ICON chooses IFS Applications for oilfield growth plan
15/03/2012 - IFS recently announced that WA-based ICON Engineering will implement IFS Applications, the project-based ERP suite to streamline its operations and execute its growth plan.
ICON Engineering is IFS's fourth West Australian customer in the fast-growing area of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to resources companies and its first WA customer in oil and gas.
According to Chris Harrigan, ICON Engineering's General Manager – Finance and Commercial, the company has an opportunity to double in size in the next 2-5 years by leveraging demand for specialist engineering services in which it has built significant intellectual property (IP), such as solutions to mitigate deepwater drilling risks.
Executing the company's growth plan and mitigating associated risks required an integrated software system that provided an accurate and up-to-date view of operations for improved project and financial management and forecasting. ICON Engineering also wanted to improve the utilisation and productivity of its highly skilled people to the company's profitability and financial strength.
"We have created specific bespoke designs for drilling rigs and floating drilling rigs that help minimise risk and we are getting a lot of enquiries from major oil and gas operators for Compensated Tension Lifting Frames (CTLF's)," said Harrigan.
"This is a niche market opportunity for the company, and the complexity of these CTLF projects means we need a fully integrated project management system to better manage these projects on a daily basis."
IFS Applications will replace ICON Engineering's current Project Management and Financials software systems which are not integrated and make reporting a laborious and time-consuming task.
"The IFS system will give us live data, not only for financial reporting but also for updated project reporting allowing us to monitor project performance at any time."
IFS Applications will also handle ICON Engineering's Human Resources (HR) and Document Management, with the potential to add modules such as Asset Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) if needed in the future.
Integrating HR, Projects and Financials will lead to a "significant improvement" in ICON Engineering's pipeline information and forecasting capabilities, said Harrigan.
The company also expects to gain efficiencies in a number of areas to achieve dollar savings that will pay for the new ERP system within two years.
ICON Engineering expects savings to come from reduced data entry, better utilisation of staff and streamlined collaboration with clients.
IFS will also ensure compliance with Health and Safety regulations and minimise the cost of compliance.
"IFS will free operational people up from administrative work so they can carry out more business development, innovation projects or, better still, make more time available to our clients," said Harrigan.
IFS Applications will automate many project and financial reports which have previously been created manually.
"Our finance team will become an integrated part of operations and provide more effective support to particular projects rather than routine data entry work, spread sheeting accounting workarounds and the creation of month end reports."
It will also allow detailed analysis of projects and other business operations that has not been possible before.
"The project management reporting function of IFS will be of great benefit to the project managers and to me in reporting information to the board," said Harrigan.
"There will be a lot of information we currently don't get such as precise measures of project status and forecast project costs to complete."
IFS's integrated Document Management will also streamline operations, for example, by automatically collating documentation and handling the internal review and customer approval process.
With the IFS Collaborative Portal, ICON Engineering can send an Internet link to clients to access and review documents and redline any changes.
If document package delivery was a project milestone, IFS can automatically generate an invoice following customer approval.
"Improvements in technology are having a profound influence on the Resources and Oil and Gas industries, particularly when it comes to project and asset management," Rob Stummer, Managing Director at IFS Australia and New Zealand said.
"Fast growing services companies that invest in robust and agile ERP systems continue to win new business based on their high levels of innovation, quality and productivity. We look forward to partnering with ICON Engineering to help them achieve their business goals."
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