Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Construction firm taps Oracle cloud for MRT-7, Skyway 3 projects

When Engineering Equipment Inc. (EEI) landed the P25-billion MRT-7 and Skyway Stage 3 mega-projects, the P22-billion construction company needed a system that could accommodate a wide array of operational components and oversee 23,000 employees.

Photo shows Oracle Philippines country managing director Mina Lim (left) and EEI chief financial officer Ferdinand Sia

Oracle came knocking with a solution — an ERP Cloud platform that automated processes that previously took a significant amount of time and leveraged data analytics.

“Manila is a very dense city, just like many parts of Asia. Traffic is a very big problem. Our citizens lose a lot of productivity because they spend hours on the road, navigating their way to work and back. This is why EEI’s work is important. It literally, and figuratively, builds bridges to tomorrow, cutting the time it takes for Filipinos to move forward,” shared EEI’s chief financial officer Ferdinand Sia.

Projects at the scale of MRT-7 — which encompasses a 23-kilometer elevated railway line that connects Quezon City and northern Bulacan and cuts commuters’ travel time from four hours to a mere 34 minutes — pose a high complexity level with work scattered in a variety of departments, as well as various procurement and expense tasks

This is why Sia noted that the size of these projects multiplied the complexities involved in managing construction labor, sub-contractors, engineering and plumbing talents, raw materials, stakeholders, and more.

Usually, with three full-time employees assigned per project that requires a cost-variance analysis as an example, the timetable is set at three weeks with the cost-variance reports on the Excel platform. He also added that financials that are three to four weeks old are not very useful and shows an obvious lack of a central repository of accurate data.

“To be profitable, we have to keep track of expenses. And on big projects, like a P25 billion project, it’s easy to overspend. Accurate and timely financial information is very important to be profitable,” explained Sia. “Transformation is a serious business. It’s not a walk in the park. Managing people. That’s key. At the end of the day, systems and processes are all about people.”

EEI shifted from their previous on-premise Oracle E-Business Suite to the Oracle ERP Cloud which also included cloud services on Financials, Purchasing, Sourcing, Procurement Contracts, Project Management, Inventory Management, Project Financials, Project Contract Billing, Supplier Portal, and Self-Service Procurement.

When the solution went live by the end of Q1 this year, report generation turnaround went from weeks to a few days since every process is captured and automated and poses less of a risk for human error. EEI was also able to prepare financial statements at a much faster pace and procurement processes were standardized

According to Mina Lim, Oracle Philippines country managing director, data gives their customers insights on their effectiveness and relevance, as well as impact among their peers and customers within the industry. She also added that Oracle excels in this aspect, especially with their cloud application services and software development that are available in SaaS models that aid in the shift of company expenses from higher capex rates to more manageable opex.


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