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Archive for the ‘Words from the Founder’ Category

Death of the Transmittal

Friday, December 9th, 2011

If you are still creating transmittals, updating them when you receive them, photocopying them and then filling them in metal caskets(filing cabinets) please stop and read this post.

With today’s collaborative project management applications moving information electronically across the project team the transmittal is finally dead. The transmittal was originally implemented to track the sharing and exchange of project information between members of a project team. Originally it was shipped, then faxed and more recently emailed with project documents like drawings, submittals, and RFIs. This laborious and tedious task is no longer necessary for project teams using collaborative construction project management applications. The software tools log when information is sent, read, and responded too. This is all the same functionality that a transmittal delivered without a user having to spend hours generating this information and tracking it. You also get the advantage of being able to run reports and search this information without having to re enter into an Excel Spreadsheet. One less piece of paper to log, photocopy, and file on the project leads to cost savings, projects completed sooner, and one less chance for human error. For those caring about the environment this is a great way to go green while saving serious green on your next project.

Collaborative construction project management application: A software application that allows for the secure sharing and exchanging of project information electronically with project participants. In evaluating application if you find one with a transmittal feature is is not a collaborative construction project management application.

Another unhappy Oracle Customer

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

I saw this Bid Notice from the City of San Jose looking for alternatives to upgrading their Oracle/Peoplesoft software and thought I had to share.
“City of San Jose, CA is inviting you to participate in Bid #RFP 10-11-24 – Alternative Solution(s) to Oracle/PeopleSoft HCM version 9.1 Upgrade.”

What can other public agencies learn from San Jose

  1. 1. Don’t buy Enterprise software- the vendor lock in is horrendous. Just because you own the software doesn’t mean you can get your data out.
  2. 2. Purchasing from a SAAS or Vendor hosted solution eliminates the upgrade pain of Enterprise Software.
  3. 3. Just because Oracle is the largest software company in the world doesn’t mean they make good products.

Larry Needs a new Jet

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Oracle Primavera Resellers have been pushing users to sign up for training classes early due to an upcoming price increase. The hilarious part about this is they say the price increase is “Due to an increase to the cost of training materials by Oracle University, registration for all of our Primavera Training Classes will be increasing, effective August 2011. Lock in current pricing by registering for ANY 2011 class through the month of July.”
Last time I checked creating pdf training guides and literature was lowering the cost of training not increasing it. Sounds Like Mr Ellison is looking for a new plane and needs some extra cash. EADOC’s training rates will remain the same.

Trusting your collaborative project management application is crucial to your teams success

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

When you are implementing a collaborative project management application that will be used by Engineers, Consultants, and Contractors it is important that every participant trust the chosen application. Collaborative project management application not only deliver cost savings but also the benefits of being a trusted 3rd party for managing your projects information.

Data Integrity- When the application is hosted by one of the project participants there is always the possibility that a participant could disable access to other project team members or worse yet alter project records by changing data stored in the database. To prevent this issue from arising the application should be hosted by either the software vendor (SAAS) or a 3rd party hosting provider (ASP).

Application Availability- The application needs to be highly available (24X7). Wether you host the application your self or select a third party like EADOC you should verify that they have redundant data centers and redundant equipment to ensure the application is available 99.99% of the time. The vendor should also provide a Service Level Agreement stipulating when they perform maintenance and when they notify you of this maintenance. Make sure you review maintenance windows as not all vendors conduct maintenance on the weekend or during off hours.

Data Ownership- Before you teams starting using the collaborative project management application your team needs to have established data ownership within their respective contracts. The Data stored in the application should belong to the project participants not the software vendor. With collaborative teams it is important to spell out data ownership at the beginning of the project.

Project Completion- When the project is complete all the project participants will need copies of their respective project data for their records. The vendor should provide a minimum of one copy of the projects data in a format that can be read without having to purchase proprietary software. Adobe pdf is excellent for documents like RFIs, Submittals and Pay Estimates that were stored in the vendors database. Pictures, drawings and other files that have been uploaded should be delivered in their native file format.

Selecting a trusted 3rd party for delivering your collaborative construction project management application increases the use of the application resulting in greater cost savings and improved project control to you.

Eric Law, Founder & CEO of EADOC

Specifying Electronic Project Controls Systems in Project Specifications

Monday, April 11th, 2011

This executive summary provides an overview of the benefits and risks of including electronic project controls solutions in your front end specifications.

Background: Technology is rapidly impacting the way capital project information is managed. With the advent of email and project controls applications more and more information is being generated and transmitted electronically on capital projects. Combine this with distributed project teams across the globe and the need for increased control of the increasing volumes of information being generated poses the challenge of how to address these controls in the project specifications.

Project specifications are legal documents stipulating how a project is to be executed by the Contractor. Historically specifications have been based upon information being submitted via paper to the client or Engineer for review. The specifications provide timelines, formats, and delivery requirements for this information. With the advent of electronic information specifications have been updated to require documents like O&M manuals and project schedules be submitted electronically. The next logical step is to include pay estimates, change orders, RFI, submittals, and all other forms of project communication. Todays project controls solutions provide flexible work flows that allow for controlling the sharing and exchanging of information electronically. They give the users the same level of control as the current paper process without the cost of the paper. Cost savings of these systems is reaped by the clients, engineers, and contractors since no one on the team has to pay to ship, log, or file the burdensome volumes of paper on a project. All these cost savings role up to the client in the form of lower cost projects. Electronic project controls systems also provide incredibly detailed audit logs and reporting on this information. Electronic systems greatly reduce the potential for human error resulting in greater control and information accuracy. By specifying a system in the front end specs the contractors and engineers know exactly how they are going to be communicating with the client and can include the cost savings in their bids.

With any change there are always risks to consider. Legal risk is always the biggest concern on everyones mind when up dating specifications. The courts have ruled that electronic information is to be treated the same as paper unless proven that it was tampered with. To mitigate this risk clients should select a tool that is maintained by a trusted 3rd party and provides complete audit logs. Clients should also review an update to their specification with their legal counsel to make sure all applicable local laws and ordinances are met. Going to an electronic project controls system means the system must be available 24X7 to the contractors and project participants to prevent potential project delays . To mitigate this the project controls system should be deployed in multiple secure data centers with highly available building systems. With electronic project controls systems in the specifications less sophisticated contractors will not bid the work. This will lead to a smaller pool of bidders on smaller projects. Some owners will view this as a positive since they will have a smaller pool of highly qualified bidder where some will view this as a cost risk since a small pool could mean higher bid prices.

With modern project controls solutions providing for the same level of information control as paper currently provides there is little reason not to update your specifications. Clients are continually looking for ways to cut costs and increase control over their large volumes of project information. Todays project controls yield both the costs savings and improved control. Including the project controls system in the project specifications reduces legal risk to the client as well as can lead to greater cost savings.

How To Succesfully Implement collaborative construction project management software

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Implementing a collaborative construction project management application takes an up front time investment to ensure the application is configured correctly for your project or program. Here are some of the steps we take at EADOC to ensure clients are successful with our collaborative construction management application:

1. Review your current project management processes and procedures for managing information
We will review your current forms, document review procedures, terminology, organization of your team, your role in the project, and your project participants, along with other project or program specific information. Using this information we will customize your EADOC site to meet your project management requirements.

2. Upload project and program specific content
We will show you how to start adding drawings, specifications, and current documentation to your project. You will be able to create reference locations and materials for linking with project documents. We will show you how to create organizations and users and how to set their permissions.

3. Create a practice project
We will train you on your EADOC account with your exact configuration. This greatly reduces the training time and learning curve for your participants compared to being trained on a vanilla version of the software. With thousands of configuration options and many different ways to manage the varying types of projects it is critical that the application be configured for your requirements and your team be trained on your configuration. This practice project will also give your team a test area to evaluate changes made to the EADOC application, as well as, allow you to play with the features and functionality without impacting your actual project.

4. Training
You need to get your project team to attend training classes. These classes are only a couple of hours long and will save users exponentially more hours then they spend in the class.  Attendees should include: the General Contractor, Designer, Engineer, Construction Manager, Client and anyone else that is part of the core team.  You should also have sub contractors, sub consultants and major material suppliers attend a separate training class.

5. Review your project performance
After your training is complete and there are project documents going through the review process, we will check to make sure you are getting the expected results from EADOC. While other software vendors omit this process of review, we work with our clients to make changes to the processes or forms within EADOC to ensure your expectations are met. This makes the client’s job easier, and leaves them preaching the benefits of EADOC.

EADOC Construction Management Software look back at 2010

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

With 2010 behind us we are taking a few minutes to look book at our growth and where we are today. EADOC is now 5 years old, we have over 6,000 users using EADOC’s construction management software. Our revenue grew 53% in 2010 with the addition of 49 new projects/programs worth over $1.25B in construction value.

We replaced all the hardware in our data centers to improve application performance and provide capacity for our continued growth. 2011 is off to a great start with 6 new projects/programs worth $300M starting in January alone. We are seeing a very strong demand for EADOC’s collaborative construction management software that delivers immediate cost savings without the large investments found with traditional enterprise applications.

This success is due to our tremendously hard working team at EADOC and our clients who are looking for ways to quickly reduce their project costs and move the industry away from paper. Our customer support group continues to excel as we hear again and again how great our support is. We look forward to another great year as the Commercial/Industrial construction industry begins to recover from the recession.
Thank You
Eric Law

AGC is Getting on board with going paperless and promoting collaborative construction management software

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Many of our clients ask us what about the Contractors, will they use construction management software that eliminates the paper processes? The answer is obviously yes and we provide a long list of contractors that are going paperless. We find the majority of contractors understand the expensive nature of pushing paper much more then the clients and engineering firms and jump on board with going paperless. Now the AGC is hosing free webinar on going paperless.

EADOC construction management application infrastructure upgrade is complete

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

For the last 6 months we have been designing and testing our new hardware infrastructure for supporting EADOC’s construction project management application. This past weekend we successfully migrated all of our clients to this new hardware. Our clients are on completely brand new servers connected together by new switches and firewalls resulting in a faster EADOC application. We also deployed new database clustering software that dramatically reduces report run time for our larger clients. This migration was done in both data centers during a single shutdown starting on Friday and ending Saturday afternoon. This investment in our infrastructure will allows us to continue to meet our clients expectations for delivering EADOC’s fast secure construction project management application and supports EADOC’s rapid growth. In 2010 alone we have doubled the number of users on our system and are storing four time more data than when the year started.

EADOC Construction Management Application Review

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Paul Wilkinson took time last month to write up a review after attending a presentation of EADOC’s web based project management application. Paul has become an expert on collaborative project management applications for the construction industry across the globe. Here is a link to his review. A first Look at EADOC