Using a cloud-based SCM application, project managers at property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle spend more time delivering results and less time doing routine chores.
Jones Lang LaSalle is among the world’s largest financial and professional services firms specializing in real estate. In India, the property consultant offers companies like UBS and Accenture, a bouquet of services from finding new office space to and managing multiple properties. It also advices property developers like DLF on driving projects on-time and on-budget with its project and development services (PDS) wing.
The Business Case: The success of the PDS wing depends on the ability of its 350 project managers (PMs), working at about 70 client locations, to focus on project management and quality control.But too much of a PM’s time was wasted on one tedious task: Dealing with reams of tenders. That’s because each construction project requires hundreds of individual components, from cement to carpets, which need to be sourced from separate vendors. With multiple vendors applying for each component, PMs were faced with a mountain of tenders. On an average a PM spent up to 15 weeks selecting and approving a vendor for a greenfield project and up to 10 weeks for a fit-out project.The Project: Manoj Sharma, head-IT, JLL, envisioned an in-house solution to ease this problem, but he quickly realized that given the large number of factors to incorporate into the application, his in-house approach needed to change.He looked for alternatives in the cloud and found them. But before finalizing on a vendor, Sharma decided to do more homework. “I went through Gartner’s Quadrant which helped me understand each service provider’s strengths and weaknesses. I also looked at trends in the cloud-based supply chain management market before proceeding,” says Sharma.His groundwork helped him build a list of eight key parameters for a SaaS service provider to qualify. They were: information security, data ownership, product’s success and acceptability in the market, physical locations of its datacenters (because of latency), flexibility of customization, service level terms and conditions, response time on application errors and bugs, and their IT support help desk availability.“Most of our project teams work on site, which have poor Internet bandwidth. So we also tested the application’s performance on the corporate network during peak hours, on broadband connections, and on data cards,” says Sharma.Sharma built a questionnaire based on these parameters and scored vendors. Short-listed companies were called to for a proof-of-concept. Only after this level of deliberation was a partner selected.The Benefits: The cloud app gives the PDS wing a much more organized view—and therefore, more visibility—of hundreds of tenders. This allows PMs to identify the right vendor faster. “We expect a saving of at least 45 percent in terms of man hours thanks to the tool,” says Sharma.This lowers the number of project managers required per project, bringing down man power costs, and freeing up resources to pursue more projects. Additional features of the app, including automation and templates in the pre-qualification process, helps JLL save anywhere between 45-95 percent of a project manager’s time.
We expect a saving of at least 45 percent in terms of man hours thanks to the tool