Project Tracking

4castplus e-LEM Solutions – Vendor Portal

Tracking Daily Costs from the Jobsite is challenging enough when you're tracking your own people. What about when you have to track your Vendor LEM costs as well? Getting all the daily cost data together from multiple sources can be a time-consuming and error-prone undertaking if you don't have a software solution to automate the process. 4castplus eLEM solutions for Vendor Tracking simplifies and streamlines the gathering and processing of daily jobsite costs. Check out the brief presentation below to get a glimpse of the new Vendor LEM Tracking and Portal. I think you're going to be amazed. 4castplus e-LEM vendor portal from 4castplus

How to Reduce Errors when Tracking LEM from the Jobsite

It’s typically not until the end of the day at the construction site that the field personnel sit down to collect and enter all the time & expenses for their crews, equipment and other charges for that day.  They’re tired, hungry, and this is likely their least favorite thing to do. They’re in a rush to get it done and they don’t often have the greatest computer skills – so it’s inevitable that mistakes are made. Things get coded to the wrong place, charges are missed, incorrect rates are used, etc.  And then all this error-filled information gets compiled and submitted and ultimately is routed to the back-office finance team for processing. And this is where the nightmare begins. If you put 5 site foremen in a room with 5 finance people, how much do you think they’ll have in common? Finance types are by nature very detailed, fastidious and are usually the ones responsible for making certain that everything is precisely correct before billing clients, paying vendors or routing charges through payroll. It’s not that a site foreman can’t be detailed by nature – it’s just that he or she has a very different spectrum of priorities; especially at the time of entering the LEM data.  What this translates to, is that it’s often the finance group who are left with the cleanup job of correcting and adjusting the chaos that’s recorded from the Jobsite. Shifting the Burden of Responsibility We refer to this as “shifting the burden of responsibility” to the last guy holding the bag.  It’s really a flawed approach from so many aspects – not least of which is that you end-up with a bloated finance group full of people whose

Managing the Complexities of Labor Rate Rules

  Simplifying Rates Management What happens when a Journeyman works a 16-hour shift? Well, first, he goes home tired and hungry and very keen on a cold beverage or two. But on top of that, he’s also got a smile in the back of his mind about the overtime and double-overtime he just earned. So, how much overtime was that exactly? Calculating how much of that 16 hours was regular, OT and Double-OT, can depend on a number of legal and contractual factors. The challenge many organizations face is: who is responsible for knowing the rules of how to allocate their hours to the correct buckets? It’s often the case that that allocation is done by the site foreman right at the jobsite when he’s recording his crew’s hours at the end of the day. But why not just let payroll or AP figure that out? Waiting for payroll or accounts payable to figure it out later is typically not an option since the Site Foreman needs to get their daily LEM sheet signed by the client on that day. Composite Rates Management This leads me to the discussion around what we call “Composite Rates”. In 4castplus, the Composite Rate Type feature enables administrators to preconfigure the quantity split for how labor timesheet entries should be allocated according to company and labor standards.  By pre-configuring these rules, the site personnel that are recording hours are alleviated from having to look-up or just know these rules for each member of the crew. All the site foreman has to enter is the total quantity of hours, and the system auto-distributes that time into the appropriate rate categories – such as Hourly, Overtime and

Field Capture Solutions from 4castplus

Jobsite LEM Tracking – What About Vendor Accruals?

All vendor expenses from the jobsite have to be on a purchase order right? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Aren’t all projects so well planned and organized that there is a pre-issued PO for everything? Of course not. Even the most structured and planned projects have ad-hoc & unplanned purchases that happen at the jobsite almost daily. Other projects only issue purchase orders for a portion of the project; and the remaining vendor expenses just happen on the fly. Still other projects create no POs at all, and just give their field staff a stack of carbon paper Purchase Order Books they buy at Staples to record expenses as they occur. None of these scenarios are wrong of course – but as I’m sure you already know, the less pre-planned control you have over jobsite expenses, the more challenges you face with getting a good handle on project status and vendor accruals, amongst other things. In an ideal world, all vendor expenses should be controlled by issued purchase orders. These should be driven by the project budget – with committed costs recorded in the GL or procurement software, for every vendor cost: no exceptions. When expenses are recorded from a vendor, they should be recorded as an incurred cost against the original issued PO. This is the ultimate control because you know ahead of time all your budgeted and committed costs; and as your actuals are recorded, there is nothing that falls outside those committed amounts. There is full clarity around your accruals; and when the vendor invoices you, it’s an easy step to clear out that accrual. Even as change orders are approved, purchase orders are revised and committed amounts altered to

I Have Mastered the Art of Talking to Myself Without Moving My Lips

Hey, don’t laugh, it’s a key skill. The only creepy thing about it is I can look at someone right in the eye and be muttering to myself at the same time. And even though I have at least another 40 years before I’m at that station in life where muttering is just something you do,  I’m getting an early start because I’ve discovered that it has high value.  I’m not the first to discover this, as it turns out. Experiments have been done to prove that regularly talking to yourself is a positive thing: All the scientific research aside, the value I get from my outward-inner-dialogue is the art of practicing my next line.  That’s because I so often find myself in boardroom meetings with very passionate people.  Which is probably not that uncommon.  What’s also not uncommon, is that the people in the room don’t all share the same views. They can be passionately expressing opposing views with each other while earnestly trying their best to do what’s best for their company.  I, on the other hand, am an outsider invited in – and I’m equally passionate about trying to mediate them towards achieving the ideal solution to some often delicate challenges. The muttering comes in handy because I can try-out ideas out loud, so to speak, before I actually say them. It’s funny how things can sound so different in your head, compared to how they sound when they’re actually spoken. Or mumbled. About a week ago I was a participant in a very heated debate on a company’s policy towards the layout of their standard work breakdown structure for their projects going forward. They were growing

New Live-Link with Microsoft Project

  Get Real-Time Schedule and Cost Synchronization   Press Release To view the original press release, please click here:   The new 4castplus real-time integration with Microsoft Project brings seamless, One-Touch connectivity between cost and schedule. With a fully cost-loaded schedule that includes budget, actual costs, work progress and earned value metrics, project managers achieve complete project control.   Time and Cost on any project are the two biggest factors influencing a successful outcome. The 4castplus Microsoft Project Live-Link brings this harmonious relationship to a whole new level.   Calgary, Alberta March 19, 2013 4castplus today announced the release of the highly anticipated Live-Link with Microsoft Project. With the new Project Live-Link, project managers can make time and cost changes on the fly, then synchronize budget and schedule in a single click. Many companies large and small depend on MS Project for critical project scheduling activities. They also depend on 4castplus for critical project cost management software solutions. These can now be combined together in a live synchronization to enable the best of both worlds.   There’s no single software solution on the market that can do an effective job of managing project schedule and project costs all in the same tool. With the new Microsoft Project Live-Link from 4castplus, both are now integrated in a highly-connected real-time environment. Organizations can finally eliminate the cluster of wasteful spreadsheets and the need to copy data from one place to the next. Both 4castplus and Microsoft Project can be open at the same time and changes are updated in real-time.   Even without MS Project, 4castplus merges budget with schedule to deliver planned value vs. actual cost vs. earned value on a real-time basis. 4castplus, however, can't

4castplus Delivers the Total Solution for Unit Price Construction Projects

Press Release To view the original press release, please click here:   Managing Unit Price construction projects presents a tremendous number of unique complexities to both owners and contractors. With the latest Unit Price project additions to 4castplus, planning, estimating, tracking, reporting and billing on unit rate and unit progress is now streamlined into a single integrated solution.   4castplus has given us a solution that our industry has been crying out for. We've finally found the ideal answer to how we, and most of the construction world, manage construction projects. Calgary, Alberta (PRWEB) October 30, 2012 Jetsoft Group Inc., a leading global provider of business project software for Contractors, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management), Owners and Services firms, today announced their release of a fully integrated Unit Price and Unit Progress Project Solution to their 4castplus Project Cost Management software. Some may call it “Re-Measurement” or “Schedule of Rates”, and some call it “Unit Price”. No matter what you call it, it is a very common contract type in the world of construction. 4castplus is the first software solution for construction projects to deliver comprehensive, end-to-end technology specifically designed around the distinct requirements of Unit Price contracts. With this strategic addition to 4castplus, contractors and owners will achieve tangible benefits such as:  Enhanced Unit-Based Planning: The whole work breakdown structure is now enriched with new properties for measurable units and quantities. Unit Cost / Unit Price Estimating. Full detailed construction estimating based on resource quantities – along with unit rates for cost and billing – can be intermingled to build accurate unit costs. Apply optional markup or overrides to determine unit price. View breakdown of unit cost and unit price by resource such as: Unit Cost

Tips and Tricks on Unit Price Contracts

Unit Price or Re-measurement contracts are a common way for owners to define the structure of how a project is to be quoted by contractors. This is especially true when there is uncertainty on the part of the owner as to the total quantity of each item that will be required to complete the project. A big part of the owner’s motivation for structuring it this way, is that they’re looking for a means to compare rates from the different quotes tendered. Using this technique, they can have an undetermined project size yet still compare vendor bids. With unit-price or re-measurement projects, the owner will provide a Bill of quantities (BOQ) to which the contractor is to quote against on a price-per-unit basis.  A BOQ item is an item of work that is stated and measured based on some unit amount; where a “Unit” could be, for example, “feet of pipeline” or “cubic yards of dirt” moved.  An example of a BOQ item could be, “Install 8,750 feet of pipeline”. The entire project is made up of many of these BOQ items, each with its own units and quantities.  The owner is primarily interested in seeing the price-per-unit for each BOQ item, along with the total project tallied up for a complete quote. As mentioned above, the quantities of the work at tender stage are deemed to be approximate and the actual volumes will be measured and paid as the work proceeds. This way of quoting, measuring and operating a project, is considered to be fair to both owner and contractor, as both are absorbing an equal amount of risk. As long as the contractor is good at figuring out his

4castplus Adds Full Procurement System for One-Touch Project-Purchasing Integration

Press Release To view the original press release, please click here:   In today’s economy where margins are tight and competition is fierce, organizations that run major construction projects need to control costs, reduce inefficiencies and maximize the use of technology to ensure they stay competitive. With the new 4castplus Integrated Procurement system, companies achieve enormous improvements in project cost controls, real-time information and significant gains in productivity.   No-one else can provide this level of collaboration and efficiency on a construction project.   Calgary, Alberta September 25, 2012 Jetsoft Group Inc., a leading global provider of business project software for Contractors, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management), Owners and Services firms, today announced their release of a fully integrated Procurement system to add to their 4castplus Project Cost Management Solution. This newest addition will provide for a tighter, more collaborative environment between Procurement and Project Management on major construction projects.   With the seamless movement of data and elimination of redundant effort provided in this system; communication and auditability challenges that often exist between project management and procurement are removed. “Many of our industry partners and clients participated in the design of this module to maximize its efficiency, controls and benefit,” says Jetsoft Group’s Chief Financial Officer Kim Tremblay. “We wanted to be sure it was clear, easy to use and provided key advantages to their businesses.”   This strategic addition to 4castplus will allow Contractors, Owners and EPCM firms to see tangible benefits such as:  True One-Touch data. Organizations seeking to reduce the need to re-key data from one place to the next will achieve the control and simplicity of One-Touch data. With 4castplus, information only goes in once; then is used in multiple places