SPCC provides an end-to-end design and build service

With SAP on IBM hardware

Published on 06-Mar-2012

Validated on 01 Oct 2013

"We were delighted that with the help of SAP, IBM and Electra Vietnam, we were able to deploy this solution within the expected timeline and on budget." - SPCC’s internal evaluation, Sino Pacific Construction Consultancy Co., Ltd.

Sino Pacific Construction Consultancy

Construction / Architecture / Engineering

Deployment country:
Viet Nam

BA - Business Intelligence, Information Integration, Small & Medium Business, Information Infrastructure, Optimizing IT

IBM Business Partner:
SAP, Electra


Sino Pacific Construction Consultancy Co., Ltd. (SPCC) is one of the Vietnamese construction industry’s greatest success stories. Founded in 1996 with just 40 staff, the company has grown year on year and today employs 800 people across four divisions: project management, architecture and design, construction, and building materials.

Business need:
In the first 15 years of its history, SPCC grew from 40 employees to over 800. As a result, the business systems and processes used to manage projects across its four divisions were becoming inadequate. It was no longer feasible to refer all project-related decisions to central management, so the company decided to alter its structure and devolve responsibility to local project management teams. However, to maintain overall control and manage performance, it was necessary to find a way to help senior managers gain insight into project status and finances on a centralized basis in real time.

Working with SAP, IBM and Electra Vietnam, the company designed a solution based on SAP Business All-in-One for Engineering, Construction & Operations, supported by IBM System x and IBM System Storage hardware and the IBM DB2 database platform. The solution was deployed in less than six months. SPCC has used the solution to introduce a new packaged service called “Design and Build”, which unites its architecture, project management, construction and materials divisions to provide an end-to-end service for clients.

Enabled SPCC to devolve day-to-day responsibility for individual projects to local teams, cutting bureaucracy and accelerating decision-making. Provided excellent performance, enabling instant, real-time monitoring of project status and financial positions. Completed key processes such as end-of-period financial closes faster. Enabled SPCC to offer a low-cost, low-risk end-to-end service, which helps to attract new clients.

Case Study

Sino Pacific Construction Consultancy Co., Ltd. (SPCC) is one of the Vietnamese construction industry’s greatest success stories. Founded in 1996 with just 40 staff, the company has grown year on year and today employs 800 people across four divisions: project management, architecture and design, construction, and building materials.

SPCC works on some of the most prestigious construction projects in Vietnam, such as the development of Nguyen Van Linh parkway in Ho Chi Minh City and the Saigon Sky Garden apartment complex. It has also completed several major projects in Cambodia. The company has received commendations from both the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments for the quality of its work.

“Despite the difficult position of the global economy, our company has continued to expand,” according to SPCC’s internal evaluation. “Over the past three years, our consultancy division has grown by approximately 20 percent per year. Growth is a good thing, but it also brings challenges: we began to find that the management structures that worked well when we were a small company were no longer an effective way of controlling our business.”

Finding a new business model
SPCC’s original business model was based on centralized management of its projects: all major project-related decisions needed to be approved by senior managers. As the company grew and started working on larger numbers of more complex projects, this started to become impractical. The company decided to devolve the day-to-day responsibility for each project to the local project management team, empowering them to make quick, effective decisions. At the same time, however, it was vital for the senior management team to be able to monitor project status and financial performance on a centralized basis.

“The main problem was the flow of information,” shows SPCC’s internal evaluation. “We needed to find a way for headquarters to gain accurate insight into all the individual projects, without distracting the local teams from their daily tasks. We realized that we needed a single IT system that could help us manage the projects at a local level and also provide automatic, real-time reporting for the senior management team.”

Choosing SAP
From the requirements of an advanced electronic business management system, SPCC performed a detailed evaluation of a number of leading ERP packages, and ultimately chose the SAP Business All-in-One for Engineering, Construction & Operations solution.

SPCC’s internal evaluation states: “Data and figures were prepared manually, and with no central record of report requests we were often creating the same report twice for different people. To try to ensure that people were working with the same data we would then double-check and cross-reference from one report to the next, a process which itself absorbed more time. One essential benefit of centralized solution would be the elimination of duplicated effort, creating one report only once, and since all available data would come from a single source, the need to double-check and cross-reference would be eliminated.”

“SAP software is popular in Southeast Asia, and we saw that it had proven successful for a number of other companies. It also has a global reputation, and is used by many of the world’s top businesses. At the same time, when we investigated the initial investment required and the ongoing maintenance costs, we realized that it would be an affordable and practical solution for our company. SAP, IBM, and Electra Vietnam worked together to offer us a service that included hardware, software, installation and support in a single, set-price package.”

Rapid deployment
The solution included the core SAP ERP® software (together with prebuilt templates designed for the construction industry) and the IBM DB2 database software, as well as IBM System x3850 class servers powered by quad-core Intel® Xeon® E7300 processors and IBM System Storage DS3400 disk systems.

The powerful and reliable Intel Xeon processor E7 family is designed to meet critical business needs for the most data-demanding workloads, with improved scalability, and increased memory and I/O capacity. Advanced reliability and security features work to maintain data integrity, accelerate encrypted transactions, and maximize the availability of mission-critical applications.

Electra Vietnam worked closely with the company’s in-house team to deploy the software and customize it to support the new business processes. The implementation was completed in five months, 22 days – a source of pride to the SPCC team.

“We were delighted that with the help of SAP, IBM and Electra Vietnam, we were able to deploy this solution within the expected timeline and on budget,” shows SPCC’s internal evaluation. “It was a very challenging project because it involved a major reorganization of the structure of our whole business, but with great support from the project team, the senior management of the company, and our partners, we achieved a successful outcome.”

Leveraging IBM DB2
The choice of IBM as hardware partner and database supplier was based on IBM’s close relationship with SAP, especially in terms of the synchronized development of DB2 and SAP ERP. The two companies have coordinated the release cycles of both products to ensure that DB2 can deliver optimal performance and efficiency in supporting SAP environments. There is also close integration between the solutions: the SAP DBA Cockpit enables database administrators to manage DB2 via the SAP interface, without switching between environments.

For demanding data-intensive applications such as SAP ERP, the DB2 database software also helps to keep storage costs low, due to its advanced row and index compression capabilities.

“The long-term partnership between IBM and SAP means that DB2 is the ideal database for our ERP solution,” according to SPCC’s internal evaluation. “We want to be a pioneer in the further development of the DB2 platform, and maximize our investment in our infrastructure by utilizing its advanced features.”

Excellent performance from IBM hardware
From the hardware perspective, the company is very satisfied with the performance of the IBM System x servers and System Storage technology, as well as with the support provided by the IBM team.

“IBM played the part of a consultant on hardware, and as far as investment is concerned, they provided a very good solution – a high-quality infrastructure at a reasonable price,” shows SPCC’s internal evaluation “Together with SAP and Electra Vietnam, they played a key role in ensuring that this project would succeed.”

Enhancing efficiencies
The combination of the SAP and IBM technologies delivers a high-performance solution for management of almost every aspect of SPCC’s business. Local project management teams have a single system that stores all the documentation related to their projects and provides sophisticated workflows to guide decisions and provide structured management of timelines and finances.

From the perspective of senior management, the same data is used to provide detailed real-time reports of project performance and financial status – enabling rapid intervention if a project is over budget or behind schedule.

“The solution provides autonomy for the project teams, without weakening the central management team’s overall control of the business,” shows SPCC’s internal evaluation. “The result is that day-to-day decisions can be made faster and more efficiently, with less bureaucracy. At the same time, reporting is automated and instant, so we can get a much more accurate and detailed view of project performance and our financial position.”

Previously, it could take up to four hours for the finance department to perform an analysis of the current financial position of a project. Now, the analysis is instantaneous, which means that managers are always in possession of the latest facts.

“Another area where this new automation helps is the faster process during the end-of-period financial close. With the SAP and IBM solution, an accurate view of profit and loss to help us make better decisions more efficiently.”

More general business and financial queries would usually take up to four days to answer, with data collection and validation taking the largest share of the total time. Now, with a centralized SAP system handling all production and finance matters, validated data is immediately available for analysis.

“With clear knowledge of our financial position, we can make strategic decisions that will be beneficial to our expansion plans and profits.”

“The second main benefit is the acceleration of our end-of-period accounting. In the past we needed 25-30 days to prepare our figures and send our reports back to the centre. We also had to wait until the end of our accounting period to understand our profit and loss, and the decisions we needed to make while we waited for the results were always somewhat on the vague side, being based on figures that we were not too clear about.”

Providing new services
As part of the implementation, SPCC was able to create a set of business processes that would support the introduction of a new service offering called “Design and Build”.

“”Design and Build” is a revolutionary packaged offering that unites and coordinates services from all four of our business divisions, and provides investors with an end-to-end real estate development solution,” shows SPCC’s internal evaluation. “Effectively, if a client comes to us and tells us that they want to invest in real estate, we can manage the entire project, from initial designs right through to realization. It’s a low-cost, low-risk solution that uses SPCC’s skills and experience to maximize profitability for clients, even in a tough economic climate.”

By providing a solid foundation for day-to-day business and enabling the development of innovative new services, the SAP and IBM solution is expected to help SPCC maintain its growth rate and expand into new markets over the coming years.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Storage, Storage: DS3400, System x, System x: System x running Linux - Red Hat

DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows

Operating system:

IBM-SAP Alliance

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