Are you in the construction, engineering or architecture industry? How would you categorize your company? If you take a step back and think about it, the construction, engineering and architecture part of it is simply the type of projects you do. The overarching commonality is that your company delivers goods and/or services to your customers through projects making your company a Project Business.
Often called project-based, project-driven or project-centric, these companies include architecture, engineering and construction, engineer-to-order/contract manufacturing, and all types of professional services. Project Business should be considered an industry or sector just like Retail and Manufacturing because projects are their primary business function. And considering 25 percent of all businesses are Project Businesses, means it’s critical to think differently about your business systems and take it seriously.
Mainstream ERPs Do Not Work for Project Businesses
Traditional ERP solutions were originally designed for industries with high-volume, repeatable processes, more specifically to support repetitive manufacturing business. ERPs are effective in business industries where it’s much easier to apply technology to standardized processes and data in order to automate and accelerate production. However, it’s not so easy for Project Businesses with their unique products and non-standard business practices. If you look at the traditional ERP components, it’s very clear the system does not support the needs of Project Businesses by providing the level of automation and visibility they need to be successful.
The Project Business Automation Blueprint: The Definitive Guide to making your ERP work for your project-based company
Oftentimes, Project Businesses end up employing an additional 10 to 15 different point solutions to manage their business processes. And the fact of the matter is, the majority of their information and processes are managed in spreadsheets.
To manage this problem, most employ controllers and data processes to manually translate, consolidate and validate large amounts of project data from these different systems. This manual integration process can lead to mistakes and delays, which can cause important decisions to be made based on unreliable data. Operating in standalone project management applications and tools that don’t communicate with each other only sets you up for failure.
Lack of Visibility
Project Business executives typically have very little visibility into what’s going on inside their company and the status of their projects. They may be receiving weekly status updates and monthly overviews, but oftentimes this information is already outdated because of the time it takes to consolidate the data and generate the reports. It’s extremely difficult for Project Business executives to make effective decisions with limited, unreliable data. This lack of real-time insight results in increased risk and decreased profitability. Ultimately, this can negatively impact the company’s reputation and relationships with its customers.
Lack of Control
Operating in a disparate application landscape means business processes are disjointed, which leads to a lack of control over the general operations of the company. When project work and information flows are not connected, trying to standardize or establish a structure of control is nearly impossible. The fact is project business processes aren’t uniform. They are often left up to individuals who approach specific processes in different ways. This makes it difficult to manage the business functions and establish standard metrics to measure performance. It’s important to remember that with this setup, project and company performance rely greatly on the performance of individuals.
Scalable and Predictable Business Processes Lead to Operational Success
All Project Businesses essentially operate the same way. Regardless of your industry, your fundamental activity is running and delivering projects. The problem of Project Business is this non-integrated mode of operation. What’s the solution? Integrate. Project Businesses that not only establish a repeatable business model that yields reliable and actionable KPIs, but also implement a single system that automates their business processes and information workflows, will be able to see an increase in productivity and profitability. Project Business Automation (PBA) provides that all-in-one business management solution built specifically with projects in mind.
Project Businesses need to be able to run their companies with real-time visibility and control just like other types of businesses. Designed to enable that capability, PBA’s core elements include:
- Project Financials and Accounting: Effective financial management of projects demands much more than what traditional project accounting systems provide. PBA closes the gap between what project industries need and what mainstream ERP solutions offer.
- Project Operations and Management: Project management applications were originally built to manage standalone projects, not run your entire business. PBA offers a complete and real-time integration between back-end ERP functions and your operational project management activities. This allows companies to control process flows throughout the entire enterprise, and as a result, establish an enforceable and repeatable business model.
- Project Insight and Analytics: PBA brings leaders of Project Businesses the real-time insight they need to make important business decisions based on the most accurate and updated information available. These insights that are only made possible with a completely integrated system, gives managers and executives the real-time visibility they need to transform their companies into high-performing enterprises.
Project Businesses that have access to real-time insight are better equipped to manage their projects proactively. For Project Businesses, the only way to scale, grow and diversify is to adopt an all-in-one business management solution that was built specifically for project-based companies.
Download the Project Business Automation Blueprint to learn more about how to set up an end-to-end system for your project-based company.