A worldwide leading vendor of high-pressure steel vessels optimizes project planning, improves project communication and increases information quality for decisions.
More efficient planning leads to more timely realization and reduces costs
Improved communication shortens communication channels and thus accelerates decision
Universal acceptance by project managers and employees allows for more up-to-date information on all projects
Transparent project execution reduces project risks
Worthington Cylinders, worldwide leading manufacturer of high-pressure vessels, is an Austrian subsidiary of the equally named US steel corporation. The plant in Kienberg/Gaming has approximately 350 employees and achieves an annual sales volume of 90 million euro. As winner of the Austrian National Award for Quality 2008 and 2011 it is one of the leading companies of the region.
Thomas König, head of the project department, and his team are responsible for the planning and development of various types of projects. Investment projects, organization projects and software projects represent just some examples of the department’s portfolio. The department’s personnel structure ranging from technicians to administrative project managers is as complex as the projects themselves.
The project department was established in 2003 as a result of structural reorganization efforts, and initially aimed at developing a project management handbook and implementing the defined projects within the company.In 2006 Worthington started to introduce Six Sigma and shortly afterwards this concept found its way into project management.
The goal of Six Sigma is the efficient implementation of improvements in existing processes by a methodology made up of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. In order to integrate the Six Sigma methodology into the company key employees with specific Six Sigma skills were required. The training of these employees as so called “Green Belts” and “Black Belts” was intended to actively support the implementation of this strategy.
In the past project data had been recorded by a system consisting of an Access database and a specifically developed Visual Basic application. However, this system did not sufficiently allow for the integration of the project life cycle; unused synergies and dual approaches came up as permanent side effects. With increasing data volume the administration, maintenance and especially the handling of the database became more and more complex and time-consuming. This created a growing demand to deploy a server-based standard software solution.
In the course of comprehensive research Worthington came across the project and resource management software ONEPOINT Projects on the Internet. Extensive testing of the solution led to the conclusion that ONEPOINT proved to be a software application meeting Worthington Cylinders’ requirements. The intuitive usability due to the user-friendly and clear user interface combined with a series of functional criteria was decisive for the choice.
In January 2009 the new project management software was used productively in the project and construction departments with licenses for 10 project managers and 20 project contributors for the first time. Technical installation and configuration of the software could be completed in the shortest time and without any problems.
The new system also integrated well with the existing IT structure. In the case of questions or little problems the ONEPOINT support team helped in every possible way. The project managers quickly accepted the new software because they were able to quickly and easily access all data important for their work in no time.
The key tool for Thomas König is probably the ONEPOINT project pipeline. This simple but powerful tool enables an up-to-date view on the progress of all projects. This proves to be essential for Mr. König as the head of the department. Moreover, the pipeline chart provides information on the status of the individual projects as well as a simple traffic light feature.
The additional project overviews, particularly the project schedule (Gantt) and the trend bars displaying project progress, resources and costs, represent vital visualizations for the project department. The integrated resource utilization view is also widely used by the project managers to quickly and easily identify potentially overloaded or available resources.
The quick web-based access of the accredited user group provides transparency on the projects and the data is available in a more up-to-date way and with a higher level of quality. The project contributors receive all information on the tasks assigned to them, and are also able to actively monitor the project progress. Thus, ONEPOINT Projects in a certain way is also becoming a communication tool for sharing information about the progress of projects easily and efficiently throughout the company. In addition, potential planning errors can be quickly identified and instantly corrected, leading to a considerable reduction of the project risk.
What appeared particularly striking about ONEPOINT was the intensive ongoing customer-oriented development of the project management software. When planning future software versions ONEPOINT considers the individual requirements of the companies and consistently adapts the software to the specific intra-company processes.
In the course of the software installation at Worthington Cylinders, for example, ONEPOINT realized a Novel NDS/ eDirectory connection, which has now become a part of the standard product and will also be covered by the service contract in the future.
Of course, Worthington Cylinders’ requirements are also constantly growing. In the future Worthington, for instance, would like to have a direct connection to the ERP system enabling quicker integration of cost items, as well as an improved procedure to prioritize the project portfolio. In-house, Worthington is working on a stronger integration of the ONEPOINT Projects repository into the company-wide reporting based on Cognos.
ONEPOINT is more and more becoming a common “project portal” including really all project-related information.
Head of Project Department Worthington Cylinders
The visualization of all running projects in the project pipeline is a major tool for me and my team to keep a complete overview. Thus, we are able to use resources in an optimal way and make more informed decisions.