Integrated Capex Project Management Software for Outsourced Projects
Continuity from sales team to implementation team
Many buyers think their job is done as soon as the agreement is signed, but without a proper handover to the post-procurement activity, serious problems can occur in the customer vendor relationship. Project Management software goes a long way in alleviating these issues.
Throughout the buying process, the vendor will be creating expectations in the mind of the customer. These will greatly influence the customer experience when delivery and use occurs. This applies more so to CAPEX Project Management as it tends to be more complex.
Part of the handover process from buying to post-sales is a detailed understanding of what has been purchased by the customer but, especially, what else has been promised or can be expected based on representations from sales and pre-sales activities.
Often the salesperson will embellish the product or services purchased to get the sale. This then creates a serious problem for post-sales who somehow have to live with unrealistic expectations or reset the customer’s expectations. Either way, the result is not going to be a happy one for the vendor and the customer.
Since this is not uncommon, part of the sale process needs to be documentation of what the customer has purchased and what they expect. This needs to be checked by sales management and, perhaps, by post-sales management to ensure that expectations can be met.
Once the sale moves into post-sale, a system also needs to track the sale or project through its various stages to ensure that expectations are fully met. In many cases this will be a process of product delivery and receipt confirmation. At other times, there could be an extensive services and product delivery project with multiple stages.
The key to customer satisfaction is for all parties to understand what is expected and how and when delivery will occur. The project needs to be tracked through its various stages to ensure that each stage is properly managed and signed off by the customer.
Problems which occur in the post-procurement period that can be tracked back to failures of the sales/procurement process should be used to refine the process as well as provide data to evaluate individual vendor performance. This is where many Project Management Software solutions fail, as they operate independently and only become involved in the process after contract awarding. iSpec is an Integrated Project Management Software solution that integrates specification management, sourcing and project management into a seamless process thereby avoiding this dilemma.
Standardising the process of specification and evaluation is paramount to improving the procurement process for technology projects. iSpec’s Master Library is the ideal tool for standardising and continuously improving these processes and specifications.
The practice of including the various project management principles as mentioned in the technology section earlier in each project/tender ensures that projects have a much higher probability of success and on-time delivery.
The iSpec Project Management System Covers the Following Areas
• High level PM
• Tracking progress
• Variation orders
• Contract management
• Automated reminders for milestones and deliverables
• Vendor performance tracking
Contract & Relationship Management
iSpec’s contract management (post-tendering and contract award) key features and benefits cover all areas such as risk management, progress tracking, quality assurance, commissioning, testing, tracking of outstanding issues and deliverables, etc.
Whether the tender is for manufacture, construction, supply or services the basic principles remain the same.
Project Management Delivery tracking function
All deliverables as defined in the contract are tracked by delivery and or commissioning dates and vendor performance is recorded and reported against KPIs that have been set up in the system.
Once the contract date has been agreed and captured in the system, all contract “milestone dates” and/or activity durations (e.g. delivery dates, commissioning dates, payment dates, lead times etc.) are set in the system or calculated (by the system) to actual calendar dates against the “baseline” contract date.
This functionality allows for regular and automated reminders to be sent by the internal email system to both the vendors and internal users to promote timely delivery.
iSpec Project Management Vendor performance tracking module
When deliveries are not made in accordance with the contractual obligations, and those obligations are “attached” to financial, or other, KPI’s, then iSpec will automatically calculate those financial adjustments needed to be made.
These may be in the form of liquidated damages, legally binding penalties, service level credits or other forms of financial rebates that are liable by the seller for non-performance.
It is then up to the client to determine whether these financial adjustments are effected:
• Automatically in accordance with the rules set up in the system, and in accordance with their rights under the Agreement;
• Manually after engaging with the supplier to satisfy itself that the adjustments are appropriate (as a function of relationship management);
• Or not for whatever reason deemed appropriate at that time.
Project planning Integrated with Microsoft Project
iSpec has the capability to interface to Microsoft Project and can therefore generate a project plan from those milestones and deliverables set up in each on-line agreement.
This plan can then be distributed amongst both vendor Project manager and client project team members for project planning and monitoring purposes.
iSpec contains an optional inspection module that can be used for statutory inspections, certifications, performance and acceptance tests and also ad-hoc inspections. All data is kept within the system with a full audit trail. Issues arising from tests can be linked to various user-defined “hold-points” or milestones and in this way it is easy to track issues that need to be cleared before payments or next phases can be executed. This is an essential feature of software for project management.
KPI – Vendor Performance assessment
The combination of the KPIs and milestones set up in the system results in those key activities being tracked and reported against.
This forms the basis of the vendor management and performance management capability of iSpec as a Project Management software solution.
This performance reporting software allows for compliance to timeline, quantity and quality matters to be monitored and assessed for the appropriate action to be taken.
Given that the “hold points” can be set up, or “triggered” at the supplier’s place of manufacture or supply, all non-compliances can be addressed at the earliest opportunity, thereby alleviating faulty supply and unnecessary re-work (and consequential time delay).
The above processes are all supported by the solution’s internal email functionality enabling all communication to be contained in one common database.
Any Project Management Software that is to be used for CAPEX Project Management needs to be integrated with a specification and technology management tool as well as a sourcing (e Tendering) system in order to attain the best overall results in CAPEX sourcing and implementation projects. iSpec integrates the above into one elegant solution for the Project Manager.