4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

04 4, 2017

Using Rules of Credit for Percent Complete in 4castplus

How do you figure out percent complete on a project? How is it you go about objectively assigning a reasonable and accurate measurement of how far along you are on an item of work? How many times have you asked, “Hey, where did that number come from?”

Most any manager, VP or director who has to oversee the work of his or her team of project managers has a big worry about this very thing. They know the temptation that exists for a project manager to leverage a little creative license with the numbers to make the project look a little rosier than it is in reality. Customers on the receiving side of a progress draw are equally aware of the tendency to big-up the progress numbers in order to fatten the invoice.

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04 4, 2017

How Technology is Changing the Face of Construction

There are so many new technologies affecting the construction industry today: such as the use of Drones, BIM, Robotics, 3D Printing and significant advancements in fabrication and safety, that it’s now a huge topic that can easily be categorized into the many sub-areas of "Construction Technology".

As a technology company that enables construction project teams to be more well-informed, productive, safer and streamlined, we get a first-hand view of how the jobsite is changing before our eyes. The jobsite is no longer this isolated place that’s disconnected for days. Project managers and other administrative staff are now technology-enabled to get real-time information on activities, production, costs, incidents, progress – all organized in a variety of dashboard reports that provide vital information for them to make key decisions. They have intense visibility, on a daily basis, into what’s happening, what’s missing, who’s productive, who’s not, and where to take action when necessary.

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06 6, 2017

Top 2 Characteristics of a Good Construction Project Manager

I’m going to start with a basic assertion: to be effective and successful in their job, Project Managers need good information and the right tools. These two things are an absolute must. A bit more specifically: project managers first need current, accurate and complete project data; then secondly, they need the right tools to analyze, and report on that data.

This is especially true when managing large construction projects, where there are so many moving parts, changes, documents, contractors, costs, schedules, etc. to stay on top of. There are other things they need of course, but without these two key things, construction project managers are left feeling around in a dark room, desperately hoping to find a light switch.

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26 26, 2017
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16 16, 2017

Which is it... LEM or a Daily Field Report?

Construction contractors are increasingly adopting technology to track their daily costs and activities from the jobsite. Some will refer to this as tracking their daily LEM – which stands for Labor, Equipment and Materials – however others may call it Field Data Capture; and some may call it the Daily Field Report, or Site Superintendent Report. Although we’ve adopted an industry term, “Construction Cost Tracking” as a general name to describe the activity and process, we tend to use “LEM” as the term that describes the final document(s) that contain all the jobsite data that gets tracked.

If you’re familiar with 4castplus at all, you’ll know that the system enables contractors to track much more than labor, equipment and materials. There’s clearly much more going on than that – so a “LEM” is just a term used that encapsulates the broad variety of everything that gets tracked. Other data that gets captured in the LEM includes: labor expenses like subsistence and meals; along with 3rd party vendor expenses; material field receipts; daily log and the weather. Field personnel can also input production quantities as progressed items that are completed. It also allows field personnel to upload any number of documents into organized document repository categories. There’s additionally a very powerful Vendor LEM option to track the costs and expenses from subcontractors.

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03 3, 2017

Measuring Project Progress: Rules of Credit and Weighted Steps Progressing

Any organization that executes on major projects will know the importance of gathering information on how far along they are on a project. In other words, evaluating Percent Complete. Evaluating that by activity, by phase, by project, etc.  At 4castplus, we refer to this as a "Progress Measurement" and it serves as a critical function for calculating analytics such as Earned Value Management (EVM) metrics. Measuring progress however, is a tricky thing to do; and can cause companies to not bother with it if they don’t have a good system and process in place. This is unfortunate as it is a vital part of project management and project controls on major projects. Without it, you’re flying in the dark.

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29 29, 2017

Taking the Leap? 10 Questions You Need to Ask When Looking at Construction Procurement Software Solutions

Your choice of construction procurement software can have a significant influence on the costs, productivity and success of your projects. If you’re looking for a software solution to enable the management of procurement on your construction projects, you want to make sure your teams are armed with the right amount of power and ease of use – after all, a significant amount is riding on what happens in procurement. For most major projects, a substantial portion of the total project costs are issued through purchase orders and subcontracts. You really need to get that right! 

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31 31, 2017

Quality Jobsite Data: It will Save You Time, Money and Effort

Successfully managing construction projects is highly dependent on the quality of the data that’s captured about those projects. Whether you’re using the data to manage costs, bill your clients, pay your subcontractors, determine progress – or all that and more – the quality of that data is crucial to the success of the project. Current, Accurate and Complete – these are the key cornerstones of quality information. What’s more, getting quality data right from the start – i.e. from when it’s first entered into the system – saves organizations tremendous time, money and effort in executing on projects. Not only that, it reduces the chances and effects of any potential claims, disputes, safety issues and delays.  Mistakes and omissions bleed energy and money from your organization. The result is not just costly, it’s often embarrassing – and you are particularly vulnerable if you have any manual “double-entry” of data from system to system.

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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

Top 9 Signs you need Construction Cost Tracking Software

If you’re like most companies that run construction projects, you know that getting accurate and real-time cost data 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 are the top 9 signs you need construction cost tracking software.

Top 9 signs you need construction cost tracking software and how 4castplus can help:

#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. You may also have a few contractors working for you that submit their spreadsheet to your site personnel for approval. Then there are the expenses, documents, scanned receipts, safety and inspection reports, etc. that you need to include into the mix, and if you’re a contractor yourself, everything needs to be combined and organized for your client’s Site Superintendent to sign and stamp.

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