On the Job: Project Management That's Built for Construction

14 Mar, 2005 By: Cadalyst Staff Cadalyst

Meridian's Prolog helps contractors handle more business and effectively grow revenue.

Two growing construction firms in the central United States are employing a project-management system that is helping them deliver complex projects on time and under budget.

Kansas-based Pearce Construction and Crossland Construction are employing Prolog from Meridian Systems, a project-management system designed for the AEC industry. The firms implemented Prolog with assistance from Meridian Global Reseller A+ Integrated Solutions.

Prolog provides project-management control for mid- to large-sized business owners, architecture firms and engineering and construction organizations. The system facilitates collaboration, purchasing management, cost control, document management and field administration (figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Prolog supports complete file management for AEC, including storing, sharing and collaborating on PDF, DOC, DWF, DWG, DXF and DGN files.

Figure 2. Prolog offers functionality for redline and comment on design drawings.

For 51 years, Pearce Construction has serviced retail, recreation and health and food services facility owners in the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area. Customers such as ADT Security Services, First National Bank of Kansas and Dillard's have relied on Pearce's ability to deliver projects on time and under budget. Pearce used Prolog to manage construction of the Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas (figure 3), which was completed under budget, and is using the system the Community Covenant Church project, which is two months ahead of schedule (figure 4).

Figure 3. Pearce Construction completed construction of the 45,000ft2 Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, using Prolog. The $5 million project came in $250,000 under budget.

Figure 4. This Pearce project currently under construction -- the $9 million Community Covenant Church -- is two months ahead of schedule.

"We investigated several project-management systems to help us manage project details and costs, and we overwhelmingly chose Prolog," said Darin Heyen, executive vice president for the general contractor. "After the first few weeks of using Prolog, our project managers came to us and told us they were thrilled with the system -- Prolog makes them much more efficient. We've developed consistency among projects and increased the speed of our processes immeasurably.

"Technology as a whole enables our company to operate at maximum efficiency," continued Heyen. "In our business, timing, accuracy and proactive management mean more efficient construction schedules, less issue management, and better overall building systems. These relate to more satisfied owners and, for Pearce, increased revenue from repeat business."

Crossland Construction has served facilities owners since 1978. The family-owned business employs more than 600 craftsmen, operators, steel erectors and managers, maintaining offices in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Crossland is ranked nationally in the Engineering News Record Top 400 Contractors and Metal Construction News magazine's Top 20 Metal Building & Roofing Contractors.

"We've seen a sizeable increase in our workload and had a significant increase in project workforce to support that growth," says Colin Fisher, IT Manager for Crossland Construction. "Prolog helps our larger teams work together more efficiently and develop standard reporting and knowledge sharing. Next, we're looking to the Internet to connect our internal team with subcontractors and clients all over the Midwest. We see adopting Prolog and the Internet as an effective measure for supporting our growth and, as a result, increasing revenue for our company."

Pearce and Crossland worked with A+ Integrated Solutions for software selection, implementation and training. As the authorized Meridian Global Reseller for the central United States, A+ Integrated Solutions continues to see contractors and subcontractors realize the value of an integrated project-management system that automates purchasing, cost control, document control and field administration.

"Contractors of all sizes need to increase the number of jobs they can handle, the margin they can take in from those jobs and their overall profitability," said Eric Fletcher, president of A+ Integrated Solutions. "We continue to see Prolog selected as the project-management solution of choice because of its robust construction-specific functionality and the local consulting and training we offer to support our clients' technology decisions."

*Statistics excerpted from CFMA's 2004 Information Technology Survey for the Construction Industry, fourth edition with the permission of the Construction Financial Management Association, Princeton, New Jersey, 609.452.8000.

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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