Software solutions play a critical role in cost control to ensure that cost overruns on projects are avoided and, where possible, projects are delivered under budget to the benefit of the contractor and stakeholders, says computer software company Construction Computer Software (CCS) CEO Andrew Skudder.
He tells Engineering News that cash flow is one of the key challenges that construction companies in South Africa face, partially because contractors and subcontractors, unfortunately, do not always receive payment on time for their completed work.
“Construction project management budgets are particularly vulnerable to inaccurate project estimates, changes in design and scope of projects, inadequate change orders and cost management and poor site productivity and management.”
He points out that, if a project has inaccurate budgets and ineffective programmes to start with, it is headed for a cost overrun “from day one”.
“It is, therefore, imperative for contractors to do their due diligence in the precontract phase to capture all costs and time estimates and, where possible, protect any uncertainty through their commercial agreements,” Skudder emphasises.
He notes that accurate cost and time estimating using software solutions can reduce risks.
Further, software presents a solution to dealing with challenges – such as design and scope changes throughout the project – through collaboration and contract management, design and engineering management, procurement and supply management, as well as cost and time management.
Skudder highlights that cost control should be continued throughout the project life cycle from first estimate to final account sign-off to ensure that the cost of a project remains within the agreed budget.
CCS supports construction companies by providing the software solutions to allow for cost management throughout the project life cycle.
The company’s complete solution comprises the Candy and BuildSmart software solutions.
Candy is a project control solution for the estimation, management and planning of projects, from estimation to tender award and, ultimately, final account. BuildSmart is a fully integrated, web-based enterprise management system comprising integrated procurement, accounting and payroll modules.
CCS’s solution provides an interactive link between estimating and project control tools as well as enterprise accounting and operational costing tools. This improves cost and schedule performance and certainty, increases productivity, allows for growth in financial returns with lower volatility, and enables proactive management of project risk.
“Candy and BuildSmart allow for the management of the complete construction process and life cycle, bringing all stakeholders in a construction business around the table to make proactive decisions to enable better profit and schedule outcomes,” Skudder concludes.