Monday Sep 30, 2013

Aegion Improves Operations; Gains Consistency; and Increases On-Time, On-Budget Project Delivery

Aegion Corp. is a global leader in infrastructure protection. It provides proprietary technologies and services that protect against the corrosion of industrial pipelines and rehabilitate and strengthen water, waste water, energy and mining piping systems and buildings, bridges, tunnels, and waterfront structures. It is a newly formed parent company for Insituform Technologies, Bayou, Corrpro, CRTS, Fibrwrap, Fyfe, and United Pipeline Systems.

Challenges:

  • Strengthen and standardize project management processes across the organization, starting with the company’s Insituform Technologies group.

  • Increase visibility into project schedules, budgeting, costs, and progress to identify emerging issues quickly and take action to minimize risk.

  • Improve operational efficiency and data integrity, and allow project management teams to focus on strategic priorities.

  • Standardize on a project management solution and integrate it with the company’s legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

Click here to read all challenges

Solutions:

  • Deployed Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher Edition, and integrated the solutions with the company’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 and Oracle CRM On Demand applications to ensure end-to-end visibility and enhanced control for the company’s pipeline and infrastructure development rehabilitation projects—from new-business wins, through to project completions.

  • Standardized and created a single source for all project scheduling information that improved construction crew utilization, reduced penalties related to delays, avoided rush charges, and improved materials planning and utilization.

  • Gained insight into emerging issues and enabled more rapid corrective action, supporting on-budget and on-time completion of projects, including public sector construction initiatives that require granular reporting.

  • Standardized project scheduling and management processes to help support larger and more geographically dispersed projects.

  • Reduced the need for data re-entry across multiple systems to improve productivity and data accuracy and ensured that project management, ERP, and CRM systems share consistent and up-to-date information.

Click here to read all solutions

Click here to read the complete customer story

Friday Sep 13, 2013

Top Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companies

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts roughly a $38T capital outlay over the next 15 years for the energy sector. Global energy and utility demand isTop Challenges, Implications, and Strategic Solutions for Energy and Utility Companiesexpected to increase by over one-third in the period to 2035, while the primary energy supply mix shifts considerably to natural gas and unconventional sources. The ability for global power and process owners, operators, contractors, and E&C companies to meet demand will largely depend on their ability to overcome five pain points: a constrained capital market, erratic supply and demand, aging infrastructure, a heightened regulatory environment, and declining global skills.

Iain Graham, director of Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera, hosts a Webcast available On-Demand that spotlights three strategic drivers—operational excellence, financial discipline, and risk mitigation—which are key in driving success and helping to identify, select, execute, operate, and maintain assets in an increasingly complex world. During the Webcast, Iain discusses how financial discipline can help manage capital expenses and focus capital on areas that drive greater shareholder value. Through examples that Iain provides, you can learn how operational excellence enhances efficiency, optimizes resource pools, and reduces waste and inefficiencies. He also covers how improved awareness of cash flow and capital expenditures can help any power and process company better manage and react to uncertainty.

Read the full edition of Engineering News Record’s 2nd edition of Construction Connection to discover more successes and stories in the current and emerging environment in the engineering and construction industry. 

Visit the microsite to read highlight articles from the digital magazine.

Tuesday Sep 10, 2013

Project and Program Management: The Key to Thriving in the Regulation Nation

Written by: Mike Metcalf, Director of Services Industry, Oracle PrimaveraProject and Program Management System for Regulatory Compliance and Control

Between 2009 and 2012, US businesses were burdened with more than $500 Billion in regulation costs. In 2012 alone an additional $215 Billion in final rule costs were added. For financial services organizations, the Basel capital standards, Volcker rule and Durbin Amendment are most often cited as major drivers of additional costs. According to its own reported data, Bank of America spends over $4B on regulatory costs representing almost 3.5% of its market capitalization. In its 2011 annual report, JP Morgan Chase states, "It will take an enormous amount of resources across all of our disciplines – people, systems, technology and control functions (finance, risk, legal, audit and compliance) to get it done right. Over the next few years, we estimate that tens of thousands of our people will work on these changes, of which 3,000 will be devoted full time to the effort, at a cost of close to $3 billion." 

Remarkably, in spite of this explosion of regulations, increasing compliance costs, limited resources and emphasis on change management, most compliance efforts are dispersed across the organization and lack any formalized project and program management controls. As many CIO's have experienced, effective project portfolio management processes and systems can help via their ability to:

  • Communicate and co-ordinate change management activities that span functional and organizational boundaries
  • Improve governance and oversight of business-critical initiatives
  • Identify and eliminate duplicate or rogue initiatives
  • Leverage best practices across the organization
  • Mitigate schedule risks and help control costs

The American Action Forum estimates the total financial services regulatory cost over the last 10 years to be almost $25 Billion and growing. The 2013 Cost of Compliance Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters states that, "The fact that 67 percent of respondents expected their budgets to rise slightly or significantly indicated that those who make budgetary decisions are increasingly risk aware and appreciate the need to have a well-resourced compliance function to mitigate the myriad risks which firms may face in the coming year." It concludes by stating, "It looks as though 2013 will be characterized by the need to juggle a further increase in regulatory communications, to drive the implementation of agreed change and to ensure that senior managers focus on risk management and corporate governance. All this will have to be managed despite a lack of suitably skilled resources."

It is clear that we have entered an era of financial services re-regulation and that these challenges will continue for many years to come. It's time for risk and compliance officers to adopt proven solutions such as project portfolio management to manage the large and growing number of change initiatives resulting from these new regulations. Organizations that excel at managing regulatory compliance will minimize compliance costs, avoid penalties, and leverage regulatory mastery for competitive advantage. 

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Why Government Agencies Need to Prove Value by Producing Incremental Value

For years, government agencies have undertaken ambitious, multi-year projects often without a step-by-step project plan or documented ROI. This inevitably led to waste, a frustrated Congress, and a confused public. Now, government agencies must show their programs will achieve value from the very first stage of development.

By shelving expensive, multi-year IT programs for smaller projects that can show incremental value, agencies can prove to Congress real ROI. This makes it more likely that the agencies will receive continued funding and the projects can continue. Another benefit is that by breaking large projects into smaller ones, agencies can ensure that each phase works properly and will deliver the expected ROI before advancing to the next phase. If progress is not delivered, that project can be canceled or put on hold, without much lost. As Tom Davis, Director of Federal Government Affairs for Deloitte & Touche LLP notes, "significant amounts of government funding have gone to waste due to agencies trying to tackle too much at once." While this thinking is not necessarily new, the current fiscal environment has convinced many that "agile" is the right approach to successful programs. 

"Flat is the new up" may not be an ideal situation, but it is the one government agencies have come to know. To adjust, they will need to become more innovative in the way they extract efficiencies and cost savings out of their operations. Moreover, they will need to prove, every step of the way, that their programs are valuable. In a time of constrained budgets, failing to do so may result in reduced funding.    

Oracle's Primavera provides enterprise investment management technology that allows government agencies to propose, plan, and control investments that present the greatest value to both the agencies and the public they serve. With Primavera enterprise project portfolio management solutions, national and local governments can effectively manage time, costs, resources, contracts, and changes to all types of projects or programs—including management of IT investments, grants, military systems, capital facility projects, maintenance and improvement programs, and more. Learn more here

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Transform your business with Oracle Primavera

If you use Oracle’s Primavera solutions, and you're attending Oracle OpenWorld, then the Primavera sessions are for you. Featuring 18 sessions, hands-on labs, demos, meet the experts and exhibits. The sessions are designed for you to gain valuable information on how to drive innovation, enhance operations or manage finance & risk, and effectively use our solutions to support both short and long-term growth through better formulation, alignment and execution of corporate initiatives and projects.

Add these ten essential sessions to your schedule:

  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera P6, Primavera P6 Analytics, and Primavera Gateway
  • Improving Productivity Throughout the Capital Asset Lifecycle
  • What’s New and the Planned Roadmap: Primavera Unifier and Instantis EnterpriseTrack
  • Instantis EnterpriseTrack Cloud Service for IT and Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Manufacturing Projects
  • Leveraging Oracle’s Primavera Across the Enterprise at Pacific Gas & Electric
  • New Product Update: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Scheduling Process
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Maintenance Projects
  • Primavera PPM Solutions for Capital Projects
  • Qualcomm Streamlines Its Design and Manufacturing Process with AutoVue/Agile Products

In practical self-paced learning sessions covering everything from Oracle’s Primavera P6 solutions to Primavera Portfolio Management, Primavera Capital Planning and Instantis Enterprise Track and Unifier, you’ll discover new ways to derive maximum benefits from your Oracle software.

(Seven labs to choose from - see Focus on Oracle Primavera for more information)

Download the Focus On Oracle Primavera guide (pdf) and stay connected via Twitter.com/@OracleEPPM, LinkedIn, and Facebook/OraclePrimavera.

Tuesday Sep 03, 2013

Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry

In the auto industry, introducing new products to market can cost up to $1 billion depending on the product’s complexity. Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product. Without a timely launch, OEMs aren’t only affected, but suppliers, dealer sales & services and aftermarket ecosystems lose out, as well.

Earlier this year, we saw new product launches that struggled and experienced recalls, with the potential loss of thousands of units in sales and corresponding loss of market share and customer confidence -- something that in this competitive environment is hard to win back. Studies also suggest that for every day an automotive launch was late, an OEM missed out on a million dollars in sales.2 One OEM believed that after being three months late on a major launch – it had lost 60% of the lifecycle profit.

Why does production fall behind?

Getting these products to market on time is crucial in order to realize ROI during the full lifecycle of the product.

Read the complete whitepaper here to learn how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution can help in accelerating the launch of new automotive products to achieve full lifecycle return on investment.

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