Clarion Consulting Secures EUR500,000 in Project Management Contracts in Middle East

Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday, 24th January 2006:    Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has secured contracts valued at €500,000 to provide project management services and expertise to a number of major organisations in Dubai.  The extension of Clarion Consulting’s services portfolio to the Middle East stems from significant growth in the territory’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) market, which is fuelling demand for project management and ERP implementation skills across telecommunications, utilities and petrochemical industries.

“Unlike Europe, where the market for ERP has reached maturity, many companies in the Middle East are now embracing the benefits of automating and integrating business processes to drive operational efficiencies,” according to Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting.  “ERP adoption levels are still well below those in the industrialised world but increasing growth is driving strong demand for Project Managers and ERP Specialists, who can assist with smooth ERP implementation,” he adds.

Clarion Consulting’s core competence in project management has allowed it to achieve significant growth year on year.  The application of its business model to overseas markets has proved equally effective, allowing the company to add far more value to its clients’ business and IT-related assignments.    “Our proven expertise is helping to address a significant project management skills deficit, which is hampering the smooth rollout of ERP and CRM systems in this territory,” comments Millar.  “Unlike many of our competitors, our approach encompasses project management mentoring, which involves active skills transfer to the client improving their project management capabilities from within,” he adds.

Millar expects continued growth in demand for project management services in this region for the foreseeable future.  With improving telecommunications infrastructure and the opening up of previously inaccessible markets, the growth in demand is very significant.  His views are reflected by market analysts, Madar Research, who estimate that the ERP market for Gulf Co-operation Council countries alone is forecasted to grow to almost $270 million by the end of 2008. 
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OnJanuary 24, 2006, posted in: News by

Clarion Consulting Calls for Greater Investment in Project Management Expertise

Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion ConsultingDublin, Ireland, Monday 28th November 2005:    Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today called on Irish organisations to increase their investment in project management expertise.  The company believes that a growing skills deficit, evident across public and private sectors is seriously hampering organisational competitiveness and the smooth rollout of services in the public sector resulting in budget overruns, missed business opportunities and lost customers.

“Many organisations simply don’t recognise project management as a discipline in itself, which involves a distinct set of skills and competences that are not necessarily the same as those required to be a functional manager,” according to Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting.  “Some organisations embark on large projects with significant budgets yet their first step is to appoint an inexperienced Project Manager.  This immediately jeopardises the success of the project,” he adds.

Millar believes that many companies have a tendency to allocate particular resources or people to projects simply because they are available.  “The cross functional nature of projects dictates that the best resources should be allocated to them.  However, this can often mean targeting the people who are busiest,” he says.  “Project managers and team managers need a detailed knowledge of project management techniques. However, they also need to be able to communicate effectively and negotiate with many parts of the organisation. Developing these “soft” skills greatly increases the chances of project success,” he adds.
Millar cites the recent PPARS project as a good example of how the absence of proper governance structures can ultimately lead to project collapse.  “Many projects start out well with consensus from all stakeholders on objectives and required resources.  Effective governance structures such as holding regular steering committee meetings with all key stakeholders and securing executive sponsorship are essential for project success,” says Millar.

Clarion Consulting is supported in its business analysis by Gartner and the Aberdeen Group who quote that 50% of IT projects are delivered over budget and 90% of all projects are delivered late respectively.  To help organisations improve their project management capabilities, Clarion Consulting offers “Project Healthchecks” which assess projects by identifying gaps in the methodology employed, the adequacy of governance structures and any additional project risks.

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OnNovember 28, 2005, posted in: News by

Clarion Consulting Embarks on Major Business Expansion Drive

Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion ConsultingDublin, Tuesday, 27th September 2005:    Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has embarked on a major business expansion drive which aims to double revenue from €3M to €6M and increase headcount to 60 over the next 3 years.  A privately funded company, Clarion Consulting is looking to a combination of organic growth and acquisition to meet its business growth objectives. 

“Unlike many organisations, we have avoided venture capital funding and have chosen to develop organically,” commented Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting:  “Early success in winning business from blue-chip clients has given us a solid financial base, allowing us to concentrate our efforts on service development rather than raising cash from investors.  We believe that our practical and flexible approach offers a very attractive alternative to the larger consulting companies.”

In an effort to further extend business reach, Pat Millar is looking to the UK market to bolster revenue and increase profitability and the company is actively pursuing partnership and acquisition opportunities in Ireland and U.K.  “We are successfully competing with the larger consultancies here and believe that the application of our business model to the U.K. market can replicate that success.  Finding the right strategic fit would have an accelerated effect on our stated growth targets and could bring our turnover closer to €10m by 2008, if successful.”

Over the last 12 months, the company has aggressively expanded its presence throughout the country, with particular emphasis on the Munster region where there are now 12 consultants working across a range of industries with blue-chip clients. According to John Kenefick, Director, Clarion Consulting:  “Clients welcome a local presence that some large consultancies do not provide.  Our ability to respond to local market needs without relying on resources from Dublin or the U.K. is just one of the reasons why more and more clients are making Clarion Consulting their business partner of choice.”

Clarion Consulting’s revenue growth has been fuelled by an exceptionally strong performance from its general consulting division, which has grown by 50% year on year and it has added a number of large blue chip customers in both the private and public sectors.  “Moving forward, we are heavily focused on increasing our presence in the financial services sector,” comments Millar.  “With a changing regulatory environment, we are already experiencing a sharp upturn in the demand for governance and compliance services.”

The organisation’s resourcing business, forecasted to grow by in excess of 60% year on year is particularly buoyant at the moment.  It incorporates a team of business and IT professionals placed with large organisations in a managed resource model.  “Our approach of working with the client throughout the lifetime of the project to ensure consistent performance is a refreshing alternative to the services offered by traditional recruitment consultancies,” explains Ronan Foley, Director of Resourcing, Clarion Consulting.  “Clients clearly appreciate our consulting knowledgebase, which allows us to add far more value to their business and IT-related assignments.”

Clarion Consulting has recently made three senior appointments to its management team.  John Kenefick joins from Accenture and takes responsibility for delivery of services in the Munster region.  Ronan Foley has been promoted to Director in charge of the company’s Resourcing division.   Jack O’Keeffe, previously General Manager, Commercial Business, First Active has been appointed as a non-executive director.

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OnSeptember 27, 2005, posted in: News by

Clarion Consulting Partners with PlanView to Deliver Comprehensive IT Portfolio Management

Clarion Consulting and PlanView Partner in IrelandDublin, Tuesday 7th June 2005:  Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it will partner with PlanView, the leading provider of IT portfolio management solutions.  Under the terms of the agreement, Clarion Consulting will combine its suite of consultancy services with PlanView’s IT portfolio management software, PlanView Enterprise™. This combination will enable clients to deliver more effective IT project portfolio management resulting in a closer alignment of business and IT and increased return on investment.  Clarion Consulting is the first PlanView reseller appointed to service the Irish market.

The concept of project portfolio management, which groups projects into portfolios, much as an investor would manage stocks and shares,  gives executives an immediate view of all projects encompassing objectives, costs, timelines, resources and associated risks.  Managing projects as portfolios facilitates faster implementation times and maximises valuable resources at portfolio level, yielding the highest possible return on investment for organisations.

“80% of organisations* report a lack of project management capabilities as being key workforce issues,” according to Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting.  “Our partnership with PlanView will allow us to work with clients to set effective project management methodologies.  By deploying PlanView Enterprise, we can ensure a more efficient spread of project resources across the entire portfolio thereby delivering strategic business processes and applications in shorter timescales,” he added.

With the passing of corporate compliance legislation such as Sarbanes Oxley and Basel II, organisations are under increasing pressure to deliver transparent IT governance.  Rowland Jenkin, Account Manager, PlanView believes that its PRISMS IT management best practices, a component of PlanView Enterprise, will help customers to make business sense of regulatory imperatives.   “PlanView’s Governance Delivery Model translates IT governance into seven structured and repeatable process areas that deliver real, measurable value to the organisation.  Integrating best practices, drawn from over 15 years experience, will aid in the process of tightly aligning organisations with a changing regulatory environment.”

PlanView has already secured a number of high profile Irish clients including AIB, VHI Healthcare and Eastern Health Shared Services.  According to Rowland Jenkin, other project-reliant organisations are keen to capture best industry practice when it comes to implementing business process solutions.  “PlanView has a proven history of offering disciplined, timely and auditable management methods that create real value and control project implementation costs.  We believe the Irish market represents a valuable business opportunity for us and we are pleased to partner with Clarion Consulting, an organisation which has demonstrated a strong track record of delivering strategic business and IT projects to many industry sectors.”

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Pictured from left to right above are: Roland Jenkin, account manager, PlanView and Pat Millar, managing director, Clarion Consulting. 

Editors’ Notes
*Source: Best Practices in Project Estimation and Performance Management – Meta Group, July 2004

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OnJune 7, 2005, posted in: News by

Clarion Consulting Appoints Geraldine Nee as Senior Consultant

Geraldine Nee, Senior Consultant, Clarion ConsultingDublin, Ireland, Wednesday, 11th May 2005: Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has appointed Geraldine Nee as Senior Consultant. Bringing significant experience from financial services and call-centre markets, Geraldine is responsible for providing high level business and IT consultancy services to Clarion’s blue chip customer base. Project Management consulting, IT strategy definition and business process re-engineering will form the core of her service delivery. The appointment reflects strong growth in Clarion’s professional services business, which has grown by over 50% in the last fiscal year.

Geraldine previously worked for leading software developer, Performix in a number of roles over a 5 year period. As Client Account Manager, Geraldine focused on fostering strategic relationships with European clients, driving the adoption of Performix’s flagship product and supporting the company’s business development activities. As Client Service Manager Geraldine assumed responsibility for the successful implementation of all client assignments incorporating programme management, the development of project management methodologies and communications strategy. As Project Manager, Geraldine had full lifecycle responsibilities for several projects aimed at standardising internal processes and procedures within Performix.

Prior to this, Geraldine held the position of Service Delivery Analyst with I.T. Services Ltd, based in the UK. Supporting customer accounts in the Managed Services division, Geraldine developed proactive account management techniques including customer performance reviews and Service Level Agreements in line with ITIL best practice.
With over 11 years experience in the IT sector, Geraldine also held the positions of Business Analyst with Galway-based Connacht Court Group and Helpdesk Co-ordinator for the Department of Health and Family Services in New South Wales, Australia. Geraldine began her career as a Software Support Engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation in Galway.

Geraldine is a graduate of University College, Galway and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis.
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OnMay 11, 2005, posted in: News by

Clarion Consulting Secures Six Figure ERP Contract from Batchelors

Dublin, Tuesday, 14th September 2004:  Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has been chosen by food and beverage manufacturer, Batchelors to deploy and maintain a company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. 

In a competitive tender valued at six figures, Clarion Consulting will deploy the IFS suite of ERP software coupled with a portfolio of associated professional services such as project management and skills transfer.  The project will lead to greater transactional control and order transparency in manufacturing and distribution as well as direct support for Batchelors’ medium to long-term business growth objectives. 

“The food processing business demands controlled and accurate logistical operations,” according to Aidan O’Byrne, Financial Director, Batchelors.  “In choosing an ERP system, we required a future-proofed yet cost-effective solution capable of supporting a manufacturing and distribution environment with an annual output of 100,000,000 tins of produce.  Clarion Consulting provided us with an “off-the-shelf” solution, rich in transactional functionality requiring no individual customisation and meeting our go-live deadline of January 2005.”

The IFS solution addresses industry-specific issues such as supply/demand planning, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) as well as full component traceability thus raising quality standards and providing Batchelors with full conformance to recent EU directives on food traceability.  The solution seamlessly integrates with Batchelors’ current EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system, which facilitates digital exchange of orders, despatch notes and invoices to and from suppliers and customers, thus enhancing supply chain management and improving customer service.

“We were particularly impressed by the precise, real-time financial reporting functionality of the software,” adds Aidan O’Byrne. “The IFS FinancialsÔ module underpins our management control objectives, thus protecting the integrity of data and increasing the accuracy of forecasting and replenishment processes.” 
Arthur Griffin, Director, Clarion Consulting outlines Clarion’s unique “modular” approach to the project.  “Unlike many ERP systems currently on the market, IFS ApplicationsÔ is based on individual component delivery, allowing companies to implement software modules incrementally, depending on operational imperatives or budget limitations.  In Batchelor’s case, we will implement components from IFS FinancialsÔ, IFS ManufacturingÔ and IFS DistributionÔ.  This approach not only gives Batchelors the option of deploying further modules such as IFS e-BusinessÔ or IFS MaintenanceÔ at a future date but also significantly reduces deployment timescales,” he said.

Clarion Consulting has successfully deployed ERP solutions to a cross-section of industry and recently announced other contract wins with Tullow-based cylinder manufacturer, Burnside Autocyl and Wexford-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, Medentech.  All ERP deployments are underpinned by a suite of professional services including strategic reviews, business mentoring, project management and staff training.

Pictured from left to right are:  Aidan O’Byrne, financial director, Batchelors and Arthur Griffin, director, Clarion Consulting 

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OnSeptember 14, 2004, posted in: News by

Burnside Autocyl Selects Clarion Consulting to Implement e-Business Strategy

Burnside Autocyl choose Clarion ConsultingDublin, Tuesday, 4th May 2004: Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has been chosen by Carlow-based hydraulic cylinder manufacturer Burnside Autocyl to implement its e-Business strategy and deploy a company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.  Burnside Autocyl, a privately-funded business and leading supplier to the mobile machinery industry will use the ERP system to streamline its entire manufacturing supply chain, increase competitiveness and further boost its growing European customer base.

“In deciding to implement an ERP system, our key objective is to increase customer satisfaction through more transparent order management, reduced lead-times and better information flow,” according to Pat Byrne, Managing Director, Burnside Autocyl.  “For example, openly embracing the concept of e-Business and allowing seamless electronic interaction between all elements of the supply chain will help us to further extend our European customer base whilst protecting operating margins.”

In a competitive tender, Burnside Autocyl chose Clarion Consulting to deploy the ERP system and supply a portfolio of associated professional services such as project management and staff training.  Based on the IFSÔ suite of ERP management software, Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting explains Clarion’s unique “modular” approach to the project.  “Unlike many ERP systems currently on the market, IFS Applications is based on individual component delivery, allowing companies to implement components incrementally, depending on particular requirements or budget limitations.  In Burnside’s case, we will implement components from IFS Financials, IFS Manufacturing and IFS Distribution, directly enhancing their process of customer-driven cellular manufacturing and World Class Manufacturing (WCM) techniques.”

Pat Byrne believes that Clarion’s implementation methodology will provide a seamless yet thorough project deployment ensuring that all of Burnside’s operational requirements are given due consideration.  “In choosing to work with Clarion, we felt very comfortable with their approach in terms of bundled product and professional services.  The quality of the deployment plan will undoubtedly shorten the implementation cycle and IFS’ Windows-based system will reduce the learning curve for Burnside staff, without compromising the effectiveness of project delivery.”

 “The deployment of the IFS software suite will help Burnside to realise immediate cost savings in the form of stock and overhead reductions and full return on investment within 3 years,” comments Pat Millar.  “Complete control of the manufacturing supply chain will ensure cost-effective material supplies, reduced lead times and lower administration costs helping Burnside to achieve their business and operational objectives and continue their expansion into German, French and UK markets.”

As a family-based enterprise with a thriving 30-year track record, Burnside’s ability to successfully compete in the presence of U.S. and Far Eastern manufacturers is largely due to a business philosophy based on total customer satisfaction.  This is reflected by the development of a cutting-edge R & D Centre of Excellence.  Considered a key competitive differentiator, Burnside can provide customers with a full prototype development and testing facility, underpinning the importance they attach to quality assurance and customer satisfaction. 

Pictured from left to right are:  Pat Byrne, managing director, Burnside Autocyl and Pat Millar, managing director, Clarion Consulting

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OnMay 4, 2004, posted in: News by

Medentech Chooses Clarion Consulting to Help Streamline Water Purification Efforts Worldwide

Dublin, Monday, 15th December 2003: Business and IT consulting firm, Clarion Consulting today announced that it has been chosen by Wexford-based pharmaceutical company Medentech Ltd. to plan and deploy a company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Medentech Ltd. who specialise in the development and manufacture of human hygiene products such as water purification tablets will use the ERP system to support their growing international business and manage supply to Relief Agencies and Non-Government Agencies (NGO’s) worldwide.

With over 90% of their products destined for export markets and business expansion plans firmly in place, Medentech identified accurate inventory management as one of the key drivers for ERP implementation. “The market environment for Healthcare products is a demanding one,” comments Fionnuala Ni Shúilleabháin, Financial Controller, Medentech. “For example, we have formal Service Level Agreements in place with relief agencies and NGO’s, who must be in a position to instantly react to humanitarian disasters. This requires us to hold minimum stock levels for immediate delivery. Using the IFS ERP system, information flows for incoming and outgoing delivery schedules will be totally integrated with other processes, allowing us to provide a swift and accurate response to customer demands.”

Accurate and effective quality control forms the basis of Medentech’s service commitment to customers such as the World Health Orgnisation and UNICEF. Adherence to standards such as Good Manufacturing Practice requires complete traceability on all product components explains Fionnuala Ní Shúilleabháin. “The deployment of an ERP system through Clarion Consulting will considerably simplify quality practice adding greater transparency to the manufacturing process. Using IFS’ suite of ERP applications, we can immediately provide front to end batch and product traceability. In addition, the expected reduction of manufacturing and administration overheads will help us to maintain our competitive advantage over low cost, albeit less quality-driven competitors.”

Clarion Consulting will supply the IFS software suite to meet Medentech’s business and operational objectives. “Unlike many ERP systems currently on the market, IFS Applications is based on a component approach,” according to Pat Millar, Managing Director, Clarion Consulting. “This allows customers to implement one or all components based on individual requirements or budget limitations. In Medentech’s case, we will implement components from IFS Financials, IFS Manufacturing and IFS Distribution.” As part of the deployment plan, Clarion Consulting will also provide a range of professional services including project management and staff training. This will ensure “fast-track” implementation meeting Medentech’s expected “go-live” date early next year. “The entire project can be completed in between 8 to 10 weeks as opposed to the normal 8 to 10 months for ERP implementation,” explains Pat Millar. “As a result, business disruption will be minimal allowing Medentech to quickly benefit from their investment in this technology.”

“We chose Clarion Consulting and their partner IFS to implement the solution due to their level of experience, professionalism and business commitment,” comments Fionnuala Ni Shúilleabháin. “They have already completed ERP implementations for a number of other organisations similar in nature and size to our own.”

About Medentech
Established in 1984, Medentech Ltd. Is a leading product development and manufacturing company, specialising in the manufacture of effervescent tablets for use in the Human and Animal Hygiene sectors. Accredited to ISO9001:2000 and certified to E.U. Good Manufacturing Practice standards for medicinal products, Medentech is a major supplier of disinfection and water purification products worldwide.

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OnDecember 15, 2003, posted in: News by