4castplus Software Upgrade June 2019

4castplus Upgrade

June 24th, 2019

This is the R1, 2019 release of 4castplus.

We’re excited to announce this very comprehensive upgrade of 4castplus that includes new features and enhancements such as:

  • Greater flexibility in mapping CBS cost codes to align with the hierarchy of the WBS
  • Many updates to Approvals and Approval workflows to improve and streamline approvals
  • A new “User Defined Progress Weighting” for progress measurements
  • Updates to Time-Phasing of resources and workpackages
  • Significant enhancements to Resource Forecasting
  • Numerous enhancements to the Project Procurement system along with the Jobsite Timesheet
  • Many new reporting fields and reporting enhancements

Scroll down to discover more…

1) Progress Measurements

1.1    User-Defined Progress Weighting

User-defined progress weighting is a method for setting the percentage weighting each workpackage has against the overall project. This can be used manually separate which workpackages are work-related versus those that are not. For example, procurement-driven workpackages may rank low on progress weighting even though they often hold a very large budget. Weights need to add up to 100% prior to baseline.

To coincide with this feature, there is now a new metric called “Percent Work Complete”. This can be viewed alongside Percent Complete to compare. You’ll also see Baseline and Current Progress Weighting values in the Progress Measurement area.

See the screenshots to the right for more.

More updates in Progress Measurements

Bug fix re: Detail Purchase Requisition Estimated Cost in Estimating > Purchasing not equal to the Detail Purchase Requisition Cost in Procurement > Requisitions, when Requisition transferred from Estimating to Procurement

2) Forecasting

Forecasting has undergone numerous improvements to enable increased options for defining how items can be forecasted.

2.1    The Forecast Budget

The Forecast Budget now has complete capture of all forecasts made. It now includes summary-level forecasts (lump-sum) as well as resource-level forecasts.

The forecast budget is now defined as Actual Cost + Forecast-to-complete. This is now aligned with ETC so that the two can be used in tandem to compare the theoretical result (ETC) with the forecasted result (FTC).

The Forecast Budget will now always be equal to EAC Forecasted.

2.2    Progress Measurements and Forecasts

Similar to previous behavior, forecasts are entered and submitted as part of progress measurements. What’s new in this release, is that forecasts are preserved from one progress measurement to the next.

2.3    Resource Forecasting

Resource-level forecasts have now been extended to enable greater flexibility and features in Time-Phasing, rate revisions and updates to FTC.  A forecast therefore, can be a combination of one or more of the following:

  • Changes to FTC quantity
  • Changes to time-phasing
  • Changes to cost and/or billing rates

2.3.1  Changes to FTC Quantity

Similar to previous behavior, users can still enter an FTC quantity that is greater or less-than the Remaining quantity.

2.3.2  Time-Phasing

The FTC (forecast to complete) of any resource item can now be time-phased as part of the forecast. This is regardless of whether there is a forecasted variance (i.e. change in quantity). The item can be time-phased whether it was estimated by resource class or by named resource.

2.3.3  Changes to FTC Rates

There is now a new popup window that enables users to modify cost and/or billing rates of the FTC quantity. Rates can be changed even if the FTC quantity was not changed. Changes in rates are now applied to the full FTC quantity – previously they were only applied to any forecasted variance (i.e. forecasted VAC).

2.3.4  Forecast Reporting

All reports that have forecast values or forecast charts now fully reflect any and all of the above forecasting entries.

2.3.5  Imports

The “Forecasted ETC” field is now available in the Progressing > Progress Import file

3) Estimating

3.1    Time Phasing

  • Users are now able to time-phase Labor and equipment Resource-Class estimates.  All estimates are now fully enabled for time-phased plans to determine budget spend profile and forecasts.
  • There are now additional time-phasing modes, including: Quantity, Amount, and Percent. Anywhere time-phasing is available – including Estimating, Change Orders or Resource Forecasts – will have each of these modes to design the time-phased plan.
  • Time-phasing calculation logic has been updated to prevent rounding errors

3.2    Further Updates to Estimating

  • Updated Estimate > Import by Cost Code to include validation of Flex Codes for all Resource Types
  • Added functionality to allow for direct input of Man Hours into Estimate Hours field
  • Bug fix re: Resource Estimate incorrectly calculating Cost + Markup

4) Approvals and Vendor Invoice Matching

4.1 Approvals Workflows

4.1.1 Update to DOA Approval Routing Behavior

The Delegation of Authority (DOA) approval routing in 4castplus is designed to enable users to assign approval thresholds by the approver’s role on the project. Previously, this logic would only route the approval to the nearest match that did not exceed the approver’s threshold. This has now been updated to route the approval to all approvers who’s threshold is greater than (or equal to) the value of the item being approved.

4.1.2 Selection of Delegate When Escalating an Approval

Administrators can now select from multiple Delegate Approvers when escalating a bottlenecked approval.

4.1.3 Further Approvals Updates

  • Updated workflow to prevent user from Approving and Rejecting same item simultaneously. This includes approvals for: Jobsite Timesheet, Purchase Order, Vendor Invoice, Customer Invoice and Change Orders.
  • Added “Purchase Order #” in Approvals > Vendor Invoices > UI & Status Report
  • Update to Purchase Order and Vendor Invoice Approval to exclude the Workflow Administrator from the approval routing unless Dead-locked

4.2 Vendor Invoice Matching

  • Bug fix re: Un-submitting and zeroing a negative Vendor Invoice is not saving zero amounts on Save

5) Cost Code Management

5.1 Cost Code Updates in Configuration

Creation of cost codes has been updated to make cost codes more standardized and global.  This update requires that any cost code added to a project, first be added as a cost code in Configuration.  Once added in configuration, that cost code will be available for selection in a project.

5.2 Enhanced CBS-WBS Mapping

This release provides users with a powerful new ability to fully align the cost breakdown structure with the hierarchy of the work breakdown structure. Regardless of how many levels the WBS contains, the CBS can be setup to ‘map’ a cost code at each level. 4castplus still maintains the standard System cost codes of: Project, Area, Phase and Workpackage. This enhancement enables you to include other hierarchical WBS levels that may go beyond these system CBS levels.

For more on this, please have a look at the video below.

5.3    Further Updates in Cost Code Management

User defined cost codes can now be directly entered in the on-screen grid in the project CBS. Users no longer have to edit the cost code in Excel, although this option is still available.

  1. There is now a new ‘mandatory’ option to CBS > Cost Code Rules > Flex Codes
  2. Updated Cost Code generation behavior to display Cost Code immediately upon entry
  3. Addition of Recalculate Cost Codes feature in Timesheet Administration to allow for recalculation without Unsubmitting Timesheets
  4. Added ability to select Flex Codes on all Timesheets
  5. Updated Projects > Transactions Import to include Cost Code fields, when ‘Enable Users to Select Cost Codes’ is enabled in Configuration > Company Profile > Preferences.
  6. Bug fix re: Sort Order on Cost Code Rules > Flex Codes not incrementing when Save and New selected

6) Reporting

6.1 Project Reporting

6.1.1 Updated Project Dashboard Metrics:

  • Aligned Forecast Budget (in Budget Metrics) and ETC Forecasted (in EVM Cost Metrics). These values represent the same forecast value, only expressed as both a budget as well as an EVM metric.
  • Extend Hours metric to include Services
  • Added “Percent Work Complete” to dashboard metrics

6.1.2 Updated Customer Cost Report:

  • Exclude any work packages that are Cost type
  • Include Accrued Expense

6.1.3 Updated Project Summary Report > Detail tab:

  • Relabel of ‘Code’ column heading to ‘Work Package Cost Code’
  • Relabel of ‘Budget’ column heading to ‘Baseline Budget’
  • Include Date of Submitted Progress Measurement that EVM metrics are calculated on
  • Updates to header formatting

6.1.4 Updated Cost Code Report:

  • Include Flex Codes in Baseline Estimate

6.1.5 Bug fix to monthly Time-phase calculation in the Man Power Loading Report re: Workpackage Start Date

6.2 Custom Templated Reports and Custom Dashboard Reports

6.2.1 WBS (Cost) Custom Template Reports:

  • Added Custom Cost Codes to template
  • Add Contingency (Header and Item) to template

6.2.2 Multiple Logos in all Template Reports

  • All custom templated reports now support having two logos in the report template

6.2.3 Procurement > Purchase Order Items Template Report:

  • Add new ‘Cut-off’ date field capability
  • Add RFQ Bid Extension Dates
  • Add PO Title

6.2.4 All Project Summary – Billable Dashboard Report (Global version):

  • Add Pass Thru Charges Charges
  • Add Project to Date Billable Labor Hours
  • Add Project To Date Invoiced Labor Hours
  • Add Project to Date Billed Amount

6.3 Business Intelligence Reporting

  • Update to the Finance/HR > Labor Resources Payroll Management report to include Exported data from Export Documents

7) Jobsite

7.1 Updates and Bug Fixes to the Jobsite Timesheet

  • Added sticky behavior to Shift selection
  • Updated Workpackage selection to display full Cost Code string from the CBS rather than solely the Workpackage Cost Code field.
  • Updated Workpackage selection to display all levels from the WBS in separate columns
  • Updated Jobsite > Tracking grid Cost Code field filter behavior to include “Contains”.
  • Improved Alert when Resource Class of selected Resource does not have a Billing Rate for any Rate Types
  • Added new button to Pick Flex Code
  • Added Billable to Date column in Progress screen
  • Added Change Order # field to Progress screen
  • Added Document # to the Vendor LEM Transactions grid
  • Bug fix re: filter ‘Or’ updating to ‘And’ upon refresh

7.2 Jobsite Report Designer

  • Added Section Totals for Billable, Cost and Quantity
  • Updated to allow for two logos in report template
  • Updated to include Headers on Jobsite LEM report as ‘enabled’ by default and available on every page

8) Procurement and Subcontracting

8.1 Purchase Requisitions

  • Updated Requisitions > Add Items to display name of Cost Code path and not Workpackage name
  • Added Vendor Drawing Due Date to Requisition Items grid

8.2 Bidding and Request for Quote

  • Added new Labor Resource permissions for Open Bid & Commercial Bid Analysis
  • Bug fix re: Required At Site field has time stamp displayed in RFQ Form but no option to Change the time stamp
  • Bug fix re: large volume of characters in RFQ Decline Reason causing an error

8.3 Purchase Order Designer

  • Added new fields Site Details and Customer Code (both Header and Items) to Reports > Purchase Order Designer

8.4 Expediting

  • Added Vendor Detailed Item Description field to Expediting grid
  • Added column re-order, column chooser and sticky to Procurement > Expediting Grids

8.5 Purchase Order and Contract Management

  • Bug fix re: unable to delete Purchase Order Receipt when Purchase Order has property data.
  • Bug fix re: Cost Code on committed PO Item changed when the Cost Code is removed from the CBS

8.6 Purchase Order Receiving

  • Updated Receiving > Totals to display to two decimal places
  • Added Vendor Item Detailed Description field to Receiving > Commitment Items Received
  • Bug fix re: entering a Negative amount on a PO Receipt not being saved
  • Updated Receiving > Commitment Items Received Excel report to align with data in UI
  • Bug fix re: Field Receipt deleted in Jobsite Timesheet still appearing in Procurement > Receiving screen

8.7 Procurement Reporting

  • Added new fields (Customer Name & Customer Logo) into Procurement > Purchase Orders > Cash Flow Report
  • Bug fix re: Incurred values in Procurement > Dashboard> Purchase Order Summary Report and Detail report excluding Vendor Invoice Matching Adjustments

9) Configuration

9.1 Updates to Currency

  • The configuration of a Division now includes the option to select a unique Currency
  • When creating a project, the currency of the project is now set to default to the currency of the Division. This was previously being set to the currency of the Company Profile.

9.2 Updates to the Labor Profile

  • Updated the Vacation Accrual Effective Date on the Labor record to require the Effective Date to be equal to or greater than Hire/Rehire Date
  • Added “Created By” and “Created When” fields in Labor Resources grid
  • Bug fix re:  Cost Rates not saving when entered in Labor Resource Profile
  • Added new Labor Resource Permissions for Procurement > RFQ > Open Bid and Commercial Bid Analysis, Recalculate Cost Codes in Procurement > Requisitions

Further Updates in Configuration

  • Removed the control that prevented the deletion of a Resource that has not been used in an Estimate or Actual transaction, but has a Cost Rate in the Rates Administration > Cost Rate table

If you want to learn more about this software upgrade – and we hope you do – please feel free to email us at info@4castplus.com.

Or, if you’ve landed on this page and you’re not already a customer, here’s where you can sign up for a free live demo of 4castplus.