If you’re still using spreadsheets, emails and big binders of paper to estimate, track and manage your projects, please allow us a few minutes to change your world.
4castplus is the first web and cloud-based software solution to offer total real-time Project Cost Management and Cost Controls in a single powerful software tool. Features that include: Estimating, Change Management, Procurement, Real-time project tracking for LEM, Purchase Order Management, Customer Invoicing, Document Control and Forecasting for Earned Value Management.
Save time, reduce clutter and get better results out of your projects. You can finally eliminate cost overruns with confidence; get better reporting; and differentiate your business with consistent, top-tier results.
If you’ve ever had that sinking feeling of not knowing what’s going on with your construction projects – it’s time to have a close look at 4castplus. Scroll through this tour by clicking the blue arrows above.
Have a look at this video on just a sample of some of the intelligent reporting in 4castplus.
Click the blue arrows above to navigate through the tour.
4castplus provides immediate answers to all the “Where are we at” questions on your projects. From current actual costs to details on change orders, purchase orders, subcontractors, suppliers and where you’re at to budget. Moving to a world of single-click answers is easier than you think.
Using 4castplus, you’ll reduce the headaches of spreadsheets, email trails and endless frustrating phone calls. Easy dashboard views, charts, and single-click reports are instantly available and deliver accurate results in real-time. Many construction organizations struggle with getting up-to-date and accurate information on their projects. Cost overruns, missed deadlines and errors become commonplace; and as a result, profits, reputation and competitiveness of the business suffer. If this sounds at all familiar to you, the team at 4castplus is ready to help simplify your life.
Staying on top of your projects, your cash-flow, your resources and your subcontractors doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Having one system manage the many moving parts that go into running complex projects will not only give you better information, it will simplify your life.
This report shows a much higher actuals compared to estimate for these projects.
Create fully detailed cost and revenue estimates in this powerful construction estimating software. There are very few tools on the market that can come close to matching the power and flexibility of 4castplus estimating.
Here are a few of the features:
You can create Time Phased Budgets at the resource and/or task level of your project so that you can plan your costs accrued over time. Build cost models and cash flow visualizations that ensure you can anticipate expenditures and plan finances. Time-phased modeling also provides tremendous cost control power in knowing more than just how much – but empowering you with what and when.
Whether you’re an Owner, or Contractor or EPC; whether you’re running billable or non-billable projects – 4castplus supports multiple project types including: Cost, Fixed Price, Time & Materials, Unit Price and Cost Plus. You can even mix different types within the same project; allowing for detailed risk management and fine-tuned billing strategies for individual areas or phases of a project.
Several benchmark reports are available in a single click to examine historical rates paid for materials, equipment and labor. Set a date range to know averages paid for any time period. You can group materials by supplier for example, and get trend information on price increases. Launch benchmark reports on any resource right from the estimating worksheet to compare historical against default unit prices and rates. Override any default rates and enter remarks to justify why you’re picking that rate over the default.
Apply Contingency Factors for Risk Planning at multiple levels of the project, in areas of known or unknown risk. You can set a default contingency for the overall project, then adjust that contingency at various project levels for granular risk planning. 4castplus auto-manages the contingency reserve for you as project tasks are completed.
Out of the box, many Estimate Reports are instantly available in a single click. Reports such as: bill of quantities & resource reports, estimated cash flow over time, and time-phased resource consumption reports.
4castplus provides resource planning tools to enable you to plan out the cash flow and hours & materials consumption of any task or resource. This gives you an accurate expenditure & resource utilization chart to guide your estimating; both by cash flow and resource availability.
|In a single click, view project resource reports based on estimates|
Customer-facing quotes can be instantly created in a few clicks. Quotes that are easily customized based on your preferences. Do you estimate your projects on quantities? By project phase? Lump Sum? Unit Price? 4castplus delivers options based on your business need.
In a closed-loop relationship with the 4castplus Integrated Procurement and Purchase Order system, you can submit purchase requisitions using the equipment, materials, or contracted services specified in your estimate. Work more closely with your procurement colleagues and update unit prices in your estimate as RFQ bids are awarded.
You can choose a variety of approaches to your estimates from a simple high-level idea to a very detailed hours/cost per resource using unlimited resource-level costing. You can estimate by specific resources, or just use resource types, resource classes and unit-cost.
4castplus Estimating ties in directly with your labor, equipment and materials resources along with their unit cost rates & billing rates. A solution that additionally allows you to easily check up on historical rates paid for any resource, contractor or to any supplier. Import Take Off estimate data to save time by bulk-loading detail material quantities. On the fly, you can override any pre-configured rates with a rate you specify for any estimate. Enter the quantity of units of any number of resources – and the costs & revenues are automatically tallied up and allocated directly to your WBS tasks and control accounts.
Get Estimate vs. Actual in real-time with 4castplus real-time project tracking. Use 4castplus to track all your LEM costs, invoices and commitments in a simple timesheet format that calculates actuals on the fly; delivering up-to-the minute project status. Reporting on estimate versus actual costs in real time is critical for controlling project costs and ensuring timely delivery.
As the name implies, 4castplus delivers powerful forecasting capability that is tied-in directly with project estimates. Create forecasts as your project progresses and 4castplus will auto-calculate numerous earned value metrics about the status and health of your project. Earned Value is vital for good project controls.
4castplus estimating also integrates directly with 4castplus Change Management system. When changes happen, quickly and accurately estimate changes to a project by taking advantage of all the built-in estimating power and flexibility – and report on those changes over time. Visualize how your overall project has been modified through the various changes that have taken place and keep tight control on costs/revenues associated with the changes.
4castplus has a powerful and robust customer invoicing module that’s tightly connected to all the other key pieces of the project – including the Estimate. Put an end to having to re-key information into a spreadsheet to manage your billings. It just makes sense to have a tight connection between the tools you use for estimating, tracking and invoicing your projects. Reduce the headaches of figuring out and tracking your progress draws – with 4castplus, the original contract price, the percent complete and progress billed to date are all taken care of for you. 4castplus has built-in management of fixed bid and transaction-based billing.
With 4castplus construction project estimating, you have the power and flexibility to confidently and accurately estimate and control your projects.
Project tracking on construction projects has a whole assortment of complexity that goes way beyond a regular time-tracking system. Luckily, at 4castplus, we’ve made this a simple and easy solution that delivers flexibility and power.
4castplus timesheets are all web-based, in the cloud and available anywhere – so you can have cost data entered from the field, from your laptop or from the office. All the data is centrally managed and cost information is continuously calculated. No need to manually synchronize your crew data to get a total cost & revenue picture. It’s all just there, all the time.
With its 3-step timesheet interface, this tracking system is so quick and easy-to-use, daily entry can be completed in less than a minute. And with its intelligent auto clean-up features, your staff and data entry people will save valuable time. Record notes for each item entry including assumptions, issues or collaborative messages.
Multiple tracking modules have been designed to support the many moving parts in construction projects. Labor, Equipment, Materials, Expenses can all be uniquely tracked with any unique rates or progress units of measure.
The committed costs from purchase orders have unique tracking needs. Whether it’s receiving partial quantities of materials from suppliers, tracking time or progress of equipment, or receiving progress draws from subcontractors – 4castplus can handle it all. And it’s so simple and easy-to-use, tracking your commitments has never been so straightforward.
Any goods received that exceed the original contracted amount can be approved before being accepted. If accepted, these overages will go into an Exceptions report that’s auditable and always available in a single-click.
Whatever you’re tracking, you can create a unit of measure that fits it. Hours, days, gallons, kilos, meters, cubic feet, percent of progress, or anything else you can think of. You can even create Compound Rates that are setup to auto-distribute quantities between multiple rates based on established rules. For example, if you have overtime rules where a 16 hour day would result in 9 hours straight time, 4 hours of overtime and 3 hours of X-overtime, you can set that up as a rate unit to be handled automatically.
Many construction organizations have employees that function in multiple roles. Got someone that’s a Site Supervisor on one project and a Crane Operator on another project? No problem! With 4castplus, you can setup many roles for one labor resource – and the cost & billing rates will follow accordingly.
4castplus even provides an easy entry system to track the paper invoices that fall outside purchase order tracking or regular LEM tracking. You can specify each line-item on the invoice, or just lump-sum the whole thing. Then you can scan & attach the document for organized filing. You can even indicate 3rd party purchases that will get recorded as a project cost, but not explicitly paid by you.
In addition to tracking the consumption of hours, days, and the many materials that get consumed on a project; 4castplus also allows you to track the progress of activities – in a measurable unit – as they complete. Many construction projects are defined by more than just cost and schedule; they are additionally defined and tracked by explicit units of completion. Unit Progress a key feature that enables you to estimate, track and measure progress of tasks. And since the costs are also being tracked, you’ll additionally be able to easily report on both cost and price per unit completed. This facilitates unit price contracts with unit price invoicing.
If you have paper timecards, or invoices, or expense receipts or any other documents that need to be scanned & uploaded for an organized project document repository, 4castplus makes this easy and powerful.
4castplus has multiple levels of built-in approvals so that you can easily oversee that the costs incurring on your project are both correct and are going to the right place.
Every billable entry into a 4castplus Tracking Module is available to the integrated 4castplus Invoicing system. No need to sync data or copy information from one place to the next; it’s all tightly tied together for a fully closed-loop application.
All entries into 4castplus tracking modules can be synchronized with your accounting system or ERP. Sync 4castplus codes with your GL codes, sub ledger, AP, AR. You can aggregate the data and have it placed exactly where you want it. Reduce errors and save valuable time – there’s just no need to touch this information more than once.
For true project controls, it’s crucial to have real-time project cost data and historical cost data on your projects. With 4castplus integrated project tracking, you can get immediate cost-actuals reports in a single-click on all levels of project activity, costs and revenues. Getting estimate vs. actuals in real-time has never been easier.
Get critical insight into your project’s current status and projected final results.
4castplus delivers the power and control of Earned Value Management to give quick answers to a wealth of ‘where are we at’ questions. With our built-in robust forecasting and earned value management capability, you can get immediate answers to project performance metrics such as Cost Variance, Cost To Complete (ETC), Estimate at Complete (EAC), CPI, SPI, SV and more. Forecasts are easy to do; and are a great way to determine how your project is performing.
EVM enables you to identify productivity issues in your project; providing you with good information to act on these issues as early as possible. 4castplus enables you to quickly visualize Planned Value vs. Actual Cost vs. Earned Value in real-time – arguably the single most effective way to determine a project’s health.
EVM standards dictate that percent complete is entered and not calculated. To avoid errors in subjective opinions, 4castplus provides sizing attributes by way of units of progress to help project managers benchmark their assessment of percent complete. These units of measure/progress can be defined as anything that sizes a project work item.
It’s one thing to know where your project is at – but it’s quite another to know how your project is trending. 4castplus tracks everything from the very beginning – and forecasts set key milestones for determining trending patterns.
|Easily view Variance and Percent Complete trends over time|
|In a single click, show historical performance indicators such as CPI to quickly assess the performance rate of your project|
|Cost to Complete (ETC) is the most desired KPI in any construction project. With 4castplus, you can easily view ETC and EAC both current as well as trended over time|
In 4castplus, forecasts are easy to do and provide a quick, high-value snapshot of where things are at in your project. 4castplus also keeps a copy of all the information in your project as it was in that forecast period. So taking that snapshot means that all that information is preserved for historical reporting. 4castplus will enable you run detail reports on the history of how your project progressed over time. Have a look at the screenshot below (click on it for a full view). It shows a summary-detail report that’s interactive for the user to click-through the forecast periods in a project. The detail report below shows all the costs, Earned Value Management metrics, change orders, etc. that were in place during that time-slice.
4castplus Procurement creates a tightly integrated connection between project scheduling, estimating, tracking, invoicing and purchasing.
All the moving parts around Purchase Orders are bound together so you don’t have to transfer information from one place to another. Key project elements such as: estimates, scheduled tasks, resources, quantities, unit costs, control accounts, vendors, expediting targets and much more, are all tied tightly together to create an organized and collaborative environment for ultimate project control. The reporting, tracking and cost control you achieve is unparalleled. Click here to read more on Closing the Project-Procurement Gap.
All requisitions to procurement are tightly controlled by an electronic Purchase Requisition Document (PRD). This document represents the auditable contract between project and procurement, and is flush with easy-to-use features to make allocations to RFQs and Purchase Orders quick and easy. All transfers from the project to procurement must happen through a PRD. This is an important control mechanism so that all project purchases are traceable, documented, accounted for and signed-off by all parties. It also establishes a powerful link between the project, the estimate, and procurement. This means that any changes or updates that happen during the procurement process can be reflected back to the estimate in a controlled and automated fashion, and both groups can easily remain in sync. At 4castplus, we have a constant eye to ease-of-use. Our procurement system takes the effort, pain and uncertainty out of managing the project purchasing process.
A Purchase Order in 4castplus is a contractual financial document and therefore are treated with strict financial controls and a 3-way match. The three states of a purchase order are: Committed, Incurred and Invoice (Attested). 4castplus has controlled and easy-to-use interfaces to manage purchase orders through these states.
Whether you’re procuring Equipment, Materials or utilizing purchase orders for contracted services; once you create and commit your POs, you can closely monitor and quality control the progress, or quantities received, as your project moves along. A built-in approval process – based on a Progress Approval Certificate – is available to control the release of funds to contractors or suppliers. Attach documents to a progress approval as proof, evidence or certification of work completed or goods received.
You can tag time-sensitive resource items to be part of an Expediting process; which enables you to set critical target deliverable dates for key milestones. You can track the progress and successful delivery of these milestones, and be alerted as items become due or past due. The resulting metrics of this valuable data is key for ongoing vendor relationships, so 4castplus provides performance reports based on vendor hit/miss productivity.
You can attach purchase orders directly to change orders to isolate the purchasing or contracted services around a change order.
When tracking commitments, the quantities received can often vary from the initial committed amount. In 4castplus, these variations are subject to a simple approval and tracked as commiment exceptions. An Exception Report can be viewed at any time.
When tracking PO committed costs, there are numerous pieces to consider to ensure that everything lines up correctly. For example, you need to make sure that the quantities and amounts shown on invoices you receive from vendors line up with goods received or services completed. And additionally to ensure that both of those line up with amounts initially committed on the purchase order. How do you keep track of all that? How do you know that the unit cost on the invoice is the same as originally negotiated? What happens if it changes? What happens if the vendor makes a mistake and double-invoices you? 4castplus has built-in cost controls around this and many other complexities of managing and controlling procurement and progress to give you confidence, simplicity and peace of mind.
If you’ve ever struggled with managing the back-and-forth efforts that go on between the estimator and purchaser, 4castplus has a seamless and collaborative workflow between these key roles in a project. The Estimator knows quantities and the Purchaser knows unit price – but they don’t always know these things at the same time, or for every item to be procured. 4castplus provides a notification system to trigger updates between these and other roles that organizes the parallel efforts of the many key players in a complex project.
4castplus is very good at helping you control how much you spend on projects, but it’s also very good at helping you bill your customers.
Project Estimating, Tracking and Invoicing: It just makes sense to have them all together, sharing the same information. Having a robust and powerful customer invoicing system that’s not only easy to use, but is tightly integrated with the other key elements of managing your projects – saves you a tremendous amount of time. Not to mention the reduction in errors.
Every single billable entry into the 4castplus tracking system – regardless whether it’s labor, equipment, materials, expenses, vendor commitments, etc. – is available to the invoicing system for billing. There’s no need to re-key information or copy data from one program to another. It’s all there in a controlled environment with flexible, powerful tools to complete your invoicing cycles. If you bill on Fixed Price projects – no problem, 4castplus determines Earned Revenue based on progress and automatically tracks progress draws as the project plays out.
Whether you run transaction-billable or fixed price projects (or a combination of both together) then you’ll need an organized and simple way to manage your Invoicing. It should be clear and painless – and with 4castplus, it truly is.
You can create and print invoices directly within 4castplus, but if you prefer, you can also export invoices to your financial accounting solution to complete the invoicing there. 4castplus delivers integration solutions to give you the power of One-Touch data. No need to data or manually synchronize systems – it all becomes automatic and seamless.
You can create invoices based on Progress, Project Transactions, or a mix of both. 4castplus enables you to create split-billing style projects using any combination of: Fixed Price, Cost Plus, Time & Materials (based on a Rate Table), and Non-Billable. You can set any item in your Work Breakdown Structure to be any billing type on any rate table or markup you choose. This is the ultimate flexibility for ensuring full control of project risk and change.
Create time-phased project cash-inflow models in just a few clicks with 4castplus customer invoicing. This is an extremely powerful tool to gain insight into your project and organizational cash flow. 4castplus is in a unique position to truly deliver predictive cash flow forecasts. If you use 4castplus for:
a) Estimating – including Time-phased budgeting
c) Customer Invoicing
You’ll have a complete picture of your anticipated spend, actual spend, anticipated billing and actual billing. With this information, along with project forecasts, 4castplus will have all the data to build comprehensive charts detailing your actual and forecasted cash flow picture. There’s no other construction software solution out there that can pull this off quite like 4castplus can.
No matter what combination of taxes you may face in your customer billing, we’re pretty sure 4castplus can handle it. Of course, for the more straightforward calculations, you can apply a simple federal tax, for example, if that’s as complex as it gets for you. But for those of you who face multiple levels and hierarchies of taxes; or taxes that need to be conditionally applied – well, 4castplus can take on pretty much any situation.
Regardless of how you Invoice, 4castplus has strict Financial Controls in place so that you:
Project changes happen. They can happen daily and even multiple times a day. With 4castplus, easily create and report Proposed Change Notices and send out for client approval.
Report on proposed change orders and the effect they’ll have on budget and schedule. Collaborate and share this information with other project stakeholders, customer and subcontractors. Control the approval status of change orders as they move from Proposed to Approved and also Rejected if applicable.
4castplus enables you to track a variety of metrics such as Source and Reason, along with the Vendor, RFI or other customer-specific data. Trend this information over time and uncover key performance indicators about your vendors, customers, project managers, etc.
Utilize the change order approval system in 4castplus to ensure transparency and accountability with vendors and/or customers.
For those project modifications that don’t require an official change management process that include outside stakeholders – 4castplus delivers a fast-track option for internal changes.
In 4castplus, you can connect a change order to a purchase order. So all the work, resources, bill of quantities, etc., can be tied directly with a purchase order and the full 4castplus procurement system. Report on cash flow, anticipated spend pattern and actual costs from both commitments (invoices) and/or LEM cost tracking.
Project changes are tracked over time through 4castplus Forecasting. View an audit trail of how the change orders influenced the value of your project – including the profit and revenue side.
|View delta between baseline estimate and current estimate|
Our clients love the ability to get critical project information in a single click. 4castplus is packed with a multitude of reports that are available instantly for viewing, interacting with, sharing, and printing. You can also customize reports to meet your specific needs.
With interactive reports, you can play with the data to drill-down to any level of detail you need to uncover the complete picture of project activities and status. Here’s a quick list of some of the single-click interactive reports:
In just seconds, you can view a full detailed project report on every level of your work breakdown structure. Evaluate key metrics like: Baseline & Current Estimate, Actual Cost, Earned Value, Variance, ETC, Total Hours, Remaining Hours, Work in Progress, Billed to Date, and much more.
Project Summary Report: For regular status reporting, or when your clients ask you for an impromptu report – 4castplus provides instant answers in a single click. Amaze your customers with an immediate response – set the bar high and deliver the results that set you apart. No more answers like, “I’ll crunch some numbers and have something to you by tomorrow.”
Project Progress Report: As part of the backup required for a progress draw, 4castplus provides a progress report that delivers a flexible output of project progress details and percent complete.
Progress Backup: With the 4castplus Rules of Credit system for determining progress, you can supplement your progress report with a detailed synopsis of where exactly those percent complete numbers are coming from. Avoid any disputes about project progress, and speed up the payment term by giving your clients the answers up front.
The 4castplus WIP report delivers the full picture of your business financial position. Packed with detailed information, the WIP has key metrics that you can pivot on numerous indicators such as: Customer, Project, Purchase Order/Vendor, Invoice, etc. View WIP, Backlog, Cost, Revenue, Invoiced, Prior Year Comparisons, EVM metrics, and much more.
As any estimator will tell you: you need to know the past to be able to reasonably predict the future. A ‘benchmark’ report gives the estimator a wealth of historical information to make those cost predictions. Historical information refers to an organization’s past usages, prices, quantities and suppliers of materials, equipment and subcontractor resources. Each 4castplus benchmark report is packed with contextual intelligence over and above just the rate and quantity of items used and work completed. Estimators will depend heavily on the benchmark reports when estimating new projects to ensure and validate accuracy. In the estimating worksheets, 4castplus will populate the pre-configured rates for all resources as the defaults used in estimate line-items; but estimators can override these pre-configured rates with plug values on the fly. Click here to see more in the news.
In addition to historical benchmark trends; with 4castplus you can trend key EVM metrics so that you can know more than just a snapshot of where you’re at right now. Knowing how you’re trending delivers a much greater indication of your project’s health. Metrics such as: CPI, SPI, SV, CV, PC, ETC and EAC are all captured and trended.
A standard S-Curve chart along with other similar chart derivations are available in a click. View estimate, actual, earned value, and forecast in an interactive chart.
With its built-in time-phased budgeting system, 4castplus provides several reports showing how cash expenditures will play out over time. View month-over-month spend pattern broken down by WBS item at all levels.
In an instant, view a projection of work force requirements by role and time period. As you plan & prepare for upcoming projects, 4castplus will keep a running tally of the load by role. This is vital for planning your labor prerequisites to ensure you have the capacity to execute on projects.
For labor-intensive organizations, it’s critical to have a detail report showing labor utilization and activity broken down by all WBS levels. With 4castplus, we give you this in a single click.
Numerous reports on your labor, equipment and materials resources are provided. View historical activity, trends, utilization, costs, revenues and much more. Aggregate resources and pivot on a variety of key metrics.
Attach documents to resources such as your equipment fleet to provide safety instructions, specifications, maintenance schedules and more.
View historical activity by vendor and comparisons of vendor performance. See estimated versus actual trended over time by vendor. Rate your vendors on a 5-star rating system.
We can provide any customized report you need. Our clients are thrilled with our custom report services. Whether it’s client-facing reports or a custom Change Order, Purchase Order, Invoice or Quote – we can deliver your needs quickly and accurately.
Connect your Project Planning, Execution and Financials together in one place to achieve One-Touch data simplicity. Eliminate moving data from one system or spreadsheet to another: 4castplus brings you the ease of “One-Touch” by enabling the movement of project data directly to your financial system.
4castplus was designed in part by Financial Professionals. People who know the value of single-touch financial data: not having to re-enter data from one system into another. From 4castplus you can synchronize data with your Financial Accounting system (ERP) for:
Every item in 4castplus has an optional Reference Code that can be used to match-up with GL and other cost-codes you may use. Absolutely everything in 4castplus is coded. This makes it easy to create integrations between the various enterprise systems you may have in place. We’ve additionally built an integration API that is designed specifically around integrating 4castplus to partner solutions. Talk to us about leveraging our resources for creating a custom integration that meets your business need.
If a custom financial integration is not your preferred approach, you can alternatively create financially controlled export documents for use in external systems from payroll to accounting. A Transaction Export Document is a way to group 4castplus project Transactions into a single reusable document, and then export that document to CSV, direct to your Financial Accounting system, PDF or other format. Financial controls ensure that transactions can’t appear in more than one document, so you’re safe from double-billing or double-entry. Transaction export document capability is available out-of-the-box with 4castplus.
You can access 4castplus from the office, from the field or on the road. It’s fast, easy to use and easy to configure. It’s packed with self-learning videos, forum and help guides to simplify and reduce training effort and cost. Questions about the cloud? Check out this article on 4castplus Data Security Program and the advantages of cloud software.
Companies big and small can get up and seeing results quickly with a minimal investment. All upgrades and maintenance are automatic, seamless to the user, and free.Users need not concern themselves with IT issues such as servers, backups, recovery, redundancy, security, IT staffing, etc. Your data is secure and always available.
Or, if you’d prefer to have a personalized demo first, we’d be thrilled to show off all the great project cost management features of 4castplus. Click here to sign up.