By Ron Pestone
A visit to Oracle’s Primavera sites on the internet is well worth the time. Look at the samples and read the content and once you are comfortable, contact them. Review other software programs in the same manner and decide which programs are best for your company.
It is my opinion regardless of the project software program you chose you need to concentrate on the above three areas; change orders, submittals and Requests for Information and disregard everything else including any portion of the programs that utilize cost coding by man. In my opinion cost coding does not work and in ELM Job Costing it is not used. Taking the cost coding out simplifies and clarifies the picture and makes for an effective system.
You can get information from the field that is real, not made up and that is a huge difference. There is going to be a lot of pressure put on you to use the cost coding part of any software program and you must resist. If you include it and you want job costing you’re job costing will more than likely will not be successful.
Just say no and insist for the purpose of job costing what you need from their system is to produce reports for change orders, submittals and Requests for Information as described above.
Be firm, do not give in here. Put everything else on hold, it can be added later if you really feel you need it. The system I developed, ELM, approaches job costing in a much different manner and the gathering and inputting of job coding data is counterproductive to it.
Whether you use ELM Job costing or any other job costing system or decide to use none the monitoring of these three areas of your business will prove to be extremely beneficial. Asking anybody to go down a different path is always difficult and it is even more difficult asking an individual who is making the trip for the first time.
But look around; do you see any job costing systems that subcontractors are using that really work? Keep in mind that for thousands of years there were armies of experts who told us what the moon was made of.
Upon man landing on the moon the overwhelming amount of these experts were totally wrong. Never losing a beat they then became experts in other fields. It would not surprise me if some of them found their way into computing and eventually job costing.
In addition to Primavera Expedition, Primavera P6 Enterprise Software carries a full suite of applications to manage construction projects such as customer management, service management, bid management, project scheduling and project management. The program like Primavera Expedition allows enormous reporting capabilities and allows the monitoring of multiple projects at once. A person can devote his entire career to just one Primavera application such as scheduling.
Today CPM scheduling is a must on any large construction project and there are CPM professionals whose use of Primavera scheduling can really help and protect the contractor.
In my career I have always used a Primavera CPM scheduling professional in any large size contract I was involved in. They are worth their weight in gold. Like so many things in business the really good ones are specialist and there is not enough time and energy in life for any single individual to master it all and still find the time to run a business.
So you really need to know what you want before you start and what sections of Primavera P6 or Primavera Expedition you want to employ. First and foremost never forget you are a subcontractor and what works for a General Contractor will probably not work for you. So start with the basics of your trade and your business. If you want a good project management program and job costing program start with change orders, submittals and Requests for Information. You will not be overwhelmed and you will be well on your way.
Continued next week.
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