Engineering better budgets and getting the most out of Oracle

More4Apps helps global engineering firm get the most out of their Oracle Applications.

  • CLIENT: Parsons Brinckerhoff, world leading engineering consultants and project managers. 
  • BUSINESS PROBLEM: Ensuring project budgets were as accurate and current as possible. 
  • SOLUTION: More4Apps ADI tool for loading budget data into Oracle Projects. 
  • RESULTS: A user friendly tool for end-users that helps them keep project budgets up-to-date which impacts positively on the accuracy of management reports.

When one of the world’s largest planning engineering and program and construction management organizations needed to find ways to better manage their project data and budgets, they found More4Apps had exactly what they needed. 

Parsons Brinckerhoff are leaders in consulting, design, planning, engineering, programme and construction management, operations and maintenance for all types of infrastructure projects in the public and private sector. Founded in 1885, the organization works on infrastructure projects in almost 80 countries. They have more than 14000 staff working in 150 offices across 5 continents.

“A large and complex global business, Parson Brinckerhoff relies on their Oracle Applications to help run their business effectively,” says Systems Analyst Debbie Canole. 

“We especially use Oracle Projects; as an engineering business we are really driven by projects.”

Better Budget Management 

A business challenge with their projects is monitoring and managing costs, setting budgets and looking after billing. “Budgets are so important to us, it is basically how we do things, so it is important for me to look at ways we can manage these better with Oracle,” says Debbie.

An issue the organization was concerned about was the ability of Project Administrators in the field to effectively update project budgets in Oracle.

“Our people out there are working on large breakdown structures, which are both complex and ever-changing. It was a lot of work to keep them up to date, often requiring double entry. We were finding that because it was too much of a hassle people either weren’t doing it or invented ways to work around it.”

Debbie started by seeking something they could push out to the Project Administration that made it easier for them to update their project budgets and make it more likely they could keep their projects up to date. After some investigation she came across More4Apps and their Budget Wizard for loading project budget data into Oracle Projects. 

“More4Apps had been recommended by one of our Oracle consultants and then I came across them at an OAUG (Oracle Application User Group) conference.”

Typically Parsons Brinckerhoff used to build these kind of tools internally rather than buy them ‘off the shelf’, says Debbie. Because the More4Apps tool was so well suited to their challenges and very cost effective, company management decided the potential benefit made it worth trying.

“There were other data loading tools out there, but we needed something we could easily roll out to end users around the world. Other products were just too hard for the end user. We found that More4Apps really knew their products and were very supportive and responsive. I’d worked with companies like this before and knew they could be very good at supporting us. They seemed to understand our needs and how their product would meet them.”

Debbie says she worked with More4Apps for some time before purchasing. They showed a willingness to work with us that you wouldn’t get from some other vendors.

“Ease of use is also a real benefit. The learning curve wasn’t much – we did some web conferences and I’ve provided some support but it has rolled out pretty easily to our offices.”

Better management information 

Parsons Brinckerhoff has deployed the More4Apps Budget Wizard out to their global offices and it is being used extensively by staff in Asia and the USA, and to a growing extent in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“The greatest benefit for us has been those people working on complex project breakdown structures; they are the ones who find it a really useful tool. By making it easier for Project Administrators to update project budgets it has made it more likely that they will keep them up to date. Everybody wants the numbers to be as accurate as possible and the Budget Wizard is helping with that.”

“We really wanted to push something out to the field that was useful. This is,” says Debbie. “We’ve absolutely had a return on our investment in More4Apps.”

Debbie says the Budget Wizard has a broad impact because management reports are so critical to the organisation. The first level managers understand the specific budgets in detail so it is useful to them day to day, but also at the corporate level it feeds into the overall financial picture.

“If large projects aren’t kept up to date this can have quite an impact on our figures – it all starts with the budgets. So the wizard has a positive impact all the way up the line.”

A member of the ORACLE PARTNER NETWORK, More4Apps focuses on building first-class Excel based interface tools for Oracle Applications. Our people are experienced Oracle professionals, and our tools have been designed and developed with input from our customers.

It is our business to keep totally up-to-date with Oracle development activity so you don’t have to worry about upgrades. 

“We really wanted to push something out to the field that was useful. ……. We’ve absolutely had a return on our investment in More4Apps.”

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