Engineering Firm Delivers Dredging Project On-Time and On-Budget with Oracle
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. October 16, 2006 05:00 AM
KCI Technologies, the largest employee-owned engineering firm in Maryland, leveraged Oracle(r) Projects to manage a hugely successful initiative to dredge the Annapolis Harbor in preparation for a round-the-world yacht race, Oracle today announced. The company credited Oracle Projects with helping to streamline complex billing processes, dramatically reduce administrative man hours and enable the company to complete the project on-time and on-budget.
In 2003, city officials in Annapolis, Md. turned to KCI to help prepare its harbor to host one of the stops on the popular Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race), a major source of tourist revenue. The race was to feature a new class of 70-foot yachts designed for depths that exceeded that of Annapolis Harbor at the time. The city tasked KCI with providing concepts for dredging the harbor to deepen the channel and accommodate the new yachts, as well as an associated environmental restoration project for nearby Greenbury Point.
"With a project as big and complicated as this one, the stakes are high, and we needed a state-of-the-art project costing and management system," said KCI Project Manager Christopher L. Overcash, PE. "We didn't want to be tied down to a legacy system. Oracle Projects gave us the critical ability to manage multiple funding sources and clients within a single project."
KCI pursued a collaborative strategy to complete the work in parallel with environmental restoration efforts in the region. The company assembled a team of partners that included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Port Administration, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maryland Environmental Service and Anne Arundel County to gauge the potential benefits to the area and develop the project scope. With so many organizations involved, KCI recognized it needed a solution that would enable it to seamlessly manage multiple clients, funding sources and schedules as a single effort.
KCI found its answer with an Oracle Projects implementation that included Oracle Project Costing and Oracle Project Billing. Oracle Project Costing provided the company with an integrated cost management solution for all its various projects, with the ability to access real-time expenditures, progress and projections across organizational boundaries. With Oracle Project Billing, KCI was able to simplify client invoicing, improve cash flow and measure the profitability of contract projects. KCI chose Oracle Projects over a number of competitive offerings because it was the best match for supporting projects and mapped to the firm's business processes.
"Oracle Projects was the only solution that really understood the architecture of the engineering business, and that could link together all of our various initiatives," Overcash said. "Oracle Project Billing's automated client billing reduced countless man hours in invoice preparation."
The dredging project was a major success, coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. So successful was the initiative that, through word of mouth, KCI has since been approached by new clients who were impressed by the company's integrated approach.
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