Apartments, shopping malls and leisure complexes can take years to build, and market conditions can change during the construction phase. How can ARDIC ensure that each of its developments delivers maximum value?
By consolidating its planning, budgeting and project management processes with IBM Planning Analytics, ARDIC can gain the insight it needs to deliver each project on time and on budget.
EmpowersARDIC to harmonize operational and financial plans with its strategic vision
3xfaster reaction to changing market conditions by moving from quarterly to monthly forecasts
3xreduction in manual effort by replacing three planning systems with Planning Analytics
Business challenge story
Staying ahead of the competition
For over 20 years, ARDIC has been a pioneer in the Egyptian real-estate market—developing high-value apartments, commercial complexes and villas across the country. But as the market became more competitive, ARDIC’s leading market position came under threat.
Alaa Soueif, IT Director at ARDIC, says: “A real-estate development project can last anywhere from 4 to 10 years—sometimes longer. Because projects have such long timescales and involve multiple parties, they are very vulnerable to changes in the market, especially fluctuations in materials costs and real estate prices. If we are to succeed in the industry, we must ensure that we can effectively plan, budget for and adapt to market changes.”
ARDIC decided to completely redesign its business model. Traditionally, the company had focused all its efforts on one project at a time, but this limited its overall agility and made it difficult to mitigate project-related risks. Instead, the business wanted to be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and establish a strategic plan for growth and development.
The ambition to harmonize the management of all the company’s current projects as well as operational planning under one shared vision is at the heart of the company’s three-year strategic plan. To achieve this, ARDIC set out to redesign many of its core systems and processes.
Soueif continues: “Our old way of working was inefficient. We had an automated system for accounting, but we conducted most of our project planning manually with spreadsheets, and we used a separate system for project management. As a result, it was difficult to keep things in sync, or to adopt a standardized approach across all projects.
“While our operational and strategic plans were linked conceptually, the systems we used to manage and update them were completely unconnected. Due to the manual effort required to harmonize these plans, we could only update them on a quarterly basis—making it harder to steer our company through hard times and adapt to sudden changes in the market.”
Architecting a more efficient business
To find the right technology to help transform its business, ARDIC trialed a variety of solutions offered by companies operating in Egypt. After testing multiple solutions, the company decided to deploy IBM Planning Analytics to power more efficient budgeting and planning as well as streamline project management.
Soueif comments: “Initially, we looked at out-of-the box planning, budgeting and project management systems. However, we soon realized that our complex business model required a much more versatile solution that could be customized to meet our unique needs.
“We were impressed with the robustness and flexibility of IBM Planning Analytics. We also liked the fact that we could implement Planning Analytics in the cloud and avoid the expense of managing and maintaining a solution on premises. IBM also recommended working with Business Vision to help us through the implementation process.”
Business Vision, an IBM Business Partner, worked closely with ARDIC to develop a comprehensive solution for strategic, operational and project planning in IBM Planning Analytics. By defining the relationships between the three plans explicitly within the system, ARDIC will be better able to align its business with changing market conditions.
To help control and allocate costs effectively, ARDIC is building a module in IBM Planning Analytics that will enforce its policy of checking purchase requests against project budgets before a payment is made, reducing the risk of unplanned expenditures.
At the time of writing, ARDIC and Business Vision are also in the process of integrating IBM Planning Analytics with the company’s Maisonette ERP system. Once the integration is complete, ARDIC will be able to import actuals automatically from its finance system into its plans and ensure that each project remains on track.
“We are very pleased with Business Vision,” continues Soueif. “Their team were easy to work with and they adopted a friendly and professional approach to the implementation. For instance, they were willing to extend the scope of the project when we realized that our requirements were more complex than they originally appeared. Throughout the whole process, Business Vision demonstrated that they are 100 percent committed to helping us utilize IBM Planning Analytics to its full potential.”
Equipped to succeed
Once the IBM Planning Analytics solution is live, ARDIC anticipates that it will be able to manage multiple projects efficiently, while also ensuring that its operational plans enable the company to achieve its strategic goals, on time and on budget.
“Transferring to a more efficient, more integrated way of working will enhance our ability to stay ahead of the competition,” says Soueif. “What’s more, IBM Planning Analytics will help us update our operational and strategic plans on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly—so we will be able to react much more quickly when market conditions change.”
With budgets, operational plans and project management data all residing in a single integrated platform, ARDIC will also eliminate time-consuming, manual tasks from many of its core processes and reduce the likelihood of human error.
“With IBM Planning Analytics we will no longer need to maintain and track information across multiple spreadsheets, and we will be able to update our forecasts in one place instead of three,” explains Soueif. “This will not only save time, it will reduce the risk of errors and eliminate inconsistencies between our plans—giving us a much stronger basis for decision-making.”
Soueif concludes: “Thanks to IBM and Business Vision we will be able to be much more responsive and manage multiple projects seamlessly. By improving our operational efficiency with IBM technology, we will have the capability to deliver even better value for our clients while also growing our business.”
Ever since it was founded as a joint stock company in 1998, ARDIC has been steadily expanding its presence in Egypt’s vibrant real estate market, delivering a number of high-value real estate properties in New Cairo, El Shorouk and Giza.
Take the Next Step
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Business Vision utilizes major business intelligence and business analytics software through its stable and robust partnerships with IBM and other leading software vendors. The company offers top-of-the-line analytics software services to its clients in Egypt, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and North Africa. To learn more, visit: businessvision.co