Kabbani Construction Group (KCG) provides specialist contracting services in six countries. In Saudi Arabia, the company has 20 divisions that offer specialized services for the construction industry. Each division had separate systems for managing data, making it hard for managers to gain insight into group operations. KCG worked with Microsoft Partner Right Group to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. Now, reporting is faster and projects are managed more efficiently.
KCG Saudi Arabia is a leading specialized engineering contracting company in the region, and has steadily expanded its operations since opening its first branch in Jeddah, in 1980. It is currently comprised of 20 divisions that provide specialized contracting services—including roofing, concrete repair, cathodic protection, non-destructive testing, and construction management—to the construction industry.
Until recently, each region managed its own financial systems, with data held in isolated local applications. But the company’s separate systems made it difficult for the group to gain insight into divisional and group operations and performance. Mahmoud Kassim Al-Awar, Chief Applications Officer for Kabbani Construction Group, says: “Reporting was difficult. There was no integration between the technical systems of different business divisions, so managers had to request data every time they wanted to create specific reports.” Employees spent time collating data. “It would take considerable time to consolidate information and create a report,” says Al-Awar.
The isolated systems made it difficult for KCG to enforce its security policy group-wide. “Without integration and a centralized repository for all our data, it was a challenge to enforce security and access rules,” says Al-Awar.
KCG wanted to standardize its financial and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across the business to improve operations and security, but the group was aware that deploying new software meant a significant cultural change for the business. “Employees were used to the way they worked before, so we knew that the solution we chose would have to be user friendly, to encourage high adoption,” he says.
In June 2009, KCG worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Right Group to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0, a flexible ERP solution, across the 20 divisions. Right Group customized the solution to meet business requirements, and established a centralized store for financial data. Information from every business unit is automatically stored in the repository rather than in local databases. “We selected Right Group because of its expertise at implementing ERP systems and knowledge of construction contracting projects,” says Al-Awar.
Right Group worked intensively with the business to understand its needs and demonstrate how modules within Microsoft Dynamics AX could address them. “Right Group showed us that it was a robust solution, and could accommodate the reporting requirements of different business divisions,” says Al-Awar.
For example, with the Microsoft Dynamics AX project module, executives can view the internal resources required to finish a project on time. They can also create reports from pre-configured templates—such as those needed for accounts receivable, trial balance, and cash flow reports—or configure new reports.
KCG can now enforce its security policy across the organization. Administrators set role-based permissions within Microsoft Dynamics AX to protect sensitive information. Only certain employees have access to all the data, and sensitive data is restricted from being used or viewed by users that don’t need it.
“Right Group managed implementation, and provided training sessions to help employees with the transition to the new system,” says Al-Awar. “Microsoft Dynamics AX was deployed across all divisions and went live in June 2009.”
With support from Right Group, KCG has a standardized ERP solution that’s secure. It supports employees, helping them to create accurate reports quickly, and manage projects more efficiently. Although some users were tentative about using Microsoft Dynamics AX, Al-Awar says employees are now positive about the solution.
- Reporting is faster. “It used to take a significant amount of time to create a report. Thanks to the new system, we can create accurate reports, such as trial balance or cash flow reports, much faster,” says Al-Awar.
- Workload is reduced. Al-Awar says: “Microsoft Dynamics AX is user-friendly, so managers customize their own reports, instead of asking for them. They can get the information they need with a few clicks of a mouse.”
- Security has improved. “Microsoft Dynamics AX makes it easier for us to ensure data is secure. We can control access to data, so only people with the correct permissions can view and alter information,” says Al-Awar.
- Projects are managed more efficiently. With their new reporting tools, managers can examine every element of their projects while they are in progress. Al-Awar says: “In minutes, we can create a report to tell us if a project is within budget, or how much we’re spending on materials. If we see a potential problem, we can take action straight away.”
- User adoption is high. Around 110 employees are now using Microsoft Dynamics AX. Al-Awar says: “Some employees were unsure about the system before implementation—they were used to doing things their own way, and didn’t want to stop. But that changed when they discovered how easy it is to use Microsoft Dynamics.”
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Document published March 2010