The company operates in IT&C domain, security, engineering, defense, constructions and intelligent transportation systems.
The Company is organized in 5 specialized business areas and has a corporate level.
Each business unit has its own management structure: Business Unit Director, Operations Director, Sales Director, Technical Director, Project Management Office and specialized teams (pre-sales, research and development, quality assurance, implementation, micro production, integration, maintenance and support).
The support structures are located at corporate level: Top Management and Business Development, IT, Legal, Financial, HR, Marketing, Purchasing, Facility Management, Security and Health Safety.
Ways of working
Business units are revenues and expenses centers.
Corporate level together with the support structures are cost centers.
There are sales targets and development objectives for each Business Unit.
The opportunities become signed contracts and are implemented as projects. The profit margin of each project is subject to group policy.
Each project is monitored so that to generate the profit estimated when signed. The profit is monitored at project (contract) and Business Unit level so that to be self-sustained, to cover the expenses of corporate level and to ensure the annual profit of the company.
Changes implemented by Discern
The timesheets were inserted bulk without a clear correlation between the effective time spent by an employee on a project and reality. More than that, the expenses were manipulated so that the profitable projects to sustain the projects with depleted budget. By doing so the real image on the performing and outperforming projects was deformed.
Discern solved this issue by allowing the timesheet to be completed individually by each employee so that a direct correlation between the work performed and cost center to be created. In this way the image of the performing and outperforming projects became harder to deform. A secondary effect was that the employees became more responsible and aware on their own work and the fact that poor quality and delays have a direct impact on project profit indicators and implicit on the Business Unit indicators.
There is no clear visibility on revenues versus expenses. The revenues and expenses were kept under control but using different applications without a clear image of both simultaneously.
Discern solved this issue by keeping both indicators (Revenues and Expenses) in the same application. Discern makes a real time comparison between the revenues and expenses at any time from the project lifecycle. More than that, the application allows in any moment a visual comparison between the initial business case and the actual level of project revenues and expenses.
Data aggregation for each project was made offline because the informatic system was reporting only the expenses to current date, revenues being tracked in a different application. This way of working required a considerable effort to manually process the data and was subject to increased probability that data to be wrong or outdated.
Discern solved this issue by keeping all data in the same application and allowing reporting in real time. The application monitors in real time the revenues and expenses at project, business unit and company level.
Forecasting the revenues and expenses on projects was made offline using Microsoft Excel. Once per week each project manager presented a forecast on revenues and expenses until the end of the project. Data processing was difficult because the data of each project was corroborated with the data of other projects from the Business Unit and then at company level. The workload was high, and the results came with a high degree of uncertainty because of manual methods to collect and display data.
Discern solved this issue by keeping in the same application together the revenues and expenses up to date and revenue and expenses forecasted to happen in the future until the project closure. The easy to use interface and real time comparison features with the initial business case significantly reduced the probability of human error. Reporting at business unit and company level is possible without being needed that someone to integrate data and prepare specific reports. More than that, the application is used by the sales and presales departments for sales forecasting offering a real time image on the forecasted level of touching the sales targets committed through business objectives.
Discern added value
Managers responsibility. Because the managers have a total visibility on revenues and expenses they become more responsible in delivering on time, efficiently allocate the resources and finding ways to optimize the expenses. This increased the rate of project success by 40%.
Clarity at business unit level. At business unit level there are dashboards that allow keeping under control the revenues and expenses so that the numbers committed through business objectives can be analyzed for being
able to take management decisions in time. This increased the business unit’s profitability by 36%.
Clarity at corporate level. At corporate level there are dashboards that allow keeping under control the revenues and expenses at business units level and support structures so that data to be analyzed to identify the slippery and to take remediation measure in time. This increased the company profitability with 27%.
Positive cashflow. There are dashboards that track in real time the cashflow at project, business unit and company level. A positive cashflow ensures good function of the company and is a wealth indicator. This increased the solvability of the company, increased the supplier’s satisfaction with 75% and implicit reduced the supplying costs by eliminating the financier risks. The interest rates of the partner banks decreased with 2-4%.