The production of goods in aerospace and defense companies is very material-intensive and cost-intensive. Cost controlling can be a particular challenge in the long-term and large-scale projects typical of these industries. Companies need to keep a close eye on all delivery dates and the cost development over time. The right materials in the right place at the right time – that is the challenge for the integration between scheduling and logistics.
In these industries, many components are made and delivered by external suppliers and assembled at a central factory. The complexity of these projects generates high coordination costs across many development and production sites and suppliers, who are usually in several different locations.
TPG The Project Group works with several aerospace and defense companies. We have more than 20 years of experience in developing integrated IT solutions for project management as well as for cost and schedule controlling. Working with Microsoft technologies and ERP systems, TPG offers one-stop deep industry expertise, advice and proven IT solutions.
Expand the following text modules and read about the proven components of solutions based on Microsoft technologies for the aerospace and defense sector.
When working under pressure, managers require at-a-glance insight into projects, cost levels and the estimated cost at completion (EAC). Users can easily see a graphical representation of cost trends over time and of increases in budgeted costs during long projects.
This can be achieved by the integration of the ERP with the project management system. The integration should allow bi-directional data sharing, i.e. of master data, budget costs / revenues, actual costs and possibly even actual working times.
More information on the integration middleware TPG PSLink®
Supplier information is usually managed and monitored in the ERP system. But not everyone may have access to the system, for instance those responsible for program and project management although they need insight into delivery dates. Conversely, ERP users – such as those working on materials logistics – need deadlines from the project system for optimized material management.
The best way to ensure that both groups of users can access the data they need is to implement bi-directional integration of the ERP and project management systems. This enables them to synchronize scheduling data with material requisitions.
More information on the integration middleware TPG PSLink®.
Microsoft Project Server is a powerful tool for centralized, enterprise-wide project management. Used in conjunction with an add-on tool designed especially for program management, it enables users to easily monitor the status of all sub-projects.
Managers can communicate top-down targets at the program level by mirroring milestones and other key information to the sub-project level. Bottom-up planning is also available, because project participants can report current plan data from their sub-projects to program management for further control.
More information on the program management extension TPG ProjectLink.
Microsoft Project Server as well as its cloud version Project Online is a powerful solution for enterprise-wide project and resource planning. The tool has an intuitive graphical interface and integrates well with other Microsoft Office programs. This guarantees a high acceptance of the solution by all users.
Identifying schedule and cost trends at an early stage is vital. This is the only way schedules can be corrected in good time. There are several popular methods of doing this including:
1) Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA): This helps users monitor important milestones from the sub-projects of the program and see how they are progressing over time. Trends are clearly visualized, for instance when deadlines for individual milestones have been delayed. This enables managers to intervene in good time to avoid bottlenecks.
2) Earned Value Analysis (EVA): This is used to assess the progress of projects. The current schedule and cost situation is described by key figures including budgeted cost of work performed and cost-performance index.
More information on the SharePoint App TPG MTA Chart App.
Important TPG blog article on Earned Value Analysis with Microsoft Project.