Provia Gets Nod From BMG Distribution

  • Written By: Steve McVey
  • Published On: January 19 2001



Provia Gets Nod From BMG Distribution
S. McVey - January 19, 2001

Event Summary

BMG Distribution, the warehousing arm of media giant BMG Entertainment, recently signed an agreement with Provia Software, a maker of supply chain execution software that has achieved success among clients seeking improved performance of customer fulfillment operations. BMG will implement Provia's VIAWARE WMS for warehouse management, SPS (small parcel shipping) and ViaView visibility products to manage fulfillment operations at its 300,000 square foot main distribution center in Duncan, SC, and at two smaller facilities in Reno, NV and Fogelsville, PA. Future plans also call for implementing the suite of products in BMG's third party software distribution operations.

Prior to selecting Provia, BMG earlier this year asked consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct an operational analysis and vendor selection effort. A joint PwC/BMG team evaluated several top tier supply chain fulfillment vendors for functional fit, technical environment, implementation approach and corporate vision, and ultimately selected Provia. Without knowing the details of BMG's distribution requirements, one can nevertheless understand the nod to Provia from a high-level. Provia has a strong value proposition for companies in third party logistics, consumer packaged goods, and retail, all of which are represented to some extent in BMG's business model.

Market Impact

A thorough, impartial selection process is critical to the successful outcome of an IT software implementation. BMG took the right steps in conducting its evaluation of vendor options, including its approach in working with PwC.

First, BMG hired the consultant to facilitate the software selection phase without offering it guaranteed rights to the implementation. Although BMG and PwC had worked together previously, the selection of a warehouse management system afforded BMG an opportunity to evaluate the project management expertise of the current PwC team.

Second, PwC devised a comprehensive selection process, which included an exhaustive RFP, multi-day vendor demonstrations tailored to specific user scenarios, and reference client site visits, through which BMG winnowed less suitable vendors from the list of candidates to reveal Provia as the one best able to meet its requirements.

Because PwC and BMG documented results from each step of a process that was both inclusive and rigorous, the final decision is virtually incapable of being challenged

User Recommendations

We strongly advocate the approach employed by BMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers in selecting Provia. All users contemplating an IT upgrade should take similar care in examining potential software partners. In dealing with consulting firms that may ultimately be engaged to perform the implementation, the key consideration is trust. The following are just a few of the questions that users should ask themselves prior to embarking on a joint selection with a consulting partner. Are some of these impertinent? Yes, but then most important questions are:

  • How are my consulting partner's resources deployed among the various software products?

  • Does my consulting partner seem to focus on a particular group of software products or does it deploy resources equally to all products?

  • Will my consulting partner share in the financial responsibility if the project runs over budget due to vendor/software-related issues?

  • Does my consulting partner care more about selling an implementation than choosing the best software for the job?

 
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