As an award-winning project management and industrial engineering services company, providing tangible results and improvements for clients is at the core of PROjEN PLC’s business. To continue their track record of excellent customer service and delivery, PROjEN, based in the United Kingdom, performed a major overhaul of their own internal systems. The key was in fi nding a single solution to meet their needs – Microsoft Dynamics AX.
After conducting a thorough internal review of their processes and IT systems, PROjEN identified a series of requirements that were necessary to support the growth plans of the business. At the top of the list was the implementation of a new, integrated financial and project accounting system.
At the time, PROjEN was running a variety of systems to manage accounting, procurement, time and expense, project costing and management reporting. These included Sage MMS for accounting, an in-house procurement system and Excel spreadsheets, among others. Company representatives deemed that the lack of integration amongst the systems was causing a multitude of issues within the organization. They were experiencing slow processing of transactions, duplication of data entry, confl icting data from different sources, and ultimately, wasted time trying to reconcile the disparate data.
“We were spending far too much of our time looking in the rearview mirror processing historical data rather than being able to make future business decisions based on timely, accurate information,” said Dave Elliott, Business Support Services Manager for PROjEN.
The Search Was On
PROjEN representatives admit that they did not turn to Microsoft products at the start of their search for a new system. The product evaluation process was lengthy and consisted of project management packages, financial systems and procurement software. As the discovery process went on, the team began to wonder if they would find one single program that could meet their needs.
After expanding their search to include Microsoft products, PROjEN found that Microsoft Dynamics AX could fulfill many of the identified requirements. They received a brief demonstration of Dynamics AX and quickly realized that the product was a good fit for their needs. After receiving proposals and demonstrations from several partners, PROjEN ultimately chose the only company that included a Professional Services Automation (PSA) offering – eBECS. Other reasons for selecting eBECS included understanding of PROjEN’s unique business needs and depth of experience.
On Time and Under Budget
A project management company themselves, PROjEN places a high emphasis on front-end definition and regards it as a fundamental requirement for any project. Critical to the success of the project was the development of and consensus on a detailed project definition document, which tightly defined the scope, system configuration and reporting requirements. The new system was ‘built’ and deployed in the early part of 2007. Following testing and training, Dynamics AX went live, on-time, with all business transactions for the 2007 financial year being processed through the system.
Additional reports were written and deployed using SQL Reporting Services and were made available to project managers and engineers through a secure Internet connection. The entire project was completed under budget and the company is now realizing significant benefits from the investment.
“Anyone who has been involved in a major IT implementation will be fully aware of the many pressures involved and the hurdles which need to be overcome. I am both pleased and grateful to the project team, eBECS and our network supplier for delivering this project in a non-disruptive way,” said John Taylor, Managing Director at PROjEN. “The fact that Dynamics AX is a Microsoft system and easily interfaces with Office packages such as Excel, Access and Project is already benefiting us by reducing the double handling of data.”
In the time since Dynamics AX has been in place, PROjEN has experienced unprecedented growth. With an influx of new clients and more projects coming through the door, the company has had many more transactions to process. With Dynamics AX, PROjEN now has an integrated system in which the team can efficiently manage and cost projects, automatically reconcile data across departments and most importantly, get timely, accurate information that allows management to make future business decisions.
“The fully integrated nature of Dynamics AX is yielding many benefits. For example, we no longer need to reconcile different systems and the single point of data entry has provided significant efficiency gains,” said Dave Elliott. “Information is available quicker and more readily to those who need to access it wherever they work. Implementation of Dynamics AX has led to further improvements in project control and has allowed the company to rapidly analyze key performance data and improve decision making.”
PROjEN is currently implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Services with the assistance of eBECS. SharePoint will add new functionality which will provide the ability to share information with clients and vendors via the Internet. The company also looks forward to tighter collaboration between project teams and enhanced communication with clients and supplier organizations.