4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

Michael Wilson

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25 25, 2021

The 2021 American Jobs Plan Brings a Critical Boost to Construction and Infrastructure

Last Thursday, the Biden administration reached bipartisan consensus on the proposed American Jobs Plan to allocate $1.2 trillion in new infrastructure spending in the US. A significant portion of that will be put towards revitalizing roads, bridges, water systems, public works, energy and other vital infrastructure projects.  This plan will create new opportunities and benefits to construction contractors for years to come, and here at 4castplus, we’re staying on top of the ongoing progress of this bill, along with the ways we can help in providing leading technology to support the industry.

 

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31 31, 2021

Project Profitability: 8 Ways to Eliminate Threats

Part 1 of 2

If projects are the primary revenue stream for a business, then careful financial management of each project is critical for the success of that business.  Managing a project’s finances means much more than just focusing on its revenue, it clearly also means vigilant control of costs, along with ensuring contract terms laid-out by the client are successfully delivered on time. 

Additionally, clients and other stakeholders can be very demanding in their requests to be regularly updated on the budget status of a project. Management, for example, will want to keep a close eye on ensuring the budgeted project margin is realized once the project is complete as it is the foundation of their business model.  Project managers will therefore need to be able to produce detailed reports on project finances on-demand that include analysis on actual margin and profit.  A project manager will therefore need to apply key techniques for ensuring target profitability is achieved. In this article, we explore several methods for protecting and maximizing profit from project estimate all the way to close out.

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05 5, 2021

Cyber-security in Construction: Prevention, Detection and Management

Data security is a topic that is at the forefront of discussion for most businesses today. The construction industry in particular is embarking on a period of rapid digitization, with technology increasingly being embraced for project management and day-to-day operations. As they adopt more technological solutions to increase efficiency and productivity, construction companies run the risk of becoming more attractive targets for cyber attacks.  In fact, for some businesses in various industry verticals, ransomware attacks - as one of several cyber security breaches - have led to the loss of confidential data, systems shutdown, and significant interruptions to accessing key information causing debilitating harm to their business. That's why at 4castplus we take the management and security of our clients' data extremely seriously.  In this article, we explain some of the safeguards we have in place to ensure the privacy, reliability and security of your information is upheld to the highest standards, but first it's important to understand why cybersecurity is important for cloud-based software that provides solutions for the construction industry.

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17 17, 2021

Information silos: Are they destroying your project's success?

We live in a data-driven world - and as construction projects become more complex, sharing vital project information across project teams and with key stakeholders becomes an essential building block for success. Yet, many organizations that engage in construction projects continue to work in disconnected, disparate systems, causing information silos between teams that should otherwise be working collaboratively together to maximize project success. When they don’t, this leads to disjointed processes, data inaccuracies and errors. This misalignment across project teams ultimately drives up costs, delays schedules and can negatively impact information accuracy and quality, which ultimately impacts the health of a company's bottom line. By both bringing people together into the same system – or by tightly integrating enterprise systems together – organizations can create a truly collaborative environment that elevates project transparency and minimizes errors and gaps to give project stakeholders the insights they may not have otherwise had. To better understand if information silos are creating a barrier to a holistic view of your company data, read on.

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02 2, 2021

7 Key Tips for Evaluating Enterprise Construction Software

Most everyone in the construction business will go through a software evaluation at least once or twice in their career, where they’re part of a multi-discipline team appointed to pick the best software solution option on the market for their business. When it’s a smaller system with a limited enterprise footprint that’s being evaluated, this can be a relatively straightforward process. If, however, the requirements for the desired construction software system are such that they are lengthy and complex – and the system impact can span multiple departments – this process can be a significant undertaking.

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23 23, 2020
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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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08 8, 2020

Preparing Construction Projects for post COVID-19

We’ve been researching and gathering a variety of resources we hope will help our clients, our industry and our community to navigate the current COVID-19 situation as best they can. We’ll be updating this and other documents as events continue to unfold daily.

 

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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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23 23, 2020

The Paperless Jobsite is Critical for Profitability

It may come as no surprise that the construction industry is one of last to embrace technology to improve productivity. According to McKinsey’s Digitation Report, the construction industry is one of the least digitized in the world (see Figure 1 below).  Many contractors, about 40% of them according to the 2018 construction technology report, are still using a paper-based solution for documents, cost tracking, reports and other field-related items. This apparent lack of willingness to adopt newer, cloud-based solutions introduces productivity bottlenecks due to information delays, errors from rekeying data, missing data, lack of collaboration and wasted effort on the jobsite and in the office.  

Figure 1 - McKinsey's Imagining Construction's Digital Future

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