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LSA Architects and eTrack: a blueprint for success

Supplier: eTrack Products
29 November, 2013

SVT Engineering Consultants provide acoustics, vibration and corrosion engineering services to some of the world's largest resource development projects.

To help them tackle increasingly complex contracts and streamline project planning and resource allocation, they have adopted eTrack's practice management solution.

As a result, SVT now has a 'single version of the truth' in which data is entered just once and propagates throughout the organisation. SVT staff around Australia and overseas can now share the same information in real time. Using eTrack, SVT allocates staff and equipment to its many projects, tracks budgets versus actuals and improves transparency, consistency and control across critical business processes.

Transforming bottlenecks to assets

eTrack has empowered SVT to transform their databases from a bottleneck into a valuable information resource. "We had too many spreadsheets with overlapping data and complex relationships," says Stuart Gicquel, the project manager for the eTrack implementation.

"As we grew we needed a more systematic approach. eTrack provides the ideal platform for centralised, standardised data management."

"Having easy access to our data resources has been a major benefit," says Sue Jacobs, financial controller at SVT.

"eTrack makes most of our everyday tasks more efficient and provides for improved governance. In essence, eTrack allows us to 'lead instead of lag' for improved performance at every level."

"eTrack provides us with greater insight into our business," says Stewart Wharton, managing director of SVT.

"Now our project teams can see exactly what is happening in a 'live' way and take more control of projects.

"eTrack is an influencer of today's projects and tomorrow's decision-making instead of simply a record of what we have done in the past."

Outgrown their tools

With an impressive growth rate and increasingly complex projects, SVT had outgrown their existing practice / project management tools. They were maintaining multiple project databases and it was becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile spreadsheets and documents with their MYOB Accountright Enterprise financial solution.

"SVT has grown from 35 to 100 staff," says Gicquel, "and we recognised the need to upgrade our processes. We undertook an internal strategic review and developed a detailed requirement specification for a practice management solution to support our current and future activities."

"We spent the better part of two years investigating products, reviewing specifications and even trialling Deltek for a time," continues Gicquel.

"But it was becoming increasingly apparent that there were significant gaps between what we needed and what was available.

"No other system came close."

As they were running out of options, SVT was referred to eTrack by a health safety and hygiene company that uses eTrack as a cloud-based service.

"We quickly concluded that eTrack's practice management system could support 90 percent of what we wanted 'out of the box'," says Gicquel.

"In addition the eTrack developers could customise the core system to support that elusive last 10 per cent. Indeed, no other system came nearly as close."

As a result, SVT selected eTrack as their practice management solution and contracted eTrack to customise the software and help them migrate their data into a single master data repository.

"We passed our requirement specifiction on to John Warner, founder of eTrack, and his development team," says Gicquel, "and they quickly developed prototypes. We reviewed the enhancements and made additional comments.

"The final result has given us exactly what we had envisioned. John and his team have provided extraordinary service. The fact that eTrack had such a good understanding of our requirements, coupled with their programming expertise, made what could have been a difficult process into something manageable."

Phased implementation for immediate benefits

SVT opted for a phased implementation so that they could receive immediate benefits. "Increased visibility into our current projects has been the biggest benefit," notes Gicquel.

"Before eTrack, for weekly project review meetings, individual consultants would spend time collating data, comparing numbers and then creating new documents.

"While absolutely necessary, it was taking valuable time. Now, with eTrack, the team can prepare the summaries with a few clicks.

"This gives us tighter control of our business and gives our project managers more time to manage the projects instead of managing the process."

SVT expects even more benefits as additional functions are rolled out.

"What we've seen so far is impressive," concludes Wharton.

"John and his team have provided exemplary support for the phased implementation. Already we are making changes in the way we operate with improvements in the way we schedule our workload and allocate resources.

"More importantly we now have the ability to track projects in real time against the scope. Having better access to more information on our own screens has been extremely helpful to managing our business."

Key reasons SVT selected eTrack

  • Highly recommended by colleagues
  • eTrack could match 90% of SVT's exacting requirements 'out of the box'
  • eTrack's ability to add additional functionality for the elusive '10%'
  • Superb pre-sales support

Key benefits for SVT

  • Increases data integrity; data is entered only once, reducing error and providing for improved governance
  • Improves visibility into active projects allowing SVT to 'lead instead of lag' with its processes
  • Streamlines most of SVT's everyday tasks
  • Optimises coordination amongst staff and stakeholders; they all have access to the same information at the same time a 'single version of the truth'
  • Transforms complex databases from bottlenecks into valuable information assets
  • Future-proofs SVT with a stable platform for anticipated growth in booming oil, gas and mining sector

"Before eTrack, for weekly project review meetings, individual consultants would spend time collating data, comparing numbers and then creating new documents.

"Now, with eTrack, the team can prepare the summaries with a few clicks. This gives us tighter control of our business and gives our project managers more time to manage the projects instead of managing the process."

        Stuart Gicquel, Project Manager, SVT Engineering Consultants

"John and his team have provided exemplary support for the phased implementation. Already we are making changes in the way we operate with improvements in the way we schedule our workload and allocate resources. More importantly we now have the ability to track projects in real time against the scope."

        Stewart Wharton, Managing Director, SVT Engineering Consultants