KSH Holdings Improves Data Accuracy and Speed With Red Hat Solutions

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February 28, 2009

Customer: Uttarbanga Kshetriya Gramin Bank

Geography: APAC
Country: Korea


Business Challenge:

Needed a reliable, scalable, and cost-effective solution to monitor project budgets and ensure timely data reports for use by the KSH Holdings management team

Migration Path:

Paper-based reporting system to a Progress Claims System (PCS) running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, PHP, and Apache

Hardware:

Dell 2850 with 2 GB RAM and 1 x Processor

Benefits:

Developed a scalable Progress Claims System (PCS) that offered access to real-time financial data, reduced manual input errors, and enabled expedited reimbursement processes for subcontractors

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Background:

With more than 28 years of experience, Kim Seng Heng Holdings (KSH Holdings) is a well established construction, property development and property management group with operations in Singapore, Malaysia and China. The groupand#x2019;s activities are construction in Singapore and Malaysia, and property development and management in China. Among its notable private sector construction projects in Singapore are The Coast, The Berth By The Cove, The Spectrum, Montview, the Mustafa Shopping Centre extension, and the restoration of Far East Square. Its public sector portfolio includes The Frontier Community Place, Choa Chu Kang Sports Complex, Nanyang Polytechnic, and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. KSH Holdings has also secured a S$32 million contract to build an assembly plant in Selangor and a S$7.2 million contract from Tan Chong andamp; Sons Motor for the construction of a warehouse and office in Selangor.

Business Challenge:

 

With several simultaneous projects underway in Singapore, KSH Holdings’ finance department needed to a better system to keep track of all claims for payment for work completed by subcontractors. This manual process involved the subcontractor submitting a claim, the quantity surveyor verifying the work done, and the manager and director approving the submission. The previous claims system involved a paper form that had to be passed by hand across sites in Singapore to reach project managers and directors located in different offices.
 
As a result of the outdated manual process, there were inconsistencies in the progress claims, and the KSH Holding management team could not reliably track their budgets.
 
“We needed something to monitor the project cost at almost real time to ensure that we were not exceeding our budget. When insufficient or incorrect information is provided to the finance department, payment to the subcontractor may be delayed. The manual process was inconsistent and we could not generate management reports,” said Tony Tang, Chief Financial Officer of KSH Holdings.
 
The company wanted a solution that could streamline the entire claims process and deliver accurate, real-time data that could be used to produce meaningful management reports.
 
“Users must be able to log in to the system from any location to input the data. This data will be stored centrally and the system must be able to compute the information and push back to the financial system. The system must allow project managers and directors to check on the current progress in development and payment. It must also be reliable and secure,” said Tang.
 
With these criteria in mind, KSH Holdings decided to turn to Cxrus Solutions, a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner, to develop a Process Claims Systems (PCS).
Solution:

 

Cxrus Solutions studied the construction company’s needs and spoke to its quantity surveyors, project managers, directors, and the finance department to understand the requirements for the desired PCS.
 
“We handle a lot of data input on a daily basis and require something stable and capable of handling the load. That’s why we chose Red Hat,” said Tang.
 
According to Alvin Teo, Business Solutions Director of Cxrus Solutions, the cost of using Red Hat is lower than other platforms.
 
“The solution also runs faster and performs better when deployed on Red Hat. Of course, Red Hat is renowned for its security, reliability, and scalability,” said Teo.
 
Cxrus Solutions conducted end-user training for about 40 quantity surveyors, project managers and directors, and finance department staff at KSH Holdings. The PCS, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, PHP, and Apache, went live in October 2007.
 
Teo believes that taking part in the Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP) has given his company a technology edge.
 
iLIUP is aimed at promoting mutually beneficial partnerships between local enterprises in Singapore and infocomm multinational corporations, leveraging the strengths of each party to bring about greater synergy and results.
 
“Cxrus Solutions has gained much from Red Hat’s technological insights of the Linux operating system versus other operating systems. This has helped us to craft the best possible solutions for our customers. KSH is a good example of a customer that has benefitted from our participation in iLIUP,” he added.
Benefits:

 

It took some time for the KSH Holdings staff to become accustomed to the switch from a manual system to an automated system, but the employees quickly realized the benefits of the solution.
 
“PCS is a means to record work done. The Red Hat-based solution has met our objectives of improving data accuracy, better visibility of project cost, and prompt payment to our sub-contractors. Our quantity surveyors can now check the status of their claims online from any location,” said Tang.
 
Since the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based system was implemented in 2007, business has increased by about 70 percent. Due to the scalability of the platform, the KSH Holdings financial department was additionally able to handle the associated workload increase without needing to recruit more staff, saving more money.
 
In addition to providing increased accuracy and scalability, PCS has also made data more easily retrievable so that management reports can be produced quickly when necessary.
 
Claims processing time has been cut by 50 to 60 percent, enabling sub-contractors to be paid more promptly. This, in turn, leads to maintaining good relationships and enhanced corporate reputation.
 
Going forward, KSH Holdings plans to link PCS with the financial system to enable customised management reports on the fly.
 
“We are also planning to add a document management system to PCS so that we can reduce the amount of paper utilised. By doing this, we will also have better document security, and we’ll save on storage space,” said Tang.

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