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The Challenge

Abu Dhabi Precast (ADP) is one of the largest companies in the manufacture, delivery, and installation of precast concrete products in the UAE and broader Middle East region.

The company leverages state-of-the-art machinery at its factories and has the capacity to produce more than 1000m3 a day of a variety of precast elements, concrete products, and hollow core slabs. Testament to its commitment to excellence, the company is ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015 and 45001:2018 certified.

ADP also has its own transportation and installation teams and is well equipped with its own transport fleet and mobile cranes needed to meet work schedules.

Not only can we identify which project is out of budget, but we can pinpoint which phase, and or specifically what elements have resulted in the overrun.

Being a subsidiary of a holding company, Abu Dhabi Precast (ADP) was getting by using the ERP solution the Group had standardised on. While this fulfilled standard functions such as accounting, it fell short in managing operational requirements. “The needs of the precast industry are unique and one of our biggest challenges was the system’s inability to comprehensively capture the cost of finished products,” said Jushak Rahman Chukkan, Chief Operating Officer at ADP.

With this inability to calculate the usage of raw materials, or accurately track the progress of precast elements as they progressed from production through to delivery, threatening to impact the company’s profitability, ADP was determined to upgrade to an ERP system that could meet his organisation’s unique needs.

Productization and Cloud Prove Instrumental

 Detailed discussions with industry-leading ERP vendors would have left Jushak disillusioned had it not been for Epicor and its consultancy and implementation partner, Index InfoTech an expert in the precast, concrete, and ready-mix industries. Where other vendors bowed out, Epicor and Index InfoTech boldly rose to the challenge, offering to implement Epicor Kinetic with a productization approach specific to the needs of ADP, and thus the broader Precast industry. “What we planned to do wasn’t customisation so much as it was building workflows and processes from the ground up,” Jushak explained.

This data is now used by our value engineering team to constantly uncover potential areas for enhancement. We expect their efforts to deliver at least a 5% increase in the efficiency of our raw material utilisation.

The decision to deploy Epicor Kinetic meant Jushak and his team could also deliver on the management’s preference for a cloud-based solution. And while initially this was prompted by the desire to minimise IT management overheads, it proved to be decisive in streamlining the rollout which coincided with the peak of the pandemic. In following the lockdowns which were in place at the time, the Index InfoTech and Epicor teams successfully carried out the deployment of the complete solution remotely, thanks to their rich industry experience and in-house precast experts.

Unlocking Invaluable Insight

With Epicor Kinetic in place, Jushak and his team can finally track budgets and expenditure at every phase, from manufacture of precast elements to their transport and installation on site. “Every night, project expenses are automatically reconciled by the system, allowing us to identify and address budget overruns in real-time,” he said. “Considering that we typically run upwards of 40 projects in parallel, and produce between 300 to 500 elements per day, this automation is absolutely pivotal to keeping our operations on track and keeping our expenditure in check. Not only can we identify which project is out of budget, but we can pinpoint which phase, and specifically what elements have resulted in the overrun.”

This functionality is possible because Epicor Kinetic has enabled ADP’s team to assign labels and meticulously track each element used in the manufacturing process—right from the design to finishing of the elements. “We can also set parameters for each element and if these values are exceeded for any particular element, the system automatically raises an alert. We can then dive into why the discrepancy occurred,” Jushak said.

The constant stream of information about the precise quantities of concrete, rebar, labour and other resources has proved invaluable to ADP’s value engineering team. “This data is now used by our value engineering team to constantly uncover potential areas for enhancement. We expect their efforts to deliver at least a 5% increase in the efficiency of our raw material utilisation,” Jushak said.

You can only increase profitability when you know exactly where your expenses incur. Epicor Kinetic has been instrumental in giving us this insight and should therefore enable us to increase profitability.

Moreover, because the solution is delivered via the cloud, critical information about precast elements can be securely accessed by ADP’s remote teams in real-time. “Today a site engineer can simply scan a barcode and get an understanding of the entire lifecycle of the element,” Jushak explained. Because Index InfoTech has integrated Epicor Kinetic with Autodesk’s Revit building information modelling (BIM) software, ADP is keen to present this information in a more intuitive manner, making it possible for site engineers, project managers, and clients to easily visualise project progress.

Index InfoTech has also worked to help ensure that Epicor Kinetic integrates seamlessly with the ERP solution used by the holding company—enabling Group management to access critical insight via existing dashboards. Impressed by the performance and functionality of Kinetic, Jushak said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if all companies within our group will eventually migrate to Epicor Kinetic.”

Jushak estimates that ADP will achieve full ROI on the implementation within two years. “We’re constantly exploring new modules and most recently added the Maintenance module. The modular nature of the Epicor solution is great as it enables us to scale the implementation in line with the needs of our organisation. In the near future, we intend to implement Advanced Material Management, Payroll and other modules,” he said.

Explaining why Epicor Kinetic is now invaluable to his organisation’s operations Jushak concluded, “You can only increase profitability when you know exactly where your expenses incur. Epicor Kinetic has been instrumental in giving us this insight and should therefore enable us to increase profitability.”

Solutions

Manufacturing

Epicor Kinetic deployed in the cloud

Company Facts

  • Location: United Arab Emirates
  • Specialist Industry: Precast Concrete Manufacturing, Transportation and Installation
  • Website: abudhabiprecast.com

Challenges

  • Generic ERP lacked specific functionality required by the Precast industry
  • Poor expenditure tracking was leading to project budget overruns
  • Need for granular visibility across manufacturing, transport, and installation phases of projects

Benefits

  • Help to deliver precise real-time insight that enables issues to be identified and budgets to be kept in check, thereby increasing profitability.
  • Modular nature of Epicor Kinetic enables ADP to add functionality in line with business requirements.
  • Remote teams and clients can get real time project updates in a visual and intuitive manner.

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