Vico Office Production Controller FAQs
Vico Office Production Controller introduces a new way to manage construction project on-site. Using a simple Control Chart, Supers and PMs are able to manage the progress per trade per location. The power of the Vico Office 4D BIM solutions quickly measures the planned progress versus the actual progress and alerts the team when it detects a potential conflict.
Now, teams work together to solve problems, not cover them up with additional manpower. Managing to the schedule is just another way that Vico solutions are different than the status quo: instead of building a schedule with claims in mind to cover the delay, Vico helps you build and manage a schedule with the goal of zero claims.
After reading through these questions, please navigate across the product line:
Also read through these questions:
Location-Based Managememt System FAQs (the theory which powers Vico scheduling solutions)
We also have a Vico Office Video Training Series designed for Schedulers, Estimators, Supers, and PMs. The videos are only 2-5 minutes in length, but dive deep into each piece of functionality. You can follow along on the website with additional commentary and resources, or download the series to your desktop.
We also have two whitepapers which explain construction scheduling:
Q: If a subcontractor comes back and changes crew size from three to five, how will the change be made in the program?
A: That's very easy because crew size and resources are also part of the actual attributes for a task inside Production Controller. So you can change that, and by changing the crew size you will increase the productivity, and you will see the immediate new duration that is calculated based on the new crew size. You can also create what are called "Control Plans" for how you'd like to mitigate some of the problems that are forecast in the Control schedule and you can do that by increasing the crew size and then do a couple of what-if scenarios to see what happens if you increase it to 2, 3, or 5.
Q: Does the Vico Office Suite calculate the duration of the tasks and the production rate automatically from information in the database?
A: Yes. Vico Office integrates the model and the database and the schedule. The duration is calculated based on the productivity rate from the database, quantities from the 3D model, and the crew size entered or optimized from Vico Office Schedule Planner.
Q: Can this schedule control chart be summarized into a cumulative progress S-curve where we have early, late planned and actual for the project as a whole?
A: Yes you can. We have a value analysis view of the project where you can superimpose exactly those metrics and use it together with the model.
Q: How does the matrix for updating progress effect the schedule if the task is not entirely completed? Let's say that it is at 60% complete, how does it effect the schedule or can you tell it is only at 60%?
A: You can tell that it's only at 60%. You can break down the tasks to quantities if you'd like and you can actually define the percent complete based on quantities if you track the project at that level of detail. You can also suspend completion of a task if there's a break in the process. You can define a percent complete without any problems inside the software as well.
Q: If changes occur in the detailing software (for example, in Tekla) after finishing the planning in Vico, how does Vico Office deal with the change?
A: Changes in detailing or design software will automatically change the takeoff item quantities, which then change the Cost Planner quantities, which in turn, update the costs and schedule durations.
Q: Is the product accurate enough to be used to confirm percent complete on subcontractors monthly payment requisitions?
A: Yes, absolutely. Because of the data being tied all the way through from quantities, we can add cost and percent complete on each of those tasks. That will provide a payment schedule and evaluation for the project.
Additional comment: One of our clients has used the simulation and takes a JPEG of the simulation with the date showing in the corner and compares it to the percent complete information in the payment requisition along with a digital photo of the project site. (In this case it was steel.) And according to the simulation, which is tied directly to the schedule, if you were looking at the project you should see this much steel in place. And you could see from the digital photograph of the same section of the job that this was not the case. So a couple of different ways for it to be used which I thought was pretty interesting.
You can see a great comparison of the Vico Schedule and the actual progress on-site at the end of the Hensel Phelps webinar on the Denver Justice Center.
Q: How do you manage offsite activities? For example, prefabricated components and precast slabs etc.
A: There are two components to this. One example is a client who recently included a task that showed how quickly they can provide these based on the area available on a very cramped site. How quickly they could send out these cages so that was the determining rate of production for the follow on trades. That actually was displayed in the schedule as a flowline based on the amount of time it took to fix each of the cages.
And because we have the quantities loaded into each of these tasks, managing offsite activities for the procurement workflow... actually going for bids and bringing back bids, comparing them and placing them in order... All of these stages in the prerequisite that needs to be completed before a task can start can also be included and are actually linked to and utilize the quantities to show you for example when you are going to require slabs and how many. It is very comprehensive in that way and the integration is tied together.
Additional note: In our BIM 201 webinar we also use an example there of not only procurement lead times but also those manufacturing lead times. So that you're not just looking for clashes of components or materials, you are looking for clashes of lead times as well.
Q: I think I need a primer on Flowline theory first. Can you please elaborate what you mean when you say that your scheduling solution uses Flowline in conjunction with traditional CPM?
A: Of course. Flowline scheduling can look intimidating at first, but it's really quite easy as soon as you know what you are looking at. It's also important to remember that with Vico, locations play a critical role in both construction scheduling and on-site production control. Using flowline techniques, it is easy to see how trades flow through the locations at their actual productivity rate and compare that to the plan. Alerts show where crews are having difficulty and projections show Superintendents what the ripple effects – or cascading delays – will be. Now the team can work together to solve the scheduling issue well in advance.
Here's a quick tutorial...
Q: Can we back out of the 30,000 ft view and actually show when the project will finish? What about creating look ahead schedules in the trailer? What about problems on site? What about making sure we finish on time?
A: The purpose of the system is to put the more accurate plan in place and then to track and maintain and make sure that we’re achieving that plan, rather than trying to put a system in place and then re-plan every single week when we’re giving ourselves the opportunity to make excuses. So that’s part of the answer. We then have a very strict process to implement on-site for the weekly meetings. So taking the look ahead from the forecast and watching for the alarm warnings in the forecast. Actually mitigating that by getting commitments from subcontractors to make changes and then in the weekly work plan session having them make their commitments in a way that’s more tangible. Advocating use of a piece of paper and implementing a social process of that production wall. So sharing the data on a production wall is incredibly powerful.
Q: How do we capture the actual production rates that are going on on-site?
A: That is part of the progressing with the matrix we saw in the slide. It’s per location and on a daily basis it’s extremely easy to capture. We have what we call a production wall on the construction site and at the end of the day the subcontractor just says “I had five guys in this location and they did X amount” whether it’s complete or not complete. And it’s a collection of that data that then falls into the system and the actual production information is calculated. So we actually have the original target…we have the current which is if we change the plan in any way … we have the actual data. And then based on the actual data and what’s in that current plan will be the forecast. So we can really identify how we’re achieving the plan and where we are deviating and then concentrate on those deviations. So we track all of that data.
This tutorial video explains the process...
Caption: Creating an optimal schedule with Vico Office Schedule Planner is almost easy compared to managing to that schedule on the jobsite. That’s why even more functionality for Superintendents and Project Managers is included in Vico Office Production Controller. Marking percent complete per location and then comparing actuals to planned helps the team see well in advance where problems will occur.
Training: Vico Office Video Training Series