The Publishing division at Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) has been happily using Advantage for many years and the Curriculum division was brought online in 4th quarter of 2009 with a successful implementation. The remaining division, Offertory Solutions, recently went live on Advantage after an extensive development and implementation project. Offertory Solutions primarily prints and sells offering envelopes to churches, and although there are some features in common with magazine and book sales, the vast majority of the functionality is unique and required development.
The new system replaces several other outdated systems, as OSV was looking to advance their technology both in the office and on the production floor. As of July 19th, all of OSV--the Publishing, Curriculum and Offertory Solutions divisions--use Advantage for their business applications.
OSV internally began the requirement phase of the OMEGA (Order Management Envelope Graphical Application) project in 2006 but was formalized in June 2007 with ACS. The project was roughly broken up into two parts: end users in the office (OMEGA) and end users on the production floor (Production Scheduler). The actual development time for both of these ended up encompassing more than 12,000 hours, 30 formal design specifications (250+ pages), 200+ informal design specifications, and 15,000 hours of testing.
The new system offers significant benefits and productivity improvements including ease of cross-training, improvement of data integrity, more complete integration of systems, flexibility, enhanced performance, closing the loop on communications to customers, better application of standards, improved accountability, and more recent technology.
The success of this project was the direct result of the dedication, determination, commitment and support of a lot of people at OSV and ACS. Troy Payton, Manager of Application Development in IT, was the Project Manager for OMEGA and Production Scheduler. Working with Troy was ACS Project Manager John Sheehy.
Here is what Troy had to say at the time of go-live: "We made it! I personally want to thank the ACS staff for their many hours of hard work and dedication to this project?their knowledge and determination, with the help from our core team, made this implementation possible. It has been a privilege to get to know and work side-by-side with such a great group of people. This new system will significantly improve our efficiency and quality of work, opening up doors for continued growth we couldn't have imagined possible with our previous systems."
John has this to add: "This project is a testament to the relationship between ACS and OSV ? we could not have succeeded without the commitment and close partnership of both companies. Working with the OSV core teams has been a tremendous experience. Their dedication over the last three years ensured a successful cutover. Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight Troy's tireless dedication to the project's success. To echo Troy: We made it!"
Members of the OSV Core Team, some of whom devoted 18 months to the task of testing every function within the system to ensure that it would work correctly at go-live, included Beth Hoover, Susie Swaidner, Amanda Bechtold, Jo Jamison, Bennie Sams, Mark Peterson, Trista Shenefield, Roger Boylan, Heather Bowman, Kim Bowen, Candace Foust, Jim Lewis, Pat Alles, and Greg Rorick. OSV also noted that while these individuals were working on this project; other employees throughout the organization were helping in picking up the workload for the Core Team members. So everyone in the Offertory Solutions Division contributed and supported the project over its life.
As with OSV, many ACS employees worked long hours to meet the project goals and deadlines. The principle developers and architects were Toby Hartman, Paul Sauter, and Bob Gray. Additional engineering support came from Jim Blaney and Derek Johnson. On the analyst side, Eric Burbeck provided exceptional assistance guiding the OSV core teams through the implementation phases. Nearly every other ACS employee had some involvement through the project's life cycle as well.
OSV executives were pleased with the success of the project and had these comments:
"The Advantage Computing system recently implemented for our division will allow us to grow our business and operate with significantly improved efficiency and quality. The improved visibility into our data will allow us to make much better business decisions in the future. The attention to detail during this project by the ACS staff and our core team made this large project a great success."
- Kyle Hamilton, President and General Manager (Offertory Solutions)
"The coordinated effort between OSV and the Advantage Computing Systems technology staff is one of the reasons why our implementation of our new integrated business system was a success. This new system will provide a lot of improvement opportunities for our business that were never possible before."
- Roger Ross, Director of Information Technology
"The ACS team worked closely with our staff and listened closely to our description of business processes. The result is a smooth transition to the new system. The new system provides customer service and sales a dramatically improved business tool."
- Terry Poplava, Director of Sales and Marketing (Offertory Solutions)
"I can't say enough about the professionalism and dedication of the ACS staff. We have been extremely pleased with their timely response to our challenges. The system that they developed for us and the speed of the implementation has been world class."
- Tim Shoup, Director of Manufacturing (Offertory Solutions)
Congratulations to OSV on a highly successful project.