Top 9 signs you need Construction Cost Tracking Software

If you’re like most companies that run construction projects, getting accurate cost data live from the jobsite can present many challenges. If you’ve never considered a software system to take on the heavy lifting of that process – here’s a list of signs you need to have a serious look at it. First, I’ll summarize the signs, and then further below, I’ll provide more explanation of each one. You Have Way Too Many Spreadsheets There’s too Much Time Spent Re-Keying Data Your Project Data is Inaccurate or Incomplete You struggle with information Delays: Project Managers Can’t Make Key Decisions Accounts Payable Spends Far Too Much Time on Vendor Invoice Approvals Your Billing Cycle in Accounts Receivable is Slow and Inefficient You Have an Overwhelming Feeling of Chaos Your Executive Teams are Demanding Better Reporting You Can’t Monitor Subcontractor Productivity #1 You Have Way Too Many Spreadsheets Your Site Foremen probably use one or more spreadsheets to capture the daily hours and activities of your crews and equipment for each of your jobsites. Let’s call that spreadsheet the Daily Field Report.  You likely also have a few contractors working for you that also submit their spreadsheet to your site personnel for approval – which need to get included into your Daily Field Report. You may also have some expenses, documents, scanned receipts, safety & inspection reports, etc. that you need to include into the mix.  If you’re a contractor yourself, all this needs to be combined to present to the client’s Site Superintendent to be signed & stamped. Your Site Foreman then sends the Daily Field Report and associated Documents to an email address for processing.  The person back in the office responsible for unpacking this

By |February 26th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Should I Re-Baseline or Create a Change Order?

We often get asked about the distinction between re-baselining a project and creating a change order. I can see why there’s a bit of confusion there because in many respects they accomplish a similar outcome. However, they are fundamentally different processes that serve unique purposes. First of all, let’s have a quick look at what a re-baseline is. Those of you familiar with P6 and MS Project will associate a re-baseline with a revision to the Schedule. For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to a re-baseline from the perspective of Scope and Budget rather than Schedule. Given that distinction, when you revise the baseline scope (re-baseline), you’re effectively adding project scope to the initial project baseline. The purpose of this is to further complete project scope that was not defined at the time the initial baseline was created.  This is especially useful for larger projects that are broken up into phases. By using the revise baseline feature, you can fully define and baseline the scope of phase 1, and then add phase 2 to the baseline later, once it’s been defined. Let’s say for example, that your project is broken into three phases: Engineering, Construction, Commissioning. In the initial planning stages, you may be able to fully scope out the Engineering phase and begin working on that without having full definition of the later two phases. You therefore create a baseline and budget for the Engineering phase; and begin that work. Some months later, you are able to scope out the planning for the Construction phase, so you add that to the project. Clearly the construction phase should be considered part of the initial project scope, so it’s added

By |November 15th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Routing Jobsite LEM Data for Approval and Billing

One of the greatest challenges construction contractors face, is billing their client for work that happened at the Jobsite. With all the layers of data capture, approval, routing, costing, etc. that need to be taken care of for the billable data to make it to accounts receivable for invoicing; it's common for things to be missed, delayed or for errors to occur. The 4castplus solution for simplifying and streamlining this whole process is briefly described in the explainer presentation below. Please have a walk-through and let us know what you think. Routing Jobsite Field Data for Approval and Billing in 4castplus from 4castplus

By |November 2nd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

What is the Difference between RFP, RFQ and Invitation To Tender?

In the world of contract management and procurement, there are a variety of ways the tendering stage can work.  A key part of planning any piece of work to be done, is determining who is going to do that work; and setting out the terms of reference and evaluation criteria for awarding the contract to the winning bidder. Most owners or clients know full well that they will likely not get exactly what they want. Nevertheless, they obviously still require a way to determine the best fit subcontractor or supplier to give them the best value for money.  Of course, in the private sector, choosing a vendor doesn’t always require a bidding process at all – and in many cases a sole-sourced vendor is chosen and a purchase order contract awarded directly.  Often this is not the case of course, and so the owner/client requires some understanding of the types of tendering contracts they have to choose from when going to market to solicit a competitive bid. While each company (or government) has their own policies and contract rules around tendering bids, there are generally three methods of competitive bid solicitation to choose from: Invitation to Tender Request for Quotation Request for Proposals All three methods are identical from the legal point of view and so are contractually binding in the same way. It goes without saying therefore, that the terms, descriptions, power reserved, evaluation criteria, etc. set out in any of the contract types is critical to ensure both a lawful and smooth relationship between client and vendors. What we often get asked, is “What’s the difference between the three?” Invitations to Tender: These are typically used in major

How do you Figure out a Realistic Cost to Complete?

Project Owners spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to get an accurate reading on all the costs to complete for a project.  On big projects, it’s hard enough determining what’s been spent to date, nevermind remaining. Gathering the right information to calculate forecasted spend can be tricky to do and requires good tools & processes to piece together a realistic estimate of projected costs. With hundreds of suppliers and contractors busily doing work and delivering materials every day, it’s a big task for Owners to keep track of how exactly things are progressing. Understanding “progress” is key. Without information on progress to date, you can’t figure out amounts remaining. Most decent project managers (especially on the owner side) understand this very well. As a result, they spend a good part of their day making a lot of phone calls &  email requests to vendors - along with regular site visits - to get an idea of how much has been completed and how much is left to do on every project activity. They’ll then punch in numbers to manually calculate those remaining amounts to produce a status report. In addition to all that, they also rely on vendor invoices. They’ll subtract invoices from the budget, and voila, all in, that’s their gauge on the cost to complete. Off goes the report to internal stakeholders. It’s not very accurate, but it’s what they have to deal with. Considering it’s such an important piece of information, it’s amazing that such a loose, time-consuming and manual system is still used. Especially one that’s full of guesswork and potential for errors.  It can be even more effort if the project manager is