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, the worldwide leading manufacturer of high-pressure vessels, is an Austrian subsidiary of the equally named US steel corporation. The plant in Kienberg/Gaming has roughly 350 employees and achieves an annual sales volume of 90 million euros. As the winner of the Austrian National Award for Quality 2008 and 2011, it is one of the region's leading companies.
Thomas König, head of the project department, and his team are responsible for the planning and developing 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 due to structural reorganization efforts and initiatives aimed at developing a project management handbook and implementing defined projects within the company. In 2006, Worthington started to introduce Six Sigma, and shortly afterward, this concept found its way into project management.
Six Sigma's goal is the efficient implementation of improvements in existing processes by a methodology made up of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. To integrate the Six Sigma methodology into the company, key employees with specific Six Sigma skills were required. These employees' training as so-called "Green Belts" and "Black Belts" was intended to actively support this strategy's implementation.
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 integrating the project life cycle; unused synergies and dual approaches came up as permanent side effects. With increasing data volume, the administration, maintenance, and especially handling of the database became complex and time-consuming. This created a growing demand to deploy a server-based standard software solution.
Over the course of comprehensive research, Worthington came across the project and resource management software ONEPOINT Projects. Extensive testing of the software solution led to the conclusion that ONEPOINT Projects proved to be a software application able to meet Worthington Cylinders’ requirements. The intuitive usability due to the user-friendly and straightforward 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 ten project managers and 20 project contributors for the first time. Technical installation and configuration of the software could be completed quickly and without any problems whatsoever.
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 could quickly and easily access all data crucial for their work in no time.
The key tool for Thomas König is probably ONEPOINT's project pipeline. This simple but powerful tool enables an up-to-date view of all project's progress. Moreover, the pipeline chart provides information on the status of the individual projects and 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 project managers to quickly 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 can also 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. Furthermore, 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 companies' individual requirements and consistently adapts the software to the specific intra-company processes.
Over 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 continually 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 more robust integration of the ONEPOINT Projects repository into the company-wide reporting based on Cognos.
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.