Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 19
An extensive and feature-rich roadmap is
only possible because the flexibility and infrastructure of Sage X3 ERP made it the ideal
platform for a module hyper-focused on the
construction industry. "We want to revolutionize construction," Wiener states. "That's a
big paradigm for us."
The Sage X3 ERP system was originally
developed for manufacturing but its powerful capabilities led to its adoption in other
verticals. Although they appear to have vast
differences, Wiener argues that construction
is really just a form of discrete manufacturing. Like manufacturing, construction is
about creating a process to build and deliver
a defined product by a specific date - only
on a much larger scale. "We were really able
to leverage that from a project concept,"
Because they share many of the same
building blocks, Wiener believes the
construction industry can learn from how
manufacturing companies implemented
SAGE X3 CONSTRUCTION
HoloLens could make those plans a reality.
"Being able to look at a construction project
in that manner allows you to take on a
different perspective," Wiener says. (5-D BIM,
an acronym for 5-D building information
modeling, is a term used in the CAD and
construction industries, and refers to the
intelligent linking of individual 3-D CAD
components or assemblies with schedule
[time - 4-D BIM] constraints and then with
Each stop on the X3FC roadmap was
selected because of its value to the client.
Another stop on the development roadmap,
where the company believes it can reduce
complexity, is the management of vehicle
and equipment assets. "We're working to
create the next-generation of asset management," Wiener says. "We know what
the problems are in the industry and we're
setting up the tools to solve those problems
long term. If you have construction assets,
watch this space."
ERPs. Manufacturing's earlier adoption of the technology led to an
industry-wide realization that there was a need to step back and
review how ERP systems could support operations. Investing in processes led to numerous advancements within manufacturing, from
how companies view their manufacturing lifecycles to organizing
the shop floor. Wiener says the construction industry is now ready
for the same kind of information technology revolution. "Construction as an industry didn't have the tools to do that 20 years ago," he
contends. "They do today."
The challenge X3FC solves is in the repeatability and consistency of
setting up a task and carrying it from one job to the next. Historically,
every construction project started from the ground up, not only in
terms of the physical building but also in the processes, resources
and roles that must be defined. X3FC simplifies that startup phase by
enabling contractors to pull Job Cards, Work Packages, permission
levels and the planning structure from past jobs into new projects.
By replicating those tools, X3FC leverages its power and flexibility
to quickly scale up a project while eliminating the most cumbersome elements. "If you have complex business processes and/or
reporting and costing structures, you want to ensure they are consistently applied," Wiener says.
When X3FC launched earlier this year it was geared toward
addressing the risks and complexity faced by mid-tier and large construction firms. Because large-scale projects on the $100-million level have larger teams and often have contract specific requirements,
it made sense to start there before catering to smaller contractors in
which project managers manage several simultaneous jobs. "Scaling
up gets really hard if you build for the smaller market and then try
to add complexity," Wiener explains.
But Wiener believes the consistency and repeatability offered by
the module are the keys to helping $5 million to $15 million-a-year
builders grow their portfolios. The next version of X3FC, which is
expected to launch early to middle of next year, will further improve
its ease-of-use, flexibility and multi-project overview functionality
for contractors of any size.
With its rapidly expanding capabilities, X3FC is creating a new
standard for best practice solutions in construction and other applications. While EVM, CPM, Cash Flow Modelling, and BOQ, Job Card,
and Work Package Management, are not new concepts, they have
historically relied on external systems such as spreadsheets which
required intensive manual calculations and potentially allowed for
data manipulation; X3FC homogenizes the data acquisition, collection, storage, analysis and reporting into a single point of truth on a
highly available and accessible platform. "We're making sure we are
ready for the industry, so when they do adopt the solution they can
really fly," Wiener says.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM