CASE STUDY: Thompson Machinery
- Eliminated the cost of hiring IT consultants to assist with system upgrades and maintenance
- Redirected IT resources to other projects
- Saved additional expenses by redeploying server hardware to another department
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
COMPANY PROFILEFounded in 1944, Thompson Machinery is the exclusive Caterpillar dealer for middle and western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. In addition to the complete line of Caterpillar equipment, Thompson offers agricultural equipment from AGCO Challenger, and Lexion. The company serves a broad range of customer needs, including construction, forestry, mining, industrial, governmental, and agricultural operations, as well as provides services to trucking, marine, and power generation businesses.
THE CHALLENGESSince 1996, Thompson Machinery had been operating UltiPro on-site and benefiting from UltiPro’s time-saving functionality and reporting tools. The company, however, wanted to relieve its overburdened IT department from the tasks of upgrading and maintaining the UltiPro solution. Initially, the company hired one of Ultimate Software's consultants to assist with upgrades, but this required additional expenses. Thompson had been very interested in deploying UltiPro’s Web functionality, but this would have required the purchase of another server—an expense that Thompson had not planned for. This left the company without a key feature of UltiPro: the ability to communicate with and empower its employees through the UltiPro Web portal.
THE SOLUTIONIn December 2003, Thompson Machinery moved from a licensed version of UltiPro to Ultimate Software’s SaaS model. After a smooth activation that took only three to four weeks to complete, the dealership discovered many cost savings and other business benefits by making the transition to this cloud delivery.
Thompson’s server for the UltiPro database was redeployed to another department that had been preparing to purchase a server, and the company then activated UltiPro’s Web self-service without budgeting for additional hardware investments. The HR and payroll departments currently enjoy hassle-free upgrades that don’t require help from the IT department.
In fact, Thompson’s year-end upgrade was quickly completed by Ultimate over a weekend—eliminating any interruptions in service and ending the company’s reliance on IT consultants to accomplish these upgrades. With SaaS, Thompson Machinery is assigned a single point of contact for customer service, creating an easy and clear communication between the CAT dealership and Ultimate Software. Thompson also has been impressed by Ultimate Software’s commitment to integrity, evidenced by Ultipro’s capabilities for database analysis and test environment for payroll runs, reports, and more.
“SaaS is like having an in-house system where we control the data and can run our own reports without having to deal with the issues related to system maintenance,” said Mike White, assistant treasurer of Thompson Machinery. “We get great customer support from Ultimate Software plus we’re saving money. When we look at what we’ll save on upgrades, this alone is worth the switch to Software-as-a-Service rather than running UltiPro on site.”