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Computer beats rap


A recent report on Detroit’s new multimillion-dollar computer system – created to update and integrate city departments – shows that its problems are people-related, not technical. Solbourne, a Texas-based company, assessed the city’s Detroit Resource Management System (DRMS), which has raised the ire of vendors to the city since it began last April.

"These problems are not rooted in the DRMS technology itself," the report states, "but rather in the people-oriented processes or procedures that must be followed in conjunction with technology."

DRMS was to improve the speed at which vendors are paid but, according to the report, there has been little progress. It says that the most significant problem with vendor payments is that some purchase orders and invoices have not been converted from the old system to the new one.

"Other contributing factors to the issue of timely vendor payments have been … failure of personnel to transfer existing monies into the appropriate DRMS accounts … and errors in the conversion of related dated from the prior (system) over to the DRMS system," according to the report.

Solbourne suggests that to improve DRMS’ results the city must take more ownership in the project, create effective leaders, hire experienced managers and better train those using the system. Otherwise, the report says that Solbourne’s analysis will have been a waste of time.

The mayor’s office did not return Metro Times phone calls regarding the report.