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  • 1.  Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management

    Posted 02-15-2019 09:51 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-15-2019 09:50 AM

    With the current Technologies and trends , adoption of ERP in the Construction Industry is seen as a viable solution to enhance the visibility and status of various projects in ever increasing competitive world.

    However, When you look closely, ERP systems were introduced mainly for manufacturing industries which are standard repetitive processes.

    Yes, ERP can be adopted in areas like HR, Procurement, Finance as the processes involved are repetitive and standard.

    When you look at Project Management or Projects in general this is not applicable, as each project how identical they might be are run by People

    Each person is unique be it a manager, engineer, supervisor or a mason. So, No matter how identical the projects are they differ from one another. Maybe because of the geographical location, terrain, diverse backgrounds of manpower, experience, cash flow the list is endless.

    It is understood that we tend to to have individual ways of execution, thought processes and experiences . This is one of the reasons why Project Management or Project Controls will not be able to gel with ERP systems 100% as it is mainly run by People unlike other industries or sectors.

    I personally think certain aspects of the Projects like HR, Procurement , Finance can adopt ERP to support the PM processes but not as a whole whether it is SAP, Oracle or Sage.

    I would really appreciate fellow members to share their views as most people have already faced this or will face it in near future.

    Thank you.

    Kalyan Emandi
    Sr.Project Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management

    Posted 02-16-2019 11:02 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-17-2019 09:21 AM
    Clearly allowances and adjustments need to be made with any management system when adopted to a new industry.  Construction poses additional problems because of the many stakeholders (subcontractors and suppliers) as well as challenges such as one of a kind projects and varying weather and site conditions.  However, to say that it is the fact that construction involves people and therefore cannot use ERP, is way off the mark.  As far as I know there is no industry that is 100% managed and performed by robots and computers.  Your argument that ERP cannot be used in construction would equally apply to any scheduling system.  Yet they have been used for decades.  Clearly one needs to recognize the challenges that construction presents, but to simply throw-up ones hands and say it can't work is short sighted.

    Walter Tack PE,MASCE
    Sarver PA
    (724)305-4168 EXT 4

  • 3.  RE: Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management

    Posted 02-17-2019 09:18 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-17-2019 09:18 AM
    In my experience no "plug and play" scheduling system works for unique or "one of a kind" projects.  But that is not to say no benefits are available from a well designed software package.  Of course, it helped that I started with simple projects and over 40 years added to my KSAs. If I were starting over I would not change one thing.  My advice is to break each component down to stand alone processes and then incorporate that component into the bigger project.  Yes that is a big job!  But that is a dirty little secret to successful project management.

    Barry Anderson PE,MASCE
    Granite Falls MN
    (320) 564-4500

  • 4.  RE: Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management

    Posted 02-17-2019 01:33 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-21-2019 05:21 PM
    I couldn't agree more. I am doing the same. Breaking each activity to multiple components.
    It's something I presume every engineer needs to start thinking before it's too late. Technology is improving at breakneck speed. 
    I've just started learning and thinking at the same time. 
    Apart from daily challenges, collecting data has given me key insights. 
    Breaking old project data into smaller components, analysis of delays, actual time taken, crew, vehicle fuel consumption the learning is endless. 
    A simple pivot table or use of power Bi to visualize and package into vital information which enables us to see a much bigger picture.
    I find it thrilling to say the least. However, how could we implement ERP in Project Management, I still find it very confusing, but still integrating with current trend is a must before we are left behind.
    The biggest question is how?
    Has anyone been a part of ERP systems integration with project controls or project management?
    If yes, do you think the system is worth it? I'd love to have a more detailed discussion .
    Thank you 

    Kalyan Emandi

  • 5.  RE: Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management

    Posted 02-18-2019 08:23 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 02-21-2019 05:20 PM
    Hello Walter,

    Agreed. I guess I haven't made it Clear enough.  ERP can be used in Organizations and certain process which are repetetive.

    We have several components in Construction Projects or Project Management.

    When you consider those aspects - HR, Finance (costs), Logistics  are both part of Organization & Project.

    So, We can have HR, Finance and logistics using ERP which will be the input for Project management (to see where we are on the project - one can call it Progress measurement, project status, or forecast ) 

    I believe that's how it should be done to make it work for us. Well, the idea is to make the system work for us.

    No system is 100% I agree . but while other systems such as Manufacturing , Logistics, warehouse management, HR are repetitive processes.
    Construction is not. (Yes , ERP can be used in inventory, finance, rentals) 

    Biggest ERP clients are Car manufacturers, F&B industries, Hospitality sector, Healthcare and they're trying to fit in - deployment is a year or year and half to say the least . 

    Kalyan Emandi
    Sr.Project Engineer

  • 6.  RE: Adoption of ERP in Construction Companies-Project Management
    Best Answer

    Posted 02-23-2019 08:25 AM
    Edited by Kalyan Emandi 03-04-2019 12:01 PM
    ERP like SAP has been successfully adopted by developers for construction projects. Recently I completed SAP implementation for all construction projects in my organisation. PS and MM modules of SAP are core for integrating construction with Finance module FICO. My advise will be to choose SAP implementation partner carefully having past implementation experience in Real Estate sector. My other advice will be not to integrate Scheduling with SAP. It is available in SAP but quite cumbersome. One can keep on using MSP etc.

    Amitabh Kumar M.ASCE
    Mumbai MH
    9122 28304400