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

DBOM

Posted by Phillip Schell May 24, 2018 11:47:00 AM

We have solutions for Design Build Operate Maintain operations. DBOM is the next wave for construction, we extend SAP's Digital Core with leading cloud point solutions to deliver end to end solutions with SaaS pricing and deep functionality.

dbom

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Topics: SAP, Engineering and Construction, construction, DBOM

InEight's Model Manager

Posted by Phillip Schell May 21, 2018 11:23:00 AM

Any construction companies involved in underground utilities work should take a look at InEight's Model Manager as a way of increasing their value proposition with municipal clients. Imagine the value you can create by using Model Manager as the system of record of the utilities location and condition by adding the dimensions to Model Manager. Here we have color coded the SUE classification of certain underground assets.

ineithinfrastructure

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Topics: Engineering and Construction, construction, ineight, utilities, infrastructure

OutsideIn Approach

Posted by William Marson May 14, 2018 11:30:00 AM

This is one of B4 Consulting's foundational POV for technology in the construction industry. It starts in the field, buy getting technology out in the field where projects are won or lost. Making sure that construction specific applications are tightly integrated with one another and ERP. Utilizing ERP as a processing engine not the monolithic solution.

 outsidein
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Topics: SAP ERP, Engineering and Construction, construction

Pillars of Construction

Posted by Phillip Schell May 10, 2018 11:26:00 AM

These are the ancient pillars of construction, from Pyramids to the Pont du Gard to now this has been the process with the technology at hand. When new technology was developed it was implemented down these silos. Construction companies who integrate these technologies that allow business processes to flow them will enable their organizations to function better. This is the tipping point for the construction industry and what B4 does for its clients.

pillarsofconstruction

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Topics: Engineering and Construction, construction

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

iSlide Chooses B4 Consulting to Implement SAP Business One

Posted by Angela Cook Dec 29, 2017 1:43:18 PM

ISlide Chooses B4 Consulting to Implement SAP Business One®


Cloud-based, comprehensive business management solution will transform business operations for fastest-growing and innovative footwear manufacturer


Waltham, Mass. – June 20, 2017  B4 Consulting®, helping companies grow with innovative software, services and support, today announced that Massachusetts-based ISlide, one of the world’s fastest-growing and innovative footwear designers, has chosen B4 Consulting to transition its business operations to SAP Business One® Cloud. SAP Business One Cloud is an affordable, scalable and easy-to-use business management solution designed for growing companies. B4 Consulting, a full-service SAP Gold-level partner, resold SAP Business One Cloud on SAP S/4HANA® and will implement the solution at ISlide headquarters in Boston.

“ISlide is a great example of innovative entrepreneurship that thrives in Massachusetts,” said Klaus Schottenhamel, president and CEO of B4 Consulting. “They are pioneering a manufacturing process that enables customers to custom-design slide sandals online and receive the finished goods in about a week. Their business model is revolutionizing the footwear industry, and SAP Business One gives them the perfect foundation to scale and grow.”

ISlideAccess to Real-time Data for Real-time Footwear

Since its founding in 2013, ISlide has become the preeminent leader in slide sandals “with sales doubling annually,” noted Justin Kittredge, founder and CEO of ISlide. “But we were running a lot of disparate systems for financials, sales, inventory management and the like. To continue our growth rate, we wanted a scalable system that could integrate all the standard business functions plus incorporate those that are unique to our business, such as printing and website shopping. Plus, it had to be easy to use and deploy.”

ISlide vetted a number of solutions and implementation partners before deciding on SAP Business One Cloud and B4 Consulting. “We went through an exhaustive evaluation process,” said Steve Amrein, operations director at ISlide. “SAP Business One Cloud was the only solution that could fast-track our operations into the 21st century, adapt to our unique product needs, and give us access to real-time data, which is essential when producing custom-designed sandals with the industry’s fastest turnaround times.

“B4 Consulting was the only reseller who ‘got us’,” continued Amrein. “B4 has experience in helping early-stage companies successfully grow their business with the latest technologies, they’re experts in SAP Business One, they understand manufacturing processes, and they know how to translate those processes into simple functions with SAP software. Lastly, we wanted a local partner who would give us personal attention and support as needed.  The B4 team came to the table with a level of enthusiasm and commitment that matches the high energy at ISlide.”

The SAP Business One Cloud software-as-a-service model enables ISlide to accelerate the time-to-value of SAP® software across the organization.  On a single platform, the solution integrates key operational functions including accounting and finance, sales and customer management, purchasing and operations, inventory and distribution, material requirements planning, and reporting and administration. ISlide will also take advantage of SAP Business One add-on functionality for:

  • Job costing and project accounting
  • Shipping integration
  • Warehouse management
  • Credit card processing

Running on the cutting-edge in-memory computing of the SAP HANA® platform, SAP Business One Cloud will enable ISlide to quickly process large volumes of data and get immediate feedback on transactions and complex analyses. It is the only solution for mid-market companies with an in-memory database, which provides extensive analytics capabilities. “We’re on a growth trajectory, and we’re looking to SAP Business One to help propel that growth and our continued innovations,” noted Kittredge.

About B4 Consulting, Inc.

B4 Consulting integrates business processes and technologies globally for customers who want to transform their businesses with innovative on premise and cloud-based solutions. Our team of solution architects integrates these solutions with leading systems, such as SAP solutions, to enable business performance excellence and improved profitability. www.b4-consulting.com. Follow Us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/b4consulting

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B4 Consulting is a registered trademark of B4 Consulting, Inc.

SAP, SAP Business One, SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE (or an SAP affiliate company) in Germany and other countries. See http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx for additional trademark information and notices.

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Topics: SAP, Mobility, Engineering and Construction, Cloud Computing, AEC, SAP Business One, Enterprise Content Management, iSlide, SAP Hana, S/4Hana

IFRS 16 Real Property Leasing with SAP Real Estate Management

Posted by John Chapman Dec 29, 2017 1:16:29 PM

B4_Blog_IFRS16.jpg

 

IFRS 16 Real Property Leasing with SAP Real Est... | SCN

Summary

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) recently announced the release of new accounting standards that define how organizations must account for leases.  Essentially, these accounting standards stipulate most leases must be reported on each company’s balance sheet, increasing the risk of regulatory noncompliance and inaccurate statutory reporting.

 

SAP Real Estate Management is used to optimize the portfolio of global assets and supports the regulatory compliance of these new accounting rules.  This solution provides a single point of entry for collection, validation of lease contract data, performs valuation calculations and generates the financial postings derived from these calculations.

 

The Compelling Event

  • New standard on leasing released by FASB and IASB
  • Need to capitalize many corporate operating leases and record these lease obligations on the balance sheet as assets and liabilities
  • Boosts the amount of debt on balance sheets by tens of billions of dollars
  • Beside affected accounting, new standards will transform corporate business processes in many areas, including finance, procurement, tax, treasury, legal, operations, corporate real estate and HR

 

Which Customers are affected?

  • Every IFRS/ US-GAAP reporting company renting real estate or leasing equipment will be impacted by the new standards
  • Large companies with big property portfolio are affected most and need to react quickly to prepare

 

The Solution

The new leasing standards represent more than accounting changes.  They force business process change and with any business or process change, there’s going to be some level of impact on systems and technology.

 

SAP Real Estate Management enables close collaboration between the lease administrator, lease accountant and fixed asset accountant.  They access the same lease record, with all calculations being based on the terms and conditions of the abstracted lease.  The lease transaction in SAP Real Estate Management provides separate authorizations to ensure a clear separation of duties.  The following illustration highlights the coordination between the different departments provided within the solution.

Blog_SAP_LeasingIntegration.png IFRS 16 Real Property Leasing with SAP Real Est... | SCN

In addition to capturing contract terms and conditions, SAP Real Estate Management is specifically designed to support real estate leasing processes such as managing critical dates, exercising renewal options, early terminations, rent escalations and sales based rent.  The highly flexible and extendable forms collect industry- or business-specific- attributes and enables users to stay ahead of the game.  Periodic posting runs automatically generate all lease payments based on the terms of the current lease agreement with real time integration into SAP Financials.

 

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.

 

Why SAP Real Estate Management?

SAP Real Estate Management is specifically built to integrate with SAP Financials.  No other real estate software provider can take abstracted lease data, generate payments to landlords and perform all valuation calculations and postings back into SAP without cumbersome interfaces.  SAP’s real estate solution performs all these activities in real time and without complicated interfaces.

 

If a company uses spreadsheets or an alternative solution, information silos will naturally exist between lease administrators and accountants.  Data becomes inconsistent over time, resulting in inaccurate valuations and misstated financials.  SAP Real Estate Management breaks down silos between these groups, ensuring transparent, consistent and accurate results.

 

SAP Real Estate Management will help improve your decision making through greater visibility into portfolio wide lease data. All in all, the solution provides you with improved understanding all the associated legal, financial, and business implications of your leasing strategy in a way not available with other solutions.

 

What to Do Now?

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 release to begin evaluating the impacts to 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.
  • If you use SAP Financials, you can quickly implement SAP Real Estate Management for real property leasing to give you a fully integrated leasing solution.  SAP currently has and will roll out new accelerators designed to help customers quickly implement SAP’s leasing solution.

 

Once SAP Real Estate Management has been implemented, begin abstracting existing lease agreements and ensure the abstracted lease terms and conditions are correct.  For most organizations, this will be the most time consuming portion of the lease compliance project.  All calculations are dependent on accurate lease information.  Any inaccuracy in probable end dates and payment amounts for example, will have an impact on the posted valuations.

 

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Topics: SAP, Mobility, Engineering and Construction, AEC, Enterprise Content Management

Why Zachry Construction Made SAP its Platform for Growth

Posted by John Chapman Nov 10, 2015 12:08:41 PM

Zachry Construction

 

As the principal for the Engineering, Construction & Operations (EC&O) practice at B4 Consulting, I have the opportunity to lead numerous business transformations for a variety of construction companies -- both small and large -- throughout North America. When we partner with these industry leaders, I have the distinct pleasure of working with forward-thinking executives who understand the strategic value of SAP solutions for the construction industry.

Zachry Construction Corporation, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one prime example of a forward-thinking construction company. They made a strategic business decision to replace their legacy systems with an integrated ERP system. And, this bold decision set in motion a business journey in which, over a 2-year period, they evaluated close to 18 ERP solutions – including those from CMiC, Microsoft and Viewpoint. After a thorough needs analysis, they selected SAP because they perceived SAP solutions to be the most widely-used business technology platform that would meet their business requirements -- out-of-the-box -- while providing the industry's most integrated construction-centric solutions. B4 Consulting was chosen as their implementation partner due to our industry experience, solution know-how, and as one executive said, “B4 Consulting speaks our language.”

In just 12 months, we implemented an integrated solution set that included SAP ERP, CRM, EAM, HCM, BusinessObjects, ETM, SAP Mobile Platform, and an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. These capabilities, in turn, enable Zachry to implement progressive project management to a broad array of vertical and heavy civil work in both public and private sectors.

With their SAP platform, Zachry’s business processes, workflows, field data entry, and IT are now centralized on a single system that generates new levels of efficiency and serves as a strategic platform for company growth. These operational improvements are rooted in an implementation project that:

  • Seamlessly managed Zachry’s process of going from an Estimating Cost Breakdown Structure to a Work Breakdown Structure during Project Execution with the appropriate level of detail
  • Imported actual cost back into the Estimating system for comparison purposes (benchmarking)
  • Fully integrated many back office processes in Finance, HR, Procurement and Job Costing
  • Created real-time field visibility into Simple Earned Value Management via mobile devices
  • Implemented a construction industry enterprise content management solution that integrates with SAP to manage project documents, field delivery tickets, and invoicing via OCR scanning

Today, Zachry has a user-friendly platform that supports 21st century technology to provide real-time information that is enabling upwards to:

  • 50% increase in the accuracy of cost collecting
  • 50% increase in the speed of cost information
  • 25% faster month-end reconciliation

Awesome numbers, right? There’s more to the Zachry project that can be read in the SAP Business Transformation Study  -- just click button below. But, if you want to learn how B4 Consulting can uniquely transform your business for improved efficiency and profitability – let's talk.  Email me at jmoore@b4-consulting.com.

 Juan_Moore_B4_Consulting

Juan Moore

EC&O Industry Principal

B4 Consulting

Read the Zachry Story

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Topics: SAP, Mobility, Engineering and Construction, AEC, Enterprise Content Management

Is it a Serpent or an Elephant? The Construction Industry Needs Better Business Intelligence Tools.

Posted by Phillip Schell Apr 20, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Six_Blind_Men

 

Is it a serpent or an elephant? The parable of the six blind men and the elephant is one of the world’s most widely-known parables. It illustrates that we should not mistake a part for the whole and importance of keeping an open mind to different points of view. It also conveys the importance of perspective and the value of closely examining complex ideas and issues.

And, while it may seem as though I’m going out on a limb -- this parable also makes for a teaching moment in the construction industry.

More than ever before, the construction industry is learning to use Business Intelligence tools to extract data from construction projects for real-time decision making. The challenge: the construction industry needs to draw accurate conclusions from the huge datasets that are being generated and avoid the conclusions of the blind man feeling the elephant’s trunk and declaring it a serpent.

To help construction companies extract and leverage accurate data from all its data sources, B4 Consulting is building Integrated Frameworks for Construction. We call it -- IF4C – and it allows applications to become interoperable (see http://blog.b4-consulting.com/blog/how-to-achieve-interoperability-in-construction). We believe that this interoperability has a positive effect as well on Business Intelligence. Consider this real-life case: I want a report on the health of one of my self-perform projects, and I want a report on the trend line of the labor productivity of one of the major work packages being performed.

In our experience, this is a typical scenario and here are just a few of the questions and issues that prevent the quick, efficeint and accurate generation of such reports in a lot of construction companies:

  • Do I need my estimating data to make this comparison?
  • If my CBS structures have little or no relationship to my WBS structures what does it mean?
  • How timely are the actual installed data being imputed into a system for trend analytics?
  • How accurate are the data being entered and are they entered into the correct WBS structure?
  • Do I need equipment run time data to interpret the data correctly?
  • Do I need ECM data such as pictures, daily logs, weather reports, etc. to make the correct decisions?

B4 Consulting believes that Business Intelligence is architected correctly when it goes beyond the esthetically pleasing or even intellectually stimulating. Business Intelligence must be actionable and create the opportunity for increasing productivity. See http://blog.b4-consulting.com/blog/outsidein-and-the-ooda-loop-–-transforming-construction

The architecture’s defining characteristics include:

  • Front-end mobility component to initiate real-time possibilities.
  • Ability to draw datasets large enough (remember the elephant!) and across pertinent applications to drive value.
  • Presentation to the correct decision makers in a timely and intuitive manner to advance better field decisions.

The well-architected Business Intelligence framework gives the construction industry the proper information to make the OODA loop work and inform them for competitive advantage.

 

 

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Topics: Mobility, Engineering and Construction, Real-time Data, Reporting, construction, productivity, OutsideIn, Interoperability