Stroygasconsulting Group, is the largest construction holding in Russia and is involved in many lines of businesses. The company needed a comprehensive and flexible ERP solution that would allow its employees and management to be more productive by providing them with better monitoring capabilities and control over their projects, contracts and assets. It also wanted to automate their business processes, including quality management. The firm achieved these goals by implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. Situation For the last several years, SGC's overall revenues have increased dramatically. According to Forbes, Stroygasconsulting is recognized as the biggest construction holding in Russia and the second largest privately-held company. The holding was listed 30th in the Engineering News Record (ENR) compared to 225 other global construction companies, and was ranked 18th as being one of the top-performing Russian companies by sales volume, according to Expert-400. As the holding grew rapidly, the need for modernization of the management system became critical. To address this large-scale issue, top managers of the company launched a dedicated project to implement an end-to-end construction management cycle, including automation of management and monitoring of construction projects, quality assurance, and some related processes, such as asset management, improvement of the financial accounting system, etc. This project was split into four main subprojects: Asset managemen Construction quality management Monitoring and management of construction projects Contract management The main goals of the asset management subproject were as follows: To provide top managers with accurate and up-to-date information about business assets and their statuses To create the complete ownership documentation for all business assets and organize efficient accounting of assets To optimize the total cost of ownership of these business assets, including benefits from selling or leasing unused assets The main goal of the construction quality management subproject was to automate and regulate the quality assurance of the installation and construction works. Previously, quality assurance was performed manually with data scattered across many Excel spreadsheets. The main targets in the field of quality assurance set by top managers were as follows: To acquire accurate and up-to-date information about the quality of construction and installation works To create subsystems of registers, in order to account for requirements of various regulatory authorities and track the fulfillment and deadlines for these requirements To create a unified automated document flow, especially for quality assurance documents The same situation was observed in most areas to be automated during the subprojects. For example, there was no centralized registry of contracts in the company. Instead, employees used multiple inconsistent registers and edited them manually through various software tools. Moreover, there was no unified automated system for managing and monitoring construction projects. Since this issue had a significant negative impact on data acquisition and analysis, the need for a management and monitoring system for the construction projects became obvious. The goals of implementing such a system were as follows: To acquire accurate and up-to-date analytical information about the progress of construction and installation works To create a unified database to track progress on each construction site (including historical data) To create a centralized storage for all regulatory documents and help materials, throughout the holding To implement the latest quality management standards for seamless migration to ISO 9001:2015 and later, to 2015. The contract chain management, as the cornerstone of the financial accounting system of the construction holding, was implemented within a dedicated subproject. Solution The IT strategy committee of Stroygasconsulting had to choose only among the platforms successfully implemented in SGC earlier, which were Microsoft Dynamics AX, SAP, and 1C. Microsoft Dynamics AX was previously used for the development of several financial and asset accounting software components of the holding, as well as for project management. The SAP platform was utilized for developing the procurement software component on some construction sites. The 1C platform was successfully deployed for bookkeeping purposes. The key requirement for the future platform was best-of-breed scalability and resiliency under high workloads from a large number of users. The headcount of the managing company is 6,000 employees, and the solution will then be replicated across its subsidiaries. Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP were the only two platforms from the shortlist that were able to fully meet these requirements. Another important requirement to the future solution was flexibility in terms of the rapidly changing business processes. Due to the fast growth of its business, the company often significantly revises its business processes. This means that the solution must be flexible enough to adapt to such changes quickly and efficiently. Microsoft Dynamics AX appeared to be the only platform that met the firm’s criteria. Since a solution already existed based on Microsoft Dynamics AX for the construction industry with all the needed functionality, this greatly influenced the choice in favor of Microsoft's platform. This industry-specific solution was provided by AFM Consulting, which also possessed strong expertise in the business processes of the construction industry, thereby becoming the implementation partner. Benefits "The project implemented by AFM Consulting's team and based on Microsoft technologies was really crucial for our company. Since 2014, our Board of Directors decided to launch a system for efficient collaboration with all parties involved in construction – from customers to subcontractors. This is the very solution that made it possible," says Sergey Korovin, IT Director at Stroygasconsulting. During this project, AFM Consulting's team automated the key business processes of the holding, such as construction project management, asset management, construction quality management, and contract management. As a result, all the top managers and employees of the holding gained access to accurate and up-to-date information about the current tasks and the progress of each construction project. For example, implementation of the contract register module helped not only reduce time greatly for entering and searching the information, but also to eliminate mistakes caused by human error. Since the overall volume of the contract database is over 30,000 entries and with almost 800 users working with it daily, the new solution based on Microsoft Dynamics AX helps Stroygasconsulting save a lot of working time by automating the routine data-processing tasks and eliminating errors. The system also eliminated an issue with multiple duplications of the same data in Excel spreadsheets. Instead, all data is now entered consistently and only once, using the glossaries that constitute the unified system of regulatory documentation and help materials in the company. Today, the consolidated accounting of 80,000+ assets is performed in a single system, thereby allowing not only having the capability to generate various summary reports, but also manage and optimize the expenses on each asset. By deploying this solution, the company also gained an efficient tool for developing the integrated management system throughout the entire holding in full accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. Presently, the solution powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX operates not only on SGC's plants, but also in 30 geographically remote construction sites, including the Bovanenkovo–Ukhta trunk gas pipelines, the pipelines of Zapolarie – oil pump station Pur-Pe, as well as in oil, gas, and condensate fields in Bovanenkovo, Yamburg, Urengoi, and Zapolarie. The scope of the project was as follows: 850+ users working in the following regions of Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Komi Republic (Vorkuta, Inta, Ukhta, Pechora, Mikun, Usinsk), Leningrad Oblast (Vyborg, Vyborg District), Primorsky Krai (Dalnerechensk, Partizansk, Ussuriisk, Mikhailovsky and Spassky areas), Khabarovsk (Vyazemsky), Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Nadym, Novy Urengoy, Salekhard, Pur and Taz districts), the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Murmansk Oblast (Murmansk), Krasnodar Krai, Sakhalin Oblast, and Arkhangelsk Obkast. "We pay special attention to developing comprehensive offers for the key industries of the Russian economy. We are proud that the solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics help to boost the business efficiency of one of the largest companies in Russia," said Alyona Heckler, Director at Microsoft Business Solutions in Russia. "By completing this project, Stroygasconsulting gained a powerful IT system not only able to deliver accurate and up-to-date business data in real time, but also able to adapt flexibly to global changes in the business processes," says Oleg Muratov, Consulting Director at AFM Consulting.