4castplus Releases a Powerful New Level of Detail Tracking on Construction Project Change Orders

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The team at 4castplus has listened to many project managers and cost engineers express their need for better control and reporting around change orders. As an area of project management that poses a great deal of risk and potential for cost overruns, providing powerful data capture and reporting on change orders is a top-tier priority for the 4castplus team.

4castplus project cost controls software

4castplus Project Cost Management Solutions for Construction and Engineering

Tracking costs directly to a change order is a critical way to monitor progress, budget and hours on project change orders. Doing this enables project managers to achieve precise and tight controls at all levels and micro-levels of a project.

4castplus facilitates deep project cost transparency with its built-in project tracking for actual costs & revenues. What you may not know, is that there is an additional level of tracking, also built in, that leverages the tight connections between 4castplus Change Orders and its labor, equipment and materials tracking module. Users can identify a specific change order against which they are able to apply their labor time, equipment usage, materials consumption, purchase order incurred costs, invoices, etc. By making these connections, 4castplus enables explicit micro-tracking of any change order for reporting on estimated versus actual on the change order. In addition to that, all underlying cost codes on the work breakdown structure are implicitly updated with the details tracked against the change order. In other words, with a single tracking entry, cost and hours information is propagated to multiple places so that, regardless of how you want to pivot your project reporting, the actual costs and hours will be reflected.

Under the covers, a change order in 4castplus is treated a bit like a project-within-a-project. It has its own budget, resources, timeline, cost codes, status, etc. Treating it like that comes in handy for the project manager. He can report on both the project as a whole – which will aggregate all the planning and tracking details of all change orders in the project – or alternatively drill-down to isolate pieces of the project. These project pieces can include resources, disciplines, cost code elements, work packages, and of course, change orders.

In the first 4castplus screenshot, you can see a change order dashboard that shows the list of change orders so far on a project. Detailed in that report is the total estimated cost, actual cost, estimated hours and actual hours. For the selected change order, a detail report displays below that itemizes the workpackages included in the CO, along with a chart visualization that illustrates how far along the change order has progressed. This progress data includes all tracking from any purchase orders or timesheets.

In the next screenshot, you can see how the 4castplus timesheet system enables users to identify the change order beneath the WBS cost code activity. This brings the granular tracking to the forefront. Seeing the change order on a timesheet is restricted by explicit permission, so you can control who gets to have that level of access. A timesheet override feature that enables administrators the power to move entered time is also available.

The final screenshot shows the 4castplus purchase order receiving module. Change orders are deeply connected to procurement, so all purchase order receiving and invoicing are automatically connected to any relevant change order. In other words, there isn’t any option or room for mistake – if it was purchased through a change order, it will be received and invoiced on that same change order. This delivers ultimate control and peace of mind for the project manager and buyer.

For more on this topic, please visit http://www.4castplus.com/change-order-detail-tracking/.

More on 4castplus

4castplus is the first web and cloud-based solution to offer total real-time Project Cost Management in a single powerful software tool. With its performance-driven features, 4castplus delivers a centralized and streamlined solution to Construction, Energy, Utilities and EPC organizations. Features that include: Estimating, Time-Phased Budgeting, Change Management, Procurement, Contract management, Real-time Project Tracking & Reporting for LEM, Purchase Order Management, Cash-Flow Reporting, Customer Invoicing, Document Control, Schedule Integration, and Forecasting for Earned Value Management. 4castplus helps companies around the globe get better project results while enhancing their competitive edge. All at a low total cost of ownership that delivers up to 30 times ROI. For a quick tour of features, visit http://www.4castplus.com.

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Travis Sperling
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