4castplus Upgrade

4castplus Upgrade

December 20th, 2018


This is the R3, 2018 release of 4castplus.

There are a lot of new features, enhancements and bug fixes in this release that we’re very excited to tell you about. Including:

  • New ability to create multiple approval workflows for items such as Purchase Orders and Change Orders
  • Significant performance improvements to Forecasts, Progress Measurements and Change Order creation
  • New 4castplus Mobile app
  • “Area” is now available as a System cost code
  • Auto-update of underlying estimate when production quantity is modified in a Change Order
  • Enable Time-Phasing changes in a Budget Revision
  • New Pre-Built Procurement Cash Flow Reporting
  • New Budget Checks when insufficient funds available for a PO Commitment
  • Many new enhancements to the Jobsite
  • Loads of new reporting fields and reporting enhancements
  • Updates to Document Controls
  • Many usability and performance enhancements
  • And many more upgrades and new features

Scroll down to discover more…

1) Project Progressing, Budgeting and Forecasting

1.1 Performance Improvements

This upgrade has a number of usability and performance improvements in project progressing and forecasting. The system now performs more intelligent and incremental calculations after each progress or forecast entry. This makes for much faster responsiveness when entering multiple forecasts or progress measurement entries. You’ll also see the “Calculate” button for when you want to force a full recalculation of the whole project’s progress and EVM metrics.

1.2 Time-Phasing in Budget Revisions (re-baseline)

You can now time-phase changes in budget revisions. This means that when you revise your baseline budget, you now have access to the time-phasing module for structuring the spend forecast and cash flow of the revised estimates.

2) Estimates and Change Orders

2.1 Updates to Estimating

2.1.1 Estimating Auto-Update when Production Quantity Changed

In this release, we’ve made it easier to modify your estimates by simply changing the production quantity associated with the workpackage. The way this works, is each workpackage has a progressible production quantity associated with it that is separate from the underlying estimate. For example, a production quantity of “300 Welds” would have an underlying estimate of labor hours, equipment and materials that would be needed to complete those welds.  In this latest upgrade, you can now simply modify that 300, and the estimate of labor, equipment and materials would automatically update for you in proportion to the change in quantity.

2.1.2 Update behavior in Unit Price estimate

You can now update the final Unit Price, and the system will update the prices reflected in the resource estimates underlying the workpackage

2.2 Updates to Change Order Management

2.2.1 Change Management Performance Improvements

The change order estimating interface has undergone significant performance improvements to make it much easier to use. The system now does an incremental calculation with more localized logic to make the data entry much faster.

2.2.2 New Alert when Change Order Could Breach Fully Committed Budget

The system will now alert you when a change order estimate would put the Current Budget to be less than Fully Committed Budget.

2.2.3 More Change Order Updates

  • Make Change Management Summary Column Selector Sticky
  • Update alert when user attempts to delete a Change Order which has been used in a Timesheet
  • For when Budget Control is enabled – there is now an alert when CO is changing the current estimate < Committed PO

3) Projects

3.1 Cost Breakdown Structure

3.1.1 “Area” Is Now a System Cost Code

You can now take advantage of the top-level structure of the WBS – called “Area” – as a system controlled cost code. This means that if you select Area as part of the cost code rules, the system will automatically manage that code as part of your cost breakdown structure.

3.1.2 New Override AFE/PO

You can now override the AFE/PO at the workpackage cost code level to control the billable AFE or PO at a more granular level

3.2 Third-Party Markup on Resource

You can now set the 3rd-party markup on each project by resource type. This gives you the flexibility to set unique markup values for each of Labor, Equipment, Materials and Services. See the screenshot to the right.

4) Procurement and Subcontracting

4.1 New Procurement Cash Flow Report

As part of the Purchase Order Cash Flow Planning module, you can now run a system pre-built cash flow report. See the screenshot to the right.

4.2 More Procurement Updates and Fixes

  1. Purchase Order Register Report:  Add PO Required At Site Date, Ship Date and Client Approvval Date; re-format Excel Report, change date options from From/To to As Of
  2. TASK: Add Purchase Order ‘Approval With/By’ columns to Purchase Order screen and PO Approvals screen
  3. TASK: Include Purchase Order Custom Properties in Purchase Order grid column chooser and Excel report
  4. TASK – Update Date Behavior In Procurement> PO so that Item Rev Date updates from Rev Date, not PO Date [Case:4874]
  5. Update to apply sticky feature to ‘Issued By’ field
  6. TASK: Include Buyer Comments field in the Requisition Import template
  7. TASK: Update PO Commit control to allow the edit of the PO Cash Flow Plan
  8. Provide ‘Clear’ options for dates in a Purchase Order Line Item and PO > Shipping > Ship Date field[Case:4190]
  9. TASK: Clear Dates when Purchase Order > New
  10. DEFECT – Purchase Order Date sort ascending or descending sorting alphabetically not by date [Case:4971]
  11. DEFECT – Receive Selected Item not receiving all remaining items [Case:5026]
  12. TASK: Add Select all to Expediting and Inspection in PO items area
  13. DEFECT: Update Details Not Copying Data Into PO Item [Case:4973]
  14. TASK: Add ‘Workpackage Name’ into PO Designer > Items fields
  15. TASK: Add Bid Recommendation (Scheduled)
  16. Add date for PO Issue (Scheduled)

5) Reporting

5.1 Bulk-Assign Custom Reports & Dashboards to Projects

You can now use the “Assign to Projects” tool to bulk-assign custom reports, custom charts and custom templates to multiple projects.

5.2 Layouts

The introduction of Layouts allows administrators to pre-define the standard dashboards and reports for your projects. Simply select the dashboard reports, charts and custom templates that users will see as a default, and all projects will comply to that standard. You can also pre-define the dashboard metrics as part of the layout.

You can override the default layout by assigning other dashboards, reports and metrics on a project-by-project basis; and users can further refine their view as well within each project.

5.3 Fully Committed Budget added to standard S-Curve Chart

The standard S-Curve chart now includes Fully Committed Budget as a key line on that timeline graph. Fully Committed Budget takes the current budget and subtracts (Actual Cost + Committed Cost). So,

Fully Committed Budget = Current Budget - (Actual Cost + Committed Cost)

This is important to see on a timeline curve because it shows how the the cash outflow from purchase order commitments impacts the budget over time. And includes into that, the impact of actual cost.

5.4 Business Intelligence Reporting Enhancements

5.4.1 New Purchase Order Register & Summary Purchase Report available in BI

This release includes a new Procurement Reporting area in Business Intelligence. For the current release, this includes two reports:

  1. Summary Purchase Report
  2. Purchase Order Register

5.4.2 Provide Ability to Preview Export Document Prior to Export

Users can now click the “Preview” button when creating an Export Document to view how the report will look before committing and exporting the document.

5.5 More Reporting Upgrades and Enhancements

5.5.1 Indicator for when a Filter has been Applied to a Dashboard Report

To help users identify when there is a filter that has been applied to a dashboard report, there is now a “Filter Indicator” that will appear. See the screenshot to the right for how to locate this indicator. The purpose for this is to ensure users are aware of when a filter can be affecting the report results. This is because filter settings are “Sticky” in that they are saved – and the column(s) with filter can be off screen.

5.5.2 Further Reporting Enhancements

  • Add EAC Hours and ETC Hours to WBS(Cost) dataset
  • Add ‘Cost Rate’ and ‘Billable Rate’ into Details datasets
  • Add Project Code into Custom Reports Project selection screens

6) Approvals

6.1 Multiple Approval Workflows

For each Approval type, you can now configure multiple unique approval workflows. Each workflow configured can have its own unique approval stages and approvers. This is key for organizations that have numerous scenarios for how items such as Purchase Orders are to be approved. This new feature is now available for the following items:

  1. Purchase Orders
  2. Change Orders
  3. Customer Invoices
  4. Vendor Invoices
  5. Jobsite

When items are submitted for approval, the submitter will now be presented with options to choose which approval workflow is required for each item submitted.

6.2 Configure Project-Level Approval Thresholds

Users can now override the default approval thresholds for Delegation of Authority (DOA) approval stages at the project level.

6.3 Enhanced Information Available to Approvers

In the Approvals area, all approval types now provide the approvers greater access to information to make an informed decision.

  • They now have access to all documents that have been uploaded and attached to the approval item (such as a PO or change order)
  • They can now view the entire approval history
  • They can print the relevant item document

6.4 New Mobile Approvals

Our new Mobile App for iOS and Android is now available for approving from your favorite mobile device. For more information, please visit this page.

This includes approvals for:

  • Purchase Orders
  • Change Orders
  • Jobsite Timesheets

If this is of interest to you, please contact us for more information.

7) Jobsite

7.1 Alert when Production Qty exceeds Estimated Qty

There is a new alert and notification that will trigger on the Jobsite Progress area, when Progress Quantity to Date is greater than Estimated Qty. This ensures oversight for jobsite personnel to not enter more production quantity than was budgeted. The two screenshots to the right show first where on the Jobsite you’ll see the alert; and second where in configuration you can setup the notification.

7.2 Provide ability to attach Documents to Third Party Expenses

As part of our ongoing push to provide the ability to attach documents to pretty much everything, in this release we’ve added the ability to attach documents to Third-Party Expenses. This allows users to scan receipts, photos or other documents that can be easily uploaded and attached to any individual expense item.

7.3 Other Jobsite Enhancements and Additions

  1. Include Folder (Area) levels in Jobsite WBS display, in the JT tracking grid and in the Progress grid
  2. Make Jobsite > Add Crew Resources > Task > Filter sticky
  3. Jobsite Cost Code field: Provide same filter as Procurement and Third Party
  4. Provide Select All checkbox in Jobsite > Add Crew
  5. Add Division to the JT LEM designer Report Header Section
  6. Add Customer Logo to the Jobsite Designer Page Details
  7. Update alert for Expense Max Daily Alert to include Labor Resource Name
  8. Provide ability for user to select specific workpackages to include in LEM Report
  9. Add ‘Change Order Title’ to the Change Order # box in the Jobsite > WBS selector
  10. DEFECT: Update Vendor LEM Import behavior re: labor resources and expenses such that Resources are not added with ‘Procurement’ enabled and Expenses are not associated with Vendor Labor
  11. ADD ‘Select All’ button to Jobsite > Add to Crews > Add Resource To Crew screen

8) License Manager

7.1 New On-Demand License Manager

The new 4castplus License Manager provides you with full control and transparency into the following:

  • Your current license usage
  • Licenses purchased compared with licenses in use
  • Who is allocated to which license
  • Your renewal history
  • Your contract information
  • The ability to add new licenses
  • The ability to renew your subscription

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about this.

9) Document Management

7.1 Mass-Edit of Document Properties

The Document repository now provides mass-edit capabilities of key document properties such as:

  • Document Name
  • Document Code
  • Revision Number
  • All user-defined document metadata

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.