Connect design to downstream functions

Posted by Phillip Schell May 30, 2018 10:46:00 AM

B4 Consulting believes that unlocking the valuable data in VDC applications and transacting with them in downstream applications is a best practice. InEight’s Model Manager gives construction companies that functionality without making them change their VDC tools. We are now taking design data to estimating, procurement and scheduling.

ineightmodelsuite

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Topics: B4 Consulting, ineight, vdc

Cloud for Construction

Posted by Phillip Schell May 28, 2018 11:21:00 AM

Cloud for Construction is here, anchored by SAP's Digital Core - S4 Public Cloud and Corecon for Construction Field Operations is a true end to end integrated ERP solution for Construction companies.

cloudforconstruction

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Topics: B4 Consulting, Engineering and Construction, construction, Cloud Computing, S/4Hana, cloud, sap public cloud, corecon

Driving Project Certainty with Next Generation Analytics

Posted by Phillip Schell Jan 29, 2018 11:37:47 AM

Sorry you missed the webinar! 

Please stay tuned.  It will be posted OnDemand soon.

 

Analytics Cloud For Construction

B4 Consulting has developed a stand-alone solution for the entire construction market.  Our Analytics Cloud for Construction app will be a game-changer in this industry. We are offering a complimentary webinar to introduce you to this efficient and easy eay to meet business objectives, manage risks and grow your business. Please register at the link below to learn more.

The construction industry is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, with $10 trillion spent on construction-related goods and services every year. In a low margin industry with capital-intensive projects, success can depend on tightly monitoring and controlling the performance of projects. The SAP® Analytics Cloud for Construction solution can make this task easier by helping managers identify issues, derive insights, make optimal decisions, and take action.

SAP has had a dedicated industry practice since 1996, serving a customer base that includes over 3000 companies globally. We see the challenges posed by globalization, resource constraints, and increasing project complexity and risk. We are working with our customers on a variety of fronts to meet and defeat these challenges.

SAP is committed to partnering with customers to help:

  • Provide timely, accurate information in real-time
  • Tightly monitor and control project performance
  • Detect and mitigate risk early in the project lifecycle
  • Give project executives appropriate information to make better decisions
  • Avoid time and resources involved with developing customer-specific analytics content
This webinar will showcase our partner, B4 Consulting, and how they’ve created a construction/project specific deployment of world-class analytics in the cloud.  B4 Consulting integrates business processes and technologies globally for customers who want to transform their businesses with innovative on-premise and cloud-based solutions.  B4 Consulting’s team of solution architects integrates these solutions with leading systems, such as SAP solutions, to enable business performance excellence and improved profitability. Partnering with customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, B4 Consulting has the largest practice in North America dedicated to the engineering, construction, real estate, equipment management, field services and professional services industries. www.b4-consulting.com.

 

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Topics: B4 Consulting, Engineering and Construction, Cloud Computing, Self-Service Analytics, Data Analytics, cloud, solutions

Why All the Buzz About Self-Service Analytics?

Posted by John Reid May 18, 2017 3:47:13 PM

 Business_Intelligence.jpg

 

Data analytics is a data-centric approach to decision making. Self-service analytics is an approach to data analytics that enables business users to access and analyze their corporate data with minimal skills in business intelligence and data mining. This is achieved through the use of tools that simplify the business users’ ability to access corporate data and the ease in which they can manipulate that data to uncover important insights and trends.

Barriers to Self-Serve Analytics

Most business users are hesitant to dive into a new self-service analytic tool. The idea of taking the time to learn a new application to the point where you are comfortable is disheartening to the average business user.  Just rolling out the installation of the tool and providing basic documentation on typical functionally or work flows will only result in failure.  Having a good IT support system to help guide users in the use of self-service analytic tools is critical for the success of the self-serve BI initiative.  Hands-on training workshops, with corporate test data and real business process scenarios, will go a long way to ensure end user acceptance. 

It is important that business users in the organization understand the main intent for the self-serve analytic tool. Expecting to produce or replace existing corporate executive dash boards with a few hours of effort in a self-serve analytic tool is not going to produce successful results.  The focus should be on discovery of current conditions and treads that can influence organization KPIs related to cash flow or production performance.  For example: Why is sales revenue down in store X this month?  Can we determine why Plant Y is seeing a 28% increase in productivity?  Having a clear understanding of the tools’ intent will help users focus on getting the most out of their efforts.

Self-Serve Analytics – The Road to Success

In order for self-serve analytics to be successful the user interface needs to be intuitive, with a development canvas and navigation functionality that is user friendly. Successful self-serve analytic reports tell stories.  They combine data facts with business knowledge to bring out hidden business insights. They help you show the root causes to business problems and can help provide solutions to resolve those problems.

Training is needed to help users understand what corporate data is available and how that information should be accessed. IT also needs to focus on maintaining the corporate data warehouse and data marts to ensure that business users have the right data at the right time.  With the right training and data business users can build their own queries and customize their own reports and dashboards with minimal effort and maximum benefit.

It is important to note that while self-serve analytics can provide business users with an easy to use tool that greatly increases their ability to access and consume data, it can also bring confusion and mistrust if there is no corporate data governance processes in place. Data made available to your self-serve analytics tools must be relevant, accurate, and timely.  The data provided needs to help resolve business problems not create new ones. This requires a data governance policy that maintains data consistency and quality though out the organization using constant monitoring and review processes so business users have confidence in the data they are using.

Lumira_GEO_Analysis.png

                 GEO analysis made easy with SAP Business Objects Lumira

Summary

Self-service analytics will not replace traditional business intelligence or remove the need for data scientists.  Organizations will still benefit greatly with operational and strategic reporting and complex data analysis that can be captured in a traditional BI system with the assistance of data scientists. Self-service analytics enhances the BI offering by allowing core business users to generate new business insights and use these insights to make more informed decisions.

B4 Consulting can provide assistance with implementing a good self-serve analytic strategy, which will integrate with and complement existing BI initiatives. Data preparation processes that adhere to corporate data governance policies and business user training are the key components in a successful self-serve analytic initiative. 

SAP Lumira offers a very insightful and user-friendly interface that supports self-serve analytics development. Seamless integration with the Business Objects BI Platform exposes all of the rich functionality of a secure BI platform while providing users the flexibility of both desktop and web-based development environments.

For more information on how self-serve analytics can engage more employees to help give your organization a competitive edge -- contact me at B4 Consulting -- jre@b4-consulting.com

About the Author

John Reid is an Analytics, Mobility & Technology Consultant at B4 Consulting.He can be reached at

jre@b4-consulting.com 

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Topics: SAP, B4 Consulting, Business Intelligence, Self-Service Analytics, SAP Lumira, Data Analytics

Are You Ready for IFRS 16?

Posted by Phillip Schell Jun 28, 2016 12:47:00 PM

 

Are You Ready for IFRS 16?

 

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released new accounting standards that define how organizations must account for leases.  These accounting standards, addressed in the International Financial Records Standard 16 (IFRS 16), stipulate how most leases must be reported on a company’s balance sheet.  For many lessees -- this change is huge.

While the new leasing standard does not go into effect until January 2019, companies can begin reporting in January 2017 and start communicating expected changes with stakeholders – now. The new standard will affect virtually all commonly-used financial ratios and performance metrics such as gearing, current ratio, asset turnover, interest cover, EBITDA, EBIT, operating profit, net income, EPS, ROCE, ROE, and operating cash flows. These changes may affect loan covenants credit ratings and borrowing costs, and could result in other behavioral changes. And, these changes may compel many organizations to reassess certain ‘lease versus buy’ decisions.

IFRS 16 changes will affect lessees in the following key areas:

  • Balance Sheet: Initially recognizes lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet at the present value of future lease payments.
  • Income Statement: Recognizes amortization of lease assets and interest on the lease liabilities over the lease term. The overall effect on profit will depend on the portfolio of leases an entity holds. However, in the earlier years of a lease, it is expected that the profit will be lower as a result of higher interest accruing on the lease liability (akin to an amortizing mortgage).
  • Cash Flow Statement: Separates the total amount of cash paid into a principal portion (presented within financing activities) and interest (presented within either operating or financing activities). 

As you can see, the changes are dramatic. This is not just a software change or upgrade. It is a major change in business processes, how applications integrate to accommodate the rule change, and last but certainly not least -- companies will be challenged to effectively communicate IFRS 16 standards to stakeholders who will see major changes in financial results.

To successfully implement IFRS 16 requires a structured initiative that will manage:

Business Process Change

Business processes in many areas, including finance, procurement, tax, treasury, legal, operations, corporate real estate and HR will have to be changed and aligned to support a successful adoption of the accounting changes.

Software Application Integration

For those companies with real estate in one application, assets in another and separate G/L, it will be difficult. The SAP integrated platform will make this a much easier. SAP customers who are already on SAP Real Estate and have their fixed assets in SAP will have an enhancement to download in a few months that will put them into compliance.  

 

SAP Real Estate Management application enables coordination between different departments.

The solution also provides lease accountants the ability to evaluate the financial impact of each lease and ultimately generates all valuation postings required by the new leasing standards.  It even manages the postings for multiple lease accounting standards simultaneously, regardless if the general ledger account or parallel ledger methodology is utilized. This solution is part of SAP Finance and is completely integrated, helping avoid the kind of costly disruptions that can derail critical business processes, operations and costly noncompliance events.

Stakeholder Communications

Corporation stakeholders will need a lot assistance in understanding the changes in nearly all financial ratios and performance metrics such as: gearing, current ratio, asset turnover, interest cover, EBITDA, EBIT, operating profit, net income, EPS, ROCE, ROE and operating cash flows.

Even though the new leasing standards are not effective until December 2018 for US GAAP and January 2019 for IFRS, companies can choose to be early adopters and begin reporting January 2017.  Whether you choose to be an early adopter or comply by the deadlines, there are certain things you can do today to prepare.

Current SAP Real Estate Management users should implement the new leasing enhancements as soon as they are released to begin evaluating the impact on your financial statements.  Even if you do not intend to be an early adopter, the loading of the leases and analyzing the results will pay big dividends in the future.

Companies that implement the SAP IFRS 16 enhancements quickly can run it in simulation mode only and use the results to compare their financial performance before and after implementation. We believe that when key executives are knowledgeable about how IFRS 16 changes will affect performance reporting, they can effectively communicate with their stakeholders.

Recently, B4 Consulting announced its support for IFRS 16 real property leasing with SAP Real Estate Management, which includes implementation services for real estate, procurement, and financial management. Through an IFRS 16 Assessment,  we examine all your business processes and areas affected by IFRS 16. Then, we develop a road map and budget for successful implementation of IFRS 16 standards – including stakeholder communications.

Get ahead of the curve and let’s talk about how you can successfully prepare for IFRS 16. Email me at pschell@b4-consulting.com.

 

Phillip Schell is vice president of Industry Solutions at B4 Consulting, Inc.

 

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Topics: SAP, B4 Consulting, SAP Real Estate, Reporting, IFRS 16, Leasing, Real Property, Leases, Accounting

Lower Staff-to-Craft Ratio with Enterprise Content Management

Posted by Phillip Schell Aug 28, 2014 12:55:50 PM
Blog_ECM_construction_worker_with_laptop

As the construction industry emerges from the dark days of the recession into the light of new project work across the country, it is confronted with two thorny issues that can impede growth:  an unusually high staff-to-craft ratio due to under-investment in technology; and retention of skilled workers.  A common theme runs through these seemingly disparate issues – and that is one of document management.  Consider this: The construction industry hires skilled, college-educated construction professionals with degrees in engineering or construction management and tasks them to manage mind-numbing, time-intensive paperwork.

Imagine investing in a college education in which you have acquired a skill set in Visual Design, BIM, or leading-edge scheduling system and having to sit in front of a desk full of material receipts to input into a materials book. Adding insult to injury, at month’s end you have to run around to gather all those receipts and compare them to the paid invoice amounts to accrue for unpaid commitments in a green-screen accounting system. Is it any wonder why the construction industry is challenged to attract and retain skilled workers who are versed in modern technologies that provide a competitive edge?

But this issue of document management extends beyond the back-office and thwarts efficiency on the job site as well – particularly on self-perform civil construction job sites. For example, a continual flow of incoming trucks have materials that must be weighed, received, or laid down into yards. Every receipt of materials affects job cost, which requires the involvement of project engineers. Approval and reconciliation of these receipts is typically handled in an old-school, manual manner that can take anywhere from hours to days, is highly error-prone and does provide real-time visibility or data.

 

Enterprise Content Management with ELOB4_ECM_No_Paper

B4 Consulting is addressing these construction-centric document management issues with a solution that easily integrates into any IT landscape and at a fraction of the price of some Redmond-based document management systems. Through our partnership with ELO Digital Office, a world leader in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), we bring easy-to-use and affordable ECM solutions to SAP and non-SAP users.

Construction companies such as SNC Construction and Bilfinger have gone digital with ELO. Companies such as these integrate email, estimates, drawings, delivery tickets, purchase orders, and invoices – all on one seamlessly integrated platform.  In one system with rights-assigned access -- employees can from any type of device streamline and standardize processes such as:

  • Project Site Setup: Create an archiving structure for all project-related digital content
  • Delivery Ticket/Goods Receipt Process: Delivery receipt at project site; receipt confirmation; automated G/R posting
  • Accounts Payable: Capture supplier invoice, validate data, remote project-site workflow approval,  release/posting into AR, process invoice with and without PO#

With our ECM solution, the job site scenario described earlier is quickly transformed into a few-click process done in seconds vs. hours or days in which:

  • goods receipts are automatically assigned to a clerk who scans them into OCR-based technology
  • OCR technology is integrated with the ERP solution
  • ERP solution allows the user to check the accuracy of the scan
  • workflow is triggered alerting the appropriate Project Engineer to check for any exceptions before approving the goods receipt
  • system automatically captures delivery tickets and matches them to appropriate invoices to create an Accounts Payable event, accompanied by an approval processes

This functionality can be applied to several construction scenarios from goods receipt to change order management processing. The B4 Consulting ECM solution for intelligent document processing can be applied to any number of business processes in the construction industry, which integrate ERP systems and enable workflows for downstream processing.

Moreover, our solutions use technology for increased efficiencies that optimize resources while ensuring and simplifying compliance with both internal and external requirements. Your skilled construction personnel can now focus on field activities and managing projects instead of paper. Staff-to-craft ratios can be optimized for improved profitability, increased productivity, and higher worker retention rates.

Regardless of your IT landscape, B4 Consulting can help you implement an ECM solution that capitalizes on the latest scanning technologies to increase your productivity and improve profitability. Let’s talk about how we can put ECM to work for you – email me at pschell@b4-consulting.com.

 

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Topics: SAP, B4 Consulting, construction, ELO Digital Office, Enterprise Content Management

Chris Hadfield -- More Highlights from CCA Conference

Posted by Klaus Schottenhamel Mar 11, 2014 12:08:00 PM

Canadian Construction Association

 

Colonel Chris Hadfield (Retired) gave the Opening Keynote at the Canadian Construction Assocation's 96th Annual Conference. The first Canadian to walk in space, Chris was passionate and sincere as he shared his life lessons on leadership, teamwork, collaboration, science and technology -- all the attributes that make for a successful construction project.

 

Chris Hadfield CCA

 

Chris doesn't need me to promote his resume of achievements of which there are many. But, he has garnered a number of 'firsts.' In 1992, he was among the first chosen as Canada's second class of astronauts. In 1995, he became the first Canadian to use the Canadarm and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft. The first Canadian to perform two spacewalks in 2001, in 2013 he also became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station (ISS). During that ISS mission he chronicled life aboard the space station, took pictures of earth and posted them to Twitter and Facebook -- all of which demonstrates IMHO how he's always leveraging technology for a greater good.

And then there is his Space Oddity YouTube video, which has has become legend with over 21 millions views and still going strong. The guitar, which used in that video, was auctioned at the CCA Conference in Panama and raised $15,000.00 for the Ecole Lakay project in Haiti.

Chris Hadfield Guitar

The funds raised by this auction is just another example of the great things that construction companies are capable of achieving. And, while singing may not be one of our strengths (speaking for myself, of course), Chris was able to rally all the CCA delegates in singing the Canadian National Anthem. A truly great moment.

 

CCA_Panama_Chris_Hadfield

More to come...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: B4 Consulting, Engineering and Construction, CCA, Canadian Construction Association, Panama, Chris Hadfield

Highlights from Canal Day at the CCA Conference in Panama

Posted by Klaus Schottenhamel Mar 10, 2014 11:50:00 AM

 

CCA Canal de Panama

The annual Canadian Construction Association Conference is the leading thought leadership event for Canadian construction companies. As a member of the CCA, B4 Consulting is proud to support this prestigious program and its 96th annual event, which is being held in Panama (March 8-14).

Partnering with the CCA helps to advance awareness and adoption of innovative technologies that can have a meaningful impact on construction companies. Today, regardless of their size, construction companies should be capitalizing on a wealth of proven technologies, which create integrated end-to-end business solutions that drive building excellence and improve profitability.

Building excellence and innovation are manifested in the Panama Canal construction project - a construction project like no other. Considered to be one of th world's most difficult and challenging engineering projects, the Panama Canal is a 77.1-kilometer-ship canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean.

Panama Canal

This year, the Canal celebrated its 100th anniversay. And, today it continues to evolve connecting people, cultures and commerce -- proving that mankind can build things to improve the world.  Innovative construction technologies, construction industry visionaries, and forward-thinking governments are the driving forces behind this magnificent structure and ideal. The Canadian Construction Association is a force for construction industry innovation as well and B4 Consulting is honored to be part of and contribute to the CCA community of technology visionaries.

Therefore, it is fitting that the 96th annual CCA conference was launched with some very impressive and one-of-kind tours of the Panama Canal. Joined by a host of Canadian construction industry executives, our team got a first-hand view of the Canal expansion on the Atlantic side with a look at the new locks and the Gatun Lake where ships will continue their course along the inter-oceanic waterway (shown here)

CCA Canal Expansion 3

Panama Canal Expansion

 

Canal expansion on the Pacific side is underway as well and I was thrilled to be part of a private tour of that construction. Here are some out-takes from this exciting project.

Panama Canal Expansion

CCA Canal Expansion 2

 

I hope to share more experiences from the CCA Conference in Panama. We are especially looking forward to our participation on a technology panel discussion --  Industry vs. Technology. During this session, we'll showcase our OutsideIn construction technology methodology. While you may not be at the CCA Conference in Panama, you can learn about our OutsideIn methodology -- just click on this link to register for your one-one-one session.

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Topics: B4 Consulting, Engineering and Construction, CCA, Canadian Construction Association, Panama

Reality Check on Real Estate ERP

Posted by Phillip Schell Dec 18, 2013 1:11:00 PM

SAP Real Estate ERP 2 resized 600

In a Realcomm Advisory, a couple of years ago, the question was asked “Can real estate ERP vendors keep pace with industry demands?” Reviewing the pros and cons of Real Estate ERP and point systems, which had been broadened and integrated to perform more back office functions, the Advisory challenged the industry to “take a fresh look at the available options.” In light of the technology advances over the past two years, I believe it’s high time to re-examine Real Estate ERP functionality through a technology innovation lens.

Annually, SAP® invests more than $2 billion dollars in R&D aimed at advancing its customers’ technology platform. The following will highlight innovations resulting from these investments, and underscore how some implementation partners are creatively using these tools and concepts in real estate projects to create world-class solutions.

Game-Changing Technologies for Real Estate Management

The SAP Flexible Real Estate Module is part of the core SAP ERP solution. It is a powerful processing engine for all aspects of real estate business processes, which includes solutions for: Lease Administration; Property Management; Sustainability; Deal Flow Solution; Lease Level Budgeting; and Project Management/Fit Up.

These solutions are the industry’s most robust and advanced as they are continually enriched by ongoing SAP investments in technologies spanning: the cloud; mobility; business analytics; Big Data; and user experience and business function enhancements --including the Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Expense Recovery application. Solutions are further enriched through SAP strategic acquisitions and internal development projects – the fruits of which are integrated into the overall SAP architecture.

SAP has also brought to market new in-memory processing capabilities with HANA – a high-performance analytic appliance. This game-changing tool for Big Data delivers real-time analytics and data aggregation for new levels of business insight. Deployed on-premise or via the cloud, HANA is a revolutionary platform that features at its core a real-time database. This real-time database is the result of a combination of row and column store, which is fundamentally different from any other database engine on the market today. With real-time data, regardless of granularity at your fingertips via the device of your choice, you can make fact-based decisions to better manage your property portfolio for increased profitability, compliance and sustainability. And, SAP HANA is not just for large enterprises. It can be used as a highly affordable cloud-based, pay-as-you-go subscription at a very low rate.

While HANA is revolutionizing the world of real-time data, SAP has also introduced two new solutions to greatly enhance the user experience – SAP Fiori and SAP Screen Personas. These complementary solutions make SAP highly intuitive – debunking that old industry thinking that SAP is too complex. Fiori and Personas create consumer-grade user experiences that help advance adoption of business processes and increase productivity.  Out-of-the-box and ready-to-run, SAP Fiori is a set of applications that deliver a simple, intuitive user experience across your most frequently-used business transactions. The design offers a seamless experience from laptop to mobile devices, which allows you to quickly and easily execute tasks. SAP Screen Personas provides a simple, drag-and-drop approach to modify most SAP GUI screens on your desktop (Windows & Mac). It enables IT and business users to quickly simplify business application screens without any programming knowledge. With SAP Screen Personas, you not only improve the performance of SAP – you can personalize any transaction in minutes.

When it comes to mobility, SAP has a rock-solid portfolio of solutions that enable you to securely conduct your business anytime, anywhere, and on any device. It’s well-recognized that HTML5 is the future of programming -- especially for the mobile web and SAP is leveraging HTML5 and open standards to quickly build mobile applications.

SAP ECOSYSTEM

While this snapshot of SAP innovation distinguishes SAP from point-solution vendors who lack the bandwidth and resources to keep pace with technology that fuels growth, I’d be remiss in not citing the SAP partnership ecosystem that contributes as well to innovation. For example, thousands of SAP-certified third-party solutions can be used to enhance your ERP platform. Office applications from Microsoft and Adobe are integrated into the ERP processing engine, enabling you to work in Excel or an Adobe form and then create transactions in the ERP engine. And, SAP further extends ERP functionality via acquisitions, some of which include:

  • Ariba  - for cloud-based buying, selling, and managing cash in a network economy
  • Business Objects - performance management, planning, reporting, query and analysis and enterprise information management.
  • Coghead -Web-based service for building and hosting custom online database applications to facilitate business data management and collaboration.
  • Hybris – an integration framework that enables a commerce platform for direct selling to all customers.
  • SuccessFactors – cloud-based human capital management solution suite.
  • Sybase – enterprise solution to manage, analyze, and mobilize information
  • TechniData – compliance management solutions for products, the environment, chemicals, and health and safety

What do these extensive offerings of certified solutions, acquisitions, and innovations mean for real estate? All of your business needs are handled on a single, integrated platform today and tomorrow. SAP’s annual $2B spend on R&D is ongoing to ensure you can run the best real estate portfolio.  Capitalizing on these technologies, implementation partners such as B4 Consulting can design truly end-to-end solutions for real estate companies of all types -- commercial, corporate and REITs.  ERP is a powerful processing engine, but we now are able to use the rich ecosystem of solutions cited herein to enhance functionality, improve the user experience, and empower you to innovate with technology.

Mobility is a prime example as to how the power of ERP is brought to field functions such as property management. Access to real-time data enhances mobile dashboards and KPIs for managers and executives.  The powerful integration of ERP processing coupled with native property management functionality enables CAM to work even more seamlessly. The same data in ERP is integrated with CRM to deliver Deal Flow functionality the mobility pushes to the field.  Historically, many implementation partners would use the ERP system itself to try to deliver this functionality. The result was often non-intuitive, clunky and not easy to learn. All that has changed with the new SAP.

As noted a couple of years ago in a Realcomm Advisory - ERP vendors are heavily investing in the real estate space.  The new SAP has been aggressively providing the real estate industry with rich functionality and new business capabilities and insights through its pioneering technology strategy, R&D, acquisitions, and partner ecosystem.

Revisiting the Mainstream ERP vs. Real Estate ERP posited a couple of years ago, we see that SAP solutions are quickly closing-in on delivering a fully robust and integrated ERP platform for real estate.

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Mobility, Big Data and global scalability are of growing importance to Real Estate CIOs  It’s time for industry decision-makers to revisit their technology landscapes and revitalize their vision for success by adopting a strategy for innovation that fuels growth and competitive advantage.

To learn more on how you can optimize your real estate portfolio with innovative solutions from the new SAP -- email me at: pschell@b4-consulting.com.

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Topics: B4 Consulting, Mobility, Dashboards, SAP Real Estate, SAP ERP, Property Management, Real Estate CIOs

Why Mobility Matters for the Construction Industry

Posted by Jay Nichols Sep 11, 2013 2:40:00 PM

Mobility in Construction

When given the opportunity to write for the B4 Consulting blog, I gladly obliged.  I’ve always wanted to blog as I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of amazing experiences and passions that I want to share with the world.  One of my passions is mobility and the entire concept about “Mobilizing the Office and Home.”  I love the opportunity B4 Consulting has offered me to work with my clients and show them true value in mobilization of applications and processes.

B4 Consulting has years of experience in the construction space, and having such has allowed us to build a pretty comprehensive outlook on how the industry works.  As we continue to create blog content, we will focus on the challenges our customers bring to us for resolution with SAP solutions.

SAP Apps for Mobile Devices

Benefits of Mobile Applications

While mobile applications for construction can differ, the ultimate goal with an SAP mobility deployment is to help contractors streamline their communications, applications, and processes across their organizations. Construction companies who take the time and make the investment to explore mobile technologies can benefit from:

Improved Communication - Workers on a jobsite can instantly send one another updates and pictures. In addition, mobile devices open up the flow of data between field and office, giving the entire staff the most up-to date project information.

Accelerated Workflow with Real-time Data - Along with improving (and increasing) communication, mobile devices also offer improved workflow and real-time data. With instant communication, wait time for approval requests disappears. Field data entry allows for real-time data in the accounting and payroll systems with an accurate dashboard picture of the company’s overall performance, as well as the progress of each project.

“Store and Forward” Capability - While not all mobile apps offer this option, our apps are equipped with offline capability, allowing contractors working in remote job locations to enter timecards, save them and sync back to the office once they establish cellular coverage again. This creates a seamless transfer of information and ensures that data is current and up-to-date.

Increased Efficiency - By eliminating unnecessary data entry, your office staff will be able to work more efficiently and save time. Staff members can focus on other areas, increasing efficiency across the board.

Electronic Trail of Data - Using mobile applications also creates an electronic trail of data that contractors can reference at any time. Whether it’s solving an issue while a job is still active, or analyzing past jobs to better plan for future ones, the ability to learn from past data can save money.

Careful consideration of all these factors, in addition to a company’s size and budget, should drive any technology decisions. However, some applications can benefit most contractors regardless of trade or size.

Making the Move to Mobile with SAP

SAP mobile applications are changing the way the construction industry works with better communication, improved workflow and real-time data. With proper research and a plan for implementation, we are helping many contractors take advantage of the wide array of SAP applications, which streamline the flow of data and communication between field and office.

To learn more about SAP mobility solutions for the construction industry, contact me -- Jay the Mobility Guy at: jnichols@b4-consulting.com

Jay 'The Mobility Guy'

 

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Topics: SAP, B4 Consulting, Mobility, Dashboards, Engineering and Construction, Real-time Data, Reporting