Caterpillar is the world's leading maker of earth-moving machinery and supplier of agricultural equipment. Caterpillar wants to end its support for its Dealer Business System (DBS), which it licenses to its dealers to help them run their business. The software in this system is becoming outdated and senior management want to transfer support for the hosted version of the software to Accenture Consultants so it can concentrate on its core business. Caterpillar never required its dealers to use DBS, but the system has become a de facto standard for doing business with the company. The majority if its 50 Cat dealers in North America use some version of DBS, as do about the half of the other too or so Cat dealers in the rest of the world. Before Caterpillar turns the product over to Accenture, they call you in as a change consultant.
1. What factors and issues should it consider? What are the pluses and minuses?
Introducing and adapting new technology requires some home works prior to full phase implementation. The company in the question is going introduce new technology. It should consider the cost of outsourcing the DBS System to other consultants. The transfer of responsibility to consultant will take time to evaluate and find pro and cons of it. Company have to supervise few days/month to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of new company chosen. Choosing new development plan will require executives to understand and develop plans for system migration.
The positive parts are caterpillar being able to concern on core business tasks. Furthermore the reduction of operation cost is beneficial for long run.
The negative part be difficulty for personnel and existing users for the new technology followers.
2. What question should it ask?
The switching from one to other consultant should be proceed with questions:
- the way it performs its project and management ways.
- the way that helps minimize possible risks.
- time and resources consumed to adapt new technology
- Project management techniques it follows
- can we use the existing some architectures in new system too.
3. What questions should its dealers ask?
- are there other alternatives there be available to choose from
- time taken to adapt for new technology
- are there any variant of that are better matching our company
- are there pre requisites we should consider prior switching system.
4. How would you recommend that Caterpillar implement this change?
When Caterpillar is implementing the change it should consider the propose of turning system to outside. The management should evaluate the essential of change. It should consider compatibility of other existing systems with new change. The Caterpillar should ask for detail pro and cons along with operation cost occurring for the organization.