4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

11 11, 2014

How Long Does it Take You to Put Together a Status Report?

One of the most challenging aspects of successful construction project management is the ability to collect a vast amount of project data into one place for easy reporting. If you’re like most organizations however, when you get asked for a status report, you can’t just click a button and a report pops up that’s nicely formatted, with current and accurate information, ready to send to your boss or your client. No way. If you’re like most organizations, when you get asked for a status report, you kick into “Report Gear” and start gathering information so you can build your report. You need to request the latest actual costs, you need the latest vendor invoices, you need to make sure you have all the current change orders up-to-date, you need your progress forecasts entered, and on and on.  You need to start sending emails and making phone calls and trolling through spreadsheets – to pull together all the details you need to get that report ready.

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22 22, 2014

EPCMs Need to Up Their Game When it Comes to The Software They Use

EPCM organizations that are using just Timesheet & Billing software are finding themselves swamped in spreadsheets to cover the greater technology needs they face.  It used to be that all an EPCM needed for enterprise software was a decent-enough timesheet tool to track their billable hours; and an integrated billing tool to invoice their customers. Things have evolved however, and EPCM’s are now seen as the go-to company for project management, procurement, document management, project controls, etc.  These requirements obviously go well beyond what a timesheet tool can support.  So, confronted with a lack of available tools, project managers & engineers have resorted to building cobbled-together solutions in spreadsheets to cover the gaps.

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29 29, 2014

Canadian EPCM Wins PMI Award For its Use of 4castplus

In the following video clip, Peter Timmins, VP Operations at Triumph EPCM, explains how their use of 4castplus has dramatically improved their business - and has led to winning this prestigious award for Project Management Excellence.

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25 25, 2014

Managing procurement for construction projects

Managing the complexity of procurement for large construction projects requires an exceptionally robust technology solution.

Most commercial procurement software solutions are designed to handle general purchasing for a broad range of businesses and industry applications.  Procurement for construction projects has more complex needs such as:

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20 20, 2014

Resource Management for EPCMs - It's a Big Deal

Do you have a regular Monday morning meeting where your management team plans out who is doing what for the week?  EPCM organizations spend a significant amount of time and effort on resource management. And no wonder – resource management is a critical, continuous exercise in projecting resource loads, along with planning and managing who is doing what on any given week or month.

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05 5, 2014

What's the Difference: RFP, RFQ and Invitation To Tender

In the world of contract management and procurement, there are a variety of ways the tendering stage can work.  A key part of planning any piece of work to be done, is determining who is going to do that work; and setting out the terms of reference and evaluation criteria for awarding the contract to the winning bidder.

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23 23, 2014

I Have Mastered the Art of Talking to Myself Without Moving My Lips

Hey, don’t laugh, it’s a key skill. The only creepy thing about it is I can look at someone right in the eye and be muttering to myself at the same time. And even though I have at least another 40 years before I’m at that station in life where muttering is just something you do,  I’m getting an early start because I’ve discovered that it has high value.  I’m not the first to discover this, as it turns out. Experiments have been done to prove that regularly talking to yourself is a positive thing: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/25/talking-to-yourself-may-actually-be-a-good-idea/.

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31 31, 2013

Manage Contracts - Not Chaos!

One of the biggest challenges most procurement professionals face, is managing the day-to-day madness of having too many things to stay on top of, and not enough information to work with.  A very common frustration we hear about from procurement officers is their constant battle with “emergency procurement”.  A feeling as if they are always behind, in an ongoing reactive state – having to make sudden purchases with next-to-no advance planning. 

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16 16, 2013
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04 4, 2013

Everyone Likes to Pick a Winner

Risk is everywhere in business. Whether you’re a large or small company; or whether you run large or small projects – you are always running the very real risk that you’re project won’t succeed according to plan. How your business performs on a project however, goes well beyond just your own internal issues of cash flow and resourcing. The interdependencies that are inherent in construction projects means that what you do has a direct effect on your peer organizations and the owner. In other words: what you do is not just your own problem. If you blow it, you may end up blowing it for everyone around you. That doesn’t go over well – people talk.

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