Project Cost Control

 

Successfully controlling costs and keeping a project within budget both have a huge influence on its profitability and its customer satisfaction level. A contractor’s profit margins are greatly reduced if they are not able to respond to budget issues in a timely manner during the project lifecycle. Furthermore, increasing emphasis is placed on the use of the world’s scarce resources. All of these factors increase the need for efficient forecasting and budgeting methods, plus the ability to control costs and quickly respond to potential issues.

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Why AXtension®
Project Cost Control


AXtension® Project Cost Control is a powerful Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics 365 add-on that enables Project Managers and Controllers to see the budget, cost registrations, project progress and estimates at a single glance, in one dashboard with drilldown capabilities. Project reporting is now a much easier and more efficient task. During the entire lifecycle of your projects you will have direct insight into how the actuals relate to the project budget. AXtension® Project Cost Control provides real insight and offers the opportunity and ability to act quickly and make changes as and when necessary. This allows you to be truly in control during the entire project lifecycle and able to make much better management decisions that immediately result in better business results and more satisfied customers.

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What is AXtension® Project Cost Control?


AXtension® Project Cost Control is a dashboard that provides insight and control of your project budget, actuals, progress and estimates to completion at a glance. Early stage budgeting, even before a project is started, means that you can set up a Cost Breakdown Structure according to the specific requirements and link to this structure for an optimal overview of both project costs and operations. AXtension® Project Cost Control allows you to define everything from free to specified cost groups like materials, resources and subcontracting, to aggregate specific cost types. Integration with purchase orders, logistics, journals and hours provides reporting capabilities that include historical data and allows management of possible contract variations.

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5 reasons to use this AXtension


AXtension® Project Cost Control provides functionality that allows you to keep track of your bottom line:

 

  • The ability to stay within budget and make better business decisions.
  • A single dashboard providing a single point of truth.
  • The ability to set up budgets in a separate Cost Breakdown Structure.
  • The ability to control software and spreadsheets entirely within Microsoft Dynamics.
  • An integration that makes it easy to manage by exception with easy progress handling.

References



AXtension reference Sapa
Sapa is the world leader in aluminium solutions – a new company that joined the aluminium extrusion businesses of Sapa and Hydro. 
AXtension reference The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the world's leading export mint, making coins and medals for an average of 60 countries every year.

AXtension® Project Cost Control is a powerful Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics 365 add-on that enables Project Managers and Controllers to see the budget, cost registrations, project progress and estimates at a single glance.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 

Why AXtension is a key differentiator


To manage project budgets, a constant overview of all currently running projects is required. Not only do we have to see the original budget and the actuals, but we need insight into the estimated effort that is outstanding and the estimated cost must still be delivered. When using standard Microsoft Dynamics this functionality is offered via the effort tracking and cost tracking view on the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). When working in large project organizations, the activity to update this information can’t be delegated without working with the core information. History will not be kept and EVM principles cannot be supported. The way the effort and cost are managed has to comply with the WBS. In some situations it is desirable to do this on a less detailed level or in a different structure. When certain information needs to be explained no drill down possibilities are offered to show the actuals. When working with multiple projects, which should be managed within one budget, this system will not be able to support you.

 

Points of interest:

 

  • No history is kept to analyze the trend of project evolvement.
  • The WBS activity level has to be the progress reporting level.
  • Delegating progress reporting allows previous registrations to be change.
  • No multi project progress and cost registration is possible.
  • Assign authorizations.

 

Project Cost Control

Elevating the standard attachment functionality


When using AXtension® Project Cost Control, next to the WBS, a CBS (Cost Breakdown Structure) is also introduced. This structure can differ from the WBS but they can also be linked to one another. Within the setup you can define the level on which progress must be reported. Registering progress on projects can be a burden and it requires discipline to do so.

 

With AXtension® Project Cost Control we’ve increased the ease of use and this is now a pleasure to do. With the separate progress sheets, each progress registration is stored and can be used for reporting. This will create a history of the project’s evolvement that can be used for generating EVM graphs and both a Progress performance indicator and Cost performance indicator. The progress reports can be automatically generated in a batch so that the person in control will be informed that it’s time to complete the progress report and confirm it.

 

 

 


Within the reporting sheets, an overview is shown based on all the progress sheets, where you can easily collapse or expand all lines and drill down to the actuals. These reports can also be automatically generated as a batch operation to make sure the reports can be presented whenever required. Top five USPs (Unique Selling Points)

 

  • Introduction of CBS to optimize budget management.
  • Separated reporting sheets to create reporting history with separate progress hierarchy.
  • Advanced security delegation via worker assignment to role.
  • Separate reporting sheets with advanced drill down possibilities.
  • Link between WBS and CBS to assign transactions automatically.

Functions and features


When a quotation or project has been created with a WBS, it can easily be copied to a CBS via a wizard, or a new Project Cost Control Budget can be created manually. Budget lines can be created within this budget and they are assigned to a Cost Control Budget line. Directly from within this budget a purchase requisition or purchase order can be created to support the budget line. Description lines can be added to improve the understanding of the budget definition.


A periodic progress sheet can be created, allowing you to report on the progress of all of the activities, depending on the progress hierarchy defined in the CBS structure in your budget. This function allows the person reporting to enter one progress indication setting for a group of budget lines at one time without having to modify each one individually. The architecture of the system has been built to support a large number of transactions and gather them quickly. The estimated progress can be reported in numbers or percentages. After all required lines have been registered, the progress sheet can be confirmed, which will lock it for future registration. New progress sheets can be created periodically either manually or automated via a batch.


A reporting sheet helps you to control the status of the budgets. This reporting sheets presents information on all budget lines according the CBS. Lines can be collapsed or expanded on demand to drill down to the required budget line. When the information is displayed you will be notified via a link that a drill down possibility to the underlying information is offered.


The information offers a perfect base for reporting.

Focus industries & processes


AXtension® Project Cost Control will mainly be used in the professional and public service industry arenas. The advanced budgeting for large project teams with multi-project support offers a solution that increases the pleasure of working with and managing project budgets.

 

Solution examples


  • A Large construction organization always calculates their projects with a different structure as they schedule their activities. Budget management is a completely separate role to project planning. AXtension® Project Cost Control offers them the perfect solution to set-up a budget plan without a project or quotation for calculation purposes. Later on they will be able to attach multiple projects to the budget and assign the activity lines from the WBS to the calculation lines from the CBS, for progress and controlling purposes. 

  

  • A Professional services organization who wants to transform the activity planning to a budget that will be managed in a clever and efficient way to start improving their cost controlling without creating a bureaucratic process, needs an easy to adopt solution with high user acceptance. AXtension® Project Cost Control offers them a way to grow to a more enhanced project budget management setup step by step, which will result in increased margins and improved customer satisfaction.