In today’s unpredictable economic climate, it is essential for businesses to protect their bottom line. In particular, engineering and manufacturing businesses should operate under the premise that effective project management and financial control is key to protecting margins and overall financial success. Optimising resources is crucial for effective project management and maintaining profitability standards.
With projects ranging from simple one-day undertakings through to extremely complex assignments, businesses in the projects industry need to be attentive to the dynamic nature of their trade. Industry changes are characterised by innovation in technology, machine automation, systems integration, precise material requirements planning for job costing, and the ever-increasing presence of the global village. “In engineering and manufacturing is it vital that businesses have their eye on the ball,” says Craig Johnston, marketing manager of Bluekey Seidor, the leading SAP Business One partner in Africa. “Integrated business management technology can greatly assist SMEs in optimising their resources to manage multiple projects efficiently.”
“Engineering and manufacturing industries are exceptionally complex. We have discovered that in order to keep up with main-stream industry advancements, businesses in these industries work most effectively when using a single, comprehensive, integrated, business management solution that accurately manages the entire business,” explains Johnston.
“SAP Business One integrates critical business areas such as financial management, project planning and resourcing through to real-time insights, live budget tracking and inventory control,” adds Johnston.
Some of the functionality found within this project management system include:
Complete resource visibility – this enables companies to see where possible conflicts occur across multiple projects and proactively manage resources by monitoring key metrics, such as resource utilisation and chargeability. It provides a complete overview of how teams are allocated to projects.
Define project roles & rates – effective budget management and invoicing is essential for a healthy bottom line. SAP Business One can assign project roles to individuals, which streamlines invoicing later on. Project expectations can also be set and standardised early on, by detailing resource roles and assigning specific activities with set rates to be charged to the end customer.
Assign the right resources to the right tasks – the solution offers flexibility to assign resources either to a project as a whole, or to individual tasks. Within this function, businesses can now view individual resource capacity to ensure availability.
Track resource performance in real-time – by analysing key metrics derived from real time reports, project management can instantly see how assignees are performing. Supervisors have instant insight through customised KPI reports and dashboards which offers invaluable accountability.
Streamline time and expense procedures – expense claims and time sheets are a vital part of remaining on top of expenditure but they need to be updated in real-time, which SAP Business One does through a browser-based application.
“Engineering and manufacturing can be seen as the engine of South Africa’s economy. It is more important and more challenging than ever for businesses in these industries to remain at the top of their game. Effective resource management as part of the overall management of project-based businesses is key to achieving long-term success,” concludes Johnston.