Monday, January 25, 2021
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Project Management

COBRA’S Project Management


1.   Updating Job Budgets & Work-in-Progress in Real Time

Typical Accounting programs make the Contractor wait until their Payroll has been completed or a month end closing has taken place before their Job Budgets and Work-in-Progress numbers are updated.  This delay keeps the Contractor from observing trends that warn him of a job (or phase within the job) that has gone over budget. 

With COBRA, as hours and materials are entered, the Job Cost is updated instantly!  The Contractor is able to spot a problem (cost overrun) in its infancy and avoid the added costs of catching it at a later, more severe stage.  Cost savings can amount up to 25%. 

2.  COBRA is in one Database

Most Contractors rely on multiple software programs; spreadsheets and manual (old fashioned) file recordkeeping to manage their jobs.  Doing business this way leaves the Contractor vulnerable as missing, delayed and incomplete job information drives up his costs - sometimes by as much as 50%!  

No business is an island.  The downside of working in multiple programs is that the job information is not shared throughout the company.  When you have one person responsible for accounting, another for purchasing and yet another for job cost, estimating etc; they all share responsibility in securing a successful outcome for the job.  If their work doesn’t flow to one central place (screen) where everyone has access to the job information, decision making is compromised:   

-          Which materials are on back order and due for delivery at the different job sites this week?  We need this verified to avoid any more work stoppages.

-          We don’t want to over bill again, this month.   Our customer refused to pay us last month due to the generous invoice we sent out and now we find ourselves in a cash flow situation.

-          We don’t want to under bill this job again, we’re already in a cash crunch from our last billing.  Let’s make sure our Change Order costs for the month are included in our Work-in-Progress. 

-          What’s the remaining material dollar amount we’re committed to purchase on this job?  What’s the Committed Dollar Amount for all our jobs? 

-          Which Change Orders are still pending for this job?  What was our profit margin on the first three Change Orders for this job?  Did we make enough?  Should we use the same markups on the new Change Orders?  

-          The labor hours for this phase of the job have exceeded our budgeted hours.  Why wasn’t I told about this earlier? 

-          Have all of the Vendor Invoices for this job come in?  Are we paid up?  We don’t want any surprise vendor billings blindsiding us later on. 

-          The Bonding Company is requesting a ton of information – our future Receivables, Unbilled Contract dollars, Work-in-Progress; Contracts won but not started, Current Retained dollars, Budgeted hours remaining on projects and more.  How long will it take to compile this information?  Can we trust the accuracy of the information we’re submitting? 

-          What tools are out on this project and who was assigned which tools? 

-          Where is the RFI’s for this job?  How about the Blueprints?  Permits? Work Orders?  Other Documents?  Why isn’t all this information in one place and neatly organized?  

With COBRA, everyone works in the same database, sharing information with each other.  Worker productivity goes up and mistakes go down.  Everything about a job is neatly organized in one simple screen.  The Contractor’s decision making improves as he goes from being reactive to proactive.   Profit margins are secure while losses are avoided. 

 Duplicate Entry.  When Contractors use multiple programs, often times, the same information is entered repeatedly into multiple programs.  Not only is he paying extra hours, the information (data) can be compromised as people re-enter the same numbers over again.  Here are just a few examples:

-          Workers Time Card hours are entered into Payroll and then again into Job Cost. 

-          A material list from an estimate is re-typed onto a Purchase Order list.

-          Information from a Proposal is re-typed onto a customer’s Invoice.

-          Specialty equipment ordered for a job is entered into Job Cost, then onto an invoice and again into a customer history record.

With COBRA, the Contractor eliminates the duplicate (and sometimes triplicate) entry as everyone enters their information one time only!  This time savings can easily save the Contractor thousands of dollars each year. 

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