Construction Business News May 2018

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I n t e l l i g e n t i n t e g r at i o n Ian Hauptfleisch, general manager (MENA), CCS Gulf, explains who really benefits from project management software


he capabilities and effectiveness of construction project management software has evolved massively in a short period of time and the most reputable and trusted providers continue to upgrade and enhance their product offerings to stay abreast of and in many cases lead the market requirements. “At the cutting edge of technology, integrated construction project management software provides contractors with an incredibly diverse and effective tool box that they could only think of as pipe dreams in the past,” notes Ian Hauptfleisch, general manager (MENA) of construction software powerhouse, CCS Gulf. “In this fastpaced, demanding industry, choosing the right software can be vital in winning and managing projects. “At its core, finding the right solution is about understanding the requirements of all the project stakeholders. Sometimes, you really can have too much choice but one of the best ways to distinguish between the software offerings in the market is to consider their capability in providing truly integrated end-to-end construction project management.” At the top of the construction pyramid is the project owner - or his representative if a third party has been employed to oversee the project. “This is usually the entity who has financed or sponsored the project. The big picture information, crucial to this stakeholder, will be related to the progress and budget of the party who sponsors/finances the project. This person wants to know the real-time and overall costs, versus the scheduled budget” explains Hauptfleisch. “Construction software is renowned for its accuracy, complete and up to date reporting, which will give great 54

Choosing the right software can be vital in winning and managing projects.” confidence and comfort to the owner as opposed to bespoke spreadsheets or autonomous reports.” The general or main contractor, appointed as the primary contractor with the responsibility for the overall project management, will be accountable to the owner for delivering the project on time and on budget. The general contractor usually employs specialist sub-contractors to complete certain specialised trades or elements of the contract.

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“While integrated reports benefit the owners, the same information is critical for the general contractor himself. Spotting potential issues early and making the right and timely adjustments will assist them to stay on track. The ability to track and manage the sub-contract bids; progress; valuations and payments; record daily transactions between the principle contractor and sub-contractor; assist in highlighting possible constraints between the parties; and timeous completion of the works is one of the many elements that early adopters of this system rave about.” He remarks: “Payments, whether a traditional measure or milestones, are required to monitor and progress subcontract works. Integrated systems allow for easy monitoring of completed works, the smooth receipt of invoices and timeous payments thereof.” In much the same way as an owner, if a bank or financial institution is financing a project, they want to be sure their investment is safe and sound. Many financial arrangements of this type will also have a phased release of funds that will be triggered by measured works or milestones. Hauptfleisch contends that, as with reporting to an owner, the integrated true and accurate data and reports generated by construction project management software is infinitely more reliable than ad hoc project updates. “Various levels of access or information reporting can be agreed and set up from the outset or adapted on the go,” he points out. “This can be a key selling point during the negotiation phases in securing financial support from premium institutions, as this greatly assists with their initial and ongoing due diligence.”

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