Plant construction – improved project financing in a decentralised organisation
A technical construction specialist operating all over Germany has been seeing continuous deterioration in order financing. They conduct around 1,000 plant construction projects, which are accounted for in accordance with international financing standards (IFRS). In the short term, it is a top priority to reduce the financial underfunding of the projects. In the long term, a process needs to be put into place which will develop the order financing and the cash flow situation so that they are easier to forecast and therefore to control.
As an experienced company in the fields of business management and project management, AXXCON has already conducted successful efficiency projects relating to Work in Progress Management, and has supported change processes. Substantiated knowledge of designing business processes and their practical implementation, combined with experiences gleaned during difficult restructuring phases make AXXCON the ideal partner for such a task.
As there is a skills shortage internally, AXXCON will assume the line management role of Head of Business Controlling within the context of the interim project. A new management control concept needs to be designed for order financing, while a short-term improvement in project financing also needs to be achieved.
In the process of creating a new management control concept, it became clear from the analysis of the current state of affairs that no centralised standard process has been defined. Instead, the regional branches are working to very different business processes. In addition, a lack of stringent project management means that these processes are not being sufficiently adhered to.
AXXCON’s solution approach and measures
By means of an in-depth inventory focusing on the top 100 projects, the causes of the negative order financing are identified, among other things. It was established that key factors were late requests for payment and final invoices. AXXCON’s concept facilitates the ongoing comparison of forecast vs. actual data. This means that accounting can take place immediately and appropriate measures can be introduced without delay. To support this, a database solution was put into place.
Three interim managers were employed to implement the rollout, working under the project management of AXXCON. Training the project team was a particular area of focus, as was the definition and implementation of relevant measures. AXXCON’s successful implementation was concluded when the documented process adaptations and areas of responsibility were handed over to the newly created positions in the different regions.
The financial provision for the projects was improved by around 20 percent within seven weeks. In future, reporting on financial results at branch level, regional management and Board level will be done on a weekly basis. The focus is on “monitoring” the implementation of the measures, which will also guarantee improved transparency. Shortcomings in the preceding processes can therefore be quickly recognised and improved. A basis was therefore created for the efficient management and forecasting of order financing and cash flow.