4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

18 18, 2021

4castplus 2020: A Year in Review

2020 was a year like no other. The entire world underwent a transformation where people, businesses and families were forced to adapt to a challenging new reality.  Despite it all, our 4castplus team rose to the challenge and continued to provide responsive and personal support to our valued customers, and continued building and growing 4castplus. Looking forward to 2021, a global sense of optimism is on the horizon as the anticipation of the end of lock-downs and a gradual return to normal promises to kickoff a strong economic recovery.  It is valuable for all of us to reflect on the year that past,, so we'll take a brief moment to share a look at some of our 2020 highlights.

 

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07 7, 2020

Embracing Technology for Growth and Success

Leading Western Canadian midstream company Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure reported its best quarter to date amid a global crisis. The company has built an incredible business that connects its customers and other stakeholders along the entire energy value chain, but the most recent quarterly results have put an exclamation point on its success. 

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03 3, 2020

Economic Recovery: The Important Role of the Construction Industry

For the greater part of 2020, the construction industry has held steady amidst a barrage of economic predictions. Short- and long-term projects are still being executed as construction firms proceed with building and maintenance, as permitted by the federal government, strictly adhering to the guidelines to employ ‘essential infrastructure workers.’

It goes without saying that the construction industry is a very important sector of the economy. It involves an array of activities like constructing, altering, maintaining, repairing, and demolishing of buildings. It also covers civil, mechanical and electrical engineering projects.

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23 23, 2020
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02 2, 2020

Project Data Integrity: Systems Working 24/7

One of the most basic premises of Data Integrity is to ensure the data in your project cost management system is Current, Accurate and Complete.  We talk a lot about getting your project data in real time and how that leads to better decision making and the ability to take early, corrective action on issues as they arise.  We also go to great lengths to discuss how the project cost management software can be configured to ensure the highest levels of accuracy upon data input by preconfiguring constraints, tolerances and ranges of acceptable values.

 

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06 6, 2020

Fierce Competition in the New Normal

As businesses, families and individuals continue to adjust to their new working arrangements both at work and at home, the whole world is trying to navigate a path forward to getting things opened up, restrictions relaxed, and projects ramped-up again.  Thankfully these are all positive signs for those contractors and owners looking to get back to work, as construction projects in most geographies have been deemed as “essential”; and are either still in operation, or are part of the first phase of reopening.  Nevertheless, there still remains a great deal of uncertainty as to how this will play out or how successful it will be, so we are all feeling a sense of anxious hopefulness that we can all get our lives back relatively soon.  Although many may wish for a rapid return to normal, accompanied with a boom of new activity, this is highly unlikely as the overarching sense of cautiousness will prevail for the foreseeable future.

 

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06 6, 2020

Here's What Happened at the Project Controls Conference

The 4castplus team was out in full force at the Advancing Project Controls conference in Houston this past week. This is one of numerous project controls related conferences held throughout the year in various locations around the world.

It was exciting to see how well-attended this conference was and how important the role of project controls is becoming in companies of all descriptions. The majority of delegates we came across were relatively advanced in their knowledge of project controls and clearly embraced the role of technology as a key component of its application. There were a smaller number of delegates that were relatively new to the discipline and were eager to learn.  Some individuals and companies were looking for ways to advance and upgrade their software solutions, others were looking for complementary systems to what they have; and others were looking for integration solutions to bind it all together. Following are some key takeaways.

 

Data Analytics

Business Intelligence and data analytics are taking center stage in project controls. For the purposes of investigating and drilling down to identify root causes of issues, schedule overruns and cost overruns.  Without reliable, accurate and current data, project controls professionals are in the dark as to what is happening on their project.  Good data leads to good decisions, and the right tools to present that data become indispensable.

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26 26, 2019

Forecasting Cost to Complete on Major Construction Projects

Introduction

Mega construction projects withstand a level of complexity like no other. More than ever, organizations are searching for ways to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, increase productivity, collaboration and automation on their construction projects.  To achieve this, the project team needs to apply a significant level of rigor in the planning and management of projects and deliver key metrics and projections to all project stakeholders throughout its execution.  Calculating a reliable month-over-month forecast requires that the project team has not only done sufficient upfront project planning, but they’re also performing ongoing monitoring, measurement and management of the project in order to produce an accurate report for the project's financial stakeholders.

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08 8, 2019

Top 6 Methods to Reduce Approvals Bottlenecks

Approvals are deeply woven into the fabric of any financial software solution, and 4castplus is no exception.  The challenge with designing complex, multi-stage approvals workflows however – for key items such as purchase orders, change orders, timesheets, invoices, etc. – is that they can quickly bog things down, and introduce delays as approvals get stuck waiting for individuals to get around to dealing with them. Approvals can drone on and on and keep critical-path items stuck on hold for days or weeks, wasting time and money, if not attended to properly. This is what we refer to as “Approvals Bottlenecks” and they can be a massive drain on the efficient management of project finances. 

And bottlenecks can be very bad for business.

 

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16 16, 2019

Overhead Costs are the Silent Killer of Project Profitability

Most contractors today exist in a very competitive landscape where margins are tight, and customers are demanding.  This leaves them little room for error when executing on projects – otherwise their profits will quickly be eroded, their reputation damaged, and their ability to sustain a healthy, growing company will be severely compromised.

 

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