Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

US Manufacturers Turn to Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to Capitalize on Growth Opportunities

A new white paper from Oracle, "Manufacturing Outlook: Improving Time to Market, Operational Effectiveness, and Innovation in a Highly Competitive Environment," explains that there's good news and bad news for US manufacturers in the current economic environment. On the plus side, manufacturing production is expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2015. The bad news? Many manufacturers are still struggling to recover in the aftermath of the recession, when many companies closed plants, reduced staff, and lost customers.

In the following interview, John Reichard, Oracle's director of discrete industry strategy, discusses how an updated business strategy and the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solution can help manufacturers capitalize on growth opportunities in today's volatile market.

Q: What current fundamentals make the US a strong manufacturing environment?
A: First, this country has a mature and extensive infrastructure in place, along with a strong workforce that is highly trained and skilled with the latest technology used in sophisticated manufacturing processes.

Q: What's the flipside? What challenges will manufacturers be facing in the months ahead?
A: One of the biggest is the ability to quickly bring the right products to market at the right time. If a manufacturer can't meet changing customer demands, customers will look to competitors. The challenge extends beyond satisfying current demand—manufacturers must continually replicate the product delivery process to keep sales momentum growing and create greater market share.

Read the complete interview here.

Monday Apr 14, 2014

How GENCO did it – Resource Management and Project Portfolio Management #PPM Implementation

Project management success did not happen without its share of drama at GENCO. They met, and often exceed customer expectations but not without “last second diving catches, heroic efforts and brute force,” said Doug Belding, Senior Director of Product Management in his webcast on Resource Management and Project Portfolio Management Implementation.[Read More]

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Delivering Consistent Project and Portfolio Management Success

As the business impact of project portfolios grows, organizations worldwide are challenged to deliver operational excellence, maintain financial discipline, and mitigate risks.
Watch a series of short videos from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
, and download EIU reports to get unique insights into how enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) can help. Listen to senior executives at global organizations as they discuss how to plan, resource, execute, and assess projects—and what to do if things go wrong. 

Listen to the following experts:

  • Wells Fargo, Vice President of Project Management Office Manager

  • NASA, Chief Knowledge Officer

  • Conoco-Phillips, Senior Vice President of Project Development and Procurement

  • DuPont Vice, President of Corporate Supply Chains and Central Competency

  • US Department of Energy’s Office of Project Management and Evaluation

  • Fluor Corporation, Senior Vice President

  • CH2M Hill, Senior Vice President and Programme Manager

  • American Water Company, Vice President of Operations

  • Voltaix, LLC - Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology

  • Gates Corporation, President and COO

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Discover new agility and build your competitive advantage

As customer expectations grow, many financial services organizations are struggling to keep up. Customers want a faster, more efficient service across all channels, and won’t hesitate to look elsewhere to find it. But how can you accelerate service, stay on top of ever–evolving regulations, and stay ahead of the competition?

It’s important to:

  • Develop new agility to stay ahead of the competition
  • Simplify compliance to protect and enhance your reputation
  • Increase customer satisfaction in a highly competitive market
  • Take full control with enterprise project portfolio management

Learn how you can improve operational efficiency, quickly respond to changing customer demand and build competitive advantage.

Thursday Mar 06, 2014

Specialization in the Capital Asset Lifecycle

Taken from the 4th edition of Construction Connection’s digital magazine

Asset-intensive projects, regardless of scope and scale, are under constant pressure to control costs, meet demanding schedules and manage risk. For E&C contractors, one large problematic project could wipe out a year’s worth of profit. The risks to owners and operators are equally bad—ranging from discontented stakeholders to lost revenues.

Yet according to the Building in change: project construction in asset-intensive industries special report[1] prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), over one-third of asset-intensive companies miss their budget (39%) and schedule targets (34%) on major projects at least one-quarter of the time; and more than 60% of respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns.

No doubt, the lifecycle of a capital asset project is fraught with challenges.

Craig Larson, director of E&C Industry at Oracle, explains, “Owners and project teams need effective ways to manage projects from concept to completion and react with agility to unplanned changes to deliver multiyear projects on budget and schedule.”

Read the full article to learn more about the common platforms and standards that support the lifecycle of a project and the long-term operational efficiency of an organization.



[1] oil and gas, utilities, infrastructure (excluding utilities), chemicals, mining and metals

Monday Mar 03, 2014

Keeping the Lights On: Transform your business today to meet the challenges of tomorrow

Written by: Iain Graham, Director, Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera

In all the years I’ve worked with the energy and utilities sector, it seems that two things remain constant: the need to replace or repair ageing infrastructure and the apparent low level of funds available to many organizations to do so. In many instances, the infrastructure that these organizations rely on is ageing faster than it is being replaced. I suspect those tasked with keeping these assets up and running might recognize the phrases “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “out of sight, out of mind” when seeking more investment for preventative work. Yet failure to adequately address ageing infrastructure can cause a big headache for many companies, diverting resources and funds to remedial action and possibly impeding growth.

Customers don’t always fully understand the issues energy and utility companies face and expect a reliable yet lowest-cost service. The result is that, pushed to keep costs down, companies continue to sweat their infrastructure assets beyond their original intended life so as to maximize operational value, while even further demands are placed on those assets through growth. This approach brings increased risk of an infrastructure failure and no one wants to be to blame when the lights go out.

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based on a global survey of executives in the oil & gas, utility, chemical and natural resource industries, examines the impact of ageing infrastructure. A key finding in the report is that one of the biggest perceived obstacles for organizations is meeting infrastructure maintenance schedule and budget goals, resulting in poor project planning, regulatory interference and a lack of resources. In addressing those obstacles, there are things some companies may do to ease the problem of aging infrastructure, without necessarily requiring large-scale additional funding. The report found that many organizations believed they could overcome obstacles, meet budget and expansion goals through better planning processes. Deploying enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) could help to optimize use of key resources, improve planning and project execution, and prioritize the right projects, amongst other benefits.

You can read the full report here.

Thursday Feb 27, 2014

Oracle Industry Connect Brings Together Leaders to Share Insight and Industry-Specific Best Practices at New Conference

Oracle announces a new leadership event, Oracle Industry Connect, which will gather executives from communications, financial services, health sciences, retail, utilities and other project-management intensive industries to showcase how they tackle complex business challenges and drive innovation in their specific industries. The event will take place March 25-26, 2014, in Boston.

[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 11, 2014

Manufacturing Today—Innovation and Operational Excellence how to Compete in a Global Marketplace

By: John Reichard, Oracle Primavera Discrete Industry Strategy Director

Manufacturing is critical to the global economy. It is driven by innovation and operational excellence, which impacts the economy and international trade—all in a volatile and demanding marketplace; A global marketplace which over the last few years has been strained by economic, political and environmental stress. Economists describe the business climate as gradually improving but still very sensitive to market conditions and customer demands. Or is this really the new normal environment for businesses?

Manufacturers that survived the difficult economy over the last few years, now face a more competitive environment where they must do more with less to win. They will have to optimize dwindling experienced resources, choose projects wisely for improved financial results, and better manage risk to deliver on time in order to thrive. How will you innovate, evolve and compete to win in this new normal global marketplace?

One way for industries to compete is to strike a balance between innovation and process improvement to better align new product development to corporate strategy. This Innovation brings in new streams of value while process improvement provides the back-end insurance that the innovations achieved will continuously deliver competitive value. New innovation will help increase revenue, market share while building customer value. These are very important drivers to the discrete industries. We find that new product introductions contribute significantly to business growth. Companies that invest in development find it is not an optional extra but rather crucial to business growth and profitability. Is innovation a high priority for your company?

To stay competitive, many industrial manufacturing companies are focusing on global efficiency through greater collaboration, and visibility across program and projects worldwide. This transparency helps, in today’s complex product design and manufacturing initiatives resulting in higher customer satisfaction and profit margins. These metrics are vital to measuring a company’s success in bringing the right products to market on time. Cost overruns or late product launches result in the loss of credibility and financially impact to the bottom-line. How does your company ensure that you are designing, building and delivering products as promised and avoiding costly delays when different functional teams aren’t always in sync?

How do you:

  • Drive Innovation–Innovation is considered one of the most critical drivers to a company’s competitiveness. How do you choose which programs or projects satisfy customer demand, and improve market share with the required return on investment?
  • Manage Risk - Risk requires identification and management to mitigate potential quality, warranty, legal and environmental issues. Are you managing change successfully and mitigating its effects?
  • Understand Capacity–Do you have the right resources to match the demand in the markets you plan to grow in?

Each of these questions can be answered and objectives accomplished with the help of an enterprise project portfolio management solution that can streamline operations, improve time to market, increase agility, and provide visibility and transparency with all stakeholders.

If you would like to know more about how to: compete and win in the global marketplace, then I invite you to visit Oracle’s Primavera industrial manufacturing industry page for more information.

Friday Feb 07, 2014

University of Utah Uses Oracle’s Primavera Unifier to Save US$11.5 Million in Budgeted Construction Project Costs

Maintaining and constructing new facilities to support a modern education and research institution requires a commitment to continuous improvements and tight management of complex project portfolios. So to improve project visibility and implement better financial controls for capital projects totaling US$900 million, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City replaced its in-house database for tracking construction projects with the cloud-based Oracle’s Primavera Unifier project management system. The result: the university recently completed two large-scale projects on or before their deadlines at a total of US$11.5 million under budget. Paul Bender, Oracle’s director of public administration strategy, explains how the university achieved these impressive outcomes. University of Utah Uses Oracle's Prrimavera Unifier

Q: One of the projects was the 156,000 square foot Huntsman Cancer Center Phase IIB expansion. What was the impact on that project of having improved financial controls and better collaboration?
A: That project came in two months early and US$9 million under budget. The university attributes a good portion of the savings in time and cost to the project management system. The solution helped school officials reduce the number of electronic RFIs required. It also shortened workflow response times among project team members from a previous maximum of eight weeks to a few hours. In addition, officials benefitted from the elimination of a significant volume of paperwork. The system also helped external partners, including more than 90 consultants and contractors, collaborate more effectively through access to the system for day-to-day project management.

Read the full Q&A here and discover how organizations using Primavera Unifier have the tools necessary to maintain fiscal discipline in day-to-day activities.

Read a complete case study of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on page six of Construction Connection and download an in-depth white paper about Oracle’s Primavera Unifier.

Thursday Jan 30, 2014

The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

A new report from Oracle’s Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) Board in North America directly tackles two critical issues that have divided the project portfolio community for years. The first is whether organizations are best served by a central project management office (PMO) or by a decentralized approach that distributes project management responsibilities among individual business units. The second flashpoint is the rise of mobility among EPPM professionals and whether senior executives should encourage this trend. The EPPM Board Weighs In on Top Industry Controversies

Discussions of these issues are included in the report, “The Changing Face of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management,” by the Oracle EPPM Board, a prestigious international steering group of senior executives, academics, and industry experts.

Read the full report and learn how a balanced approach to mobility can help organizations address both the benefits and risks of this important issue. “A failure to embrace [mobility] could have serious consequences for the delivery of successful projects,” Board members say. They added that evidence shows that when projects fail, many people know well in advance but are worried by what the disclosure could do to their careers. “Smart devices, apps that deliver real-time data straight to the C-level, and dashboard analysis were all viewed as positive ways in which to combat such cognitive, but very human, behavior,” the report explains.

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

New Webcast with CIO Magazine: Financial Services CIOs Drive Innovation with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

The CIO role in the financial services industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation—from executives primarily involved with managing existing operations into business strategists who help fuel growth in their enterprises. This emerging trend and the close connection between innovation in financial services and enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions are explored in detail in a new webcast hosted by CIO Magazine and sponsored by Oracle.

In addition, two new reports from Accenture and Oracle, respectively, also explain how EPPM solutions can help drive innovation.

Read the full article here and learn more about; Speed time to value for innovation, the seven benefits of EPPM and discover the in-depth resources for CIOs.

Monday Jan 06, 2014

University of Minnesota Saves Millions with Fewer Construction Change Orders and Claims, Improves Collaboration with Project Management Solution

The University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive public universities in the United States, offering more than 370 fields of study at campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, Crookston, and Rochester. It also has six agricultural experiment stations, two biological stations, one forestry station, and regional extension services throughout the state.