4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

03 3, 2017

Key Strategies for a successful Competitive Bid Analysis When Awarding an RFQ

Analyzing Vendor Bids

The final stage of any Request for Quote (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP), is the process of awarding the contract to the successful bidder. A key part of this stage is when the buyers collect all the information together to compare the various bids, along with the technical & commercial details of each.  This can be a challenging and time-consuming process if your buyer team doesn’t have the right tools to help perform that task.

What is a Commercial Bid Analysis?

The purpose of the Competitive, or Commercial Bid Analysis (CBA) undertaken by the procurement team is as follows:

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26 26, 2017
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08 8, 2016

Subcontractor performance management

If you are hiring subcontractors to work on your projects, you likely want to keep track of how they are performing for you.  Being able to objectively measure subcontractor performance is critical for project managers, so that they can make key decisions to keep their projects running smoothly. However, subcontractor performance management is difficult if you don’t have the right tools in place to measure productivity.

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31 31, 2016

What is a CPI Forecast

Before I get started on the details, I’ll give you a quick definition: A CPI Forecast allows project controls professionals to predict the performance of their project using a subjective CPI value rather than the calculated CPI that’s determined based on past performance.

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29 29, 2016

Do You Really Need That Cost Code?

Project Cost Code Planning – such a love/hate relationship we have with cost codes.  Project controls professionals can spend endless hours discussing, debating and tweaking the required codes for their project.  Understandably so, as there can be so many layers of complexity of how to design the right code structure.

We get many questions from companies about what code structure is the right structure for them, and we spend a great deal of time working with them to help define it.  We often get asked if there’s a standard coding structure they can just lift from some standards body and simply use it. Or if we have one they can use, or what do other companies use, etc.  Unfortunately, there’s no single source where a robust project-level code of accounts is fully defined for public or paid-for access for every industry.  There are, however, some standards and samples that have been defined for a variety of industries published by, for example, the AACE (http://www.aacei.org/) and CSI (http://www.csinet.org) which can provide you a significant jump on defining the system that best fits your business.  You’ll need to be a member, but well worth it. Here are a few teasers that give you the idea:

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01 1, 2016
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29 29, 2016

Mistakes Happen – Adjustments and the Clean-up Guys

With the hundreds of people entering data into the system every day, what are the chances that a day will ever go by when all the data is entered perfectly – without a single mistake?

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07 7, 2016

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.

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15 15, 2016

How to Reduce Errors in Project Cost Tracking 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 and expenses for their crews, equipment and other charges for that day.  It’s late and they are in a rush to get it done so it’s inevitable that mistakes are made. Things get coded to the wrong place, charges are missed, incorrect rates are used, etc.  All these errors are compiled, submitted and ultimately routed to the finance team for processing. And this is where the nightmare begins.

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04 4, 2015

EVM Explained: Planned Value

Many EV professionals would argue that Planned Value is one of the most important metrics in earned value analysis.  It provides the critical benchmark from which numerous other metrics are being compared.  

To give you an idea of what PV is, consider the example where you have a $1 million project that is scheduled to take 10 months to complete. An important aspect of project controls is to be able to plan out how that $1m will be spent over the 10 months. It obviously won’t be spent in one single lump. Neither will it be spent in an even, perfectly distributed rate over the 10 months.

The project spend will follow an uneven pattern – loosely following the schedule of activities and purchases that occur over the project’s duration. Planning the budget over the project’s timeline is called Time-Phased Budgeting. Planned Value is the value of scheduled project spend at a point in time of a project's duration.
Planned value is also referred to as Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS).

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