You are here: Home / Solutions / COMPASS: The Vision

COMPASS: The Vision

Greycoat develops software for a number of platforms, and Microsoft .NET has been our preferred platform for various non-web based projects for almost a decade.  In developing COMPASS, we felt that .NET would offer significant advantages over a browser interface in redeveloping our legacy SHIP product. With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft introduced Power Pivot, and we found PowerPivot to be exactly what we required to bring powerful analytic software and easy to use visual dashboards down to the desktop level. We also felt that with the newer platform, our new Compass software platform would be much simpler in concept, and disrupt the cyclical Accounting mindset of many conventional job costing and reporting packages in use, closer toward the goal of using and reacting to data in real-time.

Our first product with this platform was COMPASS Dashboard, based on Power Pivot, designed to provide operational sales and delivery results to suit the particular needs of heavy materials producers.

We next added COMPASS GEO, presenting business results and delivery quotations on a map-based overlay, utilizing Google Earth's KML.  We have been using this tool on various projects with our clients since 2005.

In implementing our software at Aecon's Material division, and at our other beta-sites, we were able to rapidly provide the dashboards and define the KPI calculations required in shipping heavy materials; for most heavy material operations the KPIs themselves are already well defined.  MS PowerPivot and other tools provide the attractive displays and instant drill downs to analyse business results, and these can often be modified or adapted directly by our clients.

We found the greatest overall challenge is in data collection; collecting data from many locations, and multiple sources, processing the data in a timely fashion, and giving mid-level managers operating results that are accurate, reliable and immediate. Of these three, immediacy is the most difficult to achieve, and also the most important for day-to-day operations.

In order to provide managers with the results they require, reliably and easily, we have begun to integrate software such as Userbase's WINTIK program, and ASTEC Weigh Mate in real time to our analytics data base.  In addition, we provide our own COMPASS modules for Quotations, Invoicing and Inventory.

The next pages will discuss how Compass achieves the goal of accurate, reliable and immediate results, COMPASS: The Product and Greycoat Pipe: Problem Solved.