The enhanced solution, developed with customers including Aker Yards and First Engineering, supports businesses operating in industries such as construction & contracting, EPCI, project-based manufacturing, as well as asset-oriented companies.
IFS’ components for project-centric industries support the complete process from estimating through to decommissioning, covering the whole project and contract lifecycle’s.
The technology focuses on managing projects, contracting and subcontracting, risk management, cost management, resource allocation and payment processes, while also providing the tools to support project budgets and forecasting.
“There’s a huge demand in the market from companies who are tired of trying to force-fit applications designed with a product focus into project-driven work,” said Ian Fleming, Managing Director, IFS, Middle East, Africa & South Asia. “An essential element of project work is the ability to interact and collaborate with suppliers, partners and customers. Most traditional monolithic applications don’t make this easy, whereas our project-centric approach enables companies to communicate and also measure success within a partnership”.
“Since the mid-90s we’ve been developing components tailored to the needs of our customers in the project-based industries,” continued Fleming. “As companies increasingly need to support enterprise-wide projects—running simultaneously and often on a global scale—these advances in application functionality are in demand outside of the original target industries”.
Key features of IFS Applications for Project-Centric Businesses include:
IFS Project Management offers comprehensive support for all stages of a project lifecycle, from initiation and planning to project execution, completion, and follow-up. IFS Project Management is a comprehensive fully functional project management tool that emphasizes efficiency and planning, both overall and detailed, so that you complete projects on time and within budget. It provides transparency and open information flow, to assure facile communication between all project participants.
Project contract management enables flexible contract numbering and improved support for copying contracts and retention management. Improved invoicing workflow and customer address selection on invoices and applications allow greater flexibility and speed.
Subcontract management supports all contractual stages, from requirement to payment, and includes task management, change history and revision control along with multiple options for approval processes. Flexible payment processes and calculation and valuation methods enable agility and accuracy.
Project budgeting and forecasting allows the creation of project-specific budgeting and proactive budget control along with multiple project forecast versions. The Periodic Cost Graph allows a graphical view of project performance against time and budget, and users can also use Project Snapshot to view detailed information from any given date and time.
Risk management functionality provides a qualitative analysis of risk and the ability to manage risk throughout the lifecycle of the project, with constant review and evaluation through severity ratings. The progress of risk reduction can be tracked, along with the overall cost expenditure.
Project Collaboration allows project information access to be granted to individual project teams, sub-contractors and project members according to their responsibilities.
The components which comprise IFS Applications for Project-Centric Businesses also integrate with Primavera Project Management and MS project, meaning information can be imported from, and exported to, these external project planning tools.
“Project professionals remain challenged by business solutions that force-fit production and manufacturing applications to meet the needs of knowledge-based information workers,” wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Ray Wang in the May 2007 report, Introducing Project-Based Solutions. The report continued, “As enterprises continue the shift to a service-based and project-based world, project-based solutions (PBS) are the only applications category that enterprises can rely on to deliver process automation, process improvement, and innovation for this new world of work. PBS transcends traditional functional boundaries of project management, ERP, CRM, and supply chain management (SCM) to include requests from areas like project accounting, change management, time/expense, and analytics that surround the work being accomplished”.
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