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Zachry Construction Boosts Costing Accuracy 50% with New ERP

November 23, 2015 by David Trites 75

If you’ve ever worked in the construction industry, or even pulled off a few smaller construction projects of your own, you know how complicated the projects can be.

To complete a quality job on time and within budget requires careful planning, detailed project and resource management, accurate information, and fluid communication.

For 90 years, Zachry Construction has been successfully executing large-scale, technically unique construction projects around the world. From complex projects like the Embassy of the United States, in Beijing, to the treasured Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas, to America’s first ever high-speed railway in California, this privately owned construction company plays an important part in many of the transportation, civil facilities, and buildings we enjoy every day.

Now in its third generation of family leadership, the company is on a mission to be one of the best construction companies in the world. That means it needs to run its own business as well as it manages its construction projects. But, like its industry peers, the company must work with tight margins, which can lead to IT decisions that only meet short-term business needs.

To ensure long-term success and growth, Zachry needed to replace its legacy systems with an integrated, user-friendly enterprise solution that would provide accurate, real-time information. It also wanted to gain a competitive edge by putting mobile apps in the hands of the field.

The decision to modernize its IT systems was not taken lightly. Over 24 months, Zachry evaluated 18 different ERP and mobile solutions. After careful consideration, the evaluation team determined that an integrated suite of SAP solutions, including SAP Mobile Platform, met the most of their business requirements. The team also felt SAP offered the most widely used and solid product lines in the business. To assist with the implementation, Zachry selected B4 Consulting for both its construction-industry knowledge and SAP software expertise.

Zachry’s new solution has transformed its business. Business processes, workflows, data entry, and IT are all centralized in a single system. Workers can enter accurate, real-time data from the field via mobile device, and costs can be tracked on a weekly and daily basis. Manual and duplicate data entry has been eliminated, customer and sales information is accurate, and all project-related information is in one place – easily accessible via mobile device.

Zachry now has a single view of the business, allowing it to be proactive versus reactive.

Those achievements have resulted in many tangible benefits for the company:

  • Cost collecting is 50% more accurate
  • Cost information is available 50% faster
  • Month-end reconciliation is 25% faster
  • Foreman are 18% more efficient

Zachry now has a single view of the business, allowing it to be proactive versus reactive when it comes to meeting market and customer demands.

“To be the best, you need to know where you stand on project quantities and costs on a daily basis. SAP software provides the foundation and capabilities for accurate, real-time knowledge and growth.” Ranjeet Gadhoke, Senior Project Control Director, Zachry Construction Corporation

Building a success company is hard work. SAP’s affordable solutions for small and midsize companies are designed to make it easier. Simple to install and use, SAP SME Solutions help you automate and integrate your business processes to give real-time, actionable insights. So you can make decisions on the spot. Find out how Run Simple can work for you. Visit sap.com/sme.

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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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