informed steps to effectively manage project risks, keep the project on track and within budget, assess critical-path priority activities, and resolve emerging issues in a timely fashion.

Transformational Results

With the help of BCG and an IT vendor, the agency met its timeline. In October 2014, it became the first large agency in the state to fully deploy the entire CAPPS solution, including the HR/payroll and finance modules. The organization has now retired its legacy system.

The new ERP system has greatly improved the effectiveness of the agency’s operations, saving it significant time and money while reducing error rates and streamlining payroll and personnel processing.