The client is a startup disrupting the construction industry by digitizing key aspects of the build and payment process. The overall goal is to provide payments to contractors immediately based upon contract milestones, and to provide access to an immutable record for auditing purposes. The client’s leadership has decades of experience on large construction projects, and has identified challenges with both payments and compliance that can delay the processing of invoices for over a month. These delays add cost to the overall project and increase the overhead of contractors. In addition, the lack of a proper audit trail increases potential confusion in the process and makes it difficult to validate that work was performed properly, as well as understand the details of a large project at a glance.
The company uses the Microsoft technology stack to manage the operations and financials of a large project. This includes Finance and Operations, Commerce, and the Power Platform. Power Platform usage is extensive for forms, website pages, apps, and automated flows. The company also uses a software as service blockchain platform, BlockApps, to support the immutable record needs of their projects.
Delays in invoice processing was adding pressure on profit margins of the projects and increasing overheads for contractors.
Lack of audit trail capabilities made compliance difficult.
About the Engagement
In addition to the design and development of the Smart Contract App, the customer identified several technology needs:
Configuration of Microsoft Dynamics
365 Finance and Operations
Configuration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce
Configuration of Power
Pages and Forms
Smart Contract App
The client had invested substantial time and energy documenting the overall process and payment schedule for large construction projects. The process included the initiation and configuration of the overall contract with payments and milestones. Each milestone included verification points conducted onsite to ensure either materials were delivered or installed properly. The successful completion of these milestones as verified by an onsite associate would release payment to the contractor. Payments can be provided for either delivery or installation if a proper inspection was performed. Upon acceptance of each milestone, two processes needed to occur. First, the record must be securely stored in blockchain for audit purposes. Second, a payment needed to be released to the approved contractor and the overall financial record of the project updated to reflect the latest status.
A critical business requirement for the Smart Contract App was the ability to work on both a desktop and a mobile device. Management needed access to reports and approval chains with all details present. Associates in the field, however, needed streamlined access for a specific inspection or related task onsite. The overall experience needed to be seamless in all situations while remaining robust enough to support the complexity of the tasks across a multi-billion dollar construction project. To that end, Korcomptenz developed a customized version of the Power Apps platform to support the different views and roles required. In addition, a modular set of Power Automate workflows were developed to integrate with BlockApps based on the type of task completed. This was more challenging than as it might seem at first glance because there are a wide range of tasks with different parameters including the need to support delivery of items with a per unit cost and blanket payments. The BlockApps integration needed to apply business logic and formulas to rationalize these different attributes to support the seamless experience. This included everything from different price calculations to different quantities and payment terms.
Korcomptenz deep understanding of the strategic and technical goals of the customer and our in depth technical expertise across the Microsoft technology stack enabled us to design and develop the application in a rapid timeframe using an agile approach.
Key Features and Benefits
The Smart Contract App was designed and developed to automate and manage the end-to-end construction process projects with a budget over $1 billion. These projects are completed by a wide range of contractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders with interests in both the day-to-day of the project and the financials. They key features included:
The completed app allowed construction companies and contractors to unlock the following key benefits:
Other Strategic Value Adds for this Client
Throughout the relationship with the customer, Korcomptenz has strived to be a valuable partner. In addition to the projects described above, we have provided: