4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

12 12, 2019

Project Procurement Belongs with the Project Team, Not Finance

If you were to ask any CFO or Controller which department should be responsible for all Procurement for the company, they would naturally respond with the Finance Department. On the other hand, if you were to ask any project controls professional about procurement, they would naturally respond with the Project Team, they should own procurement. 

So, who’s right?

 

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28 28, 2019

The Raging Pipeline Debate

By Claire Beckham | January 28, 2019 | | 0 Comments

There is a very heated and divisive debate going on in many areas of North America about pipelines.  More specifically, a debate about whether or not to build new pipelines to move Oil and Gas from where it’s extracted, to one of the several refineries available across the continent.  It’s an ideological clash that is steeped in near-religious conviction, misinformation, economic consequences and two sides that have dug in their heels; neither of which is prepared to budge.

Pipeline proponents will argue that pipelines are the safest, cheapest and most reliable way to move oil and gas. They provide jobs, wealth and access to markets for a valuable commodity.  Opponents however, claim that we need to reduce our carbon footprint, so pipelines represent further destruction of our fragile environment.  Both sides, of course, have valid points, wherein lies the dispute.

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08 8, 2019

How to Link a Change Order to a Purchase Order Revision

In this article I’m going to go through the basics of how, after creating a change order in 4castplus, you can go on to make any revisions to purchase orders based on the details of that change order. First, however, I’ll clarify a bit of terminology in terms of the difference between a change order and PO revision:

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12 12, 2018

Your Corporate Data is a Gold Mine - Take it Seriously

 

For any organization, their corporate data is one of the most important assets they possess. The information they gather on a daily basis forms the core of who they are, where they’ve been and where they’re going. The monumental technology changes going on in the world today have made ‘Data’ the central element that determines success or failure for most any company.

 

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22 22, 2018

Get it Right the First Time

On any day of any major construction project, a ton of information is being collected about that project. Including: costs, hours, activities and progress; along with a variety of documents, photos, invoices and receipts.  Feeding all this data to the project managers is critical to enable them to bring the project to a successful completion on time and on budget.

 

Construction Cost Tracking Software

 

The thing is, all this data that’s collected needs to be both accurate and complete, otherwise it’s not much use to anyone. Not only that, but it also has to be timely – meaning that, giving project managers data that several weeks old doesn’t really help much. It needs to be current, like from today, otherwise you’re managing the past, which is not only ineffective, but frustrating.

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16 16, 2018

4castplus in Action: Multiple Divisions Under One Roof

A few months ago, the team at SECURE Energy Services approached us at 4castplus with a situational challenge that they needed to have resolved. The problem they were experiencing, was that the multiple business divisions using 4castplus as their core operational solution, were deployed into separate 4castplus accounts. While each division was happy with the software and its value to their business unit, this approach introduced some corporate-level challenges.

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15 15, 2018

Contractor Profits at the Mercy of Higher Construction Costs

Construction costs in the US have been escalating for months now, and it’s so far the contractors who are carrying the weight of absorbing these price increases. This, according to a recent study by the Associated General Contractors, who went on to point out that recent tariffs on non-US foreign materials have further intensified the issue.


The Pain of Higher Construction Costs 

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23 23, 2018

Top 5 Tips: How to Help Lean Teams to do the Work of Many

Everyone wants to run a ‘Lean’ operation. But how do you do that when there’s so much work to do, projects to stay on top of, reports to run, etc.?  The behavioral challenge most organizations suffer from when it comes to running lean, is what I call the “More means More” syndrome.  Put simply, this means: as you grow and get more work, you just add more people to do that work. More work, therefore more people, right? Well, hang on a second. 

 

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31 31, 2018

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.


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20 20, 2018

Spreadsheets for Cost Management are a Lot of Work for Little Return

"Excel just wasn’t designed to do some of the heavy lifting that companies need to do in finance.” So says Paul Hammerman, a business applications analyst at Forrester Research Inc. Despite that generally accepted fact, spreadsheets continue to be widely used as the default tool of choice for managing the finances of construction projects large and small. Most individuals that find themselves in this situation however, would enthusiastically agree that the use of spreadsheets for this level of complexity requires a ridiculous amount of meaningless effort for very little return. Far too much effort is put into getting the data into the spreadsheet – and all the formulas straightened out – that little time is actually spent analyzing that data.

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