FM Conway is a leading infrastructure service company that inspects, designs, builds, enhances, and maintains essential infrastructure services for their community. Everything they do is about achieving the widest possible economic, environmental, and social benefits for their clients and the communities they serve.
The good and bad of their ERP
Committing to their clients like this required a smart investment in information. After winning major contracts in local government, including Transport for London, Westminster City Council, and Lewisham Borough Council, they needed to place a true emphasis on business performance.
Ed Lynott, Director of IT at FM Conway implemented a new ERP system, Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), to ensure visibility of all project elements and fix inconsistencies with reporting processes and limited centralized control of expenditures. EBS R12 was launched in December 2012 for the finance, HR, inventory, and projects modules. The implementation was a success, but FM Conway soon realized that standard Oracle EBS reporting was far too cumbersome to support their demands.
”Oracle EBS is a hungry database that constantly wants to be fed with data. The difficult part is drilling down to answers easily – forcing us to rely on IT to answer on-the-fly business questions.” - Ed Lynott, Director of IT
The search for self-service reporting
With so many customer-facing projects on the docket, Lynott knew that in order for reporting strategies to be effective, they needed to find a third-party solution that enabled their end-users to pull reports and answer their own ad hoc inquiries themselves. As it was, contract and project managers spent days preparing for monthly performance meetings - printing off hundreds of pieces of paper for each contract.
Lynott started his search by looking at OBIEE, but after chatting with other companies that went through a BI implementation, he thought it was too ambitious for their company. After all, they had just spent a lot of time and money implementing an ERP, and it seemed silly to go through something like that again. He wanted a solution that was fast to implement and something they could see immediate business benefits with. IT recommended Hubble to Lynott, and so he set up a demo to see it in action.
“The Hubble demo we saw was over our live data. So we could see first-hand how easy it was to retrieve the answers we were struggling so hard to find. Hubble fit like a glove – the meeting was over and users asked, ‘when can we start using it?’” – Ed Lynott, Director of IT
Hubble quick time to value
When Lynott decided to implement Hubble, the reporting application was installed within a couple of days. Users were trained during this time, and were completely comfortable pulling reports and running queries. Answers that would previously have taken days to find were being found in minutes with Hubble – without IT involvement.
In just one day, the FM Conway team built 13 reports that began to form a new standard management pack. With the flexibility to easily create custom reports, they were able to report over a customer area called “Plant Hire” which allowed FM Conway to better manage the leasing of machines and tools. Hubble has the ability to report over any table in the ERP that they needed. Users could see as little, or as much information as they wanted, asset by asset.
Hubble drives business performance at executive level
FM Conway’s CEO, Michael Conway, immediately saw the benefit of linking reporting with their ERP data. This allowed the business to standardize reporting processes and fully understand its financial position. Executives now receive an output of a pre-payment list, giving them complete visibility of which supplier will be paid, and for what.
“Our executives see how Hubble, working so well with our ERP, is the underpinning of the business transformation process – it’s a solid foundation and contributor for further business growth” – Ed Lynott, Director of IT
After a short meeting with Conway, finance was able to understand exactly what the executive team needed to see. As a response, a custom Projects Profitability report was created quickly showing summary level cost alongside profitability, with drilldown to delivery notes, waste transfer notices and invoices. For their executives, having reporting so tightly integrated with their ERP is the main reason they are able to drive better business performance throughout the organization.
“Reporting should have been prioritized when we initially decided on Oracle EBS. Now management accountants can see the status of any part of the business, empowering them to proactively manage and compare the performance of each division – the confidence they have in data now is amazing." - Ed Lynott, Director of IT
Request a Hubble demo to see how we can help your organization streamline performance management.