Dashboards provide a succinct view of project metrics

Having implemented Summit Business Analytics, CF Roberts can now access vital information about current projects in an instant…

CF Roberts is one of the UK’s leading providers of electrical and mechanical design, installation and maintenance services. It’s a family business established in 1935.

Quick decisions

Before implementing Business Analytics, Senior Managers and Contract Managers were having to go to various modules within Summit to obtain details about their contracts so that they could then calculate figures like cash performance, potential margin and the number of overdue tasks.

“They wanted to be able to see the most important, up-to-date information about their contracts in one view,” said IT Programme Director Andrew Tunley. “What I did with Business Analytics was put together a dashboard that gives them all the vital information they need, in order to make quick decisions on projects that are not performing as expected. For example, there could be overspending or excessive variations, or higher-than-expected materials orders.

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“With the dashboard, they instantly get a very succinct view of exactly what’s going on: Net invoice total, Outstanding Commitments, which tasks have been completed on a project and which ones are outstanding or late. I also added a number of buttons that link directly from the dashboard to particular areas of Summit, in case they spot something unusual and want to drill down into the detail.

“Business Analytics provides the facility to display the key pieces of information about a project in one view. Users can also click on various buttons to take them into ‘Contract Enquiry’, ‘Account Enquiry’, ‘Materials Ordered’ or ‘Emails’, to see all the relevant details and investigate further.”

Clear and simple

What are the main benefits of using Business Analytics? “If a project’s running smoothly, the Directors don’t really need to get involved,” said Andrew. “But if there are problems, they need to know about them as soon as possible. What Business Analytics does is give them a clear and simple way to see very quickly where the issues lie.

“Before Business Analytics, the Directors would sometimes have to spend hours formulating the data or ask Accounts to provide the information for them. But now they can get an overview of all their current projects in an instant.”

Andrew has also set up team summaries for the Managing Director, who now routinely uses the on-screen dashboards to review, investigate and discuss performance with the Operations Manager responsible for each team.

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