Big Project ME September 2016

Page 39

Construction technology

Computer Software (Gulf ), to find out how contractors can use cost control software to effectively recession-proof their business. What does CCS offer to contractors looking to adopt cost control software?

Construction Computer Software provides comprehensive software solutions to the construction industry, specifically the general contractors. CCS, as we’re widely known, has two software product offerings, one being Candy and the other BuildSmart. Candy consists of integrated

and highly scalable modules for estimating, planning, forecasting, cash flow, on-site valuations and earned value management. Seamless integration of analytical estimating and critical path planning generates estimate forecasts and cash flows, while the valuations and earned value modules track and monitor progress and performance of the contract for the contractor. The Candy Construction estimating and project control system is an essential software application for the estimation, management and planning of all construction projects, from estimating through to tender award and, ultimately, final account. At the office or on-site, these systems streamline all construction-related processes, providing the accuracy and increased productivity required by construction professionals to improve margins, minimise risk and deliver on time. BuildSmart is a web-based ERP construction-orientated accounting and costing business solution, comprising integrated procurement, accounting and wages modules and a host of added features to cater for the specific needs of contracting companies, including plant, yard and store management, subcontract management, document control, business intelligence, HR, and time and attendance. In essence, CCS provides the complete construction enterprise solution through adopting a best of brands approach by integrating the essential elements of budgetary or allowable control and cost accounting to provide contractors with real-time, reliable, auditable, accurate and activity-based comparative analysis of costs and allowables,

“It is right now that all contractors should produce better estimates, and have closer control over projects and better monitoring of earned value and cash flows, for to rely on last year’s mind-set of a continual stream of work and bulging order books would be a dangerous folly” the essential information that determines the success or failure of a construction venture for the contractor. Why should contractors use this type of software?

Control is at the heart of profitability when it comes to construction, considering the number of variables, changes, people and equipment involved to undertake any construction project. Construction performance and progress cannot be monitored on financial

data alone, and engineering information is just as, if not more, critical. Engineering control includes generating and managing allowable and actual quantities of resource, wastages, man-hours of labour, production of equipment and time for construction activities. Historically, information has been late or nearly impossible to compare, as it comes from independent silos of information in the group. Estimators and accountants, after all, do not speak the same language. CCS products allow both to do their work in the language that is meaningful to them, and still produce the real-time reporting, comparing actual to allowable, that management needs. The critical touch points between Candy and BuildSmart allow accurate comparison of what is actually happening on a project to what was expected, all in real time. This is because BuildSmart’s architecture allows all cost information (payroll, plant, stock, yard stock, MRP, etc) to be entered once where the information is first produced (site, head office, yard, etc), and then to be managed through a single database for full integration and real-time analysis. Our extensive international exposure has allowed us to stay abreast of local and international trends and accommodate these within the software. Any user can request enhancements based on company or country specific requirements, and discuss details with the programming staff. Given the current economic climate in the GCC, especially in Saudi Arabia, it’s understandable if contractors look to ‘recessionproof’ their business. How can they go about doing this?

It is exactly at this time that

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