17 June, 2008
IFS pinpoints Project Centric business model as the key to success in global economic downturn
Optimizing the five fundamentals of Project Centric management is key to greater business efficiency and to benefiting from new opportunities during the global downturn and beyond.
Based on 25 years of experience in developing software that supports Project Centric businesses, IFS, the global enterprise applications company, is advising businesses to bring down the barriers inherent in traditional organizational structures to adopt a Project Centric approach. It has identified time, risk, cost, cash and resources as the five key performance measures a business must track in order to improve efficiency and remain agile in a globalized marketplace.
Traditional organizational structures and systems make understanding real-time operational situations very difficult, delaying corrections to resourcing and supply, costing the business money and making it almost impossible to decide whether an opportunity will ultimately be profitable. Software applications that record, monitor and optimize these five fundamentals and encourage collaboration are proven to help a business become more agile and better able to respond to global and local challenges.
Structuring a business around a network of integrated projects—rather than outmoded fixed departmental or geographic silos—is fundamental for success. The approach enables companies to move from being departmentally constrained to truly embrace end-to-end processes. This provides managers with greater and faster visibility of progress, enables risks to be managed more closely and allows adjustments to be applied instantly.
“Both employees and organizations are demanding real alternative ways of working that match the changing needs of the 21st century economy and the shorter term imperatives of the downturn,” Thomas Petersson, Senior Vice President of Products & Marketing at IFS said. “Businesses require Project Centric capabilities that remove the old-fashioned constraints. Managers need to be able to assemble and re-assemble the best mix of people, assets and resources for particular projects, and employees are demanding ‘individualized’ systems that mirror the realities of their changing work and personal lives. This approach gives companies visibility of likely consequences from business decisions, so they can manage the future, not only the past.”
IFS has been working closely with its customers in diverse sectors including manufacturing, construction, utilities and oil and gas, including Hertel, Heerema Fabrication Group and Babcock Marine to better support business processes based on Project Centric fundamentals.
“The construction and contracting industries have long been project-focused, configuring and re-configuring the whole organization, contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to deliver to exacting timeframes and contractual obligations. In order to succeed in the current business environment, CEOs of businesses in many other sectors must adopt a similar approach,” Petersson added. “This will allow a business, whichever market it is in, to be agile enough to respond to the constantly changing risks that result from today’s volatile economic climate.”
“Taking a Project Centric approach to business makes sense for companies in industries like ours,” Jeananne Drummond, Corporate Information Systems Manager for Babcock Marine, said. “For many years, we’ve been experiencing the benefits of greater efficiency and better visibility through focusing on the five key components that make up this approach. In turn, this helps us to be agile so we can react quickly when we need to make changes to the business. There is certainly potential for companies in other industries to adapt their way of working and experience similar benefits.”
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a fully-integrated, component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. The company has more than 2,000 customers in 54 countries and focuses on seven main industries: aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail & wholesale distribution, and construction contracting & service management. IFS has 2,600 employees and net revenue in 2007 was SKr 2.4 billion.