Sep 03 2012

Mace manages costs “in the cloud” with CONJECT

London, UK-based construction consultancy Mace is managing its project costs “in the cloud”, having switched from in-house cost management applications to adopt a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution from CONJECT (see this Construction Enquirer article).

Need for flexibility

Mace switched as efforts to maintain and update its existing in-house platform became more expensive. The company’s workload was expanding and diversifying, and its Microsoft Access-based system wasn’t flexible enough for new client projects and programmes.

In 2009, it evaluated several systems, looking for one linking project-related financial transactions with change management processes and project documentation. As our Project Control platform was already widely used across the company, we began working with operations director Crawford Patterson and his team to develop standard cost reports that were formatted and operated in the same way as Mace’s previous system.

From August 2010, all new projects and programmes were managed using the new system. By last December, 70 projects and programmes were ‘live’, including projects across the UK, plus schemes in Vietnam, the Bahamas, Azerbaijan, Qatar and Belarus.

About 250 Mace staff now use the CONJECT Commercial Management application every day. Commercial directors can monitor groups of projects and programmes using our Business Intelligence module; cost managers and quantity surveyors can manage budgets and project costs, by work package or cost code.

Crawford Patterson (Mace)Accurate change management is critical to Mace’s commercial management process – variations have a direct impact on costs and value and on Mace’s margins and clients’ budgets. By integrating commercial management with change management, CONJECT provides visibility and control.

Our platform supports multiple configuration requirements and procurement routes, allowing Mace to consistently manage projects across fixed-price, project and programme management and construction management operations. Management reporting is faster and more accurate and information can easily be retrieved and shared, speeding up decision-making and approval processes. Crawford says:

“Many of our workflows run across different project disciplines and project functions, so the ability for teams to collaborate on the same platform is most important to us. conject gives us visibility into our commercial activities, with detailed auditability whenever required.”

We are currently working with Mace on plans to implement Earned Value Management, to integrate with CODA (Mace’s back office financial system), and on defining a joint BIM strategy.

About the author

Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is Managing Director of Conject Ltd. He has spent over 25 years within the construction and engineering software markets, successfully running sales and marketing teams. He spent a number of years at SAP within their E&C practice, set up and managed a distribution channel in Asia Pacific for a division of Misys and ran a sales and marketing team within CSB COINS. In 2000 he gained an MBA from Henley Management College.

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