- Implementation of a common project management approach across all business subsidiaries
- Improved financial reporting, forecasting and awareness
- Greater visibility into resource utilization and management
- Real-time access through mobility support
The organization’s adoption of Changepoint has affected a broader cultural change across the Belgian and French subsidiaries. Project managers now know where they are going and feel like they have control over their projects. It took some time and there was a learning curve, but people are now clearly seeing the advantages.
About AOS Studley
Headquartered in Europe, and with offices around the globe, AOS Studley is a leading real estate consulting and services firm with more than 400 staff and annual revenues of 70 million Euros ($95.5 million U.S.). From small to mid-sized enterprises to international, multi-site organizations, AOS Studley provides businesses with integrated solutions from consulting to implementation. The company prides itself on being an independent player in a real estate market dominated by large conglomerates, 100 percent dedicated to tenants, and committed to a conflict-free business model that results in the creation, delivery and management of effective and supportive real estate solutions.
As a company that deals with private equity houses, AOS Studley must report monthly to shareholders and business investors on its financial performance. The company has two lines of business—real estate advisory and real estate project management—with various subsidiaries responsible for anywhere from 10 to 200 real estate projects at any one time, depending on the size of the office. The responsibility for financial data reporting related to these projects belongs to Nicolas Mestchersky, Finance Group Controller for AOS Studley. He must ensure that financial data across this wide array of projects is homogeneous, and that each project’s financial data is reported to shareholders and within group financial rules.
Prior to using a project portfolio management solution, AOS Studley staff relied on their own tools and methods to manage projects, and finance would reconcile all information on a six-month or yearly basis. Without a common basis for this work, the results lacked the detail necessary to manage projects effectively and left different business groups with incomplete or competing project perspectives.
Changepoint is currently deployed to 300 users within the company’s two main entities in France and Belgium, where the majority of projects reside, and a rollout is underway to all subsidiaries. The Belgium and France locations use Changepoint for customer relationship management and to control all projects under the offices’ purview, including resource management and invoicing schedules.
With Changepoint, AOS Studley now has one single management source for all projects. Says Mestchersky, “Everyone is talking the same language and using a common methodology to drive projects and manage associated project staff.
Our project managers monitor key metrics and financial data on a weekly basis and are in a position to react quickly and take corrective action should projects begin to drift before we experience a serious loss. This might mean returning to a client to renegotiate an unprofitable contract or fine-tuning resources assigned to the project to contain a loss. Changepoint has become an instrumental tool in helping our team deliver a project they are proud of, but also a project that is economical and brings returns to the organization.”
Changepoint has given AOS Studley a common project management approach that goes across all business subsidiaries, allowing those groups to see and understand issues from different perspectives and encouraging a more focused approach to projects. “It’s made our project managers more financially aware,” notes Mestchersky, “and that new sensitivity to the financial issues has greatly benefitted my team in finance.” Changepoint has delivered other advantages to the finance team by providing granular project detail, allowing finance to break down sales revenue and gross margin by project to better understand the formulation of the company’s earnings. And with all contracts loaded into Changepoint, Mestchersky and his team can accurately forecast revenue and resource allocation.
“Changepoint’s web-based visibility is available to the entire team,” Mestchersky says. “Everybody can see where he or she is going and what he or she is doing in the coming weeks. That’s visibility we simply didn’t have before.”
AOS Studley also takes advantage of Changepoint’s mobility support, which has brought a huge productivity advantage to the organization.
“Changepoint’s mobility feature really helps us on the resource management side,” Mestchersky adds. “People don’t need to go back to the office to log their hours. They can now perform this task using a smartphone. This improves our responsiveness in the field, and allows us to gather data fast. We’ve always wanted to have live data on our projects and now this new mobility feature is helping us reach that goal.”
“The organization’s adoption of Changepoint has affected a broader cultural change across the Belgian and French subsidiaries,” explains Mestchersky. “It took people some time to grow comfortable with Changepoint and realize it’s a solution that allows them to bring projects in on time and in line with their forecasts. Project managers now know where they are going and feel like they have control over their projects. It took some time and there was a learning curve, but people are now clearly seeing the advantages.”