When you walk into Burns & McDonnell in about 30-foot letters it says making our clients successful.
There is not an employee owner at Burns & McDonnell that does not live up to that standard.
The strategic initiatives team, really our job is to look enterprise wide look for those inefficiencies, how can we improve our process and our systems internally.
How can I help my project teams execute better for our clients.
The challenge of Burns & McDonnell is the diversity.
It’s kind of a double-edged sword there.
I think it’s one of the reasons why we’re highly successful.
We cover 10 different industries. My job is to put 10 unique practices into one tool but accommodate their differences so it has to give the enterprise the ability to collect the data in one place.
I can now start to build insights from that data because I don’t have 10 tools. I have one tool and as your project moves through its natural life you’re pulling that data into your other applications which then helps cut down on the amount of rework that project teams are doing.
The first thing we had to do was map every process in the life cycle of a project. After that one of the goals is to keep our end users in as few systems as possible.
So what you want to do is map those processes back to technology pillars to be a pillar.
At Burns & McDonnell you have to one work for the entire enterprise so you can’t be a pillar if you don’t work across the enterprise so it’s always an enterprise-wide tool.
Additionally you have to be a vendor that we’re willing to partner with so a lot of technology companies are vendors they’re going to sell you a software and then they’re out the door.
The goal of a pillar system is I don’t want to have to rip and replace your software.
You hear that throughout the industry every three to five years you should be looking at replacing your software that’s an old adage.
Everybody’s heard that’s not something we’re looking at doing anymore so when we partnered with EcoSys. We were looking for a system that we could grow into not grow out of.
We needed to go live across the entire enterprise.
Additionally we add 500 projects per month so when we went live we had to be prepared to take that amount of load and you cannot have a problem.
It was a massive implementation none of these tools when you buy them at an enterprise level are cheap right it is a commitment.
It is an investment. It was a conscious decision for Burns & McDonnell to make that investment but again building that partnership with EcoSys so that I’m not having to buy new technology and go through the pain of setting it up.
Nothing costs you money on a project more than having to retrain your project teams every three or five years into a tool.
Now that we have the pillars stood up at Burns & McDonnell now we’re starting to integrate them together we use ecosystem a little differently than some of our industry peers do.
In the fact that we use it as a front end to our Oracle EBS database. If you’ve ever been in an Oracle ERP system doesn’t have the best user interface.
Let’s put our end users in something that’s more functional to them. It has to make sense to them has to be logical to them.
Our end users are working in EcoSys sending things to Oracle in real time. Oracle is validating that data for the accountants making sure it meets our business rules and our business requirements and then sending data back updating a status in the project so that’s now starting to build that fully integrated project life cycle that we set out to do a couple of years ago.
We have extremely good performance in the system every time we think we’re done we think of something else we can do with it.
Just this last year building estimating into it now we’re going to put resource management into it.
There’s absolutely been nothing that we wanted to do with the tool that we haven’t been able to do.
I always tell other industry peers right dream big think about how you want to use the tool think about the people that are in the tool and if you can dream it you can probably do it in ecosystems.