Tracking costs and risk and keeping a project on budget can be one of the biggest hurdles in a building project, and finding efficiencies in this area can make all the difference in delivering a project on time and on budget.
Project executives and project managers often have to navigate information silos, which increases risk due to outdated or missing information, unreliable response times, and convoluted processes involving a variety of vendors, systems, and products. Most importantly, teams need accurate, real-time data on the financial health of the overall project so that well-informed decisions can be made quickly.
To this end, we’re excited to announce that Autodesk has added powerful construction cost management capabilities to the BIM 360 platform as a new module, enabling teams to manage cost-related construction activities in the cloud. The Cost Management module is now available as an add-on subscription to BIM 360 Build.
Here's a brief overview of the new Cost Management capabilities in BIM 360:
Tools for managing budgets & contracts
With the Cost Management module, customers can visualize cost related risk by monitoring and tracking budget items and cost impacts in real-time, providing a clear picture into the financial health of projects. Configurable features allow users to customize the software to suit their project needs and preferences including detailed hierarchical build ups, custom segment options, and master lists. Users can easily create multiple project level markup configurations to apply to potential change orders (PCOs), requests for change orders (RCOs) or owner change orders (OCOs), before submitting to the owner.
And project teams can create, import and manage their own document templates using field names that populate directly from the system to quickly generate standard format documentation for distribution for change order pricing, request and approval process.
Staying on top of multiple spreadsheets and folders to manage all of the subcontractors on a project is stressful and time-consuming. With Cost Management, teams can easily create, edit and view supplier contracts in a centralized location. And, all contracts are automatically associated with cost items so that teams can easily view a history of cost items by supplier.
Contracts management and a contract generator lets project teams create, edit, and view supplier contracts using the details fly-out panel, and streamline the contract document creation process using the contract generator to compile appendices from multiple locations into a single package
Managing the change process just got easier
Cost Management streamlines upstream and downstream change order workflows creating clear accountability and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. This helps project teams control costs and confirm all changes are accounted for and are managed effectively to maintain a positive cash flow, reduce risk and maximize profits.
Supported workflows include:
- Logging and detailing all potential change orders (PCOs)
- Upstream budget requests for change orders (RCO) and formal owner change orders (OCOs)
- Downstream request for quotations (RFQs)
- Supplier change orders (SCOs)
Manage all aspects of the change order process including logging and detailing all Potential Change Orders (PCO), upstream budget Request for Change Orders (RCO) and formal Owner Change Orders (OCO) and downstream Request for Quotations (RFQ), and Supplier Change Orders (SCOs).
The benefits of managing cost in a connected construction management platform
One of the most common ways to track project budgets is using analog methods, powered by Excel. But these processes are siloed and lack a connection of cost management and change order workflows to the rest of project information, increasing risk for error through duplication of effort, passing of data to and from accounting systems, and an inability to see data in real time.
Bringing cost control workflows like budgets, contracts and change orders into a construction management platform can reduce risk and provide real-time visibility into the financial health of the project. With a connected construction project management solution, teams always have the most up-to-date view of project costs, onsite or in the office.
Here are 5 reasons why switching to a construction management platform for your construction cost management process is the right way to go:
- Single Source of Truth…rather than having multiple spreadsheets saved in different locations. A common data platform allows teams to centralize all of the inputted cost data in one place that is accessible any-time, any-where.
- Connected…a cloud-based platform with open APIs allows for integrations to other cost applications as well as connects with other construction workflows.
- Flexible…a big advantage of Excel is that teams can easily customize fields and equations to make spreadsheets work for them. This flexibility is built into cloud cost solutions like BIM 360 with the ability to customize budget codes, hierarchical build ups, and custom segment options.
- Collaborative…Unlike static spreadsheets or outdated desktop software, anyone on the team has real time access to the financial health of a project and can make instant changes.
- Secure…an integrated cloud platform like BIM 360 allows teams to set user permissions ensuring that only the right people have access to the information they need.
Want to learn more about BIM 360 Cost Management workflows?