Contract Administration

On a complex construction project for which thousands of items are to be procured, approved, manufactured, delivered, and installed, satisfactory use of computers can be made. An effective system for monitoring the time and cost of a project from design through procurement and installation, consisting of one data bank from which four reports are drawn, is as follows:

Purchasing/Cost Report. This report lists the various items to be procured and sets target dates for bidding and award of contracts. It keeps track of the budget and actual cost for each item. A summary prepared for top management provides totals in each category and indicates the status of the purchasing.
Expediting/Traffic Report. This report lists the items once they are purchased and gives a continual update of delivery dates, shop drawing and approval status, shipping information, and location of the material when stored either on or off the site.
Furniture, Fixture, and Equipment List. This report, which is normally used when the job involves a process or refinery, can also be used for lists of equipment in a complex building, such as a hospital or hotel. The report describes all the
utility information for each piece of equipment, its size, functions, intent, characteristics,
manufacturer, part number, location in the finished job, and guarantees, as
well as information relating to its source, procurement, price, and location or drawing number of the plan it appears on.
Accounting System. The system consists of a comprehensive series of accounting reports, including a register for each supplier, and shows all disbursements. This information is used in preparing requisitions for progress payments. It also can be used to report costs of the job to date and to make predictions of probable costs to complete.
All of the above reports can be integrated from start to finish and synchronized with each other.
Project Time Management. After construction operations commence, there should be a continual comparison of field performance with the established schedule.
When the schedule is not being met, some method should be used to make management aware of this and correct schedule lags. The corrective actions and rescheduling phases are known as project time management.
The monitoring phase of time management involves periodic measurement of actual job progress and comparison with the planned objectives. The only way that this can be done positively is to determine the work quantities put into place and to report this information for comparison with work quantities anticipated in the job schedule. Then, a determination can be made of the effect of the current status of the job on the completion date for the project. Any corrective actions necessary can then be planned and implemented, after which the schedule can be updated.
Computer-calculated network activities provide a convenient basis for measuring progress and for issuance of reports (Art. 17.12). The network diagram should be corrected as needed so that the current job schedule reflects actual job status.
(R. H. Clough and G. A. Sears, Construction Project Management, JohnWiley & Sons, Inc., New York.)
Computerized Project Management Control System. This system combines project scheduling with cost controls, resource allocation controls, and a contractprogress statistical reporting system so as to yield total control over time, cost, resources, and statistics.
Time. The time aspect of the system is designed to produce, through project scheduling, a set of time objectives, a visual means of presenting these objectives, and the devising and enforcing of a corrective method of adhering to the objectives in order that the desired results will be achieved, as described previously (Project Time Management).
Cost. These are summary costs monitored by budget reports, produced monthly and distributed to the owner. In addition, detailed reports for construction company management list costs under each class of construction activity and are used by project managers and field, purchasing, and top management personnel. A report on probable total cost to complete the project is intended for all levels of construction company personnel but is used primarily by those responsible for corrective action.

Resource Allocation. For the purpose of resource allocation, a graphical summary should be prepared of projected monthly manpower for individual activities and also of the estimated quantities of work to be in place for all trades on a cumulative basis. An update of these charts monthly will indicate which trades have low work quantities in place, so that these lagging trades may be augmented with the proper number of workers to permit them to catch up with and adhere to the schedule.
Statistics. From the information received from the preceding reports, an accurate forecast can be made of the probable construction completion date and total cost of the project.
Software and programs for computerized preparation of all the preceding reports can be developed by company personnel or by outside consultants.

Field Supervision

A field superintendent has the most varied duties of anyone in the construction organization. Responsibilities include the following: field office (establishment and maintenance); fencing and security; watchmen; familiarity with contract documents;
ordering out, receiving, storing, and installing materials; ordering out and operation of equipment and hoists; daily reports; assisting in preparation of the schedule for the project; maintenance of the schedule; accident reports; monitoring extra work;
drafting of backcharges; dealing with inspectors, subcontractors, and field labor;
punch-list work; quality control; and safety.
Familiarity with contract documents and ability to interpret the plans and specifications are essential for performance of many of the superintendents duties. (The importance of knowing the contract documents is discussed in Art. 17.5.) Should work being required by the architect, owner, or inspectors exceed the requirements of the contract documents, the superintendent should alert the contractors office.
A claim for pay for extra work, starting with a change-order proposal, may result (Art. 17.14.2).
The daily reports from the superintendent are a record that provides much essential information on the construction job. From these daily reports, the following information is derived: names of persons working and hours worked; cost code amounts; subcontractor operations and description of work being performed; materials received; equipment received or sent; visitors to the job site; other remarks;
temperature and weather; accidents or other unusual occurrences. Figure 17.10 shows a typical daily report.
Back-Charges. Frequently, either at the request of a subcontractor or because of the failure of a subcontractor to perform, work must be done on behalf of a subcontractor and the subcontractors account charged. If the work performed and the resultant back-charge is at the request of the subcontractor, then obtaining the information and the agreement of all parties to a back-charge order (Fig. 17.11) is easy.

If, however, there is a dispute as to whether or not the work is part of the obligation of the subcontractor, then the task becomes more complicated. Backcharges in this situation should be used sparingly. Sending a back-charge to a subcontractor under circumstances that are controversial is at best only a selfserving declaration, and in all likelihood will be vigorously disputed by the subcontractor.

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