ERM Group commenced operations as an environmental consultancy in London, England in the early 1970s, and since then has grown rapidly through organic expansion and acquisitions.
With more than 150 offices in over 40 different countries, ERM strategically aims to deliver superior services to clients locally, while also acting as one global organisation. Key to the firm’s success is its ability to maintain a high level of service excellence and consistency in delivery. What’s more, the firm is also able to collaborate across geographies to create a strong global platform for the benefit of its clients.
“One of ERM’s many strengths is the ability to harness our global capabilities and apply that knowledge and experience at a local level. This means that wherever in the world our clients are, they get the best solutions for their specific challenges. To do this effectively requires that all of our business support systems are also seamlessly aligned to the way we work.”
– Andrew Silverbeck, ERM Group Finance Director
After having witnessed a period of significant growth in 2000, ERM executives realized they needed to integrate the firm’s then 40 operations across 27 countries in order to meet their stated strategic objectives. For ERM, a single global management system platform was paramount.
At the time, ERM had over 30 disparate business systems and none were suitable as a global platform for ERM’s multi-national network of offices. To meet this need, ERM required a solution with multi-company and multi-currency capabilities. In addition, ERM wanted to reduce Work-In-Progress and collect receivable balances quicker to improve cash flow. ERM also lacked consistent visibility across its entire operational performance across the business.
Following an evaluation process, ERM chose to move forward with BST Global as its business software solution partner. In 2002, BST Enterprise was deployed across ERM, consolidating all of the firm’s existing legacy systems onto a new and unified business software platform. There were multiples capabilities within BST Enterprise that ultimately led to the firm selecting the software solution, including:
- The ability of BST Enterprise to act as an integrated data repository that can capture and report key performance indicators and multiple cuts of data across projects, geographies, and clients.
- Access to a fully relational, web-based database that makes project information easily and immediately available to Project Managers, accounting staff, and management.
- BST Enterprise’s ability to be used across geographies in a cohesive manner, enabling consistency of delivery to clients.
ERM has witnessed significant growth and continues to be the leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, social consulting, and sustainability related services. Over the past five years alone, ERM has worked to deliver innovative solutions for more than 50% of the Global Fortune 500 companies.
With BST Enterprise as its global business software platform, ERM has achieved multiple business objectives, including:
- Gross Revenues have more than trebled since 2001 to over $900M in 2013.
- Project management has improved due to better availability of project information.
- Operating margin percent has improved by over 200 basis points since 2001 to over 15% in 2013.
- Sales to key clients have shown compound annual growth more than 15% per annum in the period 2007 to 2013.
- Delivery of better project outcomes for clients by using the business system to collaborate better across projects and geographies.
- Growth in earnings resulting from expanding the business into new geographies and new practice areas.
- Easier new office setup and management with a common business system platform.
- Consistency in the application of key business processes and the ability to clearly identify any divergences.
- Significantly improved cash flow via improved management of receivables and Work-In-Progress.