STUDYCASESURBANA CORPORATIONCompany Name: Surbana Corporation Pte LtdHeadquarters: SingaporeProducts and Services: Encompassing development, fund management, architecture,engineering, project and construction management, urban planning, coastalengineering, infrastructure, sustainable design technologies and city managementWebsite: www.surbana.com/en/index.html
OVERVIEWIn the year 1960, Singapore did not have the issue but more troublesome was identifying theskylines which greet visitors when they drive out of sources of these errors. Their financial staff spent athe Changi Airport and it was then that the Housing lot of quality time in finding out searching through& Development Board (HDB) was established as a tonnes of data to identify inaccuracies and errors.government agency to solve Singapore’s housingcrisis and to provide affordable and quality housing For the senior management, there really was nofor the growing population. In the next three sure and accurate way of looking at the financialdecades Singapore’s skyline would go through a situation of its OUs in a standardized format. Theytransformation as a comprehensive rejuvenation only had access to individual OU’s weekly cashprogram to enhance living environment would be flow statements. Consolidating these thirteenlaunched. For, Surbana which was a wholly-owned statements into one, meant again a whole lot ofof Temasek Holdings, the Singapore Government mindboggling work for the financial staff and again,investment vehicle, the last fifty years have enabled this manual consolidation often resulted init to literally leave its name etched across inaccuracies and errors. This insecurity oftenSingapore as it sculpted the unique skyline of caused stress for the senior management as theySingapore, creating almost one million homes for tried to make sense of the manual analysis andover 85% of the population in an integrated living improper cash balances which were sent to them.environment. Recognized today as one of As they grew larger and the volume continuedSingapore’s Top 10 Architectural Firms for the sixth to increase, Surbana’s senior management realizedconsecutive year, Surbana Corp (formerly known that they urgently needed a structuredas HDB) is Singapores public housing and Performance Management Software System whichstatutory authority, under the Ministry of National would enable them to get the data they so eagerlyDevelopment. Surbana continues to remain the awaited. They wanted a system which would givesole agency in charge of public housing in them an organization-wide visibility intoSingapore as it plans and develops townships that transactions with which they could take informedprovide quality homes and living environments. decisions. They realized the struggle of theirToday, about 84 percent of Singaporeans live in financial teams across these organizations wereSurbana developed flats. Displaying an awesome facing, manually accounting cash flow and theyyear-on-year growth rate of 18%, its 2009 revenue understood their frustration. They wanted a systemwas over $266 million. which would align itself to the financial team and help them do quality work instead of quantity. Most importantly they wanted the system toLIMITED VISIBILITY analyze transactional data and provide accurate indicators on organizational profitability. TheyWhile Surbana started off in Singapore, it soon wanted complete transparency in day-to-dayexpanded its township and consultancy business financial transactions across the OUs.to China and then to the Middle East. Today theyhave projects in several international markets andhave an offshore development office in India. Withthirteen Organization Units (OUs), Surbana’s RAMCO DECISIONWORKS –biggest challenge was managing its cash flow,which would go above 10 million SGD in a single BECOMES THE RIGHTweek! DECISION FOR SURBANAAs it so happened, these thirteen OUs would Ramco DecisionWorks was implemented atmanage cash flow manually maintaining Excel Surbana to provide a solution that would help insheets to capture data. But 10 million SGD a week analyzing real-time financial data, therebymeant high transactions leading to voluminous facilitating management decisions. Ramcodata. Errors and inaccuracy became a constant DecisionWorks, a comprehensive Corporate
Performance Management solution, forms part of numbers could be done with a rule builder, in athe Ramco Enterprise Series packaged solutions. Planning Hierarchy. Plans could also be sentIt’s a powerful software for Corporate Performance through workflow for approval/compliance.Management with applications of BusinessIntegrator, Business Decisions, Analytical Workflow Business Integrator enabled extraction ofand Planning & Budgeting. transactional data required for analysis. This data was extracted from the ERP system and also fromBusiness Integrator performs the functions of ETL specified Excel sheets.(Extract Transform Load). It facilitates smoothcollation of data from multiple transactional Business Decisions gave Surbana what theysources (ERP, SCM, CRM, etc.) and their wanted–access to multidimensional reports, usingtransformation into Data Marts/Data Warehouse, the Performance Management Framework, alongfor further analysis and decision-making. At with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), for eachSurbana, Business Integrator designed and OU. Monthly KPIs could now be defined andconstructed the Data Warehouse, using various scheduled as per Surbana’s requirements.transactional data sources like Lawson Financial Profitability calculations at different OUs wereand Ramco Aviation solutions. consolidated and multidimensional reports generated for drill down and analysis.Surbana now had access to the following: For Surbana, this was the end of their weekly woes:• Metrics or Key Performance Indicators to Planning & Budgeting, controlled and monitored measure the performance of various facets of day-to-day cash flow transactions. the goal (Performance Management) Weekly cash flow plans and forecasts were now• Relevant reports, drill downs and cubes to easily generated for each OU and maintained summarize/analyze the objective along with separately. These plans were then consolidated at multiple dimensions (Business Intelligence) the group level.• Business rules to monitor critical events and A total of 40 multidimensional reports spanning initiate alerts/workflow for the given objective areas of cash flow planning, profitability, balance (Event Management) sheet and over dues, across OUs were provided. Additionally, a goal hierarchy framework for• Configure Personal – Business dashboards with performance management was also configured. multiple scorecards, to take a quick view of the This framework was deployed both at a cost center performance of an organization and navigate level and at an aggregated group level. into details from the dashboard The key highlights of this analysis are:For Surbana, analytical workflow provided for theautomated of their analytical business processes • Drill down and analysis of assets and liabilities,for flow of information and tasks. These workflow from an aggregated group level to OU levelprocesses, designed in a user-friendly architectureand deployed in the Business Decisions module, • Comparison of assets and liabilities for differentgave them two Performance Management time periods across OUsframeworks. By configuring the rules, they could • Tracking and monitoring of Budget Variancesautomate their workflow processes. for individual OUsThe Planning & Budgeting application providedthem with an Excel interface for planning withadditional algorithms available as Excel add-ins.Their financial team could now create plans withdata drawn from Database tables and/or OLAPcubes. Aggregation and Disaggregation of the plan
CASH FLOWS SMOOTHLYSurbana could breathe easy. Its management nowhad complete visibility into its three OUs as itstransactions became totally transparent.With generation of validation reports, Surbanawould avoid negative cash balance situations in itsOUs as the reports gave them insight into cash flowat all times.Importantly, they now had access to analyticmultidimensional reports and KPIs like PBT onRevenue, PAT on Revenue and Expense as apercentage of revenue configured for IndividualOUs/ costs centersSenior finance managers/executives were now ableto compare the financial performance across OUs.They did not have to worry about data security asthe software provided them with viewing andaccessing rights for OU data, based on users androle.Multiple scenario analysis and forecasting of cashflow for future periods, ensured that themanagement team could plan their expenseseffectively based on the projected values.
QUICK FACTS ACKGROUND RB OME ST CU • Incorporated in 1960 • Presence in 17 cities in Asia and the Middle East • Revenue: $266 million in 2009 • One of Singapore’s Top 10 Architectural Firms HTS LIG GH HI • Transparency of transactions • Generation of validation reports CHALLEN GE • Negative cash balance situations S FA minimized CE • Senior finance managers/ D • 13 Organization Units (OUs) executives can compare financial • Weekly cash flow planning performance across OUs 10 million SGD • Security on viewing and accessing • Manual accounting of high rights for OU data, based on transactional volumes leading users and role to: data inaccuracy, loss of time in manual analysis Improper cash balances AMCO D N–R EC TIO IS S LU I O SO T • Business Integrator NW FI NE • Business Decisions OR BE • Analytical Workflow KS • Planning & Budgeting • Analytic multidimensional reports and KPIs like • Cash flow Planning & Analysis PBT on Revenue, PAT on Revenue and Expense • Balance Sheet Analysis • Multiple scenario analysis and forecasting • Overdue Payables and of cash flow Collections Analysis • Summary of the organization-wide sales in a single sheet • Real-time data clubbed into logical grouping • Tracking and monitoring of variances
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