Albert Ponsteen, co-founder of Epicflow, has just returned home from a successful business trip to Singapore, during which he helped an international food supply company get started with Epicflow.
In this interview, Albert shares his impressions about our client’s goal to set up a plant in India with the help of our project management software. Our client is a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Upon request, we will not disclose the company’s name.
Albert, we’re delighted to hear that your trip to the Lion City was a success. What was the purpose of your trip and how did it go?
Albert: Fantastic, thank you. It was a rewarding experience to counsel our new client about how Epicflow can benefit their business. A company that delivers supplies to the food industry worldwide invited me to come to its Asian headquarters in Singapore. As the company strives to increase its global presence, its business strategists are planning to build a new plant in India to produce food ingredients.
It’s obvious that a project of this scope is marked with complexity and dynamic processes. Project managers have to devote a great deal of effort to providing a well-balanced plan with due-date estimates when it comes to the actual process of constructing a food production factory. But to help them, I introduced Epicflow, our analytical software for project management.
What prompted the client to choose Epicflow over other traditional project management solutions? What were the greatest challenges of planning this plant?
This was not the first time this particular company faced the complexities of managing the construction of a plant. During their last experience, managers were confronted with 10,000 tasks in total. Trying to plan everything manually in MS Project and eventually losing oversight, they experienced problems with execution. The realization that thousands of tasks should be re-scheduled caused by changing reality forced them to start thinking differently. That was the main drive.
Constructing a plant requires full visibility over the project. What software did the client use previously?
The company has experience with MS Project and Oracle Primavera. Despite using this project portfolio management software, however, it continues to grapple with three kinds of problems: work priorities, resource overload, and overhead. First, their business leaders did not know how to align the parties and ended up putting a lot of energy into creating project plans that resulted in overhead. Second, they were lacking priorities that Epicflow identifies automatically. Third, in spite of having all kinds of time bars and plans, our client failed to generate effort-based workloads. Consequently, the workforce was overloaded and deadlines were missed, so Epicflow turned out to be a perfect web-based tool for project management that could add value and complement, not replace, their existing PM programs.
How can Epicflow’s PM solution help them succeed in planning?
With the Epicflow project management software the company wants to reduce lead times, so the idea is to compress planning as much as possible, create a timeline and add resources to speed up the construction. Delivering faster with less overhead and aligned parties are their main objectives. Our analytical PM solution will calculate the workforce required to build the plant in roughly in 2–3 years.
Don’t forget to check the benefits of Epicflow for your team here.
How is the setup going?
The setup of the initial stage is going really well. We started on paper, using a simple brown paper session with sticky notes. During the week, their understanding evolved.
The client’s project managers figured out what kind of information they needed so they could draw up a plan without laying out thousands of tasks. This is how I usually approach it: we start on paper, set the order of tasks, determine which types of resources the client needs, and do a rough effort estimation. By splitting those steps, you make it much easier for clients to discuss a plan. Once they get the gist of the order, they gain control over their projects. This approach is similar to building a house. It’s essential to start with the foundation and design the roof at the end.
Image credit: toolstotal.com
What results can our partner expect from using the Epicflow software for project management?
It has been recently estimated that only 2.5% of companies successfully complete their projects. For sure, we can help this company build a plant on-time and faster than they previously have. Our web-based project management solution introduces alignment of their parties, which saves time. Exploring their former planning strategies that led to a half-year delay, I noticed where we could reduce lead time by setting priorities with Epicflow. Put simply, they can approach their project in a different way. I am convinced that after integrating this project planning app, the client will be able to improve results and perform better owing to on-time delivery and increased focus.
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In this context, does our project management software ensure that the client will be able to effectively compete with other international companies?
We are inclined to believe that Epicflow will become a trump card for many companies in the future. It will support to their global presence, while at the same time evolving as an internationally recognized project management tool that brings simplicity to dynamic environments. Planning is not rocket science if you use the right software. Currently, I am trying to get this message out and prove it in practice.
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