Published on 30-Nov-2011
"We predict a three-year ROI of $4 million using IBM, but as for the value in terms of transforming the way we do business, that’s beyond calculation." - Director of Information Management
Real estate development and agribusiness company in California
Construction / Architecture / Engineering
Enterprise Content Management, Smarter Commerce
This diversified real estate development and agribusiness company is committed to responsibly using its land and resources to meet the housing, employment and lifestyle needs of Californians while creating value for its shareholders.
To support projected growth, the mid-size company needed an enterprise-grade technology solution that would enable its small staff to effectively manage highly diverse operations.The core staff of less than 200 employees works with approximately 5,000 consultants and other groups who manage much of the operations from the outside.
The company decided to extend its existing IBM Enterprise Content Management solution to include IBM Case Manager software. The plan is for deployment beginning with management of complex master builder bids and contracts and proceeding to address assets such as insurance policies, leases, and easement bonds. The solution is being structured to support employees, contractors and vendors anywhere they work with highly secure access from virtually any device to a single repository of case-based information.
Once fully deployed, the solution is expected to help staff more efficiently coordinate internal and external activities with hundreds of contractors, suppliers and consultants and enable company managers to better balance bond performance with projected capital and cash flow needs. The company also expects to significantly reduce the time and effort required for regulatory compliance with flexible business rules, standardized workflow and centralized case content.
With stewardship of one of the largest continuous expanses of private land in California, the company is poised for rapid growth to a highly developed area with residential and commercial use properties. Major company projects include an industrial complex, a commercial/industrial park, a mountain village, a resort community and a city with tens of thousand of housing units. In addition to real estate development, activities range from selling rights for mining, oil and gas extraction, grazing and filming to managing and hunting program and rights-of-way to power and telecommunications companies.
The company's business is conducted using contracts with outside contractors and vendors on a variety of projects. A contract and its associated documents comprise a case file that follows the business transaction. When a deal is closed, the documents must be retained or disposed of in accordance with strict regulations. The company is legally required to inspect that each supplier and contractor has a current insurance certificate. With thousands of suppliers, this was a time consuming and labor intensive process. As a public company, the client also has to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA and is subject to audits by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company also has access to millions of dollars per year through bonds for general use improvements and additional building projects. Key to sustainable growth is the ability to easily track what monies been been spent, maintain all supporting documents for those how those monies have been spent, and determine the best opportunity to exercise future bonds.
With only a manual records management system to manage its growth and ensure regulatory compliance, the company's lines of business were operating as siloed entities. Employees used paper-based documents to support their their work processes and stored information in boxes, folders and notebooks. If an employee was out sick or on vacation a process could be delayed until that employee returned.
With IBM Case Manager software, the company expects to process contracts through the office more easily and that workers and consultants are notified when their insurance needs to be updated or reissued. Dynamic tasks can be set to ensure insurance verification is obtained or appropriate action is taken. The Case Manager capabilities will also allow the company to react more quickly to access bonds for general use improvements and additional building projects. Management can be ready to take advantage of the best opportunity to exercise future bonds. The company also plans to offer a mobile application that enables iPad users to retrieve content from, and take advantage of, key content and case management capabilities remotely.
“With IBM software to centrally manage information and drive case management, we now get a holistic view across our business that connects all departments to trusted content they need to serve customers more efficiently. We’re doing three times as much with our systems now as we did previously, but we’ve only added two staff members to the IT team,” said the Director of Information Management. “We predict a three-year ROI of $4 million using IBM, but as for the value in terms of transforming the way we do business, that’s beyond calculation.”
The company is looking ahead to extend the use of software for collaboration, business rules, advanced analytics, and social software to optimize outcomes and work smarter. The long-term goal is to build out the IBM solution to the 5,000 remote consultants and vendors the company works with on a daily basis, providing a way for them to directly contribute content to the solution and collaborate closely with the project team.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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