We had a software package for our project administration, which we also used for time registration. Project management is always calculated on an hourly basis, which is important to ensure our independent role within the construction industry. For instance, we don’t get kickbacks or reimbursements when we buy, for example, furniture or wall systems from a certain supplier.
Working on an hourly basis and registering these hours meticulously ensures transparency. We were using a 15-year-old system that was slow, diffcult to adjust and couldn’t be used outside the office. When the budget became available to adjust old tools, we invited three parties to tender.
WorkFlowWise FLEX is the perfect client-facing digital project management administration tool. The flexibility to keep fine-tuning is very important to us. We can make adjustments to the tool and push the buttons ourselves, instead of involving the developers again. If I may use a metaphor: you have a fine working standard car that you can pimp to your own liking. How cool is that!
Realized with: WorkFlowWise FLEX
FLEX combines your business know-how with our expertise in intelligent workflow automation. We deliver quickly and cost-effectively, ensuring you integrate everyone who needs to be involved, from internal end users through to customers and suppliers. And you have the flexibility to extend and adapt as required.
Property Project Management at CBRE
You told us that the old system could no longer handle certain things. What were they exactly?
We noticed that the system was no longer future-proof. It was still supported, but not very well and it had become extremely slow. For example, it was impossible to use the system from my home address because it would take 30 minutes just to log in. And although it did what it was supposed to do for 15 years, we felt that it needed to be able to do more.
Could you specify ‘being able to do more’?
More digitalization. We have digitalized the entire invoicing process using your application. Before, the invoices needed to be signed manually so they could be dispatched to the client with a signature. All of this has now been digitalized.
This is very important to us since we also support the entire building process. All constructing parties send their invoices to us on behalf of our customer. In the old days such an invoice would be received by our project administration team who would enter it into the old system. Then the project manager checked whether the invoice was justifed, properly registered in the system, and whether the client needed to pay the constructor. All this was done on designated days. The invoices were collected on a Friday and had to be signed by a member of the board on a Monday. Only then were they scanned and dispatched digitally.
Thanks to WorkFlowWise FLEX, this is now all done automatically. Every project manager presents the invoice digitally. From there the rest of the process is digitalized as well.
What do the project managers think?
Simple and real-time. When an invoice is presented, I can approve it immediately. It is not always feasible for a project manager to return to the office - in the past everyone needed to come to the office on a specifc day to check the invoices. Now I can immediately check and approve the invoice whenever I am on my computer. That ﬂexibility is very important to us. The customer no longer receives a pile of invoices, or has to wait. All invoices are approved real-time and a customer can always see the current status of an invoice.
The application also gives customers insight into the remaining budget. Are they pleased with that?
They are pleased with the basic principle. One of our characteristics is our transparency. The customer makes the payments, CBRE only manages and records. WorkFlowWise FLEX provides the customer with transparency. They no longer have to wait, but can gain insight whenever it is convenient to them.
What made you opt for WorkFlowWise?
Two reasons: adjustability plus new technological possibilities that we can launch in the future. The market is buoyant. At the moment, CBRE is market leader and we wish to remain so. That is only possible if you keep innovating, so these options need to be incorporated in the software. During the demonstration we learned that your software has all these features.
To me, the basic dashboard, approving invoices using a mobile app, the newsfeed and the computerized process were all functionalities that made the penny drop. But in general, the adjustability of the application was what really attracted me.
Right now the approval of budgets, orders and invoices is covered by the application. But we want to see if eventually we can also incorporate the final design of the project in the application and have the customer approve that too. Furthermore, we want to make more use of the newsfeed to update customers on the status of the construction process. The application will allow for that. I see countless possibilities. Rather too many, than too few. That was really the reason to choose WorkFlowWise - adaptability and the possibilities of new technologies to make us ready for the future.
What would be your advice to other organisations?
If you have no knowledge of IT, be sure to fnd someone who does and who will supervise the process. We hired an external IT project manager. Such a person is very important: someone who understands what the organisation needs and who can interpret that need in IT terms. Smooth communication between both parties is crucial to success.