Digital Dryshack Construction Blog

/Digital Dryshack Construction Blog/

Digital Dryshack #88: Closing a Bid in Sage Sql in Canada

Our work as consultants requires travel to such interesting places as Arnpior, Ontario Canada, population 8,500. Arnprior is a picturesque, and architecturally lovely small town at the confluence of the Ottawa and Madawasca Rivers in Eastern Ontario. If you ever find yourself needing accommodation in Arnpirior, it would be a mistake not to check availability at Ellen's Kirkman House B&B. It's a 140-year old B&B, which was at one time in its colorful history the town’s Convent. Our project was with  M Sullivan & Son, a 102-year old construction company whom we've worked with for the past year, building a new and robust Sage (Timberline) Estimating system. Our primary mission this trip was to provide training and support for closing their first bid in Timberline, rather than in Excel as they have for many years.   The first step is Database setup. In my opinion, effectively closing a bid in Timberline utilizes two custom WBS : Bid Status with 3 values: 1-Open 2-Pending 3-Closed Bid Package: multiple, as detailed as you expect your Subcontractor and Supplier quotes to be   CSI-indexed Examples: 03.20.00 Concrete reinforcing 03.30.00 Concrete supply 03-35.00 Concrete place & finish   3 database setup steps: We setup [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |Consulting|

Digital Dryshack #87: 10 Reasons D.O.D. Schedules get Rejected

Working with a G.C. firm providing scheduling training in Honolulu last week reminded me of the struggles most midsize contractors face when submitting an Initial Project Schedule (IPS) to NAVFAC or the Army Corps of Engineers. Most contractors produce a simple bar chart in MS Project for their typical jobs and aren’t familiar with P6. Rarely are the rigorous and demanding scheduling complexities included in D.O.D. project manuals required by private industry or commercial work. So when awarded a NAVFAC or USACE project, Contractors aren’t getting paid for anything but the bond because their IPS is rejected multiple times for a myriad of reasons. For this reason, I’ve listed the 10 most common reasons the Government rejects Initial Project Schedule submissions: Incomplete Logical Network is the #1 reason most schedules are re­jected. These 2 rules are absolutely non-negotiable: Every Activity but the first (Contract Award) must have a Predecessor Every Activity but the last (CCD) must have a Successor Schedule Log report not reviewed for compliance with Project Spec is the #2 reason for rejected schedules. This invaluable report lists all Constraints, Critical Path Activities, mandatory program settings, open-ended and out-of-sequence Activities, and much more. If you don’t review this report [...]

Digital Dryshack #86 – 4 Estimating Tips from Tennessee

I was in Tennessee last week, and stopped by one of Tennessee's largest builders to provide some training and suggestions to increase their estimating productivity. One of their senior estimators was new to the company's Sage Timberline Estimating system, and was struggling to find the best way to make adjustments to their highly-detailed bids. The company builds more than 1,000 semi-custom homes per year, and estimators need to crank out close to 30 estimates per month. So there's no time for lost productivity. Here's a quick summary of our takeaways from the training that will help improve estimating efficiency: Tip #1: Use and Trust the Database Assemblies: Companies who own top-tier estimating systems typically have invested hundreds of manhours in building detailed estimating assemblies to quantify and collect related construction components. Using well-designed assemblies, especially along with one of the digital takeoff  tools will cut quantity takeoff time and item selection in half or better. Tip #2: Make Adjustments in Assembly Takeoff. Add related components or adjust assembly quantities from within Assembly Takeoff. This will keep any necessary changes grouped with the other assembly components AND will provide an easy to follow audit trail later for final checks. Maintain the Database. If you find any errors [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |Consulting|

The 2015 JBK Construction Technology Report is here!

The 4th Annual JBK Construction Technology Report is here! This report reveals the comprehensive results from the 45 question 2015 survey with commentary and analysis from the perspective of a construction technology solutions provider. Interested in the growth of technology in construction? To receive your copy today, fill out the form below to immediately get access to the full report.

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |Digital Dry Shack Blog|

Press Release: CCi Fusion

Cassell Consulting Inc Announces the Release of CCi Fusion: Sage Estimating to Procore CCi breaks new ground with the first of many apps for Procore users. Vancouver, WA - November 25, 2015: Cassell Consulting Inc announces their new app, CCi Fusion: Sage Estimating to Procore. You can download a demo version on their website at: Create a new project in Procore Replace or adjust budget line items for existing projects CCi Fusion populates Procore from Sage Sage Estimating and Procore users are currently invited to an open beta. Full release of the CCi Fusion tool is scheduled for December, 2015. Procore Technologies, Inc., the world’s most widely used construction management software, helps construction firms simplify the construction process with a powerful, yet easy to use platform. With unlimited user licenses and user-centric product development, they are able to create the most intuitive and collaborative platform––resulting in immediate ROI. When all stakeholders have constant access to real time project information from anywhere, at any time, with any Internet-connected device, firms drastically increase their project efficiency, and more importantly, profit. For more information about Procore, or for a free demonstration, visit Cassell Consulting is committed to improving technology in the construction [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |News and Events|

DD# 85: Wolf Construction Controls

In the course of doing business as consultants, we encounter many different types of companies and managers, with many different styles, methods, and business issues that they’re trying to fix. Of those companies we’ve worked with in the last few years, none stands out more than Wolf Construction in Topeka, Kansas. Wolf is an industrial general contractor, with blue-chip clientele including electrical utilities, petrochemical, and manufacturing customers.  I was fortunate to meet Dusty Gary, Wolf’s VP of Operations at a Viewpoint user conference three years ago in Portland. While we didn’t immediately do business together, we sensed a common bond, the passion for achieving better outcomes by joining vision with technology . What truly sets Wolf apart from its competitors is its unwavering commitment to quality, safety, and accountability to its clients. It achieves these high standards on a daily basis, through laser-focus on its Operations. Nothing happens by accident at Wolf. Dusty, following in his dad Dave Gary’s footsteps, has instituted a culture of attention to core values. By following its rigorous procedures of quality workmanship and attention to detail, the net result is efficient execution down from soup to nuts on every job, for every client, every time. [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |Digital Dry Shack Blog|

Welcome back, Mr. Wagner!

Just when we thought we were losing our P6 Guru, the heavens answered our calls. Ken Wagner just revealed that he won’t be retiring at the end of this month! Whoo-hoo! The Cassell Team is pleased to not be losing such a huge asset to our team. Ken has not only been a benefit to our clients and the work he does here at Cassell as our Senior P6 Consultant but also to our Digital Dryshack Blog. He has written some very helpful articles for P6 users. You can find his articles on our blog under P6 Deep Dive. Ken will be available for P6 Training and Consulting until he retires in June of 2016. After his retirement he will be moving to Washington D.C. to build a home with his son on a property he purchased. This project has been a long time dream of his and soon it will be coming to life. Ken will be using his woodworking skills to do custom millwork and finish carpentry. We are so excited for you Ken! Welcome back and thank you for hanging tight just a little bit longer! Questions? Email us at

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |News and Events|

DD# 84: 3 Reasons to Adopt Masterformat 2010

Interest in our 2010 Masterformat Sample Cost Code list has been strong recently, reminding us that many contractors are moving to the new platform for their estimating and job cost tracking systems. We think it's a good idea and are surprised so many are taking the head-in-the-sand approach. In our opinion, our construction industry has already achieved critical mass with the new format: The US Government, including the Army Corps of Engineers, NAVFAC, and the Air Force are specifying 100% of their projects in the new format. Most state and county jobs in our region, (Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, and Alaska) are also using 48-division format. MF 1995 (16-divisions) is bursting at the seams, and there's no room to put the emerging technologies in its overstuffed divisions. So why the resistance? Three reasons we hear from our change-resistant clients: "It's just like the metric system, a flash-in-the-pan that will never happen". (We disagree) "The new system just doesn't make sense". (We agree that it's unfortunate that Earthwork, old Division 2, moved to Div 31, 31, 32, & 34. But it was necessary to maintain the familiarity of Div 3-14, as well as accommodate all the work that just won't fit into a single division. Can you imagine the pushback we'd be hearing [...]

Aloha, Ken Wagner

The Cassell Team is sad to announce the retirement of our Senior P6 Consultant, Ken Wagner. He has been our Senior Oracle Primavera Technical Consultant and Oracle certified Enterprise Portfolio Implementation Specialist for the implementation of P6 Project Management. Ken has over thirty plus years of executive level experience in program and project management, working in state and federal government, defense and commercial industries. He brought that experience to Cassell Consulting for our clients, implementing and utilizing Oracle Primavera, and Project Management Best Practices and Standards. During Ken’s varied career he has served as Assistant Environmental Program Director for a four state region including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.  He has been an interim project controls manager for Washington State Ferries Terminal Engineering, implementing Primavera Enterprise Project Management software, and improving project scheduling standards to support resource loading, earned value management and reporting for a program budget of over $200,000,000 for all the Ferry terminals in Puget Sound.  Ken additionally has served as the Enterprise Project Management consultant to the fortune five hundred HP to Compaq merger team, which included developing the training and support, best practices and standards for the management of day-to-day operations in the companies’ largest division [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |News and Events|

DD# 83: Publishing a Project Web Site

If you are limited on your IT budget for P6 licenses and still want to allow stakeholders to view project data you can use the non-licensing publishing feature in Primavera P6. You can select designated project information from Activity Layouts, Reports from the reports library, and Tracking Layouts to be published a share drive where you can allow access to designated stakeholders. This is also an easy way to disseminate information to owners and subcontractors. Before setting up the website it is a good idea to develop global Layouts and reports that have been configured to be viewed in a web browser. To do this go to the print preview of the layout or report and view it in HTML format. When satisfied with the setup of the report save it as a global layout or report with a name that associates it to the publishing of a website. This standardization method will allow all projects to use the same standardized layouts and reports when publishing to a project website. Note: When publishing a Project Web Site the files created are for the currently open project in P6. If you desire to publish multiple projects to the same website make [...]

2017-01-14T08:23:27+00:00 By |Digital Dry Shack Blog|