Fender Katsalidis: How We Gained Project Control
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One of Australia’s most well-known and successful architecture practices – Fender Katsalidis – has evolved from a Melbourne-centric architectural practice to a highly awarded, multi-disciplinary international design firm, whose work now influences built environment thinking across the globe.
Founded on the philosophy of innovation through collaboration, Fender Katsalidis first implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)-based project control system ten years ago, and recently switched providers to roll-out Deltek Vantagepoint.
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Why Did FK Make The Switch To Vantagepoint?
Vantagepoint will provide a complete view of the firm’s activities around Australia in a single platform, including client, project and financial details. It will enable FK to be more efficient, productive and profitable, and to make key decisions based on up-to-date data and analysis.
“We aim to maximise efficiency, responsiveness and profitability on all commissioned projects while protecting cashflow,” says FK director Mark Murphy. “Project control systems give us the stability and foresight needed to build and sustain a strong and viable practice.”
Murphy said that one of the main benefits FK has observed from using project control systems is the ability to deeply analyse data and set performance benchmarks, including fee standards and efficiency targets.
"Project control systems give us the stability and foresight needed to build and sustain a strong and viable practice."
“The main advantage is in optimising our overall resourcing levels – and detailed resource allocations – to provide client service excellence consistently, within scope and on budget,” he says. “Our ability to remotely access and use or interrogate the system is a significant focus for our next phase of development.”
FK is most well-known locally for its Eureka tower in Melbourne, which will soon be eclipsed in height by its latest project, Australia 108. Murphy explains that one of the keys to FK's success is its ability to efficiently plan and monitor the execution of project work within scope, program and budget. “And then bill for the services provided in a timely manner, with a high probability of that account being paid within the set terms,” Murphy says.
The implementation of project control systems gave FK the stability and foresight it needed to build and sustain a strong and viable practice, Murphy says. “Our systems have provided a foundation for significant year-on-year growth in turnover and profitability,” he explains. “It is broadly trusted and relied upon to sustain and grow the practice.”
There has been an additional benefit too, in terms of corporate governance and compliance, Murphy says. “While the project control system doesn’t impact much upon the parts of our practice related to legislative or regulatory requirements, from a compliance perspective, the core accounting system provides robust tax and statutory support to the practice, as well as powerful corporate governance support to our board.”
With FK offices now running studios in three Australian cities – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and a sister studio in London – Deltek Vantagepoint promises to deliver up-to-date information across the practice and project sites, thereby providing a trustworthy and reliable foundation for the firm’s ambitious projects and ongoing profitability and growth.
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