Real Costs Vs. Budgeted Costs
Better Roads Staff
“We went live with Viewpoint on June 1, 2001,” says Elliott. “Over five years, we increased our annual revenue by 40 percent and decreased our accounting staff by 40 percent. Now, that’s R.O.I.!”
When a Milestone manager starts a project, he gets an electronic file of all the information he’ll need to report and track costs daily: payroll, production, equipment usage, subcontracts, hired trucking, material usage and yield, and the like. It’s up to field managers to track costs daily. It puts the power of decision-making at the source where it belongs so managers can make timely changes to keep a project on budget and on time.
Elliott says the company has been using the scanning module in Viewpoint for six years. The module enables Milestone to digitally scan all accounting and project records and save them. “We used to think we didn’t have enough time to stand at a machine and scan documents,” says Elliott. “Once we realized the impact of efficiency and archival on the whole process, we can’t afford not to. All job information documents are scanned in a virtual file system that mimics the old paper system. This allows our people to access their documents while sitting at their desk or at a remote site.”
Generation 3 from Libra along with EIS allows Milestone’s plants to work independently yet still be managed at the main office. The 18 plants are all on high-speed connections which allow managers to remotely look at the silo inventories, sales for the day by customer, and tonnages on Milestone jobs.
Primavera Contractor 6.1 is able to function independently on the foreman’s laptop. The foreman updates his schedule and sends his updates to the office where it is imported directly into the network version of Primavera 3e/c and becomes a part of the master schedule. Indiana DOT now requires project schedules be submitted in a compatible format to Primavera – and Milestone has ramped up their scheduling efforts and knowledge of Primavera to meet the required need.
Jesse McConnell is the accounting manager for Dobson Brothers Construction, a $50-million plus heavy/highway contractor based in Lincoln, Neb. She says Heavy Bid works very well to submit electronic bids to transportation departments in three states – Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. “That’s the only way that I have ever learned it,” she says. “We take a bid from Heavy Bid and import that into the electronic bidding file from the state. If everything is in place, it takes probably less than 10 minutes to submit a bid.”
Burger says that contractors need to design their overall information systems to accommodate both the accuracy required by their job cost accounting system and the full detail needed there, and the immediacy of the need by the field for close-to-accurate production data.
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