According to research by the Project Management Institute28% of projects fail because they are based on inaccurate cost estimates.

Partial analysis of stakeholder requirements and lack of visibility on costs, human resources and skills availability are among the main causes of this trend.

In engineering companies, a further challenge is the complexity of projects. This complexity stems from the need for preliminary analyses and feasibility studies which are not immediately attributable to an actual project, yet demand hours of time and call extensively on resources.

This is why preventive cost analysis is essential in this context.

 

Such analysis enables accurate appraisal of the costs associated with the stages prior to the execution of the project and, through the correct allocation of time, resources and materials used in pre-sales, it also guarantees a precise definition of the mark-up.

How? A combination of historical data from implemented projects and current requirements is used to minimise any loss of profits, and to allow simulated forecasting scenarios that account for resources, time worked, hourly rates and overall profitability.

Akeron Project Business Automation has built-in features that allow you to historicize and analyse the progress of each project by specific size (sector, work team, time, technical resources and materials used). The advantages contribute to the realization of a credible feasibility study that allows:  

  • Development of greater awareness of production capacity
  • Establishment of the correct selling price
  • The achievement of a good balance between sales and production

Thanks to Akeron Project Business Automation, the complexity of projects will be mitigated by the simplicity of using a software which can provide full visibility and supervision of the entire project cycle.

According to the Project Management Institute, the failure of many engineering projects can be traced back to the quotation management phase. Another study, conducted by the University of Aalborg (Denmark) also confirms that in nine out of ten projects, costs are underestimated and have a negative impact on profits (Source PMI.org).

To overcome this critical issue, engineering companies need a software solution that can support the quotation phase in an analytical and timely manner.

Akeron Project Business Automation is the ideal solution: it allows you to manage the entire project life cycle and includes features dedicated to the correct definition and allocation of resources and time.

First of all, the system allows you to set up the Corporate Organizational Chart, from which you can quickly identify the availability of all human resources and their related roles in the company.

The second preliminary element enables establishment of the typical Phases to be evaluated and managed in a project.

These two aspects are preparatory to the definition of the Service Catalogue, which allows the company to codify the elements of its offer, including a more or less detailed description and definition of the specifics, which are useful to enhance the economic proposal.

As such, the estimation phase can be concretized in the Sales Module for each prospect or customer, and reviewed by the system according to the object of the offer and analysis of all the elements that would have impact at a company level, should the proposal be accepted.

Akeron Project Business Automation allows a preliminary assessmentprecisely targeted and analytical of the costs attributable to a specific project order, to enable definition of an appropriate mark-up.

If the feasibility study is positive, the system allows the creation of an Offer Document, based on a predefined template, that can be edited and shared with the customer via e-mail or through the use of the Reserved Area.

 

Finally, the solution allows management of the quotation phase outcome:

  • Revision, which allows changes to be made to the existing document.
  • Negative Closure, which indicates a failed negotiation, but thanks to the storage of relevant information, makes it possible to analyze the causes of failure.
  • Positive Closure, from which the project order can be automatically opened and populated using the elements previously defined within the offer.

Thanks to the support of Akeron Project Business Automation, the realization of a project is not only greatly simplified but profit can be maximized through precise cost estimation.

We are experiencing an unprecedented impact on our personal and working lives as a result of Covid-19 and measures taken by governments to tackle it.  Customers, suppliers and employees were, and still are, being driven towards digital channels.

In 2021, at least one third of European information workers will work mainly from home, compared with 4% in 2019….in 2021, every company will focus on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems” (Forrester Research: European Predictions 2021, published 2020).

 

The first wave of digital transformation was needed overnight and led to smart working from home, where possible, and remote interaction with customers and suppliers. This involved mostly office automation, collaboration tools for communication and mobile apps for customer interaction and fulfilment. Change which was expected to take place over 3 to 5 years was ushered through in 3 to 5 weeks.

 

In the same report Forrester states that: “Digital leaders will drive double-digit growth in 2021.”  To achieve this second wave of digital transformation will require focus on elevating the human experience for all kinds of business application.

Human experience in an evolving digital world consists of the customeremployee and user experience. Take for example a professional services organization like a marketing & design agency. The agency in question is technologically advanced and employees are used to collaborating and interacting with customers on their projects through technology. Yet on average 5 to 8 applications are used to exchange project work. And e-mail is used to exchange information, which is sometimes prohibited because of a customer’s or supplier’s privacy and data protection policy, and an audit trail is also missing. Switching between applications with ‘copy and paste’ reduces individual and team productivity. Taking a people-centric approach for customers, suppliers, employees, management and other stakeholders, puts the user at the center of the digital experience for professional services.

The marketing & design agency mentioned above looked at how team productivity, and thus business performance, could be improved. This was achieved by making sure that customers, suppliers and employees are supported by a project management system to plan activities, measure progress, keep informed and share information in real time. Reducing the number of applications and optimal data integration with salesforce automation, human capital management and financial systems, creates informed and empowered users. When something goes wrong in a project it is almost always down to communication and how people collaborate. Technicalities are seldom the cause.

Investing in core business system innovation pays off in terms of digital leadership, so timing is everything. And in the current circumstances, it is the most viable option for growth. A modern software platform for professional services automation like Kairos Software improves the human experience, productivity and business performance.