This is a very big topic that could take volumes to discuss in any detail, but I promise not to bore you with anything like that. So here are 5 little gems of information that you should be doing to make sure you’re projects are consistently in control, on budget and on schedule.
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.
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.
Even the most organized and planned projects can have ad-hoc purchases that happen at the jobsite. In an ideal world, all vendor expenses would be controlled by issued purchase orders driven by a project budget. Vendor expenses should be recorded as an incurred cost against the original purchase order so that you know all of your budgeted costs upfront and you have full clarity around your accruals.
In reality, a project can have a substantial number of non-purchase order vendor expenses that need to be recorded and accounted for on a project. The right vendor management tools can provide you with full visibility into vendor accruals so that you have accurate project cost tracking.